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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Zucchini Alfredo

Zucchini Alfredo is a great way to use up your summer bounty of zucchini. It is an alfredo sauce with zucchini in it.
Quick and easy.

Serve it over pasta.
Serves 4-6.


3 Tablespoons cooking oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup milk
4 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil. Use 1/2 or 1/3 dried if needed.
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese for sprinkling

Heat your water for the pasta.
While the pasta cooks, make the sauce.
In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
Add the garlic and cook and stir a couple minutes.
Add the zucchini and cook for about 10 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated. Stir frequently.
Add the milk.
Cube the cream cheese and add that to the skillet.
Stir until the cream cheese is melted and smooth.
Stir in the basil.
Taste and season with the salt and pepper.
Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

Serve over the cooked and drained pasta.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Yorkshire Pudding

Yorkshire Pudding is a nice compliment to a roast. Try it instead of mashed potatoes for a change.
The texture is like a bread pudding and when it bakes in the oven it puffs up like a popover but deflates when you cut into it.


1/4 cup of roast drippings
4 eggs
2 cups milk
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Bake your roast until done as you like.
Take out of the oven and raise the temperature to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Take the roast out of the pan and cover to keep warm while you make the Yorkshire pudding.
Measure the drippings and return 1/4 cup back to the roasting pan.
In a bowl, mix the eggs, milk, flour, and salt until smooth.
Stir it into the drippings in the pan.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until it is puffed and golden.
Cut into wedges or squares and serve with the roast.

Xavier Dumplings

Xavier Dumplings are Italian. They are classic Parmesan cheese dumplings.
 You will need a buttered cookie sheet.
6 oz flour
1/3 cup butter
6 oz Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 egg
1 egg yolk
Combine the flour, butter and parmesan cheese in a saucepan over low heat.
Stir until the butter has melted and is incorporated into the cheese and flour.
Add the cream a little at a time until you have a solid dough. 
Remove from the heat and work in the salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg and egg yolk. 
It should be like a very soft dough that you could pipe out of a frosting bag.
Either put the dough into a pastry bag and pipe out pea size amounts onto the baking sheet or drop pea size amounts from a spoon onto the sheet. 
Let them stand for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring some salted water to a boil.
Drop in the dumplings and cook for 5 minutes.

Add to the soup or stew of your choice.

Sorry, I don't have a picture for these.
When I get one I will put up with the recipe.
Thanks to my sis who found me this recipe.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Whole Wheat Waffles

Waffles are so yummy! These are a whole wheat version and they are awesome!

You will need a waffle baker.
I have a Belgian waffle baker and the waffles are big with deep pockets.
If you have a smaller one, you may need to adjust the amount of batter you use per waffle.

Preheat your waffle baker

2 eggs
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
1-3/4 cup milk
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs until fluffy.
Add the rest of the ingredients and beat until fairly smooth.
If you have some lumps, that's fine.
Pour 1 cup batter onto the center of the waffle baker and cook for about 3-1/2 minutes or until the waffle maker signals that the waffle is done.

You will get  4  Belgian waffles.

Serve with your choice of toppings.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Vanilla Pudding

Pudding is great. It's healthy. It's yummy. good for kids and adults.

Why not try making your own?
 You might want to try the butterscotch pudding too.

Serves 6.

You will need a medium sized saucepan.

3/4 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 Tablespoon butter
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In the saucepan, mix the sugar and cornstarch.
Stir in the milk.
Cook over medium heat until bubbly. Stir constantly.
Cook and stir for another 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat.
Gradually stir about a cup of the milk mixture into the beaten eggs.
Pour the egg mixture back into the pan with the rest of the milk mixture.
Turn the heat back on and cook until the mixture JUST starts to bubble. Stir constantly.
Turn down the heat so the pudding does not boil or the eggs will start to cook.
Keep stirring over the heat for 2 minutes.
Take off the heat.
Add the butter and vanilla extract.
Stir well.

Pour the pudding into a bowl and cover.
You can also divide it into 6 individual bowls.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Apple Upside Down Cake

 This isn't the upside down cake you are probably used to seeing. It has apple instead of pineapple. It would also be great with peach.
It is so yummy!

You will need a 9" square pan.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.


1-1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg

1 large apple, peeled and sliced OR 2 smaller apples
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons lemon juice

To make the cake, put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat on medium until the batter is smooth.
Set aside.

For the topping, pour the butter into the bottom of the baking pan. Tilt the pan to coat the whole bottom.
Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Sprinkle evenly over the butter.
Lay the apple slices over the brown sugar mixture.
Sprinkle with the lemon juice.

Pour the cake batter over the apple slices and spread evenly.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean when stuck in the cake.

Lay a plate or flat pan (that is bigger than the cake ) over the cake pan and invert.
Leave the pan for a few minutes.
Lift off pan and cake should be on the plate.

Serve warm or cold. Plain or with whipped cream or ice cream.

Serves 9-12.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Taco Seasoning

Sometimes you want tacos, but don't have the seasoning or need the seasoning for making something like Mexican Lasagna.
Instead of going and buying one, just mix this up instead.
You probably keep these ingredients in your pantry anyway.


1 Tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon minced onion
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon sugar

Mix together.
Makes the equivalent of 1 taco seasoning packet.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Shrimp Stir-fry

Stir-fry is really very simple to make. It is also pretty healthy. It is low in fat and chock full of veggies.

You will need a wok or a large skillet.


1 lb. shrimp, shelled and deveined
3 Tablespoons red OR white wine vinegar
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
3 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 Tablespoon cooking oil
3 cups frozen stir-fry vegetables OR fresh veggies like broccoli, carrots, peppers, and onions

3 cups cooked rice for serving

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, water, and cornstarch.
Set aside.
Stick the wok or skillet over medium high heat and add the oil.
Stir-fry the vegetables for 5-6 minutes until crisp-tender .
Put the vegetables into a bowl.
Pour the vinegar mixture into the skillet and bring to a boil.
Quickly add the shrimp and cook stirring constantly until shrimp has turned pink.
The sauce will coat the shrimp nicely.
Add back the vegetables and stir and heat through.
Serve over rice.

Serves 4.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rhubarb Pie

Rhubarb is pretty sour on its own, but made into a pie, it's fabulous.
April in Iowa is when rhubarb starts to make it's appearance for the season. So, it's the perfect time for making this pie.

You will need a 9" pie pan
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.


simple pie crust for a double crust pie
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb

Mix the sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
Add the rhubarb and stir well to coat.
Set aside while you make your pie crust.
Make your crust and roll out the bottom crust and fit into the pie pan.
Pour in the rhubarb filling.
Roll out the top crust. Either make a lattice crust or just a regular top crust.
Put over the top of filling and seal to bottom crust.
Moisten the top crust with milk and sprinkle with a little sugar- this is optional.
If you are using the lattice crust, it is ready to bake.
If you have a regular top crust, make 5 slashes in the top to allow steam to escape.
Put in the oven.
Cover the edge with a foil ring or pie shield to prevent overbrowning.
Bake for 25 minutes for fresh fruit OR 50 minutes for frozen fruit.
Remove pie shield.
Bake another 20-30 minutes or until top is golden.
The juices should be bubbling thickly through the lattice or slits.

Cool on a wire rack.

Serves 6-8.

If your rhubarb is extremely juicy, add up to 2 Tablespoons more flour.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chicken Quesadillas

Quesadillas are so simple and yummy. They are great when it's hot out and you don't feel like slaving over a hot stove.
These come together in a matter of minutes.

You can buy a quesadilla maker or just make them on the stove with a griddle or skillet.


1 chicken breast half
1/4- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/4 - 1/2 cup green chili pepper OR bell pepper
6 -8 ( 7 " ) flour tortillas, depending on how much you want to stuff in them
2 cups shredded cheddar-jack OR cheddar cheese

Cook the chicken breast half and season with salt, pepper, and cumin.
Cool slightly and chop into small pieces.
On each flour tortilla, add some chicken, onion, pepper, and cheese to one half.
Fold the tortillas in half.
Heat the griddle or skillet.
Cook the quesadillas 2 at a time, unless you have a large griddle and can do more
Lay  tortillas on it and cook for a couple minutes until cheese has started to melt and the bottom is crisped or lightly browned..
With a wide spatula, carefully turn over the quesadilla and cook for another 2 minutes.
Keep the quesadillas warm in a 300 degree Fahrenheit while you cook the remaining ones.

Serves 3-4 people as a meal.
Serves 6 as an appetizer.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


 There is nothing like pancakes from scratch. I grew up on them. They are easy to make and more filling than ones made from a mix.

You will need a skillet or preferably a griddle.


1 cup flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
2 Tablespoons cooking oil

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
In another bowl mix together the egg, milk, and oil.
Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until moistened.

Heat and lightly grease your griddle.
For standard size pancakes pour 1/4 cup batter onto the hot griddle.
If you want dollar size pancakes, use 1 Tablespoon  for each one.
Cook for about 2 minutes. The top of the uncooked pancake will form bubbles all over.
Flip the pancake over and cook for another 2 minutes. Both sides will be golden.

You will get 8-10 standard size pancakes or 36 dollar size.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Onion Rings

Who doesn't love a good onion ring? I just love them. I could eat them all the time. I don't. But I could.

If you have a deep fat fryer, use that. If you don't heat your oil in a deep pan over medium high heat.


2 large yellow onions
1 cup flour
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup  or so water- you may need a little more or a little less

oil in your deep fryer or heat 1-2 cups in a pan on the stove

Peel and slice the onions into rings. Not too wide, but not really narrow either.
Set aside.
Heat the oil on the stove until hot. It is hot enough when a little batter dropped in sizzles and bubbles rapidly. If using the deep fryer, heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, whisk together, the flour, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika.
Gradually add the water. It is the right consistency when you can drizzle the batter from a spoon.
One by one, dip the onion rings into the batter and drop them carefully into the oil.
Fry until golden brown and crispy.
It only takes a few minutes.
You will have to fry them in batches. You don't want to crowd the pan or the oil temperature will lower.
As each batch comes out of the fryer, drain on paper towels and keep them warm in a 325 degree Fahrenheit oven.

This will serve 6-8.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Who doesn't love a good plate of nachos? Dress them up as much or as little as you like.

This is my version and it is super yummy!

You will need a heat proof platter about 12"-14" in diameter.
Fill that with tortilla chips.
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and put the chips in to warm while you get the toppings ready.

Topping Ingredients:

1/4 lb. ground beef
cumin powder
chili powder

Cheese Sauce-
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon flour
dash salt
dash pepper
1/2 to 3/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

2 Tablespoons sliced black olives
1-2 Tablspoons sliced jalapenos or serranos
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup salsa

Brown the meat and season with salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder.
Set aside but keep warm.
Make the cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the flour, salt, and pepper and let it bubble for a minute.
Watch so it doesn't burn.
Add 1/2 cup milk and stir til it thickens.
If it thickens too much add the other 1/4 cup milk.
Once it bubbles, stir in the cheddar cheese until smooth.
Take the platter of chips put of the oven.
Pour the cheese sauce over the chips.
Sprinkle the meat over.
Follow with the olives and peppers.
With a small spoon, dollop sour cream over the nachos.
With another small spoon, drizzle the salsa  over everything.

Mexican Lasagna

Mexican lasagna is a nice change from your traditional lasagne.

It is made with flour tortillas instead of noodles.

Try it and you will not be disappointed.


1 package flour torillas- you will need 8
1 lb. ground beef
1 cup salsa
15 oz. tomato sauce
1 packet taco seasoning
2 cups cottage cheese
2 eggs
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1-1/2 cups cheddar-jack cheese

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
You will need a 13"x9" baking pan.

In a skillet, brown the meat. Add the taco seasoning, salsa, and tomato sauce.
Simmer for 5 minutes.
While that simmers mix the cottage cheese, eggs, and oregano in a bowl.
Cut or tear 3 tortillas in half and line the bottom of the baking dish.
Stick another whole tortilla over the middle of the pan.
Spread half the meat sauce over the tortillas.
Spread the cottage cheese mix over the meat.
Arrange the other 4 tortillas over that mixture following the same way as the first time.
Spread the rest of the meat sauce over that.
Top with the cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Can serve up to 12 people.

Lattice Crust

A lattice crust is a top crust that looks like the crust has an open weave.

These days you can buy a template to cut the top crust to look like it's a lattice crust.
But, you can also do it the old fashioned way.

You start with making simple pie crust for a two crust pie.

Roll out the top crust and fit it into the pie pan like normal.

For the top crust, roll it like normal and take a pastry cutter and cut the crust into strips about 1/2" to 1" wide.

Fill the bottom crust with your filling.

Now to start your lattice top crust, lay the strips across the pie, spacing them apart how you like.

Now, fold back the strips of every other one half way.
Lay a strip of pastry across the strips that are over the pie.
Roll back the pastry strips that are stretched out.
Stretch out the strips that had been rolled back at first.
Lay another pastry strip across the pie.
Repeat those steps til you have half the pie complete.

Now, roll back half the strips on the other half of the pie and follow the steps above.

You can criss cross the pie how many times you want.
If you want the lattice closed, put the strips really close together.
If you want it wide open, space the strips wider apart.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Kolaches are Czech pastries. They are pieces of bread-like dough filled with preserves or jelly and baked.

My mom used to make these a lot while I was growing up.

Makes 36 kolaches.


1 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
2-1/2 cups warm milk
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract-optional
1-1/2 Tablespoons dry yeast
5-6 cups flour

approximately 1/2 cup fruit preserves or jelly

Cream the sugar and shortening together in a large bowl.
Beat the eggs and add to the creamed mixture along with the milk, salt, and optional lemon extract.
Add the yeast and let stand for 5 minutes.
Add the flour and beat in.
Knead for a few minutes.
The dough will be slightly sticky.
Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
Punch down dough.
Grease cookie sheets and divide the dough into 36 equal pieces.
Roll into balls and put on baking pans at least 2 inches apart.
Let rise 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make an indention in the dough. Make it wide and deep.
Put about a 1/2 teaspoon preserves in each kolache.
Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the kolaches start to turn a golden brown.

Cool on a wire rack.

Use whatever type of preserve you want. In the picture I have used gingered pear jam.
This works best to make by hand. Using a stand mixture will cause you to need more flour and the dough will be way too sticky.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Jalapeno Cheddar Buffalo Burgers

These are my jalapeno cheddar buffalo burgers. You can make them with beef though. They are great.


1 pound ground buffalo or beef
4 Jalapenos or Serranos, sliced OR chopped with membranes removed if you don't want so much kick
3 oz cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes. If you use shredded, the cheese just completely melts into the burger as is cooks.


Combine, the meat, peppers, and cheese and form into 4 or 5 patties.
Cook in a skillet over medium high heat until done. Or grill them if you like.
Salt and pepper one side before turning over and cooking the other.

Serve with hamburger buns.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Italian Cheese Bread

This is yummy bread. It is also very quick to make. You can have it ready in an hour.
It is great to serve with spaghetti. Or, just eat it by itself.

You will need a 12" pizza pan, greased.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.


2-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon dried yeast
1 cup warm water
1 Tablespoon olive oil

3 - 4 Tablespoons Italian salad dressing
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
dash pepper
1 Tablespoon Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

To mix the bread dough, put the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a mixing bowl and stir.
Add the water and oil and  mix to form a soft dough.
You may need to add a little bit more flour if it is too sticky.
Turn out on floured surface and knead for a couple minutes.
Put back into bowl and cover with a towel.
Let rise for 20 minutes.
Punch down dough and pat into pizza pan.
For the topping mix the salt, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, and pepper and set aside.
Brush the dough with the Italian dressing. Or spread with the back of spoon or a knife.
Sprinkle with the spice mixture.
Sprinkle with the cheeses.
Bake for 12-15 minutes until the top starts to turn golden brown.

With a knife or pizza cutter, slice it into pieces the size you want.

Serves 4-5 people.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ham and Beans

Ham and bean soup is a marvelous comfort food. It's simple and tasty, like most comfort foods.

I always buy the bone-in hams and use the leftover bone and broth for cooking my beans in.
But, use the boneless ham if you prefer.

You will need a 4-5 quart Dutch oven with a lid.


1 pound dried Navy or Great Northern beans
Ham bone that has some ham still on it OR 2-3 cups cubed ham
Any ham broth you have saved from baking a ham
4-8 cups water- amount of water depends on if you have any broth and how much

Rinse and soak your beans for at least an hour before cooking.
You don't need to soak if you don't want, but you do need to rinse them off.
The soaking just speeds up the cooking a little bit, about 15 minutes or so.

Put the ham bone or ham in the pan.
Add the broth if you have it.
Add the beans.
Add water to cover the beans.
Turn on the heat to medium high and bring the beans to a boil.
Turn down heat to medium low and put lid on so it sits slightly off. You want some steam to be able to escape.
Keep the beans to just a simmer. You do not want a rolling boil.
Stir every once in a while.
Cook for about an hour and remove the bone, if you are using.
Remove any ham and return it to pan of beans.
Cook for another 1/2 hour or until beans are done.
To see if it is done, remove a bean from the pan and blow on it. If it is done, the skin will blister and peel away from the inside. If you bite into it, there will be no chalkiness.

If you want a slight creaminess to the finished beans, with a potato masher or slotted spoon, mash up some of the beans in the pot. Stir.

Serves about 6-8 people.
Serve with homemade white bread or corn bread.

Friday, April 8, 2011


Who doesn't love gravy? Either with mashed potatoes or maybe just with bread.
Growing up,we'd have roast one night and the next day Mom would use the drippings to make gravy, heat up pieces of leftover meat in it, and we'd have homemade bread with gravy poured over.

There are two types of gravy.
A creamy gravy made with milk.
The other type is a brothy gravy made with water.

Both are great. They have a slightly different taste of course. But still great.


Pan drippings from roasted meat or 2 cups broth
1/2 cup water OR milk
2 Tablespoons flour

In a pan, bring your drippings or broth to a boil.
Put the liquid and flour in a jar or other container with a tight fitting lid. Put the lid on and shake well til thoroughly mixed.
When the broth has come to a full boil, pour in the flour mixture.
Stir constantly and bring the gravy back up to a boil.
Turn the heat down if needed so the bottom won't burn.
Keep stirring for 1-2 minutes until the gravy has thickened to the consistency you want.

Remove from heat and serve.

Makes about 2 to 2-1/2 cups.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

French Toast

French toast is a great breakfast. It's very simple to make.
Serve with butter and maple syrup or, my personal favorite, powdered sugar.

5 eggs
1/4 to 1/3 cups sugar
1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk

8-10 slices bread

You want a deep, wide bowl to be able to lay a slice of bread down into.
In a bowl combine the eggs, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and milk. Whisk well so it won't separate.
Heat a skillet or grill to medium-high heat.
Butter or oil the pan.
Lay a slice of bread into the egg mixture and get it well coated on one side. Flip it over to coat the second side.
Put the bread in the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes per side until golden.
Repeat with remaining bread.

You may need to stir the mix every few slices since the cinnamon seems to want to settle at the bottom.
A good tip so you don't drip egg mixture all over while transferring the slices to the pan, hold another plain slice of bread underneath so it drips on that and not the counter or stove.

8-10 pieces French toast

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Baked Empanadas

Empanadas are like baby meat pies. The meat is ground beef that has been seasoned.
This recipe, I got from "The Pie and Pastry Bible" written by Rose Bevy Beranbaum.
I just use a simple pie crust but the rest is essentially hers.
The raisins and olives are optional but highly recommended.

This makes 12 empanadas.


Simple pie crust for 9" 2 crust pie


2 Tablespoons raisins- optional
1 Tablespoon water for raisins
2 teaspoons lard or olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
a pinch of sugar
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 pound ground beef
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 pepper
3/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder OR 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
7 pimento stuffed olives, chopped- optional

Make the pie crust and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Cover with towel and refrigerate until ready to use.
Soak the raisins in the water for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Chop olives. Add to raisins.
Make the filling.
Put a skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Add the onions and sugar.
Stir occasionally until they turn golden- about 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and sprinkle with the paprika and cumin. Stir and cook for 2 minutes to bring out the flavor of the spices.
Add the meat, salt, pepper, chile powder, thyme, and oregano.
Cook until meat is browned all over.
Remove from heat and stir in the olives and rains.
Set aside and let the meat cool thoroughly before making the empanads.

One by one, roll each piece of dough into about a 6" circle. Just shape it the best you can.
Add 3 Tablespoons meat filling to the rolled out dough.
Bring the bottom edge up over the meat and seal closed. Just fold it over and press with your fingers.
Lay on a cookie sheet.
Repeat with all the dough and meat.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Stick the empanadas in the fridge until the oven is ready.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pies are golden.
Cool for a few minutes before serving.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Deviled Eggs

I love Deviled Eggs. In my opinion, you just can't go wrong serving these as a side dish.
My favorite part( except for the eating) is that you can make these ahead and chill in the fridge til everything else is ready.


5 eggs, hard boiled and peeled
1/4 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing like Miracle Whip
1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
paprika- optional

To cook the eggs-
Place eggs in a pan and cover with water.
Place over heat and bring to a boil.
Turn off the heat and cover pan with lid.
Let sit for 15 minutes.
Cover eggs with cold water.
When able to handle eggs, tap each egg on the side of pan to crack the shell.
Let eggs sit back in pan to cool farther.
Carefully peel the eggs.

To make the Deviled Eggs-
Slice each egg lengthwise.
Scoop out the egg yolks into a bowl.
With a fork or spoon, mash up the yolks.
Add the mayonnaise, mustard and sprinkle with salt and better.
Stir well and taste to see if you need more salt or pepper.
Fill the egg whites with the yolk mixture. Use the fork or spoon or if you want to go fancy scoop the yolk mixture into a plastic baggie and close it up. Snip off the corner and pipe the mixture into the whites.
Sprinkle with the paprika if you want. Not too heavy, just a little to add a bit of color and taste.

Makes 10 Deviled Eggs.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Chocolate Syrup

This chocolate syrup is great for making chocolate milk or spooning over ice cream.
It's not as sweet as the chocolate syrup you'd buy at the store. It is a darker tasting chocolate.

It is really simple to make.
Makes 2 to 2-1/4 cups syrup.

You will need a 2 quart saucepan.

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/4 cups sugar
1-1/4 cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla or chocolate extract

In your saucepan combine all the ingredients.
Heat to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
Turn down heat to low and let it simmer but continue to keep stirring for another 3-5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and cool slightly before putting in a container.
Keep it stored in the fridge.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Brown Bread

If you ever went to Monroe Elementary or Monroe High School in Monroe, IA during the 1970s or 80s than you know all about this brown bread.
This bread's coloring and sweetness comes from molasses.
It is light and fluffy with a glaze that is brushed on soon after taking out of the oven.

Makes 3 loaves in 8"x4" loaf pans.


1 cup warm milk
1 cup warm water
2 packages dry yeast (4-1/2 teaspoons)
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup whole wheat meal or oatmeal( Roman meal is a great substitute for the wheat but can be very hard to find)
6-7 cups flour

1 egg yolk
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon milk

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1/2 of the warm water.
Add the rest of the liquid, molasses, shortening, eggs, salt, and oatmeal.
Stir well.
Add flour a few cups at a time, stirring well after each addition.
When you can't stir anymore with a spoon, switch to your hands and mix well.
Turn out onto floured surface.
Knead until you have a soft dough that stays together, adding flour if needed.
Put dough back into the bowl and cover with a towel or plastic wrap.
Let rise.
Punch down.
Divide into three and put in loaf pans.
Let rise.
During the second rising preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bake approximately 30 minutes until bread seems done. Use the thump test.
Mix glaze ingredients together in a small bowl.
Brush glaze over the hot bread.
Remove from pans to cooling rack.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie

This pie is AMAZING! It is like eating a pumpkin pie and an apple pie at the same time.

You can make it with a streusel topping or forgo it and serve with whipped cream.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
You will need a 9" pie pan. A deep dish preferably.


Dough for one 9" pie crust

1 cup cooked pumpkin puree
1 cup apple butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 beaten eggs
3/4 cup milk

3 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans-optional

Roll out pie crust dough and put in pie pan.
In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, apple butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
Stir in eggs and milk.
Pour into pie crust.
Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
If not using streusel, take pie out of oven and let cool on wire rack.
If you plan to use the streusel, make that while the pie is baking.
For the streusel- stir together the flour and brown sugar. Cut in the butter til mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the optional pecans.
After the pie tests done, take the pie out of the oven and sprinkle with the topping.
Bake for another 15 minutes.
Remove to a rack to cool.

Serves 6-8.