Showing posts from September, 2009

Rachael Ray's Caribbean Style Chicken Thighs

This recipe came in my newsletter and I saved it right away. I love just about anything made with habaneros!

This was a fantastic dish, spicy and sweet.

1 lb skinless chicken thighs
juice of 1 lemon
1 t Spanish paprika
1/2 t poultry seasoning
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t ground black pepper
1/2 t seasoned salt
olive oil
1 T butter
2 cups chicken broth stock
1 T ketchup
1 t brown sugar
1/2 onion, chopped
1 large plum tomato, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1" ginger, minced
pinch dried thyme
1 habanero pepper, seeded and chopped

Place the chicken in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice and seasonings. Set aside.

In a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven, heat a little olive oil. When the oil is very hot, add the chicken pieces and brown them on all sides. Remove chicken and set aside.

Add the butter to pan and melt. Add chicken broth, ketchup and brown sugar, reserved chicken, onion, tomato, green pepper, garlic, ginger, thyme …

Food and Wine's Roasted Chickpeas with Eggplant and Spinach

This was a flavorful, not to mention healthy, meal.

2 large garlic cloves, minced
salt, divided
2 t Madras curry powder
1/4 cup ghee
1 medium white eggplant, diced
1 onion, very thinly sliced
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup finely julienned fresh ginger
freshly ground black pepper to taste
One 6 oz bag baby spinach
naan and plain yogurt

Preheat the oven to 425°.

In a large bowl, mash the garlic to a paste with salt. Mix the paste with the curry powder and ghee. Add the eggplant, onion, chickpeas and ginger; season to taste with salt and pepper and mix well.
Spread the vegetables in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, stirring once or twice, til the eggplant and onion are tender. Stir in the spinach and roast just til wilted, another couple minutes.
I served the dish with naan and yogurt.

Allrecipes' Currywurst

While not authentic by any means, this recipe was a nice flavor treat, different than the norm. Matt said it reminded him of almost a barbecue type dish.

This came in my Ocktoberfest Allrecipes newsletter.

1 lb polska kielbasa, sliced into thick pieces
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 t chili powder
1 t Hungarian paprika
1 t curry powder to taste, plus extra to serve
1/2 t onion powder
pinch sugar
salt and black pepper to taste

Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add a little butter. When butter is melted add kielbasa and brown.

Add tomato sauce and seasonings. Reduce heat and let simmer ti sauce is nice and thick.

I served the kielbasa and sauce over butteredboiledpotatoes.

Rachael Ray's Mexican Pasta

You just can't go wrong with a Rachael Ray recipe! This was a wonderful dish!

1 lb ground beef
1 link fresh chorizo
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t ancho chili powder
1 bay leaf
pinch cinnamon
salt and pepper
1-2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 cup or beef chicken broth
hot cooked pasta
grated cheddar cheese

In a large frying pan or skillet over medium heat, brown beef and chorizo. Stir in onion and cook another 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook another minute. Stir in spices and seasonings. Stir in broth and tomato. Cover and simmer 15 minutes or til sauce thickens. Remove bay leaf.

I served the pasta topped with sauce and garnished with cheese.

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup

I loved this! I added a scoop of habanero powder to my bowl and it warmed me right up.

I posted the link to this recipe the other day, knowing full well it was going to make its way to my menu. The link can be found here:

1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 cup dried pinto beans
1/4 cup dried black beans
2 cups chicken broth
4 fresh ripe tomatoes
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
your favorite chili seasonings to taste: chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, etc.
salt to taste
1 lb skinless chicken thighs
1 cup frozen corn
shredded Mexican blend cheese

Place the onion, beans, tomatoes, broth, and jalapeno in a slow cooker. Stir in seasonings. Lay chicken on top of the mixture. Cook on high heat 1 hour; reduce to low and cook for another 5-6 hours or til beans are tender. Stir in corn during last hour or so.
Remove chicken carefully from soup, and remove gristle and bone; shred. Stir shredded chicken back into soup, and heat throug…

Lemon Glazed Zucchini Bread

Finding a delicious bread recipe, and taking it to the next level!

2 1/3 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
1 large egg

Lemon Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 t grated lemon peel

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8 x 4” loaf pan with cooking spray.

Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (flour through nutmeg) in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine zucchini, milk, oil, rind, and egg in a bowl; add to flour mixture. Stir just til moistened.

Pour batter into pan. Bake for 1 hour or til a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in the pan. Remove to a large plate or platter and cool completely.

While whisking, combine powdered sugar, juice and lemon peel; stir with a whisk. Drizzle over loaf. Let soak into bread for at l…

Burgers with Harissa

I had some harissa sauce left from the other night so I mixed it into some ground beef and into some mayo to come up with these awesome burgers.

The recipe for the harissa can be found here:

1 lb ground beef
1 T harissa
1 t ground cumin
1 t garlic powder
pinch dried thyme
salt and pepper

Harissa Mayo
1 cup mayo
1 t harissa sauce
1 t caraway seeds

garnish: red onion and tomato slices

In a large bowl, mix the beef with harissa, cumin, garlic powder, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Form the meat into 3-4 patties.

Preheat grill for medium high heat. Grill the burgers, turning once, about 5 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, mix the mayo, harissa and caraway.

I served the burgers with the mayo, and sliced onion and tomato alongside seasoned fried potatoes.

The inspiration for tonight's meal came from my Food and Wine magazine.

Orange Pork Chops

These turned out quite yummy!

peanut oil
1 lb boneless pork loin chops
1 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 T sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1" fresh ginger, minced
1/4 cup water
1 T cornstarch

Heat oil in a large frying pan or skillet over medium high heat. Cook pork chops til golden brown on both sides; remove from pan and keep warm. Add orange juice, soy sauce, sugar, garlic and ginger. Boil for a couple minutes, scraping brown bits on the bottom of the pan.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together water and cornstarch, and stir into sauce. Return pork to skillet and cook til sauce is thickened and chops are heated through.
I served the chops and sauce with rice and steamed broccoli.

The original recipe came in my allrecipes newsletter and can be found here:

Roasted Red Pepper Cream Cheese

I used this cream cheese blend on our wrap sandwiches for lunch. It is fabulous!

Add everything to your particular taste.

1 clove garlic, minced
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup drained roasted red peppers, chopped
snipped fresh basil leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper

In blender or food processor, blend cream cheese and remaining ingredients just til combined. Cover tightly and refrigerate 1 hour (if you can wait that long).

Grilled Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper Harissa

Michigan is still clinging tightly to summer like weather, so grilling was in order for dinner.

The recipe for the harissa was from my Women's Health magazine.

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
olive oil

1 12 oz jar roasted red peppers, drained
2 T olive oil
1 T red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t cayenne pepper
salt and pepper

Add harissa ingredients to a blender and blend til smooth.
Brush a little olive oil and a little harissa over chicken and marinate a couple hours. Reserve remaining harissa.

I served the chicken with harissa atop tri color rotini along with sliced tomato.

Slow Cooker Creamed Chicken and Easy Buttermilk Biscuits

I chose to make these easy biscuits, since I didn't want to have to deal with cutting in butter. These were MUCH quicker!

And I thought this would turn out a bit thicker, but it was still delicious.

1 lb skinless chicken quarters
1 cup each: chopped celery and carrot
1/2 cup chopped onion
about 4 cups chicken broth
ground black pepper and any seasonings you like to taste
1 small can (10 3/4 ounces) cream of chicken soup

Add chicken, veggies and broth to slow cooker. Cook on high 4 hours or low 6-8 hours. Remove chicken pieces and discard bones and gristle. Return to cooker and stir til chicken falls apart.

During last hour or so, whisk in soup.

I served the chicken and creamy sauce over the biscuits.

Easy Buttermilk Biscuits
2 cups flour
2 T sugar
3 t baking powder
1 t salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup oil

Preheat oven to 475°.

In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients. Set aside.

Add oil to a measuring cup and add buttermilk. Do not stir.

Add buttermilk mixture all at once to dr…

Slow Cooker Herbed Pork Loin

Add as much or as little chicken broth as you like, depending on how much gravy you want to make.

3 lb. boneless pork loin roast, trimmed
mixed herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley, sage, etc.) to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 cups chicken broth

In a small bowl, combine herbs and salt and pepper and rub over pork. Place roast in slow cooker. Add onion and garlic. Pour in broth. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8.

I made a gravy with the pan drippings and served the pork over mashed potatoes with gravy.

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry

Thanks to Victoria who found this recipe for me! It was absolutely incredible; I wish I had doubled it.

1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, diced
salt to taste
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1" piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 t ground cumin
1 t  ground turmeric
pinch cayenne pepper
1 cup chicken broth
6 oz bag baby spinach
1/2 cup plain yogurt
hot cooked basmati rice with a pinch of dried mint

In a large frying pan over medium high heat, add ghee. Sprinkle chicken with salt. Brown chicken and remove to slow cooker.

Add onions, and sauté til golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and ginger and sauté til fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in spices and saute another 30 seconds or so. Pour in broth and raise heat to high; when broth comes to a boil, add mixture to slow cooker. Cover and cook on high 4 hours or low 8 hours.

Add spinach and cook til spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes. Just before serving, stir in yogurt. Season to taste with…

Rachael Ray's Spanish Style Chicken, Chorizo and Chimichurri Sauce

I posted the link to this the other day and thought it sounded so good I added it to my menu.

This is my version. I added a marinade step to the chicken, but this is optional.

1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
1 handful fresh parsley
1 handful fresh cilantro
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/4 cup olive oil
3 t smoked paprika
2 t garlic powder
1/2 lb fresh chorizo links
4 skinless chicken leg quarters

To make the chimichurri sauce: In a blender or food processor, add the onion, parsley, cilantro, lemon zest, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Pulse blend ingredients; stream in oil with the machine running til a smooth paste forms. Taste and adjust as desired. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and reserve.

In a small bowl, blend paprika, garlic powder and a little salt and pepper, and rub the seasoning all over the chicken pieces. Rub with half of the chimichurri sauce. Refrigerate for several hours if desir…

Mom's Fruit Cocktail Cake with Coconut/Walnut Topping

This is one of my all time favorite desserts- to this day I still can't make this as good as Mom does! Recipe is from Mom's recipe box. Easy!

2 c. flour

1 1/2 c. sugar

2 t. baking soda

dash salt

2 eggs, beaten

1 medium can fruit cocktail

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine dry ingredients. Add eggs and fruit cocktail.  Blend well and pour into 9 x 13 pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake 40 minutes.


1 stick butter

3/4 c. sugar

3/4 c. Pet milk

1/2 c. nuts (I prefer walnuts)

1/2 c. coconut

1 t. vanilla

Mix first three and boil 10 minutes. Add nuts and coconut. Mix and remove from heat. Stir once more. While still hot pour over cake.

Mom's Mexican Manicotti

I have taken my mom's recipe and adapted it to fit the items I had in the pantry. The original calls for a can of refried beans, which I didn't have; I used pinto beans instead. It also calls for a jar of picante sauce to be mixed with water and poured over the top. I rarely have jarred salsa on hand, so I made my own enchilada sauce from scratch. Yummay!

1 pound lean ground beef
1 can pinto beans, drained and lightly mashed
2 1/2 tablespoons Mexican chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 package manicotti shells
1 recipe for your favorite enchilada sauce
2 cups sour cream (optional)
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Mexican style cheese
1/4 cup diced onions (optional)
sliced ripe olives (optional)

In a bowl combine beef, beans, chili powder and oregano.
Spoon beef mixture into uncooked manicotti shells, arrange in a 13X9" baking pan sprayed with cooking spray.

Pour enchilada sauce over the top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before …

Mom's Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling

This is mom's famous pumpkin roll. It makes an appearance every Thanksgiving.

3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar (optional)
1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel) Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a kitchen towel with powdered sugar. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and sugar in large mixer bowl til thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or til top of cake springs back when touched. Immediately loosen and turn cake onto…

Mom's Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crus

As requested, this is my mom's EASY recipe for our Thanksgiving Day cheesecake.

1 1/2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs, plus extra for sprinkling
5 T unsalted butter, melted
1 T sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans

3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
3 eggs
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/8 t each: ground ginger, nutmeg, allspice
pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap outside of 9" springform pan with foil. Set aside.

Mix crumbs, butter and sugar in a medium bowl. Mix in pecans. Press mixture onto the bottom and up 2" on the sides of the pan.

Bake crust til slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

With an electric mixer on medium, blend cream cheese and sugar in a large mixing bowl til smooth. Add pumpkin, eggs, vanilla and spices. Mix til smooth, scraping down sides of bowl frequently with a rubber spatula. Pour filling onto crust.

Bake cheesecake til center is almost set, abou…

Mom's Chocolate Filled Bon-Bons

This is another simple cookie recipe that always finds its way in to Mom's Christmas selection.

3/4 cup butter or shortening1/2 cup white sugar1/4 cup packed brown sugar1 egg2 teaspoons vanilla extract1/2 teaspoon almond extract1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour1/2 teaspoon baking powder1/2 teaspoon salt1/2 cup finely chopped nuts (optional)48 milk chocolate candy kisses, unwrapped
Preheat oven to 350°F.Using an electric mixer, cream shortening and sugars until fluffy. Add egg and extracts and beat well.Add flour, baking powder, salt, nuts and mix well.Form into 1 inch balls. Press each ball around a kiss so kiss is completely covered (like a chocolate covered cherry).Bake 12 minutes on ungreased cookie sheet. Do not overbake. Cool on wire rack.

Mom's Treasure Cookies

Of all Mom's cookie recipes, this is probably one of my favorites.

1 1/2 c graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c flour
2 t baking powder
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 c butter -- softened
1 1/3 c coconut
12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
1 c walnuts

Preheat oven to 375°. Mix graham cracker crumbs, flour and baking powder. In large
mixing bowl beat sweatened condensed milk and butter till smooth. Add
dry mixture. Mix well. Stir in coconut, chocolate chips and walnuts.
Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 9 - 10
minutes or until lightly browned. Store loosely covered at room

Mom's Sausage Stuffing

Mom's always popular sausage stuffing. I eat more of this than anything else at turkey time.

1 box stuffing
1 small onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1/2 lb. bulk sausage
1 T. butter
1 chicken bouillon cube (dissolved in 1 c. hot water)

Saute onion, celery and sausage in butter til sausage is cooked. Add stuffing and bouillon mixture, and extra water just to moisten, if needed. Scoop in to a buttered baking dish and bake uncovered til heated through (30-45 minutes at 350°).

You can add sage or other seasonings if desired. Mom never does.

Mom's No Bake Cookies

I am posting mom's original recipe, however, I did make some modifications to make this a more healthful cookie. I used reduced fat butter, reduced the sugar to 3/4 cup, used skim milk, and used all natural peanut butter. These cookies are almost guilt free!

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
3 T cocoa powder
1 t vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cups quick cook oats

In a large saucepan, add butter and begin to melt. Stir in next three ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook for one minute.

Remove from heat; add vanilla and peanut butter and stir.

Stir in oatmeal til mixed well.

Drop onto a cookie sheet covered with wax paper or foil.

Refrigerate til chilled (if you can wait that long).

Chicken Soup with Mom's Egg Noodles

I made a large batch of chicken stock the other day, and what better to make than chicken soup? I called mom to find out how she made her famous egg noodles back in the day. Noodles don't get much simpler than this.

This amount makes a small batch of noodles.

2 eggs, beaten
1/2 t salt
1 cup flour plus extra for kneading, rolling

In a small bowl, beat eggs with salt.

Add flour to a large bowl and make a well. Pour in egg mixture all at once.
With a wooden spoon, stir til dough ball forms. Drop dough out onto a lightly floured cutting board and knead til smooth.

With a rolling pin, roll dough out til almost paper thin.

With a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut into noodles, as small or as large as you like.
Let noodles dry several hours.
Drop into boiling soup, broth or stock. Simmer til noodles are cooked through; mine took about 15 minutes.
And this was supposed to be "soup" but my stomach was acting up. I ended up just using plain stock. Boring, but still del…

Mom's Apple Bread Pudding

The sugar and butter on the bottom bakes to a wonderfully caramelized topping when this dessert is inverted in the final step.

Robin's normally picky stepson liked this so much he ate several pieces of it. I know it was certainly some of the best bread pudding I've ever eaten.

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1 can apple pie filling
1 loaf French bread, cubed
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 t vanilla
1/2 cup maple syrup

Spray a 9x13" inch baking pan and sheet of foil (long enough to cover pan) liberally with cooking spray; set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix sugar, butter and cinnamon til smooth. Spread in prepared pan. Dollop apple pie filling evenly over the top. Layer bread evenly over the top. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, cream and vanilla. Slowly pour mixture over the top of the bread, ensuring bread is covered.

Cover pan tightly with prepared foil and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350° and bake bread pudding …

Mom's Easiest Chop Suey- Slow Cooked

Mom used to thicken her chop suey very lightly with a cornstarch slurry. And no chop suey is complete without chow mein rice noodles.

vegetable oil
1 1/2 lbs meaty pork steaks, trimmed
1 large can chop suey veggies
1 small can bean sprouts, drained
1 small can water chestnuts, drained
soy sauce to taste
about 4 cups low sodium chicken or beef broth
1/4 cup cold water
1 T cornstarch

Heat a little oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add pork and cook til nice and browned. Add veggies and soy sauce and stir. Add mixture to slow cooker. Pour broth over the top; cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.

With about 1 hour to go in cooking time, whisk together water and corn starch in a small bowl. Stir into cooker and re-cover; cooking til thickened as you desire.

Mom's English Apple Pie

As I have never been very fond of pie crust, this is the pie recipe my mom would always use when she made me apple pie. Delicious!

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
2 t cinnamon. divided
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
4 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup white sugar

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a medium bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Stir in flour and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Stir in walnuts. Set aside.

Place apples in a 9” pie plate. Mix remaining cinnamon with white sugar. Sprinkle cinnamon mixture over apples. Spoon nut mixture over apples.

Place pie on cookie sheet then bake 45-50 minutes or til apples are tender.

Serve warm topped with whipped cream or ice cream.

Mom's Creamy Celery Soup

Mom brought all the goodies for this one, saying she had a craving for it. The love of food runs deeply.
Add as much or as little broth as you like.

4 T (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup chopped celery
6 cups chicken broth, divided
2 small cans cream of celery soup
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup heavy cream
4 oz (1 cup) shredded American cheese

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add celery and cook til softened, about 10 minutes.  Increase heat to high and add broth. Bring to a boil;reduce heat to medium and cook til celery is just tender, another few minutes.

Whisk in soup til smooth. Bring mixture to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook about 20 minutes, stirring often. Stir in cream and cook another 5 minutes, or til soup thickens. Remove from heat and slowly stir in cheese.

We served the soup with homemade wheat croutons.

Variations: Add cream of chicken soup. Use your favorite cheese.

Mom's Chocolate Cream Roll

A conversation:

"Ma, guess what I'm making?"
"Something spicy?"
"Surprisingly no. But I did make Cuban style chicken soup that had a zip to it, but it wasn't spicy, per se. I made chocolate cream roll!"
...Waiting for the same level of excitement to be shown back for my utmost in accomplishments.
"How did it turn out?"
Well... Contrary to what certain people think, I have never presented myself as any kind of culinary expert. I know my way around a kitchen, but would never pretend to be a chef. I like to cook foods that the everyday person can do, mostly using items they can get at a local grocer or ethnic market. I think this is one of the explanations for Rachael Ray's popularity. She is no food snob and never went to "chef's school". She is just a great cook.
Case in point: while mixing up this cake batter, I did not read the recipe carefully before starting and added 3/4 cup of cocoa powder rather th…

Mom's Rhubarb Cake

The sugar and cinnamon topping bakes to a wonderfully sweet golden "crisp" which offsets the tart of the rhubarb.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/4 t salt
1 t baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup sugar
1 t cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9x13" baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl with a hand held mixer, cream the butter til light and fluffy. Add the brown sugar slowly, continuing to beat, til the mixture is well blended and fluffy. Beat the egg and vanilla into the creamed mixture til well-blended.

In a separate bowl sift together the flour, salt and baking soda.

Add buttermilk alternately with the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat after each addition, just enough to blend. Gently fold the chopped rhubarb into the batter; spoon into prep…

Mom's Rhubarb Pie

Mom’s classic rhubarb pie. We always serve this with vanilla ice cream, dad just won’t eat pie unless accompanied by some ice cream. Whipped cream or topping is also great, balancing out the tartness of the rhubarb.

2 9” pie crusts
4 cups rhubarb, sliced
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Pour rhubarb into a large bowl. Mix sugar and flour in a small bowl. Add sugar and flour mixture to rhubarb and stir to mix. Let the fruit mixture sit for about 10 minutes.

Press first crust into a pie plate or tin. Pour the filling evenly into the crust.

Roll the remaining pie crust on top of fruit. Use your fingers to seal top crust to the edge of the bottom crust. Poke a few holes in the top crust.

Bake for 10 minutes at 425, then lower heat to 325 and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes.

Note: To protect the oven, place a baking sheet or some aluminum foil on the bottom rack of the oven.

Variations: Add a couple cups of sliced strawberries. Add a sprinkle or two of cinnamo…

Spicy Refried Bean Enchiladas with Creamy Cheesy Red Sauce

The beans were simply simmered for about two hours with homemade Adobo seasoning and a crumbled Guajillo chile.

about 2 cups refried beans
1 1/2-2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 onion, minced

Creamy Red Sauce
2 T vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T chili powder
1/2 t cumin
1 cup vegetable broth
1 small (14.5 oz) can tomatoes, pureed
1 cup canned jalapeno cheese dip
about 2 cups refried beans
2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided
1 onion, minced
12 (6 inch) corn tortillas

In a large frying pan over medium heat, add oil. Saute onion til soft, about 10 minutes, being careful not to brown. Stir in garlic and saute another minute or so. Stir in spices. Increase heat to high and add broth and tomatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 20 minutes or til thickened, stirring often.
Whisk in cheese dip and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat. Pour about 1 cup in bottom of a 13x9" pan coated with cooking s…

Eating Breakfast While Broke: Scrambled Eggs and Fried Potatoes

This was breakfast yesterday. I had potatoes left from dinner the night before and I diced them and fried them with some additional steak seasoning.
The eggs were simply scrambled and some pepper jack cheese was stirred in.

I served this simple and delicious breakfast with toasted wheat and spreadable fruit.

Eating While Broke: Slow Cooked Beans and Greens

Fresh collard greens were $1.49 a bunch and are always enough for several meals! Talk about frugal! After making these, I will probably never buy canned greens again.

The recipe for my soul seasoning can be found here:

1/2 cup dried white beans
water to cover
1 meaty ham bone
1 large bunch collard greens, rinsed and chopped
1/4 cup cider vinegar, or to taste
2 T Soul Seasoning (I used homemade), or to taste

Add beans and ham bone to slow cooker. Cover with water.

Stir in greens and seasoning to taste.

Cook on high 1-2 hours; reduce heat to low and cook 6-8 more hours. Remove ham bone and discard.

Serve drained beans and greens with plenty of apple cider vinegar or hot sauce.

Eating While Broke: Spaghetti with Parmesan and Butter

The next time I make this, I think I would do the sauce alfredo style rather than tossing it together in the pot. I find that cheese melts more smoothly this way.

This recipe is adapted from my Bon Appetit cookbook.

1/2 lb spaghetti
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus extra for serving
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
freshly ground black pepper

Cook spaghetti in a large pot til just al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Return spaghetti to pot. Stir in 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid, cheese and butter.

Toss mixture over medium heat til cheese melts and sauce coats pasta, adding more reserved cooking liquid if needed. Season generously with salt and pepper.

I served this Parmesan and a slice of toasted rustic wheat bread.