Friday, December 12, 2008

Artichoke Dip

Lake effect has buried the yard in 5 inches of snow. Cocktail hour demands a warm-me-up. Joan brought this old favorite out of the oven.

Let it snow.

2 (12 oz.) cans artichoke hearts

1 c. Parmesan cheese

1 c. mayonnaise

Dash of salt, pepper, paprika & garlic powder

Drain artichokes well. Cut into bite-size pieces. Mix with mayonnaise and cheese. Dash of salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder. Place in pie plate or quiche dish. Bake at 350º for 20 minutes. Serve hot with crackers or cocktail bread.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pork Chops with Apples and Stuffing

Joan's birthday but we begged her to cook. She obliged by serving this savory pork combination. The sweet apples made this meal disappear quickly.

Preparation: 10 min. Total: 50 min. Makes 6 servings.

1 pkg. (6 oz.) Stove Top Stuffing Mix for Chicken

1 can (21 oz.) apple pie filling

6 boneless pork loin chops (1 1/2 Ib.), 3/4 inch thick

HEAT oven to 375°F. Prepare stuffing as directed on package.

SPREAD pie filling on to bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; top with chops and stuffing. Cover with foil.

BAKE 30 min.; uncover. Bake an additional 10 min. or until chops are cooked through (160°F).

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tuscan Chicken Simmer

What to have for dinner? Then in our mailbox an email from This simple, quick meal was just what was needed for this wintery day. Served it over linguini.

Prep Time: 5 min. Total Time: 25 min. Makes: 4 servings

4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, cubed
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup pesto
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
1 cup KRAFT Finely Shredded Italian* Five Cheese Blend

HEAT large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cover skillet with lid. Cook 5 to 7 min. on each side or until chicken is cooked through (165ºF). Remove chicken from skillet; keep warm.

REDUCE heat to medium. Add cream cheese, water, pesto and tomatoes to skillet. Cook, uncovered, 2 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

RETURN chicken to skillet. Cook and stir 1 min. or until chicken is coated and heated through. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Serving Suggestion: Spoon over hot cooked ravioli or fettuccine.

Monday, November 3, 2008

BUSH'S® Best Black Bean Soup

Will this election season really end tomorrow?

Opened up the shed. Put away the summer yard whimseys and staged the winter notions. Moved the the snow blower closer to the doorway. Since Joan thought I needed to reenergize, she downloaded this recipe from Bush Brothers & Company. This savory soup filled the kitchen with its hearty aroma and it tasted marvelous.

Preparation time: 8 to 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
3 teaspoons chili powder
1⁄2 teaspoon oregano
3 cans (15 ounces each) BUSH'S BEST Black Beans
Black pepper
Shredded cheese
Fresh herb, like basil

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion, cook 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, cumin, chili powder and oregano. Puree one can of black beans, add to pot. Add second can of black beans (do not puree). Drain last can of black beans and add to pot (do not puree).

Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often. Add black pepper, to taste.

Top with salsa, shredded cheese and fresh herb.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

BUSH'S® White Chicken Chili

Northup Park - Wolcott

Spent the day in Wolcott and helping Bradley prepare the basement for a new furnace. Since the temperature had dipped, Joan downloaded this recipe from Bush Brothers & Company. This excellent dish was a welcome surprise after working underground all day. Oh! Did I mention hitting my head several times of the make-do Bilco door entry.

Serves: 8

Hands-OnTime: 10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 (16 ounce) cans BUSH'S® BEST Great Northern Beans
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
1 1/2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken breast
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese (optional)
Sour cream (optional)
Salsa (optional)

1 - In large skillet, cook onion in oil for 4 minutes or until transparent. Add chilies, flour and cumin; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add beans and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened. Add chicken; cook until hot.
2 - Garnish with cheese, sour cream and salsa, if desired.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pork Chops with Apples and Stuffing

Filmore Glen - Cow Sheds
Preparation: 10 min.

Total: 50 min.

Makes 6 servings.

1 pkg. [6 oz.) Stove Top Stuffing Mix for Chicken

1 can (21 oz.) apple pie filling

6 boneless pork loin chops (1 1/2 Ib.), 3/4 inch thick

HEAT oven to 375°F. Prepare stuffing as directed on package.

SPREAD pie filling onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; top with chops and stuffing. Cover with foil.

BAKE 30 min.; uncover. Bake an additional 10 min. or until chops are
cooked through (160°F).

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bruschetta Chicken Bake

Hoopes Park

Preparation: 10 min.

Total: 40 min.

Makes 6 servings, 1 cup each.

1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 pkg. (6 oz.) Stove Top Stuffing Mix for Chicken

1/2 cup water

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 Ib. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

1 tsp. dried basil leaves

1 cup Kraft 2% Milk Shredded Reduced Fat Mozzarella Cheese

HEAT oven to 400°F. Mix tomatoes, stuffing mix, water and garlic just until stuffing mix is moistened.

LAYER chicken, basil, cheese and stuffing in 13x9-inch or 3-qt. baking dish.

BAKE 30 min. or until chicken is cooked through. Enjoy now or cover and refrigerate. To reheat, microwave each serving on HIGH 2 to 3 min.

Serving Suggestion: Serve with a bagged green salad tossed with your favorite dressing.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Barbecued Wings Charlotte Style

Michael and Rocko Dorsey
entertaining at the annual Cameron Company Picnic
September 27, 2008

This classic North Carolina sauce developed by Mario Batali during race weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway has become an annual favorite at The Cameron Company Customer Appreciation Picnic.

It was no different this year when barbecue chefs Randy and Tom served up over 40 pounds of wings.

This recipe works well because you can precook the wings the night before and finish them on the grill the next day.

Mario’s recipe which serves 6 to 8 people is listed here. We increase the recipe according to the amount of wings we use.

24 chicken wings
2 cups apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon peanut oi
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt

1. Put the chicken wings in a medium pot. Add the other ingredients and bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. Immediately reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the wings until just cooked through, about 25 minutes.

2. Let the wings rest in the pot with the sauce overnight in the refrigerator or an ice-filled cooler.

3. Grill the wings over medium-high heat until nicely browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Turn the wings a few times during grilling and baste them liberally with the sauce from the pot.

4. Serve immediately with lots of napkins.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Peach Cobbler

Made a road trip to Sauders Farm Market in Seneca Falls for fresh Pennsylvania peaches. Once home Joan prepared this recipe of Chi Chi Woods, a peach-grower’s wife from Atwater, CA.

3 pounds ripe fresh peaches or
6 cups of drained, thawed, frozen peach slices
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter or margarine,
1 large egg

1. Heat oven to 400oF. Lightly grease a 2-quart casserole. Peel and slice fresh peaches; place in greased casserole. Stir in lemon juice.
2. In 1-quart saucepan, stir together brown sugar and cornstarch. gradually add water, stirring until cornstarch is dissolved. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sauce has thickened-about 5 minutes Pour sauce over peaches in casserole.
3. Set aside 1 teaspoon granulated sugar. To prepare topping, in medium-size bowl, stir together remaining granulated sugar, the flour, baking powder, and salt. With wooden spoon, stir in butter and egg until a soft dough forms. Drop spoonfuls onto peach mixture (topping will spread as it bakes). Sprinkle with reserved 1 teaspoon granulated sugar.
4. Bake cobbler 40 to 45 minutes or until topping is golden brown and filling bubbles. Cool slightly on wire rack. Sprinkle with additional granulated sugar, if desired. Serve Peach Cobbler warm or at room temperature.

Nutritional information per serving - protein: 3 grams; fat: 4 grams; carbohydrate: 46 grams; fiber: 3 grams; sodium: 124 milligrams; cholesterol: 34 milligrams; calories: 215.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Giant Stuffed Hamburger Revisited

Original Post

2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 1/4 c. herb seasoned stuffing mix, crushed (3/4 c.)
1 beaten egg
1 3 oz. can chopped mushrooms, drained (1/2 c.)
1/3 c. beef broth
1/4 c. sliced green onion
1/4 c. chopped almonds, toasted
1/4 c. snipped parsley
1 t. lemon juice
2 lbs. ground beef
1 t. salt

In medium saucepan melt butter; remove from heat. Add stuffing mix, egg, mushrooms, beef broth, onion, almonds, parsley, and lemon juice; mix well and set aside. Combine beef and salt; divide meat in half. On sheets of waxed paper, pat each half to an 8-inch circle. Spoon stuffing over the circle of meat within 1 inch of edge. Top with second circle of meat; peel off top sheet of paper and seal edges. Invert meat patty into a well-greased grill basket; peel of remaining paper. Grill over medium coals about 10 to 12 minute on each side or until done. Cut into wedges; serve with warmed catsup; if desired.

Makes 6 servings.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Half and Half Cookie

Father's original recipe

1 c. Crisco
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
3 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. sour milk ( 1 tsp. vinegar)
1 tsp. vanilla

Bake 350º - 10 to 15 minutes.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Asian Baked Chicken Salad

Are you ready for a change from traditional lunch salads? Here’s a welcome change.

1 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
(1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds)
I 1/2 cups chopped celery (3 to 4 stalks)
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 cups chow mein noodles (about 3 ounces)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and cook the chicken breasts for 10 to 12 minutes until lightly browned on both sides. Cut into 1-inch chunks and place in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients except the chow mein noodles; mix well. Pour into an 8-inch square baking dish. Sprinkle the chow mein noodles evenly over the top, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes more, until the top is golden.

NOTE: Add a crisp garden salad and a loaf or two of crusty French bread . . . and you're set to go!

6 to 8 servings

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Baked Ziti with Sausage and Artichokes

It's fancy enough for company, yet simple enough to be a potluck favorite any night of the week.

1 pound uncooked ziti
1 pound mild Italian sausage, casings removed
2 cans (14 ounces each) quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1 jar (25 to 28 ounces) spaghetti sauce
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes, undrained
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 cups (1 pound) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain, rinse with cold water, drain again, and set aside in a large bowl. In a large skillet, sauté the sausage over medium-high heat for 5 to 6 minutes or until no pink remains, breaking it up as it cooks. Drain the liquid from the cooked sausage and add it to the ziti along with the artichoke hearts, spaghetti sauce, crushed tomatoes, garlic powder, pepper, and 3 cups of the mozzarella cheese; mix well. Pour into a 9" X 13" baking dish that has been coated with nonstick vegetable spray and sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheese over the top. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until heated through.

6 to 8 servings

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Seafood Lasagna

Mr. Food always said that lasagna does not have to be made with ground beef or even spinach. So why not enjoy your pasta shells overflowing with shrimp and crab for that fresh-from-the-seas flavor?

1 pound uncooked medium-sized pasta shells
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) stewed tomatoes
12 ounces medium-sized shrimp, cooked, peeled, and deveined
1 package (10 ounces) imitation crabmeat, flaked

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cook the shells according to the package directions; drain and set aside in a large bowl. In a large saucepan. melt the butter over medium heat and slowly add the flour, stirring until the flour is well blended. Add the milk gradually and stir until blended. Add the salt and pepper and stir the sauce constantly until thickened. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Pour the cheese sauce and remaining ingredients over the shells; mix well. Pour into a 9" X 13" baking dish that has been coated with nonstick vegetable spray and bake for 30 minutes until hot and bubbly.

8 to 10 servings

Monday, August 4, 2008

Zucchini Carrot Casserole

Given to Cooking Up a Blog by Roseanne Cheney

2 lbs. Zucchini
1 cup shredded carrots
1 can cream chicken soup
1/4 c shopped onion
1 cup sour cream
1 package - Stove Top stuffing
1/2 cup margarine

Put zucchini and onions into saucepan with 1 cup water. Boil 5 minutes, drain. Toss stuffing bread crumbs with seasoning with the melted margarine. Put 1/2 crumbs into 12 x 9 pan. Mix soup and sour cream together and toss with zucchini and carrots. Pour over crumbs and cover with the rest of crumbs.

Bake 350º - 25-30 minutes.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Malted Milk Ball Ice-Cream Dessert

Preparation Time : 8 minutes Chill: 3 hours

3 1/3 cups malted milk balls (10 1/2 ounces)
1 container (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
12 frozen rectangular ice-cream sandwiches
1 cup hot fudge sauce, warmed, if desired

Place malted milk balls in resealable plastic food-storage bag. Tap with rolling pin or meat mallet until coarsely crushed. Reserve 1/3 cup.

Mix remaining crushed malted milk balls and the whipped topping.

Arrange ice-cream sandwiches in bottom of rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches, cutting sandwiches if necessary to cover bottom of pan. Spread whipped topping mixture over ice-cream sandwiches. Sprinkle with reserved crushed malted milk balls. Cover and freeze 2 to 3 hours or until firm.

For servings, cut into 4 rows by 3 rows. Top with fudge sauce. 12 servings.

Success Hint: Frozen malted balls crush more easily than crushed when at room temperature.

Special Touch: Substitute Neapolitan or chocolate ice-cream sandwiches for regular vanilla ice-cream sandwiches.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Punch Bowl Cake

Elizabethtown - view from Blueberry Hill

Joan, Michael and I spent a few days visiting Brian and Heather in Essex County. Today we went shopping at the annual town-wide garage sale. At a downtown church Joan and Heather each purchased a punch bowl. Now both the girls will be able to make this fabulous dessert with the right presentation.

Punch Bowl Cake

The whipped topping surmounts the delightful mess!

1 Duncan Hines yellow cake mix

2 small instant vanilla puddings

1 package shredded coconut

20-ounce can cherry pie filling

20-ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained

Chopped nuts

20-ounce can fruit cocktail, undrained

1 large size whipped topping

Make the cake according to the directions given on the box. Make the instant pudding according to the directions on the box. Crumble half of the cake into the bottom of a large punch bowl. Press cake down smooth. Place half of the pudding on top of crumbled cake.

Smooth on half of each of the remaining ingredients, repeat and add the cherry pie filling last.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Heather & Brian arrived around 5 PM from their journey to Wisconsin. Brad & Kim and Michael & Emily joined them and us for dinner. Joan purchased A-D Corky's Racks of Pork Ribs from QVC as a special entree. Joan also added barbecued chicken, macaroni and cheese casserole and brownie trifle to the menu. Tom came for desert.

Here is the tried and true recipe that Joan makes for the kids usually when I am away on assignment.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese



2 Tbsp Argo® corn starch

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dry mustard (optional)

1/4 tsp pepper

2 1/2 cups milk

2 Tbsp margarine or butter

2 cups (8 oz) shredded American or Cheddar
cheese, divided

8 oz MUELLER'S elbows (about 1 3/4 cups),
cooked 7 minutes and drained

1. In medium saucepan combine first 4 ingredients; stir in milk. Add margarine; stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat.

2. Stir in 1 3/4 cups cheese until melted. Add elbows. Four into greased 2-quart casserole. Sprinkle with reserved cheese.

3. Bake uncovered in 375°F oven 25 minutes or until slightly browned.


BAKED HAM 'N' CHEESE MACARONI: In step 2, stir in 1 cup diced ham with elbows.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Trifle tres!

While wrapping Mark and Karen's bridal shower gifts, Joan slipped in this group of Kraft trifle recipes along with these three and this trio.

Quick Tropical Cheesecake Trifle

Prep Time: 15 min
Total Time: 15 min
Makes: 14 servings, 2/3 cup each

1 pkg. (10.75 oz.) frozen pound cake, thawed, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 tub (24.2 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Ready-To-Eat Cheesecake Filling
2 cups cut-up fresh pineapple (1 inch pieces)
2 bananas, sliced
2 kiwi, peeled, chopped
1/4 cup seedless strawberry jam, warmed
1/4 cup BAKER'S ANGEL FLAKE Coconut, toasted

LAYER half of the cake cubes in bottom of large straight-sided serving bowl.
Top with half of the cheesecake filling and fruit. Repeat layers.

DRIZZLE with jam; sprinkle with coconut.

SERVE immediately. Or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Store any leftovers in refrigerator.

Easy Chocolate Trifle

Prep Time: 50 min.
Total Time: 50 min.
Makes: 18 servings, 2/3 cup each

1 pkg. (2-layer size) chocolate cake mix
1 qt. (4 cups) cold milk
2 pkg. (4-serving size each) JELL-O Chocolate Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed
4 pkg. (1.4 oz. each) chocolate-covered English toffee bars, crushed

PREPARE cake batter and bake in 13x9-inch baking pan as directed on package. Cool completely on wire rack. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

ADD milk to dry pudding mix in medium bowl. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended.

LAYER half each of the cake cubes, pudding, whipped topping and crushed chocolate bars in large glass trifle bowl. Repeat all layers. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Spring Fruit Trifle

Prep Time: 15 min
Total Time: 45 min
Makes: 15 servings, 2/3 cup each

36 NILLA Wafers
2 Tbsp. orange-flavored liqueur or orange juice
3 cups seasonal fresh fruit, such as sliced peeled kiwi, blueberries and/or sliced strawberries
3 cups cold milk
2 pkg. (4-serving size each) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
1 pkg. (6 squares) BAKER'S Premium White Baking Chocolate, melted, cooled slightly
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided

BREAK wafers coarsely into 2-1/2-qt. clear glass serving bowl. Sprinkle with liqueur; top with layers of fruit.

POUR milk into medium bowl. Add dry pudding mix. Beat with wire whisk 2 min. or until well blended.
Refrigerate until pudding starts to thicken. Add chocolate; stir with wire whisk until well blended.
Gently stir in half of the whipped topping. Spoon over fruit; top with the remaining whipped topping.

REFRIGERATE at least 30 min. or up to 24 hours before serving. Store leftover dessert in refrigerator.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Bruschetta 'n Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

This deceptively delicious dish is perfect for entertaining since it's simple to prepare and never fails to impress.

Prep: 15 min. - Total: 1 hour

1 can (14 1/2 oz.) Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained

1 1/4 cups Kraft Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese, divided

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1 pkg. (6 oz.) Stove Top Stuffing Mix for Chicken

8 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (2 Ib.)

1/3 cup Kraft Roasted Red Pepper Italian with Parmesan Dressing

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Combine tomatoes, 1/2 cup of the cheese, the basil and dry stuffing mix; stir just until moistened.

PLACE 2 chicken breast halves in large freezer-weight resealable plastic bag. Pound chicken with meat mallet or side of heavy can until chicken is 1/4 inch thick. Repeat with remaining chicken, adding 2 at a time to bag. Place chicken, top-sides down, on cutting board; spread evenly with stuffing mixture. Starting at one of the narrow ends. tightly roll up chicken. Place, seam-sides down, in 13x9-inch baking dish. Drizzle evenly with dressing.

BAKE 40 min. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake an additional 5 min. or until chicken is cooked through (165°F) and cheese is melted.

Makes 8 servings, 1 stuffed chicken breast each.

VARIATION: For a south-of-the-border-style dish, simply use diced tomatoes with bell or jalapeno peppers, Kraft Mexican Style Shredded Cheese instead of the mozzarella cheese and chopped cilantro instead of the basil.

Winter 2008 - Kraft food & family

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

First Crocus 2008

Temperture busted over 50º this afternoon. Joan wanting to enjoy the fresh air took this recipe to the girls at Smiley’s Florist. During the winter Joan surprised the staff with this treat.

Plan ahead: needs to chill

Your guests are in for a sweet surprise when they try this unusual cheese ball ... it tastes just like cookie dough! Rolled in chopped pecans, the chip-studded spread is wonderful on regular or chocolate graham crackers.

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts

Graham crackers or vanilla wafers

In a mixing bowl, beat the cram cheese, butter, and vanilla until fluffy. Gradually add sugars; beat just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Place cream cheese mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap; shape ito a ball. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Just before serving, roll cheese ball in pecans. Serve with graham crackers or vanilla wafers.

Yield: 1 cheese ball (about 2 cups)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mixed Berry-Corn Mini Loaves

Prepare these for dinner, then toast leftovers to serve for breakfast.

Our backyard neighbor had a tree limb from their willow tree fall on Jacob’s white vinyl fence. The branch busted the lintel of one post and broke off several spikes. We had previously brought this hazard waiting to happen to our neighbor. In fact, this summer he trimmed three limbs but in the process split three of our pussy willow bushes.

Being curious Joan made these breads to take over to Bill and Marlene so she could inquire as to what they plan to do about the mishap.

Prep: 25 minutes
Bake: 12 minutes
Oven: 400°F
Cool: 5 minutes

Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup corn, canola, or vegetable oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp. finely shredded orange peel
3/4 cup raspberries
3/4 cup blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat five 5 3/4x3x2-inch disposable foil loaf pans or disposable foil cups (layer two liners) with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, Add milk, oil, eggs, and orange peel. Stir to combine. Gently stir in raspberries and blueberries. Evenly divide batter among loaf pans or muffin cups.

3. Bake until tops are lightly golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow 18 to 20 minutes for loaves; 12 to 15 minutes for muffins. Cool in pans for 5 minutes. Remove from pans cool on wire rack before serving. Serve with Citrus Butter.

Makes 5 loaves (5 servings each) or 12 to 14 muffins.

TEST KITCHEN TIP-. To make biscotti from loaves, use a serrated knife to cut loaves lengthwise in 1/2-inch slices. Place slices, cut sides down, on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 325°F for 10 minutes. Turn slices over: bake 10 to 15 minutes more or until dry and crisp. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

TEST KITCHEN TIP: To assemble ingredients ahead, combine dry ingredients in a large self-sealing plastic bag. Combine wet ingredients in a screw-top jar and store in cooler. To bake, pour the wet ingredients into dry, seal bag and knead to mix. Open bag and add berries; knead gently (berries will be mashed. Cut a 1-inch hole in bottom comer of bag; pipe batter into prepared cups.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Greek Cucumber Dip Revisited

Michael landing a smallmouth bass in Owasco Lake last summer.

Bradley was looking for a sauce to go with fish. Joan suggested trying the Greek Cucumber Dip.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Pork and Squash Chili

Client No. 9 resigns. The Orangemen give up the ghost. What to do with last night's left-over pork roast? Let's make chili.

3/4 pound boneless pork sirloin chops or pork shoulder steaks, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil or cooking oil
2 14 1/2-ounce cans stewed tomatoes
8 ounces butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup water
1 15-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup loose-pack frozen whole kernel corn
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon grated unsweetened chocolate
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed

Cut pork into 1/2-inch cubes. In a Dutch oven, cook and stir pork, onion and garlic in hot oil until meat is browned. Stir in undrained tomatoes, squash, kidney beans, black beans, corn, water, chili powder, chocolate, cumin, cinnamon and oregano. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes or until squash and pork are tender, stirring occasionally. To serve, ladle chili into bowls.

Makes 6 servings.

Note: For best flavor, make the chili a day ahead.

(Recipe found on Bean Bible)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Heluva Good Pasta Bake

Winter returned. Joan remembered an easy to prepare meal that she had not made in sometime. But the recipe could not found - in the kitchen cupboard cookbook, in the computer files, in the stack of miscellaneous papers in the reading room.

The World Wide Web to the rescue. Googled Heluva Good Cheese and there it was.

Joan made this dish which warmed the cockles of our hearts as winter attempts to leave Central New York.

Makes 6 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Baking Time: 35 minutes

* 4 cups (11 oz.) medium pasta shells
* 10 oz. package fresh spinach, rinsed and coarsely chopped
* 3 cups (12 oz.) Heluva Good!® Cheddar Cheese, grated
* 1 cup Heluva Good!® Sour Cream
* 1 13-3/4 oz. can artichoke hearts in brine, drained and quartered
* 1 14-1/2 oz. can Italian-style stewed tomatoes

Cook pasta in an 8 quart (2 gallon) pot of rapidly boiling salted water. After 5 minutes, add spinach and cook both until pasta is done, about 6-8 minutes total. Drain, rinse in cold water and drain again. Combine pasta/spinach mixture with remaining ingredients. Spoon into a greased 3-quart casserole and bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes. Serve piping hot.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Chicken and Rice Casserole

The temperature has dipped. In the low teens.The snow has reappeared. Over 10 inches. So Joan removed one of Paula Deen’s cookbooks from the shelf and prepared this meal using leftover chicken from the previous night.


3 cups diced cooked chicken

1 medium onion, diced and sautéed

One 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained and chopped

Two 14 1/2-ounce cans French green beans, rinsed and drained

One 4-ounce can pimentos, rinsed and drained

One 10 3/4-ounce can condensed, cream of celery soup

1 cup mayonnaise

One 6-ounce box Uncle Ben's long-grain and wild rice,
cooked according to package directions

1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Mix all ingredients together and pour into a 3-quart casserole.
Bake for 25 minutes.

Serves 6 t0 8.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Chicken and Artichokes

On this unseasonable day, Joan dipped into one of her tried-and-true cookbooks - 500 Fast & Fabulous Five Star 5 Ingredient Recipes. She found this meal, which has been previously blogged. This meal can be quickly prepared and it will make your mouth water.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Seafood Lasagna

According to Mr. Food, nobody ever said that lasagna had to be made with ground beef or even spinach. Thus, on this blustery day (sustained winds of 25 to 40 mph), Joan combined pasta shells with shrimp and crab.

1 pound uncooked medium-sized pasta shells
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
1 can (141/2 ounces) stewed tomatoes
12 ounces medium-sized shrimp, cooked, peeled, and deveined
1 package (10 ounces) imitation crab meat, flaked

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cook the shells according to the package directions; drain and set aside in a large bowl. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and slowly add the flour, stirring until the flour is well blended. Add the milk gradually and stir until blended. Add the salt and pepper and stir the sauce constantly until thickened. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Pour the cheese sauce and remaining ingredients over the shells; mix well. Pour into a 9" X 13" baking dish that has been coated with nonstick vegetable spray and bake for 30 minutes until hot and bubbly.

8 to 10 servings

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Trifle Trio!

While wrapping Ben and Jen’s wedding gifts, Joan slipped in this trio of trifle recipes along with these three.

Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

Two 14-ounce packages gingerbread mix
One 5.1-ounce package cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
One 30-ounce can pumpkin pie filling
1/2 Cup packed brown sugar
1/3 teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon
One 12-ounce carton Cool Whip
1/2 cup gingersnaps (optional)

Bake the gingerbread according to the package directions; cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the pudding and set aside to cool. Stir the pumpkin pie filling, sugar, and cardamom into the pudding.

Crumble one batch of gingerbread into the bottom of a large, pretty bowl. Pour 1/2 the pudding mixture over the gingerbread, then add a layer of Cool Whip. Repeat with the remaining gingerbread, pudding, and Cool Whip. Sprinkle the top with crushed gingersnaps if desired. Refrigerate overnight. Can be layered in a punch bowl.

Serves 20

All American Trifle

Patriotically delicious!

1 (12-ounce) prepared pound cakes
2 pints strawberries
2 pints blueberries
1 (28-ounce) jar strawberry glaze
1/2 cup mini-chocolate chips, divided
1 (16- to 24-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

Cut pound cake into approximately 1-inch cubes. Rinse and dry berries. Put glaze in medium-size bowl; slice strawberries into glaze and stir gently to combine. Save one really nice looking berry to decorate top.

In clear glass trifle dish, put a layer of strawberries, just enough to cover bottom of dish. Add 1/3 of cake pieces (push down slightly), a layer of whipped topping, layer of blueberries, and another layer of strawberries. Then sprinkle with about half the mini-chips (reserve 2 tablespoons to decorate top). Repeat layers, packing slightly. Repeat again if you have room. Finish off top with whipped topping to cover. Add reserved strawberry and sprinkle reserved chips around outside edge. You can even drizzle some of the glaze (without strawberries) on the top. Serves a large group.

Colossal Carmel Apple Trifle

A very impressive dessert. Delicious and pretty, too!

1 (18 1/4-ounce) yellow cake mix
3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted, divided
1 (21-ounce) can apple pie filling, divided
2 (8-ounce) cartons frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
4 cups cold milk
2 (3.4-ounce) packages vanilla instant pudding mix
1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice, or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and a little nutmeg
1 (8-ounce) jar caramel ice cream topping, divided

Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using 2 (8-inch) round pans. Cool cake in pans 8 minutes, then remove to wire racks and cool completely. In a large bowl, whisk milk, pudding, and apple pie spice for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes.

Cut one cake layer, if necessary, to fit in bottom of punch bowl or large glass bowl. Poke holes in cake with a straw; gradually pour 1/3 caramel over cake. Sprinkle 1/3 pecans on, then 1/2 pudding. Spoon 1/2 can pie filling over pudding; spread with 1 carton topping. Top with remaining cake, then repeat layers. After second carton of topping, drizzle with remaining caramel and sprinkle with remaining pecans. Refrigerate until serving.