Monday, October 31, 2011

Cheese Stuffed Pizza Crust

This pizza turned out so delicious! I would give this recipe 20 thumbs up. It's really that good. I used pepperoni as the topping and we ate the whole pizza with no leftovers. I will definately be making this pizza dough again and again.


1 can refrigerated Pizza Dough
1 jar pizza sauce
Variety of grated cheeses
Favorite Toppings
Sprinkle of Basil
String Cheese


Lay out pizza dough and then open up 4 to 6 string cheese.  Roll these up on all the outer edges of the pizza dough.  Spread on pizza sauce, sprinkle with cheese, basil and favorite toppings.  Bake as directed.  Eat and enjoy!

10 Way to Green Your Halloween

Want to get on board with making Halloween healthier for kids and the planet but don’t know where to start? Green Halloween™ has 10 easy ideas that will help you celebrate an EEK-O fab holiday while keeping all the F-U-N.

Get a jump start. Unless you’re a Halloween junkie, like most moms, you likely hit the stores the week (or even hour) before the festivities begin. But greening your Halloween is a lot easier if you take just a little time to plan. Not too much, just a bit – we promise.

Planning allows you to save money (last minute purchases = impulse buys) and to assemble eco-friendlier items from treats or treasures to décor without the stress that comes from last-minute decision making.

So grab a notebook and make a list of what you need. Do you want to hand out organic candy? Have your kids make their own costumes from what you’ve got on hand, or even second hand? Whip up your own face paints to avoid chemicals in commercial brands? Honestly, none of this takes much time when you plan ahead.

Get the kids on board. The second secret to pulling off a green Halloween is to get kids to buy in – by your positive attitude. Children who are told out of the blue, “We’re not going to buy you a new costume this year,” or “No candy for you!” certainly won’t be interested in supporting green efforts.
You know your children best, but a great way to approach them is by selecting one or two ideas from the list below and asking, “What would you think if….” You may be surprised that when you approach from a positive framework, i.e.” This is going to be a lot of fun and we’re going to make it happen together”—most children will get excited.

Once you’re got your shopping list and your kids enlisted, it’s time to carve out your eco-friendly options.

Here’s 10 of my favorite tips:

1. Choose no-waste pumpkins. Instead of purchasing one big pumpkin, how about selecting several smaller ones, then, instead of carving, painting on faces with non-toxic paints or decorating with yarn, ribbon, bottle caps and other found items. Smaller pumpkins can be put in the fridge when not on display to keep them fresher and once Halloween is over, you should be able to cook ‘em up instead of tossing.

2. Use beeswax candles. If you do carve and put a candle in your pumpkin, choose 100% beeswax. Most candles are made from paraffin, a petroleum by-product. Beeswax burns cleanly, lasts longer and releases a wonderful, all natural aroma. You may have heard that soy candles are a good alternative to paraffin, but soy is often genetically modified and its planting and harvesting can bring up other environmental issues. Beeswax comes from—bees! It is not modified in any way although natural color may be added to candles.

3. Use LED lights. By now everyone knows that incandescent lights don’t last very long, cost pretty pennies to use and burn HOT. LEDs now come in every size from mini-flashlight to outdoor spotlight. They are the safer, more sustainable option.

4. Seek out alternatives to conventional candy. For many families, this seems challenging. But we know that kids will go for treats and treasures other than what you usually associate with Halloween.
Over the last four years, we’ve tested the theory with a display board with dozens of alternatives—everything from beautiful colored stones to organic lollipops, whole foods bars, seed packets, pencils made from recycled paper are just a few. Literally thousands and thousands of kids from four to teen have told us they would be excited if these choices were in their bag. In fact, for the most part, kids are much less stuck on conventional candy that parents think. So go to Green Halloween and with your kids, look over the long list of treats and treasures, then pick out a few you’d like to try this year. Still skeptical? Offer a choice.

5. Set up or participate in a costume swap. According to Robert Lilienfeld of the Use Less Stuff Report, roughly 25 million children in the United States celebrate Halloween. Swapping just half of their costumes would reduce annual landfill waste by 6,250 tons, equivalent to the weight of 2500 midsize cars! And this doesn’t even address adult costumes.

You can set up your own neighborhood swap of course, or join the fun on National Costume Swap Day, the second Saturday in October. Check out the National Costume Swap Day website for ideas on how to set up a swap as well as link to swap sites both local and online.

6. Make décor instead of buying. In 2009, spending on all aspects of Halloween totaled $4.75 billion. This figure of course, includes décor, candy, costumes and other items, since Halloween is the second biggest holiday after Christmas for décor, obviously a huge chunk of change goes toward glowing lawn art, orange and black table decorations and millions of sets of Halloween-themed light strings.
If you’re aiming for a Green Halloween, try cutting your décor budget by 25%. Then fill in the difference with handmade items. Just Google “Halloween crafts,” and you’ll find hundreds of suggestions. One of ours is to make a Halloween tree by taking a branch from outside, then having the kids draw and cut out ghosts, pumpkins etc. and hang them from the tree. More ideas can be found here
A fun way to get started with “upcycled” décor is to set a timer for 15 minutes, then send family members on a hunt around the house for items that can be transformed into décor. An orange and black t-shirts for instance, can be secured around pillows.

7. Hand out less. Everyone acknowledges we have a childhood obesity problem in this country. Nonetheless, people say, “Why not give out bunches of candy? It’s only once a year.”
The fact is that kids are exposed to candy and other sweets daily. It’s in everything from cereal to the lollipop they get at the bank.

We’ve shown that Halloween can be just as much fun even when a child brings home significantly less than the average of 10 pounds.

Like everything else in America, Halloween has become supersized. Today’s parents can remember being given one or two candy bars. Today it’s handfuls.

Whether you opt to give out conventional candy or alternatives, you can help steer children away from excess by offering just one or two items. What a concept, eh?

One successful strategy is to put a variety of items in a large bowl. When the doorbell rings, instead of inviting kids to dig in, explain that you are offering everyone a choice of one special item. Look each child in the eye and ask, “What special treat would YOU like?” As their hands seek out their choice, encourage them and smile and congratulate them on their final choice.

We can hear you saying, “But I get 25 kids at a time storming the door.”
To which we reply, “So?”

What’s wrong with slowing things down? Paying attention to each child, supporting their health (and your pocketbook – think how much less you’ll need to purchase) and having fun is what Halloween should be about. If some kids don’t want to wait, that’s up to them, but more likely, word will quickly get around and line will go around the block!

8. Walk in your neighborhood, don’t drive. One year we lived in Colorado and on Halloween evening the temperature plunged into the teens. We had moved up from Arizona and our blood was still as they say, a bit thin. But we braved the elements and had the best time.

We’re all about driving in this country, along with getting through whatever as quickly as possible. This is what we teach our children when, instead of walking the neighborhood, we drive them house-to-house or even block-to-block on Halloween.

In addition of course, driving creates emissions and idling is even worse. So bundle up and walk.
Another option to going door-to-door? Wrangle a few neighbors and co-host a Halloween-themed “progressive party.”

9. Bag it, green style. Instead of buying a single-use, disposable candy-carrier, make your child’s goodie bag from a pillow case or anything else you already own that goes with the theme of the costume. A purse for a princess? A backpack for a mountain climber? A helmet for a football player? Or, purchase a keepsake, reusable Green Halloween® trick-or-treat ChicoBag. (Designed each year by kids! Enter the design contest here. 10% of the sales support the Green Halloween initiative.)

10. “Recycle” candy & natural décor. Food rotting in landfills leads to the release of methane gas, which contributes to climate change. So don’t toss leftover candy and rotting pumpkins – recycle them! Composting turns food waste and natural décor (such as hay from your scarecrow) into nutrient-rich food for your plants, shrubs and trees. And even if you don’t have curbside composting or a home-composter, you can still compost at home.

Baked Turkey, Cheddar and Bacon Sandwich

Good Monday Morning! Lets start the week off with some delicious sandwiches which I think you will enjoy. I do hope you have a fantastic day and a wonderful week!



2 cups biscuit mix
1 cup milk
1 egg
4 oz thinly sliced deli turkey breast
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
5 slices precooked bacon


Heat over to 400 degrees F.  Spray square baking dish, 8x8x2 inches with cooking spray.

Stir biscuit mix, milk and egg until blended.  Spread half of the batter into baking dish.  Top with turkey and 1 cup of the cheese.  Top with bacon. Spread remaining batter over bacon.

Bake uncovered about 29 minutes or until golden brown and center is set.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.  Bake about 3 minutes until cheese is melted.  Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.  6 servings.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fusilli With Creamy Meat Sauce

Good Sunday Morning!  Whew it is cold here this morning. We had frost on the pumpkins, as my Mom would have said.  It could have been worse, some places on the East coast had a snow storm and received up to 30 inches of snow. Thank goodness, it's a little early where I live to receive snow yet.

This not only looks yummy, but IS yummy! This recipe will stick to your ribs and warm you right up after a day out in the snow or cold.

Hope you enjoy!


12 ozs ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 14 1/2 oz cans italian style tomatoes cut up
1 teaspoon dried italian seasoning, crushed
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
8 oz dried fusilli pasta
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley


For Sauce:

In a large saucepan cook ground meat, onion and garlic until meat is brown.  Drain off fat.  Stir in undrained tomatoes, italian seasoning, sugar, salt and pepper.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Simmer, uncovered about 40 minutes or until most of the liquid is evaporated, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain.  Return to saucepan; cover and keep warm.

Gradually stir the whipping cream into the sauce.  Heat through, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Stir in parsley.

Transfer cooked pasta to dinner plates or a warm serving platter.  Spoon the sauce over pasta.  Makes 4 servings.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Saucy Beef and Onions

On this cold, windy evening this is exactly what we need to keep us warm. I'm in the mood for a little comfort food. How about you?



12 oz ground beef
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
2 medium onions, cut into thin wedges
1 cove garlic, minced
1 12 oz jar beef gravy
2/3 cup dairy sour cream
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon snipped fresh thyme or sage or 1/4 teaspoon dried, crushed
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups hot cook rice or noodles
2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley


In a large skillet cook ground meat, mushrooms, onions and garlic until meat is brown and onions are tender.  Drain off fat.

In medium bowl stir together beef gravy, sour cream, worcestershire sauce, thyme and pepper.  Stir into meat mixture.  Cook and stir until heated through.

Serve the meat mixture over hot cooked rice.  Sprinkle with parsley. Makes 4 servings.

Popover Pizza Casserole

Here is a casserole that is easy and quick to fix.  You family will really love this!

Hope you enjoy,


1 pound ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green sweet pepper
1 15 1/2 oz jar pizza sauce
1/2 of a 3 1/2 oz package sliced pepperoni, halved
1 2 oz can mushroom stems, and pieces, drained
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 cup all purpose flour
1 6 oz package thinly sliced mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


In a large skillet cook ground meat, onion and sweet pepper until meat is brown and vegetables are tender.  Drain off fat.  Stir in pizza sauce, pepperoni, mushrooms, fennel seeds, oregano and basil. Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, for topping, in a small bowl combine eggs, milk and oil.  Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 1 minute.  Add flour; beat about 1 minute more or until smooth.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease, the sides of a 3 quart rectangular baking dish.  Spoon meat mixture into prepared dish.  Arrange mozzarella cheese slices over meat mixture.  Pour topping over cheese slices, covering completely.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until topping is puffed and golden brown.  Serve immediately.  Makes 8 servings.

Week In Review 10/22/11

This week in review I only had three recipes that I tested.  I had a busy week with church revival going on and so I only prepared three.

Homemade Cheese-Stuffed Pizza Crust

This pizza was too die for!!! I do believe it was the best pizza I've ever made.  The crust had a cheese filled dough edge. I put a ton of cheese on it and it had black olives, pepperoni and mushrooms.  I highly recommend this recipe.

Steak and Onions

OMG says it all.  The steak was so tender you couldl cut it with just your fork.  The onion was tender and so easy to cut up and place on your steak. This is definately a keeper!!!

Banana Pudding

This banana pudding was the bomb! Everybody who came by and I gave some too said it was the best they had eaten. I did run a little short on cookies for the top, so next time I will scrimp on the crust so I won't run short. Definately a keeper!

All of these recipes will be posted this week. I hope you enjoyed this weeks Week in Review.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Cashew Pork Chow Mein

Good Friday morning! Well we have made it until Friday. Here the weather is cool and rainy and a good day to stay in, snuggle up with a blanket on the sofa and watch TV. Too bad some of us have to make a living!

Hope you enjoy this!

1 pound pork chow mein meat
1 1/2 cups sliced celery
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped red or green bell pepper
3/4 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup purchased stir fry sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoosns water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 5 oz package uncooked chinese noodles
1/2 cup salted cashew halves


Spray large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray.  Add chow mein meat; cook over medium high heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently.  Add celery, carrots, onion and bell pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add broth, stir fry sauce and sugar; stir to mix.  Cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are crisp tender, stirring occasionally.  In small bowl, blend water and cornstarch until smooth.  Add to skillet; cook and stir until thickened.

Meanwhile, cook noodles to desired doneness as directed on package.

Serve pork mixture over noodles.  Sprinkle with cashews. 

Servings 4

Walmart $25.00 Give Away!

This is my first Giveaway. I hope to have something like this monthly to keep everyone on their toes!
To enter is easy:

1.  You must have "liked" me on Facebook.

2.  Join my Blogger site here on the right side of the blog (either by Google or Networked    Blogs>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

3. Leave me a comment here that you joined (comment below). You must comment since that is your drawing ticket for the prize.

4. If you sign up as a anonymous you will need to leave me a email address to contact you.

That's all! will be picking the winner this afternoon around 5 PM EST and all I will need is your mailing address to send you the card.

Easy enough!


1.  You must have "liked" me on Facebook.

2.  You must join my site here either by Google or Networked Blogs

3.  You must leave me a comment here. That is your drawing ticket for the giveaway.

4.  I will announce the winner on Facebook on Friday afternoon.

5.  I will not be choosing the winner. That will be done by

6.  I will just need your mailing address to mail you your giftcard.  We will do that by private email.

7.  The contest will begin at 8 AM on 10/28/2011 and end 5 PM on 10/28/2011. Winner announced shortly after 5 PM.

8.  You will have 48 hours to contact me via email and give me your mailing address.

Simple. This is NOT a sponsored giveaway.  This is coming out of my pocket.  This is in no away affiliated with Walmart other than me purchasing the $25.00 giftcard.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Guide To Greenery

Once a side dish served almost exclusively with southern dishes and soul food, greens are finally gaining the respect they deserve.

Great tasting, nutrient rich greens are readily available, inexpensive, and easy to prepare.  Here's a guide to the greens you can find almost year round in the produce section of your supermarket.

Beet Greens:  These ar the green tops of the root vegetable.  They may be sold attached to full sized or baby beets, or in bunches by themselves.  Like their close relative, Swiss chard, beet greens have lots of flavor and a pleasing, sturdy texture.

Broccoli Rabe:  This green-also called broccoli de rabe, brocoletto, Chinese flowering cabbage, rapini and rappi- resembles thin brocolli stalks with small clusters of buds.  A very popular part of many Italian recipes, broccoli rabe has a shap, slightly bitter flavor.  Despite the name, though, broccoli rabe is not closely related to broccoli.

Collard Greens:  Also called collards, collard greens have long been associated with Southern cuisine in which they are often cooked with salt pork or smoked ham hocks.  Collard greens have large, smooth leaves that are easily cleaned and have a mild, pleasant flavor.  Recent studies show some of the nutrients in collard greens may play a role in preventing some kinds of cancer.

Curly Endive:  The darker green outer leaves of curly endive have a stronger flavor than the paler inner leaves.  These tender inner leaves are frequently served raw in salads, while the tougher outer leaves typically are cooked before serving.

Dandelion Greens:  Whether wild or cultivated, these greens are related to the common lawn weed, which is a member of the sunflower family.  Dandelion greens sold in grocery stores have been bred to be more tender than the ones gowing wild on your lawn.  The leaves (which should be pale green with saw toothed edges ) are picked before the yellow flower develops, and they have a subtly bitter taste, similar to chicory.

Escarole:  A relative of curly endive, the two are different in texture yet similar in taste, and interchangeable in recipes.  Both are considered salad greens as well as cooking greens.  Use the milder inner leaves for salads; cook the outer leaves.

Kale:  Kale is a sturdy green nutritional powerhouse.  It has a bold cabbage like flavor and coarse textured leaves that hold their texture and don't shrink up as much as other greens.  Kale's thoroughly touch, inedible stems should be discarded before cooking.

Mustard Greens:  Another cabbage family member, mustards have an intense flavor-as you may expect from the place which we get mustard seed.  There are red and green varities; both have a peppery bite.  If the greens are too pungent for your taste, you can tame them by blanching them in salted water before cooking.  Young, tender leaves are sometimes served raw in salads.

Spinach:  Spinach may be American's favorite green.  Most spinach sold fits one of two categories; robust, deeply wrinkled leaves served either cooked or raw, and  "salad spinach"-also called smooth leaf or flat leaf spinach-which has small, smooth delicate leaves and narrow stems.  Both are packed with nutrients and share the same versatile, mild flavor.

Swiss Chard:  Chard is a type of beet, although it has been cultivated for its leaves, not its roots.  There are many varities.  Red ( or ruby) chard is sometimes a bit more tender than white chard, but the two are interchangeable in most recipes.  Chard's leaves are slightly heavier than spinach leaves, but are frequently prepared in similar ways.

Turnip Greens:  The leafy tops from turnips are one of the sharpest-tasting greens, and like mustard greens they're generlly too assertive (and tough) for eating raw.  Most varieties grown for their tops don't develop full grown roots.  Note: Don't prepare turnip greens in aluminum cookware, as a chemical reaction will affect their flavor and appearance.

Liver and Onions

I know, I see you with your nose upturned because it's liver. It's not one of my favorite main dishes either, but my Husband loves it. So this was his dish.  It turned out really tender and flavorable.  The spices you roll the liver in before cooking makes a world of difference!


1 pound sliced liver
2 large onions
1 teaspoon chopped marjoram
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
ice cold milk


About 1 hour before cooking, soak your liver in the cold milk.  Set aside.
Peel and slice onions, set aside.
In a small mixing bowl combine all spices, seasoned salt, prepared mustard and black pepper.  Crush and mix together thoroughly.
Remove lived from milk and pat dry with paper towels.
Coat each piece of liver with the seasoning mixture, then the flour.
Heat the vegetable oil over medium high heat.  Fry the liver to your desired doneness.
Remove liver and keep warm. Place onions in skillet, season with salt and pepper until brown, turning occasionally.

By The Seaside Sandwich

Good morning!! Here is the first in my new series called Kid's Kitchen. Starting today and every Thursday I will post a recipe that your little chef can make. The recipes will be easy, fun, inexpensive and quick to do. Post some pictures of your little chef's creations!

Hope you enjoy!

  • 2 slices bread (white, wheat, rye, or raisin)
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon grape jelly
  • 3 or 4 bite-size fish-shaped crackers
  • Rolled fruit leather
  • Graham snack teddy-bear-shaped cookies
  • Sweetened fruit-flavored round cereal


  1. Spread one-half of the top of one slice of bread with peanut butter to create the "beach."
  2. Spread the other half with grape jelly to create the "ocean."
  3. Arrange fish crackers in the ocean.
  4. If desired, cut small rectangles of fruit leather for beach towels to place on the beach, and place graham snack cookies on each towel.
  5. Place a cereal ring next to each cookie so the teddy bears can take a dip in the ocean if they get too hot.
  6. Top with remaining bread slice.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Southern Vegetable Soup

This really really delicious. I made it last week and since the weather is suppose to turn rainy and cool starting tomorrow, that means soups and stews weather. I had enough left over to put 2 quarts in the freezer. My kind of recipe!


This soup I made last week.  It is sooo good.  Easy and quick to fix and it even made enough for me to put 2 quarts in the freezer for a later date.  I highly recommend!


4 Ham Hocks
1 large can pinto beans, drained
1 large can green beans, drained
1 large can lima beans, drained
1 large can cut corn, drained
1 pound white potatoes, cut in chunks
1 large can diced tomatoes with juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Mrs. Dash original table blend to taste


Place ham hocks in a stockpot and cover with water.  Add salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, cover and cook on medium heat for about 1 hour or until the hocks are fork tender.  Add the rest of the ingredients and cook 30 minutes.


I'm in the mood this morning for some pasta. This is a delicious dish that I think your whole family will enjoy.

Happy Eating!


1 pound ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1/3 cup dry white wine
4 inches stick cinnamon
8 oz dried penne pasta
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
2 tablespoons butter or margarine *not a typo*
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups milk
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup shredded romano cheese


For meat sauce:

In a large skillet cook ground meat and onion until meat is brown and onion is tender.  Drain off fat.  Stir in tomato sauce, wine, and stick cinnamon.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Cook and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Discard stick cinnamon.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain.  In large bowl combine the 2 eggs, the 3/4 cup milk, the 2 tablespoons melted butter, and the cooked pasta; toss to combine.  Set aside.

For cream sauce:

In a small saucepan melt the 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat.  Stir in flour, salt and pepper.  Gradually add the 1 1/2 cups milk. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.  Gradually stir hot mixture into the 3 eggs.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 3 quart rectangular baking dsh.  Layer half of the pasta mixture in prepared dish.  Spread with meat sauce and sprinkle with 1/3 cup of the cheese.  Top with remaining pasta mixture; sprinkle with another 1/3 cup of the cheese.  Pour cream sauce over all; sprinkle with reamining cheese.

Cover and bake for 20 minutes.  Uncover; bake about 15 minutes more or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings.

Lavender Bath Salts

Laavender has a calming scent and these salts will make for the most serene bath.


6 drop clove essential oil
3 drops lavender essential oil
3 drops chamomile essential oil
3 drop cinnamon essential oil
1 cup baking soda
1 cup sea salt


Mix the essential oil thoroughly.  Place the baking soda and sea salt into a bottle, cork and shake.  Uncork and pour enough of the essential oil mixture over the salts to scantily cover them.. Discard remaining essential oil mixture.  Keep closely corked until you wish to use.

To use, dissolve 1/4 cup of salts in bath water.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Skillet Meatball Goulash

For the PM crowd, here is another easy and quick meal that is easy clean up. Fix plenty, because it will go fast!



1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 12 oz jar beef gravy
1 14 oz can beef broth
3/4 cups water
2 tablespoons chili sauce
3 cups frozen cooked italian meatballs ( 12 oz.)
8 oz uncooked mini lasagna noodles ( mafalda)
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Spray 12 inch nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray.  Heat over medium high heat until hot.  Add bell pepper and onion; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until crisp tender.

Add gravy, broth, water, chili sauce and meatballs; mix well.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat to medium.  Cover; cook 5 minutes or until meatballs are thawed.

Add uncooked noodles; mix well.  Cover; cook about 10 minutes or until noodles are tender and meatballs are thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.  Stir in sour cream until well blended.  Sprinkle with parsley.

Servings 4

Peanut Butter Pie

I made this pie last weekend and it didn't last the whole week.  It is so silky and smooth and very light.  It has just enough peanut flavor to be delicious. Highly recommended!


1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 graham cracker crust


Whip cream with 1/4 cup sugar.  Mix all other ingredients until smooth and fold in whipped cream until well blended.  Pour mixture into a graham cracker crust and chill for several hours before serving.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Zippy Beef, Mac, and Cheese

Here ya go peeps!  A quick, easy, inexpensive and one dish meal.  Hope you enjoy and that you have a wonderful afternoon!



6 oz dried elbow macaroni
12 oz ground beef
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 14 1/2 oz can stewed tomatoes
4 oz american or sharp american cheese, cut into small cubes
1 tablespoon chili powder
Finely shredded or grated parmesan cheese


In a large saucepan cook macaroni according to package directions; drain.  Return to saucepan; cover and keep warm.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook ground meat until meat is brown. Drain off fat.

Stir ground meat, tomato sauce, undrained tomatoes, american cheese and chili power into cooked macaroni.  Cook and sir over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until heated through.  Sprinkle each serving with parmesan cheese.  Makes 4 servings.

Crockpot French Dips

These French Dips ar way beyond good.  They are outstanding!  The roast is soooo tender and the au jus gravy was delicious with the sandwich dipped into it.  I used hamburger buns because I forgot to get Hoagie buns. Next time I will use Hoagie's. Thumbs up for this!


1 3 pound rump or eye of round beef roast
1 10 3/4 oz can beef consumme
1 1/2 cups water
1 Italian dressing packet
1 au jus gravy packet
Sliced swiss cheese
Hoagie buns


Add all ingredients to the crockpot except for the roast and whisk well.  Add the roast and turn over to coat all sides.  Turn crockpot on high and cook for 8 hours or until you can easily shred roast with a fork.  Removed roast and shred.  Strain crockpot juices for au jus dipping sauce and sit aside.

Turn on the broiler.  Place shredded meat on buns, top with swiss cheese slices.  Broil open faced until cheese melts. Assemble and serve with au jus.


Green Cleaning Kit

Did you know that most synthetic cleaning products are based on age old formulas using natural ingredients that were passed down through the generations because the chemistry was right.  Going back to the original naturally derived ingredients is a way to making claning products that work, don't pollute and save you money.  Most are found in your kitchen cupboards. 

Non toxie cleaning can give you a deep feeling of gratification in knowing that your family's health is protected and that your home is a place for your bodies to rest and recuperate rather than promote harm.

Also as an added bonus, once for ounce homemade cleaning formulas cost about 1/10th the priced of their commercial counterpart!

Creamy Soft Scrubber

Simply pour about 1/2 cup of baking soda into a bowl, and add enough liquid detergent to make a texture like frosting.  Scoop the mixture onto a sponge, and wash the surface.  This is the perfect recipe for cleaning the bathtub because it rinses easily and doesn't leave grit.

Window Cleaner

1/3 - 1/2 teaspoon liquid detergent
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups water
spray bottle

Put all the ingredients into a spray bottle, shake it up a bit, and use as you would a commercial brand.  The soap in this recipe is important.  It cuts the wax residue from the commercial brands you might have used in the past.

Oven Cleaner

1 cup or more baking soda
A squirt or two of liquid detergent

Sprinkle water generously over the bottom of the oven,, then cover the grime with enough baking soda that the surface is totally white.  Sprinkle some more water over the top.  Let the mixture set overnight.  You can easily wipe up the grease the next morning because the grime will have loosened.  When you have cleaned up the worst of the mess, dab a bit of liquid detergent or soap on a sponge, and wash the remaining residue from the oven.

All Purpose Spray Cleaner

1/2 teaspoon washing soda
A dab of liquid soap
2 cups hot tap water

Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake until the washing soda has dissolved.  Apply and wipe off with a sponge or rag.

Furniture Polish

1/2 teaspoon oil, such as olive
1/4 cup vinegar or fresh lemon juice

Mix the ingredients in a glass jar.  Dab a soft rag into the solution and wipe onto wood surfaces.  Cover the glass jar and store indefinitely.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cheesy Baked Ravioli

How about a little Ravioli this afternoon.  This is soooo good and sticks with you.  Do have a wonderful Sunday afternoon.  Make somebody smile!



1 26 to 28 oz jar tomato pasta sauce
1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup
1 25 oz package frozen italian sausage filled ravioli
1 1/2 cups frozen bell pepper and onion stir fry
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


Heat over to 350 degrees F.  Spray 13x9 inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  In sprayed dish, combine pasta sauce and soup; mix well.

Add frozen ravioli, and bell pepper and onion stir fry; stir to coat.  Cover with foil.

Bake for 1 hour.  Uncover baking dish; sprinkle with cheese.  Bake, uncovered, an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and cheese is melted.

Servings 6

Ranch Ham and Pasta Salad

Good Sunday Morning! If you made my Baked Ham recipe here is another to use up any leftovers.  This is easy and delicious! Hope you enjoy.



3 cups uncooked small shell pasta
2 cups frozen baby sweet peas
3 cups diced cooked ham
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup dill pickle relish, drained
2 cups colby monterey jack cheese blend, diced


3/4 cups mayonnaise
3/4 cup ranch salad dressing
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1/8 teaspoon pepper


Cook pasta to desired doneness as directed on package, adding peas during last 2 to 3 minutes of cooking time.  Drain; rinse with cold water to cool.  Drain well.

Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine all remaining salad ingredients.  In small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients; blend well.

Add pasta to salad; stir gently to mix.  Add dressing; toss to coat.  Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until serving time.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Basil Pork and Asian Noodles

Here is a easy to prepare and quick dinner idea. Hope you enjoy it!



8 oz. uncooked angel hair pasta (capellini)
2 teaspoons asian sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seed
1 lb. pork tenderloin, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
1/2 cup purchased stir fry sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 cups frozen sugar snap peas
1/4 cup sliced fresh basil


Cook pasta to desired doneness as directed on package.  Drain.  Add sesame oil; toss to coat.  Cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat large nonstick skillet over medium high heat until hot.  Add sesame seed; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Watch them carefully to prevent burning.  Remove from skillet.

Spray same skillet with nonstick cooking spray.  Add pork and onion; cook and stir over medium high heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until pork is browned.

Add stir fry sauce, honey and sugar snap peas; mix well.  Reduce heat to medium; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until peas are crisp tender, stirring occasionally.  Add basil; cook and stir 1 minute.  Serve mixture over pasta.  Sprinkle with toasted sesame seed.

Servings 4

Overnight Meatball and Pasta Casserole

Here is a great recipe that you fix the night before and refrigerate, then just pop into the oven to cook. Great for those busy days when you want something filling yet easy. And best of all it's one dish!!!



1 14 oz jar tomato pasta sauce
1 10 3/4 oz can condensed cheddar cheese soup
1 cup water
3 cups uncooked mini lasagna noodles (mafalda)
1 cup frozen bell pepper and onion stir fry, larger pieces cut up
1 18 oz package frozen cooked italian meatballs
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


In ungreased 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish, combine pasta sauce, soup and water; mix well.  Stir in uncooked noodles and bell pepper and onion stir fry.  Add meatballs; turn to coat with sauce. Noodles should be completely covered with sauce.  Cover tightly with foil; refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

When ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Bake casserole covered, for 45 minutes.

Uncover baking dish, sprinkle with cheese and parsley.  Bake, uncovered, an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and cheese is melted.

Week in Review 10/15-10/22

This is my review of the recipes I prepared this past week.  All will be posted the upcoming week. Check back and let me know if you agreed with my review!

Monday I prepared Southern Vegetable soup and it was delicious.  I definately would make this recipe again. It made enough to place 2 containers in the freezer!

Wednesday I prepared Slow Cooker French Dips. Oh my gosh were they the bomb! The meat was so tender and the au jus was absolutely perfect. This will be made again and real real soon!

Thursday I prepared Liver and Onions. It was superb! The liver was tender and had a wonderful flavor due to the spices I rolled it in. Before you turn your noise up at this recipe, give it a try! Definately a keeper.

Dessert this week was Peanut Butter Pie.  It was absolutely the best I'd eaten. The filling is so silky and smooth with just enough peanut taste to be delicious. Most definately a keeper!

This weeks recipes were all thumbs up!!


Friday, October 21, 2011

Zesty Italian Crescent Casserole

Hope you are having a good Friday. Here is another easy and quick to prepare recipe. Hope you enjoy it and have a fabulous Friday afternoon!



1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup bottled spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella or monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup dairy sour cream
1 8 oz package refrigerated crescent rolls
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  In a large skillet cook ground meat and onion until meat is brown.  Drain off fat.  Stir in spaghetti sauce; heat through.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine mozzarella cheese and sour cream.  Spread the meat mixture in a 2 quart baking dish.  Spoon the cheese mixture over meat mixture.

Unroll crescent roll dough.  Deparate into triangles for a round baking dish or press edges together and roll out slightly into a rectangle for a rectangular baking dish.  Place dough over the cheese mixture.  In a small bowl combine parmesan cheese and melted butter; spread over dough.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until crust is a deep golden brown.  Makes 8 servings.

The Cooks of My Family

I came from a long line of great cooks. My Mom, Grandmothers, Aunts and In-laws.  I thought it would be nice to show you these people that influenced me through the years. Most are gone now, but their memory lives on in my recipes that I share with you.

First my Paternal Grandmother...She had 12 children but only 8 survived. You can image the amount of food that was cooked in that house.

My Grandmother is standing in the back row on the far right.  All my Aunt's that you see here could cook up a storm. If you left their table hungry, it was your own fault.

My Mother and Father in law wanted 12 children also, but was only blessed with 3. Since that was all she had, they gathered others up from around their community and church and claimed them during holidays and birthdays. Lena was her name and she could cook up a storm. Very seldom did you see her using a recipe nor measure anything. I never had anything at her table that wasn't delicious.

She is located on the front row, second to your left.  These are her brother and sister's.  All of these women were excellent cooks.  They really put a spread on the table during Sunday's and holidays. No way could you eat it all.

My Mom. I was the only child but Mom was a great cook.  She taught me many, many things about cooking while I sat at her little kitchen table.  We'd talk and laugh and I'd watch her. Her kitchen was so small that two people couldn't cook at the same time. I'd sit at the table and cut or chop or slice what she needed. She might had had a small kitchen, but Mom had a huge heart.

This is a old picture of my Mom and she is the lady closest to the camera. That's me in the middle and my Aunt Nett, Dad's sister on the far end.  This was during Christmas so I know all our tummies were full! I have no clue why I'm holding a stuffed animal unless that was a present given to me.

And now getting to me.  I've been cooking for 35+ years and there isn't a day goes by that I don't learn something new or new technique. I have never had a day that I didn't see a recipe that I'd love to try out. Always something new and exciting in the world of food.

Hope you enjoyed meeting my family that influenced me. There is one that is not shown here and that's my Maternal Grandmother.  She also had a huge part in influencing me, but I had no pictures available to show you. She was a tiny woman with a huge sense of humor. She cooked on a wood burning cook stove and made some of the most tender meats and delicious desserts.  She was a farm cook.  During Christmas we would all stay with Grandmother.  How in the world she ever put up with 20 people in her house during the holidays is beyond me. But she did and she seemed to enjoy each and every day with us. This was before Prozac!  I miss each and every one of these family members. May they rest in peace.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

1930 Glazed Ham

Don't this look good? Another recipe for the upcoming season. Are you ready? Are we ever?

Hope you enjoy this updated recipe.



1 5 to 6 pound cooked ham
24 whole cloves
2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard


Score ham by making disgonal cuts in a diamond pattern.  To stud with cloves, push long clove ends into scored intersections in ham.  Place ham on rack in shallow roating pan.  Insert a meat thermometer.  Bake in a 325 degree F oven 1 1/4 to 2 hours or until thermometer registers 125 degrees F.

For glaze, in a saucepan combine remaining ingredients.  Cook and sitr over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.  Cook and stir 2 minutes more.  Brush over ham.  Bake 15 to 30 minutes more or until thermometer registers 135 degrees F.

Let stand 15 minutes before carving.  Serve remaining glaze poured over ham slices.

Eggnog Recipe from 1930

The season to drink this is just around the corner. Ready or not, it's coming! This is a delicious recipe for Eggnog.

Do have a wonderful day.


The eggnog of 1930 was simply an egg mixed with milk, some sugar, and a little vanilla, rather than the thick, creamy, custard based libation of our current era.


6 beaten egg yolks
2 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 to 3 tablespoons light rum
1 to 4 tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
Ground Nutmeg


In a large heavy saucepan mix the egg yolks, milk, and the 1/3 cup of sugar.  Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture just coats a metal spoon.  Remove from heat.  Place the pan in a sink or bowl of ice water and stir for 2 minutes.  Stir in rum, bourbon and vanilla.  Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.

Just before serving, in a mixing bowl beat the whipping cream and the 2 tablespoons sugar until soft peaks form.  Transfer chilled egg mixture to a punch bowl.  Fold in the whipped cream mixture.  Serve immediately. Sprinle each serving with nutmeg. Makes 10- 4 oz. servings.

1937 Crispy Oven Fried Fish

Good Thursday Morning!! Hope you are up and bright eyed and bushy tailed, as my Mom would say. Here is another heirloon recipe updated to today's methods that I hope you enjoy. The fish are delicious!



1 pound fresh or frozen fish, about 1/2 inches thick
1/4 cup milk
14 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried dillweed
2 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted


Thaw fish, if frozen.  Rise fish; pat dry.  Cut into 4 serving pieces, if needed.  Place milk and flour in separate shallow dishes.  In third shallow dish mix crumbs, cheese, dillweed and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.  Toss with margarine.  Dip fish in milk then in flour.  Dip again in milk, then in crumb mixture to coat all sides.  Place on greased baking sheet.  Bake in a 450 degree F oven for 6 to 9 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serves 4.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

1953 Sweet and Sour Pork/Chicken

This is another heirloon recipe updated to todays methods. I hope you enjoy!



1 pound lean boneless pork ( can also use chicken )
1 8 oz can pineapple chunks (in pineapple juice)
1/3 cup sugar
14 cup vinegar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon instant chicken bouillon granules
1 beaten egg
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cold water
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 cup bias cut carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large green or red sweet pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cups hot cooked rice


Trim fat from meat.  Cut meat into 3/4 inch cubes.  For sauce, drain pineapple, reserving juice.  Add enough water to juice to equal 1 1/2 cups liquid.  Stir in sugar, vinegar, the 2 tablespoons cornstarch, soy sauce, and bouillon granules.  Set aside.

For batter, in a bowl combine egg, the 1/4 cup cornstarch, flour, cold water and ground red pepper.  Stir until smooth.  Dip pork into batter.  Fry pork, 1/3 at a time, in hot oil (365 degrees F) for 4 to 5 munites or until meat is no longer pink and batter is golden.  Drain on paper towels.

Pour the 1 tablespoon oil in wok or large skillet. ( Add more oil as necessary during cooking.)  Preheat over medium high heat.  Stir fry carrots and garlic in hot oil for 1 minute.  Add sweet pepper; stir fry for 1 to 2 minutes or until crisp tender.  Push from center of wok.

Stir sauce.  Pour into center of wok.  Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.  Cook and stir 1 minute more.  Stir in pork and pineapple.  Heat through.   Serve over rice.  Makes 5 servings.

My First Blogger Award

The Versatile Blogger Award
I was given the Versatile Blogger Award  by More Or Less Cooking.

The Rules of this Award Are:

  • Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
  • Share 7 things about yourself
  • Send it along to 15 other Bloggers and let them know you have awarded them!

I really am speechless! Thank goodness I only have to type. Since this is my first award, I feel like I'm on the red carpet. Thank you sooo very much More Or Less Cooking for this honor.

I've only been blogging a short period of time, but I have already made some wonderful friends. You will not find anywhere on the web, a bunch of talented people so caring. They are all wonderful!

Seven things you may wish you didn't know about me.

1.  I was born and raised in a good ol' Southern family in North Carolina. As a matter of fact I live just 12 miles from where I was born. I didn't move very far.

2.  I have been married to the same wonderful man for 35+ years. Over the years he has had to eat alot of failed experiments! But bless his heart, he ate it and didn't say a word.

3.  My Son and daughter in law have blessed me with 2 beautiful granddaughters and a grandson due in February 2011.

4.  I have a avid love of animals and I hope to start volunteering next week at a no kill animal facilty.

5.  I am a only child, but married into a big family who loves and cares deeply for each other.

6.  This is my first blog award and I'm speechless!!

7.  I work from home for a major insurance company and I lived in San Diego California for 2 years while training for my job.

Now for the 15 I nominate for this award:

Running with the Devil(ed) egge
Mia's Domain
Pampered Chef Consultant, Carol's Corner
Sasa Sweet Treats
Coupon Loving Chicks
Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen
Basilmomma: A busy mom that likes to cook
The Bread Fairy
Chocolate, Chocolate and more chocolate
Cyndi's collections of concoctions & confections
Hugs and Cookies xoxo
Shugary Sweets
Rich & Sweet
Syrup & Biscuits
The Perfect Thyme



Double Meat Pizzas

I'm in the mood for some gooey pizza!  It's cool and rainy here still...enjoy.



1/2 pound ground beef
1 can refrigerated flaky biscuits
2/3 cup pizza sauce
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 package 3 1/2 oz. sliced pepperoni
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese


Heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets.  In 10 inch skillet, cook ground beef over medium high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain.

Separate dough into 10 biscuits.  On cookie sheets, press or roll each biscuit to 5 inch round, forming 1/4 inch rim around outside edge.  Spread about 1 tablespoon pizza sauce just to rim of each biscuit; sprinkle with oregano.  Top with pepperoni, cooked ground beef and cheese.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.

Beefy Nacho Soup

Good Wednesday Morning! It's cool and rainy here in North Carolina. Today would be a perfect day for some soup to warm us up. I trust you had a good and restful night last night and I wish for you a wonderful day today.

Hope you enjoy!


1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix in pouch
1 can condensed nacho cheese soup
1 can diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup crushed corn tortilla chips


In a 2 quart saucepan, cook ground beef over medium high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain.

Reduce heat to medium.  Stir in remaining ingredients except shredded cheese and tortilla chips.  Cook 8 to 12 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently.  Top individual servings with shredded cheese and torililla chips.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pizza Breadstick Casserole

One word describes this dish. Delicious!

To ensure that the undersides of the breadsticks cook completely, be sure the meat mixture is piping hot when you top it with the breadsticks.


1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup diced pepperoni
5 green onions, sliced
1 1/2 cups chunky tomato pasta sauce
1 box refrigerated parmesan breadsticks with garlic
1 cup shredded colby monterey jack cheese blend


Heat oven to 375 degrees F.  Spray 12 x 8 inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.  In 10 inch skillet, cook ground beef over medium high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain.  Stir in pepperoni, onions and pasta sauce.  Cook until boiling, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, unroll dough into 1 large rectangle.  Spread garlic mixture from box evenly over dough.  Separate dough into 10 breadsticks.  Cut each breadstick into 3 crosswise pieces.

Spoon ground beef mixture into baking dish.  Spread dough pieces evenly over hot ground beef mixture.

Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until topping is golden brown and no longer doughy.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Getting to Know Olive Oil

In our fat-phobic society, few people like to concede that there actually are fats that are good for us.  However, research has shown that for all the bad fats that put us at risk for heart disease, there are also good fats that actually protect us from disease.

A diet that includes good fats such as olive oil can protect your heart by raising your HDL-the beneficial cholestrerol that helps remove the LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, from your blood-without raising your total cholesterol level.  Olive oil is of course a mainstay of the Mediterranean diet, which has been shown to be one of the most healthful diets in the world.

There are several types of olive oil.  Most can be used interchangeably, but once you've learned to appreciate the flavor difference, you will be, hard pressed to use just any ol' olive oil.  Almost all of the the domestic varieties of olive oil are grown and harvested in California; imported varieties come from Italy, Greece, France, and Spain.  The color and flavor can vary, depending on the type of olive, where it's grown, and under what conditions.

Olive oils are graded according to their acid content.  The best olive oils are "cold-pressed," meaning that the oil is extracted by exerting pressure on the olives.  This results in a naturally low acid content.  Oils that have not been obtained through cold-pressing have been extracted through a chemical or steam process.

Extra virgin olive oil is the oil from the first pressing, with an acid content of 1 percent.  All domestic extra virgin olive oil is cold-pressed; only about half of the imported extra virgins are cold-pressed.  Extra virgin is considered the best olive oil because it is the most flavorful; it is also the most expensive.  Virgin olive oil is also from the first pressing but has a higher level acidity, about 2 percent.

The flavor of extra virgin and virgin olive oils tends to break down at high heat, so use them when you want maximum olive flavor, such as in salad dressings, in soups and stews, and for dipping.  Use other, less expensive olive oils for frying.

Fino olive oil is a blend of extra virgin and virgin.  Oil thats labeled simply "olive oil: or "pure olive oil" is a blend of refined olive oil and virgin or extra virgin olive oil; it's higher in acid, making it better for frying due to its high smoke point.

"Light" olive oil earns its name, not because it is lower in fat or calories, but because it is a lighter color and has a lighter flavor due to the refining process.  Use it in cooking and baking when you don't want an olive flavor but you want the health benefits of olive oil.

Olive oil should be stored in a cool, dark place where it will keep for about six months.  It also can be stored in the refrigerator; chilled olive oil turns cloudy, but that condition is easily reversed by returning the oil to room temperature.

Apple Cheesecake Pie

YUM! Now you tell me THIS don't look good. And it's as tasty as it looks!!!! You won't be disappointed.



1 graham cracker crust
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 20 oz can apple pie filling, chilled
2 tablespoons chopped pecans


Preheat over to 325 degrees F.  Combine cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla in a bowl.  Mix well until well blended.

Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition.  Place crust in baking sheet; pour in filling.

Bake for 25 minutes or until inserted knife comes out clean. 

Topping:  Spread apple filling evenly on top of cooled cheesecake.  Garnish with toasted pecans.

Beef and Spinach Enchiladas

Good Morning! These Enchiladas are easy to make and sooo good! I hope you had a great night and I wish for you a fabulous Tuesday.



1 pound ground beef
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups frozen cut leaf spinach
4 oz. cream cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 can chopped green chiles
2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
1 package flour tortillas for burritos, 8 inch
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 cup salsa
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or green onion tops


Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.  In 12 inch skillet, cook ground beef and garlic over medium high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain.

Add spinach; cook 3 to 5 minutes or until spinach is thawed, stirring frequently.  Reduce heat to medium; stir in cream cheese, cumin, chiles and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese until combined.  Spoon about 1/3 cup beef mixture down center of each tortilla.  Roll up; place seam side down in baking dish.

In medium bowl, mix tomato sauce and salsa.  Spoon over tortillas; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until thoroughly heated.  Sprinkle with cilantro or green onion tops.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Three Cheese Beef Pasta Shells

For you PM peeps out there, this is soooo good and easy. Impress your friends and family!



24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
1 pound ground beef
1 26 oz jar chunky tomato pasta sauce
1/4 cup water
8 oz container chive and onion cream cheese spread
1 1/2 cups shredded 6 cheese italian cheese blend
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, if desired


Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Cook and drain pasta shells as directed on package.

In 10 inch skillet, cook ground beef over medium high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain.  Cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

In large bowl, mix pasta sauce and water.  Pour 1 cup of the pasta sauce mixture in bottom of ungreased 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish.  In medium bowl, mix cheese spread, 1 cup of the italian cheese, the parmesan cheese, egg and cooked ground beef.  Spoon heaping tablespoon mixture into each shell.  Arrange stuffed shells over sauce in baking dish.  Pour remaining sauce over top, covering shells completely.   Cover with foil.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until bubbly and cheese filling is set.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup italian cheese.  Bake 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.  Sprinkle with parsley.

Peanut Butter Pie

Here is a pie that I made Saturday that is beyond good. It is rich and creamy! It's almost too good to describe. Try it and then come back and let me know what you think of it. You won't be disappointed!


1 graham cracker crust
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cups sugar
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup peanut butter ( creamy or crunchy)
1 cup powdered sugar


Whip cream with 1/4 cup sugar. Mix all other ingredients until smooth and then fold in the whipped cream until well blended.  Pour mixture into a graham cracker crust and chill for several hours before serving.

Parmesan Salisbury Steak Skillet

Good Monday Morning!! Yes, it's Monday again but I like to look at today as being one day closer to the weekend. I hope everyone had a great weekend and I trust that you will have a wonderful week this week. My weekend was a good one. Didn't do much, but I did enjoy my time. I have made a lunch date with a friend of mine whom I will be doing some volunteer work with. She has a no kill animal rescue facility and I'll be assisting her a couple of days a week. I love animals and this gives me a way to give back and give them the voice they don't have.

I do hope you enjoy today recipe!



1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup italian style bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons oil
1 bag frozen vegetables with parmesan asiago sauce


In medium bowl, mix all ingredients except oil and vegetables.  Shape into 4 oval patties, 1/2 inch thick.  In 12 inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Cook patties in oil 3 to 4 minutes or until browned, turning once.  Cover; reduce heat to low.  Cook 10 minutes; drain.

Add patties to skillet.  Pour vegetables and sauce chips over patties.  Cover; cook 10 minutes or until thermometer inserted in center of patties reads 160 degrees F, and vegetables are crisp tender, moving patties around and gently stirring vegetables once.
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