Saturday, October 22, 2011

Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal
(recipe adapted from Dr. Sears Zone) (Trademarked)

3 cups rolled oats (Old Fashioned)
3 TBLS sweetener (I use brown sugar)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs (or 2 cups egg substitute)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup blueberries or 1 cup strawberries or fruit of your choice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients. Spray 9x9 pan with non-stick cooking spray. (I use two smaller pans). Place mixture in pan(s). Bake 30 - 32 minutes. Test center with toothpick.  Serve as-is or in a bowl with vanilla yogurt over the top.

This is a fantastic recipe for making on Sunday and eating for breakfast the remainder of the week. Simply heat up a serving in the microwave and add whatever topping suits you.

NOTE: The original recipe uses egg substitute and adds 4 scoops of Dr. Sears Protein Powder. I adapted this to fit what I have in my cupboards. It is filling and delish!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Amish Friendship Bread

You have to receive a starter from a friend.
Amish Friendship Bread

DON'T use any type of metal spoon or bowl for mixing.
DON'T refrigerate
If air gets in the bag, let it out. It's normal for the batter to rise, bubble, and ferment.

First, you must receive a starter from a friend or go to the link I provided below to make your own starter. Someone gave me a starter last Sunday and I was so happy to receive it. I haven't made this bread in 20 years.
  • Day 1: Do nothing. (This is the day you receive the batter. Go by the date on the bag.)
  • Day 2: Smush the bag.
  • Day 3: Smush the bag.
  • Day 4: Smush the bag.
  • Day 5: Smush the bag.
  • Day 6:  Add to the bag: 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk, then smush the bag.
  • Day 7: Smush the bag.
  • Day 8: Smush the bag.
  • Day 9: Smush the bag.
  • Day 10: Follow the instructions below:
1. Pour the entire contents of the bag into a large, NON-METAL bowl.
2.  Add 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar, and 1 1/2 cups milk.
3. Measure out 4 separate batters of 1 cup each and pour into four 1 gallon ziploc bags. Keep a starter for yourself and give the other 3 to friends along with a copy of this recipe.  Be sure to let the friend know which day it is that you are giving it to them. It's helpful to write the date for the friend to know which day it is that you are giving it to them. It's helpful to write the date for Day 1 on the bag.
4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
5. To the remaining batter in the bowl, add:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup oil (or 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup applesauce)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt (you can omit)
  • 2 cup flour
  • 1 large box of instant vanilla pudding
6.  Grease 2 large loaf pans. Mix together an additional 1/2 cup sugar and 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon in a bowl. Place half of the sugar mixture in the greased pans.
7. Pour the batter evenly into the 2 pans and sprinkle the remaining sugar mixture over the top.
8. Bake 1 hour. Cool until the bread loosens from the pan evenly (about 10 minutes). Turn out onto serving dish. Serve warm or cold

*If you keep a starter for yourself, you will be baking every 10 days. The bread is very good and makes a great gift. If you give all your starter away, you will have to wait until someone gives YOU one back! If you want to make your own starter, go to: Amish Friendship Bread Starter

NOTE: I used two small packages of Butterscotch pudding mix in place of the large box of vanilla and it turned out beautiful and Gene loves it. The friend who gave me the starter used Lemon pudding and I thought it was most excellent. Get creative!

    Sunday, September 18, 2011

    Peach Salsa


    I just made this up and it's delish!!

    You may adjust the ingredients to suit your taste:

    2 peaches (I left the skin on for color)
    1/3 Walla Walla sweet onion, choppped
    2 limes (squeeze juice into salsa)
    1 jalapeno, chopped. I use the whole thing because I like it hot
    Cilantro ~ enough to your liking.

    I did not put salt in this as I'm afraid it won't go well with the peaches.

    I'm going to try this on top of my brown rice for dinner. I think it will be good on top of a greeen salad, chicken, or just scooped out of the bowl with a spoon.  Nice combination of flavors here. And, I love the color. Hope you'll try it!

    Peach Crumb Bake


    2 cups peaches (sliced fresh or canned)
    1 tablespoon corn starch
    1 tablespoon white sugar
    3 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs
    1/4 tsp cinnamon
    1 dash ground nutmet
    1 tsp butter

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Layer peaches in bottom of 8" square baking dish and sprinkle with sugar and corn starch. Mix remaining ingredients and sprinkle mixture over peach slices.  Bake 15 minues. Serve warm or chilled.

    (I got this recipe off the internet and there was no name to attribute the recipe to but I changed it up a bit to make it my own. This is so easy to make I think it may become a replacement for my crisp recipes.)

    SUSAN'S NOTES: I added the corn starch and sugar to the peaches because I don't like how soupy the peaches get when they're baked without corn starch.  You can leave the sugar out but without any sugar in the graham crackers, I was afraid it was going to be too tart.  It was a hit with Gene! I think this will be excellent with apples also.

    Peach Upside Down Cake

    This cake used fresh peaches
    Peach Upside Down Cakie

    Copied from
    Submitted by: Judy Wilson


    1/4 cup butter
    1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
    5 fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced

    1/2 cup butter, softened
    1/2 cup white sugar
    1 egg
    1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt (I omitted)
    1/2 cup milk

    1.  Melt 1/4 cup butter or margarine in an 8" square pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar and nutmeg. (I added a little cinnamon also).  Arranged peach slices in pan.

    2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Spread batter over peaches.

    3.  Bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Remove cake from oven, and let stand in pan for 5 minutes, then invert onto serving platter.  Serve with whipped cream.

    Let sit for 5 minutes before inverting onto serving platter. 

    SUSAN'S NOTES: I got in a hurry and didn't cream the white sugar with the butter but I had melted the butter and just mixed it all together. Sometimes recipes get a little too complicated for no reason.  Just put the stuff in the bowl and mix it, no alternating the milk, etc. It turned out just fine!! Also, I doubled this recipe when I made this batch (9/18/11)

    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    Ideas for Dishes to Take to a Potluck

    Whether I am going to an office potluck, birthday party, or a wake I always scrambled around trying to figure out what to take.  A long time ago I started a list of ideas and want to share it with you here. I'm hoping to add recipes and photos as I make these items this year. I'll try to come back and link them in here.  I'd love to hear what favorite dish you like to take to potlucks.

    Three Bean Salad
    Shrimp Cracker Spread
    Chips & Salsa
    Green Bean Casserole (note: Gene hates this dish)
    Scalloped Potatoes
    Deviled Eggs
    Shrimp Fondue
    Watergate Salad
    Shrimp and cocktail sauce
    Ham Rolls Ups
    Cheese & Crackers (fun cut outs for the cheese)
    Brownies (easy recipe for homemade brownies)
    Hashbrown Potato Casserole

    Bread and Butter Pudding

    This is a recipe Justin's Grandma Smith gave me. It's so good you'll want to slap your grandma (figuratively speaking, of course!)

    Bread and Butter Pudding

    3 cups bread cubes (about 5 slices) toasted
    Enough butter to spread on toast
    1/4 cup raisins
    3 eggs
    2 1/2 cups milk
    3/4 cup brown sugar
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    Dash salt
    Dash nutmeg

    Butter toasted bread and then cut into cubes
    Layer bread cubes and raisins in a 1 1/2 quart casserole. Set aside.
    In a different bowl beat eggs; stir in milk, sugar, vanilla and salt. Pour over bread. Let stand 10 minutes.   Sprinkle with nutmeg.  Place casserole in shallow pan.  Place in 350 degree oven.  Fill pan with hot water, about 1 inch up sides of casserole. Bake 45 to 60 minutes until custard is set.  Serve warm.

    Makes 6 servings.
    Notes:  I used wheat bread. The staler the bread, the better. It's a good use for stale bread and milk that's about to expire.

    WARNING:  Do not make this if you are on a diet. It's irresistible.

    Tuesday, July 19, 2011

    Dark Rye Bread

    This recipe is from   It is an awesome recipe.


    1 1/8 cups water
    2 tablespoons molasses
    1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 cups rye flour
    3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
    1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
    3/4 teaspoon caraway seed
    2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

    1.  Place ingredients in the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer.  Note: I always place my flour in first, then yeast, then warm water, then everything else.

    2.  Select Basic cycle and press start.

    NOTES:  Gene loves this bread. Next time I'll try adding a few more caraway seeds and will also bake it in the oven rather than the bread machine. This is a heavy bread.

    12/02/12 ~ Made a loaf of this today. I had no rye flour and about 3/4 cup of wheat so I threw that in instead and made up the difference with white. Added a few more caraway seeds than called for. It turned out beautiful! This is my favorite bread recipe, I've decided.

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    Strawberry Freezer Jam

    Strawberry Freezer Jam

    I am not going to put the whole recipe here because there are different recipes on each of the pectin boxes. 

    I just want to say that anyone can make freezer jam! 

    Get yourself some strawberries.  Go to the store and get a box of pectin. Depending on the kind you buy, there may be a slight variation in the ingredients. 

    It is so easy to make and you will thank yourself later when the strawberries (or whatever fruit you choose to make jam with) are out of season.

    The main things you'll need to make it: berries, sugar, pectin, lemon juice, some recipes call for light corn syrup, a potato masher, and some plastic containers to put the jam in the freezer.  Here are a couple of photos of our most recent freezer jam extravaganza. You can even have the kids help.  Do not skimp on the sugar or it won't turn out right!

    Strawberry freezer jam is not only great on toast but you can add it to your morning yogurt, put some in your smoothies, put a little on your brownies, or just eat it right off the spoon.  

    You cannot mess up this recipe. I promise.

    Strawberry freezer jam is a great gift to give only those you love the most.

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    Zucchini Bread

    Zucchini Bread (recipe handed down to me by Grandma Johanna Palmer)

    3 eggs
    1 cup oil
    2 1/4 cups sugar
    2 cups shredded zucchini (do not peel)
    3 tsp. vanilla

    3 cups flour
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1/4 tsp. baking powder
    3 tsp. cinnamon
    2 tsp. cloves 
    1 tsp. salt
    Chopped Nuts - optional
    Pour into 2 greased bread loaf pans or a 9x13 cake pan.
    Bake:  45-60 minutes at 350 degrees (depending on size of pan)

    Done when inserted knife comes out clean.

    You can eat this right out of the oven or cool it and add some icing on top.  I personally like to freeze it and slice it after it's been frozen. There's something about the freezing process that makes this bread even yummier to me.  

    TIPS:  If the bread looks like it didn't cook long enough, my trick is to place it in the freezer and serve it semi-frozen. If it looks like it may have over-cooked, try putting a layer of cream cheese frosting on top or you can drizzle a little homemade icing (powdered sugar mixed with milk) over the top to moisten it up. This works well for banana bread as well.

    6/26/11 I baked a batch of this in the convection oven. It seems overcooked at 50 minutes. Next time, will watch it more closely and cook less time. The convection oven is great though! 

    Swedish Pancakes

    Swedish Pancakes

    Make the night before you want to cook them:
    2 cups milk
    3 eggs
    1 cup flour
    2 tablespoons sugar

    Mix and refrigerate overnight.  Get your griddle hot. This is a very thin pancake so you must watch it carefully. When finished cooking, put your favorite fruit or powdered sugar in the middle and roll them up like crepes. 

    I love these!!!

    Shrimp Cheese Fondue

    Shrimp Cheese Fondue (given to me by Steve Smith)

    1 eight oz. package of cream cheese
    1 can Cream of Shrimp soup
    1/2 cup sour cream
    1 tsp. horseradish
    1/4 tsp. Worchestershire Sauce

    Heat cheese until softened, blend in soup, sour, radish and Worchestershire Sauce.  Garnish with shrimp.

    Dip bread cubes in fondue.  May use vegetables also.

    NOTE: This is so easy to make and it's soooooo good! Don't leave out the horseradish ~ it really gives this fondue it's "zip".   I haven't had this in years ... just found my old recipes. I think I'll try this with some fat-free or at least fat-reduced products.

    Shrimp Quiche

    Shrimp Quiche (recipe given to me by Lenora "Tobey" Smith on April 25, 1983)

    1 pie shell (store-bought or make your own)
    1 can drained shrimp
    1/4 cup diced  green onion
    4 oz. shredded Swiss cheese

    Put the above ingredients in the pie shell.

    MIX:  2 eggs with fork, add 1/3 cup of milk or cream, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, mix together until smooth. (Salt & pepper to your taste) Pour mixture over shrimp.

    Bake at 400 degrees fro 30 to 40 minutes until knife comes out clean.

    Let quiche set for 10 minutes before serving.

    This may be the best thing my sister-in-law, Tobey, ever made!  I haven't made it in a long time. Gene doesn't like quiche but I might make this just for myself!!  Enjoy with a tossed green salad. 

    NOTES: I might add just a little fresh jalapeno to this.

    Sunday, May 1, 2011

    Chocolate No Bake Cookies

    Chocolate No Bake Cookies

    In large saucepan:

    2 cups sugar
    1 stick butter or margarine
    3 tbls. cocoa
    1/2 cup milk

    Bring to a boil, remove from heat and add:

    1 cup peanut butter
    1 tsp vanilla
    3 cups Quick cook oatmeal

    Mix well, drop by teaspoon onto wax paper and cool.


    Roll Out Cookies

    ROLL OUT COOKIES (recipe from Adelle Smith)

    1 cup margarine
    1 cup sugar
    1 large egg
    2 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    2 3/4 cups flour

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add baking powder and flower, one cup at a time. The dough will be stiff.  DO NOT chill dough.

    Roll on floured surface and cut with cookie cutters. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet on top rack of oven for 6 to 7 minutes or until cookie are lightly brown.

    When cook ice cookies with canned or homemade icing.  These are awesome!!

    Saturday, April 30, 2011

    Poor Man's Iced Coffee

    Poor Man's Iced Coffee

    Got coffee leftover from this morning? Pour into a container and let it cool off in the fridge. Add a little milk or liquid creamer or half & half to it. Want some flavor? Add a little chocolate syrup or vanilla extract.  I like to add Splenda to mine but you can add sugar to it before it cools off so the sugar dissolves.

    My favorite way to make these is to place a glass of coffee in the freezer and set the timer for an hour. Stir. Place back in the freezer another 30 - 45 minutes and stir.  I love the chunky ice and cold glass!

    No reason to pay ridiculous prices for something you can make at home. The other advantage is that you know exactly what's going into your drink, calorie-wise.

    Enjoy your summer!!

    Monday, March 28, 2011

    Geno's Pizza Snacks

    Geno's Pizza Snacks

    Here's what ya need:
    English muffins, split and toasted a bit
    Some kind of salsa to use as "pizza sauce"
    Green olives, chopped ~ not too many
    Jalapenos, chopped ~ not too many
    Meat or no meat
    Cheese ~ you choose what kind
    Bake in a 350 - 400 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Watch 'em and when they look melted, it's time to eat.

    Spread the salsa on the toasted muffin, and then start layering the good stuff on.

    Let me tell you ~ the secret to these yummy snacks is the little bit of green olives he puts on them. What an awesome combination with the salsa.

    This is the best "dark" salsa! It's got a deep flavor and it really adds some zip to your pizza snacks or tacos.  Get you some!

     It's really no wonder I've had to start taking Prilosec.

     I know what you're thinking. This looks kind of gross.  I guarantee it will make your face happy!

    This is not for those people who don't like spicy food.  

    Everything is better when Geno makes it!

    Saturday, March 26, 2011

    Susan's Twice Baked Taters

    Susan's Twice Baked Taters (So Easy!)

    Russet Potatoes (however many you want)
    Cream Cheese or Sour Cream (adjust)
    Shredded cheddar cheese  (adjust)
    Milk (adjust)
    Salt & Pepper

    Bake several russet potatoes in 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes. Be sure to pierce the potatoes before baking or they will explode. I use a knife to pierce on the side of the potato where I'm going to split it later for this recipe.

    Take your hot baked potatoes and split them in half long-ways. Quickly remove the potato from the skin with a spoon into a mixing bowl. It's going to be hot so you might use a pot holder to keep from burning your paws. Place skin on a baking sheet or cast iron skillet to stuff later.

    In your mixing bowl, add shredded cheddar cheese or any cheese you care for. Use whatever amount you'd like. I try to go lite on the cheese because frankly we don't need that much fat. Add either sour cream or cream cheese or both if you wish. Today I used some fat-free cream cheese that I wanted to finish up. Add milk, salt & pepper to your liking and use a mixer to blend. Add enough milk to make consistency of mashed potatoes. I tend to use a little less because I like my taters a little dryer. 

    You can spoon the mixture back into the skins or use a pastry bag and get all fancy with it. I decided to get fancy today!  You can add a little shredded cheese to the top or bake them naked. Get creative. You could had bacon bits ~ that would be fun!

    I love this pastry bag.
    Stick 'em back in the 350 degree oven for about 15 or 20 minutes to reheat.  Today I'm putting these in the fridge and will reheat them later for supper. These reheat very nicely and I promise if you take them to a potluck straight out of the oven, they will disappear in a heartbeat.


    Notes: These are a great, easy, inexpensive side dish to take to potlucks or dinners but you can really dress them up with extras like bacon bits, chopped green onions, a little paprika, a sliced jalapeno on top for your spicier friends. I also like that you can make them ahead and serve them the next day. 4/3/11 Update: I froze two of these to see how they would reheat later. They were perfect! So ... I'll be doing this again and freezing some for later. Great to add to lunch or dinner. I love these!

    Saturday, March 12, 2011

    Lasagna - The Easy Way

    A long time ago, someone taught me that you don't have to boil the lasagna noodles when you make lasagna. Ever since then, I have used raw noodles in my dish and it comes out perfectly every single time. This one less step makes putting together a lasagna dish so fast & easy that I can't believe I don't do it more often.

    You can use whatever recipe you want for making the meat sauce. 

    This time I cooked up a couple of Italian Hot Sausages and cut them up into bite size pieces and added it to my hamburger mix. I also threw in a couple of sliced mushrooms, a tiny amount of onion, added my spaghetti sauce from a can and went to work building my dish. So, for new cooks, brown your meat first, add onion and mushrooms (optional) and cook about 4 or 5 minutes until onions are cooked. Add your tomato sauce. You can use a jar of Ragu or a can of Hunts spaghetti sauce.

    Spray your pan with a non-stick spray. Start with a thin layer of your meat/tomato sauce first, lay down some uncooked lasagna noodles, add a layer of fat-free cottage cheese, meat sauce, grated mozzarella cheese

    Usually there is enough room for 2 layers.  End with sauce and cheese on top.

    Cover with aluminum foil and bake about 45 minutes at 350. 

    Let the dish cool before serving.  We actually like it better the next day.

    This casserole dish fed us almost the entire week between lunch & dinner.

    You can substitute ricotta cheese for cottage cheese but I personally don't care for it.  I use fat-free cottage cheese and it works just fine.

    You could add chopped olives to this and it would probably be just wonderful.

    This dish is easy to make but it takes practice to learn how your family likes it.

    Hope you'll try it!   

    1/2 lb. hamburger (more or less, depending on how you like your lasagna)
    1/2 lb. sausage (spicy if you like) (optional)
    1 can of spaghetti sauce (Ragu or Hunts)
    A little chopped up onion (optional)
    A couple of sliced mushrooms (optional)
    1 clove of garlic (optional)
    1 container cottage cheese
    1 16-oz. ball of mozzarella cheese, grated

    Sunday, February 27, 2011

    Linda's Little Pastries

    Our friend Linda is the most fabulous cook! She makes everything look so easy. While we were staying at her house recently (Feb. 2011), she made these little pastries. I snapped some photos while she made them so I will remember to make some of my own.

    She told me you can use any kind of canned pie filling, for the centers. 

    In this instance, she found some canned strawberry pie filling.  These are so yummy!  I can hardly wait to make some for Gene.  She said she usually uses a little egg white to "sew" the pastry together but didn't this time so they baked open.

    Just use some phyllo dough, roll it out, and cut with a round glass. Add filling to the center and fold over and bake.  I think she heated the oven to 350 degrees. She never uses a timer so I'm guessing these baked about 15 minutes. I'll update this recipe once I try them myself.

    Thank you, Linda & Mike, for being the most gracious friends and hosts for us weary road travelers.  We love you!

    Monday, February 14, 2011

    Cheese Hearts

    I love my little heart cookie cutters. My favorite use is for making heart shaped cheese slices. 

    You should try it!

    Friday, February 4, 2011

    Fudgy Cocoa Brownies

    Fudgy Cocoa Brownies

    1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter or marg.
    1/2 cup Cocoa
    1 cup sugar
    2 eggs
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1/2 cup flour
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

    Gently mix all the above together but don't overmix.

    Spread into an 8" x 8" pan sprayed with Pam. Bake at 350 degrees 20 to 25 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

    HOME-MADE ICING:  1 cup powdered sugar. Add milk a couple of tablespoons at a time until consistency you desire. Pour over cooled brownies and let icing stand. I like it really thick so my brownies are on the verge of being fudge!  Make sure you have ice cold milk in the fridge to wash these down.

    Note: I prefer to make anything from scratch. There are so many things that are easy to make from scratch instead of opening a box and not knowing what they're putting in our packaged food these days.  Hope you'll try these brownies!

    Mixture is thick.

    Remember, these are "fudgy" brownies. Mixture will be thick.

    Thursday, January 27, 2011

    Stuffed Carrot Bran Muffins

    Stuffed Carrot Bran Muffins

    1 1/4 cups flour
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    2 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
    1 1/2 cups grated carrot
    2/3 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup milk
    1/3 cup vegetable oil
    1 egg
    2 cups bran flakes, crushed to 1 cup
    2 oz. light cream cheese, cut in 12 pieces
    2 teaspoons sugar

    • Combine ingredients, stir just until moistened. Divide half of batter into paper lined muffin cups. Place 1 piece of cream cheese in the center of each and place remaining batter over cream cheese. 
    • Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and sugar
    • Sprinkle sugar over top of each muffin
    • Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Notes: I added about 2 tablespoons of coconut and a few raisins. I used fat-free cream cheese and it cooked perfectly. These are awesome bran muffins!

    Wednesday, January 26, 2011

    Jan's Dilly Bread


    1 package (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
    1/4 cup warm water
    1 cup cottage cheese, heat to lukewarm
    2 tablespoons sugar
    1 tablespoon minced dried onion (optional - I left it out, on purpose)
    1 tablespoon softened butter
    2 teaspoons dill seed
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1 egg
    2 1/4 cups flour (more if needed) 
    •  Dissolve yeast in warm water. Combine warm cottage cheese, sugar, mince onion, butter, dill seed, salt, soda, and egg. Stir to combine.
    •  Stir in yeast mixture gently, then add flour gradually, stirring gently.
    •  Cover dough with plastic wrap and allow to rise until double in bulk (about 1 hour). Punch down dough, then turn into a well-buttered round baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 45 more minutes.
    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake bread in lower half of the oven for 40 to 50 minutes.  Brush top with melted butter after baking. Serve warm with butter.

    Notes:  I got this recipe off of The Pioneer Woman website. I didn't have a round glass dish to bake this in so I placed some corn meal on my pizza pan and flattened the dough out just a bit and it worked just fine.  I'm going to try this with caraway seeds next time. Don't worry about the cottage cheese. Once it is baked, no one will ever guess it has cottage cheese in it. I used the fat-free cottage cheese and this bread baked perfectly.  Gene loved this bread!

    Bake on a pizza pan if you don't have a round glass pan.
    You can see cottage cheese here but you'll never know it's in there once it's baked!!

    Thursday, January 20, 2011

    Homemade Hot Chocolate

    Hot Chocolate

    1 cup half-n-half or skim milk 
    1 tablespoon cocoa
    2 teaspoons sugar (or more!)

    Drop a peppermint candy in the cup before serving. 

    Or use a candy cane as a stirrer.  I called that a Peppermint Patty.

    Or add a pinch of cinnamon for a taste of Mexico.

    Heat milk in microwave.
    Add cocoa & sugar.

    Rocket yourself to warmer places.
    P.S. Use skim milk & Splenda if you're watching your calories or diabetic. 

    I forget how much I love homemade hot cocoa. I was looking in the cupboard the other day and I have two containers of cocoa. With the weather being so cold outside, I thought, "why don't I make Gene a cup of cocoa!"  I don't know if I've ever made him the homemade stuff before but I think he's hooked.  I don't like that packaged stuff you add to water.  Yuck.  Trust me. If you try this recipe, you'll never go back to watered down hot chocolate again, ever.  Stay warm people!!!!

    Saturday, January 15, 2011

    Potato Crepes

    Potato Crepes (made with leftover mashed potatoes)

    1 cup leftover mashed potatoes
    1/2 cup flour
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp onion powder (optional)
    1/4 tsp white pepper
    2 eggs

    Pour milk into mixing bowl. Add two eggs. Add flour, salt, onion powder & pepper. Mix. Add mashed potatoes last. You can mix this with a whisk. Mixture should be thin.

    Pour onto a hot griddle and cook like a pancake. The thinner they are, the better! NOTE: If you are going to make them with any sweet fillers, SKIP the onion powder. I skip the onion powder anyway ... I don't like it!

    We filled ours with raspberries & sprinkle a little powdered sugar on top. Gene made a mixture of jam & sour cream to fill his. This is a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes.



    Tuesday, January 4, 2011

    Hopped Up Turkey Sandwich

    I love lunch time. It's the hour I live for during my work day. Everybody in my office knows it, too! It means half the work day is over and at 1:01 p.m., we're on the down slide to 5 o'clock.

    This is my favorite sandwich in the whole world!  Today, I made it on a couple of slices of home-made English Muffin bread.

    Spread a little fat free cream cheese on the bread, add thinly sliced cucumbers and jalapenos, add the turkey.  Throw some green olives in a container on the side.  Mmmm ...

    I can hardly wait til lunch!

    Monday, January 3, 2011

    Homemade English Muffins

    Cher gave me this recipe last year. I heart it! There is no kneading involved. So easy to throw together the ingredients, put it in the fridge and have fresh made bread or muffins for up to 7 days. I made a batch yesterday. So yummy on a cold winter day. I hope you'll try it.

    Homemade English Muffins

    2 C lukewarm water
    2 C buttermilk (Adjust this accordingly. Better to add in more flour later than have it too dry)
    1 1/2 TBLS yeast (or 2 packets)
    1 1/2 TBLS salt
    1 1/2 TBLS sugar
    6 1/2 cups flour (I use 4 c white, 2 1/2 c whole wheat)

    Mix yeast, salt, sugar, water buttermilk. Stir in flour. No kneading required. Dough will be soft and wettish. Let sit loosely covered for about 2 hours. Then refrigerate covered but not airtight for 3-plus hours.  Use within the next 7 days.  Makes 3 1/2 pound loaves (or lots of English muffins).

    For loaves, dust top of dough with flour and pull off a 1 1/2 lb. piece (cantaloupe size) ball and form into a ball that you stretch into an oval and drop into a greased loaf pan. Let dough rest for 1 hour 45 min.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slash top of bread with a knife 3 or 4 times, then brush with a litte melted butter.  Bake for 45 minutes and cool completely (we can never wait this long) before slicing to get good slices.

    For English Muffins, get out as much dough as you want to use and roll out on a cornmeal covered board to 1/2 " thickness. I use my hands but you can use a rolling pin if you feel like it. Cut out muffins with round cutter (I use a drinking glass).  Let rest 30 minutes.  Heat non-stick electric skillet to 350 degrees and cook on each side for 5 minutes.  You're gonna love these!  They are better than store-bought.