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.