Saturday, March 7, 2015

Winter Fruit or Berry Compote Dessert

In a serving dish place

  1. Wafer cookies such as Nilla Wafers or Maria’s Gamesas
  2. Prepared fruit in light syrup or thawed berries
  3. Whipped cream (optional) 

Mini Nilla wafers fit neatly into a small dessert dish.  Crumbled Gamesas are an easy way to make a first layer.

Refrigerated, prepared fruit medleys, canned fruit cocktail or apricots, or thawed raspberries, cherries, or blueberries in a little orange or lemon juice are off-the-shelf pantry and freezer staples in easy reach during winter months when travel is difficult and fresh fruit and berries may not be available.

Vanilla yogurt is a good alternative to whipped cream.  Whipped cream in a can is an easy way to top this winter desert.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Winter Celery Salad

In a serving bowl place

a bunch of chopped celery stalks,

a peeled, chopped orange,

a handful of pecans,

a handful of raisins,

and two tablespoons of Newman's Own Olive Oil and Vinegar salad dressing.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Small casserole au gratin 

aka retro casserole
alias snowpocalypse hot dish
(this recipe uses whatever is left in the pantry)

Small casserole au gratin recipe: 

In a buttered au gratin dish, or small casserole or pie dish, layer the following in the order presented:

One diced potato (or one cup cooked noodles or pasta).

One or two frozen veg such as carrots, peas and carrots, broccoli, green beans, or peas.  Alternatively sauté celery or green or red pepper (or use veg-all canned).

Cooked or canned diced or shredded chicken or fish or sautéed meat, or chopped boiled egg or chopped veggie “meat” or “chik-n.”

Béchamel sauce, cream of... whatever soup, or tomato soup or pasta sauce.

Crushed crackers, toast cubes, panko bread crumbs or crumbled chips or pretzels.

Shredded cheese such as cheddar or Parmesan.

Sprinkled paprika. 

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Increase or decrease the baking time accordingly to the quantity of the casserole. Choose your preference to either leave the baking dish uncovered or covered with a lid or foil for the first twenty minutes, then remove the lid or foil for the remaining ten minutes.

Bubbling, a light brown top, and a sense that the casserole has "set" are indicators to remove the dish from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. To avoid accidents, it's a good idea to place the dish on a rimmed baking sheet, check in often, and never leave the oven unattended.

Béchamel sauce recipe:

In a saucepan, melt one tablespoon butter or margarine, whisk in one tablespoon flour quickly, then add one cup milk (or make one cup milk from 1/3 c powdered milk and water to fill one liquid measure). Stir over low heat until mixture thickens to sauce. Add seasonings such as salt, white pepper, liquid smoke. Use as is or add in finely diced veg or 1/3 cup of cheese to create a "cream of celery, broccoli, or cheddar" sauce/soup.  

Friday, May 2, 2014

Derby Salad

Here's a fun salad to make for Derby Day.  Artfully arrange the ingredients in a glass trifle bowl and serve with your favorite salad dressing and a side of biscuits.

6 cups iceberg or romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped
1 cup fresh mango, peeled and cubed
1 cup cubed honeydew or cantaloupe melon, cubed
1 cup avocado, cubed
Juice from one lemon
1 cup pecans
2 cups grilled chicken

Place 2 cups of lettuce on the bottom of the bowl.
For the next layer, add strawberries, mango, and melon and lightly douse in lemon juice.
Add another layer of 2 cups of lettuce.  Top with grilled chicken.
Add the last 2 cups of lettuce.  Top with avocado and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Yield:  8 servings.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Crunchy, Clumpy Granola

This recipe makes a small batch of crunchy, clumpy granola, thanks to the addition of an egg white.

After it is baked and cool, add in raisins, dried fruit, nuts, or chocolate.


3 cups oats
1/3 cup Earth Balance or Real Butter or Sunflower Oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cinnamon, Nutmeg

Make Granola:

In a large bowl, mix together the melted Earth Balance, the maple syrup, and the vanilla extract.  Add the egg white, either beaten with mixer or whisked with a fork, to the liquid mixture.

Then add the oats and stir well.

Spread the mixture on a cookie sheet or pizza pan lined with parchment paper.

Place this in a 350 degree oven for 12 to 17 minutes until golden.  Oven times vary, so look in often.

Sprinkle the granola with cinnamon and nutmeg after you remove it from the oven.

Then, let the granola cool on the pan.

Add in one or more dry ingredients such as nuts, dried berries or seeds:  walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pecans, raisins, dried cranberries, candied pineapple, dark chocolate chunks or sunflower seeds.

One combination I like is 1/4 cup plain granola with almonds, raisins, and dark chocolate chunks.  Another combination I like is cranberries with pecans.

Store the Granola in a container.

Eat granola with Greek yogurt, such as Fage 0%, and fruit sauce, to make a parfait.

Add granola to baked apples.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Dough for Pizza, Buns, and More!

Create handmade baked items from your kitchen:  buns, dinner rolls, English muffins, cinnamon rolls, pizza dough, pretzels or bread sticks.  This La Leche League recipe adaptation makes dough that can be formed into various shapes.


2 cups water
1/3 cup cane sugar
2 tablespoons yeast
3/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons iodized salt
2 eggs
5 cups of flour:  (1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour, plus 3-1/2 cups unbleached bread flour)


Mix ingredients in a bread machine, then remove dough and shape.  Or mix dough together in a large bowl something like this:

Dissolve yeast in warm water with sugar for five minutes.

Add in remaining ingredients, stirring well.

Add flour by the single cupful, stir, then use hands to blend, finally forming a ball.  (Use more or less flour or water depending upon the dough.)  Let rise for about 30 minutes.  After the dough looks like it has expanded, place the dough on a surface with flour and shape.

Various Shapes:


Roll out chilled dough to a thickness of 1/2 inch.  Cut dough with 3 inch glass.  Place buns on oiled cookie sheet allowing for sideways expansion.  Allow to rise about 20 minutes.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes at 400 degrees.

Dinner rolls:

Shape dough into any type of rolls:  cut into squares or circles, or roll into balls.  Allow to rise.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes at 425 degrees.  Raw rolls may be frozen.

English muffins:

Roll out chilled dough 1/2 inch think on a board or wax paper that has been sprinkled with cornmeal.  Cut into 3 inch rounds.  Let rise 20 to 30 minutes.  Transfer muffins with a spatula to a moderately hot un-greased griddle.  Bake 4 minutes on each side or until light brown.  Makes 14 to 18 muffins.

Cinnamon rolls:

Roll chilled dough into fairly thin, large rectangles.  Sprinkle the dough with raisins, chopped nuts, and cinnamon.  Heat some maple syrup (or honey or sugar) and butter until well blended.  Drizzle over the dough.  Roll up like a jellyroll.  Cut into 1 inch slices.  Place the slices close together and let rise on oiled (or parchment paper) cookie sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.  Makes about 24 rolls.

Pizza dough:

Divide dough into thirds.  Press out into a circle on a well-oiled pizza pan.  Makes three 14" pizzas (medium thick).  Let rise for about 20 minutes.  Top with sauce and cheese.   Bake pizza at 425 degrees for 15 to 30 minutes.


Roll dough 1 inch thick rectangle.  Cut into 12 strips.  Roll and shape into pretzel shape or alphabet letters.  Put on well-greased (or parchment papered) baking sheets 1 inch apart.  Let stand 20 minutes.  Brush with one slightly beaten egg white and 1 teaspoon water.  Add coarse salt or poppy or sesame seeds.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Bread sticks:

Roll dough into thin tubes, twist two together.  Place on parchment covered, non-stick, or oiled baking sheet.  Let rise.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Chicken with red pepper and sweet potatoes

This is a small dinner with breaded, baked chicken, diced red pepper, and pre-made sweet potato oven fries.

Ingredient list:

chicken breast
1 red bell pepper
1 mutli-grain bun or 2 slices of bread with fiber, toasted and pulverized in a food processor (or prepared bread crumbs) adding Italian seasonings and grated Parmesan
1 egg

Braggs liquid aminos (or soy sauce)

sweet potato fries (or another vegetable)


Slice through the center and cut into chunks one chicken breast.  Place each chunk into a beaten egg, then into bread crumbs.  Place these on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.  Add the diced red pepper.  Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes, using one or two baking sheets if necessary to avoid crowding together the ingredients.  Bake the sweet potato oven fries according to package directions.

Mix together mayonnaise, ketchup, and Braggs aminos for a side sauce.
Serve with a baguette or bread if you prefer.