Showing posts from May, 2010

Beef Taco Skillet (One Pot Meal!)

This recipe initially called for a box of hamburger helper taco style, but I never buy the stuff. This is my version of that recipe.
1 lb ground beef 1/2 red onion, chopped 2 cups rotini pasta 1 cup beef broth 1 cup spicy chili beans in sauce (I used homemade) 1 cup canned diced tomatoes any seasonings you like or a packet of taco seasoning mix (chili powder, cumin and garlic powder would be good) salt and pepper to taste 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese 1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips 1/2 cup sour cream
In a large frying pan, brown beef and onion over medium high heat; drain well. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer about 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or til pasta is tender and mixture is thickened. If mixture hasn't thickened as you like it, let stand a few minutes.
I served the taco dinner garnished with cheese, chips and sour cream.…

Allrecipes King Ranch Chicken Casserole Recipe

I took the original recipe from Allrecipes and adapted it to generously feed two people (with lunch for one the next day), or regular portions for four.

canola oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 chicken breasts, poached, drained and diced
1 small can cream of chicken soup
1 small can tomatoes with green chiles (I used the spicy version but you can find mild)
about 4 cups tortilla chips
1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican blend or 4 oz Velveeta cheese

Preheat oven to 400°.

Saute onion in a small frying pan in a little oil over medium heat til softened, about 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl, combine the chicken,chicken soup,tomatoes and onion.
Add chips to a 13 x 9" baking pan, ensuring entire pan is covered. You may have to add a few extra chips.

Pour chicken mixture over the top; sprinkle with cheese.

Bake casserole 20 minutes or til hot and bubbling.

Serve immediately.…

Allrecipes Thai Style Pork Loin Chops Recipe

I have no idea if this is authentic or not (especially with the tomatoes added), but it was delicious and that is all that matters!

It really reminded me of Thai-Cajun fusion, and was a fantastic blend of the two.

4 boneless pork loin chops
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 T soy sauce
2 T rice vinegar
1 T brown sugar
1 T water
1 t chili powder
1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t garlic
1/4 t white pepper
canola or sesame oil
toasted sesame seeds
thinly sliced green onions
hot cooked Jasmine rice

In a medium saucepan over medium low heat, combine tomatoes, peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, molasses and water. Bring to boiling, stirring often. Keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a large ziploc bag combine seasonings. Add pork; turn bag til pork is coated well.
In a large frying pan heat oil over medium high heat; pan fry pork til desired doneness is reached.

I served the sauce over the rice topped with the pork and garnished with the onions and sesame seeds.

Double Berry Smoothies Recipe

Matt also had a splash of carrot juice added to his. I can't stand the stuff.
Measurements are approximate. Add everything to your taste.

1/2 cup each blueberries and strawberries (I used frozen blueberries)
1 cup plain yogurt
1 T honey

Put all of the ingredients into a blender and puree til smooth.

Pour into a tall glass and serve immediately garnished with an extra strawberry, if desired.

Shelley's Matzo Ball Soup Recipe

My sister Shelley has been talking to Robin and I about her matzo ball soup for years and I finally got around to making some. The matzo meal was on clearance at Kroger and I figured there was no better time to whip up a batch.

This soup made the best broth I have ever had. The flavor was exceptional.

1 boneless skinless chicken thigh
1 boneless skinless chicken breast
garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 onion, chopped
matzo meal, prepared for balls according to package directions (Shelley adds a pinch more salt than the package directs)

Preheat oven to 400°. Sprinkle chicken on both sides with garlic powder and salt and pepper. Roast til cooked through (the breast will be done more quickly). Cool slightly and dice.

Meanwhile, add broth and veggies to a large Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Add chicken to pan. Note: I didn't add the chicken breast to the broth until about 15 minutes to go in cook time.…

Chicken, Roasted Red Pepper, Cucumber and Hummus Sandwiches on Homemade Ciabatta Rolls with Spicy Honey Mustard Recipe

One of my favorite sandwiches of all time!

The recipe for the rolls can be found here:

The recipe for the hummus can be found here:

homemade ciabatta rolls, halved
homemade hummus
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breas
roasted red pepper slices
English cucumber slices
thinly sliced red onion
sliced Provolone cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Poach chicken for about 15 minutes or til cooked through. Cool completely in poaching liquid. Remove and drain. Reserve poaching liquid for another use if desired.

Spread roll halves with hummus and load with goodies. Serve with Spicy Honey Mustard.

Spicy Honey Mustard
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 T honey
pinch cayenne pepper
salt to taste

In a small bowl, blend mustard, honey and seasonings. Taste and adjust as desired. Set aside until needed.

I served the sammiches with the honey mustard and a …

Bread Machine Ciabatta Rolls Recipe

I made these rolls to go with chicken and hummus sandwiches. The recipe for those sandwiches can be found here:

1 1/2 cups water
1 T olive oil
1 1/2 t salt
1 t sugar
3 1/2 cups flour, plus additional for working
1 1/2 t active dry or bread machine yeast

Place ingredients in bread machine according to manufacturer's specifications. Select dough cycle and press start. Dough will be quite sticky at the end of the cycle, DO NOT add more flour.

Remove dough from bread pan and place on a lightly floured surface; cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray, and let rest for 45 minutes.

Spray two baking sheets with cooking spray. Divide dough into about 5-6 pieces (depending on how large you want your rolls), and form each into a ball. Place balls on prepared pans, dimple surface with the end of a wooden spoon, and brush lightly with flour. Cover and let rise in a warm place for another 45 min…

Food Network Magazine's Croque Monsieur Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

While leafing through the recipes I've saved over the years, I came across this one. I had actually saved it for a recipe on the other side of the torn out page, but since I had everything I needed for this one, plus I had planned on some kind of pasta for dinner, it was perfect.

Although the original recipe doesn't call for it, I stirred in some mustard powder with the nutmeg. I love the stuff!

This dish is actually based on a French ham and cheese sandwich.

1/2 lb pasta (I used ziti)
2 cups milk, divided (I used 1/2 cup half and half in place of some of the milk)
6 oz grated gruyere cheese(I used Swiss)
1 cup grated parmesan blend cheese
2 eggs
3 slices bread, torn into pieces
2 T unsalted butter
1/2 small onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 T flour
pinch cayenne pepper
1/8 t freshly grated nutmeg
salt to taste
1 cup diced ham
Preheat the oven to 425°. Spray a shallow casserole dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the p…

Mom's Chewy Chocolate Cookie Bar with Peanut Butter Chips Recipe

Mom used to whip up this recipe (as cookies) for us all the time when we were kids. I don't make a whole lot of cookies anymore; bars are so much easier.
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 t vanilla extract
2 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
10 oz pkg (1 2/3 cups) peanut butter chips
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 15x1" baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together til light and fluffy. (I used a stand mixer for all of the steps. It made it a lot easier).

Mix in eggs and vanilla; beat well.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; gradually blend into butter mixture.

Stir in peanut butter chips. (Batter will be stiff.) Pat batter in prepared pan. (I used moistened hands for this step).

Bake 20 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack; cut into bars.

Paula Deen's Chicken Pot Pie Recipe

I came across this recipe while researching the food network's site for another recipe. I am really picky about pot pie, and this one sounded like one I wouldn't mind.

The crust was probably the best I've ever eaten! Sooo buttery! However, next time I will probably just use carrots, substitute potatoes and maybe peas. I didn't like the green beans
I knew that the bake time would leave me with very undercooked carrots, so I boiled them with the green beans for a while. They turned out nice and tender.

2 cups poached chicken breast, diced
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
1/2 cup chopped baby carrots
1/2 cup frozen green beans or peas
1 small can cream of chicken soup
1 cup chicken broth (I used the chicken poaching liquid)
garlic powder, marjoram and salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups baking mix
1 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 350°.
In a 2 quart baking dish sprayed with cooking spray, layer chicken, eggs, carrots and green beans.
In a medium bowl, …

Rachael Ray's Fiesta Pork Roast and Pepper Jack Polenta Recipe

This recipe is from a recent edition of my Rachael Ray magazine.

I made several adaptations, including using a pork sirloin roast rather than the loin, and I created a "fiesta seasoning rub" that I let the roast marinate in overnight. It turned out fantastic!

The recipe for my rub can be found here:

one 1 1/5 lb boneless pork sirloin roast
1 recipe fiesta seasoning rub (or your favorite seasoning or rub)
olive oil
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, drained and cut into strips
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
3/4 cup instant polenta
salt to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 oz pepper jack cheese, sliced thinly
Rub pork with seasoning. Place in a large ziploc bag or large container with a tight fitting lid and let rest in refrigerator overnight. Remove from fridge about 30 minutes before roasting.
Preheat oven to 400°. Roast pork in a roasting pan tightly covered with foil, 1 1/4-1/2 hours or til desired don…

What's for Eats in Northern Michigan

As some of you know, I spent last weekend in Northern Michigan, catching up with my best friend from grade school through college.

She owns a restaurant and catering business with her fiance and I got to spend the weekend "sampling the wares". I was in heaven!

Unfortunately, I was off my food photography game a bit. I forgot to take a lot of photos. I guess I was too busy laughing and carrying on. We had 14 years to make up for!

One of the restaurant's specialties is Prime Rib and Steamed Crab Legs:

One night I had their buffet. I started with a romaine salad with black olives, diced smoked ham, cheese, boiled egg, black olives and their special homemade ranch:
My dinner was barbecued ribs, mashed potatoes and gravy (which I normally don't eat. These were some of the best I've ever had), jambalaya, sausage lasagna, and deep fried cod and smelt with homemade tartar sauce:

The foods I missed taking photos of were a couple varieties of baked and grilled chi…

Shannon's Fiesta Seasoning Rub Recipe- For Pork, Chicken, Shrimp, Whatever You Like!

I came up with this rub while preparing a pork sirloin roast yesterday for dinner tonight. It has a great smoky flavor to it, coming from the smoky paprika and ancho chile powder.

Feel free to add and subtract spices to your preference.

This makes enough for one generously covered roast with a little additional for serving or using in a side dish.

1 1/2 t smoked paprika
1 t ancho chile powder
1 t cumin
1 t coriander
1 t garlic powder
1 t powdered mustard
1 t salt
1/2 ground black pepper
1/4 t cayenne pepper (optional)
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container til needed.

Food and Wine's Moroccan Style Beef Stew with Noodles Recipe

This is without a doubt the BEST beef pot roast I have ever made. The meat was SO tender and flavorful!

pinch saffron threads
canola or olive oil
1 small beef pot roast, cut into chunks
1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
2 cinnamon sticks
1 1/2 t ground ginger
1 1/2 t ground turmeric
1/2 t ground cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, or to taste
hot cooked buttered egg noodles
toasted almond pieces

In a small frying pan over medium high heat, toast the saffron til fragrant, about 10 seconds. Set aside to cool. Crumble the saffron threads and cover with 2 T of water.

Meanwhile, heat a large Dutch oven with a little oil over medium high heat. Add the beef and brown well. Stir in onion, cinnamon sticks, ginger, turmeric ground cinnamon and salt and pepper. Cook about 5 minutes.

Stir in cilantro, reserved saffron mixture and 2 cups of water; bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat til beef is tender, about 1 1/2-2 hours, stirring occasionally.


Easy Grilled Chicken Quesadillas Recipe

Next time, I will use regular tortillas rather than the whole wheat. The whole wheat were a little harder to work with in the pan and the final result wasn't quite as crispy as a regular tortilla.

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into strips
your favorite seasonings (I used my homemade Adobo seasoning)
fresh lime juice
whole wheat tortillas (or your favorite variety), warmed slightly
shredded Mexican blend cheese
thinly sliced red onion
salsa for serving

Rub chicken strips with seasoning and let rest, refrigerated, for several hours.

Preheat grill over medium heat. Grill chicken til cooked through. Remove from grill and set aside to cool slightly until able to be handled; slice thinly. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the top of the chicken slices.
Line up tortillas on work surface and sprinkle generously with cheese. Top with chicken slices and onion. Top with second tortilla.

Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over medium high heat. Spray with cooking spra…

Ronda's Famous Cream Puffs Recipe

My best friend Ronda and I have known each other since the 5th grade. We survived the teen and college years together and then went our separate ways after college. Ronda got married and moved to Northern Michigan and is now a successful businesswoman with several businesses to run. She has two great kids, both of whom I got to meet this past weekend.

One of Ronda's past times includes baking desserts for charities and other similar organizations and donating them to raise funds. I got to help her with her latest and most popular request: Cream Puffs. I had the most important job of all: Quality Control.

Most people I know measure ingredients when making desserts, but Ronda never measured a thing nor did she set a timer on the baking. It was amazing to watch.

1 stick butter
1 cup water
dash of salt
1 cup flour
4 eggs
chocolate for drizzling (use your favorite variety)

Preheat oven to 400°. Spray baking sheets with cooking spray. Set aside.

Add butter, water and salt to a lar…

Slow Cooked Meat Sauce with Elbow Macaroni Recipe

This recipe is based on one I had for the dish pastitsio. Since I didn't want to take the time for making a white sauce and baking the dish, I invented this easier adaptation.

The only change I would make next time is making sure I have mozzarella cheese on hand to serve. I didn't realize that all I had was Co-Jack and other yellow blend cheeses.

I made a rather large batch of this since we both like it so much. We now have plenty for lunch the next day, and even some to freeze.

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 t ground cinnamon
1 large (24 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 small can sliced black olives, with juice
salt and pepper to taste
hot cooked elbow macaroni
shredded cheese to serve (white is preferable)

Brown ground beef over medium high heat in a large Dutch oven; drain well.

Stir in onion and cook 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cinnamon, cook another minute or so. Stir in tomatoes, olives and salt and pepper. Bring to a rapid simmer.

Cooking Light's Beef Carnitas Recipe

I had both oranges and beef pot roast on hand and the first recipe I thought of to use them both was this one from Cooking Light.

Unlike some of the reviewers of this recipe online, I didn't think it needed any seasonings added to it. The orange gives it fantastic flavor on its own. The original did call for adding sugar, however, I didn't care for that idea.

canola oil
1/2 onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup beef broth
1 orange, cut into wedges plus fresh juice from another orange
1/2 t hot pepper flakes

Heat a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add a little oil and heat til very hot. Add beef and cook til browned on all sides. Stir in onion, cooking another 5 minutes or so. Stir in garlic and cook another minute.

Increase heat to high; stir in broth, orange wedges and hot pepper flakes.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium low and simmer, covered, 1 1/2-2 hours, or til beef is tender. Remove lid and cook off any remaining liquid. Remove orange wedges and d…

Food and Wine's Pork Schnitzel with Warm Potato Salad Recipe

I found this recipe in my most recent issue of Food and Wine magazine. It fit nicely with the items I had on hand already. And what a frugal meal!

The pork turned out excellently! It was SO juicy on the inside and crispy fried on the outside.

1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 1/2 T sugar
pinch dried thyme, rubbed
1/4 cup canola oil, plus extra for frying
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb small potatoes, peeled
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup flour mixed with 1 t seasoned salt
1 egg beaten with 1 T water
1 cup plain bread crumbs
four 4 oz boneless pork sirloin chops, lightly pounded

In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, sugar, thyme and oil and season to taste with the salt and pepper. Set aside.

Put the potatoes and garlic in a large saucepan and cover with cold water; season with salt and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat til the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and cool slightly. Thinly slice potatoes; discarding the garlic. Add potatoes to the dressing and …

Grilled Burgers with Food Network's Spicy Buffalo Fries and Blue Cheese Dip Recipe

This was supposed to be a recipe for spicy buffalo "onion rings" but I got a package of frozen French fries today for a survey, so I thought I had better use them. I will save the onion rings for another day.
The burgers were simply ground beef, nothing was added to them.

Spicy Buffalo Fries
1/2 bag frozen French fries (your favorite variety)
1 t Cajun seasoning (I used homemade)
1 t powdered mustard
1/4 t each: black and cayenne pepper
salt to taste

Sprinkle fries with seasonings. Bake according to package directions. Serve hot and crispy.

Blue Cheese Dip
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup blue cheese
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1 t hot sauce
splash balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

In a medium bowl, mix all the dip ingredients together. Taste and adjust as desired. Cover tightly and refrigerate until needed.

I served the dip alongside the burger and fries.

Cooking Light's Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

The other day, I came across a can of pumpkin pie filling in the pantry and started searching for a recipe to use it up. I found this recipe in an old issue of Cooking Light magazine.

Since I used pumpkin pie filling, I reduced the amount of brown sugar, and eliminated the cinnamon and salt called for in the original recipe.

According to the magazine, if using low fat cream cheese in the frosting, the fat gram total for one piece is 5.5 g. Not bad.

2 1/4 cups flour
2 1/2 t baking powder
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 t vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin pie filling

Cream Cheese Frosting
2 T butter, softened
1 t vanilla extract
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
2 cups sifted powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl with a whisk. Set aside.

Stir sugar, butter, and vanilla together in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed …

Cooking Light's Grilled Pork Tenderloin Tacos with Pinto Bean Avocado Relish Recipe

These tacos were absolutely scrumptious!

The recipe for my Adobo seasoning can be found here: Adobo Seasoning

1 pork tenderloin, trimmed
Adobo seasoning to taste (I used my homemade), divided
2 T fresh lime juice
1 t olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced

Pinto Bean Avocado Relish
1 1/2 cups chopped tomato
1/2 cup dried pinto beans, cooked and drained
1/3 cup minced red onion
1 avocado, diced
4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled (optional)
2 T chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 T fresh lime juice
1 t canned adobo sauce
1 t Adobo seasoning
whole wheat flour tortillas
shredded Mexican blend cheese

Rub pork with Adobo seasoning. Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat grill over medium high heat. Grill pork til desired doneness is reached. Remove from grill and let rest at least 10 minutes. Shred or dice pork; place in a bowl. Toss pork with additional seasoning, juice, oil and garlic.

Mix relish ingredients in a medium bowl; cover and refrigerate til needed.
I served the tacos in the tortillas…

Grilled Greek Salmon and Greek Couscous Recipe

Kroger had salmon on sale so I bought a nice fillet. It was a beautiful day too, so of course I grilled it.

Greek seasoning to taste
olive oil
1 salmon fillet
fresh lemon juice to taste
In a small bowl, mix seasoning and oil. Brush over salmon fillet and let rest 15 minutes.
Preheat grill over medium high heat. Grill salmon til flaky, about 15 minutes (will depend on size and thickness of fillet).
Squeeze lemon juice over the top to serve.

Greek Couscous
1 cup couscous prepared according to package and cooled completely
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/4 red onion, minced
3 T fresh lemon juice
2 t olive oil

In a medium bowl, mix couscous ingredients. Taste and adjust as desired. Cover tightly and refrigerate at least an hour before serving.

I served the Greek salmon atop the couscous.

The recipe for my Greek seasoning can be found here:

White Bean and Ham Cassoulet Recipe

What a hearty meal! It was very filling and quite tasty; ham just makes every dish taste better.

canola or olive oil, divided
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 cup good smoked ham, trimmed and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup dried navy beans (or use your favorite white bean), soaked overnight and drained
1 pinch thyme, rubbed
1 bay leaf
salt and black pepper, divided
1 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and saute about 10 minutes or til veggies soften.

Stir in ham and garlic and cook another 5 minutes or so.

Increase heat to high and stir in broth, beans and seasonings; bring to a boil. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 1 hour.

Stir in tomatoes and cook another 30 minutes or til beans are very tender and most of the cooking liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile, heat a small frying pan over medi…

Giada de Laurentiis' Chicken Parmesan with Chunky Tomato Sauce Recipe

I adapted Giada's original recipe to feed two people rather than four.

Start the sauce well ahead of time and simmer it a while for best flavor. This can easily be made into a minute meal by reducing the cook time of the sauce or using a store bought marinara or spaghetti sauce.

olive oil
pinch of oregano and thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 large boneless skinless chicken breast halves
Chunky Tomato Sauce, recipe follows
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella, divided
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, divided
2 T butter, divided

Heat a medium oven proof skillet over medium high heat. Add a little oil and heat til very hot. Sprinkle chicken with oregano, thyme and salt and pepper. Brown chicken well on both sides.

Preheat the oven to 400°.

Spoon the sauce over and around the chicken. Bake 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle chicken evenly with cheeses. Top each with butter.
Bake til the cheese melts and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 more minutes.


Orange Chicken Recipe

If you like spicy, feel free to add extra hot pepper flakes in with the sauce.

This was excellent! But it ended up being a lot more work than I was expecting. I think I will save this one for special occasions only. Luckily, my parents were in town so I did have some help.

Next time, I think I will add in some sliced onion as well.

1/4 cup water
2 1/2 T soy sauce
2 1/2 T orange juice
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 T rice vinegar
1/4 t dried orange peel
pinch hot pepper flakes
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into pieces

1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup cornstarch
sesame or canola oil for frying

Orange Sauce
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 t cornstarch
2 t sherry
1 t rice vinegar
1 t brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1" fresh ginger, minced
pinch white pepper

In a large container with a lid or a ziploc bag, mix marinade ingredients. Add chicken and marinate 2 hours. Drain chicken; discard marinade.

In a large bowl, add chicken and egg and mix well. Stir in c…

The Wendts Make a Cheese Ball Recipe

Isn't that a surprise? The Wendts made a cheese ball at a get together.

My parents were in town last night for a quick visit, and my sister Robin had raved about this particular cheese ball that they had made over Easter. I decided we must try it, so mom and I whipped it up, using what I had on hand.

This was amazing! I really think the addition of the freshly grated Parmesan is what really takes this cheese ball to the next level. This can also be rolled in diced ham to finish, but we didn't have quite enough ham left.

Use your favorite combination of cheeses, or even try slender sliced corned beef if you like.

1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 6 oz pkg slender sliced smoked ham, diced finely
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely shredded Mozzarella
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 T minced onion
hot sauce to taste

In a medium bowl, mix ingredients. Taste and adjust as desired.

Shape mixture into a ball onto a serving plate. Cove…

Stuffed Green Peppers Recipe

If you like a more tender green pepper, feel free to steam or parboil them before filling. Just be sure to cool them before handling.

1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t each: dried oregano and basil, rubbed
1 small can stewed canned tomatoes
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup uncooked white rice
salt and pepper to taste
3-4 large bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I used Mozzarella)
Brown beef in a large frying pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Drain. Stir in onion and cook another few minutes. Stir in garlic and herbs and cook another minute or so. Stir in remaining ingredients (except peppers and cheese). Cover and simmer over medium low heat 15 minutes, or til liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°.

Spoon an equal amount of meat mixture into each bell pepper half. Place in a high sided baking pan. (The dish should keep the peppers upright while baking).

Add a little water to the bottom of the di…