Friday, November 30, 2007

Classic TV On The Internet

This is a great site for all you out there who grew up when I did. You know, in the old "classic" days (cringe). It's a fun way to reconnect to the past when TV actually showed something worth watching ;) Just the cartoons alone are worth it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Four Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

When a friend of mine gave me this recipe for my son, who is on a gluten free casein (dairy) free diet, I could not believe it only had four ingredients. I was sure it meant they would come out yucky. No flour? No way! She assured me that they would turn out great. She had made them for her son (who is also on the same diet) for Thanksgiving, so he would have something sweet to eat. He had a few and everyone else ate the rest! Encouraged, I went home and made them that day. I swear, they are better than any version of peanut butter cookies I've ever had. Even if you don't have to avoid gluten or casein, you gotta try these.

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 large egg

Mix all ingredients well. Roll small sections of batter into about 1 inch balls, place on baking sheet. Using a fork dipped in sugar, make a criss cross pattern on the cookie, being careful not to flatten the cookie too much.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

"Diligence is a good thing, but taking things easy is much more restful."
-Mark Twain

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Rice Game

My daughter told me about this website she learned about at school. But I didn't get what she was explaining until I saw an article about it in the local newspaper. It's fun, addicting, and it's for a great cause. Who can argue with that?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Irresistible Chocolate Pecan Pie

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! We managed to host Thanksgiving dinner without any burned food or relatives inflicting bodily harm on each other. Whew! And just to stir things up a bit this year, I tried a new Pecan Pie recipe- with chocolate! Am I an adventurous gal, or what?! Boredom was setting in with the same old pie every year so when I saw this recipe, I went for it. It is delicious! I think I might make another one around Christmas, for company, of course ;)

Chocolate Pecan Pie
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
2 Tblsp. butter, melted
3 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup (light or dark)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 pecans (I used walnuts-they were cheaper!)
1 unbaked pie crust shell

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler (I used the microwave; it worked fine. Microwave only until warm then stir until melted). Let cool slightly. Add sugar, corn syrup, chocolate mixture, and vanilla. Stir until blended. Mix in pecans.

Bake in oven 50 to 55 minutes or until knife inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool to room temp. before serving.

"Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow."

-Edward Sandford Martin

"What we're really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?"

-Erma Bombeck, "No One Diets on Thanksgiving"

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Old Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup

One of the pleasures in life is having food that makes you feel warm and cozy inside. This Chicken Noodle Soup recipe does that for me. I make it frequently in the winter but I also make it in the summer too, especially on a rainy day. The ingredients are easy to put together, and the soup takes a few hours to simmer. It's all worth it. The end result with have you sighing with contentment :)

Chicken Noodle Soup
1 meaty chicken frame (I use leftovers from Rotissorie chickens we eat for dinner)
1 boneless chicken breast uncooked, if needed for extra meat
8 cups water
2 onions quartered
1 can chicken broth or 1 tblsp. instant chicken bouillion granules
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 14 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 tsps. dried oregano, basil, or thyme, crushed
3 cups any combination of sliced celery, carrots, parsnips, mushrooms, cabbage

In a large pot, place chicken frame, boneless chicken, water, onions, broth (or bouillion), garlic, and bay leaf. Bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove chicken frame and cool. Remove meat from bones and discard bones.
Cut up boneless chicken breast to bite size pieces. Add to meat from frame.

Strain broth, discarding solids. Return broth to pot. Stir in undrained tomatoes, spice, chicken meat, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Stir in vegetables. Return to boiling, reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

Spoon over noodles. Serve with warm, buttered bread.

I usually use regular no yolk egg noodles for this dish but since my son is on a special diet and can't eat gluten, I used rice noodles from the "ethnic" section of the grocery store. They were very good and worked out well.

“To feel safe and warm on a cold wet night, all you really need is soup.”
-Laurie Colwin

"Beautiful soup, so rich and green
Waiting in a hot tureen!
Who for such dainties would not stoop?
Soup of the evening, beautiful soup! Beautiful soup!
Who cares for fishGame, or any other dish?
Who would not give all else for two
Pennyworth of beautiful soup?"
-Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Note Of Thanks

Here is an easy and fun way to thank a soldier today. With the upcoming holidays, I'm sure they would really appreciate anything that shows we are thinking about them.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Cracker Barrel Grilled Chicken Tenderloins (Copy Cat)

Copy cat recipes are so much fun! So is going out to dinner, but when you are on a tight budget with a family, making restaurant meals at home can be a treat. This recipe is the ultimate in easy, especially since grocery stores sell frozen bags of chicken strips so all you have to do is thaw them and start cooking. Makes a great weekday meal.

Chicken Tenderloins Cracker Barrel Style

1 lb. boneless chicken breast tenders
1/2 cup Italian dressing
1 tsp. lime juice
1 1/2 tsp. honey

Mix dressing, lime juice, and honey together. Pour over chicken tenders making sure all chicken is covered. Marinate for 1 hour. Grill chicken or braise in a non stick pan on stove until lightly golden, but not dry.
Makes 2 servings (which of course I triple!)

"People seldom improve when they have no other model but themselves to copy after."
-Oliver Goldsmith

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Freedom Isn't Free

Thank You to all the Veterans and their families who gave so much to protect the greatest country in the world. We salute you today and everyday.

Friday, November 9, 2007

So Easy Jambalaya

I've always thought of Jambalaya as a hard recipe to fix. It seemed to have so many ingredients and that to me indicated it was tough to make :) So this morning when I got a sudden idea to make Jambalaya for dinner tonight, I was prepared to switch plans if the recipe turned out to be too hard. To my surprise, it was extremely easy to fix and very good! You can change the ingredients around and use 8 oz. sausage instead of chicken or in addition to it, if you like. Or add 8 oz. ham. It's so easy to alter, and there are so many versions, everyone can find a favorite. But anyway you like it, hot sauce is the only condiment needed for this dish!


1 pound medium size peeled and deveined shrimp, thawed if frozen
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 chopped celery (I omitted this- didn't have any on hand)
1/4 cup chopped green pepper (omitted too)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups chicken broth (I used canned)
1 14 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
3/4 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 bay leaf

Spray a 12 inch skillet with cooking spray. Cook onion, celery, pepper, and garlic until tender. Stir in chicken broth, undrained tomatoes, chicken, rice and spices. Add 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Bring to boil then reduce heat. Simmer until rice is tender, about 15 minutes (longer if needed).

Stir in shrimp. Return to boiling. Simmer, covered, for about 5 more minutes or until shrimp turn opaque. Discard bay leaf and serve.

Here are some different versions of Jambalaya:

"There are no set recipes. I go with whatever I'm feeling. I love just about anything, but I like it spicy."
-Tony Furtado

"A lot of people don't understand the cuisine. It's not all about the hot and spicy. It's a fusion of Creole, Cajun, Low Country and French."
-David Malone

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff

Creamy, tangy, and hearty about describes this dish. Sometimes there is nothing I want more than a big bowl of Beef Stroganoff, a large chunk of buttered bread and a salad. Add a tall glass of tea and I am happy. With the winter weather finally hitting the Northeast today (we actually saw a few snow flurries this morning!), you can't ask for a more satisfying dinner. Or more easy!

Beef Stroganoff

1 pound of round steak, cubed
1/2 cup chopped onions
10 3/4 oz. can cream of mushroom soup (I use the reduced fat version. Every little bit helps!)
1 8 oz. pkg. fresh mushrooms, cut into sections
1 cup sour cream (reduced fat works fine)
1/4 tsp. garlic salt

Brown meat in saucepan sprayed with cooking spray. Add onions and saute until just tender.
Combine all ingredients, except sour cream. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours, or high on 4 to 5 hours. In last 1/2 hour of cooking, add sour cream. Serve over hot brown rice or hot cooked noodles.

"Never argue at the dinner table, for the one who is not hungry always gets the best of the argument"
-Richard Whately

"Society is composed of two great classes: those who have more dinners than appetite, and those who have more appetite than dinners"

Friday, November 2, 2007

Before Fall Is Over Apple Crisp

I don't know if you've noticed, but Christmas has moved up from being a holiday after Thanksgiving to a holiday after Halloween. Where did Fall go? I think it was here two weeks before the Christmas craze started. I refuse to give in, however. I going to carry on like it's still Fall and Christmas really is two months away. Except for being half way through my Christmas shopping already, I'm going to hold to my guns. Seriously!

Here is my solution for stretching out Fall a bit longer. A different slant on the usual Apple Crisp. This recipe uses orange juice and the taste has made this dessert one of my new favorites. I have to tell you, though, that when I brought it out of the oven I thought it looked unappetizing. But after that first spoonful, I was hooked. I hope it does the same for you!

Apple Crisp with Orange Juice

4 cups sliced (or cut into large pieces) pared tart apples
1/4 cup orange juice
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash of salt
1/3 cup butter

Layer apples in a buttered glass baking dish and pour orange juice over them. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, flour, spices, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over apples. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes or until apples are tender and topping is crisp. Serve warm with cream.

Recipe given by Mrs. Barbara Bush, The White House, Washington, D.C.

"Autumn wins you best by this, its mute Appeal to sympathy for its decay."
-Robert Browning

"Ever since Eve gave Adam the apple, there has been a misunderstanding between the sexes about gifts."
-Nan Robertson