Sunday, December 26, 2010

Julie & Julia

My husband gave me the DVD of "Julie & Julia" for Christmas and I watched it today. It wasn't a bad movie, but probably not one that just anyone would like. I have always been a fan of Julia Child and still watch reruns of her cooking show when PBS has them on. Between being a fan and loving to cook, I figured this would be my kind of movie.

I wasn't aware that besides chronicling Julia Child's life, it also told the true story of Julie Powell, who in 365 days prepared every recipe in Julia Child's cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. While doing this, she wrote on her blog each day about her cooking experiences. Due to the blog, she earned notoriety and became a published author.

I felt a connection with Ms. Powell since I have a food blog. Wow, don't I wish I could have her success with this blog? I also think that Meryl Streep did a pretty good job portraying Julia Child. She known for her ability to do different accents and she hit Julia's perfect. The movie also told the story of Julia's love for her husband. I had always heard that she and her husband had a very deep love for each other and it came through in this movie.

I think my husband did a pretty good job getting this movie for me. I'll have to cook him a special dinner to thank him, maybe even something from Julia Child's cookbook.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. It looks like I will be snowed in for Christmas this year with 1-3 inches of snow predicted. Normally, I have a 4-wheel drive truck and can get out from my country home, but this year all I have is a front-wheel drive car that belongs to my mother. I won't take a chance on getting her car in a ditch.

I'll be baking a ham for us this year. We've already had three turkey dinners in November and, as much as we love turkey, we wanted something else. I haven't decided what to fix with it yet, but it will come to me. It better come to me because I will be doing the grocery shopping tonight.

Anyway, enjoy your holiday, hug your family, and stay warm. For my southern California followers, stay dry.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chocolate Lava Cake

I'm cheating today. I don't have one of my own recipes, but instead am going to direct you to one that I can't wait to try myself. I love chocolate and who doesn't, so when I saw this recipe my mouth started watering. If you're hosting a small dinner party soon, this would be the perfect dessert. The recipe doesn't say it, but I read other recipes that say that once baked, you can freeze the cakes and thaw in the oven later when you're ready to serve. My problem is that I don't have that many custard cups or small quiche dishes. Oh goody, I may have to go shopping.

Anyway, you can find the recipe for Chocolate Lava Cake here. This is one of my favorite sites to find new recipes.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Substituting an Ingredient

In October, I posted a recipe for Hot Apple Cider. I'm planning on making this next week for a Christmas party, so I've been shopping for the ingredients. What I wanted to tell you is that if you make this, you may have a hard time finding the Apricot Nectar. I had to go to four stores, including Walmart and Kroger, before I finally found it in a local grocery chain store.

What I would suggest, if you cannot find it, is to substitute Peach Nectar or Juice, if you can find it. When I thought I wasn't going to be able to find the Apricot Nectar, I bought V-8 Fusion Mango-Peach flavor. I think it would worked fine, but luckily I found the original ingredient. As I said in the original post, this drink is so good, it's addicting. If you need to supply a holiday beverage, I highly recommend making this one.


Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey Broth

I had intended to put up a post about food safety and turkeys last weekend, but a family emergency kept me from it. By the time I could have written it, it was Thanksgiving and a little too late. I'll save it for Christmas and hope I can get it posted then.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I did, but was exhausted after cooking yesterday morning. I did have it a little easier, but as a result I have a new story if I ever write a sequel to my Masters & Disasters of Cooking Cookbook. To help me out, my husband baked the turkey on Tuesday afternoon for me to carve that evening and then refrigerate until Thursday. He baked it in a Reynolds Oven Bag and it came out wonderfully. This was the first time we had used them for a turkey and I highly recommend them. He did not add any water to the bag, but when the baking was done, I got almost a liter of broth to use for my dressing. That's where the disaster began.

As I said, we baked the turkey on Tuesday, but I planned on using the broth to make the dressing on Thursday morning at my mom's. I needed something to put the broth in until then. I ended up using a 2 liter jug that had originally held tomato juice. My husband also boiled the turkey neck to get even more broth. All in all, it practically filled the jug. What I had forgotten was that when the broth gets cold, it coagulates into a solid. So, Thursday morning I had a solid bottle of turkey fat.

Hmmm, the bottle was too tall to fit into the microwave to heat it in there. I tried several ideas which I am too embarrassed to even mention here. Then, it dawned on me to run it under some hot water. Duh, why didn't I think of that first? That worked, but still not well. Eventually, I was able to get the jello-like broth out of the bottle and into a microwavable bowl and heated it up that way. Even with all the trouble, I think the dressing was the best I've ever made.

A Belated Happy Thanksgiving to all and I hope you got all of the Black Friday deals you wanted. I got one, but not the one I wanted the most.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Oven-fried Chicken

I have a quick and easy recipe for you today and it's also what I prepared for supper tonight. Mostly, because I am deep in writing my NaNoWriMo book and need to get back to it. If you want to know what I am talking about, or check my progress, visit my writing blog.

I like to call this recipe my one-oven meal because you fix everyone in the oven at the same time. It's Oven-fried Chicken with baked potato. I like to fix this often on Sunday because I can start it at half-time of the football game and it will usually be done around the end of the game. By baking the potatoes right along with the chicken, you have everything you need in one oven. When I prepare the chicken, sometimes I take the skin off and sometimes I don't. It depends on my mood. Either way is terrific.

Oven-fried Chicken

1 chicken, cut up into pieces
Baking mix, such as Bisquick
Mrs. Dash original seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400°f. I use a broiling pan that allows the juices to drain from the chicken. In a shallow pan, combine the baking mix, Mrs. Dash seasoning, salt and pepper. Depending on how healthy you want to make this, sometimes I dip the chicken into a mixture of beaten egg and milk and then roll the pieces in the baking mix. At other times, I rinse the chicken with water and then roll in the the baking mix. Place the coated pieces onto the broiling pan and place into the oven. Roll the potatoes up in aluminum foil and place on oven rack next to the chicken. Bake for one hour, and then serve.

Extra hint: When I use the egg and milk mixture, I give the leftover mixture to our cat. He loves it and it helps make his coat shiny.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Grandma's Pumpkin Pie

When I started this blog, I didn't envision how long or often I would be adding recipes. I should have kept a list of the ones I'd posted. For instance, I recently posted a recipe for hot apple cider. I thought I had already written about it and looked through the archives, but didn't find it. With the holidays approaching, I wanted to post my grandmother's pumpkin pie recipe, but thought I already had. Again, I did a search through the archive and didn't find it, but did find where I had posted the hot cider recipe a few years ago. Oh well, someday when I find the time, I'll have to go through and make myself a list. Hopefully, I haven't already put this pumpkin pie recipe on here, but if I have that's okay. It's such a good recipe, it's worth seeing again.

I love heirloom recipes. You can always count on them being good. This was my maternal grandmother's recipe, who gave it to my mother, who gave it to me and I, in turn, have given it to my daughter. Hopefully, it will keep going down each generation for quite a while.

I actually make this recipe two different ways. As you can see in the instructions below, it calls for separating the egg yolks from the white and then whipping the whites to add later. Doing this makes the pie much fuller and thick. If you don't want to go to the trouble of whipping the egg whites, you can add the eggs whole. The pie won't be as thick, but the taste is the same. Also, please note that this recipe calls for deep-dish pie crusts. This makes a lot of batter and two regular pie crusts will not hold it all.

Grandma Heitz's Pumpkin Pie

2 - 15 oz. cans of pumpkin
4 eggs
3/4 C. evaporated milk
3 T. flour
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 t. cinnamon

Separate egg yolks from egg white and set whites aside. Mix all of the other ingredients well and set them aside. Beat the eggs whites until fluffy. Add them to the pumpkin batter and mix well by hand. Pour into 2 deep-dish pie crusts. Bake at 350° f. for about an hour.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I'm on vacation this week, yeah for me! This weekend, I will attending a writers' conference and the challenge for me will be eating. Recently, I have found that fried foods are upsetting my stomach. So, check back next week and see how I did with finding a variety of foods at the conference that won't keep me popping antacids all weekend.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Autumn Apple Brew

Fall is one of the best times for homemade recipes. There's just so much you can do with so many things. Today, I have a recipe for one of my favorites and I think if you try it, it'll become one of your favorites, too. It's called Autumn Apple Brew. I know what you're thinking, it's just hot apple cider. Ah, but it's more than that. It's a combination of four different juices to get just the perfect flavor for this fall beverage. I can't begin to tell you how addicting this drink is. Once you try it, you will come back time after time for a refill, so make sure you have plenty on hand.

I usually make this ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator in gallon milk jugs and then pour it into the slow cooker about 30 minutes before I want to serve it. That also makes it convenient if you want to take it to a party.

Autumn Apple Brew
2 quarts apple cider
12 oz. apricot nectar
2 c. cranberry juice
1 c. orange juice
1 c. sugar
cinnamon sticks

Mix all of the ingredients together heat in a slow cooker. This can be heated on top of the stove, also.
Now, if you're like my husband and you don't want to wait while I mix up and heat the Autumn Apple Brew, you can purchase instant Spiced Cider and make it in the microwave. It can be purchased in either regular or sugar-free.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Author interview

I have an interview up on The Embraced: Scribal Love blog today. Please stop by and take a look. I'll also try and get a new recipe up here this weekend.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pumpkin Dip

The weather has finally turned cool, it's raining today, and it feels like Fall has finally arrived in my part of the country. That means it's time for Fall recipes like persimmons, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes. Hmmm, yummy.

So, today I have an appetizer for you. It's Pumpkin Dip and wonderful for those Fall get togethers. I swear it's so addicting, you won't want to stop eating it. If you love pumpkin pie, you will love this dip.

Pumpkin Dip
4 C. powdered sugar
2 - 8 oz. pkg of cream cheese, room temperature
1 - 15 oz. canned pumpkin
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg

Combine the powdered sugar and cream cheese until well blended. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator to chill.

To dip, use graham crackers, Teddy Graham cookies, apple slices, and vanilla wafers.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Deep Fried Beer

My husband and I have always talked about all of the unusual deep fried foods that cooks come up with. We've all heard about Deep Fried Twinkies and Oreos. A year or so ago, someone at the Indiana State Fair figured out how to deep fry Pepsi. It was at that point that my husband asked, "Why can't they deep fry beer?"

Well, a chef in Texas has now accomplished that. According to an article on the Field & Stream web site, the beer is placed inside of a ravioli type dough and quickly deep fried. The Texas Alcohol Commission has ruled that you must be 21 years of age to consume the product.

My husband is happy, but why do I have a feeling I will come home one day to find him in the kitchen trying to deep fry beer?


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Interview is up

My interview at Megan Rose's site is now up. She also posted the same interview on her other blog, The Rambling Rose. Please stop by one of these sites for a visit. Thanks.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Author Interview

I am scheduled to be interviewed on Megan Rose's Blog tomorrow, September 14, 2010 about my romance writing. If you have a moment, please stop by and take a look. Thanks.


Friday, September 10, 2010

I've been so neglectful....

....and I'm sorry. I have been way too busy to do anything that is fun, like this blog. I hope to get that fixed soon. Today, I wanted to give you a hint to help make your homemade cookies a little softer.

To get those wonderful soft homemade cookies, all you have to do is alter your recipe by using 1/4 C less sugar, no salt, and add a box of Jello Instant vanilla pudding to the batter. Yum-Yum.

Also, coming next month, I'm going to hold a contest for my readers. I'm not sure what it will be yet, but one of the prizes will be a copy of my ebook, "Love, Lies & Deceit." Check back in October for more details.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fried Potatoes

Today, I have a quick tip for you. I'm planning on frying some potatoes tonight for supper to go with the sliced ham that I have. If you know me well, you know I do like to take short cuts in the kitchen when I can. One thing I don't like to do is have to stand over a skillet while frying something. I can't remember the last time I fried chicken for that very reason. I bake my chicken, which is what I am planning on for supper tomorrow night.

My short cut and tip of the day for you is the way I prepare my fried potatoes.

After I peel and sliced the potatoes, I put them on a platter and microwave them for about 4 minutes and then place them in a hot skillet for frying. The microwave cooks the potatoes until almost done. Add onions, salt and pepper into the skillet with the potatoes and fry them until they're done. I like them a little crispy on one side. By doing this, it cuts the frying time more than half and you can't tell the difference from potatoes that have been completely fried in a skillet.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Blog Award

My friend and author, Marian Allen graciously awarded me the One Lovely Blog Award. Thank you, Marian. It's so nice of you to do that.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

I'm still here

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about my blog. I just haven't been very motivated lately and I do have a really good topic to write about. I'll do my best to get something on here this week.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

228M eggs recalled following salmonella outbreak

I just saw this on Yahoo's web page.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Lemon Pound Cake

I have been craving Lemon Pound Cake this week, but as you all know, it's been too hot to run my oven. I may have to make an exception for this. I have another problem though. I can't find my Bundt pan, which is what I use when I make a pound cake.

When I searched the internet for a photo to use here, I found you can use other pans for pound cakes. DUH, I feel so stupid. I should have known that.

I'm going to make another search this evening for my Bundt pan, but if I don't find it I think I will use my Angel Food Cake pan instead.

Oh, and when I make a pound cake, I use a regular cake mix, add a package of instant pudding mix, and bake according to directions on the cake mix box. My icing is a simple powdered sugar icing.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Homemade Spaghetti Pie

Every time I go to Fazolli's, I order their Spaghetti Pie. It's just the best. When I can't go to Fazolli's, I make it at home. I wish I could say that mine is as good as theirs, but it's not. It's pretty good, but when someone else is doing the cooking, it's always better. Right?

Below is my recipe for Spaghetti Pie. I know we're in the hot month of August and I don't like to heat up the kitchen with the over either. I plan on making this for dinner on the next day we are below 90° f.

Spaghetti Pie
4 eggs
1 1/2 t. garlic powder
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
1 lb. spaghetti, cooked
30 oz. jar prepared spaghetti sauce
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 350° f. In a large bowl, beat eggs, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese. Add the spaghetti and blend well until the spaghetti is evenly coated. Pour the spaghetti into a greased 9x13 inch baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Remove from oven and top with the sauce and mozzarella cheese. Return it to the oven and bake for 15-20 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted.


Saturday, July 31, 2010

BLT Wrap

Even though our heat wave seems to have broken, August starts tomorrow and I know the high temperature will back for at least another month. Our kitchen heats up so much when we cook that my husband and I try to come up with something to fix that will keep the heat down. Baking is so much healthier, but in the summer months we try to keep baking to a minimum.

Today, I have a favorite at our house a different version of the BLT sandwich. The only cooking you need to do is frying the bacon. I know bacon isn't the healthiest meat in the world, but it's one that we can't do without. At least you're getting a good serving with veggies with it. I like to serve this with Cole Slaw or some corn on the cob.

BLT Wrap
Mayonnaise or Salad Dressing
chopped tomato
flour tortillas
bacon, fried

Spread the mayonnaise onto the tortilla to about an inch of the side. Layer lettuce, tomato, and bacon on top. Season with salt and pepper, optional. Roll up the tortillas and slice in half diagonally. Secure each wrap with a toothpick and serve.

(I didn't put any amounts for the ingredients because that's something that is up to the preparer to decide. )


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding Cake

There's a television commercial from a car dealer that's on my local channel where the announcer says, "It's hot, Don." Well, I have to agree with the announcer, but need to emphasize that it's DARN hot. I can't remember how many consecutive days of 90+ degree temperatures we have had, but it's been most of June and July. What worries me is that we still have August to go through yet. I've never been a fan of summer, I love winter instead. A friend of mine pointed out the other day when I said that on my facebook page, "I thought you didn't like winter driving." This is true, I don't like driving on slick roads, but in my reply I reminded my friend that's what my vacation days at work are for.

Okay, so what does that have to do with Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding Cake? When it's this hot, neither my husband or I want to cook anything because it heats up the kitchen and the whole house. We actually skipped supper last night for that very reason. One solution to that problem is to use the microwave or your slow cooker to keep the heat down in the kitchen. Since I have been craving something sweet lately, I thought I would give everyone a dessert to prepare in your slow cooker. I wish I had an actual picture of this dish, because the one I found online isn't from this recipe, but it's the closest I could find. Believe me, it does not do it justice.

Slow Cooker Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding Cake

1 C. all-purpose flour
1/3 C. sugar
2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 C. chocolate or white milk
2 T. cooking oil
2 t. vanilla
1/2 C. peanut butter chips
1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. chopped peanuts (optional)
3/4 C. sugar
2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 C. boiling water

Place a slow cooker liner into your crock, or spray the inside with non-stick cooking spray. In a bowl, stir together the flour, 1/3 C. sugar, 2 T. cocoa powder, and baking powder. Add the milk, oil, and vanilla. Mix well until the batter is smooth. Stir in the peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, and optional peanuts. Spread the batter evenly over the bottom of the crock.

For the pudding mix, in another bowl combine 3/4 C. sugar and the remain cocoa powder. Gradually add the boiling water and stir. Pour evenly over the batter in the crock. Cover, and cook on high for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until an inserted wooden toothpick comes out clean. Turn off cooker and let it stand for about 30 minutes before serving.

To serve, spoon the warm cake into dessert dishes and top with vanilla ice cream. Spoon the pudding mixture over the cake and ice cream.

**The next time I make this, I think I am going to try and use a chocolate cake mix instead of the other dry ingredients. If anyone tries this, let me know how it comes out.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Pizza Pancakes

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I hope to someday publish a pizza cookbook. Right now, my fiction work comes first, but I still stow away and pizza recipes that I can. Here's one that anyone should like, especially the kids.

Pizza Pancakes

2 C. biscuit baking mix
2 t. Oregano
2 eggs
1 C. milk
1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. pepperoni, chopped
1/4 C. green pepper, chopped
1/8 C. onion, chopped
1 - 8 oz can pizza sauce, warmed

In a large bowl, mix together the biscuit mix and oregano. Combine the eggs and milk and stir it into the dry ingredients until just moistened. Add the cheese, pepperoni, green pepper, and onion. Pour about a 1/4 C. of batter onto a lightly greased hot skillet or griddle. Flip over when bubbles form on top. Cook on second side until golden brown. Serve with warm pizza sauce. Makes about 14 pancakes.

Optional ingredients can be any pizza topping. I love mushrooms on mine.


Saturday, July 10, 2010


I was sick over the 4th of July holiday and missed out on all the good Fair foods. One of my favorites are corndogs. We normally have a box in the freezer, but right now we're out. They really aren't that hard to make and actually take much better than the frozen ones.

I'm going to be searching my recipe box for other Fair food recipes. The County Fair season is among us and if you don't want to venture out in the hot weather, why not make your favorites at home. Check back each week for a new recipe.


2/3 C. cornmeal
1 C. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
2 T. sugar
3/4 C. milk
2 T. vegetable oil
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 lb. pkg hot dogs
popsicle sticks

Mix all the dry ingredients together, add milk, oil, and egg. Mix well. Dry the hot dogs and insert stick. Dip into the batter. Cook the corndogs in hot oil (365° f.) until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel. Serve with mustard or and sauce of your choosing.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Microwave Apple Pie

It's been so hot here recently that when I can, I try to cook with my microwave in order to keep the heat down in the kitchen. Today, I have a Microwave Apple Pie recipe for you. Obviously, it is not going to be a luscious as the one you would bake in an oven, but it's well worth the saving of energy and heat in the kitchen.

Microwave Apple Pie

1 1/4 c. wheat flour
1/2 t. salt
2 T. butter
1/2 c. shortening
3-4 T. cold water

(You can use white flour, but it will not brown in the microwave, if you do.) Cut the butter and shortening into the flour and salt. Sprinkle with water and mix with a fork until it is moistened. Form into a ball and then it out into a 12-inch circle. Place crust into a microwave-safe dish and flute the edge. Prick the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork about every 1/2 inch. Microwave on high for 5 minutes and then set aside.

1/2 c. sugar
3 T. all-purpose flour
1 t. cinnamon
dash of salt
4-6 thinly sliced and peeled apples

In a large microwave-safe bowl, mix all of the filling ingredients until the apples are evenly coated. Microwave on high for 5 minutes, stirring once. When done, place the apple mixture into the pie crust.

Crumb Topping:
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. quick oats
1/2 c. butter

Mix dry ingredients together and cut in the butter. Sprinkle on top of the apples. Microwave on high for 5 minutes.

Optional topping:
Drizzle 1/4 c. caramel ice cream topping over the top while it is hot, or serve with vanilla ice creams.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Kellogg's Recall

Kellogg's has issued a recall of four of their cereals, Froot Loops, Honey Smacks, Apple Jacks, and Corn Pops. For further information, click here.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Boston Creme Angel Cake

As with most of us, I'm on a diet again and have lost five pounds so far. Sweets aren't usually my problem, but if I have them in the house I want to eat them. One of the ways I curb my sweet tooth is to make an Angel Food cake, which is fat-free. In fact, I have one in the oven right now.

My husband also likes Angel Food Cake, but one of his top favorites is Boston Cream Pie. One an Internet email list I am on, someone mention Boston Cream Angel Cake this week. I had never heard of such a thing, but wanted to know more. I did a Google search and found this recipe on the Taste of Home web site. With the pudding and hot fudge sauce, there is no way this is a diet food. So I went about revising it to meet my diet requirement. If you change the whole milk to fat free or even skim, the pudding mix to fat-free sugar-free, and the fudge sauce to sugar-free, you will have a delicious dessert for both the dieter and non-dieter. If you prefer the regular recipe, click on the link above, but if you opt for the lower calorie cake, use my recipe below.


Low calorie Boston Cream Angel Cake

2 C. plus 1T. fat-free or skim milk
1 package instant sugar-free French vanilla pudding
1 box Angel Food Cake mix
1 C. sugar-free chocolate fudge ice cream topping

Bake Angel Food cake according to directions on the box. Let cool. Make the pudding mix according to directions on the box and set aside. Using a serrated knife, slice the cake in to three horizontal layers, placing the bottom layer onto a cake dish. Spread half of the pudding on top of that layer. Carefully place the next layer on top of the pudding and then put the rest of the pudding on top of that, then placing the last cake layer on top.

In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate fudge with the remaining milk and stir well. Pour over the top of the cake, letting it run down the sides and serve. Make sure you keep the leftover cake in the refrigerator.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Spaghetti-O's recalled

Certain cans of Campbell's Spaghetti-O's have been recalled. Read about it here.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Apple Fritters

I normally make these as a dessert or snack when we want something easy, quick, and sweet. But, a friend suggested to me that these would be a great breakfast dish for me to eat in the mornings before work. My recipe is more of a diet item, but it can easily be changed to a non-diet dish.

You can use any type of apples for this, but Granny Smith apples are usually the best to use when cooking or baking. I like a lot of apples in mine, so it's not uncommon to see me using a little more than one apple, depending on the size. If you are following the Weight Watchers diet plan and use the Splenda sweetener, one of these is about 3 1/2 points.

Apple Fritters
1/3 c. self-rising flour
1 apple, peeled and grated
splash of low-fat milk
1 egg white
1 t. vanilla
Splenda (or 1/3 c. sugar)

Stir together the flour, egg, vanilla, sweetener, and enough milk until it resembles thick cream. Add the grated apple and mix well. Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray and heat to medium heat. Onto the skillet, drop a heaping spoonful of batter, depending on the size of the fritter that you want. When bubbles first start appearing on top of the batter, turn over and cook until golden brown. Makes 6-7 fritters.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

English Muffin Breakfast Sandwich, Part 2

I want to add to the recipe that I posted last time by telling you that you can add an egg to the recipe, omit the tomato and you have a homemade version of the Egg McMuffin, almost like you get at McDonalds. By making it yourself, you control how much fat is it in, whether you want a whole egg or just egg whites, whether you want Canadian Bacon or regular bacon, and finally if you want to add cheese or not. Personally, I like to use a whole wheat muffin, when I can find them, in order to have a little extra fiber in the meal. That helps keep me from getting so hungry later.

These sandwiches are great to make ahead of time to keep in the freezer and eat on the go. Spray a cupcake tin with non-stick cooking spray and break an egg into each section. You can leave the egg whole or scramble it, your choice. Bake for 12-15 minutes in a 350° f. oven. While the eggs are baking, slice the English Muffins and lay then sliced side up on a baking sheet. Remove the cupcake tin from the oven and set aside. Put the muffins in the over and bake for about 10 minutes or until they look toasted. You can also toast them in the toaster, if you are only making a small amount. Now it's time to assemble the muffins using the egg, some shredded or a slice of cheese, and Canadian Bacon or regular bacon. Season with salt and pepper, if you like.

If you have a big family of hearty eaters, you can eat them right then, or you can store these for later in the freezer. To freeze, place all of the sandwiches on a baking sheet, uncovered and unwrapped, and put them in the freezer. Yes, you heard me right. Leave them there for about an hour. That will give them the opportunity to give off some of their moisture. Now, you can wrap them in freezer wrap or foil and put them in freezer bags. I put two to a bag. These sandwiches will keep for about two weeks in the freezer.

To reheat, I would advise against using the microwave as it tends to make the sandwich soggy. But, if you're in a hurry and don't mind that, wrap it in a paper towel and give it a zap. The best way to reheat the sandwich, is to bake it in a 350° f. oven for about 25 minutes. When I do this, I put it in the oven and then go get ready for work. When I get back in the kitchen, the sandwich is ready. I can eat it while checking my email, or take with me to eat on the way to work.

Writing this has made me so hungry and it is time for breakfast, so I'm off to the kitchen to see if I have any in the freezer.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

English Muffin Breakfast Sandwich

English Muffin Breakfast Sandwich

1 reduced-fat English muffin
1 slice Canadian bacon
1 small Italian plum tomato, sliced
1 slice reduced-fat American cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Toast the English muffin and top the bottom half of the muffin with the Canadian bacon, some slices of tomato and the cheese. Cover with the top half of the muffin and microwave the whole thing for about 20 seconds, or until the cheese starts to melt. Makes one serving.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Over-ripe bananas

How many times have you had to throw away over-ripe bananas because you didn't have to time to make some with them? I love bananas and hate letting them go to waste, but many times that's just what happens. What I have found is that you can freeze them in a plastic zipper bag to use later. In order to do this, put them into the bag and squeeze out as much of the air as possible and seal. When you have time to bake, let them thaw and use.

I've never let them stay frozen too long, as I'm not sure how long they stay good in the freezer. If anyone knows, please post it in the comments of this article.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Fresh Strawberry Pie

I have to be quick today. I have so much to do before going to my mom's for a family cookout. I talked last time about how I like to actually make something for my family rather than taking shortcuts like popping open a can and heat it up. Today, I am going to go back on that statement for one dish, fresh strawberry pie. I could go all Betty Crocker on here, but I confess I buy strawberry glaze instead of making it. However, if I should come into possession of a quart of strawberries and want to make a pie, I have a recipe for the glaze so I don't have to rush to the store. Of course, that assuming I have all the ingredients to make the glaze.

Before posting the recipe, I do want to take the time to wish everyone a safe Memorial Day. Please remember those servicemen and women who have served and are currently serving. They keep us safe by protecting our freedom. Thank you.


Fresh Strawberry Pie Glaze
1 lg. package Strawberry Jello
1/2 C. corn syrup
1 C. sugar
2 C. water
1 T. red food coloring
1/4 C. corn starch

Combine the cornstarch and 1/2 C. water to dissolve. Add that, along with the rest of the ingredients to a sauce pan and bring to boil. As it thickens, it will turn clearer. Cool and add the berries. Place mixture in a baked, but cooled pie shell. Cool in a refrigerator for at least an hour. Add whipped topping, if desired and serve.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


It's supposed to be 90 degrees today, but I am freezing this morning. We left our air conditioner on all night and the main floor of our house is so cold. Obviously, I have it turned off right now, but I can't wait for it to get warmer today.

I was hoping to plant the rest of our garden this weekend, but it rained all week and even with the warm temps we had yesterday, it's still too wet to plant. Hopefully, the hot sunny weather we are supposed to have today will help dry it out and I can get the plants and seeds in the ground before the next round of rain hits.

Today's recipe is for Homemade Dumplings. Now I know what you are all thinking, it's easier to use a can of biscuits or even buy a can of Chicken and Dumplings rather than make them from scratch. I agree completely. Many times I do just that and opt to go with something canned, frozen or pre-made, but sometimes making something from scratch just makes it taste better and then there's that wonderful self-satisfaction knowing that you took the time to make something special for your family. The recipe that I have included is an heirloom recipe from one of my aunts. She made the best dumplings, usually with chicken, but sometimes with squirrel during hunting season. I was thrilled when she actually shared her recipe with me years ago. She was a wonderful cook.

Homemade Dumplings
2 C. Bisquick Baking Mix
48 oz. carton of chicken broth
1/2 pint Half & Half

Bring the chicken broth to a boil on top of the stove*. To the Baking Mix, add enough hot broth to make a thick stiff dough. On a floured surface, roll the dough out as thin as possible. Then, cut it into squares and drop them into the boiling broth. Keep separated with fork as much as possible. Cover, and boil slowly for about 10 minutes. Then, pour in the Half & Half stirring well. Turn off the heat and let simmer on it's own for a few more minutes and serve.

*When I make this I add cooked shredded chicken in with the boiling broth.

Can you tell I am a big fan of Chicken and Dumplings, this is my second recipe for them. The first was making them in a slow cooker.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Beer Bread

It's raining today. I had hoped to finish planting my garden this weekend, but it wasn't meant to be. I already have onions and radishes sprouted and should be ready for eating soon. Yesterday, it was a race between the rain and I to see who would win. I'm going to call it a draw. I got 4 tomato plants in the ground right before the rain started. I still have beans, cucumber, zucchini, more onions, and I'd like to make one more trip back to the nearby nursery to see what else they have that I want. Hopefully, the ground will be dried out enough by next weekend to finish my planting.

Today, I want to share two recipes for the same item. I'm addicted to bread. Some of the old prison movies talk about being put on bread and water for punishment. That would definitely not be punishment for me. I could easily live on bread. This evening, to go with our supper, I am making Beer Bread. I usually bake it in the oven, but have found out that it works really well in a bread machine, too. There is one main difference, in the bread machine you need to use yeast instead of baking powder. I have included recipes for both baking options.

This is a great bread to serve with chili or any kind of soup, but it's also great to use with dips, or just plain toasted with butter. You can bake this in a round dish and then hollow out the middle to make a bread bowl. There is a restaurant near me that serves a chicken pot pie in a bread bowl and it is wonderful. Tonight, I am serving it with oven-baked chicken and baked potatoes.

It doesn't matter what kind of beer you use, but it should be room temperature. Last night, when I asked my husband for a can of his favorite beer, I felt like I was being interrogated by him. LOL After I explained what I was going to make, he released control of one can of beer. What is it with men and their beer? If you don't want to use a can of beer (or you can't get one from your husband), you can substitute ginger ale, or any type of lemon-lime soda.


Beer Bread
3 C. all-purpose flour*
3 t. baking powder*
3 T. sugar
12 oz. beer, room temperature
1 stick butter, melted

By hand, stir together the dry ingredients and add the beer. Mix well, the batter will be lumpy. Pour the mixture into a greased 4x8 inch loaf pan and pour about 1/3 of the butter over the top of the mixture. Bake in a preheated oven to 375° f. for about 40 minutes. After the 40 minutes, pour half of the remaining melted butter on top of the bread and bake for 10 more minutes. Then, pour the rest of the melted butter on top of bread again and bake for the final 10 minutes.

*You can substitute 3 C. of self-rising flour for the all-purpose flour and baking powder, if you prefer.

Beer Bread for a Bread Machine

12 oz. can of beer, room temperature
2 T. olive oil
1 t. salt
2 T. brown sugar
3 C. all-purpose flour
1 packet active dry yeast

Add all of the ingredients into the bread machine in the order listed above. Set the machine on the Basic or White Bread cycle and push Start.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

I want to wish everyone a Happy Mother's Day. Sorry, but no recipe this weekend. My daughter and her husband are visiting from Mississippi and I will be spending time with them.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mint Julip

Today is the 136st running of the Kentucky Derby. I live about an hour away from Louisville and although I have never been to the Derby, I have been to Churchill Downs. Today's Derby will be a mess. It's already rained at least an inch with more coming later today. But, that did not deter those crazy infield people. It's gets a little while in the infield and with lots of puddles around today, I can foresee lots of slipping and sliding by those that partake in the trademark drink of the day. What is that drink of the Kentucky Derby? It's the Mint Julep.

If you go to the Derby, you have to drink a Mint Julep in one of the Derby's collector glasses. Each year they have a new glass and many people collect those glasses. The recipe calls for Kentucky whiskey, but any will do. At Churchill Downs, I believe they make theirs with Early Times® whiskey, but really any bourbon will work.

So, while watching the Derby today at 6:25 pm EDT, you might want to sit back and enjoy a Mint Julep like the rest of the folks around Louisville. I'll be sitting right there with you cheering for my horse, which I haven't even chosen yet.


Mint Julep

2 fluid ounces of bourbon
1 T. simple syrup (see below)
Mint springs
Crushed ice

Simple Syrup
1 C. water
1 C. sugar
Fresh Mint sprigs

To make the Simple Syrup, Combine the sugar and water and boiling for about 5 minutes without stirring. Pour the syrup over a handfull of mint leaves and gently crush the mint with a spoon. Refrigerate for several hours in a closed jar until cold. Remove the mint leaves and continue to refrigerate. The syrup will be good for several weeks.

To mix the drink, crush a few mint leaves in the bottom of an 8 oz. glass, then fill it to the top with crushed ice. Add 1 t. of the syrup, 1 T. of water, and 2 oz of bourbon. Stir gently and garnish with a fresh sprig of mint.

Please remember to drink responsively.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cheesy Potato Soup

A cold front came through last night and gave us a lot of rain, big winds, and cooler temperatures. It's still cool and windy today and what would be better for weather like this than soup. Today, I am preparing Cheesy Potato Soup in my slow cooker. It's one of my favorites.

Cheesy Potato Soup

8 medium size potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 T. chives, chopped
1 1/2 C chopped celery
1/3 C. chopped parsley
1/4 t. paprika
1/4 t. celery seed
1/2 t. salt
1 C. milk
2 T. flour
2 T. butter
2 1/2 C grated cheddar cheese
bacon, fried & crumbled, optional
extra grated cheddar cheese, optional

In your slow cooker, put potatoes, onions, chives, celery, parsley, celery seed, and salt. Add enough water to cover. Place lid on cooker and set on High for one hour. Then, turn heat to Low and cook for 4-5 hours, or until potatoes are done. Combine the milk and flour and mix thoroughly. On top of the stove, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and add the flour/milk mixture slowly. Stir constantly for about 3 minutes. Add the 2 1/2 C. of grated cheese to the saucepan and stir until completely melted. Add the cheese mixture to the slow cooker and stir well. When the soup is slightly thickened, serve. On top of the individual bowls of soup, add a sprinkle of grated cheese and bacon bits, if desired. Serve with your favorite sandwich for a hearty meal.

Don't forget to use the Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners to save more work.


With the success of my novel, I have started a blog about writing. You can visit it at


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mock Cadbury Creme Eggs

In the past, I have always tried to post something new at least six times a month. However, with the new job I have been transferred to, I'm afraid this won't be the case in the future. I'll do my best to keep up, but I may have to limit my time here to once a week. With that said, I have a great recipe for you that I promised.

Now that Easter is over, it's nearly impossible to find Cadbury® Creme Eggs, but I have a recipe where you can enjoy a mock version of these delicious products anytime you want. Normally, I try to only post short, easy recipes, but this time I am going to make an exception. If you want them bad enough, you'll work for it. As with all recipes, please read the complete recipe before starting.


Mock Cadbury Eggs
1/2 C. light corn syrup
1/4 C. butter, softened
1 t. vanilla
1/4 t. salt
3 C. powdered sugar
yellow food coloring
red food coloring
1 12-oz. bag milk chocolate chips
2 T. vegetable shortening

In a large bowl, combine the corn syrup, butter, vanilla, and salt. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Now mixing by hand, add the powdered sugar one cup at a time. Mix well until creamy. Remove about 1/3 of the mixture to a smaller bowl and add 4 drops of yellow food coloring and 2 drops of red food coloring. Stir until the orange color is completely blended throughout the mixture.

Cover both the orange and white mixtures and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. When the mixtures are firm, take a small bit from the orange mixture and roll it between your hands into a marble-size ball. Then, take enough of the white mixture and wrap it around the orange ball into the shape of an egg and roughly twice the size of the orange ball. Place the eggs onto a cookie sheet that has been coated with the vegetable shortening. Repeat this until all of the mixture has been used. Refrigerate the eggs for about 3 or 4 hours, until firm.

Once the eggs are firm, you are ready to prepare the chocolate coating. Place the chocolate chips and the shortening in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave the mixture on High for about 1 minute, stir and microwave for about another minute, and stir again.

With a fork, dip each egg center into the chocolate, tap on side of bowl to remove excess chocolate, and place eggs onto the a sheet of wax paper to set. Once all of the eggs have been coated, chill in the refrigerator. After about an hour or two of chilling, heat the chocolate and dip the eggs again. Chill for a couple more hours and once they are completely set, they are ready for eating. Use wax paper to wrap the eggs individually.

This recipes should make about two dozen eggs.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Incredible Eggs

I first must apologize for being absent so much on this blog. I recently transferred to a new job and it involves more traveling, so I have been away for almost a week of both local and out-of-town traveling. I have a really good recipe to share, but it is a long one and I haven't had time to type it up. I will do my best to try and get it done this week, but it could be next weekend. I have not been given my work schedule for the week, so I don't know about my travel plans yet.

Now for today's post. I have to cheat a little. I have a web site for you to check out instead of giving you one of my recipes. I know we are all probably sick of eggs since Easter has just passed, but my local internet provider sends out a weekly e-newsletter and always includes some interesting sites to visit. The IncredibleEgg site was one of them and I thought it would be a great link to share with all of you. I know I am always looking for new ideas for breakfasts I can make to give myself a variety in the mornings.

Check back later this week for a new candy recipe of an Easter favorite.


Sunday, April 4, 2010


I am taking the weekend off from my blog, but wanted to wish everyone a Happy Easter. Enjoy celebrating the day and its meaning with your family and friend. As with all holidays, don't eat too much.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Reusable Shopping Bags

We've all seen them and probably have all used them. I love my reusable shopping bags, when I can remember to take them with me.

Recently, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association published a report about the dangers of reusing these cloth bags. The report said that bacteria can grow on these bags packed with the fruit, vegetables, and especially any meat that is carried in them. While I agree with what they are saying, you also need to remember who is reporting this, an association of plastics manufacturers. Who loses the most money when we stop using plastic shopping bags and switch to cloth bags? The Plastics Industry.

So, what can we do to prevent the transference of this bacteria to our foods? The main things is to periodically wash the bags, but drying is the key. Laying a bag flat to dry might not allow proper airing out of the bag to prevent bacteria growth. We all know how much bacteria loves warm damp places. After washing the reusable bags, they should be hung up to dry thoroughly. Please don't wash the bag and then throw it in a dark closet to dry.I'm not sure how they would do in a clothes dryer. I haven't tried that. Maybe if a reader has done this, they can post something in the comments section.

A few weeks ago, my eye doctor gave me a cloth bag (with his logo on it) that was insulated. The same that you can buy at the store to bring home cold meat or frozen foods. For these bags, you can wipe them out with a damp soapy cloth and then use a clean cloth to wipe dry.

Remember that food safety for us and our families has to start before we even go to the supermarket.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

A day away from the computer....

I'll try and post something tomorrow, but for today I am off to visit a friend (waving at Marian) at an authors' faire. I'm not taking much money because I know I would spend a fortune on books, if I did. It's a beautiful day out today and I think I will do some yard work when I get back home this afternoon.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy Belated Pi Day

No, I didn't misspell it. I meant Pi, as in mathematics. Pi Day is March 14, 3-14 just like Pi is 3.14. When my daughter was in high school, her algebra class celebrated Pi Day by having everyone bring in a pie. I can only imagine all the pies in school that day. When she came home, she told me about a pie that one of her classmates brought in and how good it was. The girl was diabetic and had brought in a sugar-free Banana Cream Pie. I asked my daughter to ask her for the recipe, but you know how teenagers can be. That's right, I never got the recipe. After a little experimenting, it was actually rather easy to make a good sugar-free banana cream pie and I have included the recipe below.

Sugar-free Banana Cream Pie

1 reduced fat graham cracker crust
1 box instant sugar-free Banana flavored Jello pudding
bananas, sliced
Fat free Cool Whip topping

Place sliced banana on the bottom of the crust. Prepare pudding according to directions on box and pour over bananas. Let pudding set for a few minutes. Spread Cool Whip on top of pudding. Refrigerate for a couple hours to let it set.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Perfect Brownie Pan Set - A Review

I'm not a big fan of infomercials, or even the "as seen on tv" commercials. But, I do tend to watch the commercials that sell kitchen items. There have actually been several items that I wish I could get, but didn't. One is that Xpress Ready-Set-Go Cooker. As I am surfin' through the channels and see that infomercial, I have to stop on it and watch for a bit. I really wanted one, but then I read several reviews and found that it isn't all it's cracked up to be.

I also like to watch the Slap Chopper commercial. More for the commercial than the product itself. I was at Walmart the other day and the girl at the checkout counter told me not to waste my money on one. She had bought one and it didn't work well at all.

I have to admit that I have bought a few As-seen-on-tv items. I have a Snuggie and I love it. It was a birthday gift. I have the can toppers that turn a soda can into a bottle. I like them too, but they are hard to get on and off.

Most recently, I bought the Perfect Brownie Pan Set. My husband and I had seen the commercial a few weeks ago and wondered if it was a good as it looked. Then, the lady who writes the recipe column in my local newspaper said she bought the set and really liked it. So, when I was at Walmart over the weekend, I saw they had it and I bought it. It was a little pricey at $19.95, but if it worked, I knew I would use it often and get my money's worth out of it. [Addendum 3/14/10, I saw a flyer from Big Lots yesterday that had this set for $7.00. If you have a Big Lots store close by, check there first before buying the pan elsewhere.}

I had already planned on making cornbread that night for supper and knew the commercial mentioned making cornbread in it. I am happy to report that the cornbread came out perfect. I didn't have to bake it as long as I would a normal pan of cornbread either. Of course, there was one thing I didn't like. The sectioned areas produce very small portions. A bit or two and it's gone, but I can live with that and the smaller portions are a great size for freezing.. The pan is smaller than it looks, but you should still use a recipe that calls for a 9 x 11 inch pan. I haven't tried brownies yet, I'm still on my diet. However, I do have a recipe for low fat chocolate scones that I'm hoping to try this weekend. I'll report later who they turn out.

I would recommend to anyone to buy this set. It works great. Have you purchased something from an infomercial or a product from tv? If so, leave me a comment and tell me about it.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Blog interview

Author, Roseanne Dowell has an interview with me posted up on her blog. Please take a few moments to visit and leave a comment.

Check back here later this week for a review that I will have on the Perfect Brownie Baking Pan. I just bought one yesterday and used it last night.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Kroger Onion Soup & Dip Mix recall

When it rains, it pours. Kroger has recalled its Onion Soup & Mix Dip. Please click here for information on the recall.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Girl Scout Cookies Voluntarily Recalled

On Friday, February 26, 2010, the Girl Scout organization announced a voluntary recall of their Lemon Chalet Cremes™ Cookies made by Little Brownie Bakers. You can read their press release here. The cookies reportedly have a bad taste and odor. While the cookies are safe to eat, some apparently are not very appetizing.

We often hear about food recalls on the news, but I have found that there are many more food recalls that we never hear about. Today, I went to the United State Department of Agricultural web page which handles all the food recalls and found some that I had never heard anything about. That is scary. Click out the link I have provided to the USDA site to see the recall list. You can even sign up for email updates so not to miss any food recall notices.


Saturday, February 20, 2010


I've recently got on a health kick. Not just with food, but I've started exercising. It's amazing how much better I feel after I've walked on the treadmill for 20 minutes. I can wait until the weather gets warmer and the snow melts so I can walk outside.

I've also tried something new that I have never fixed before, Smoothies. I've been looking for something that will take care of my cravings for sweets and drinking a smoothie does help a little. Normally, you wouldn't want to put sweetener in this drink because it is supposed to be healthy, but the ones that I have made need a little boost to help me with my craving.

A Smoothie can be made with just about any fruit and I have put a basic recipe below with three other recipes I have tried.

Basic Smoothie Recipe
1/4 C. fruit, chopped
1/4 C. liquid
1/2 C. thickener

The liquid can be regular or low-fat milk, fruit juices, or flavored water. Start with 1/4 C. and add more to desired consistency. For the thickener, you can choose from low-fat yogurt, low-fat frozen yogurt, frozen fruit concentrate, frozen fruit, or a cup of ice. Optional ingredients can include any flavor inhancer, such as sweentener, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, or instant coffee.

Chocolate Banana Smoothie
1 banana
1 T. chocolate syrup
1 C. low-fat milk
1 C. of crushed ice

Chop banana into four pieces and put into a blender. Add the chocolate syrup, milk, and crushed ice. Blend until smooth and pour into glasses. Makes two servings.

Banana Strawberry Smoothie
1 large banana
1 C. low-fat milk
1 C. low-fat vanilla yogurt
5 strawberries, cut into halves

Put all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Makes two servings.

Tropical Smoothie
1 banana
1 mango, peeled and cubed
8 oz. pineapple juice
4 oz. low-fat peach yogurt
1/2 t. lemon zest, finely grated
1/2 C. crushed ice

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Garnish the glasses with orange or lime wedges. This makes at least two servings.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

BlogTalkRadio interview on Sunday

I will be interviewed on Sunday, Feb 21 at 2:00 pm EST at about my recent novel, "Love, Lies & Deceit." Everyone is welcome to log in and listen, or call in. Thanks.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chocolate Mousse for Valentine's Day

I really like snow, I do. But, three weekends in a row is just too much for me. They are predicting snow for tomorrow, Valentine's Day. I didn't have anything special planned since my husband has to work all day, so it's not like the snow is going to ruin anything. Except, if he has to drive home in a snow storm, he will not be a happy camper when he finally does get here. Oh well, I'll have a beer ready for him when he walks in the door to calm his nerves from the drive and all will be right again. lol

Today, I have a recipe from my cookbook, Masters & Disasters of Cooking, sold on the right side of this page. The first time I made this, I used the first recipe I found in a cookbook and it turned out terrible. Everything needed to be done quickly and I wasn't quick enough. I ended up with little balls of chocolate in my mousse instead of having a smooth and creamy dessert. I have since figured out a much easier way to make chocolate mousse and hope you will like it, too.

Have a great Valentine's Day.


Chocolate Mousse
7 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
7 egg yolks, beaten
2 T. sugar
1 pinch of salt
7 egg whites
1 1/4 C. heavy cream

Place chocolate in a double-boiler on the stove to melt. Stir occasionally until melted. Remove from heat and continue stirring until smooth. Set aside to let it cool slightly.

In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until medium stiff peaks form, but don't allow it to become grainy. Set that aside.

In another bowl, whip the egg whites with the pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Sprinkle in the sugar and continue whipping until medium peaks form. Fold in the eggs yolks. Then add the melted chocolate until completely mixed. Add the whipped cream until evenly blended. Spoon into dessert cups and chill until firm, about an hour. Serve. This makes about 10 servings.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Super Bowl Party Food - Pizza

It's the day before the big game and I hope that most people who are hosting a Super Bowl party already have their menus set and ingredients purchased. I especially hope the folks around Washington, DC have all their supplies in. Wow, 30 inches of snow is unbelievable. We only got about 3 inches last night. So, for those last minute shoppers, I have a couple ideas for you with a pizza theme. My first recipe is for Pizza Sticks. They are easy to make and can be done in no time. I have listed the ingredients, but any kind of pizza toppings could be used. The second recipe today is a Crockpot Pizza, also easy to make and can be done in about 4 hours. Enjoy the game tomorrow and, as everyone knows, I'm an Indianapolis Colts fan so you know who I'll be cheering for.

No matter who you are cheering for, enjoy the game,

Pizza Sticks

1 can refrigerated bread sticks
Pepperoni slices
Italian seasoning
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Parmesan cheese, grated
1 jar Pizza Sauce

Preheat oven to 350° f. Separate the bread sticks and lay out flat on wax paper. Place pepperoni slices on the top half of the bread stick. Sprinkle a little Mozzarella cheese on the pepperoni. Fold the bottom half of the bread stick on the top half and pinch the sides to seal as best you can. Sprinkle with seasoning and Parmesan cheese and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Serve with pizza sauce for dipping.

Crockpot Pizza

1 1/2 lb. hamburger, browned and drained
16 oz. Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 chopped onion
1 pkg sliced pepperoni
2/3 box rigatoni noodles, cooked
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can sliced mushrooms
2 jars pizza sauce

Place the following in layers in the slow cooker in this order: hamburger, noodles, cheese, soup, mushrooms, onions, pizza sauce, and pepperoni. Cook on low for about 4 hours and serve.