Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I have compiled my first Featured Meal of the Week which can be found in the Table of Contents section (to your right).

I'm pretty confident in saying that this is a really nice selection of dishes that should compliment each other throughout the course of the day. I really hope that you enjoy this section of my blog and please remember... if you make any of the dishes I feature here, I'd love to hear how they turned out in your own kitchen! So feel free to post your entry in the comments section .. pictures of food fights and flour covered family members are always welcome!

Good luck all and happy cooking!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It has taken me a few days to get things moving here so I do apologize. Between my other blog, blogging communities that I keep in touch with, cooking for my own family and trying to deal with day to day goings on I have not had the time to get alot of content on here.

Today I added some recipe's to all the sections listed in the right hand sidebar. I have also decided to do a "Feature of the Week" section by offering a full day's worth of meal planning.

Speaking of meal planning, I need to run off and check my chicken. Yes, I said check it not choke it. Get your minds out of the gutter will ya... I decided to keep it fairly simple tonight. Roast chicken with homemade gravy, mashed potatoes & green beans courtesy of the Jolly Green Giant, gotta love those big green strapping men.

I'll see you all later when my tummy has settled and I've convinced you know who to wash the dishes.

Monday, May 11, 2009

About The Author

Since your going to be trusting me and creating some of the recipe's here I feel it's only fair that I give you some info about myself... I mean, you wouldn't accept food on the street from a total stranger so why should a recipe be any different right?

I was raised in a single parent home and by the time I was 10 years old, I was helping out with dinner. Before I knew it, mum would leave me a note on how to prepare & cook something if she knew she was working later than expected. I thought this was great .. I could make an incredible mess and as long as the food was good, I could excuse it hehe.. Of course, I am not going to go on about my childhood and the first time I successfully made pork chops. I just wanted to give you a little peek into how I came to enjoy cooking as much as I do.

I have gathered many recipe's over the years, my grandmother was a major influence for me as far as experimenting went. One of those women that was up at 5:00 am and already had three dishes on the go to serve throughout the day. I, on the otherhand, prefer not to rise with the birds. I tend to start cooking around noon, ok ... "noonish".

My hope is to share some great recipe's with you and have some laughs as well. The way I see it is, we all need to eat and we certainly need to laugh once in a while. So, if you notice some twists in my recipe's don't worry, I have not gotten into the sauce .. at least not while I'm blogging ;)

Welcome to my page! I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I've enjoyed creating it. I have been cooking for years now and love nothing more than finding or creating that new & oh so yummy recipe. Of course, reading cookbook after cookbook can be quite tedious at times .. I have decided to compile a list of my favourite recipe's as well as a few of my own creations but with a twist!

I don't know about you but I like to have some fun when I cook, mix things up a little. The last thing cooking should feel like, is a chore. I am hoping to end that with this blog by giving my readers a new an interesting way to enjoy cooking .. and that's by adding the ingredient humour!

Who wants to slave all day in front of a stove (okay okay, it's really only a few hours and yes you get breaks but that's not really the point is it)when you can actually enjoy your time in the kitchen.

Think about getting your partner to help you out. Everytime you get something right, have a shot! If anything, it will, at the very least, make it funny when the fire department shows up.

Get your kids to mix everything together, let them get in there with you. You'll find that you both have a blast cooking, just remember... only kool aid shots when the wee one's are in the kitchen.

Feel free to challenge yourself and make something that you've never had the nerve to create. If it comes out looking like goop, you can tell your other half that it may be a bust but it's the fanciest goop you've ever made! If it turns out great, give yourself a pat on the back and a few more shots..because you just aquired a new skill ;)

Some of the idea's I will be showcasing here are:

Traditional Irish Fare
Those Wonderful Comfort Foods
Recipes You Can Create With Your Kidz
Sinfull Sweets and much more!

So, let's put our funny chef's hat's on and get ready to learn, cook, & laugh ...

Just 4 Kidz

Just For Kidz .. This is one of my favourite pages on my website. I have kids of my own and have had a blast watching them create things they can eat.

This page is completely kid friendly so feel free to let them read with you.

If you are reading along with your parents and want to try some of these recipe's out, remember to have an adult with you when your ready to head for the kitchen! :)

Have fun and let me know how YOUR creations turned out!

Herbed Chicken Nuggets

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs, seasoned
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
Trim any fat from chicken and cut into 1 inch cubes.
In a bowl beat the eggs with the water and add the chicken.
Combine the parsley, thyme, red pepper, bread crumbs, wheat germ, basil and ground pepper. Stir in the oil with a fork and mix well to distribute evenly. Pour seasoning mixture into a resealable plastic bag and the chicken pieces to coat.
Place coated chicken pieces on the prepared baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 10 minutes, turn the pieces and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Tortilla Rollups

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 (1 ounce) package dry fiesta-style ranch dressing mix
1 cup chunky salsa
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
10 (10 inch) flour tortillas

In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, sour cream, fiesta-style ranch dressing mix, chunky salsa and Cheddar cheese. Spread even amounts of the mixture onto the tortillas. Roll tortillas and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
To serve, slice the chilled, rolled tortillas into 3/4 inch slices and arrange on a large serving platter.

Big Cheeseburger Pizza

1/2 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 cup thousand island salad dressing, or to taste
1 (12 inch) pre-baked pizza crust
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt, or to taste
1 cup shredded American cheese
2 cups shredded lettuce
1 tomato, chopped (optional)
dill pickle slices (optional)

Place the ground beef and onion in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring to crumble, until evenly browned. Season with seasoning salt, drain off grease, and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Spread salad dressing on the pizza crust. Top with a layer of ground beef and onion. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the top.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until cheese is melted. Allow pizza to cool for about 5 minutes, then slice into wedges and top with lettuce tomato and pickles, if desired.

Grilled Bullseye

2 eggs
2 pieces of bread
1 slice cheese

Cut a hole in the center of each piece of bread using a glass, glass jar, or cookie cutter. Butter the pan. Turn stove on Low at first then move to Medium once eggs are in.

Place both pieces of bread on the pan. Crack each egg and drop one into each hole in the center of the bread. Cook egg to your liking, take two pieces of bread off pan and let cool. Put cheese slice in-between slices of bread. Place in microwave for 30 seconds or under the grill to melt cheese.

Robin Hood Wrap

1 package tortillas
Cold cuts, sliced from the deli (ham and turkey)
American cheese
Swiss cheese
Chopped veggies (lettuce, cucumbers, pickles, olives)
Mustard and mayonnaise

Lay a tortilla out flat and spread with mayonnaise, then mustard. Then layer with a slice of ham and a slice of turkey. Next add a slice of American cheese and a slice of Swiss cheese. Add lettuce, olives, cucumbers, and pickles. Roll up your wrap and cut into round bite-sized pieces. Pack in an airtight container. Simple to make and great for school lunches!

Tuna Tacos

1 large can of tuna
2 tablespoons coleslaw dressing
1 package coleslaw mix
12 flour tortillas

In a medium bowl mix the tuna, coleslaw mix and coleslaw dressing. Spoon into flour tortillas. Serve with corn chips and salsa.

Surprise Cookies

1 packet refrigerated sugar cookie dough (store bought)
1 bag of "bite sized" candies (Milky Way, Snickers, etc.)
crystallized sugar sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Slice cookie dough and put a piece of the bite sized candy in the middle of each piece of dough.Then fold over each corner of the dough to the center over the candy. Shake sprinkles on top of each cookie.

Place on a baking sheet and then bake for 12 minutes, or until the candy is melted completely. When cooled, eat up!

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Deserts are not something I indulge in very often so I am going to put my favourites on here . Some are from my childhood when it was all about getting as sticky as possible then chasing your siblings around because your on such a sugar high..

The other deserts you'll find here are more geared to the "grown up" in us all... I'm getting older afterall, I'm pretty sure that I'm getting bitter too, I figure I need all the "sweetness" I can get my hands on ;)

Mini Cheesecakes

1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon margarine, melted

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease a 6 cup muffin pan.
In a medium bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and margarine with a fork until combined. Measure a rounded tablespoon of the mixture into the bottom of each muffin cup, pressing firmly. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 5 minutes, then remove to cool. Keep the oven on.
Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla until fluffy. Mix in the egg.
Pour the cream cheese mixture into the muffin cups, filling each until 3/4 full. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 25 minutes. Cool completely in pan before removing. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Wonderful Streusbury Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup softened butter
3 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch tube pan.
Whisk together the flour and baking powder in a bowl; set aside. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. The mixture should be noticeably lighter in color. Add the eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the butter mixture before adding the next. Beat in the vanilla with the last egg. Pour in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing until just incorporated. Pour the batter into prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool completely before removing from the pan.


1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough
1 pound chopped nuts
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F(175 degrees C). Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9x13 inch pan.
Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon. Set aside. Unroll phyllo dough. Cut whole stack in half to fit pan. Cover phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep from drying out as you work. Place two sheets of dough in pan, butter thoroughly. Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered. Sprinkle 2 - 3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. Top with two sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go. The top layer should be about 6 - 8 sheets deep.
Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. You may cut into 4 long rows the make diagonal cuts. Bake for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp.
Make sauce while baklava is baking. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Add vanilla and honey. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. Let cool. Serve in cupcake papers. This freezes well. Leave it uncovered as it gets soggy if it is wrapped up.

Irish Cream Bundt Cake

1 cup chopped pecans
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup Irish cream liqueur
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup Irish cream liqueur

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. Sprinkle chopped nuts evenly over bottom of pan.
In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix. Mix in eggs, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 cup oil and 3/4 cup Irish cream liqueur. Beat for 5 minutes at high speed. Pour batter over nuts in pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then invert onto the serving dish. Prick top and sides of cake. Spoon glaze over top and brush onto sides of cake. Allow to absorb glaze repeat until all glaze is used up.
To make the glaze: In a saucepan, combine butter, 1/4 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup Irish cream.

Mango Sorbet

4 mangos - peeled, seeded, and cubed
1 cup simple syrup
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Place cubed mango in a food processor, and puree. Pour in simple syrup and lime juice, and puree until smooth.
Place in an ice cream maker. Freeze thoroughly.


Beverages ...

I will do my best to add a bit of everything here... I bartended for 10 years so this will be a fun page to continue adding too. I should warn you now though, I am out of fancy umbrella's, I don't clean ashtrays anymore (yuck) and if you fall over after making any of the (grown up drinks) you followed the recipe correctly!

Tropical Depression

1 cup ice cubes
2 (1.5 fluid ounce) jiggers mango flavored vodka
1 1/2 fluid ounces orange juice
1 1/2 fluid ounces apple juice
1 1/2 fluid ounces pineapple juice

Fill a glass with ice cubes. Pour in vodka, then orange juice, apple juice and pineapple juice. Stir and serve.

Tangy Classic Daiquiris

1 (6 ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
12 1/2 fluid ounces rum
3 cups crushed ice

Place juice concentrate, rum, and ice in blender. Pour into pitcher 1/2 filled with ice cubes.


1/2 teaspoon confectioners' sugar
1/2 lime, juiced
1 sprig fresh mint, crushed
1/2 cup crushed ice
2 fluid ounces white rum
4 fluid ounces carbonated water
1 sprig fresh mint, garnish

In a highball glass, stir together the confectioners' sugar and lime juice. Bruise the mint leaves and drop into glass. Fill glass with crushed ice and pour in rum. Pour in carbonated water to fill the glass. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Watermelon Vodka Slush

4 cups watermelon flesh, seeds removed
2 fluid ounces simple syrup
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup vodka
2 fluid ounces melon liqueur
4 twists lemon zest, garnish

In a food processor, puree the watermelon flesh. Pour the pureed watermelon into empty ice cube trays and freeze for at least 4 hours. Also, freeze 4 martini glasses.
In a blender combine the frozen watermelon cubes, simple syrup, lemon juice, vodka, and melon liqueur; blend until smooth. Pour into 4 frozen martini glasses and garnish each with a lemon twist.

Blueberry Vodka Martinis

1 liter vodka
1 pint blueberries, rinsed and dried
1 cup raspberry flavored liqueur
1 lime, juiced
1 twist lime zest, garnish

To make the blueberry vodka: Pour out approximately 1/3 of the bottle of vodka into a holding container; set aside. Score each blueberry with a small nick and place into vodka bottle. With the vodka previously set aside, fill the vodka bottle until just below the neck. Add just enough raspberry liqueur to top off the bottle. Let sit in a dark place for 2 weeks.
To make martinis: In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine 2 parts blueberry vodka, 1 part raspberry liqueur, and a dash of lime juice. Shake vigorously and strain into glass. Garnish with twist of lime zest.

Creamy Ice Coffee

1 1/2 quarts brewed coffee, room temperature
1 cup milk
1 cup half-and-half cream
1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons creme de cacao

In a pitcher, combine cooled coffee, milk and half-and-half. Stir in sugar, vanilla and creme de cacao. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


These little creations are so good they are dangerous ... Ever fill up on appetizers and then have no interest in dinner when it's ready? If so, it's ok.. were not getting any younger here, let's just be honest. I say throw caution to the wind and enjoy gaining those extra ounces, pounds, spare tires. Dig in and enjoy!

Jalapeno Popper Spread

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained
2 ounces canned diced jalapeno peppers, drained
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Stir together cream cheese and mayonnaise in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in green chiles and jalapeno peppers. Pour mixture into a microwave safe serving dish, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Microwave on High until hot, about 3 minutes.

Double Tomato Bruschetta

6 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh basil, stems removed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 French baguette
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven on broiler setting.
In a large bowl, combine the roma tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes.
Cut the baguette into 3/4-inch slices. On a baking sheet, arrange the baguette slices in a single layer. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until slightly brown.
Divide the tomato mixture evenly over the baguette slices. Top the slices with mozzarella cheese.
Broil for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Coconut Shrimp

1 egg
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup beer
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups flaked coconut
24 shrimp
3 cups oil for frying

In medium bowl, combine egg, 1/2 cup flour, beer and baking powder. Place 1/4 cup flour and coconut in two separate bowls.
Hold shrimp by tail, and dredge in flour, shaking off excess flour. Dip in egg/beer batter; allow excess to drip off. Roll shrimp in coconut, and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oil to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) in a deep-fryer.
Fry shrimp in batches: cook, turning once, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Using tongs, remove shrimp to paper towels to drain. Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce.

Brown Sugar Smokies

1 (16 ounce) package little smokie sausages
1 pound bacon
1 cup brown sugar, or to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Cut bacon into thirds and wrap each strip around a little sausage. Place the wrapped sausages on wooden skewers, several to a skewer. Arrange the skewers on a baking sheet and sprinkle them liberally with brown sugar.
Bake until bacon is crisp and the brown sugar melted.

Avocado, Tomato and Mango Salsa

1 mango - peeled, seeded and diced
1 avocado - peeled, pitted, and diced
4 medium tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped red onion
3 tablespoons olive oil

In a medium bowl, combine the mango, avocado, tomatoes, jalapeno, cilantro, and garlic. Stir in the salt, lime juice, red onion, and olive oil. To blend the flavors, refrigerate for about 30 minutes before serving.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Dinner Idea's

I wanted to mix this page up a little bit as there are times when you want something quick and of course, there are days when you have more time to play in the kitchen. Below, you will find a quick fix section as well as a section for more in depth creations.

Whether you've just come home from work, are having dinner guests or your making one of your famous Sunday dinners I have added prep/cooking info to each of these recipe's so that you have an idea of the time you'll need to wow em at the dining table.

Lamb Ribs with Honey and Wine

3 1/2 pounds lamb ribs
2 onions, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 teaspoons honey
3 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

To Marinate: Place lamb in a 9x13 inch baking dish. In a small bowl combine the onions, garlic, honey, oil, soy sauce, wine, pepper, salt, lemon juice and cinnamon. Mix well and pour mixture all over lamb. Cover and refrigerate to marinate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Bake in the preheated oven for 70 minutes or until cooked through.

Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

4 large carrots, peeled and cut into matchstick pieces
10 baby red potatoes, quartered
1 onion, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
4 cups water
1 (4 pound) corned beef brisket with spice packet
6 ounces beer
1/2 head cabbage, coarsely chopped

Place the carrots, potatoes, and onion into the bottom of a slow cooker, pour in the water, and place the brisket on top of the vegetables. Pour the beer over the brisket. Sprinkle on the spices from the packet, cover, and set the cooker on High.
Cook the brisket for about 8 hours. An hour before serving, stir in the cabbage and cook for 1 more hour.

Awesome Slow Cooker Pot Roast

2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix
1 1/4 cups water
5 1/2 pounds pot roast

In a slow cooker, mix cream of mushroom soup, dry onion soup mix and water. Place pot roast in slow cooker and coat with soup mixture.
Cook on High setting for 3 to 4 hours, or on Low setting for 8 to 9 hours.

Meatloaf with Fried Onions and Ranch Seasoning

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup ketchup
3/4 cup herb-seasoned dry bread stuffing mix
1/2 (1 ounce) package dry Ranch-style dressing mix
1 (6 ounce) can French-fried onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large bowl, combine meat, eggs, ketchup, stuffing mix, ranch dressing mix and fried onions.
Shape into loaf and fit into 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
Bake, covered loosely with foil, at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 50 to 60 minutes, or until meat is thoroughly cooked.

Chili Rubbed Pork Tenderloin With Apricot Ginger Glaze

2 (1 pound) pork tenderloins, trimmed

Spice Rub:
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups apricot preserves
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 lime, juiced

Place chili powder, garlic powder, sugar, salt and pepper in a jar; shake to blend. Rub spice mixture onto pork tenderloins. Cover tenderloins and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.
Prior to grilling, melt apricot preserves in saucepan over medium heat. Remove pan from the heat and stir in remaining glaze ingredients. Place half of the glaze in a serving bowl and hold for service.
Prepare grill at medium-high heat. Grill pork tenderloins for 15-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 160 degrees F. on an instant-read thermometer.
When approximately 4 minutes of cook time remains, brush the pork tenderloins with the apricot glaze remaining in the pan. Cook for 2 minutes, turn the pork tenderloins and brush glaze on other side. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove pork from the grill and let set for about 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with reserved glaze.

Grilled Steak with Red Tomato Rice

1/3 cup pineapple juice
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 1/2 pounds flank or skirt steak
1 cup regular or converted rice
1 (26 ounce) jar Ragu® Old World Style® Margherita Smooth Pasta Sauce
2 cups chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 cup water
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
3 teaspoons Knorr® Beef flavor Bouillon

Combine 2 tablespoons oil, 2 teaspoons Knorr® Beef flavor Bouillon and pineapple juice in large resealable plastic bag. Add steak; turn to coat. Close bag and marinate in refrigerator at least 3 hours.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil 3-quart sauce pot over medium-high heat and cook rice, stirring frequently, 3 minutes or until rice is golden. Stir in pasta sauce, remaining 1 teaspoon Bouillon, 1-1/2 cups cilantro, water and peas and carrots. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes or until rice is tender.
Remove steak from marinade, discarding marinade. Grill or broil steak to desired doneness. Arrange steak and rice on serving platter and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cilantro.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Lunchtime! I have included a variety of dishes you may never have considered having for lunch .. People are alot more creative these days and sandwiches, well most of them .. seem to be a thing of the past.


Hot and Sour Cabbage Soup

4 (15 ounce) cans chicken broth
1 pound crumbled ground pork
1 small head green cabbage, cored and shredded
1 1/2 cups fresh bean sprouts
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn
10 fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/3 cup distilled white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 cup Szechwan sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Pour chicken stock into a large pot. Stir the crumbled ground pork into the stock, and simmer over medium heat until the pork is cooked through and no longer pink, about 15 minutes. Stir in the cabbage, bean sprouts, green onions, corn, mushrooms, ginger, garlic, vinegar, sesame oil, Szechwan sauce, soy sauce, and cayenne pepper, and cook 5 minutes more. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Grilled Camembert Sandwich

2 ounces Camembert cheese
2 thick slices white bread
1 tablespoon whole cranberry sauce
1 dash balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon butter, softened

Spread the Camembert cheese evenly onto one slice of bread. Spread a thin layer of cranberry sauce over the cheese. Drizzle with a few drops of balsamic vinegar, and top with the remaining slice of bread. Spread butter on the outer sides of each slice of bread.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Fry the sandwich for a few minutes on each side, just until golden brown. Slice in half, and eat straight away!

Hot 'n' Spicy Buffalo Chicken Salad

1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup Ranch-style salad dressing
3 large skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1 inch cubes
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup Louisiana-style hot sauce
1 tablespoon salad seasoning mix (such as McCormick® Salad Supreme Seasoning)
2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped

In a small bowl, combine crumbled blue cheese and Ranch-style dressing; set aside. Season cubed chicken with salt and pepper.
Heat a large skillet over high heat, and pour in the vegetable oil. Just before the oil starts to smoke, add the chicken. Cook to brown evenly, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and add butter, hot sauce, and salad seasoning mix. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Toss together the lettuce and Ranch-style dressing mixture in a large bowl. Top salad with chicken, and serve.

Three Pan Potato Enchiladas

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast meat - cut into strips
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (5.5 ounce) package red beans & rice mix
10 (8 inch) flour tortillas

In a large skillet, prepare rice and beans according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in another large skillet, saute chicken until cooked through (meat is no longer pink), about 15 to 20 minutes over medium heat. Drain saute oil/grease from skillet. Add the potatoes and cook until just tender. Add seasoning according to package directions. Cook all together, stirring often, until potatoes are done.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Take a tortilla. Place some of the chicken/potato mixture and some of the beans and rice (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup total filling) onto the tortilla, add a little cheese to taste, and roll up. Place rolled tortilla in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Repeat with other tortillas until dish is full. Top with the rest of the cheese and bake in the preheated oven 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Salmon Rosemary Burgers

2 1/2 pounds king salmon fillet, skinned and de-boned
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup minced red onion
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Prepare the salmon by cutting into strips, cutting the strips crosswise, and chopping the fish until well minced. Be sure to remove any remaining bones.
In a large bowl, mix the minced salmon with bread crumbs, red onion, Dijon mustard, horseradish, and eggs. Season with rosemary, salt, and pepper. Chill at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat.
Form the salmon mixture into 8 burger patties. Lightly coat each patty with olive oil.
Place salmon patties on the grill, and cook 4 or 5 minutes on each side.

Cucumber Potato Salad

5 pounds red potatoes
4 celery ribs, sliced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons dill weed
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups mayonnaise
1 (16 ounce) bottle cucumber ranch salad dressing

Place potatoes in a large kettle; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool. Cut potatoes into small cubes.
In a large serving bowl, combine the potatoes, celery, onions, dill and salt. In a small bowl, whisk mayonnaise and salad dressing until blended. Pour over potato mixture and stir gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Welcome to the Breakfast Page! I have included several different dishes here for you to try out that are mostly quick prep. It's the morning and you know as much as I do, that spending an hour in the kitchen so early is not good for anyone's health ..

tip: if you happen to have kids, give them some of that coffee your brewing, fill the sink with a mound of bubbles (secretely hiding the dishes underneath). Hand them a scrubber and watch that caffine kick in! Voila! A quick, easy, delicious breakfast and free dishwashing all in an hour...

Eggs Benedict Breakfast Pizza


12 eggs, well beaten
1 tablespoon butter
2 (8 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent rolls
1 (.9 ounce) package hollandaise sauce mix
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
3 cups diced cooked ham
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Pour in eggs, and cook to desired degree of doneness, stirring constantly.
Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Unroll crescent dough and place rolls on an ungreased 12 inch pizza pan with points toward the center. Press seams together and press up sides of pan to form a crust.
Prepare Hollandaise sauce according to package directions using 2/3 cup milk and 1/4 cup butter. Pour evenly over crescent roll crust. Spread scrambled eggs evenly over sauce, then top with cubed ham. Sprinkle lightly with shredded cheese.
Bake in preheated oven until bottom of crust is lightly browned, about 30 minutes.

Wake-Up Casserole

8 frozen hash brown patties
4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 pound cubed fully cooked ham
7 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard

Place hash brown patties in a single layer in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese and ham.
In a bowl, beat eggs, milk, salt and mustard. Pour over ham.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Uncover; bake 15 minutes longer or until edges are golden brown and a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

Ham and Cheese Breakfast Tortillas

12 eggs
1/3 cup milk
3 slices cooked ham, diced
2 green onions, minced
salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded
4 (10 inch) flour tortillas
1/2 cup salsa

Beat together eggs and milk. Heat a lightly oiled skillet (or non-stick pan) over medium high heat and cook egg mixture, stirring occasionally, until firm. When almost done, stir in ham, green onions, salt and pepper.
Spoon 1/4 of the egg mixture on top of each tortilla. Sprinkle the eggs with cheese, fold over the tortilla to make a roll and top with salsa if desired.

Parmesan Ham Frittata

1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
4 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup cubed fully cooked ham
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a 6-in. broiler-proof skillet, saute the onion, green pepper and garlic in oil. Reduce heat to medium. In a bowl, beat eggs, salt and pepper. Add egg mixture and ham to vegetables. As eggs set, lift edges, letting uncooked portion flow underneath. When eggs are nearly set, sprinkle with cheese. Broil 4-5 in. from the heat for 1-2 minutes or until eggs are completely set.

Eggs Benedict with Salmon

3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon prepared Dijon-style mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white sugar
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 dash hot pepper sauce
8 eggs
8 slices rye bread
8 ounces smoked salmon, cut into thin slices
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
1 teaspoon capers, for garnish

To make the sauce: In the top of a double boiler, whisk together yogurt, lemon juice, egg yolks, mustard, salt, sugar, pepper and hot sauce. Cook over simmering water while stirring constantly, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
In a large stock pot heat 2 quarts of salted water to a boil. Carefully break the eggs one at a time into the boiling water. When all the eggs have been added, reduce the heat to medium. When the eggs float to the top, remove them with a slotted spoon and let drain briefly.
To assemble final dish: Toast bread slices and place on warm plates. Top each piece of toast with a slice of smoked salmon and a hot poached egg. Drizzle with yogurt sauce; garnish with parsley and capers.

Friday, May 1, 2009


Bacon and Egg Casserole With Tomatoes

•6 large eggs
•1 3/4 cups milk
•4 slices bread, torn or 3 croissants, sliced and torn into 1-inch pieces
•8 to 12 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
•10 to 15 sliced grape tomatoes or 2 small tomatoes, diced
•1 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
•salt and pepper

Heat oven to 350°. Butter a 2-quart baking dish.
Whisk eggs with milk in a bowl; set aside.

Arrange torn bread over the bottom of the buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with the bacon pieces and tomato slices. Top with Cheddar cheese then pour the egg mixture evenly over the top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until puffy and lightly browned.
Serves 4 to 6.


Chunky Chicken Pitas


4 tablespoons of mayonnaise
4 sun-dried tomatoes, not oil packed chop
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 chicken breasts (skinless/boneless)chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup cucumber, pared and chopped
1/2 cup scallion, chopped
4 pita's (your choice of flavour)


In a medium bowl, combine mayo, sun dried tomatoes and vinegar. Add chicken, bell pepper and cucumbers and scallion. Mix well...Fill pitas equally. Place pitas in a glass baking dish; cover with paper towels. Microwave on high 1 minute; turning once. Additional mixture may be served along side the pita.


Spiced Beef Brisket with Apple Butter


•1 beef brisket, about 4 1/2 pounds
•1 small onion, quartered
•8 whole cloves
•1 clove garlic, halved
•1 cup apple butter
•1/2 cup dry white wine
•3 tablespoons prepared mustard, regular or spicy
•2 tablespoons green onion, minced
•1 1/2 teaspoons salt
•1/2 teaspoon curry powder
•1/2 teaspoon pepper


Place brisket, onion, cloves, and garlic in a large Dutch oven; add water to cover. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Remove beef from Dutch oven; place in a large roasting pan.
Combine apple butter and remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Brush 1/2 cup of the apple butter mixture over brisket. Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 30 minutes, basting several times with remaining apple butter mixture.

makes 8 to 10 servings.


Cherry Rhubarb Cobbler

1 pound cherries, pitted & halved
12 ounces rhubarb, trimmed, peeled & cut into 1 inch pieces
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground ginger

¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons (packed) brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
3 ounces butter, cut into 18 pieces
½ cup milk

Make the filling:
In a small bowl stir together the sugar, cornflour and ginger until well mixed.
Place the cherries and rhubarb into a large bowl, sprinkle over with the mixed dry ingredients and stir well. While making the topping, stir from time to time.

Make the topping:
Put the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and ginger into a food processor. Pulse to blend. Sprinkle the butter pieces over the top, then continue to pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Drizzle in the milk and continue to pulse until it forms moist clumps.
Turn out onto a very lightly floured board.
Cut into 20 pieces and shape each into a ball.

Assemble the dish:
Place the fruit and any juices that have been released into the baking dish. Spread it out evenly. Top with the prepared dough balls.

Bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes or until the topping is golden and fruit bubbling.
Cool the cobbler for at least 20 minutes.

The "Featured Meal Menu of the Week" is an entire day's worth of yummy recipes for you to test out and cook right in your own kitchen. I am suggesting these dishes be made on the weekend. Let's be realistic girls .. after a day of work, chasing the kids or tackling the million things you didn't get done when you were hoping too, your simply not going to have the time to whip all this up on a weekday!

Each Featured Meal Menu includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Dessert. It also comes with a complimentary tube of crazy glue, some rope and a full sized lock box. I have included these items in case of emergency .. You've slaved all day and WHAT"S THAT!!?? The husband and kids do not like what you've prepared... That's juuuuust fine you say with a smile...

This is where you pull out your complimentary kit and glue the children to the wall and lock hubby in the box. Now, you can sit down and enjoy the entire dessert you slaved to prepare and don't forget to yell out "first one to offer to wash all the dishes gets let loose!" This is where the rope comes in ladies! The way I figure it, you can tie it to the volunteer's waists, thus ensuring no escape until all those dishes are shiny enough that you can see your lovely reflection gleaming on the plates!

Feature Meal Archive:

May 25th=May 31st

June 1st- June 7th

June 8th - June 14th

August 16-August 22

French Breakfast Puffs


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg
1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons margarine, melted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups or line cups with paper muffin liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, cream together 1/2 cup sugar and shortening. Beat in egg. Stir flour mixture into shortening mixture alternately with milk. Beat well. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes. While muffins are baking, combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
Remove muffins from oven and muffin pan. Immediately, dip the tops of the muffins into the melted margarine, then into the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Repeat with each muffin, until all muffin tops are covered. Serve warm.

Italian Heroes


1 (14 ounce) can marinated artichoke hearts, drained
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 (6 inch) French sandwich rolls
3/4 cup sliced roasted red peppers
2 cups arugula leaves or spring mix
8 ounces thinly sliced hard salami
8 ounces thinly sliced provolone cheese
4 pepperoncini peppers, drained and chopped (optional)
1/2 cup sliced black olives (optional)
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced (optional)


In a food processor or blender, combine the artichoke hearts, garlic and olive oil. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Slice the sandwich rolls in half lengthwise, and pull out most of the soft bread from the top and bottom. Spread the artichoke paste onto each side of each roll. Place layers of red peppers, arugula, salami, provolone cheese, pepperoncini, olives and onion into the rolls. Press sandwiches together, and wrap tightly in aluminum foil.
Place sandwiches in the refrigerator, and place something heavy on top. It helps to place a plate on top, then place cans or any weighted containers on top. I used cottage cheese. Chill for up to 3 hours. Unwrap, cut in half and enjoy.

Basil Chicken over Angel Hair Pasta


1 (8 ounce) package angel hair pasta
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 cups boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and cubed
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese


In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook angel hair pasta until it is al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onions and garlic. Stir in the tomatoes, chicken, basil, salt and hot pepper sauce. Reduce heat to medium, and cover skillet. Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture is hot and tomatoes are soft.
Toss sauce with hot cooked angel hair pasta to coat. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Buster Bar Ice Cream Dessert


1 pound chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed
1/2 cup margarine, melted
1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
1 1/2 cups dry-roasted peanuts


Combined crushed cookies and melted margarine and press into a 9x13 inch dish. Chill 1 hour in refrigerator.
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine confectioners' sugar, evaporated milk, chocolate chips and 1/2 cup margarine. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and boil 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Set aside to cool.
Slice vanilla ice cream into 3/4 inch slices, and place them in a single layer over the chilled crust. Smooth the seams. Sprinkle the peanuts over the ice cream. Top with the cooled chocolate sauce. Cover and freeze 8 hours or overnight.


Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

Serves about 6

12 slices bread
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup strawberry fruit spread
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup

On top of 6 slices of bread, place a generous teaspoon of cream cheese, a generous teaspoon of fruit spread, and 4 strawberry slices. Top each slice with the remaining bread. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together eggs, milk, and vanilla. Dip bread into egg mixture, being careful not to let strawberries fall out. Press edges together to seal. Heat skillet to medium and melt butter. Cook 2 or 3 minutes or until the first side is golden brown. Use a spatula to turn sandwich over, and cook until second side is golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately with maple syrup.



2 cups shredded red cabbage
2 cups sliced carrots or cauliflower
1 medium cucumber, sliced
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/3 pound spinach leaves, torn into pieces
3 slices bacon, crisply cooked
1 cup onion and chive dressing

In a 2 quart salad bowl, layer all ingredients except bacon and dressing; top with bacon.
Add dressing; cover and chill.


Jumbo Shrimp Stuffed with Cilantro and Chiles


8 jumbo shrimp, in the shell (about 1 1/4 pounds)
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped
Juice of 2 limes (about 1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 large jalapeno, with seeds
2 scallions (white and green parts)
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves


Prepare an outdoor grill with a medium-high fire. Without removing the shells, slit about 3/4 of the way through the shrimp down the ridged back and remove the vein that runs down the center. Rinse and pat the shrimp dry. Whisk thyme leaves, lime juice, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and black pepper, to taste, in a shallow nonreactive bowl or dish. Lay the shrimp cut side down in the lime mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

In a food processor, pulse the garlic, jalapeno, scallions, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to make a coarse paste. Add the cilantro and pulse just enough to incorporate into the mixture. Spoon the mixture into the opening in the shrimp and close the shrimp. Grill the shrimp shell side down (to keep filling from falling out) for 3 minutes. Turn to the other shell side, cover, and grill another 2 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink and are slightly firm to the touch. Sprinkle with salt and serve.




1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup flour


8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
8 ounces Cool Whip


4 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup sugar, divided
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Combine crust ingredients; spread in a 9 x 13-inch pan and cook for 15 minutes at 350 F. Cool.
Cream together the cream cheese and powdered sugar. Fold in Cool Whip.

Spread over cooled crust.

Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Add water then 2 cups of the blueberries. Cook over medium heat. stirring constantly, until thickened and translucent. Crush some of the blueberries as they cook.

Remove from heat and add remaining sugar and blueberries. Cool. Spread over cream cheese filling and chill

Ham and Egg Cups


6 (1 oz.) slices thin ham squares
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
2 cups shredded Havarti cheese
8 eggs
3/4 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons dried snipped chives


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease six 10-oz. custard cups and set on a jelly roll pan. Place one piece of ham in each custard cup, pressing down gently to line cups, letting any extra drape over sides.
In medium microwave-safe bowl, combine olive oil, onion, and green pepper. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, then remove and stir. Divide mixture among custard cups. Top with half of the cheese.

Beat together eggs, yogurt, and mustard in a medium bowl until combined. Pour over cheese and onion mixture in each cup. Top with remaining cheese, then the chives. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until eggs are set and thoroughly cooked. Serves 6

Peach Bacon Salad & All American Burgers


4 peaches, peeled and chopped
2 tsp. lime juice
4 pieces bacon
1/3 cup poppy seed salad dressing
1/2 cup chopped celery
3 cups torn lettuce


Combine peaches with lime juice in small bowl, toss gently and set aside. Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels. Crumble bacon and set aside. Toss salad dressing, celery, reserved chopped peaches, and lettuce in a large bowl.

Place salad on serving plate and sprinkle with bacon.


1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. water
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. pepper
4 sandwich buns


Prepare and heat grill. Combine all ingredients except sandwich buns in a large bowl and mix gently. Shape into four patties. Cook 4-6" from coals 10-15 minutes until hamburgers are no longer pink in center, or they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees. You can toast the sandwich buns on the grill just before serving, if you like. Serve with all the traditional fixings - mustard, ketchup, pickles, relish, American cheese... 4 sandwiches

Crockpot Tortellini Stew

1 onion, finely chopped
2 (15 oz.) cans ready to serve vegetable broth
28 oz. can diced tomatoes with garlic and herbs, undrained
15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. dried basil leaves
8 oz. pkg. dry cheese tortellini


Combine all ingredients except basil and tortellini in 4-5 quart crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. 20 minutes before you want to eat, add basil and tortellini to crockpot and stir gently. Cover, turn heat setting to high, and cook 20-25 minutes until tortellini are tender. 8 servings

Creamy Fruit Parfaits


8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
7 oz. jar marshmallow creme
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup blueberries or raspberries


Beat together cream cheese and marshmallow creme until smooth. Layer fruit with cream cheese mixture in 4 dessert glasses. Serves 4