Friday, December 28, 2007

Molasses Sugar Cookies

One more favorite cookie from my husband's childhood. These are some of my very favorites because I really like molasses. I'm not sure of the amount this makes.

3/4 cup shortening; melt over low heat and cool slightly

Add and beat well:
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Chill the dough. Form into 1" balls. Roll balls in sugar and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.

Mann's Cookies

This recipe comes from my mother-in-law. It was a childhood favorite of my husband, so he called and the recipe was given over the phone. We immediately made a batch and they are still a special treat for Dave, because I don't bake often. These cookies are very rich and delicious. I can't remember how many they make, but its a normal sized cookie recipe. 3 dozen?

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sifted flour(?!)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Mix all together, adding oats, nuts, and coconut last. Drop onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Cookies will firm up as they cool.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Green Chili, Chicken, and Corn Soup

The other day I got an idea to make this soup. I had made something similar before, but this time I didn’t look up a recipe and just winged it. This is what I did and it came out really tasty. This amount made 6-8 large bowls of soup.

1 roast chicken – pull white meat off both sides of the entire chicken breast and shred with your fingers. Use the rest of the bird for a chicken salad.
2 stalks celery, diced
5 scallions, diced
½ red bell pepper, chopped
15 oz can corn (with juice), or frozen, or fresh corn
15 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes (with juice), or other diced tomato product
7 oz can of mild diced green chilies
2 dashes of Worcestershire
2 Tablespoons ketchup
¼ cup of green or red salsa, or both
2 chicken bullion cubes- or boxed broth
Water to cover over about an inch
Any leftover beans you might have. I threw in half a can of ranch style beans. Black beans would be good, but not too many.

Sauté the celery, onions, and pepper in a little olive oil. Start adding chicken and all other ingredients but the water or broth. Now I add: a palmful (About a large Tablespoon) of cumin, chili powder, dried parsley and oregano. A teaspoon of garlic powder, dash of cayenne, a teaspoon of seasoning salt, black pepper, shot of any Mexican hot sauce, a palmful of dried cilantro, or you could chop fresh, and a few shakes of Mrs. Dash Spicy. You can use any or all of these spices according to your tastes. After all that is simmering well, add your liquid and bring back to a nice simmer. Taste for seasoning. Adjust if needed at this time. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Ladle into bowls for a perfect meal.

We served ours with an onion - faccacia bread. I know; that’s Italian. But it was very good to go along with the slightly spicy soup. Cornbread would also go very well on the side.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Old Fashioned Pear Spice Cake

The perfect cake for a Holiday meal, or any other time of the year. My mother-in-law gave me this recipe and it is wonderful. She lives in Arizona, and is a really good cook. It's a great use of the winter pears we see in the stores now, during December.

1-1/2 cup each sugar and oil
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
4 eggs
3 medium 'firm-ripe' pears
1/2 cup chopped almonds or walnuts

Combine sugar, oil, baking powder, baking soda, spices, salt, and flour. Beat on med-hi speed with mixer for 5 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time. Peel and core pears and cut into 1/2" chunks. Fold pears and nuts into batter. Pour into an ungreased 9"x13" glass baking dish. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour, or until a pick in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. (follows) Serves 12.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/4 cup butter
1 3oz package of cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat all ingredients until smooth. Beat in 2-1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar. Spread on cooled Pear Spice Cake.


My friend Yvonne served us this dish once and I just loved the smooth texture and great base it made for spaghetti sauce, or any other savory sauce. It is really easy and done in the microwave! This amount serves 4-6.

1/4 cup cornmeal, or polenta
1 cup water or chicken stock(vegetable stock would also do)
Mozzarella cheese chunks, 2 string cheese packs, or chunks of Monterey Jack cheese

Place cornmeal and liquid in a medium microwavable bowl. Add chunks of cheese on top. Microwave on high for 8-9 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes. Cook to desired consistency, and it will thicken as it cools.

Serve scoops covered with a nice marinara sauce, and a side salad for a light meal. Don't forget the wine!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christopher Walken Cooking Chicken with Pears

I found this video on YouTube and thought it was great.

It makes me want to roast a chicken along with some of those winter pears I've seen in the stores. Christopher Walken seems like such a nice guy, and he also has a cat!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

My Favorite Cranberry Sauce

This one comes from a book called, "Cranberries and..." by Anita L. Almich. She is a local of Bandon, Oregon, the Cranberry Capitol of the Pacific. I've made this recipe for several years at Thanksgiving and I can never get enough. Double the recipe for 2 bags of cranberries. Makes about 6 servings-12 if you double it.

1/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon grated orange rind
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon(less is best)
1/8 teaspoon cloves, or nutmeg(less is best)
2 cups (1 bag) fresh cranberries
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all but the cranberries and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cranberries and simmer until the skins pop. I like to smash mine a little so the berries are all collapsed. Add a little water if it gets too thick. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Granny Vick's Apricot Nectar Cake

This recipe came from my GrannyVick, who lived in Eastern North Carolina all her life. I only saw her a handful of times in my life, because we lived in Northern California. When we visited she would always cook up lemon pies, fried chicken, fried dried apple pies(recipe to come later) and this cake. The food was always good, but different than what I was used to eating at home.
Use a tube, or angel food cake pan.

1 yellow cake mix
3/4 cup oil
4 eggs
3/4 cup apricot nectar
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Mix all together (I use a mixer) and pour into a well greased tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, then carefully remove cake from the pan.

For Glaze: Combine 3 Tablespoons lemon juice, 1-1/2 cup powdered sugar

Pour over hot cake. It helps to poke a few tiny holes in the cake so the glaze can soak down into the cake.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Little Meat Loaves

I wrote down this recipe in the '70s and have made it many times. Kids love it because they are individual size meat loaves. You can make them any size, but all should be the same so they will cook uniformly. I made 6 out of the recipe; they took a little longer to cook. This is my first photo blog post, so here goes:

1-1/2 lb. ground beef

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 large egg
1 cup soft bread crumbs
8 oz. can of tomato sauce ( or half of a 15 oz. can)
1/4 of a large onion, finely chopped
dash of Worcestershire Sauce

Combine all ingredients as for meat loaf, then shape into 8 oval loaves and place in a shallow baking dish.

Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 15 to 25 minutes. Spoon off excess grease.


8 oz. can of tomato sauce, or other half of 15 oz. can
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons parsely flakes
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

Combine and pour over cooked meat loaves.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes longer.

Serve with mashed potatoes and fresh brussel sprouts, for instance.

Broccoli Casserole

I've had this recipe since I worked at a Levi's plant in Tennessee. The lady who worked in personnel (that is what they called human resources back in the '70s) made this dish for a potluck at work. It was delicious. I always modify the recipe one way or another....I use fresh, steamed broccoli, I've used various cheeses, you can try different creamed soups, you can add a small can of mushrooms, drained. The recipe makes an 8" x 8" casserole. I usually double it to make more.

1 box Frozen Broccoli Cuts
1 Egg (beaten)
1/2 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Pepper
2 teaspoons Chopped Onion
2 cups Grated Cheddar Cheese
10 crushed Ritz crackers (for topping)

Cook the broccoli until tender. Drain the excess liquid. Mix together all ingredients except crackers, and a small amount of cheese to garnish the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown.

Tennessee Corn Dish

I found this dish on a few years ago. It is a recipe from Dolly Pardon's family. It is really tasty and an easy side dish to make a little ahead. Using fresh corn is best, but it works to use canned tiny niblets size corn. The recipe makes 8 servings. It's also easy to increase the recipe for a larger group.

3 eggs
2 cups whole kernel corn, fresh
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup fine saltine crumbs for topping

Beat the eggs. Combine with corn, butter, milk, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour into a buttered 8" x 8" pan; sprinkle the top with bell pepper and cracker crumbs. Dot with butter. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Why I Love Food & The Foodie Blogroll

Some of my earliest memories are of food. I remember a lovely 2-layer homemade chocolate cake that my mother made for my 4th birthday. It had circus animals on the top. For my 5th birthday I was asked to decide my favorite meal, and mother would make it for me. Since beef steak was a rare treat in our home, I asked for Sirloin steak, mashed potatoes, and frozen peas. I was very specific. She made it and I still remember the meal, many eons ago.

My dad was born in North Carolina, and we lived in Northern California. So every 4 or 5 years while I was growing up, we would take a car trip across the US. I can still remember a small town in the Midwest, where I ordered a chicken fried steak. Out came a steak the size of the dinner plate, crispy chicken fried and pounded nice and thin. It was draped over mashed potatoes and smothered with home-made gravy. I was in heaven, and had never tasted anything so wonderful. Again, the memory is still very fresh.

I come by the love of food naturally. My mother can still recite what she ordered to eat in each town as we traveled across country, and can remember which trip and what year it was. We talk food a lot when we call each other on the phone.

I didn’t cook much growing up, since mother was a great cook in a small kitchen. She preferred to just get the meal on the table…..

I got married, and my mother-in-law was from Arkansas. From her I got some really great recipes that I was not familiar with growing up. Eventually there was another marriage, this time my mother-in-law was in Tennessee. I watched her cook many batches of biscuits, made from scratch in a big tub, mixing gently with her fingers. I learned to cook various East Tennessee staples and local delicacies. I still cook with this kind of style…’s very ‘country’. (not like Britney Spears)

I’m yet on my final marriage, and my mother-in-law is in Arizona. I don’t see her much, but on the Holidays I watch and help her make gravy and all the traditional fare. Through my husband I have learned to make lots of spicy Mexican dishes which are some of our favorites.

This is why I have decided to feed my passion, as well as others like me. The recipes speak for themselves, and may eventually have a few photos to go along. I keep forgetting to take a picture until after we have delved into the meal……..oops.

I have discovered many new food and cooking related websites lately, which are fascinating and entertaining. I have joined the Foodie Blogroll which is a feature of The Leftover Queen website. It is a fun, humorous, and motivating website about food. Joining the Foodie Blogroll is free, and there is lots of linky love happening if you do. There are hundreds of food related blogs to check out too. I know it will keep me busy, and Biker Chickz Recipes is on the list.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Machaca Beef

I've been making this recipe for years and it always comes out tasting good. It is made in the slow cooker and takes 10-12 hours on low. The meat is good to fill burritos, tacos, chalupas, quesadillas, for chili, on a baked potato, or anything else you can think of. Makes 10-12 servings

1-1/2 lbs. beef roast (chuck or round)
1 large onion, sliced
4 oz. can diced green chilis
2 beef bouillon cubes
1-1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup salsa

Combine all ingredients except salsa in a slow cooker. Add just enough water to cover. Cover the cooker and cook on low 10-12 hours, or until beef is tender. Drain and reserve liquid.
Shred the beef using 2 forks to pull it apart. It should come apart easily. Combine beef, salsa, and enough of the reserved liquid to make of desired consistency.

I sometimes use the excess liquid in my next pot of soup or chili. It adds a lot of flavor.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Crockpot Meatballs

I have made these on 2 seperate years for a Superbowl Party. They are a great item to do ahead and then just keep warm in the crockpot. Everyone always cleans them up, they are habit forming. The recipe says it makes 10 -12 servings.

3 lbs. ground beef
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk (like Eagle Brand)

18 oz. bottle of ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

Combine beef, soup mix, and can of milk. Form into about 3 dozen meatballs, each about 1-1/2" around. Place meatballs on a baking sheet. Brown in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and drain. Place meatballs into slow cooker.
Combine sauce ingredients and pour over the meatballs. Cover. Cook on low 3 to 4 hours.

Beef and Rice Casserole

This was also a Nichols family favorite. The recipe I have was written on a typewriter, and has remnants of the beef juices imbedded in the index card. It was one of the first dishes I learned to make from my first mother-in-law. It is easy and even kids love it. I always make it in a cast iron skillet, but any oven proof skillet will do.

1 lb. ground beef
1 chopped onion
1 finely chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped celery
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup cooked rice
1 can chicken with rice soup

While boiling the rice, brown beef in skillet with onion, pepper and celery. Mix all together and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, until bubbly.

Pumpkin Muffins

This recipe was one that my first mother-in-law gave me. They were a Nichols family favorite. My grown son loves them, because they remind him of good times with his Grandma. The recipe was written on a typewriter, on a little index card. It is tattered and worn. Makes 18-24

2 cups sifted flour
1-1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon and cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1-1/2 cup melted shortening
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup walnut pieces
10 quartered dates or 1/2 cup raisins

Sift all the dry ingredients together. Beat eggs until creamy. Add shortening, pumpkin, and water. Add dry ingredients and blend well. Fold in dates(or raisins) and nuts. Pour into paper lined muffin pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Snow Cream

When I lived in East Tennessee, every time we had a new snow we would look forward to having snow cream. It must be eaten right away, otherwise it will get icy if you try to keep it in the freezer. A real cold weather treat!

Collect a large bowl of clean, new-fallen snow(powder is the best)
Blend: 1/2 to 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 can evaporated milk, and 1 Tablespoon vanilla

Add to snow, stirring carefully. Add more milk to desired consistancy. Taste for sweetness. If necessary adjust sugar. Serve immediately.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sweet & Sour Turkey Meatballs

This was supposedly one of Maureen Macormick's(Jan Brady's) favorite recipes. I have made it many times and like to serve it with brown or white rice. Makes 6 servings

1-1/2 lb. ground turkey breast 2 heaping Tablespoons cornstarch
2/3 cup seasoned crumbs 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup minced onion 13-1/2 oz. can pineapple tidbits or chunks,
1 egg juice reserved
1-1/2 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ginger 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup milk 1/2 green or red bell pepper, cut in strips
2 Tablespoons butter

In a large bowl combine the turkey, crumbs, onion, salt, egg, ginger and milk. Mix well. Shape into small balls. In a large skillet, melt butter and brown the meatballs on a medium heat. Remove from the pan and keep warm. Drain fat. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and sugar. Add pineapple juice, vinegar, and soy sauce and stir until smooth. Pour into the same skillet and stir constantly over medium heat until it thickens and starts to boil. Stirring constantly, boil for 1 minute. If the mixture gets too thick, add water and stir. Add meatballs back into pan, pineapple chunks, and bell pepper strips. Heat through. Serve immediately with rice.

Oriental Cole Slaw

This is an interesting, mayonnaise-free twist on the usual cole slaw recipe. It makes a great barbeque side dish and is easy to take on a picnic or in your lunch. Sugar can be adjusted to make the dressing more tangy or tart, if that is your preference. Serves 6-8 people

1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger, or1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon red chili paste, or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
1 small onion, quartered then sliced thinly
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper, red or green

Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Combine the remaining vegetables, pour the dressing on and toss. Cover and chill at least one hour in refrigerator before serving. Stays crunchy and keeps well for a couple of days in refrigerator.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Bev's Cole Slaw

I found this recipe online a few years ago. I have made it many times since and it always gets eaten up when I take it to a potluck. You must make this the night before you intend to eat it.
This recipe serves 12.

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Canola oil
1/2 cup cider vinegar

Mix well and add:
2 packages Ramen noodles, broken
Soak in the dressing for at least 30 minutes

1 small bunch of green onions, chopped fine
1 package chopped cole slaw
1 small package sunflower seeds, or 1/4 cup
1 small package slivered almonds, or 1/4 cup

Mix all together and let set at least 4 hours in the refrigerator, but it's best to set overnight. Remove and mix a couple of times during this period. Keeps well in the refrigerator for 4-5 days, if it lasts that long.

Holiday Orange Slice Cake

This is an old family recipe that we always had around Holiday time. As a child, I really liked this cake. It is similar to a fruitcake, although this one actually tastes good, and there are no green bits to pick out!

2 cups chopped dates
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups boiling water
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3-1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts(pecans, walnuts)
1 cup chopped orange slice candy(like sugared gummy bears only shaped like orange slices)

Combine baking soda, boiling water and chopped dates, and let stand. Cream the butter and sugar, then add eggs. Add the date mixture. Beat well. Add flour, baking powder, salt, and vanilla. Beat, then add nuts. Add the chopped orange candies, mix carefully. Bake in 2 greased loaf pans at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Wrap in foil to keep fresh or deliver to a friend.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Turtle Cake

This is a sweet dessert. My former boss' mother made this one year for the Holidays and I asked her for the recipe. If you like turtle candies, you will love this dessert. Great to take to a potluck.

1 box German Chocolate Cake mix
1 can Eagle Brand condensed milk
2 cubes butter
14 oz. bag of Kraft Caramels
1/2 cup pecans
6 Chocolate Hershey Bars

Mix cake as directed on box. Divide mix into two parts. Add 1/2 can Eagle Brand milk and 1 cube of melted butter to 1 part of cake. Mix well! Pour into greased oblong cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. While baking, melt 1 cube butter, 1/2 can Eagle Brand milk, and caramels in a saucepan. When caramels are melted, add pecans. Pour over the top of baked cake. Pour remaining half of cake batter over caramel mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for another 20 minutes. Remove from oven and place 6 Hershey bars on top of hot cake. Smooth with a knife when melted.


Aunt Ruth's Cranberry Sauce

My dear Aunt Ruth passed away 2 years ago, at the age of 96. She used to make this 'special' recipe for family Holiday dinners. She wrote it down for us in 1972. If the turkey doesn't put you to sleep, this will help.

1 package fresh cranberries
1 cup port wine
1-1/2 cup sugar

Boil this mixture until the berries pop. Add about 5 level teaspoons corn starch to an additional 1/4 cup port wine. Add this to hot mixture and simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally. Chill before serving.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Chicken Divan

I tasted this recipe at a potluck meal once, and had to have it. A former supervisor at work named Jane gave me the recipe and I've been making the dish ever since. It makes a one pot meal with a tasty curry flavor, but not hot.

2 or 3 large chicken breasts
3 or 4 flowers of fresh broccoli
2 cans cream of chicken, celery or mushroom soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 Tablespoon lemon juice( or more to taste)
1 Tablespoon yellow curry powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup dry seasoned bread crumbs(optional)

Boil the chicken breasts in water to cover, adding salt and pepper to season. After 30 minutes check to see if the meat is pulling off the bone. If so, remove breasts from water and cool. Shred meat and arrange down the center of a buttered pyrex 9"x13" dish.

While the chicken is cooking, trim the broccoli into florets, and slice the stems thinly. Steam for 8-10 minutes, then drain. Arrange the broccoli down both sides of the baking dish, with the chicken in the center.

Mix all of the remaining ingredients, except cheese and crumbs. Pour this mixture over the top of chicken and broccoli; spread evenly. Top with shredded cheese, and sprinkle crumbs evenly over all.

Bake uncovered at 325 degrees for 30 minutes, or until all bubbly. Serves 4-6

Bacon and Corn Chowder

This is a hearty soup, and can be used as the main dish. My mother made this when we were children and I always looked forward to it. Served with a little crusty bread it's a meal. Cooks up quickly.

3 slices of bacon, diced
1 can creamed corn
1 chopped onion
1 cup diced potato
1 Tablespoon sugar
3 cups hot water
1 can evaporated milk or
2 cups milk or cream
2 egg yolks

Fry the bacon until crisp, then add onion and potato. Saute lightly. Add everything but the milk and eggs. Bring to a simmer and cook about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the milk and heat slowly. When ready to serve, add a little hot soup to 2 egg yolks and beat with a fork. Add to soup while stirring. Add 1 Tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle with parsely. Serves 4 easily.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Strawberry Salad

My childhood friend Kim gave me this recipe. It is an easy potluck salad but could almost be a dessert! Keep well chilled. In a rectangle shaped glass dish you can see the pretty layers. It's yummy.

1 large box strawberry jello
2 cups boiling water

1 small package partially thawed frozen strawberries
3 mashed bananas
1 medium can crushed pineapple, well drained

Pour half of the mixture into an 8" x 12" glass dish. Chill until it is hard. Spread 1/2 pint of sour cream on top of the jello. Pour the rest of the jello mixture on top of the sour cream. Put back in the refrigerator to firm and chill. Cut into small squares to serve.

Spinach, Date & Orange Salad

This is a tasty winter salad that is easy to make. The recipe is low cholesterol. I usually half the amount of everything for 2 people. Serves 4

1 lb fresh spinach, rinsed well, stems removed or
1 lg bag of ready to eat fresh spinach
2 cans mandarin orange segments, drained
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1Tablespoon slivered, toasted almonds

Pat the spinach dry and place in a large salad bowl. Top with orange segments, dates, and almonds. At this point you may cover and refrigerate up to 2 hours.

Honey Dressing:

Wisk together 1/4 cup each honey and red wine vinegar, 2 Tablespoons salad oil, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Drizzle the dressing over the salad just before serving. Toss very lightly.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Salisbury Steak with Onion Gravy

I make this dish from time to time and it always turns out wonderful. It is great served with mashed potatoes and a vegetable.

1 can condensed french onion soup
1-1/2 lbs ground beef
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt, a dash of pepper
3 Tablespoons flour
1/4 cup ketchup
3 cups water
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard

In a large bowl, combine 1/3 cup of the soup with beef, crumbs, egg, and seasoning. Shape into 6 oval patties. Brown in a skillet, drain off fat. In a small bowl, gradually blend the remaining soup into the flour until smooth. Add to the skillet with the remaining ingredients. Stir to loosen brown bits in the pan. Cover and cook on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You may need to adjust liquid to obtain a nice gravy consistency. Serves 6

Bread Pudding

This is a recipe my mother made often when I was growing up. If you've never had it you must try making this dessert. It is the ultimate comfort food. It's a good way to use up day-old bread of any kind.

2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar(white or brown or a combination)
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup raisins, or craisins
4 to 6 slices of bread, cubed

Lightly beat the eggs in a mixing bowl. By hand beat in sugar, spices, and vanilla. Stir in milk, then add bread cubes and raisins. Pour into a buttered 1-1/2 qt. casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Check to see that the center is still a little 'jiggly'. Don't overcook.
Cool and spoon into bowls with whipped cream on top, or a dash of heavy cream

Green Chili and Cheese Roll-ups

This is one of my favorite appetizers to take to a pot-luck. They are always devoured quickly and I never fail to have several requests for the recipe. They are easy to make and the ingredients are inexpensive.

8 oz. package of softened cream cheese
7 oz. can of diced green chilis
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1 can of chopped black olives
3 or 4 scallions, chopped finely
1 pack of 6" flour tortillas

Mix first five ingredients together well. Spread about a half cup onto a tortilla, making sure to get an even layer all the way to the edges. Roll up, then seal each one in a piece of plastic wrap.
When all are wrapped, store in the refrigerator overnight or longer. When ready to serve just unwrap and slice each roll in 1/2" to 3/4" slices and put on a serving tray. They may be served with salsa if desired.

This recipe makes about 50 appetizers, depending on how thick you cut the slices.