Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Portion of Main Street (Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas)
by Norman Rockwell

courtesy of Norman Rockwell Museum
Stockbridge, MA

I wish you
Happiness, Peace and Good Health!

Enjoy your families, friends & yummy food!

Friday, December 20, 2013

~Christmas Sugar Cookies~

Christmas Sugar Cookies
Refrigerated dough!  That phrase catches our eyes these days.  It's the season of much to do and not enough time.  Rather than purchase a tube/ pouch of refrigerated dough and bake o.k. cookies, take out your mixer and use the recipe below to bake these absolutely delicious nutmeg flavored Christmas Sugar Cookies!

Did I mention that Sour Cream is an ingredient here?  It is.  Fat Free Sour Cream works very well in this cookie recipe that I've been using for over 30 years.  

On Day 1 the dough is prepared and then wrapped and placed in the fridge,  On Day 2 take your refrigerated dough out of your fridge and find your cookie cutters, colored sugared sprinkles, rolling pin & rolling mat and the fun begins. 

Day 2 - Rolling out refrigerated dough!   (File Photo)
These are the best Sugar Cookies that I've ever tasted.  Yes, my friends, I've tasted many over the years.  :)  It's the only sugar cookie for my fam & I!  The hint of Nutmeg is a surprise and a great flavor in this rolled out cut out cookie.

An added plus is that after baking & cooling they can be packaged and placed in the freezer.  Bake these early and freeze until needed.  However, remember that a taste test is always needed when baking cookies.  With the wonderful aroma of nutmeg in your home there are sure to be taste testers to be found quickly.

Christmas Sugar Cookies
     printable recipe card  (click here)

Oven:  375°F
Yield:  About 5 dozen, depending on size

4 Cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 Cup unsalted Butter, softened
1 and 1/2 Cups Sugar
1 Egg
1/2 Cup Sour Cream (can be Fat Free)
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Colored Sugars for Decorating


   Day 1-
  1.  In large bowl with electric mixer beat Butter and Sugar until light and fluffy. 
  2. Add Egg, beat.
  3. Add in Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt and Nutmeg.
  4. While beating on Low, slowly add Flour, 1 Cup at a time. 
  5.  Add in Vanilla and Sour Cream. Beat on Medium until well combined. Dough will be stiff
  6.  Remove dough from bowl and place on plastic wrap, wrap dough. 
  7. Place wrapped dough on aluminum foil and wrap well.
  8.  Refrigerate overnight.
   Day 2-
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2.  Unwrap dough and cut into four parts. 
  3.  On well floured surface, roll dough to 1/4" thickness. Use cookie cutters. 
  4.  Place cookies on pan/sheet 1" apart. (Maybe 12 cookies to a sheet.) 
  5.  Sprinkle with colored sugars. 
  6.  Bake 10 - 11 Minutes. Bottom of cookies will be a light golden brown. 
  7. Remove with spatula to wire cooling racks.  
  8. When cool store in airtight containers.
These sour cream sugar cookies will be enjoyed by all after the first bite.  Just save a few to enjoy yourself!  :)



Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Hermits

Cloves!  Ginger!  Cinnamon and Molasses!  What a great combination in a dessert recipe.  The wonderful aroma in my kitchen was followed by tasting these ingredients... plus Raisins in a Hermit!  Oh Yum!  This is a great tasting cookie!

If you are searching for an easy to bake cookie recipe to share during the upcoming holidays, this is the recipe for you!  Hermits are a long time family fave.

This cookie is baked in a large cookie pan.  The stiff dough is separated into thirds.  Make a roll (log) with each third of the dough before placing in the cookie pan.  Flatten the roll - making sure the flattened rolls do not connect in the pan.  Then top each roll with the beaten reserved Egg Yolk.  This gives the Hermits the glossy topping after baking.

Before placing in oven.
 After baking, cool 15 minutes before cutting into slices on the diagonal.  The ends are usually very crispy, so I do not save them.

Ready for the taste test!
This is a delicious cookie to share with family & friends at Christmas!  However, no need to wait until this time of year.  Bake a batch to enjoy and to share any time.  They are soooo gooood!  

Hermits       printable Recipe Card
     Oven: 375°F     23- 25 Minutes

¾ cup solid Crisco Shortening
1 and ½ Cups Sugar
¼ Cup Molasses
2 Tablespoons Water
2 Eggs – (Reserve about 1 teaspoon for coating)
1 Cup Raisins
3 Cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Ginger
½ teaspoon Ground Cloves 

  1. Using mixer, beat Shortening, Sugar, Molasses & Water. Beat until creamy.
  2. Reserve about 1 teaspoon of Egg with a little Yolk. Add Eggs & beat.
  3. Now add Baking Soda, Spices & Flour. Flour is added ¼ cup at a time and mixed into batter,  Otherwise you will be peering through a white mist. :)
  4. Fold in Raisins using big spoon or spatula.
  5. Spray PAM on a large cookie pan.
  6. Divide dough into three pieces. Make three rows of dough on
    cookie pan, leaving about 1½ ” border on each end. Dough is very sticky.
  7. Coat top with reserved Egg – use back of teaspoon to spread.
  8. Bake in preheated 375°F oven for 23- 25 minutes (25 minutes in my gas oven).
  9. Cool 15 minutes & cut into diagonals. I throw away end pieces- too hard after cooled.
  10. Remove from cookie pan and store in a container after cooled.
This cookie containing Ground Cloves, Ginger & Cinnamon is delicious!  The Christmas baking has started!


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Time for Take Out!

African Violet blossoming! Woohoo!
Last night we had Take Out!  It was a day filled with "catching up" after the FuN & the visiting during Thanksgiving Weekend.  Time has just sped on by me!  A trip to Costco, to the grocery store and other little side trips.  Those things do happen.  So, when dinner time rolled around, the easiest solution was definitely take out.

Take out of the freezer and defrost, that is!  :)  A meal containing Turkey sounded so good and there were 2 Ziploc Freezer containers of Turkey a la King just waiting.  It was the day to remove one container from the second shelf.  Turkey a la King freezes very well!  Every year, without fail - on the third day after Thanksgiving Day, I cut the remaining slices & pieces of turkey into smaller bites to use while making a double or triple batch of Turkey a la King.  

I use my Chicken a la King recipe - replacing the cooked Chicken with roasted Turkey.  Click here for recipe.  It's always best to remember the "food safety rule" of enjoying the delicious freshly roasted Turkey entree and then eating the remaining pieces of Turkey within 2 - 3 days after roasting.  

Sure, Turkey Pot Pies can be made & enjoyed, but easy works so well for me, especially after a family holiday.  The mix of veggies & Turkey in a thick white sauce served over toasted bread is so yummy!  No need for any fuss of any kind.

(Turkey a la King -  File Photo)
After dinner the remaining portions are cooled and placed in Ziploc 2 Cup Freezer containers.  Label & date and into my large freezer they go.

On a busy night, defrost & heat.  If using a covered vented sauce pot, heat on Low heat on the stove (with a little extra milk added).  Stir while defrosting/ heating.  Serve over toasted bread.

**This is a great time of year to purchase the Ziploc Freezer containers on specials at the grocery stores.  They are very handy!   

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

~Pie & History~

As I prepare for Thanksgiving Day, I always think about the English colonists who sailed across the Atlantic Ocean on the Mayflower.  As a resident of Massachusetts I always enjoy driving east to the Cape (Cape Cod) in the warmer weather to enjoy the beaches and also to learn more history whenever possible!

There is an area in Chatham, MA across from the Coast Guard Small Boat Station and Chatham Lighthouse that overlooks the Chatham Sandbar.  The tranquil scene and lighthouse are a "must see" for many visitors to this area.  There are also interesting plaques containing history to read.      

It begins-
(Click to enlarge.)

This is a fascinating story!  The Pilgrims did not travel directly to Plymouth, MA!  Rather than post the images and story again, visit my post from last November and read a bit of History... when you have a chance during this Thanksgiving weekend. 

The complete post- with images:

The Journey of the Pilgrims
     posted November 21, 2012

History is FuN!

Today was "Pie Making Day" for me.   One of my fam's fave pies - Butternut Squash Custard is below! Recipe

Ready to fill with the Butternut Squash Custard Filling!
It has been a month of savoring the taste of Butternut Squash!  The delicious orange colored veggie that contains Potassium.  One 2 Cup Ziploc Freezer Bag was defrosted in the fridge yesterday and used today. 

The hand mixer makes it easy!
The Butternut Squash Custard Pie  (recipe) has been cooling on the rack.  Soon it will be placed in the fridge. 
Soon to be refrigerated.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Baked Apple Butternut

A serving spoon full of steaming Baked Apple Butternut!
A little steaming baked Butternut Squash and a bit of hot Cortland Apple combined on the fork!  Oh, yum!  I had not baked this side dish in quite a few years.  Every year I have good intentions, but all of the purchased Butternuts get steamed/ mashed and then packaged in the Ziploc qt. sized Freezer Bags to enjoy on holidays and during other special dinners during the year.  Not this autumn!

There were 2 Butternut Squash left in the cardboard carton.  I had Cortland Apples.  I had plans!  The Cornflower CorningWare dish was located and I was good to go!  Yes, I still have my treasured Cornflower.  They do last a lifetime!  The combination of baked Butternut Squash + baked Apples is delicious!  Add in the Cinnamon & the Nutmeg - ah, great flavor!  In this recipe softened Butter/ Margarine is combined with the spices + a little flour and Brown Sugar.   

The addition of 1/4 Cup of Craisins or Raisins or a combo of both would be so tasty here and also colorful!  However, a baking dish of Apple Crisp with Craisins/ Raisins was in our fridge, so the Craisins & the Raisins did not make the cut here.

Before covering with foil & placing in 350°F oven.
Baked Apple Butternut
Oven Temperature:  350°F     Time:  60- 70 Minutes

2 Butternut Squash
2- 3 large Apples (Cortland, Empire or Granny Smith)
2 teaspoons Flour
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
3 Tablespoons softened Butter/ Margarine

  1. Spray a 10" x 10" Baking Dish with PAM.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. Rinse Butternut Squash & Apples under cool running water, dry.
  4. Cut off stem & rounded top of Squash, toss.  
  5. Cut long portion of Squash into slices.  Cut off peel.  Then cut into 1" chunks. 
  6. Remove seeds from bottom and cut remaining Squash into pieces.
  7. Place Squash chunks/ pieces in Baking Dish.
  8. Peel & slice Apples.
  9. Place Apple slices on top of Squash in Baking Dish.
  10. In small bowl, combine remaining ingredients for topping. 
  11. Place topping on Apple Slices.
  12. Cover with Aluminum Foil.
  13. Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 60- 70 minutes, or until Squash chunks are tender. Use fork to pierce.
***If adding 1/4 cup Craisins/ Raisins, add on top of Butternut Squash Chunks/ Pieces, after Step #7.

This is a yummy side dish!  The flavors blend well together.  After our dinner, the extra portions were packed in Ziploc Freezer containers/ labelled and into our freezer they went.  What a welcome surprise at dinner this will be on a cold windy bleak winter New England night!

Do you serve Butternut Squash?  It's always on our Thanksgiving Day Dinner table

This weekend I'll be baking the Yummy Apple Breads and freezing them! 


Friday, November 15, 2013

Simple Soup & Sandwich

Tomato Basil White Bean Soup & Grilled Cheese n Tuna Sandwich
This week we had a couple of days that were cold.  They were dreary, too.  They also contained the sound of "achoo" from me.  Wednesday evening an easy meal to prep at dinner was needed.  Hot soup with a Grilled Cheese Sandwich sounded really good!  Plain, simple, good! 

All of the ingredients for Tomato Basil White Bean Soup (recipe here) were found quickly.  As some of the ingredients including canned plum tomatoes cut in pieces, chicken broth, tomato sauce, Basil & Garlic Powder were simmering, my griddle pan was located.

Grilled Cheese on oatmeal bread is a fave here & sometimes I add tuna when making it - before grilling.  For a number of years, tuna packed in olive oil is our preferred choice.  Some of the oil is drained from the can, before mashing the tuna.  I skip adding the mayo here and just add the tuna into a sandwich.  Quite often when turning a Grilled Cheese n Tuna Sandwich over while grilling, a little tuna sneaks out onto my griddle.  No longer will that happen!

The magic?  Add a little shredded cheese into the mashed tuna before placing it on the bread slice.  The shredded cheese heats, melts and keeps the tuna together.  It's also a little extra cheese in the Grilled Cheese n Tuna Sandwich.  What a great taste!

It was so good along with the Tomato Basil White Bean Soup!  It was also very easy!

We did enjoy!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Butternut Squash Breads

Butternut Squash Breads cooling.
The Butternut Squash was in the fridge ready to use.  I'd saved 2 cups of the freshly mashed veggie to bake Butternut Squash Bread.  In November when we are thinking of & planning our Thanksgiving Day & menus for that weekend, most consumers purchase the cans of canned pumpkin located in very visible displays in our grocery stores.

I don't purchase them.  As I mentioned in my previous post, my family always had a large garden when I was growing up.  The Butternut Squash we harvested was always enjoyed as a veggie at dinner and also in quick breads.  You know, those breads where the ingredients are mixed together quickly in a large bowl and then baked in a loaf pan.  They are quick!  They are easy!  They are yummy!

Butternut Squash has a great flavor.  It is not bland and it's a wonderful ingredient to use rather than pumpkin in many recipes!  I always bake 2 Butternut Squash Breads - one to enjoy now and the other is wrapped & placed in my freezer.  Baking this bread now and freezing one loaf gives me a start on Thanksgiving! 
  • The recipe below is for 2 breads.  If one bread will be baked, cut the recipe in half.
  • I use Egg Whites whenever possible when baking/ cooking, less Cholesterol
    2 Egg Whites = 1 Whole Egg. 
  • Olive Oil for sauteing & baking works very well here. 
Butternut Squash Breads 

Oven:  350°F      Time:  55 Minutes       2 Loaves

3 Cups Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon Ground Cloves (optional, but delicious)
2 Cups Sugar

8 Egg Whites (= total of 4 Whole Eggs)
1 & 1/2 Cups Olive Oil for sauteing & baking
2 Cups Butternut Squash (cooked, mashed & cooled - defrosted if frozen)

  1. Spray 2 large bread pans with PAM.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. Combine all dry ingredients in large bowl.
  4. In smaller bowl, beat Egg Whites until frothy.
  5. Mix in Olive Oil.
  6. Add mashed Butternut Squash to Egg Whites/Olive Oil & stir.
  7. Pour liquid mixture into dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  8. Pour batter into bread pans.
  9. Stagger bread pans on oven shelf.
  10. Bake at 350°F for 55 Minutes or until toothpick or cake tester comes out clean when inserted in middle of loaf.
  11. Remove from oven and cool in pans on wire rack for 10 Minutes.
  12. Remove from pans and continue cooling on wire racks.
  13. Cool completely before slicing.
The 2nd bread is wrapped in Heavy Duty aluminum foil/ labeled and placed in my freezer.

***I substitute Butternut Squash for Pumpkin.  However, if you have no Butternut Squash, this is a moisty easy bread using Pumpkin.  No mix needed.  :)


Thursday, November 7, 2013

~Butternut Squash~

Mashed Butternut Squash ready to place in freezer bags.
The carton of Butternut Squash had been sitting on our garage floor for a good 2 weeks.  It's location was just to the left of our entry into our Family Room.  I sure could not miss it while glancing over - each time I went in or out of the door.  The squash that had been purchased at Meadowbrook Farm in October would be prepped to enjoy this month and also for our freezer to eat later. 

This "project" has become a tradition.  Butternut Squash is just delicious after it has been cooked.  No sugar nor spices are needed to enhance the taste!  While growing up, my family always raised this veggie and froze it.  Living in an apartment so many years ago in Hampden, MA, my DH & I had a large veggie garden.  Our landlord knew of my desire to grow our veggies, so he plowed a section of his rich soil side yard for us to plant our crops.  It was great!  That was all B.C. = Before Children!  Time moves on!  Now, I purchase the local fresh veggies when they in season and continue to freeze them.

Cut peeled chunks
Utensils I use:  Dutch Oven or Pot, Cutting Board, Knife, Spoon, Colander, Ziploc Freezer Bags, Marker for Labeling

Butternut Squash  
  1. Rinse/clean the Butternut Squash under cold running water.
  2. Dry.
  3. Using a cutting board & a sharp knife, cut off & toss the stem and rounded top.
  4. The long top portion is cut into slices. The slices are circles.
  5. Cut the peel off & discard.
  6. Cut each peeled circle into 2" chunks and place in large Dutch Oven/ pot.
  7. The lower portion containing seeds remains.  Remove the seeds with a spoon.
  8. I save as much of the orange vegetable as possible that surrounds the seeds.  Cut off the peel.
  9. Cut into pieces & place in Dutch Oven/ pot.
  10. Add cold water to container (so it reaches about 2" up in the pot)
  11. Turn the heat to High.
  12. After a Boil is reached, lower the heat and simmer about 13 - 15 minutes, until pieces can be pierced with a fork.
  13. During the cooking minutes, carefully stir the Squash pieces often in the pot, so they soften equally.
  14. Drain the squash using a colander.
  15. Return the chunks to the large pot and mash.
    15.  Cool until comfortable to pack in Ziploc Freezer Bags. 
    16.  Pack about 2 Cups of mashed Squash in Ziploc Freezer Bags.
    17. After labeling, store in freezer.

File Photo
Whenever Butternut Squash is desired for dinner, a bag is unwrapped.  The frozen chunk of squash is placed in a Corning Ware container with a lid.  Reheat in the microwave.  No Butter/ Margarine or spices are needed.

Do you serve Butternut Squash?  Have you frozen it?  It's very tasty!


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Currant Zucchini Muffins

Currant Zucchini Muffins
Did I really write currants?  Oh yes I did!

There were 2 Zucchinis remaining in my fridge, so this past weekend baking moisty muffins was a plan.  My "go to" recipe for these moisty yummy muffins is adapted from Janet Pierce's Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe.  A few years ago I discovered it by googling and locating it on allrecipes.com.  I like the flour/ sugar ratio here - twice as much flour as sugar.   Whenever possible when baking/ cooking, I use Olive Oil, Egg Whites (2 Egg Whites = 1 Whole Egg) & Soy Milk, so there are changes.  No chocolate for me, either.  The recipe in hand, I was on my way!  

Raisins are always an ingredient in my Zucchini Muffins.  When I reached for the raisin canister, I discovered that my DH had snacked the day before.  No problem - there always is a Plan B!

Suddenly, I remembered that in my pantry there was an unopened box of currants that I use when baking scones.  The Currants (small Raisins) were added into the batter. What a great substitution!  

Currant Zucchini Muffins - 12 Muffins
Oven Temperature:  350°F

1 and 1/2 Cups Flour
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 Egg Whites, slightly beaten
1/2 Cup Olive Oil, for baking & sauteing
1/4 Cup Milk - I use Soy Milk.
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Cup shredded Zucchini
1/2  Cup Currants

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Wash 2 small Zucchini in cold water and dry.
  3. Shred Zucchini to measure 1 Cup.
  4. In a large bowl combine dry ingredients, stir.
  5. In small bowl slightly beat Egg Whites.
  6. Add Egg Whites to dry ingredients.
  7. Add remaining ingredients.
  8. Stir until moistened & combined.
  9. Divide batter evenly between 12 muffins cups.
  10. Bake 28 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
  11. Remove muffins from pan and cool on cooling rack.
As the 12 muffins were cooling on the rack, suddenly 1 disappeared!   

They were so good! Currants will now always be an ingredient.  Now, there's a treat in our freezer - a 4 pack of Currant Zucchini Muffins in a Ziploc Freezer Bag.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

~Halloween Sherbet Punch~

If you are planning a Halloween Party, pumpkins just the right size will be purchased!  Food is also in your plans.  For a yummy punch that is enjoyed by children of all ages, look no more!  Halloween Sherbet Punch is the one for you.  2 ingredients - that's all you need to have your guests ladling more of this tasty frothy orange colored beverage into their cups.  Orange Sherbet and 7Up make one great brew!  *I use Diet 7UP.

Get your punch bowl ready for these ingredients:          

For each 1 Quart of Orange Sherbet
Use 2 Bottles 7Up - 2 Liter size bottles (refrigerated)

  1. In a large punch bowl place 1 Quart Sherbet.
  2. Pour 2 bottles 7Up Soda in punch bowl, pouring some over Sherbet.
  3. Stir a little to mix.  Results in frothy, softened Sherbet on top.
  4. Ladle into cups adding some of the Sherbet.
  5. Replenish the 7UP + Sherbet, as needed.
Find your grocery list and add 7UP and Orange Sherbet!

This brew has been a family fave for many years.  A treasure much like the plastic spider on our table is.  Our grandson now points out to others that the spider is "not real". 

Enjoy the Halloween Brew!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Apple Crisp with Craisins/ Raisins

Small scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream will be added!
Columbus Day Weekend!  I hope that you have enjoyed it.  This holiday weekend came quickly!  October is a FuN month - filled with fam birthdays, football games and produce of autumn. 

Last weekend we ventured west on the MA Pike and then on to upstate NY to attend a beautiful wedding.  Driving on the highways between gorgeous trees that were beginning to change colors was so sweet - shades of greens, yellows & reds.

On the return trip home we not only viewed the colorful foliage, but at a rest/food area there was a Farmers' Market.  An abundance of the fresh local apples from the nearby orchards were available to purchase. Cortland Apples!  Cortland will always be my fave eating & cooking apple.  The contents of a  fill your own bag of these juicy tasty pieces of red fruit is now in our fridge.

My plan?  Bake Apple Crisp with Craisins/ Raisins!  A crunchy oat topping covers slices of fresh peeled fruit in this yummy dessert.  The apple slices are also surrounded by sprinkles of Craisins & Raisins.  Add in Cinnamon & Nutmeg = Yum!  It's extra easy, because no pie crust is required for this tasty dessert!

Apple Crisp with Craisins/ Raisins

Oven Temperature: 375°F
Time: 45 - 50 Minutes

6 - 7 peeled sliced large apples
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
3/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/3 Cup + 1 Tablespoon softened Butter or Margarine
1/4 Cup Craisins
1/4 Cup Raisins

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Spray PAM in 8" x 8" glass baking pan.
  3. Rinse apples under cold running water & dry.
  4. Peel & slice apples.
  5. Place peeled sliced apples in pan.
  6. Add Craisins & Raisins and mix in.
  7. Thoroughly mix remaining ingredients together in small bowl.
  8. Sprinkle over apples.
  9. Bake 45- 50 Minutes or until apples are tender.
  10. Serve warm or chilled with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  11. When cool, cover & refrigerate any leftovers.
This is definitely a family fave apple dessert here! 



Monday, October 7, 2013

Cream of Wheat ~Banana Flavored

Starting in the fall, there are breakfast foods that make a presence on my table when it is chilly outsideIt begins - while stepping onto the cold floor I remember hot cereal exists.  This week may bring warm temperatures, but the overripe banana sitting in my fruit bowl reminded me of Banana Cream of Wheat!  It is Autumn!
Yes!  There were enough cereal granules in the Cream of Wheat box to prepare 2 servings.  The directions on the box are followed. 

However, there definitely are changes as to the ingredients.  1 overripe Banana cut into thin slices is added to the 1 quart sauce pot containing the Cream of Wheat granulesSoy Milk rather than Whole Milk or Water is used.  1/8 teaspoon each of Cinnamon + Nutmeg is added in, also.  Turn on the Medium heat and you're on your way to start stirring!

Cream of Wheat ~Banana Flavored is great!  Calcium, Potassium + Cinnamon & Nutmeg.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Marinated Green Beans

Green Beans simmering on my stove.
At dinner time during the summer we enjoyed Green Beans purchased from our local Farmers' Market!  They're a fave veggie, so I always purchased more than needed for a meal.  The cooked, cooled extra Green Beans always found their place in a small bowl in our fridge - after about a Tablespoon of Light Italian Dressing had been poured over them (and the bowl was covered).

The crispy green colored beans make a great side dish salad the next day.  Now, this brings back memories for me - prepping 3 Bean Salad for summer picnics.

With the colder weather just around the corner, I'll be using the frozen packaged purchased variety, soon, and will microwave it.  The larger bag will give me a few extra for Marinated Green Beans!  

Do you purchase the fresh Green Beans when available?



Saturday, September 21, 2013

Yummy Apple Bread

Apple Breads cooling!
The Harvest Moon is now high in the night sky when we look up!  Sunday Autumn arrives!  What a great season!  In a blink of an eye the leaves on our trees will change from green to majestic shades of yellow, orange, red & maroon.  It's also the time of year when the fresh local apples can be picked at the nearby orchards or purchased at road side stands and Farmers' Markets.  Ida Reds, Macintosh, Honey Crisp and also Cortland apples - so many choices.

It's also the time of year when I bake Apple Bread.  The aroma of this yummy "quick" golden colored dessert bread just floats from my kitchen as it bakes.  The combo of Apples, Cinnamon, Nutmeg & Orange Juice is so good!  I use Egg Whites & Olive Oil (for sauteing & baking) as substitutions for Whole Eggs & Vegetable Oil.  2 breads are baked at once.  It's tradition - The 2nd bread has always been placed in the freezer - after it is cooled and wrapped in foil.  It usually finds its way as a "gift" for a friend.

Apple Bread
              click for printable recipe card 

Oven: 350°F    Time: 65 Minutes     Makes Two Loaves

4 Cups Flour
2 Cups Sugar
1 & ½ teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg
2/3 Cup Olive Oil (for baking & sauteing)
2 Cups Orange Juice
4 Egg Whites
2 Cups finely chopped peeled Apples (5- 7 Apples depending on Apple size)

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Add Egg Whites (slightly beaten), Orange Juice and Oil and stir.
  3. Add chopped Apple and stir well.
  4. Spray PAM into two large loaf pans.
  5. Pour batter into greased pans.
  6. Bake at 350°F for 65 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
    when inserted in middle of loaf.
  7. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove from pans and continue cooling on wire racks.
After cooled, wrap in heavy-duty aluminum foil and enjoy later.  This yummy dessert "quick" bread freezes very well.  It's also a yummy bread to enjoy at Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Craisin Creamy Oatmeal

There was a definite chill in the air this AM!  Frost is already mentioned for tonight!  I guess it's time to pack away the comfy shorts and find those denim jeans.  Yes, it is mid September and it's right on schedule, but I'd rather not admit it!

While waking up to the cooler air, suddenly a bowl of creamy hot oatmeal came to mind.  O.K., last week during the 94° F day this idea would not have been good.  This AM = Yum!

Craisin Creamy Oatmeal is filled with old fashioned oats and is my fave cereal.  Adding those tasty dried cranberries to the oats along with Cinnamon, Nutmeg & Brown Sugar makes for a yummy, hearty breakfast!  Soy Milk works well for me, and also for this hot cereal.  I follow the basic directions on the Quaker Old Fashioned Oats canister, then add a little magic!  No Salt needed!

Craisin Creamy Oatmeal 
2 servings  

1 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
1- 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar, optional
1/4 Cup Craisins (Dried Cranberries)
1 and 3/4 Cup Soy Milk (or Milk)
1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/8 Teaspoon Cinnamon

  1. Place all ingredients in a 2 quart sauce pot.
  2. Let stand 8- 10 Minutes.
  3. Heat to a boil over Medium heat.
  4. Stir & cook for 5 Minutes.
  5. Divide between 2 bowls.   
  6. Add additional Soy Milk (Milk) & enjoy!
***When the ingredients "sit" in the pot, the oats & Craisins soften resulting in creamy oatmeal.

Fiber & Calcium at breakfast is the best! 


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tomato Basil White Bean Soup

Tomato Basil White Bean Soup
It's always fascinating to sample a new food - especially when visiting another area.  Sometimes, I totally enjoy the taste... other times I'd probably pass on it, if it was a choice again.  

A couple of weeks ago, when we were in Philadelphia, we enjoyed staying at the Hyatt Regency at Penn's Landing, located near the historic district and also on the Delaware River!  The hotel's restaurant had a tasty menu.  We ordered a cup of soup to start with that evening.  It had a simple name.  Yet, it also sounded so yummy - White Bean and Tomato Soup.

A steaming cup of the tomato base soup was filled with Cannellini Beans (White Kidney Beans) and Basil.  It did not take long to devour it or for me to decide that after we returned home I would use my Dutch Oven to prepare a batch. It was quite easy to decide what ingredients to use in this yummy soup.  They are all staples in my kitchen! 

Rice is a great side dish with grilled fish, and the previous evening we enjoyed White Rice with Grilled Sockeye Salmon.  The day I prepared this soup there was a bit of prepared "leftover" Rice to add to this very yummy soup.  

Tomato Basil White Bean Soup
4 Servings

1 can (14.5 ounces) Fat Free & Lower Sodium Chicken Broth
     (College Inn)
2 ounces Water
1 can (15 ounces) Tomato Sauce
1 can Tomatoes, drained - If using whole tomatoes, cut into eighths.
1 can (15 ounces) Cannelli Beans (White Kidney Beans)
1 Tablespoon Dehydrated Onion 
1 - 2 teaspoons dried Basil
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 -  3/4 cup Prepared Rice - optional

  1. Place all ingredients, except Cannelli Beans & Rice, in large pot or Dutch Oven.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Drain Cannelli Beans & rinse in cold water, drain again.
  5. Add to other ingredients in Dutch Oven.
  6. Add previously cooked Rice & simmer 4- 5 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!  
After dinner, cool the remaining soup.  Cover & refrigerate. 

***If the Prepared Rice has been added, a small amount of water will need to be added when reheating the soup.  The Rice absorbs the liquid.

On a chilly cold evening, this easy to make Tomato Basil White Bean Soup will be a "go to" recipe for me.  It's also so good with the "leftover" Rice added in.