Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Easy Summertime Recipes

Spinach Salad

1 bag fresh spinach
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons grated onion1/2 teaspoon dry mustard1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup finely chopped apple
crumbled cooked bacon, for garnish, optional

Fiesta Salad Dressing over Salad greens

8 ounces plain yogurt
3 Tablespoons minced onion
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 clove minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Combine ingredients in small bowl; mix well

Apple Dumplings

These are great and they are very easy.

1 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
2 (10 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent roll dough
1 cup butter
1/2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (12 fluid ounce) can Mountain Dew (tm)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.

3. Cut each apple into 8 pieces.

4. Separate the crescent rolls into triangles.

5. Place each apple slice at the smallest end of the dough triangle and roll up.

6. Pinch the edges to seal the rolls and put into a baking dish.

7. Melt butter in a small saucepan and stir in the sugar and cinnamon. Pour over the dumplings.

8. Pour the can of Mountain Dew (tm.) Over the dumplings.

9. Bake for 35-45 minutes until golden brown.

Serve with either ice cream or shipped cream

Garlic and Cheddar Chicken

1/2 cup butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
11/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded thin (place chicken between 2 sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap and pound thin with a meat tenderizer or any heavy object)

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat, and cook the garlic until tender, about 5 minutes.

3 In a shallow bowl, mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, Cheddar cheese, parsley, oregano, pepper, and salt.

4. Dip each chicken breast in the garlic butter to coat, then press into thebread crumb mixture.

5. Arrange the coated chicken breasts in a 9x13 inchbaking dish.

6. Drizzle with any remaining butter and top with anyremaining bread crumb mixture.

7. Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is no longerpink and juices run clear.

Salmon Filet (you need at least 2 hours to marinade)

1 1/2 pounds salmon fillets
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil

1. Season salmon fillets with lemon pepper, garlic powder, and salt.

2. In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce, brown sugar, water, and vegetable oil
until sugar is dissolved.

3. Place fish in a large resealable plastic bag with the soy sauce mixture, seal,and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

4. Spray a broiler pan with non-stick cooking spray.

5. Cook salmon for 6-8 minutes. Or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.


3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
sesame seeds (optional)
1 green bell, diced into large pieces
1 clove of garlic - chopped
1 ½ Tablespoons of coconut oil
1 jar of sweet and sour sauce

1. Cube chicken into chunks, set aside

2. Heat oil over low heat

3. Add sesame seeds and chopped garlic, stir to mix together

4. Turn up heat to medium heat and add chicken

5. Stir fry until chicken is thoroughly cooked

6. Add green pepper and sweet and sour sauce

7. Stir and turn down heat to low

8. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes until the green pepper is tender.

Creamy Asian-Style Salad Dressing served over salad greens

3 cups mayonnaise
½ cup soy sauce
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2Tablespoon sesame seeds
1 Tablespoon sesame seed oil

1. In a mixing bowl, whisk all ingredients together.

2. If too thick, add a few drops of water

3. Cover and refrigerate.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pie (very long prep time)

1-1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
4 Tablespoons finely chopped salted peanuts, divided
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 pint chocolate ice cream, softened slightly
2 pints vanilla ice cream, softened slightly
1/3 cup peanut butter
Chocolate syrup

1. In a small bowl, prepare pie crust by mixing together cracker crumbs, sugar, 2 tablespoons of the chopped peanuts and melted butter.

2. Pour mixture on the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch or 10-inch pie (do not use an 8-inch pie pan).

3. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned.

4. Remove pie crust from oven and cool completely.

5. Spread softened chocolate ice cream over the cooled pie crust.

6 . Freeze until firm (approximately 30 minutes)

7. In a large mixer bowl, combine vanilla ice cream and peanut butter, mix at low speed, scraping the bowl often, until peanut butter is evenly distributed.

8. Freeze until ice cream and peanut butter mixture holds into mounds (30 to 45 minutes).

9. Spoon ice cream and peanut butter mixture over chocolate ice cream layer.

10. Spread to edges of crust, mounding slightly higher in the center.

11. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons of chopped peanuts.

12. Freeze for 4 to 5 hours or until pie is firm.

13. Let pie stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving

14. Drizzle with chocolate syrup.

Chicken Nuggets

3 boneless chicken breasts
½ cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 thyme
1 teaspoon basil
½ cup melted butter

1. Cut the chicken into 1 ½ inch squares.

2. Combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, thyme, basil and salt.

3. Dip chicken into the melted butter.

4. Then dip in the bread crumb mixture.

5. Place on a cookie sheet in a single layer.

6. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Seasoned Potato Fries

4 russet potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch strips
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning
2 Tablespoons garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

1. Place the potato strips in a large resealable plastic bag.

2. Add the oil and shake

3. Add the seasonings and shake

4. Put the potato strips on a greased baking sheet in a single layer.

5. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes, or until crispy.

Grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches

Bread - enough for 2 slices per sandwich
American or Swiss Cheese - 2 slices per sandwich
Bacon - 3 slices per sandwich

1. Butter all the bread on one side.

2. Microwave bacon until crisp

3. Assemble sandwiches - bread (butter side down, 1 slice of cheese. 3 slices of bacon, slice of cheese, bread ( butter side up)

4. Heat skillet on medium high.

5. Place a sandwich in skillet and cook until golden brown or darker depending on taste.

6. Flip over and cook on other side.

Pork Tenderloin

These are in your grocer’s meat case. They even come preseasoned. They usually take 20 minutes per pound to cook.

Baked Potato Wedges

6 medium Potatoes
4 tablespoons Melted Butter
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon parsley
Salt & pepper

1. Scrub potatoes. Do not peel.

2. Cut each potato lengthwise in quarters.

3. Stir together melted butter, garlic powder and parsley.

4. Arrange potatoes skin side down on a shallow baking pan.

5. Brush seasoned butter over cut surfaces of potatoes.

6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

7. Bake, uncovered, at 400F degrees for about 1 hour or until golden brown and tender when pierced.

Green Beans and Almonds

2/3 cup slivered almonds
1 1/2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar
Coarse kosher or sea salt
Coarsely ground black pepper

1. Place almonds in small nonstick skillet.

2. Stir over medium heat until lightly toasted, about 8 minutes.

3. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.

4. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring water to a boil.

5. Add the beans and partially cook for 4 to 5 minutes

6. Remove from heat.

7. Drain the beans in a colander and immediately immerse them in ice water to stop from cooking; drain and set aside.

8. Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.

9. Add beans and vinegar; toss to coat and heat through, about 2 minutes.

10. Season with salt and pepper.

11. Sprinkle with almonds and serve.
Makes 6 servings.

Time for some recipes

Sloppy Joes and Cheese Fries

1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
1 cup chopped onions
6 ounce can tomato paste
15 ounce can tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
4 hamburger buns

1. Saute the onions until they turn translucent.

2. Add the meat and brown

3. In a small bowl, combine the tomato paste, tomato sauce, lemon juice, sugar and garlic powder.

4. Pour over the browned meat and let simmer for 25 minutes.

5. Spoon the sloppy joes onto the hamburger buns

Options - Some people like to add a slice of provolone or American cheese to their sandwich.
Instead of making the sauce, some people like to use a bottle of chili sauce. How much you use depends in how sloppy you want your sloppy joes to be.I read somewhere about instead of sloppy joes, you can hollow out the inside of a hard roll, fill the roll with the sloppy joe mixture and top with shredded mozzarella cheese - these are called “Tidy Josephs”.

On to the Cheese Fries...

1 package of frozen steak fries
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/3 cup (or more) ranch dressing

1. Prepare the steak fries according to package directions.

2. Cook the steak fries until golden brown.

3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

4. Arrange the fries on an oven-safe plate.

5. Sprinkle on the Cheddar cheese, then the Monterey Jack cheese.

6. Sprinkle the crumbled bacon over the cheese.

7. Bake for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Serve with ranch dressing.
Kitchen Skills, Tips and Hints

Safety Tips

1. Always turn the handles on your pots and pans towards the center of your stove top. It's possible to catch the handle of your pan on your clothing as you walk by. If you have small children you don't even want to imagine what could happen.

2. Tip the lid of a pan away from you when you take the lid off a hot pan. This keeps you from having hot steam in your face.

3. If food or grease should catch on fire.Smother the flames with the pan lid or a cookie sheet. You want to shut off the oxygen supply to the fire.You can also throw flour on the fire.
NEVER pick or carry a pan of grease that has caught fire.


Bake - To cook by dry heat, usually in oven

Baste - To moisten surface of food during cooking with melted fat or liquid

Beat - To combine ingredients by rapidly lifting over and over with a spoon

Blend - To mix two or more ingredients until well combined
Boil - To cook in liquid (usually water) in which bubbles constantly rise to the surface and break

Braise - To cook meat in moist heat in a covered pan

Broil - To cook foods in the oven broiler

Brown - To cook over low to medium heat in a skillet on stove or under a broiler

Chop - To cut up into small pieces with a knife

Cream - To mix or work with a spoon into a smooth, soft mass

Fold In - To combine ingredients by cutting down through the mixture with a spoon or rubber spatula across the bottom of the bowl and bringing it up the side — a down, under, up and over motion

Fry - To cook in a skillet in hot fat that covers the food partially or completely

Grate - To rub on a grater and separate into small pieces

Knead - To work and press dough with the palms of the hands, turning a small amount after each push

Marinate - To soak food in seasoned liquid before cooking

Mince - To chop or cut very fine

Poach - To cook in a hot liquid (often water) that is kept just below the boiling point

Preheat - To heat oven to desired temperature 5 to 10 minutes before putting food in the oven

Roast - To cook in a dry heat in an open pan in the oven

Sauté - To cook in a pan that has been coated with a small amount of fat

Shred - To tear or slice into long, narrow pieces

Sift - To put dry ingredients through a sifter or a sieve

Simmer - To cook slowly over very low heat with liquid moving slowly

Toast -To brown directly under the broiler

Whisk - To beat into a froth


dash, speck, a few grains = less than 1/8 teaspoon

3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon

16 tablespoons = 1 cup

8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup

4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup

5 1/3 tablespoons = 1/3 cup

8 ounces = 1 cup (liquid)

2 cups = 1 pint

1 cup = 1/2 pint

2 pints = 1 quart

4 cups = 1 quart

4 quarts = 1 gallon

8 quarts = 1 peck (dry)

4 pecks = 1 bushel

16 ounces = 1 pound

1 pound butter = 2 cups or 4 sticks

1/2 pound butter = 1 cup or 2 sticks

1/4 pound butter = 1/2 cup or 1 stick

1 pound granulated sugar = 2 1/4 cups sugar

1 square chocolate = 1 ounce chocolate

1 square chocolate = 3 Tbs. cocoa + 1 T. fat

10 miniature marshmallows = 1 standard size marshmallow

4 1/2 cups of min. marshmallows = 1/2 pound marshmallow


Very Slow 250° to 300°

Slow 300° to 325°

Moderate 350° to 375°

Hot 400° to 425°

Very Hot 450° to 475°

Tips and Hints

Brown Sugar - Add a slice of soft bread to a package of rock-hard brown sugar. Close the bag tightly, and in a few hours the sugar will be soft again.

Crackers - To crisp soggy crackers, put them on a cookie sheet and heat in the oven for a few minutes.

Fat - Lettuce leaves absorb fat. Place a few into the pot and watch the fat cling to them.To remove fat from stew, soup or pot roast, wrap an ice cube or two in white paper toweling and skim the surface. Fat will cling to the toweling.

Glasses - When one glass is stuck inside another, do not force them apart. Fill the top glass with cold water and dip the lower one in hot water. They will come apart without breaking.

A small nick in the rim of a glass can be smoothed out by using an emery board.

Use a wet paper towel to pick up broken glass slivers. Simply blot them and they will stick to the paper.

Scratches on glassware will disappear if polished with toothpaste.

Make glasses extra shiny by adding lemon peels to the water in which they are rinsed. The lemon acid released gives glasses a clear shine.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

What's the #1 kitchen issue?

Food Safety is such an important issue today. Why go to the trouble of preparing a wonderful meal, if you are going to give everyone food poisoning! Your meal should be memorable, but not for the wrong reasons.

The BBC offers an exam with certification. Check out your knowledge. You might be surprised!


Converting Centigrade to Fahrenheit degrees.

Centigrade degrees times 9/5 plus 32 = Fahrenheit

Also check out the Master Chef program. It’s very good.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Meat recall expands again on E. coli fears

Up to 5.7 million pounds of beef in 11 states may be contaminated
MSNBC News ServicesUpdated: 1 hour, 47 minutes ago

LOS ANGELES - A meat supplier has again expanded a voluntary recall of beef products because they may be contaminated with E. coli.The U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a statement Saturday that United Food Group LLC had expanded an earlier recall to include approximately 5.7 million pounds of fresh and frozen ground beef after a person in Arizona tested positive for E. coli. In all, 14 people in six states have been sickened by beef from the California-based firm. All patients have recovered, the government said in a statement.The ground beef products subject to recall were produced between April 6 and April 20 and were shipped to retail stores in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. They were sold under brand names Moran's All Natural, Miller Meat Company, Stater Bros., Inter-American Products, Inc., and Basha's.The grocery stores affected included Albertson's, Basha's, Grocery Outlet, Fry's, "R" Ranch Markets, Save-A-Lot, Save-Mart, Scolari's Wholesale Markets, Smart and Final, Smith's, Stater Bros., Superior Warehouse and Trader Joe's.

The products had sell-by dates from April 15-May 7, and product labels carried the establishment number "EST. 1241" inside the USDA mark of inspection or printed on the package. The frozen ground beef patty products bear a sell-by date between July 6 and Jan. 20, 2008.

Even though the sell-by dates are past, did you freeze any of this meat?

Another meat recall
On Friday, Tyson Fresh Meats Inc. recalled more than 40,000 pounds of ground beef shipped to Wal-Mart stores in 12 states after samples tested at a Sherman, Texas, plant showed signs of E. coli contamination. No illnesses had been tied to the Tyson products. Springdale-based Tyson Foods Inc. said the recall was not related to contaminated ground beef distributed by United Food Group LLC.The recalled Tyson products were sent to Wal-Mart stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas, Tyson said.

The United Food Group recall, which was first announced June 3 and expanded on June 6, was expanded again when a test for E. coli came back positive for a person in Arizona, the Department of Agriculture said.

Symptoms of E. coli include stomach cramps that may be severe and diarrhea that may turn bloody within one to three days. E. coli sometimes can lead to complications including kidney failure.

Customers with questions about the recall can call United Food Group's hot line at 1-800-325-4164. Those with recalled products should either throw the product away or return to point of purchase for a refund.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Stocking Your Pantry

If you are just starting out, you need to stock your pantry.
These are the basics. As time goes on, your pantry will grow to include itemsthat you just can't live without. But for now...

All Purpose Flour
Granulated Sugar
Brown Sugar
Salt & Pepper
Sea or Kosher Salt
Baking Soda
Baking Powder
Vinegar (white vinegar for starters)
Tomato sauce
Tomato paste
Spaghetti Sauce
Jam or Jelly
Potatoes (red)
Tuna Fish
Soy Sauce
Worchestershire Sauce
Garlic Powder
Peanut Butter

For the Refrigerator
fresh vegetables
fresh meat


Chicken is one of the most versatile meats around. It can be prepared in a multitude of different way, all of them good. But what do you look for in the store?

Types of Chicken

Broiler-fryers - These are young chickens that weigh from 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds. They are 7-10 weeks old. They are tender with mildly flavored meat.
Roasters - These chickens weigh 4-9 pounds and are 16 weeks old.
Capons - These are young castrated roosters that weigh between 5-7 pounds. They have a rich flavor but are high in fat.
Stewing Hens - These are 1 - 1 1/2 years old. Their meat is very tough and stringy. Only use them in soup or stew.
The packages of cut up chicken that you usually find in the store are broiler-fryers.

What to check for

1. Make sure that the package does not have any tears in it

2. Check the 'sell-by date'

3. Physically inspect the chicken . Its skin should be creamy white to deep yellow; meat should never look gray or pasty. Odors could signal spoilage.

4. Buy enough chicken for your family.
One broiler-fryer (2 to 3 pounds), cut up, yields 3 to 5 servings;
one roaster (3 to 6 pounds) yields 4 to 8 servings.
One whole chicken breast or two chicken breast halves (about 12 ounces total) yields 2 servings;
one pound of chicken thighs or drumsticks yields about 2 servings.
As a rule, two whole chicken breasts (about 12 ounces each) yield about 2 cups chopped, cooked chicken;
one broiler-fryer (about 3 pounds) yields about 2-1/2 cups chopped, cooked chicken.

5. Check the package for the U.S.D.A. Grade A rating.

How to Store Chicken
Chicken can keep in the coldest part of the refrigerator for up to two days in its original package. If you are not going to cook it right away - freeze it. (Always thaw frozen chicken in the refrigerator, allow 5 hours per pound)

Safe Handling
When you handle raw chicken, wash everything - your cuttingboard, knives, the counter and your hands. Why? Raw chicken can harbor harmful salmonella bacteria. If bacteria are transferred to work surfaces, utensils or hands, they could contaminate other foods, as well as the cooked chicken, and cause food poisoning.
Chicken should always be cooked completely before eating. You should never cook chicken partially and then store it to be finished later.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Bread Tips

Have you ever wondered which is the freshest, so you "squeeze" for freshness or softness? Did you know that bread is delivered fresh to the stores five days a week? Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Each day has a different color twist tie. They are:

Monday - Blue
Tuesday - Green
Thursday - Red
Friday - White
Saturday - Yellow