Thursday, December 9, 2010

Marylynne's Whole Wheat Bread

Submitted by Emily Daniel

NOTE: For our November Cooking Club, Emily gave us a wonderful demonstration on how to make bread.  She had great tips to share and we enjoyed the fruits of her labors.  Thanks, Emily!

This is our family's favorite sandwich bread. It goes great with a hearty soup the first night, makes excellent toast the next morning, and then sandwiches for lunch.

4 cups Whole Wheat Flour (freshly ground)
1 Tbsp. Salt
1Tbsp. Dry Yeast
1/3 cup Oil
1/3 cup Honey
2 1/4 cups Hot Water
2 cups White Flour

Mix first three ingredients in a large metal mixing bowl. Into a medium bowl add the Hot Water. Using the same 1/3 measure cup, add to the water the oil first and then the honey.

Add White Flour 1 cup at a time, mixing in well after each cup. Mix last cup in with hands, kneading as you mix. When it is mixed in well enough that the dough no longer sticks to your hands, rub the bottom of the bowl with Canola Oil. Continue kneading just until mixed well and ball of dough is greased.

Turn over in bowl and cover with a piece of plastic wrap that has been greased or sprayed with Pam. Let rise until double in bowl, about 30-60 minutes.

Punch dough down. Turn out on a smooth surface and knead until smooth ball forms.

Cut into two equal pieces and form two loaves, using a rolling pin to expel air bubbles.

Let rise just until even with top of pan, about 20-30 minutes.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Artisan Bread

Submitted by Emily Daniel

My friend Rosalynde found this recipe in the New York Times. The secrets are a good sponge for your dough and a dutch oven with a lid. Crusty, chewy, air bubbly goodness. I like to serve it with Mozzarella Caprese, any soup, or slathered with Nutella!

First, here's the original recipe:

Recipe: No-Knead Bread Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery

Time: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting

¼ teaspoon instant yeast

1¼ teaspoons salt

Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.

I basically follow the recipe, but I skip a few steps. Here's what I do:

The night before you want to eat the bread, mix 3 cups of flour (all-purpose is fine, doesn't need to be bread flour), 1/4 tsp yeast (I use instant bread-machine yeast), 1 5/8 cup water, and 1 1/4 tsp salt. Mix it in a large bowl just until it comes together; it will be very sticky and very ugly, don't worry about it.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and leave it alone for at least 18 hours---it can go even longer, too. You should see bubbles at the surface when it's ready. About 3 hours before you want the bread to be done, dump out the dough onto a floured surface. It will be a wet, stringy, sticky, ugly mess; don't worry. Just fold it over itself once or twice until it's roughly in a round loaf shape (again, it will be ugly and shapeless---DON'T WORRY!). Leave it to rise again for 2 hours.

Before you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450, then put in a round, oven-proof pot with a lid. (I use an enamel stock pot.) When the pot and oven are at temperature, take out the pot and pour the dough into it. Say it with me now: it will be an ugly, sticky mess---don't worry! Shake the pot a little to even things out, then cover with the lid and put in the oven to bake. (Full disclosure: I sometimes skip the heated pot step, and it has always turned out fantastic anyway.) Bake covered for 1/2 hour, then uncovered for 15 more minutes. Prepare to be amazed by the gorgeous loaf that emerges and the incredible taste and texture. Enjoy!

Split Pea Soup with Rosemary

Submitted by Rachel Mecham

I changed this recipe by using 2-3 carrots and no leek. I also used 1/2 tsp of dry rosemary instead of fresh rosemary. And for chicken broth, I used 5 bouillon cubes and 6 cups water.

6 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 small onion, chopped

1 leek, thinly sliced

1 large carrot, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 (10.5 ounce) cans chicken broth

1 1/2 cups green split peas

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

Place bacon in a large pot, and cook over medium heat until crisp. Stir in onion, leek, carrot, and garlic; cook until the vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes. Pour in chicken broth. Stir in split peas, bay leaves, and rosemary. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover, and simmer until peas are cooked, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Gadsby's Tavern Sally Lunn Bread

Submitted by Shauna Hinckley

 ¾  cup milk

 ½ cup melted shortening

 3 ¼ cup Flour

 ¾ cup Sugar

 ½ tsp Salt

 ¼ oz (2 ¼ tsp) Active dry yeast

 4 Tbl Warm water

 1 Egg

Heat milk & shortening to the temperature of a warm baby bottle. Mix flour, sugar, and salt in a separate bowl. Add warm water to the yeast in a separate bowl. Add the milk and shortening to the flour, then add the yeast and the egg. Beat the entire mixture until it comes off the side of the bowl cleanly. Cover, let rise in a warm still place until doubled in size, about 1 ½ hours. Knead the bread down in size and shape into a loaf. Place on a buttered cookie sheet and let rise to half again as big, about 45 minutes. Bake at 300 F for approximately 45 minutes, basting the top with butter after 30 minutes and after it has finished baking.

Raspberry Peach Freezer Jam

Submitted by Klixi Cannon

8 C Peaches peeled, and mashed (mine were Eckert's -- Yum)

2 C Raspberries mashed (I used 1 1/2 c frozen raspberries, 1 c fresh Eckert's blackberries)

8 C Sugar (I used 6)

2 - 6 oz pkgs of Raspberry Jell-O

8-10 freezer containers

Mix peaches, raspberries, and sugar in a large saucepan. Cook until sugar dissolves, about 10-15 minutes once warm. Add Jello-O and bring to a boil (gets bubbly). Boil for 2-3 minutes. Pour into containers and put into the freezer.

Mandi's Chili

Submitted by Mandi Cooper

Simmer for 10 minutes:

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef

10 oz. onion soup

Add the following and simmer for 20 minutes:

1 tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. cumin

1 1/2 tsp. pepper

2 15-oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed

6 oz. tomato paste

8 oz. tomato sauce

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chunky-Cheesy Chili

Submitted by Laura Hintze

*This chili was awarded SECOND PLACE in our First Annual Chili Cook-off.


1 lb. hamburger

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 green or red pepper, chopped

½ lb. mushrooms, sliced

½ C. onion, chopped

2 Tab. oil

28-oz. can crushed tomatoes

15-oz. can tomato sauce

2 Tab. chili powder

1 tsp. ground cumin

2 15-oz. cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1-2 zucchini, chopped

10-oz. can corn

1 ½ C. cheddar cheese, shredded and divided


Brown hamburger with garlic, peppers, mushrooms, and onions in oil. Drain and add tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, and cumin. Reduce to low heat and add beans, zucchini, and corn. Cook until all vegetables are tender. Add 1 cup cheese. Stir. Top with remaining cheese in bowls.

Remarkable Fudge

Submitted by Shauna Hinckley


• 1 cup butter

• 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

• 1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme

• 1 cup chopped walnuts

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

• 1 1/4 cups evaporated milk

• 4 cups white sugar


1. Line a 13x9 inch baking dish with foil and butter the foil.

2. In the top half of a double boiler combine the butter or margarine, evaporated milk and sugar. Cook on medium heat for 12 minutes or until it reaches a temperature of 236 degrees F (112 degrees C). Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate chips, vanilla and marshmallow creme. Stir until chocolate chips melt then mix in the chopped walnuts. Spread mixture into the prepared pan. Score into squares while still warm. Refrigerate until firm then cut along the scored lines.

Pumpkin Fudge

Submitted by Shauna Hinckley

*This recipe was awarded FIRST PLACE in our pumpkin desserts category for our cook off.


• 2 tablespoons butter

• 2 1/2 cups white sugar

• 2/3 cup evaporated milk

• 1 cup white chocolate chips

• 7 ounces marshmallow creme

• 3/4 cup canned pumpkin

• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Line a 9x9 inch pan with aluminum foil, and set aside.

2. In a 3 quart saucepan, heat milk and sugar over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.

3. Mix in pumpkin puree and cinnamon; bring back to a boil. Stir in marshmallow creme and butter. Bring to a rolling boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 18 minutes.

4. Remove from heat, and add white chocolate chips and vanilla. Stir until creamy and all chips are melted. Pour into prepared pan. Cool, remove from pan, and cut into squares. Store in a cool, dry place.

Black Bean Soup

Submitted by Shauna Hinckley
Recipe by Our Best Bites

1 T olive oil

4 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped

3/4 C diced carrots (about 2 med carrots)

3/4 C diced celery (about 2 ribs)

1 C diced onion (about 1 sm-med onion)

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1 3.5oz can green chilies

2 cans low-sodium beef broth

1 t kosher salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

1/2 t chili powder

1/4 t cumin

1/2 t dry oregano leaves

1 bay leaf

Optional Toppings: sour cream, tortilla chips, grated cheese, chopped cilantro, etc.

Place a large stock pot on the stove-top and set to medium-high heat. When pan is warm, add olive oil. Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic and saute 4-5 minutes.

Add in the black beans, chilies, and beef broth. Stir to combine and then add the salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and bay leaf.

Simmer uncovered for about 20-25 minutes or until carrots are tender.

Remove from heat. Remove bay leaf from soup.

Place soup in a blender. (You could use an immersion blender in place of this step) Place lid on blender, but remove the stopper in the lid to let heat escape. Place a paper towel over the hole to avoid splatters.

Puree soup until completely smooth. Optionally you could pulse until a semi-chunky soup is achieved. Squeeze in the juice from one lime and pulse to combine.

Ladle into bowls and top with desired toppings. Serve with extra lime wedges. Makes about 8 C soup.

Dani's Award Winning Sweet n EZ Chili

Submitted by Danica Nelson

*This chili took FIRST PLACE in our First Annual Cooking Club Chili Cook off.
(I often double this and use a pound of ground turkey and add an extra can of kidney beans, another 8 oz. can of tomato sauce, a can of baked beans, and doubling the spices)

1/2 lb. ground turkey

1/2 onion (I use onion flakes)

15 oz. can red kidney beans, undrained

15 oz. can tomato sauce

28 oz. can original baked beans, undrained

Small can mushrooms, drained

1 Tbsp. chili powder

3 tsp. minced garlic

3/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Salt & pepper to taste

Brown ground turkey with onions. Add both cans of beans, tomato sauce and mushrooms. Stir. Add chili powder, garlic, garlic powder, cinnamon, salt & pepper. Stir well. Turn heat to low and simmer an hour or longer. Serves approx. 4-6.

Melissa's Chili

Submitted by Melissa Maxwell

Submitted by Melissa Maxwell

This chili is so easy to make and it's the perfect chili for Frito Pie.  (Fill a plate with Fritos, top with chili, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, guacamole, tomatoes, etc., etc.)

1 lb. ground beef, browned
1 can black beans, undrained
1 can dark red kidney beans, undrained
1 can petite diced tomatoes
3/4 c. salsa
1 package taco seasoning
pinch of sugar

Combine all ingredients in a large soup pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes. 

Dutch Oven Cobbler

Submitted by Amy White

Dump 2 cans of large peaches into the bottom of the dutch oven.

Make up a yellow cake mix as directed on the box.

Pour it over the peaches and bake for about an hour over a hot fire, or in your oven at 350 degrees.

Curry Chicken Salad

Submitted by Amy White

Cook 3 chicken breasts

Pull apart the chicken

Mix around 1 tsp of curry into the chicken

Add 1 cup mayo and mix into chicken

Cut up a bunch of grapes and add them

1 can Mandarin oranges

Add 1 cup of coconut flakes

Add some cut up nuts if you want

Mix it all together and you've got it!

Serve with a yummy bread of some kind.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Lemon Bars

Submitted by Melissa Maxwell

1 cup soft butter or margarine

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 cups flour

Cream butter and sugar; add flour. Mixture should be pea-sized gravel looking for easiest spreading. Spread in 9 x 13" pan and pat down. Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes (until edges start to brown). While crust is baking, prepare next layer:

4 eggs

2 cups sugar

4 T. flour

4 T. lemon juice

Grated rind of 1 lemon

Beat eggs til foamy, then add sugar, flour, lemon juice and rind. Mix well and pour over hot crust after it comes from oven. Now bake for 15-20 minutes at 325 degrees. Remove from oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar (I put powdered sugar in a small strainer to sprinkle over the top). Cool slightly before cutting.

You can do half the recipe in an 8x8 pan, but it's never enough. Also, this crust works for raspberry bars, putting thinned raspberry jam over the crust and sprinkling some of the crust mixture over the jam.

Orange Cranberry Granola

Submitted by Mandi Cooper

4 cups oats

3/4 cup wheat germ or Grapenuts cereal

3/4 c sliced almonds or other nuts

1 cup shredded coconut

1 cup dried cranberries

Mix together in a big bowl. In a saucepan (or in the microwave), bring the following ingredients to a boil:

1 cup honey

1/2 cup orange juice

1 tsp shredded orange peel

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

Pour sauce over the dry mixture. Stir to coat evenly. Spread evenly on a baking sheet. Bake at 300 for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool at room temperature.

Greek Couscous

Submitted by Emily Daniel

1 1/2 C Couscous (I used white, but next time I'm going to try a mix of white and wheat)

2 1/4 C Chicken Broth

1 can garbanzo beans

1/2 C Feta Cheese, crumbled

diced tomatoes

diced cucumber

diced red bell pepper

fresh basil, parsley and oregano, minced

Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper

Fresh Lemon juice

Greek Vinaigrette

Bring chicken broth to a boil and add couscous. Remove from heat. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff thoroughly with a fork and refrigerate. When couscous is cold, toss with drained and rinsed garbanzo beans, feta, vegetables, and herbs. Squeeze juice of half a lemon and salt and pepper to taste. Next time I'll try adding a little Greek Vinaigrette for a little more flavor. But it was delicious anyway!

Fruity Pasta Salad

Submitted by Beth Johnston

1/2 c. vanilla yogurt

2 T. honey

1 T. lime juice

lime zest (optional)

1 1/2 cups (uncooked) rotini pasta, cooked and chill

1 c. strawberries, quartered

1 c. pineapple tidbits

1 c. red grapes, halved

2 kiwis, cut in bite size pieces

Cook pasta, drain and chill in refrigerator. Slice fruit and put in bowl. Mix yogurt, honey, lime juice and zest in a separate bowl. When ready to serve mix pasta, fruit and sauce together. Don't mix too early, it's not the type of salad you want to sit for long.

Spinach and Chick Pea Dish

Submitted by Emily Daniel

1. Put 1 T Canola oil in a large skillet. Heat at medium high heat and add a pinch of whole cumin seeds. Cook until seeds start to sizzle. (Side note: I usually have major issues with cumin, it’s just not a flavor that I love, but the whole cumin seeds are WAY better than the ground powder.)

2. Add half a roughly diced onion. Cook until soft. Be careful not to burn!

3. Add 1 can of diced tomatoes with juice.

4. Add 2 minced cloves of garlic and 1 T minced ginger. (You are going to put the mixture in the blender eventually, so don’t stress about finely mincing anything.) We also threw in a pinch of red pepper flakes for a little heat.

5. Add 1 package of semi-thawed frozen spinach. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until spinach is warmed through.

6. Add pinch of Turmeric.

7. Let mixture cook and then blend in the blender until you have a coarse mixture. Do not puree! Add water if the blender is struggling to process the mixture. Just not so much that you dilute the flavors.

8. Rinse and dry skillet. Reheat, add ½ T butter and ½ tsp of gara marsala. Pour mixture from blender. Heat through.

9. Add one can cooked chickpeas (we made ours fresh in a pressure cooker for the sake of cheapness, but Anamika said canned are fine.)

10. Heat through and salt to taste.

11. Serve with Chipatti bread, pita bread, or whole wheat tortilla.

Or I think Melissa's Pita Crisps would be delicious with this. I usually serve this alongside Jasmine rice, and baked chicken thighs that have been marinated in soy sauce, honey, fresh ginger and garlic.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pita Crisps

Submitted by Melissa Maxwell

2 whole wheat pitas, split to make 4 rounds
4 tsp. vegetable or olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 350 degrees.

Place pitas on a baking sheet large enough to hold them in a single layer.  Drizzle oil over pitas and spread with a dull knife.  Mix seasonings and sprinkle evenly over pitas.  Bake until crisp and golden brown, 8-10 minutes.  If pitas are brown but not completely crisp, turn off oven, open oven door, and allow to stand for 5 minutes.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Chicken and Rice with Coconut Milk and Pistachios

Submitted by Mandi Cooper

4 (5-6oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 c flour

3 T oil

1 med onion, minced

1 1/2 tsp curry

1 1/2 c long grain white rice

3 med garlic cloves, minced

2 3/4 c low-sodium chicken broth

1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk

1 c frozen peas

1/2 c chopped pistachios, lightly toasted

1/4 c minced fresh cilantro leaves

Pound each chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap to a uniform 1/2". Place the flour in a shallow dish and pat the chicken breasts dry with a paper towel, then season with salt and pepper. Dredge each chicken breast in the flour, shaking off excess.

Heat 2 T of oil in a skillet over medium heat until the oil is rippling. Carefully lay the chicken breasts in the skillet and cook until lightly browned on both sides, 6-8 min. Transfer to a plate.

Add the remaining 1 T oil in skillet and return to medium heat until rippling. Add the onion, curry, and 1/2 tsp salt and cook until the onion is softened. Stir in the rice and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 sec.

Stir in chicken broth and coconut milk, scraping up any browned bits. Nestle the chicken into the rice and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to med-low and cook until the chicken is done, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a clean plate, brushing off any rice back into the skillet. Tent the chicken loosely with foil to stay warm. Cover the skillet and continue to cook the rice over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 10 minutes.

Off the heat, sprinkle the peas over the rice, cover, and let warm through, about 2 min. Add the pistachios and cilantro and gently fold into the rice. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with the chicken.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Snickers Cookies

Submitted by Katie Ericksen

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 tsp. vanilla

1 egg

11/2 cup flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

30 mini Snicker's candy bars

In a large bowl combine sugar, brown sugar, butter and peanut butter. Add vanilla and egg. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the peanut butter mixture. Shape dough around a Snickers, covering completely (without having too much more dough).

Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Cool 1 minute on sheet then remove to cooling rack.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cheeseball

Submitted by Wendy Holt

carton of cream cheese (sorry, no low fat stuff)

1 stick or 1/2 cup of butter (whatever makes you feel better.)

1 cup of powdered sugar

3 T brown sugar

1/4 tsp vanilla

1 cup of mini chocolate chips (I wish I would have used more)

a bag of toffee chips

Soften butter and cream cheese to room temperature.  Cream butter and cream cheese together.  Add powdered sugar brown sugar and vanilla.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Cover and chill in fridge until firm.  Wrap in plastic and shape into a ball.  Chill again.  Roll in toffee chips. (I didn't use the whole bag, *gasp* you could also use chopped pecans)

I served with honey teddy grahams and chocolate teddy grahams and those were good but I LOVED it with the pretzel sticks.

Cheesecake-Marbled Brownies

Submitted by Lea McEwan

I used a box brownie recipe

For cheesecake batter

• 8 ounces cream cheese, well softened

• 1/3 cup sugar

• 1 large egg yolk

• 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla


Make brownie batter:

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan.

Heat butter and chocolate in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, whisking occasionally, just until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar, eggs, vanilla, and a pinch of salt until well combined. Whisk in flour until just combined and spread in baking pan.

Make cheesecake batter and bake brownies:

Whisk together cheesecake batter ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Dollop over brownie batter, then swirl in with a knife or spatula.

Bake as directed on box, about 55 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Chili con Queso

Submitted by Danica Nelson

1 lb. Velveeta cheese

1 can Rotel tomatoes

1 can Hormel no-bean chili

Cube cheese and melt in a medium pot over low heat, stirring often. When cheese is melted, add Rotel tomatoes and chili. Heat until nice and hot, and serve warm!

Fresh Salsa

Submitted by Roberta O'Loughlin

1 large can diced tomatoes

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 (large) yellow onion (or half of a small)

1 small bunch of cilantro

1 lime

Salt, to taste

Put tomatoes, garlic, onion, and cilantro in blender and blend to desired consistency. Add juice from lime and salt, until the desired taste is achieved! Best with Tostito's Hint of Lime chips.

Spicy Chicken Salad

Submitted by Melissa Maxwell

Spicy Salad Dressing:
1 1/4 c. fat-free sour cream
3/4 c. picante sauce
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients.  Refrigerate to allow flavors to blend.

2-3 c. chicken, cooked and diced (leftover grilled chicken works well)
1 c. tomatoes, diced
3/4 c. green onion, diced
1 (11oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 c. canned black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 c. reduced-fat Mexican cheese, shredded
8 c. salad greens

Fat-free tortilla chips, optional.

In a medium bowl combine chicken, tomatoes, green onions, corn, black beans and cheese.  Gently stir.  Serve over salad greens.  Top with Spicy Salad Dressing and serve with tortilla chips if desired.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Quick and Easy Stove-Top Tuna Noodle Casserole

Submitted by Lea McEwan

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups whole milk

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper, less if you prefer less spice

1-2 tablespoon of chopped fresh herb, such as chives (optional) or parsley (optional)

2 (6 ounce) cans tuna, drained (I prefer albacore solid packed in water)

1 1/2 cups frozen peas

8 ounces wide egg noodles, cooked


Cook the egg noodles.

During the last few minutes add the frozen peas to the simmering noodles; then drain.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Whisk in the flour, and continue whisking for about 2 minutes or until the flour butter mixture starts to turn a beige color (a very light colored roux).

Continue whisking and slowly add 1 of the cups of milk, incorporating the liquid as you whisk; then add the remaining 1 cup of milk.

Let it come to a gentle boil, stirring regularly to keep from burning on the bottom of the pan as it thickens.

When it's thick enough to coat a spoon and leave a strip behind where you ran your finger through the coating on the spoon, it's ready to add the drained tuna.

Break up the solid tuna chunks with a fork and mix throughout the sauce.

Add the salt, pepper, and any seasonings or herbs.

Pour the tuna sauce over the noodles and peas, and serve.

Oh, What Do You Cook in the Summertime?

With temperatures rising outside, none of us wanted to turn our ovens on inside.  This month we kept the ovens turned off and met at Beth's house for food and friendship.  Thank you, Beth, for getting us out of the house and for introducing us to the Instant Grill.

(We're laughing with you, not at you.)

So, what do you cook in the summertime when all of Missouri is humid and hot?  Pasta salad?  Sounds good.  Chicken seemed to be the ingredient of choice.  Girlled on the instant grill or chopped up in a salad.  We don't care.  We're not picky. 

Hope you enjoy our summertime recipes and we'll see you next month at Wendy's for Something New!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Crispy, Crunchy Cereal Treats

Submitted by Laura Hintze


2 C. brown sugar

2 sticks butter or margarine

1 ¾ C. light corn syrup

1 can sweetened condensed milk

19 C. crisp rice cereal


Boil brown sugar, butter or margarine, and corn syrup for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Add condensed milk and boil 3 additional minutes. Pour over cereal and mix well.

Spray non-stick cooking spray into mould (first time only) and fill with mixture. Remove immediately from mould; place on wax paper. Allow at least 1 hour set up time.

Yield: 25 shapes


Substitute popcorn for crisp rice (1 ¼-1 ½ cups un-popped popcorn).

Substitute puffed rice for crisp rice cereal.

Mix popcorn and puffed rice together.

Add 3 squares of unsweetened chocolate before sweetened condensed milk.

Chicken Salad

Submitted by Wendy Holt

1 can of chicken

1 small can of pineapple tidbits

1 celery stalk diced or sliced (however big you like them)


small can of water chesnuts

1 cup of grapes (green or red your preferance)

1/2 cup of mayo

1/2 tsp of salt

1/2 tsp pepper

a shake of dehydrated onions (you can use fresh green onions if you prefer)

Mix chicken, pineapple, celery and grapes together.  Mix dressing and pour over chicken mixture, stir together

Serve on Croissants (I get the big box at Costco, they taste the best and are the cheapest. We freeze most of them until we need them.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Snowy White Chocolate Crescents

(Pictured bottom right on plate.)
Submitted by Amy M.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened

1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

1/2 cup powdered sugar

Yield: About 2 1/2 dozen

• Preheat oven to 325°F.

• In a small bowl, combine flour and cocoa. Mix well with a wire whisk and set aside.

• In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add vanilla and
egg, and beat until light and smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl, then add flour and cocoa mixture. Blend on low speed until fully incorporated. The dough will be dry and crumbly.

• Shape a level tablespoon of dough into a 31/2-inch log. Slightly bend the log to form a crescent shape. Form remaining dough into crescents, and place on ungreased cookie sheets, 1 inch apart. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until the outside of cookie is hard but the center remains soft.

• Cool on cookie sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a flat surface to cool a few minutes more. While still warm, roll the cookies in powdered sugar until coated.

Mint Chocolate Chip Brownies

Submitted by Lea McEwan

1 cup mint chocolate chips (or any flavor if you are not a fan of mint chocolate)

½ cup butter or hard margarine

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup flour

2 eggs (slightly beaten)

1 tsp baking powder

Melt chocolate and margarine. Stir in sugar, flour, eggs and baking powder. Mix until smooth. Pour into 8x8 or 9x9 pan, or cupcake tins, and top with remaining chips. Bake at 350oF for 15-30 minutes depending on the size of baking pan or until toothpick comes out clean.

Mom's Chocolate Pie

Submitted by Lea McEwan

This is my mom's really good chocolate pie that we always have for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

2 squares chocolate
2 cups milk
5 T flour
¾ cup sugar
Pinch salt
2 eggs
1 T butter
1 tsp vanilla
Baked pastry shell… see recipe below

Melt chocolate,  add milk gradually stirring constantly until smooth heat in double boiler (I just stir it all the time).  Mix flour, sugar, 7 salt and add to milk.  Stir until thickened and then cook for 15 minutes.  Add butter, cool slightly 7 add vanilla.  Pour into baked crust (see recipe below).Serve cold with homemade whipped cream.

Monica Loosley hot water pie crust recipe

1 c lard (1/2 lb?)

½ boiling water

Cut lard into smaller pieces. Pour boiling water in & whisk until creamy--- Keep going, it will get smooth and creamy.

Mix together:

3 c flour (scant 15 ounces)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Add part of flour to lard/water mixture & mix. Keep adding--- about 3 installments. Shape into ball, wrap with saran wrap and refrigerate overnight or until cold. Cut into as many crusts as need (this will make 3 thin crusts; 2 thick and hearty!) Roll out, using as little flour as possible; do not overwork. It’s a great dough with a very nice consistency that’s super easy to work with.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Attractive Chocolate Chip Cookies

Submitted by Melissa Maxwell

I entered these cookies in the North Carolina State Fair many years ago.  I didn't win any ribbons and the only written comment I received from the judges was "Attractive cookie."  P.S.  They taste good, too!

½ c. butter, softened

¾ c. shortening

1 ½ c. sugar

¾ c. brown sugar

3 eggs

1 T. vanilla

1 ½ tsp. baking soda

1 ½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

3 ½-4 c. flour

1 small package INSTANT vanilla pudding

1 1/2 c. chocolate chips

Variation: Add 11/2 cups milk chocolate chunks and 1/2 cup toffee bits.

Roll dough into balls. Bake at 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes. .

Mandarin Orange Cocoa Torte

Submitted by Shauna Hinckley

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

1/2 c. sugar

5 eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup butter softened

1 c. sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. unsifted all purpose flour

1/3 c. Hershey's cocoa

1/2 c. chopped nuts

Beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar in small mixer bowl 2 minutes on medium speed. Add 3 eggs, one at a time; beat 5 minutes on medium speed. Set aside. Cream butter, 1 cup sugar and vanilla in small mixer bowl. Add 2 eggs; beat 3 minutes on medium speed. Combine flour and cocoa; gradually blend into creamed mixture until smooth. Stir in nuts. Spread cocoa mixture evenly in two greased and wax paper lined 8 inch layer pans; pour cheese mixture evenly on top of cocoa mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Do not overbake. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans.


1 can (11 oz.) Mandarin oranges

1/2 c. water

2 tbsp. cornstarch

1 1/2 tbsp. sugar

Drain oranges; reserve 1/2 cup syrup. Add water to syrup. (Set aside 1 cup oranges for torte decorations). In small pan mix together cornstarch and sugar; stir in orange syrup gradually. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Simmer 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Arrange one layer, cheese side up, on serving plate; spread with 1/3 cup orange glaze. Top with second layer, cheese side up, and spread with 1/2 c. glaze. place well drained mandarin oranges on top of torte; brush sides with remaining glaze. Let stand 1/2 hour at room temperature to blend flavors, refrigerate. 10 to 12 servings.

Chocolate Cream Popcorn

Submitted by Mandi Cooper

2 qt popped popcorn

1 c sugar

1/2 c water

1/3 c corn syrup

1/4 tsp. salt

3 T margarine

1/3 c chocolate pieces

1 tsp vanilla

1. Lightly grease large bowl. Put in popcorn.

2. In saucepan, mix sugar, water, corn syrup, and salt.

3. Cook over medium to 240 degrees.

4. Add margarine. When melted, add chocolate.

5. Stir in vanilla. Pour over popcorn, stirring constantly with 2 forks. Continue stirring until syrup loses its gloss.

6. When cool, store in tightly covered containers.

Silky Chocolate Pudding

Submitted by Laura Hintze

Serves 6

1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Combine the cornstarch, sugar and salt in the top of a double boiler. Slowly whisk in the milk, scraping the bottom and sides with a heatproof spatula to incorporate the dry ingredients. Place over gently simmering water and stir occasionally, scraping the bottom and sides.  Use a whisk as necessary should lumps begin to form. After 15 to 20 minutes, when the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon, add the chocolate. Continue stirring for about 2 to 4 minutes, or until the pudding is smooth and thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. If you like pudding skin, pull plastic wrap over the top of the serving dish before refrigerating. If you dislike pudding skin, place plastic wrap on top of the pudding and smooth it gently against the surface before refrigerating. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days.

NOTE: Sorry I forgot to get a picture of this.  (Spoiler Alert!)  It looks like pudding.

Smoothies! Smoothies! Smoothies!

Submitted by Shauna Hinckley

I don’t really have a specific recipe, I just dump stuff in, but here are some basic ratios to work with.

1 ½ cups juice

1 ½ cups frozen fruit (more if you aren’t using any ice creamy stuff)

2 large scoops of sherbet or frozen yogurt

Ice (optional)

The ones that I made that night actually were only fruit and juice. I like to use OJ, or a tropical blend juice, but any works. The bags of mixed frozen fruit taste really good, or you can always go the berry route. You can even use canned peaches, pineapple, etc and freeze them ahead of time. Using peaches or bananas will give you more sweetness, but I usually toss in a bit of sugar too. The main thing is to blend it really well so there are no chunks (think smooth!) and have a good consistency. I just dump and blend until I get the consistency that I like.

I’ll give you a few combinations that are good (don’t tell Jamba Juice!)

Peach juice, soy milk (opt.), strawberries, peaches, vanilla frozen yogurt

Passion fruit juice, strawberries, peaches, orange sherbet

Raspberry juice, blueberries, raspberries, raspberry sherbet

Apple juice, bananas, blueberries, vanilla frozen yogurt

Soy milk, strawberries, bananas (or fro yo), honey

Soy milk, chocolate syrup (or just choc milk), bananas, vanilla frozen yogurt, peanut butter (opt)

Orange juice, strawberries, bananas, orange sherbet

Orange juice, soy milk, orange sherbet, vanilla frozen yogurt, ice

Raspberry juice, strawberries, raspberries, lime sherbet

Mango juice, mangoes, strawberries, pineapple sherbet

I could go on forever! Also, I don’t usually use soy milk, I substitute in real milk.

On to your favorite!

The Spinach Smoothie

2 c. Milk or Soy milk

2 ripe bananas cut up and frozen

Stuff fresh spinach in the blender to the top




Ok, that’s all there is to it!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bacon-Wrapped Jalepeno Appetizers

Submitted by Emily Daniel (from The Pioneer Woman Cooks)


20 whole Fresh Jalapenos, 2-3 Inches In Size

2 cubes Cream Cheese, softened

1 pound Thin(regular) Bacon, Sliced Into Thirds

Preparation Instructions

If you have them, slip on some latex gloves for the pepper prep… Cut jalapenos in half, length-wise. With a spoon, remove the seeds and white membrane (the source of the heat; leave a little if you like things HOT). Smear softened cream cheese into each jalapeno half. Wrap jalapeno with bacon pieces (1/3 slice). Secure by sticking toothpick through the middle. (At this point, you can freeze them, uncooked, in a Ziploc bag for later use).

Bake on a pan with a rack in a 375-degree oven for 20-25 minutes. You don’t want the bacon to shrink so much it starts to the squeeze the jalapeno. If, after 20 minutes, the bacon doesn’t look brown enough, just turn on the broiler for a couple of minutes to finish it off. These are best when the jalapeno still has a bit of bite to it.

Serve immediately, or they’re also great at room temperature.

You’ll love these so much, you’re gonna come out of your skin. Or something like that.

NOTE: Emily would like it to be known that The Pioneer Woman assured her readers that when they make these appetizers, people will be begging for their friendship.  Emily says this was not her experience.

Chicken and Almond Soup . . . or Bread Dipping Sauce

Submitted by Lea McEwan

6Tbsp butter
1 medium leek, chopped
½ tsp shredded fresh ginger root
1 c. ground almonds
1 tsp salt
½ tsp crushed black peppercorns
1 fresh green chili, chopped
1 medium carrot, sliced
½ c. frozen peas
¾ c cubed, skinned chicken breast fillet
1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish
2 c. water
1 c. light cream

Melt the butter in a large pan and sauté the leek with the ginger until softened. Lower the heat and tip in the ground almonds, salt, peppercorns, chili, carrot, peas, and chicken. Fry for 10 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked, stirring constantly. Add the chopped cilantro.

Remove from heat and leave to cool slightly. Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and process for about 1 ½ minutes. Pour in the water and blend for another 30 seconds.

Pour back in the pan and bring to a boil, stirring. Lower the heat and gradually stir in the cream. Cook gently for 2 minutes stirring occasionally. Serve garnished with more cilantro. Serves 4 soup bowls.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Fontina Mushroom Bruchette

Submitted by Joi Spencer (from the site: Robbie's Recipes)

6 mushrooms, sliced thin
1 Tbls. butter
1/4 c. butter, softened
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
6 slices Italian or French bread (sliced 1/2 inch thick)
6 slices Fontina cheese, trimmed to fit bread slices
extra virgin olive oil, to top
julienne fresh basil, to top

Saute mushrooms in 1 T. butter until soft.  Drain liquid from pan and set aside. 

Mix 1/4 c. butter with garlic and garlic powder.  Spread butter mixture over bread slices.  Place a slice of Fontina cheese on each piece of bread.  Spoon sauteed mushrooms over each slice of Fontina.  Place bread on a cookie sheet and bake in a 500 degree oven for 4 minutes, or until cheese has melted.  Remove from oven and drizzle olive oil over the tops.  Sprinkle basil over top.  Serve immediately.

Ham and Cheese Pastry Cups

Submitted by Melissa Maxwell

1 (17 1/4-oz. ) package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets)
1 8 oz. package cream cheese
1 c. (4.0z) Swiss cheese
4 ham slices--finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 T. dried chopped chives or 3 T. fresh*
1 beaten egg
2 T. Hidden Valley Original Buttermilk Ranch Dressing Poweder

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

On a lightly floured surface unfold puff pastry.  (For best results, bring to room temperature first.)  Cut each triangle into 30 equal squares.  Stretch each square to make 2-3 inch square.  Place pastry squares in greased mini muffin pans.  (Corners will hang over the edge.)

Stir together cream cheese, Swiss cheese, ham, chives, egg, and ranch dressing powder until well blended.  Spoon about one heaping measuring teaspoon into each pastry cup.  Bake for 15-18 minutes at 425 until golden brown.

Makes 5 dozen.

*I didn't have any chives and left them out for the batch I made for cooking club.  If you liked them the way they were, just leave out the chives.

Classic Cheesecake

Submitted by Mandi Cooper

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

3 Tbsp. sugar

3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted

5 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar

3 Tbsp. flour

1 Tbsp. vanilla

1 cup sour cream

4 eggs

Preheat oven to 325. Combine crumbs, 3 Tbsp. sugar and butter. Press firmly into bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes.

Mix cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, flour, and vanilla on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed until just blended. Pour over crust.

Bake for 70 minutes or until center is almost set. Loosen cake from side of pan, but cool completely before removing rim of pan. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Southern Macaroni and Cheese

Submitted by Mandi Cooper

1 lb. twisty pasta (rotini, fusilli, etc.)

1 can evaporated milk

1/4 cup butter

3 eggs

cheddar cheese, to taste (2-4 cups)

Salt water and cook pasta, about 2 minutes less than the package directions. Drain some water out of pot so that the water line is about 1" below pasta line. Add the evaporated milk and butter. Stir until butter is melted. Meanwhile, mix the eggs together in a small bowl and temper the eggs with some of the hot milk from the pot, stirring the eggs constantly. Add egg mixture to pasta. Add cheese and stir until combined and melted. Pour into crockpot or casserole dish. Bake on low 2-3 hours in crockpot or 20 minutes in 350 oven. I also like to add ham to the casserole to make it more of a meal.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Say Cheese!

Many thanks to Mandi for hosting our cheesy cooking club night!  Thanks for your presentation on cheese.  (Very informative and only slightly nauseating.) 

I had to bring my munchkins with me.  From a table filled with cheesecake, bon-bons, pizza, queso dip, quiche, macaroni and cheese, spinache-artichoke dip, and more my kid chose . . .

Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips!

My other boy chose a new mommy.
"Her macaroni and cheese doesn't come from a box.  I choose Mandi!"

Next month we'll meet at Lea's house for Appetizers!

For tips on cooking with cheese, click HERE.


(This pizza is topped with grilled chicken, artichoke hearts and bacon.)
Submitted by Melissa Maxwell

Pizza Dough


2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 c. water

Set aside for around 10 minutes or until frothy.
1 1/2 cups flour

(The directions say to make a well in the center of the mixture and stuff, but I just add it gradually in my Bosch. I usually end up adding a little more water.) Knead until smooth and elastic. (Or let the machine knead it for a couple of minutes.)

Place the dough in a large, slightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise for at least 30 minutes.

Pizza Sauce
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped or 1 large can chopped tomatoes with their juices. (NOTE: I have tried this with fresh tomatoes, canned diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and petite diced tomatoes. The petite diced tomatoes tasted the best.)
8 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped or 1 tsp. dried basil
salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm olive oil. Add the garlic and saute for a few seconds just until fragrant. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes.

Add the basil, season to taste with salt and pepper and raise the heat to medium-high. Cook until sauce thickens (15-20 minutes).

Use immediately or refrigerate for up to two days. 

Create pizza using dough, sauce, and your favorite toppings. (Fun moms let their kids make their own pizzas. )

Cook at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes.