Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New Orleans Gumbo


New Orleans Gumbo


  • 1 cup oil or lard
  • 2 cups cut up chicken breast
  • 1 1/2 lbs. andouille sausage, ham or chorizo
  • 4 cups chopped onions
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 cups chopped green pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups chopped green onions
  • Cooked rice
  • Joe’s Stuff (cajun seasoning)


  • 1
    Season and brown chicken in oil over medium heat until cooked through. Add sausage to pot and saute with chicken. Remove both from pot.
  • 2
    Max a roux* with equal parts of oil (must be free of food particles to avoid burning so clean the pot well) and flour to desired color. Add onions, celery and green pepper. Add garlic to mixture and stir continuously. After vegetables reach desired tenderness, return chicken and sausage to pot and cook with vegetables, stirring frequently. Gradually stir in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for an hour or more. Season to taste with Joe’s Stuff seasoning or other cajun seasoning.
  • 3
    Approx. 10 minutes before serving, add green onions. Serve over rice or plain, accompanied by french bread.
  • 4
    *Roux: The lighter the color the thicker the end result. I try to make this roux a medium brown color-not too light, not too dark.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

Roasted Cauliflower Recipe


  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and coarsely minced
  • Lemon juice from half a lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese


1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut cauliflower into florets and put in a single layer in an oven-proof baking dish. Toss in the garlic. Sprinkle lemon juice over cauliflower and drizzle each piece with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. If the oven hasn't reached 400°F yet, set aside until it has.
2 Place casserole in the hot oven, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is lightly brown. Test with a fork for desired doneness. Fork tines should be able to easily pierce the cauliflower. Remove from oven and sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
Yield: Serves 4.

Holiday Meatballs

Holiday Meatballs
2 # lean ground meat (turkey or beef)
1 C. corn flake crumbs
1/3 C. dry parsley
2 eggs
2 T. soy sauce
1/4 t. pepper
1 t. garlic salt
1/3 c. ketchup
2 T. minced dry onion

Mix these ingredients together thoroughly. Shape into balls and bake on cookie sheet. Bake uncovered 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.

1- 1# can cranberry sauce (smooth or chunky)
1- 12 oz. bottle of chili or cocktail sauce
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. lemon juice

Mix in a saucepan, heat and stir until smooth. Place meatballs in a warming server or electric skillet, pour sauce over the meatballs and let simmer.Meatballs can be prepared ahead and frozen.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fresh Cranberry Jello Salad

Fresh Cranberry Jello Salad


- 1 package fresh cranberries, washed and sorted
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 cups orange jello
- 2 cans mandarian oranges, drained and cut into small pieces
- 1 cup chooped nuts
- 1 can crushed pineapple, undrained


1. Grind Cranberried in food processor/grinder, stir in the sugar to blend. Set aside.

2. Dissolve jello in boiling water, cool until mixture begins to thicken.

3. Add cranberry mixture. Add oranges, nuts and pineapple. Stir well, pour into lightly oiled 8 cup mold.  Chill overnight. Unmold.

Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Cranberry Sauce Recipe

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cups (1 12-oz package) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • Optional Pecans, orange zest, raisins, currants, blueberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice.


1 Wash and pick over cranberries. In a saucepan bring to a boil water and sugar, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add cranberries, return to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 10 minutes or until cranberries burst.
2 At this point you can add all number of optional ingredients. We typically mix in a half a cup of roughly chopped pecans with or without a few strips of orange zest. You can add a cup of raisins or currants. You can add up to a pint of fresh or frozen blueberries for added sweetness. Spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice can be added too.
3 Remove from heat. Cool completely at room temperature and then chill in refrigerator. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.
Cranberry sauce base makes 2 1/4 cups.

Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie

Beat together:
3 eggs
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/3 c. butter (melted)
1 cup dark corn syrup.

Mix well. Gently fold in 1 cup pecans. Pour into pastry shell.  Bake until set and pastry is golden brown.  Bake at 375 for approximately 40-50 minutes. *You may want to cover the top of the pie with foil to prevent excessive browning of the pecans. Cool. Serve warm or cold.

No Fail Pie Crust

No Fail Pie Crust

3 c. Flour
1 1/2 t. salt
Mix and cut in 1 1/4 cups of shortening (I use Crisco butter sticks)

Beat-then stir into flour:
1 egg
1 T. vinegar
5 T. cold water

Roll out onto floured board, adding flour frequently to prevent sticking. Carefully place in pie tin and flute. (The less you manipulate the crust, the flakier it will be.)

Make two double crusts.

Chocolate Cheese Pie

Chocolate Cheese Pie

1 package of cream cheese softened (8 ounce)
1 package of cream cheese softened (3 ounces)
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. Hershey's Cocoa
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. chilled whipping cream
8 inch packaged crumb crust (I use chocolate)
Cherry Pie filling (to drizzle over the top when serving

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar: beat well. Blend in cocoa, scraping the sides of bowl and beaters. Add eggs and vanilla, blend well. Pour in whipping cream. Mix well. Pour into crust. Bake 40-50 minutes.  Cool at room temperature. Cover and chill several hours or overnight. Garnish with pie filling.  Enjoy...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cranberry Turkey Brine

Cranberry Turkey Brine

 Prep Time: 13 minutes 


  • 2 quarts cranberry juice
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 cup salt (1 1/2 cups Kosher or coarse salt)
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 12 cloves garlic, unpeeled and lightly smashed
  • 4 springs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 6-8 bay leaves


Combine ingredients and place in a large pot. Add turkey to pot, making sure that brine covers turkey. If not, add more water to mixture. Brine for 1 hour per pound. Thoroughly rinse all the brine from the turkey, inside and out, before cooking. Otherwise there will be a salty flavor to the turkey.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Slow Cooker French Onion Soup

Slow Cooker French Onion Soup
3 large onions(or 6-8 small)
3tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups beef broth
1/2 cup red wine
4 slices French bread, 1 inch thick
4 oz Gruyere cheese
Slice onions as thin as you can. The thinner they are, the softer they will get as they caramelize all day.
Place onions, olive oil, sugar, and pepper in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours until nice and caramelized.
Add broth and wine. Cover, turn to high, and cook for 30 minutes until heated through.
Before serving, cut French bread or baguette into slices. Fill oven safe soup bowls to the top, then cover with slice of bread and a slice of cheese. Set under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Be careful when serving as bowls will be hot!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Slow Cooker, Apple Cinnamon Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Slow Cooker, Apple Cinnamon Steel-Cut Oatmeal             Servings: 7 (3/4-cup) servings
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2-1/2 to 3 cups chopped)
  • 1-1/2 cups fat-free milk (or substitute non-diary alternative like almond milk)
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked steel-cut oats
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (or substitute maple syrup or other desired sweetener)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons butter, cut into 5-6 pieces (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Optional garnishes: chopped nuts, raisins, maple syrup, additional milk or butter
Coat inside of 3-1/2 quart (or larger) slow cooker with cooking spray. Add all ingredients (except optional toppings) to slow cooker. Stir, cover, and cook on low for approx. 7 hours (slow cooker times can vary). Spoon oatmeal into bowls; add optional toppings, if desired. Store leftovers in refrigerator. Freezes well.

To reheat single servings: Put 1-cup cooked oatmeal in microwave proof bowl. Add 1/3 cup fat-free milk. Microwave on high for 1 minute; stir. Continue cooking for another minute, or until hot.

Recipe can be doubled in 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Increase cooking time 1 hour.

Old-Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies

Old-Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies
I found the recipe years ago at verybestbaking.com

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) softened
1 cup 100% pumpkin (you can find cans of this in the pie-filling section of the grocery store)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
Glaze (see below)
Optional: 1/2 cup chocolate chips or nuts.
Preheat oven to 350. Grease baking sheets.
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and set aside. Beat sugar and butter in large bowl until well blended. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Drizzle glaze over cookies.
For Glaze:
Combine 2 cups powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter and 1 tsp vanilla in small bowl until smooth.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Peppermint Bark

 Peppermint Bark:

1 c. crushed candy canes
2 pkgs. white choc. chips
1 t. peppermint flavoring

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler. (I've been told you can also do this in the microwave but I've never had luck w/THAT.) I don't have and can't find a double boiler so I makeshift my own by putting a smaller saucepan w/water under a larger saucepan.

When completely melted, add the crushed candy canes & flavoring & mix well. Pour mixture onto a cookie sheet that's lined w/waxed or parchment paper. Put in frig for 45 min. till firm. Break into pieces & ENJOY!



1 c. ch. pecans (I use walnuts)
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. margarine
1/2 c. choc. chips

Butter 9x9 pan & spread pecans in pan. Heat brown sugar & margarine in heavy duty saucepan to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 7 minutes. Immediately spread mixture over nuts. Sprinkle choc. chips over hot mixture and cover for a couple of minutes till the chips are melted. Spread melted chips over candy. Cut into 1" squares while still hot. Refrigerate till firm.

NOTES: I actually mix the nuts into the hot mixture; otherwise, I find that a lot of nuts are wasted. I also have never had any luck cutting while hot, so I just break it up when it's firm.