My favorite mag --- Cookbook Digest. Check it out, it's great!


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Leek and Mushroom soup

This is one of my favorite soups. It's quick, it's easy to make, and it's utterly delicious.

Leek and Mushroom Soup

* 1/2 cup cream
* 3 tsp fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried Thyme
* 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
* 2 pounds mushrooms, chopped
* 3 large leeks, chopped
* 6 tablespoons flour
* 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
* 1 1/2 tsp salt
* 3/4 tsp black pepper

Mix cream and 1/2 thyme and put in refrigerator and let flavors meld. You may leave the thyme out of the cream if you prefer, but it's better with it.

Heat butter in saucepan. Stir in leeks, cover, and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, sprinkle with flour, and stir until flour is evenly distributed. Stir in stock, then salt, pepper, and remaining thyme. Bring to boil, stirring often, then reduce heat to low, set lid ajar, and simmer 20 to 30 minutes.

Top each portion with generous serving of thyme cream.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Apple grape Pepper Tilapia

This sweet-hot Cajun dish hits the taste buds just right. The sweet of the apple juice and grapes mixes perfectly with the heat of the pepper and it's perfect over rice. It's low fat and low calorie, and completely delicious.

Apple Grape Pepper Tilapia

1 medium onion
1/2 c grapes
12 oz Tilapia fillets
1/2 c mushrooms
2/3 c apple juice
1 tsp butter
1/4 c water
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

1. Marinate fish in apple juice for 30 minutes.

2. Brown onions in butter.

3. Add fish and brown on one side. Flip over, then add grapes, mushrooms, and apple juice.

4. Cook for approximately 20 minutes at just a low simmer.

5. Add salt and pepper. Mix cornstarch with water, then stir into fish dish until it thickens. Serve hot.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Carrot Soup

I love to eat soup in the summertime; it makes a great light supper when a salad is added, and a lovely lunch. This carrot soup hits the spot, and it's even better the next day after the flavors meld all together. It's the perfect dinner when you're on a diet
, because it's low in calories, high in fiber, and very filling.

Carrot Soup

2 pounds carrots, scrubbed and chopped in a 1 inch dice
4 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium potato, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1-2 small cloves garlic, crushed
1/3 cup chopped cashews
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon basil

Place carrots, vegetable broth, salt, and potato into a soup pot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer it for 12-15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

Saute the onion, garlic and nuts in butter until the onions are translucent. Add to carrot mixture and add basil and thyme.

Puree everything together in a blender until smooth. Add milk and reheat until warm, but do not let boil or the milk will separate. Real Advantage: A weight loss program for your personality, not against it. Join today!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Low Calorie Avocado Roasted Corn and Tomato Salsa Recipe

Summer is a great time to add spicy, different salsas as a side dish. There's an abundance of fresh vegetables to use in totally different ways and this salsa is one of my favorites. This recipe is low calorie and refreshing, and the avocado is full of good fats. Serve it beside grilled chicken or even to top a salad and shrink your waistline while still eating delicious food.

2 ears of corn, shucked
2 green onions, chopped fine, both green and white parts
1 ripe avocado, chopped in approximately 1/2 inch pieces
3 medium tomatoes chopped in 1/2 inch pieces
Juice and zest of 1 fresh lime (about 1 Tbsp each)
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
1 small jalapeno, chopped fine, ribs and seeds discarded if you don't want it too hot
Salt and pepper to taste

Grill corn on preheated medium grill until tender and lightly browned 5-8
min, or wrap in foil and bake in 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Let cool. Cut corn from cob. Combine corn, onions, avocado, jalapeno, and tomato in medium bowl; toss to
combine. Whisk lime juice and zest, olive oil, and cilantro in small
bowl. Pour over vegeatable mixture; toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature or in refrigerator for at least one hour to let flavors mingle.

Take Dr. Kushner's Free Diet Personality Test Today!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mango Salsa Recipe

It's mango season here in Florida, and that means it's time for mango salsa. It's low calorie and delicious, and it's great with chicken, fish, or just as a great side dish for any meal.

Mango Salsa

1 mango, peeled and chopped fine *see note*
1/2 green pepper, chopped fine
1 tablespoon jalapeno, chopped fine
1/2 small red onion, chopped fine
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Store in refrigerator for at least two hours before eating, so that all the tastes meld together. It's better if you leave it overnight.

*you may need to wear gloves when peeling the mango and chopping the jalapeno. Many people have an allergic reaction the oils in the mango's skin, and it can give you a nasty burn. The jalapeno can be transferred easily to tender areas such as eyes if it gets on your skin, so be careful with both of them. Wash hands thoroughly after chopping, even if you do use gloves.*

Take Dr. Kushner's Free Diet Personality Test Today!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Low Calorie Strawberry and Lemon Cream Dessert

This is a gorgeous, easy summer dessert that is very light. It has approximately 150 calories per serving, and it tastes so good. You can substitute any kind of fruit for the strawberries. I've used it with blueberries, blackberries, and peaches. Not so good with melon; the tastes just don't mesh. It's a lovely, elegant dessert that will satisfy your craving for sweets without ruining your waistline.

4 ounces (1/2 package) reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel cheese, which tastes exactly the same)
3/4 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 cups fresh strawberries

Soften cream cheese, or put it on a plate in the microwave for 8 seconds, then flip it over and microwave it 5 seconds more. Scrape it off the plate using a spatula into a bowl. Add yogurt to the bowl along with honey. Using an electric mixer, beat at high speed until light and creamy. Stir in lemon zest.

Layer the lemon cream and strawberries in dessert dishes or wineglasses. If not serving immediately, cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.

Take Dr. Kushner's Free Diet Personality Test Today!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Low fat low calorie delicious Broccoli Soup recipe

This is a wonderful light summer soup that is low calorie and low fat, but it sacrifices none of the taste. Use fresh broccoli; the taste is much more delicious. You can make it with fat free chicken broth instead of vegetable broth, but I have a vegetarian in the house and I always use vegetable broth. Try for low-sodium if you use canned, since a lot of times store bought broth is made with tons of salt. It's a light, lovely meal when eaten with a salad and a fruit dessert. Tasty, but you don't ruin your waistline.

Broccoli soup

2 tsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 medium Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cubed
4 cups fresh broccoli, including stems, chopped
2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups skim milk, warmed to room temperature *see note*
Salt and black pepper to taste

Heat oil on medium heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Saute onion, garlic, and celery for 3-4 minutes, until onion is softened. Add potato and chopped broccoli, then add broth and milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender. If you prefer a smoother soup, process the slightly cooled soup in batches in your blender or food processor. I usually take out about half of it and blend it up, then add it back to the soup.

*if you add cold milk to hot liquid, you get milk that curdles in big lumps. If you don't have time to bring the milk to room temperature, add in the broth to the soup, withholding milk. Then when it comes up to a boil, add a ladle of broth to the milk. Then add it to the soup.*

Take Dr. Kushner's Free Diet Personality Test Today!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Apple Brown Betty

Another simple apple recipe that the quality of the dish depends completely on the taste of the apple you pick. Tart apples cook up better; Winesap, Pink Ladies, Granny Smiths, etc. Find one you like. This is quick and easy, and it serves beautifully. Dish it up with a topping of whipped cream or a Scoop of ice cream.


3 med. apples, cored and sliced
2 tbsp. raisins
1 tsp. cornstarch
Dash lemon juice
1/4 c. water
2 tsp. brown sugar

4 tsp. coconut
4 tsp. butter
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
3 tbsp. flour
2 tsp. brown sugar
Dash nutmeg
2 tablespoons walnuts or pecans

Put apple and ingredients in a lightly oiled 8" X 8" Pan and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Mix topping ingredients together. Then put on top of baked apple mixture and bake another 15-20 minutes at 325 degrees.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pears Poached in Wine

This is a beautiful and easy dessert that will always be a hit. I always feel so decadent eating pears this way; it seems so classy. The beautiful taste of the ripe pears shines through, and it's ultra simple to make.

Pears Poached in Wine

4 firm, ripe pears with stems
2 cups sweet white wine
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cinnamon stick
Candied Orange peel or Orange Peel

Using a melon baller or paring knife, cut cores out through the bottom of the pears, leaving the tops intact and leaving a stem on. Peel the pears. In a Dutch oven or a heavy saucepan, stand pears upright with space between them.

Pour the wine and orange juice over pears. Bring to boil over medium high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover pan and gently simmer the pears, basting occasionally with the wine liquid, until tender, about 25 minutes.

Remove the pan from heat. Using slotted spoon, transfer them to stand in center of 4 dessert plates.

Add cinnamon stick and orange peel or candied orange peel to wine liquid in pot. Bring mixture to a boil over medium high heat; lower heat and simmer until the sauce is reduced, about 10 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the pears; garnish each with a piece of the cooked orange peel.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tahini paste or sauce

Tahini is used in many Middle Eastern dishes, and it's hard to find in the store. If you're making hummus, you're going to want some of this. I've got a secret for you. Tahini is nothing but a sesame seed paste made with olive oil. It takes about 3 minutes to make.

2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup tepid water

Whirl the sesame seeds up in the food processor, and drizzle in the olive oil while it is still running. Add salt. Add water in a steady stream until it makes a paste.

That's it.

Easy Hummus Recipe

Hummus is a dip made from chickpeas (garbanzo beans). Hummus actually means chickpea in Arabic. It's traditionally a Middle Eastern dish, but it's made in Greece, too. It's called hommos there. This recipe is not quite the traditional, but it's been altered to suit my tastes. And don't worry about not being able to find tahini; tahini is nothing but sesame seed paste, and I've got a recipe for that, too. If you don't want to bother making tahini, even though it's dead easy, you can buy some very inexpensively. Organic Tahini

2 cups Chick Peas (Garbanzo Beans)
1 tomato, chopped, including juice
1 roasted pepper, red or green
2 tablespoons of tahini
3 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or lime juice
2 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon salt

In a blender or food processor, blend all ingredients together until they form a creamy paste. Put in a large serving bowl and serve with warm pitas, pita chips, or tortilla chips.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Applesauce Muffins

I eat a lot of apples. A lot. And since I hate to throw anything away, I keep the cores and peelings in the freezer until I have enough, then cook them in water along with some cinnamon, pick out the seeds, and whirl it all up in the blender until it makes a nice applesauce to cook with. (I know, I know, it's ridiculously frugal. I can't help it.) Even if you don't feel a compulsion to use every single part of the apple, this a great applesauce muffin recipe. They're moist and firm-textured, and I usually make a batch and freeze half to use for a quick microwave breakfast later.

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg *see note below*
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons oats (I prefer Rolled Oats for this, but you can use quick oats)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 tablespoon sugar, for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 375 F. Cream butter and sugar. Add the egg, applesauce, vanilla. Stir all dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, then add wet ingredients just until moistened. Add nuts, if using. Fill ungreased silicone muffin tin or greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes our clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool.

*Freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon tastes better than regular ground, and only takes a minute. This great Nutmeg Grater costs less than $3 and I use it often.*

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Quick and Easy Drop Biscuits

I love biscuits, but I don't love rolling out the dough and cutting them out before putting them in the pan, then re-rolling the leftover dough and doing it again. I've got a really great drop biscuit recipe, and as long as you don't mind if your biscuits are funny shapes, these are perfect. It's as easy as 1 - 2 - 3. Stir it up, put it in the oven, and about 15 minutes later, you're done. I use bread flour to make biscuits, but the other kind is find. I just find that the bread flour makes them come out lighter.

Drop Biscuits

2 c. sifted flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/3 c. butter or Crisco or (my favorite)Fleishcmann's Premium Blend Made with Olive Oil
Melted butter or substitute for tops of biscuits
3/4 c. milk

Preheat oven to 425.
In bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter or substitute until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add milk; stir until well blended. Drop from spoon on oiled baking sheet. Brush tops with melted butter, lightly. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Quick and Easy Poached Salmon

This is the simplest and quickest salmon recipe ever. I made this dinner when I got home from work, served it with a nice apple salsa on the side, with mashed potatoes and steamed asparagus. And it was on the table in 10 minutes. Got to love those ten minute meals.

Easy Poached Salmon

1 pound Salmon fillets
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 or 4 slices of onion, thinly sliced
Several sprigs of fresh dill or1 teaspoon dried dill
Sprig of fresh parsley or 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
Black pepper, to taste

Saute onion lightly in olive oil in large skillet. Add wine, water and bring to a simmer on medium heat. Put in salmon, skin side down, and sprinkle with herbs. Cover pan tightly and cook for 5 minutes, until it's cooked the way you like it. Don't overcook, or it will be dry. Serve dusted with black pepper.

Easy, quick and delicious.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Apple Salsa

This is a fresh, different salsa that makes a beautiful side dish at barbecues, or just as a side dish when you're bored of the same old salsa. It's sweet, tart, and spicy all at the same time, and I absolutely love it. Easy to make, and even better after it sits in the refrigerator overnight. A Granny Smith apple is great for this, or try Winesap or Pink Lady apples.

2 tart apples, cored and cubed
1 tomato, chopped
4 tablespoons lime juice
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or1 tablespoon dried
1/2 green pepper, chopped fine
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
1 tablespoon Candied Ginger, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, stir together apples and lime juice. Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix thoroughly.

If you just don't feel up to making salsa, this very nice Raspberry~Cilantro Salsais perfect to keep in the refrigerator ... just for those nights when you don't feel like cooking. It's sweet and spicy, and the perfect accent. It's one of my very favorites.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Navy (white) Bean Soup

You can make this soup with any kind of bean, but I usually use Navy beans for it. If you want to cook this in the Crockpot, that's easy enough to do; just dump all the ingredients in the pot and cook on low for about 8 hours. Drop it in when you go to work, and when you come home, it will be done. You can add ham to this, but I usually don't. Add some cornbread, and it's a fine meal all on it's own.

Bean Soup
8 ounces (1/2 of 1 pound bag) Great Northern beans or Navy Beans
4 cups water
2 cups fresh spinach leaves or 1/2 cup frozen spinach
3 tomatoes, chopped, or 1 can diced tomatoes
2 potatoes, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 large onion, chopped fine
1/2 green pepper, chopped fine
1 or 2 stalks celery, chopped fine
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a kettle, cover beans with water; bring to a boil, reduce heat, then simmer for 30 minutes. Drain beans. Combine beans, more water, and remaining ingredients in kettle. Cook on medium low until beans are tender and have made a 'gravy', approximately 2 to 3 hours. If it doesn't seem thick enough, take out about 1 cup cooked beans and mash them and return to the pot. This will make the soup thicker and creamier. I add the salt in at the beginning of cooking time, but some people do not add it until beans are already cooked, saying that it makes them tough. I have never seen this, but you may leave the salt until the end if you prefer.

Navy Beans Give Me Gas Grey T-Shirt

Saturday, May 3, 2008

White Bean Dip

Beans are very nearly the perfect food. Pound for pound, they're the best protein buy for your dollar. They contain minerals and B vitamins, and they have no cholesterol, and no sodium. They're full of both soluble and insoluble fiber.

The American Dietetic Association recommends 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day, but most Americans take in about 11 grams. That's a significant deficit. With nine grams of fiber per cup, beans can significantly improve the fiber content of your diet.

And they taste great, too.

I usually cook beans up ahead of time and keep some in the frig, but I've included the canned amount in case you want to save time.

This dip great is to serve at parties or just to keep around as a snack. Highly nutritious and very delicious, it takes about a minute to make. Serve it with pita chips (Parmesan & Herb are my favorite kind) or cut up vegetables. You can use fresh parsley in place of the spinach, but I prefer the spinach.

White Bean Dip

1 15 ounce white beans, drained and rinsed
or 1 3/4 cup white beans
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup fresh spinach, loosely packed
black pepper
1/2 teaspoon organic dried oregano

Place the beans, garlic, lime juice, olive oil, oregano, and spinach leaves in food processor or blender. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the bean puree to a bowl. Serve with pita chips or chopped vegetables.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Easy Basic Bread Recipe

I never used to make bread. I love the taste, the texture, and the smell of new bread, but I always thought it too hard to do. I let other people do it, ate their offerings, and wished I could do the same. Then my grandmother wrote this recipe down for me, and I realized it's not as hard as it seems. It takes a while, but there's not as much work involved as you think. Your actual work time is only about 25 minutes; the rest of the time you are letting the dough rest or rise. I know that you think that you can't do this, but anybody who can cook a dinner can make a loaf of bread. And there is nothing more delicious than a slice of homemade bread, still warm from the oven. Try this out; you'll be surprised how easy it actually is.

I cup warm water (think baby bottle warm)
2 tablespoons Yeast (or two packages)
About 7 cups of Flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons olive oil
Melted Butter for brushing on top of bread

Put 1 cup of warm water plus one tablespoon sugar in a mixing bowl. Add two tablespoons of yeast, sprinkling it on top. Let sit for about five minutes, until the mixture is foamy and has increased in size.

Add three cups of flour, 1 cup of milk, dash of salt, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and 4 tablespoons of oil. I like to use olive oil. Stir 50 times clockwise, and then 50 times counter-clockwise.

Add another 3 to 4 cups of flour and mix until the dough forms a good ball. Turn dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface and let it sit for ten minutes. Then knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes. (press down with your hands, folding dough over and over)

Let rise in a greased bowl for about an hour. It should double in size. Punch down the dough. Literally, punch your fist down in the very middle of the dough and deflate it. Divide into two equal parts and shape into loaves. Place in Nonstick Loaf Pans . Let it rise again for 30 to 45 minutes. Bake at 425 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. When you tap the top of the loaf, it should sound hollow. If it doesn't, cook it a little more.

Cool on a wire rack, or balance it on the edge of the two pans. Brush the top with melted butter. Don't cut it for at least 20 minutes, or the inside of the loaf will be doughy.

And that's it. Easy-peasy.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fresh Fruit with Faux Marscarpone cheese

I love marscarpone cheese, but I can't afford it. It's very expensive, and it's very hard to find where I live. I've come up with a reasonable substitute, and this fresh fruit recipe is great for breakfast or for dessert.

Fresh Fruit with Faux Mascarpone Cheese

8 oz package of cream cheese or neufchatel cheese
1/4 cup whipping cream
Fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, etc. doesn't work
with apples, melon, or pears, in my opinion)
Honey, for drizzling

When the cream cheese is softened, beat with the whipping cream. Slice fruit and place in bowl, placing an Ice Cream Scoop (psst. Buy this one and help fight breast cancer) of the cheese on top. Drizzle with honey, to taste.

This is a great way to start your day, or a wonderful, light dessert.

Easy Quick Way to Peel Tomatoes

I used to see those recipes that called for you to peel the tomato, and I'd wonder how I was supposed to do that. Ever tried to peel a tomato with a knife? Please. I fished out the skins as it was cooking.

Then I got smart.

This is so easy, and it takes a milli-second.

How to Peel a Tomato

Fill a 2 Quart Saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil.

Using tongs, drop a tomato in and leave for about 15 seconds.

Using tongs, transfer tomato to a bowl of ice water and leave for about 20 seconds.

Use a Paring Knife to make a small tear in the skin, and then peel it off. It will come off very easily. If it doesn't, drop in boiling water for another 5 seconds and repeat the process.

That's it. As easy as that.

Best Baked Beans Recipe

I love baked beans. Love them. I've experimented with several different recipes, and I've finally come to find one that I like the best, and this is it. If you want to make them vegetarian, leave out the bacon. By the way, 10 cups of cooked beans is a 2 lb package cooked. This recipe is easy to cut in half if you don't want to eat baked beans until they are coming out of your ears, but I've given you the large recipe because it's good for picnics, BBQ's and celebrations.

Baked Beans

10 cups cooked navy beans or other white beans
1 1/2 cups tomato juice
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup black coffee
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup bourbon
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 tomato, peeled and chopped fine
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, grated or chopped fine
1/2 half green or red pepper, chopped fine
2 tablespoons Molasses
2 tablespoons dry mustard

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, then pour it into a baking dish. Bake, uncovered, about 1 1/2 hours until they have thickened and cooked down, with a skin just beginning to form on the top of the beans.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Twice Baked Potatoes Recipe

This is a great recipe for a barbecue or for someone who is watching their weight, because it is made with small red skin potatoes. I used to use large potatoes for this and I used a lot more cheese, but I scaled it down and changed some of the ingredients around. It cuts the cooking time in half, which is perfect for me. (Who has an hour to cook potatoes?) I found that it tastes even better this way. The mashed carrots and roasted red pepper in this recipe add a complexity that it lacked before, and it is still a rich, satisfying comfort food. Try it for yourself at your next BBQ and see.

Twice Baked Red Skin Potatoes

12 small red skin potatoes
About 8 peeled baby carrots, cut in half *see note*
1/4 cup roasted red pepper, chopped fine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
8 green onions, chopped fine

Preheat the oven to 425. Cut potatoes in half and toss with olive oil. Place cut side down on a cookie sheet and cook in oven for about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, steam or cook carrots in saucepan in water on high heat until very soft. If boiling, this will take about 10 minutes.

When potatoes are done, put to the side for about 10 minutes to cool. Then scoop out flesh with melon baller, leaving a small amount of flesh clinging to the potato skin.

Mash together potato flesh, carrots, and red pepper. Stir in remaining ingredients. If it seems too thick, put more milk in, a tablespoon at a time. Put mixture back into potato skins, heaping it up in mounds.

Cook in oven for 15 more minutes.


*You can use regular carrots for this--it's the equivalent of half of a carrot. Just peel it and cut it up into small chunks for quick cooking*

Friday, April 25, 2008

Easy Homemade Sloppy Joes

Do you love Sloppy Joes? Don't buy those expensive mixes and cans of pre-made sauce --- they're full of salt and preservatives and other things that aren't so good for you. This recipe for Sloppy Joes is fast, easy, and delicious. I made them last night for dinner, and fifteen minutes after I started, I was sitting at the table, eating my sandwich. Serve them on a whole grain bun with a salad, and you've even got a healthy meal. You can make this a vegetarian meal by substituting soy crumbles for the ground beef. If you do so, just dump the soy crumbles in at the end and heat them up, no extra cooking time required.

Homemade Sloppy Joes

1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 red or green pepper, chopped fine or one roasted red pepper, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 small can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)

Brown ground beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Drain in the sink in a 3 qt Colander and run hot water over it for a minute to get rid of the grease, if you desire. Put onions in the pan over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes, until almost soft. Add pepper and garlic and cook two minutes more. Stir in remaining ingredients and heat all the way through. Add ground beef or soy crumbles and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Slicebuns in half and top with meat and sauce. Enjoy.

And here's a funny Adam Sandler lunch lady video for you about--you guessed it--Sloppy Joes.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Quick and Easy Fruit Pizza Recipe

This is a great dessert recipe, quick and easy and delicious. You can use any fruit that you like, using seasonal fruits (which I like to do) or using canned fruit, like mandarin oranges. It's light yet satisfying. One thing I recommend; if you don't want your fruit pizza to be soggy, drain your fruit well in a colander in the sink. Of course, it tastes just as good soggy as it does crispy, and sometimes I like the juice all sopped into the crust. Great take-along dessert for parties, but it is a little hard to cut through the fruit. If I'm taking it somewhere, I usually cut the crust before I put on the fruit, then I decorate it. Much easier to serve this way.

Fruit Pizza

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened *see note on softening it quickly below*
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add egg and mix until blended. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a separate large bowl, then stir into the butter mixture until just blended. Press dough down onto an ungreased pizza pan.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool completely.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Spread on cooled crust.

Arrange desired fruit on top of filling, and chill.

*Cream cheese can take a while to soften, and if you don't want to wait, remove it from the package and put it on a microwave-safe plate. Place in microwave and microwave on High for about 8 seconds. Turn over. Microwave 8 seconds more. You'll have to scrape it off the plate, but it will be soft.*

This is the best thing I have ever found to spread cream cheese with. I love this thing, and I don't know how I ever did without it. I used it to spread the cream cheese filling on this fruit pizza, by the way. You can't stain it if you try, and I've had everything from strawberries to tomato sauce all over it, and the blade is made from high carbon steel, so it's indestructible (says the woman who accidentally dropped it in the garbage disposal and then turned it on). You can click on the picture to find out more about it.

SANI SAFE (17403) 4 and one quarter

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Honey Lime Glazed Salmon

This is the easiest recipe in the world. Salmon cooks quickly, and you just pour this glaze in at the last, let it cook for a minute, and serve it up. The honey and the lime and the dijon mustard all combine together in a lip-smacking good recipe. If you're short on time, this is a great salmon recipe for you.

Honey Lime Glazed Salmon

1 lb. fresh salmon fillets
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
1/4 c. honey
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp. Chili Powder
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
Juice of 1 lime

Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the salmon and saute until nearly done. Whisk together all remaining ingredients in a small bowl. When salmon is nearly done, pour honey mixture over it and cook for a couple more minutes, until the sauce thickens and forms a glaze. Serve at once, spooning a little glaze over the salmon. Serve with a slice of lime of lime on the side.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Quick and Easy Beef and Broccoli Recipe

This quick alternative to Chinese take-out takes about 10 minutes to cook, start to finish. It's a great meal for when you get home late from work, or just when you're pressed for time. You can use frozen vegetables for this, but it's not going to be nearly as good, and if you do use them, thaw in the microwave before using.

Beef and Broccoli

2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
3/4 pound La Cense Beef, sliced against the grain 1/8 inch thick
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 - 3 cups broccoli florets
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon grated ginger
4 or 5 green onions, chopped, green as well as white parts
3 tablespoons Ohsawa Soy Sauce
1/3 cup water

Toss together cornstarch, salt, both types of pepper, and beef in a bowl until meat is coated. Alternatively, you can toss this in a sealed plastic bag.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in wok or heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then stir-fry beef until just cooked through, about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate or bowl.

Add remaining tablespoon oil to wok along with broccoli, garlic, and ginger, and stir-fry until broccoli is just tender, about 2 minutes. Add green onions, stir fry for about 1/2 minute more.

Add soy sauce and water and bring to a boil. Return meat to skillet and cook, stirring, until sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes. If sauce seems too thin, mix 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water and add to the pan, stirring until it thickens.


Mmmm ... broccoli t shirts and gifts