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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Indian Recipe

This recipe comes from sister Pam who says: "This is a great recipe from "quick-fix vegetarian" that satisfy any Indian craving."

potato "dosadillas"

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon minced scallions or onion
2 cups mashed potatoes*
1/2 cup frozen baby peas, thawed
1 1/2 teaspoon curry paste or powder
4 large whole wheat tortillas

Heat oil in skillet.
Add the scallions until softened. Add the potatoes, peas, and curry and cook until well mixed and hot. (If you like spicy food, add a little more curry to taste)

Divide the mixture evenly over half of each of the tortillas. Fold the tortillas over and place them, two at a time, in a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Cook, turning once, until lightly browned on both sides. Keep them warm while cook the remaining dosadillas. Serve them whole to be cut with a knife and fork, or cut them into wedges to eat out of hand.

**The mashed potatoes can come from a variety of sources. you can plan ahead and make extra baked or mashed potatoes for dinner the night before, putting the extra aside for this recipe.
If you don't have cooked potatoes on hand, you can quickly microwave some and then make this "mashed potatoes"

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Chocolate Chip Cookies and cookie baking advice

Cookie making time is here! I have been practicing the art of cookies, and it truly is an art. I have found that the key is consistency in heating and rotation. To accomplish this, I've found that it's a one cookie sheet at a time process. If you put two cookie sheets in the same oven and they are over each other, there isn't even distribution of heat. So, one cookie sheet at a time!

The other key is rotation. If your cookie recipe says bake for 10 min, set another timer for 5 min and rotate the cookie sheet 180 degrees and you'll have a more even baking. That way, the cookies towards the back turn out as perfect and the ones in front and don't get overdone and too crunchy.

Make sure that your oven is the correct temperature (using an oven thermometer). Trusting your recipe is important. If your recipe says 10 m and your oven temp is correct, they should be done in 10 m. You'll get the intended result of the recipe if you follow the minute advice.

And finally, parchment paper. It makes clean-up easy, even cookie baking, and the bottoms are perfectly brown.

So in summary:
use a oven thermomter
rotate your cookie sheet half-way through baking
use parchment paper
only one cookie sheet at a time
trust your recipe

I am by no means a cookie baking expert. In fact, I think I have a lot to learn. So, I'm going to practice, practice, practice. These are just a few things that I've found helps me in baking!

and now for the recipe!!!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt. Stir in flour and chocolate chips. Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans.
Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Countdown to Christmas!

Get Myspace Christmas Countdown

I don't think this includes today or Christmas day...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Christmas Cookie List

Well, the time is almost upon us that Christmas cookies need to be made! So here is what I am thinking. What do you think?

sugar cookies (W/SUGAR COOKIE GLAZE)
-pecan rolled
oatmeal cookies
pb cup cookies
spritz cookies

Do you have any favorites not listed that you'd like to see??

Essential Kitchen Gadget

I've noticed that my oven has been acting up lately and I've been having problems baking. I went to Bed Bath and Beyond and bought an Oven Thermomator. Turns out my oven temperature is off by like 25 degrees! So, my recipe for 350 degrees was upped to about 380 to get the oven to the correct the temperature and viola! no baking problems!! And, they are cheap, only $6!! Course, now I am going to clean the oven to see if that helps.. that's no fun... :(

Grecian Goodness

I tried this recipe out of my Real Simple Meals Made Easy cookbook. So yummy. I wanted to eat another, but was too full! I thought I had chicken but when I thawed it, it was pork chops! So, I substitued shrimp and it was great! I love this and will totally make it again!!! I did omit the olives b/c I don't like them, and substituted water for the lemon juice b/c I was out, and substitued white wine vinegar for the red wine, but it turned out yummy even with all the substitutions! I'll have to make it again with all the right ingredients to see how it should really taste!


Chicken Souvlaki

4 pieces flat bread or pitas
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cup crumbled Feta
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 small cucumber, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh dill

Heat oven to 200° F. Wrap the bread in foil and place in oven.

In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, Feta, and olives.

In a large bowl, combine the oregano, thyme, pepper, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the vinegar, and the lemon juice. Slowly add 4 tablespoons of the oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly until incorporated. Pour 2 1/2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette over the tomato mixture, toss, and set aside. Add the chicken to the remaining vinaigrette, toss, and set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Transfer the chicken but not the liquid to the skillet and heat, turning occasionally, until cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the yogurt, cucumber, dill, and the remaining vinegar. Spread the bread with some of the yogurt sauce and top with the chicken. Add the tomato salad and fold.

Tip: Greek souvlaki traditionally calls for lamb, but you can also make it with chicken breasts, turkey cutlets, or shrimp.

Thanksgiving Treats!

I got a new bundt type pan the other day (made by Nordic Ware and bought at Bed Bath and Beyond) and love it! It's so fun and cute! It makes 30 mini tea cakes! I used a pumpkin cake recipe and it turned out well. Next time, I think I'll go with a simple chocolate cake to really show the form of each little cake.

This is the recipe I used. It's pretty good.
I also have a chocolate pumpkin cake under october 2005.

So I also made some turkey sugar cookies. I finally found a sugar cookie recipe that I can work with. Usually I have a really hard time making sugar cookies and give up and just make them round, but I think this one will work!!!

Will make cut-out, slice, or spritz cookies
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
1 c granulated sugar
1/2 t salt
1 lg. egg
1 t vanilla
3 c flour

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream butter with sugar and salt until light and flyffy. Add egg and beat well to combine. Mix in vanilla. With mixer on low speed add flour and mix until incorporated.

Preheat oven to 350. Space cookies 2" apart on parchment paper line cookie sheets. Bake until just barely golden around the edges, 7-12 minutes.

Decorate and let dry at least 2 hours. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

I found the key to these cookies is to chill the dough for AT LEAST 2 hours, I let it chill overnight. Then, only use a small portion of the dough at a time, keeping the rest in the fridge to stay firm. When I was using cookie cutters, the stiffer the dough, the easier it was to cut the shapes!!

A friend gave me this recipe and said it came from Blue Print Magazine.

I just looked it up and here is the link to the magazine:


My new favorite fruit! I started by drinking POM's tea as a "I went to the grocery treat" and then thought one day, I should try the fruit. They are soooo goood! Sadly, they are only available for a short time from November to March, I think, so try one ASAP! I can't stop eating the delicious aril's (the seeds). So you eat the red seeds and discard the white pulp part.


For directions on how to open or recipes visit either or

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Angel Food Cake Topping

This is from a lady at work. It's a delicious topping for an angel food cake or really any cake!

1 can crushed pineapple; drained
1 box instant vanilla or french vanilla pudding
1 container cool whip (or alternative)

Mix above ingredients together and spread on the cake! Enjoy!

Mushroom Soup

Official Taste Tester said that this soup is good because you get a spoonful of mushrooms with every bite.

It is really good especially on a cold day. Make sure you saute your mushrooms until tender otherwise they'll be tough or chewy!

1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms (I used baby bellas and the white button ones)
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half cream (I used half and half)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

In a large saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender. Add mushrooms and saute until tender. Add mushrooms and saute until tender. Combine flour and broth until smooth; stir into the mushroom mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat. Stir in the cream, salt and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring often.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Fall Muffins

These muffins are so great! They are made of apples and bananas! A couple changes to the recipe I made was substituing applesauce (unsweetened) for the shortening and I added walnuts. I recommend baking them for 23-24 min; I found that less than that made them a lil gooey (from the bananas) in the middle.


Apple Banana Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2/3 cup shortening (I used applesauce instead)
1 1/4 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup ripe bananas, mashed
2 apples - peeled, cored and shredded (to save time, chopping is also a good approach- I like the chunks of apples and walnuts)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and flour 24 muffin cups, or use paper liners. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and buttermilk. Beat in the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Fold in the mashed bananas and shredded apples. Fill each muffin cup half full.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Lori's Baked Ziti

This recipe comes from my sister, Lori, in NY! It's so easy and soooo yummy! Enjoy!!

Saute in olive oil until crisp-tender: 1 small to medium yellow onion, chopped; 3-4 full-size (or more if using baby carrots) carrots, chopped; 1 green pepper, chopped; 1 red pepper, chopped; 3-4 cloves crushed garlic and 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning ( I usually add mushrooms if I am making a vegetarian version of this). To this, add a BIG jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (I usually add the tomato & basil version) and warm. I usually add A LOT of sauce b/c I find that ziti has a tendency to dry out, so don't skimp on this step!! If I was adding hamburger, I would fry it separately and add it with the sauce.

Meanwhile, cook and drain a box of Ziti and pour into a large casserole dish. Pour the sauce mixture on the ziti and mix together. Using a large bag of shredded mozarella cheese, mix it with the sauce and sprinkle the rest on top. Add freshly grated parmesan cheese to the top and bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees until bubbly and the cheese is melted and slightly browned (approximately 30 -45 minutes).

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Beef Wellington

Perhaps one of Rich's favorite dishes.. Beef wellington is pretty good. I like steak, but this is like no steak I've had before! It's pretty easy to make.. just do the prep work ahead and it'll be smooth and yummy sailing!! I posted pictures of this the first time I made it. You can check the archives for the photo.

Beef wellington fast fact (from Wikipedia):

Beef Wellington is named after Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington. Some have suggested this was due to his love of a dish of beef, truffles, mushrooms, Madeira wine, and pâté cooked in pastry, but there is no evidence to say for sure. Other accounts simply credit the name to a patriotic chef wanting to give an English name to a variation on the French filet de boeuf en croûte during a period when England was often at odds with France.
Beef Wellington is one of a few dishes often featured on the television program Hell's Kitchen.


1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup chopped parsley
6 (8 ounce) fillets beef tenderloin
1 (17.5 ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed

In a large skillet over medium heat, combine the mushrooms, onion, sherry, butter or margarine and parsley and saute until all the liquid is absorbed and the mixture resembles a paste. Cover the top of each steak with the mixture.

Partially thaw the puff pastry sheets and roll out pieces thin enough to cover the top, sides and bottom of each steak. Place the steaks on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until serving time.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

Bake steaks uncovered in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. (Note: They will be rare but will continue cooking while dish is sitting)

Pecan Pie

It's anniversary time again! Our first anniversary showcased stuffed porkchops, the second we dined apart (Rich was in Iraq), so the third will feature Beef Wellington, Rosemary potatoes, spinach and PECAN PIE!! YUMMERS!

Pecan Pie
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy, and stir in melted butter. Stir in the brown sugar, white sugar and the flour; mix well. Last add the milk, vanilla and nuts.

Pour into an unbaked 9-in pie shell. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until done.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Rich and Amy in Chicago!

This photo was taken in Chicago at Millenium Park's giant "kidney" sculpture.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Yummy Cheesecake!

This is a great cheesecake, it's a little time consuming, but the result is well worth it! It's something I'd only make once or twice a year b/c it's really really not at all good for you! I made it for my sister's graduation from college party!!

1 & 1/2 c walnut pieces
1 & 3/4 c sugar
4 T butter, melted
2 c sour cream
1 T vanilla extract
2 POUNDS cream cheese, softened
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out
4 large eggs (room temp)
1/4 t almond extract
1/2 c heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 10-inch springform pan

In a food processor, pulse the walnuts w/ 1/4c of the sugar until finely ground. Add the butter; pulse until the mixture resembles moist sand. Press the crumbs into the bottomof the pan. Bake for 12 min, or until browned around the edges

In a small bowl, mix the sour cream w/ 1/4 c sugar and 1 t of vanilla. Place in fridge until ready to use later in recipe.

Reduce oven temp to 300. Beat the cream chz at low speed with the remaining 1 & 1/4 c sugar and the vanilla seeds until combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl b/w additions. Add the remaining 2 t of vanilla and the almond extract. Slowly beat in the cream until smooth. Pour the cheesecake batter into the pan and bake for 65 to 70 min, until lightly golden and slightly jiggly in the center.

remove the sour cream topping from the fridge andimmediately pour it over the cheesecake and smooth the surface. Return the cheesecake to the oven and bake for 5 min longer. Transfer to a rack and let cool to room temp. Run a sharp, thin bladed knife around the cake and remove the ring. Refrigerate the cake for 3 hours then cover loosely w/plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight before serving.

Makes 1 10-inch cheesecake - 12-16 servings.


Well, I've been neglecting posting new and fun recipes for some reason! So, I'll post a few today to hopefully make up for that brief hiatus!


3/4 c chopped onion
1/2 c chopped green bell pepper
3/4 pound ground beef (also works well with boca crumbles)
2 c no-salt added tomato sauce
2 T tomato paste
1 T mustard (I use less b/c I don't like mustard!)
1 t chili powder
2 t worcestershire sauce
1/2 t salt
1/2 t sugar
1/2 t dried oregano
1/8 t black pepper
12 rolls

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add first 2 ingredients; cook until beef is browned and crumbled. Stir in tomator sauce and next 8 ingredients (tom sauce through black pepper); reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook 15 min, stirring occasionally. Spoon 1/4 c of sloppy joe over each bun! YUM!!!

Cal: 202
Fat 6.2
Fiber: 2.5

Recipe from Cooking Light Jan 04

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Szechuan Chicken with Peanuts - 6 pts

This recipe is from my sister, and is a great and satisfying dinner! It's a little spicy (though not much by my standards) but if you want to kick it up, just add more chili-garlic sauce! Yum!

Szechuan Chicken with Peanuts

1 lbs skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
3 tbsp hoisin sauce
2tbsp cornstarch
1/2 c low-sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2tbsp sugar
2 tsp chili-garlic sauce
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 green pepper, chopped
2 med. carrots, thinly sliced on a diagonal
1/4 cup unsalted, dry roasted peanuts

1. Combine the chicken, 1 tbsp hoisin sauce, and 1 tbsp of the cornstarch in a med bowl, toss well to coat and set aside. Combine the remaining 2 tbsp hoisin sauce, 1 tbsp cornstarch, the broth, vinegar, sugar, and chili-garlic sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. Heat a nonstick wok or a large, deep skillet over med-high heat until a drop of water sizzles. Swirl in the oil, and then add the chicken. Stir-fry until almost cooked through, 2-3 mins. Add the ginger and garlic; stir-fry until fragrant, about 15 secs. Add the bell pepper, carrots and peanuts. Stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 2 mins. add the hoisin sauce mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils and thickens, and the chicken is cooked through, about 1 min.

per serving (1 cup)
302 cal
11 g fat
3 fiber
6 points
4 servings
(a little spicy!!!)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Stroganoff - 4 points

MMM!! One of my favorite meals on a cold day. It really warms you up with some creamy comfort food! Add a great side salad and you've got a complete meal. Next time I make this, I'll omit the mustard.. I don't like mustard but threw it in to try the first time.

Hamburger Stroganoff:

9 oz extra lean ground beef
1 c chopped onion
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 & 1/4 t dried thyme leaves
2 c reduced sodium beef broth
1 sweet red pepper
1 t dijon mustard **** IF YOU DON"T LIKE MUSTARD: either omit or only put in 1/8 t
2 t prepared horseradish
1/4 t pepper1/4 salt
1 c nonfat sour cream
3 c hot cooked rice

Coat a large frying pan w/ no-stick spray. Crumble the beef into pan. Cook over medium high heat, breaking up the meat w/ a wooden spoon, fro 5 min or until lightly browned.

Line a platter w/ paper towels. Transfer the beef to the platter and drain well.

Wipe out the pan w/ a paper towel. Add the onions, mushrooms, garlic and thyme. Cook over medium high heat, stirring frequently, for 5 min, or until the onions soften.

Add the broth, red peppers, mustard, horseradish, pepper, and salt. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 min or until the sauce thickens slightly.

Reduce the heat and add the sour cream & beef. Heat for 2 min. Serve over rice.

WW Points: 4 pts

Makes 4 servings: approx 1 c rice each & 1 c stroganoff

Weight Watchers

Well, like so many others I have made some New Year Resolutions, one of which is to lose weight! I find this a stressful venture for many reasons, one of which is that I love to cook and when you are trying to lose weight, cooking can be a source of the added padding. Welll, I joined weight watchers with my sisters and mom and am happy to report that it's working! AND! I haven't had to sacrifice cooking! In fact, it's pretty much the same, only serious portion control and of course, point counting!

So, from now on (other than a few occasional slips) I will post healthful recipes with point values for all you who may need such information. Good luck and happy cooking!