Friday, September 30, 2011


This recipe is from my DIL's grandmother.  We love this recipe as it has the right texture & flavor that we like.  Even though I live in Texas, I was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in Ohio & lived a little in Michigan.  I never heard of chili without beans, until I moved here!!!  To me, chili has to have beans, for heaven's sake!!!  I hope you give this recipe a try.  My additions are in red.

2 1/2 lbs. of ground beef
2 chopped onions                                                           
2 cans kidney beans, drained
2 cans tomato soup
2 soup cans of water
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 can tomatoes, undrained
salt, pepper to taste
1 T. chili powder
1 t. ground cumin
1 can chopped green chilis

Brown the ground beef in a large dutch oven, along with the chopped onions.  Drain.

Add the rest of the ingredients & simmer for 1/12  hours.  (Instead of simmering on top of the cooktop, I like to use my oven as a slow cooker.  I cover the dutch oven & put it in a 220-225 degree oven & let it in there for the afternoon.)

Serve with grated cheddar cheese, sour cream or whatever you like for garnishing!!  

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I have been making this cornbread for probably 40 years.  We like sweet cornbread, not the dry, crumbly kind!  I do apoligize if you fall into that latter category, but I guess it's what you're used to!!!    Here's a delicious recipe:

1 c. flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. cornmeal
1 c. milk
1 egg, well beaten
1 T. vegetable oil

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.

Add the milk to the beaten egg & add the oil.  Stir this  into the dry ingredients.

Turn into a shallow, greased 8" pan.  I actually used my cast iron skillet.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.

I am sharing this with:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Applesauce Streusel Muffins

Since making my homemade applesauce, I wanted to make some muffins with the leftovers.  I came up with this yummy, Fall muffin recipe.  The streusel part is from Martha Stewart, but the rest is compiled by me!

1/2 c oats
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 T. flour
2 T. butter, ,melted
pinch of cinnamon

Mix ingredients together & set aside.


Dry ingredients:

1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. oats
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. allspice

Wet ingredients:

1 c. applesauce
1/3 c. oil
1 egg, slightly beaten

Mix all the DRY ingredients together in a medium bowl. 

Combine the WET ingredients & mix well.  Add to the dry ingredients & mix together just until moistened. 

Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray, or line with paper liners.  Divide the batter among the 12 cups.  Top with the streusel topping, slightly pressing down.

Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for about 17-20 minutes.

Let cool in the muffin tin for about 10 minutes before turning out on a cooling rack to cool.

I am sharing this with:
Muffin Monday
Tea Party Tuesday
Seasonal Sundays
On the Menu Monday

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fall Treats

Maybe everyone knows about this yummy treat, but if not, here's a delicious Fall treat that tastes like a Payday candy bar!!  Here's the simple, but addictive "recipe":

Mix dry roasted peanuts with candy corn.  You won't believe how yummy this is!!!

I am sharing this with:
 Seasonal Sundays
Tabletop Tuesdays
Wow Us Wednesdays
Foodie Friday
On the Menu Monday

Friday, September 23, 2011

Homemade Applesauce

With Fall upon us, I was in the mood to make some homemade applesauce.  If you've never tried it, you're in for a wonderful surprise!  I like to use  cooking apples, leave the skins on, & once cooked, put the apples through a food mill.  If you don't have a food mill, then peel & core your apples, cut them in chunks & follow the recipe & you'll have chunky applesauce. You can use a potato masher to break down the apples after they're cooked.   Either way, once you try homemade, you will love it!!
These measurements are approximate:

4 cooking apples
1/2 - 3/4 cup water
1/2 t. cinnamon
freshly grated nutmeg, optional
brown sugar, depending on sweetness that you like (I used 1/8 cup)

Wash the apples & cut in fourths & remove the core.  Cut the fourths into chunks & put in a heavy saucepan.  Add the water, sugar & spices.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn to a simmer & cover.  Every so often, stir the apples to break them down.  You will need to cook them until they are they are mushy & tender, which could take 1/2 hour - 1 hour.

Now you are ready to put the apples through the food mill & then enjoy your homemade applesauce!

I am sharing this with:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Easy Baked Pork Chops

When you want something to put together & then leave for the day, here's a quick recipe.  The pork chops make their own gravy, which you can serve with mashed potatoes, rice or noodles.  Here it is!

4 pork chops (I used boneless, because that's what I had)
choice of seasonings (I used freshly ground pepper & garlic powder
1/2-1 chopped onion
1 can cream of mushroom soup (or cream of chicken)
1/2 soup can of water
1-2 T. oil

Heat the  oil in a heavy skillet until hot.  Add the pork chops that have been seasoned.  Brown them for a few minutes on each side.  Add the chopped onion & cook a few minutes more.  Mix the soup & water together in a small bowl, to smooth out the lumps.  Add the soup mixture to the skillet.  Stir around to loosen the fond (brown bits) on the bottom.  Cover the skillet & put in a 225 degree oven.  Bake for 4-5 hours.  (This also could be done on low in a slow cooker).

There you go!  A great meal to come home to & enjoy.

I am sharing this with:
Full Plate Thursday
Foodie Friday
On the Menu Monday

Monday, September 19, 2011

Quick-Rise Pizza Dough

If you'd like a really quick pizza dough, I have the recipe for you!!!!  I have a yellowed copy that I clipped from the newspaper years ago & the source is listed from "The Vegetarian Grill".  This one doesn't involve hours of rising time & it is so easy to work with.  It makes a fabulous, thin, crunchy crust.   I hope you give it a try & make some homemade pizza on the grill!!!  You will LOVE it!!

3 cups bread flour ( I used all-purpose)
1 pkg. quick-rising yeast                                      
2 t. salt
1/2 t. sugar
1 cup water
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil plus a little extra

In a food processor, fitted with a dough blade, combine flour, yest, salt & sugar.  Process to mix.

In a small saucepan or a microwave-safe container, combine the water & oil.  Heat until an an instant-read thermometer reads 125 F-130 F.

With food processor running, slowly pour in the heated water mixture & process until the dough forms into a ball.  Continue processing for 1 minute or more to knead the dough.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface, cover with plastic wrap & let rise for 30 minutes. * (IF YOU WANT, after the 30 minutes, you can put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover it & put it in the fridge.  Then, about an hour before you are ready to roll out the dough, take it out and let it sit on the counter for an hour,  to come to room temp.    Now you are ready for the next step.)*

Divide the dough into 6 balls.  On a floured work surface, roll out each ball into a 6" circle & about an 1/8" thick.  Brush both sides with olive oil,  You can stack the dough rounds and they won't stick together,  The dough is ready to grill. 

To Grill:

Heat your grill on high.  I like to have mine at about 500 degrees.  Assemble all your ingredients on a tray  that you like on your pizza. You have to be ready because these cook very quickly.  We had sauce, pepperoni & cheese.  You might just want tomatoes & cheese, with basil & oregano.  Use what you like.

When the grill is very hot, lay the crusts on the hot grates.  They only take a few minutes before they are ready to turn.  Turn the crusts, lay on your toppings & close the lid.  In a few minutes, after the cheese is all melted,  they will be ready to take off.  Transfer your pizzas to a large cutting board.


NOTE:  I only used half the dough & froze the remainder for another day.

Makes 6 pizzas

I am sharing this with:

Full Plate Thursday
Foodie Friday
On the Menu Monday

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sausage & Artichoke Stuffed Shells

The original recipe for this is from Giada de Laurentis & can be found here.  I changed it up to use chicken sausage in place of ground turkey.  This recipe makes enough to feed a crowd;  or make two casseroles & freeze one for later.  Here's my adapted recipe:

1-12 oz. box jumbo pasta shells                                             
3 T. olive oil
1 c. chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 pound ground chicken sausage
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed & coarsely chopped
1-15 oz. container ricotta cheese
3/4 c. grated Parmesan
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 c. chopped fresh basil leaves
2 T. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
5 cups Marina sauce
1 1/2 c. grated mozzarella

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta & partially cook, stirring occasionally, about 4-5 minutes.  Drain pasta.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions & garlic & cook until onions are soft, about 3 minutes.  Add the chicken sausage, salt & pepper & cook until chicken is cooked through.  Add the artichoke hearts & stir.  Remove from heat & let cool.

In a large bowl combine the cooled turkey mixture with the ricotta, Parmesan, eggs, basil & parsley & some salt & pepper.  Stir to combine.

Cover the bottom of a 9 x 13inch baking dish (or 2 smaller casseroles) with some of the Marina sauce.  Stuff the shells with a large spoonful of the turkey mixture.  Place the shells in the baking dish.  (I didn't use all of the shells).  Drizzle the remaining sauce over the shells & top with the mozzarella cheese.  If freezing, cover tightly with plastic wrap & place in the freezer for up to one month.

To bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Bake until the shells are warmed through & the cheese is starting to brown, about 20 minutes (60 minutes if shells are frozen.)

NOTE:  For a quick homemade sauce, I used this recipe & doubled it.  I had enough leftover sauce to freeze for another use.

I am sharing  this with:
Full Plate Thursday
Foodie Friday
On the Menu Monday

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pumpkin Scones

I found this recipe for pumpkin scones, which is supposedly like Starbucks pumpkin scones.  I was  in the mood for Fall baking, even though we have record temperatures over 100!!   I adapted this recipe, as the original made 6 large scones & had 2 glazes.  To cut the calories, I made 12 & only one glaze.  If you like pumpkin, I hope you give them a try!  Maybe Fall will arrive in Texas soon!!!!!!

2 c. flour
7 T. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground nutmeg  (I like whole nutmeg, freshly grated)
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. ground ginger
6 T. cold butter
1/2 c. canned pumpkin
3 T. half-and-half
1 egg


1 c. powdered sugar
2 T. milk
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
1/8 t. ground nutmeg
1 pinch ginger
1 pinch ground cloves

To Make the Scones:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Lightly oil a baking sheet or line with parchment paper or silpat.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt & spices in food processor.  Add the butter, which has been cut into 6 pieces & pulse until no chunks of butter are obvious. 

In a separate bowl, whisk the pumpkin, half & half & egg.  Add to the dry ingredients & pulse until the mixture forms a ball.

Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface & form into a 1-inch thick rectangle (about 9" long & 3" wide).  Use a knife to slice the dough twice through the width making 3 equal portions.  Cut those three slices in an X shape so that you get 12 triangles of dough.  Place on baking sheet.

Bake for about 14 minutes.  They should be lightly browned.  Place on wire rack to cool.

Make the spiced glaze, by combining all the ingredients. When the scones are cool,  paint this glaze onto each scone with a brush, or just drizzle.  Make sure to let them dry for an hour.  Freeze any leftovers.

Makes 12

I am sharing this with:
 Foodie Friday
 Seasonal Sundays
On the Menu Monday
Tea Party Tuesday
Rock 'n Share Party

Monday, September 12, 2011

Frozen Cherry Salad

This is one of those recipes that is so unbelievably good & SO simple to prepare.  My DIL's Mom shared this with me & it's a favorite whenever our families get together.  It makes a bunch & everyone loves it.  I think at Christmas time, subbing a can of whole cranberry sauce, in place of the cherry pie filling, would be delicious.  Are you ready for easy??  Here it is!

1 can cherry pie filling
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 medium can crushed pineapple, drained
12 oz. frozen whipped topping, thawed

Mix altogether & freeze in mold (or rather molds, as this makes 2 molds depending on size).

I am linking this up to:
Tea Party Tuesday
Pink Saturday
Full Plate Thursday

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sausage & Rotini in Vodka Sauce

I've been wanting to try this creamy pasta dish & checked several recipes.  Finally, I just put some ingredients together for my own version.  We liked it & hope you'll give it a try.

1 lb. sausage (I used hot Italian chicken sausage)
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced, optional
sprinkle of crushed red peppers, optional
1/3-1/2 c. Vodka
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1/2 -1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
fresh basil, snipped or torn
12 oz. dried rotini or penne pasta, cooked
Parmesan cheese, for serving

In a large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta according to directions on the box.  Drain & set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, brown the sausage in a tablespoon of hot olive oil.  Add the onion , mushrooms & garlic & cook for a few minutes more.  Add the crushed red peppers & the vodka.  Let the vodka come to a simmer & then reduce by half.

Add the crushed tomatoes to the skillet & stir.  Add the whipped cream & fold in.  Add the cooked pasta & stir to combine.  Lastly, add the snipped basil & some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

I hope you enjoy!

I'm sharing this with Foodie Friday & On the Menu Monday.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

This is a recipe that I made without using any canned soup as an ingredient.  I just don't care for cream of any kind of soup in chicken pot pie.  It's also made with just a top crust.  If you like a two crusted pie, I would bake the unfilled pie crust at 425 degrees for about 5 minutes & then proceed with this recipe.

4 T. butter
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken broth or stock
1- 12oz. pkg. frozen mixed vegetables
4 cups chopped, cooked chicken
1/4 cup heavy cream, optional
salt & pepper to taste
a sprinkle of dried thyme
1 pie crust to roll out, or pre-made (such as Pillsbury ready to roll)

In a large skillet, melt the butter & add the onion.  Saute until the onion is translucent.  Add the flour to the skillet & cook, stirring for a few minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste.  Slowly add the broth or stock, stirring until thick & bubbly.  Turn the heat down to a simmer & add the vegetable, chicken & the seasonings.  At this point, you may want to add the heavy cream, for extra richness.

Pour the chicken/vegetable mixture into a deep pie dish.  Top with your pie crust & flute the edges.  Take a knife & put several vents in the top to allow the steam to escape.  Bake for about 45 minutes in a 375 degree oven, or until golden brown.

Take out and let cool for several minutes before cutting.

I am sharing this with Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's, Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum, Seasonal Sundays at The Tablescaper & On the Menu Monday at Stonegable.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Banana Bread

I first tasted this bread almost 20 years ago & my friend, who always shares good recipes, immediately shared it with me.  If you don't have a good banana bread recipe, I hope you try this one.  I've never tried another one after tasting this.  It's moist & super good!

 1/2 c. shortening
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
pinch of salt
1 t. soda
1/3 c. buttermilk
2 c. flour
3 large or 4 small bananas, mashed
1 c. nuts, chopped (can use mini chocolate chips)
1 t. vanilla

Cream together the shortening & sugar.  Add the eggs & salt & mix well. 

Dissolve the soda in the buttermilk.  (I often use 1 T. powdered buttermilk & water in place of the fresh buttermilk).  Add to the creamed mixture.  Add the rest of the ingredients & mix well.

Pour into 1 large or 2 small greased loaf pans.  Bake at 325 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let sit in pans for about 10 minutes & then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

Note:  I love it with the mini chocolate chips, but my hubby prefers the nuts!

I am sharing this with Tea Party Tuesday .

Friday, September 2, 2011

Flat Bread Pizza

I've been wanting to make flat bread pizza after tasting it at a very upscale restaurant nearby. Everything at this restaurant is under 450 calories.  I wanted to see if I could recreate this recipe at home.  We liked this version very much.  It's a quick meal because the dough doesn't have to rise.


1 cup bread flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup warm water, plus extra if necessary
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil


1. Mix flour and salt in a food processor. Mix water and oil and pour over flour mixture; process to form a soft dough ball. If dough is too stiff,  process in another tablespoon of warm water. Continue to process until dough is well kneaded, about 15 seconds.

2. With floured hands, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cut into quarters. Working with one quarter at a time, roll dough out to about a 12-by-4-inch rectangle, dusting with flour and turning as necesary to keep it from sticking.

3. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Top with whatever toppings you like.  I used mozzarella cheese & sliced tomatoes, topped with  more cheese & sprinkled with fresh basil.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until crust is crisp and golden.

This recipe is adapted from "The Perfect Recipe for Losing Weight and Eating Great" by Pam Anderson.

Nutritional Information for flatbread, without toppings:

150 calories per serving; protein 5g.; carbs 27g.; fat 2.0 g.

I am sharing this with On the Menu Monday at Stonegable & Seasonal Sundays at The Tablescaper.
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