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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Sweet Potato Casserole

As I am sure I have stated many times, I love fall! One veggie in particular I really love (any time of the year) is the sweet potato. They are heart healty and of course deliciously sweet! This recipe is Weight Watchers and was so yummy I felt like I had dessert!

My stand-in taste-tester (Dad) had this to say:

"Rachael Ray would have been envious"

Makes 4 Servings

2 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
3/4 t finely chopped crystallized ginger (I just used regular ground ginger)
1/2 t salt
1/4 c thawed frozed apple juice concentrate
2 T packed brown sugar
2 t fresh lemon juice
1/4 t cinnamon
1/8 t ground cloves
2 t margarine, diced

Preheat oven to 375 F; spray 8" square baking dish w/ non-stick cookig spray. Arrange half of the apples in the baking dish; top w/half of the sweet potatoes, then sprinkle w/ half the ginger and half the salt. Repeat the layers.

In a small bowl, combine the juice concentrate, brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, cloves and 1/4 c wter. Pour over the potatoes. Cover with foil and bake 45 min; dot w/margarine. Bake, uncovered until tender, bubbling and lightly browned, about 15 min longer

Cal: 220/serving
Fat: 2 g

Friday, October 06, 2006

Butternut Squash Soup and "Sammies"

Well, the recipe for the Butternut squash soup is below, under "First Day of Autumn". I made it tonite and to accompany the soup, I made Rachael Ray's Deviled Ham Sammies or Mug Toppers. Pics of both are above.

I love the soup! So flavorful and low in calories and fat. I used I Can't Believe It's Not Butter and fat free no/low sodium chickn broth. Plus, you have to love the golden color! It's beautiful!

The Sammies were good, but next time I make them I will only put in maybe 1 & 1/2 T mustard and 1/2 T paprika. It was a little intense. The butcher didn't have white cheddar so I went with the regular kind!

A great "getting cold" treat! YUM!

2 sandwich size English muffins, split
3/4 pound boiled deli ham, chopped
1 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons hot sauce
3 to 4 tablespoons yellow mustard, squirt top bottle -- eyeball it
A handful parsley, curly or flat
8 deli slices, about 8 to 10 ounces, white sharp Cheddar

Heat toaster oven or broiler then toast split English muffins. While muffins toast, grind ham with paprika, hot sauce, mustard, and parsley in a food processor. Spread ham on toasted muffins. Top each muffin half with 2 slices Cheddar and melt cheese in toaster oven or under broiler.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Polish Pierogi

As part of my dad's birthday, we made a favorite of his, Pierogi. Though my dad's family is Polish, I have never made Pierogi. In fact, I didn't even know if I like it until I made it last night! It was pretty easy to make (once I got the dough right) and was delicious. You can have all types of fillings though cheese and potato is what I used.

The good thing about pierogi is that you boil it in water, so you don't add a lot of oil/grease to recipe. I did throw them in a skillet with some sauted onions and sourkraut just to brown them up and give them a beautiful golden color.

I love this recipe and know that anyone can make it, it is really easy and homeade, which makes it even better!

1 c flour
1 egg
1/4 c water (or more I used 1/4c then an additional 1/8c)

3 medium potatoes
1/2 c cheddar chz
salt & pepper to taste

Boil potatoes until soft, drain water from pan. Mash potatoes and add cheese and salt & pepper. Set aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl, place the flour and egg. Add 1/4 cup of water and stir all ingredients with a fork. The dough should be the consistency of pizza dough. Add more water (if necessary) until this consistency is attained.

Assemble the pierogies:
On a lightly floured surface, roll out a portion of dough to 1/8th of an inch thickness, making sure that there are no holes.
Cut dough into 3 inch squares and place approximately 1-2 Tablespoons of the filling mixture slightly off center.
Flip half of the dough over filling creating a triangle. Crimp all edges securely.
This is the important part. If you do not crimp the edges securely, they will break apart when boiled.

Gently submerge them into a large pot of boiling water. They will sink to the bottom. Once they rise to the surface of the water, they are done. Takes about 3-5 minutes.

Sauté some chopped or sliced onions in butter. When onions are soft and lightly browned, add the pierogies, stir and serve.

Serve pierogi with sourkraut and onion! Yum!


I love breakfast, it is by far my favorite meal of the day. I even like to eat it as dinner! Fall is upon us and since pumpkins are in season, the more I can cook with pumpkin, the happier I am! So, on the menu: Pumpkin Pancakes, Breakfast Potatoes and Sausage (just plain ole patties, nothing special)!

This recipe came from who else other than Martha Stewart (October 2004)
Pumpkin Pancakes:

1 & 1/4 c flour
2 T Sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t salt
1/4 t nutmeg
pinch of cloves

Wisk above ingredients together

In a separate bowl, stir together:

1 c milk
6 T canned pumpkin puree
2 T melted butter
1 egg

Fold mixture into dry into dry ingredients. Melt some butter in a skillet (or use a griddle) over medium heat; pour in 1/4 c batter for each panake. Cook pancake about 3 minutes per side. Serve w/ butter and syrup.

Breakfast Potatoes:

3-4 potatoes (you could use "regular" or red)
1 onion
Cajun Seasoning (or another all-purpose seasoning)
Olive oil

-Microwave potatoes about 8 minutes until a fork pierces through potato. Cut into cubes.
-Chop onion.

Heat a skillet with olive oil (ok, a total Rachael Ray comment here) I just did a couple swirls around the skillet and added more as needed throughout cooking. Add onion to warmed skillet/oil. Saute onions for about 2 mintues. Add potatoes and cajun seasoning, I just did about 2 tsp or a little less of the seasoning. Season to your liking! Saute potatoes & onion together until potatoes are a nice brown color it takes about 8-10 minutes. Make sure you watch them so they don't burn. I added a little more oil about half way through so they would brown better. Serve immediately (they can lose heat fast)!


Not much explanation needed here. Buy sausage, either already in patty form, or form into patties. Cook until finished. I like to use the George Foreman to get rid of a lot of grease!

Enjoy this hearty, comfort food breakfast!

An October Birthday

Well, today is Oct 1! Not only are we just 2 months away from the end of 2006, it is also my dad's 56th birthday! What birthday is complete without an awesome birthday cake? Inspired by Martha, this cake entitled, Cocoa Buttermilk Cake, is very rich and delicious! Serve with ice cream or frozen yogurt to make it a little less intense. If you are into very chocolate-y cakes, this is your cake! The icing is also chocolate containing both cocoa and bittersweet chocolate morsels. So yummy!


Cocoa Buttermilk Cake

Find the recipe at:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans

1 1/4 cups unsweetened Dutchprocess cocoa powder, plus more for pans

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 3/4 cups sugar

3 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk

Chocolate Frosting (it makes a TON!)

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Butter two 8-by- 12-inch cake pans, and line with parchment paper. Butter parchment, and lightly dust with cocoa powder; set aside. Sift cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside.

2. Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Mix in eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add cocoa mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk.

3. Divide batter evenly between pans. Bake until a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack 15 minutes. Invert cakes onto rack; remove parchment, and reinvert. Let cool completely.

4. Trim cakes level. Place 1 cake on a platter. Spread with 1 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake. Spread 4 1/2 cups frosting on top and sides.

For the icing:

4 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

3/4 cup (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

18 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted

1 1/2 cups sour cream

1. Sift sugar, cocoa powder, and salt into a large bowl. Put cream cheese and butter into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add sugar mixture; mix until combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Mix in chocolate and sour cream. Use immediately.