Friday, November 29, 2013

Tortellini Beef Soup

Prep /Total time : 7 to 8 hours ... Serves  8

1 ...................pound beef stew meat
1...................large onion, chopped  (3/4) cup
1 .................large carrot , chopped (1/2) cup
2 .................medium stalks celery , chopped (1/2) cup
2 .................clove garlic , finely chopped
2 .................teaspoons sugar
1 .................can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes , un-drained
2 ................cans (10-1/2 ounces each) condensed beef consommé
1 ................teaspoon dried basil leaves
2 ................cups frozen cheese-filled tortellini
1 ................cup Green Valley Fresh Steamers  frozen cut green beans

1.         In a  3-1/2  to 4 quart slow cooker  , add beef , onion , carrot , celery , garlic , sugar , tomatoes and beef consomm√© .
2 .       Cover and cook on low heat 7 to 8 hours .
3.        About  30 minutes  before serving , stir in basil , frozen tortellini  and green beans . Increase  heat setting to high . Cover , cook  about 30 minutes  or until beans are tender .

Use any flavor  of filled frozen pasta . Just make sure the  pieces are bite size.

Add garlic bread  for and easy meal .
Top each serving with a teaspoon of basil pesto .

Heart healthy

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

White Chocolate Holiday Bark...Colorful and Easy

Picture of White Chocolate Holiday Bark Recipe


This holiday treat makes a great gift in a pretty Christmas tin and it is yummy

Total Time: 1 hr 35 min
Prep: 30 min
Inactive: 1 hr 0 min
Cook: 5 min


  • 1 pound finely chopped white chocolate
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons nut or plain oil
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 1/4 cups shelled pistachio nuts, toasted and papery coating peeled
  • Equipment: Chocolate thermometer


Tempering the chocolate for the bark requires a double boiler. If you don't have a double boiler, improvise one by using a saucepan and a stainless steel bowl: Nestle the bowl into the saucepan, allowing a few inches of space to remain between the bottom of the bowl and the bottom of the saucepan. Keep an extra bowl of a similar size on hand to transfer the chocolate for cooling. Rest the chocolate thermometer on a towel. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Pour a couple inches of water into the bottom half of the double boiler and heat over medium-low to just below a simmer. Put the chocolate in the top half of the double boiler and set over the hot water. Slowly melt the chocolate, stirring with a heat-resistant rubber spatula. As the chocolate melts, check the temperature periodically to make sure it stays between 82 and 86 degrees F. If it starts to rise above this temperature, quickly transfer the chocolate to the bowl on reserve and stir briskly to reduce heat. Return bowl to double boiler to maintain heat between 82 and 86 degrees F.

Remove bowl from over the hot water just before all the chocolate melts. Stir vigorously until the chocolate melts completely. Check temperature again. Stir in the oil until evenly blended. Chocolate is now tempered and ready to use. Keep within the 82 to 86 degree F range, returning bowl briefly to the double boiler if necessary.

Quickly stir the fruit and nuts into the chocolate. Spread chocolate mixture out on the prepared baking sheet so it's about 1/2-inch thick and the fruit and nuts are coated. Set bark aside at room temperature to harden. Break into angled pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Cranberry Orange Christmas Cookies

Picture of Cranberry-Orange Cookies Recipe

Pretty and festive cookies with a zesty flavor. Tied up in cellophane with a pretty bow, they make a nice holiday gift for friends and neighbors
Total Time: 2 hr 0 min
Prep :1 hr 36 min....Cook 24 min
Yield: about 48 cookies
Level: Easy


  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup cranberry juice cocktail
  • 1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Red sanding sugar, for rolling


Pulse the dried cranberries and granulated sugar in a food processor until the cranberries are finely ground and the sugar turns red. Add the flour, baking powder, orange zest, salt, allspice and cloves and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal.
Combine the cranberry juice, food coloring and vanilla in a small bowl and add to the food processor
 along with the egg; pulse until a dough forms. Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll heaping teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, then roll the balls in sanding sugar and arrange about 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake, switching the position of the pans halfway through, until the cookies are just set on top and golden on the bottom, 18 to 24 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Poppa's Chocolate Layer Cake

Holiday time is here and nothing says it like frosted chocolate layers may be the reason this cake has reappeared in Good Housekeeping countless times since 1927 (including a 1984 version made with mayo!)

Prep / Total time : 1 hour 15 minutes .... Serves 16
2 ........................cups all-purpose flour
1 ........................cup unsweetened cocoa
1-1/2 ..................teaspoons baking soda
1/4 ......................teaspoon salt
3/4 ......................cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine , softened
1 ..........................cup granulated sugar
1 .........................cup packed brown sugar
3 ..........................large eggs
2 ..........................teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 ....................cups low-fat buttermilk
1/3 ........................cup unsweetened cocoa
1/3 ........................cup boiling water
1 ...........................cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine softened
2 ...........................tablespoons confectioners' sugar
12 .........................ounces semi-sweet chocolate , melted and cooled
1 .                Prepare cake layers : Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans . Line bottoms with wax paper ; grease paper . Dust pans with flour.
2.                On another sheet of wax paper , combine flour , cocoa , baking soda and salt . In Large bowl with mixer at low speed , beat butter and browm and granulated sugar until blended . Increase speed to high ; beat 5 minutes or until pale and fluffy , ocasionally scraping bowl ith rubber spatula . Reduce speed to medium-low ; add eggs , 1 at a time , beating well after each addition . Beat in vanilla until blended . Add flour mixture alteernately with buttermilk , beginning and ending with flour mixture ; beat just until batter is smooth , occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula.
3.               Spoon batter evenly among prepared pans . If necessary , stagger pans on 2 oven racks , placing 2 on upper rack and 1 on lower rack , so the top pans are not directly above bottom one . Bake 22 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean . Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes .With a small knife , loosen layers from sides of pans ; invert onto wire rachs . Carefully remove and discard waxed paper ; cool completely , about 45 minutes . If you like , wrap layers well and store at room temperature up to 1 day or freeze up to 1 month . Bring to room temperature before frosting cake .
4.              Meanwhile , prepare frosting : In a small bowl , combine cocoa and boiling water , stirring until smooth . In a large bowl , with a mixer at medium high speed , beat butter and confectioners' sugar 5 minutes until fluffy . Reduce speed to medium low ; add melted clocolate , then cocoa mixture , beating until smooth and ocassionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula . If frosting is too runny , refrigerate until just stiff enough to spread .
5 .               Assemble cake: Place 1 layer bottom side up on cake plate ; spread with 1/3 cup frosting . Top with second layer , bottom side up ; spread with 1/3 cup frosting . Place remaining layer bottom side up on top . Spread remaing frosting over sides and top of cake .

One of my family favorite cakes .
Heart healthy

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Cod & Sweet Pepper Bisque

Prep time: 10 minutes ... Cooking  time : 50 minutes ... Makes 4 servings

This is a good warm dish to serve on  these chilly and cold nights , just add bread  and a salad  ... I make hot water corn bread , salad and  some  smiles .

1 ...............tablespoon butter or margarine
2................large stalks of celery , finely chopped
1 ...............large  sweet red pepper , cored , seeded  and finely chopped
2 ..............tablespoons  chopped pimiento
1-1/2 .......tablespoons  all-purpose  flour
1 .............bottle ( 8 ounces) fish broth  or chicken broth
1/2 ......... cup dry  sherry
1 ............cup heavy cream
1 ...........cup half-and-half
1/4 ........teaspoon salt
1/4 ........teaspoon black pepper
6 ...........ounces  cod fish  ,  cut in chunks

1.          In a medium-size saucepan over moderate heat ... heat butter . Add celery  and saute  for 5 minutes . Add red pepper  and pimiento  and  cook until pepper cook until pepper is softened  ... about 10 minutes  more .
2 .          Blend in flour  , then  gradually whisk in fish broth or chicken broth  , stirring  constantly  until smooth . Add cherry  and cook , stirring  2 to 3 minutes .
3 .           Add heavy cream , half-and-half , salt  and black pepper , reduce the heat  to moderately low and cook  uncovered  for 30 minutes  . Do not overheat  or soup may curdle .
4 .          Add cod  and simmer another 10 minutes .

Heart healthy 

It's Christmas...Time For Cranberry, White Chocolate Shortbread

Cranberry and white chocolate shortbread
  •  250ml (8 1/3 fl oz) butter, at room temperature
  • 125g (3/4 cup) icing sugar mixture
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  •  2 cups plain white flour
  • 75g (1/2 cup) dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
  • 100g (3.5 oz) white chocolate, finely chopped 


Step 1... Preheat oven to 160°C  (325 degrees F). Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Use an electric beater to beat the butter, icing sugar and vanilla in a bowl until very pale and creamy.
 Step 2... stir in the flour, dried cranberries and chocolate. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and bring the dough together.
Step 3... Roll tablespoonfuls of the dough into balls. Place, about 5cm apart, on the trays. Use a fork to flatten slightly. (See note) Place in the fridge for 15 minutes to chill.
 Step 4... Bake, swapping trays halfway through cooking, for 15-18 minutes or until golden. Set aside on the trays for 5 minutes to cool before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely

Great traditional cookies...enjoy! Happy Holidays

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Cheesy Grits

In the south . a spoonful of creamy grits  always accompanies  ham and eggs  for breakfast . But Grits can always be enjoyed  as a dish at lunch  and dinner too .

Prep Time : 5 minutes ... Cook time : 10 to 15 minutes ... Makes 4 servings

3 ...................cups of water
2 ...................cloves garlic , minced
1 ...................cup quick-cooking grits
1/2 ...............teaspoon salt
1-1/4 ...........cups shredded cheese or 3/4 cup chevre
2 .................tablespoons butter  or margarine
1/2 ..............teaspoon ground white pepper

1 .       In a large saucepan over high heat , bring water  and garlic  to a boil . Gradually mix in grits and salt , stirring  constantly.
2 .       Reduce  the heat  to moderately  low  and cook , covered , stirring  frequently until thickened  ... 7 to 10 minutes .
3.       Remove from the heat  ; add Cheddar , butter and pepper , stirring  constantly  until cheese is melted  and smooth .     

Heart healthy

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Food for Thought : Pumpkin Pie

             Pumpkin Pie My Way
There seems to be some disagreements  as to when National Pumpkin Pie Day should be observed . Some say November and  there are others  that claim it is always  on Christmas day . However , one thing we can easily agree on , is the fact  the orange member  of the squash family  has some powerful  nutritional and delicious  qualities.  Pumpkin is low in calories and fat plus it is high in vitamins  A , C , E and potassium . Pumpkin  is currently in season ; however , canned pumpkin  is typically available  year-round . Here are a few tips  to help you  enjoy this healthy treat :
1 .Use 100 percent  pumpkin puree  in place  of oil in baked goods  such as cookies  and brownies  for added  nutritional  value  and reduced fat .
2. The seeds are a great snack . Pumpkin seeds are rich  in certain plant-based chemicals , phyto-serols , that have  been shown  to lower "bad" cholesterol .
3. Use  pumpkin in smoothies  and snacks . You  may have heard  about  the beneficial effects  of potassium  after working  out , such  as in bananas . Pumpkins  are also high  in potassium  and are great  for pre and post work-out fuel.
                    Heavenly Pumpkin Pie
Do you need a good pumpkin pie recipe for Thanksgiving that doesn't contain sweetened condensed milk? If so, I have one for you today. It's super creamy, not too sweet, the spices won't punch you in the face, and you're going to love it. Just don't forget the whipped cream.
When you make this pie, remember 3 very important things:
1:    Make the crust shell high, as this has a lot of filling and the crust will shrink while baking.
2:    Make sure your cream cheese, pumpkin, eggs, and heavy cream are at room temperature. Especially the cream cheese. This allows all the ingredients to blend and not leave any stubborn clumps.
3:    Enjoy! Devour. Share. With lots of whipped cream. Did I mention that already?

8      ounces cream cheese, softened
2      cups pumpkin
1      teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2   teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2   teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch salt
3/4   cup sugar
2      teaspoons vanilla extract
2      eggs, at room temp
2      tablespoons coconut oil, melted (optional)
1      cup heavy cream
1     coconut oil pie crust

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
1 .   Place prepared pie crust into a 9 inch pie plate and decorate edges as desired. Place in refrigerator while oven is preheating. Let rest for about 2 minutes out a room temperature before baking.
2 .   Prick shell all over generously with a fork and fill with pie weights or spoons and/or forks (to prevent shrinking). Bake for 15-20 minutes, until crust is drier and beginning to slightly brown. Remove weights and set aside.
3.     Meanwhile, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer. Add pumpkin, spices and salt and beat until combined. Beat in sugar. Add remaining ingredients and beat until well combined.
4 .     Pour the filling into the baked pie crust and bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes, or until center is just set (it's okay if it still jiggles a little). Cool completely and serve with freshly whipped cream.
Thanx to Sarah Shilhavy

Words of Wisdom :
You may be disappointed  if you fail , but you are doomed if you don't try . Occasionally , failure is the price of improvement .

When your outgo exceeds  your inflow , your overhead becomes  your downfall.

Always smile ; it increases your face value .

Never tell a bird he can't fly  when he is in midair .

A proud grandpa .     G.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Seafood Lasagna

Prep Time: 20 min ...Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes   Servings 8

1/4 ................cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
9 ...................uncooked lasagna noodles
1/4 ................cup butter or margarine
1 ...................medium onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
2 ...................cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 ...................cups half-and-half
1 ...................cup Progresso® chicken broth (from 32-oz carton)
1/3 ................cup dry sherry or chicken broth
1/2 ................teaspoon salt
1/4 ................teaspoon pepper
1 ...................egg, slightly beaten
1/2 ................cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 ...................container (15 oz) ricotta cheese
1/4 ................cup chopped fresh parsley
2 ...................packages ...(8 ounces each) frozen salad-style imitation crabmeat, thawed, drained and chopped
2 ...................packages (4 0unces each) frozen cooked salad shrimp, thawed, drained
3 ..................cups shredded mozzarella cheese (12 ounces)
1 ..................tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, if desired

1.          Heat oven to 350°F. Cook noodles as directed on package.
2.          Meanwhile, in 3-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is crisp-tender. Stir in flour; cook and stir until bubbly. Gradually stir in half-and-half, broth, sherry, salt and pepper. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
3.          In medium bowl, mix egg, Parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese and 1/4 cup parsley; set aside.
4.          Drain noodles. In ungreased 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish, spread 3/4 cup of the sauce. Top with 3 noodles. Spread half of the crabmeat and half of the shrimp over noodles; spread with 3/4 cup of the sauce. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese; top with 3 noodles. Spread ricotta mixture over noodles; spread with 3/4 cup of the sauce. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese; top with 3 noodles. Spread with remaining crabmeat, shrimp and sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
5.          Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until cheese is light golden brown. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon parsley.

Heart Healthy

Oven-Roasted Fish Dinner

Prep Time 10 min Total Time 35 min Servings

4-1/2.............. cups Original Bisquick® or Bisquick Heart Smart® mix
1/2 .................cup yellow cornmeal
1 ....................teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 .................teaspoon salt
1 -1/2 ............. pounds  fish fillets
1/2 .................cup Yoplait® Fat Free plain yogurt (from 32-oz container)
1 ...................medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces (1 1/2 cups)
1 ...................medium red onion, cut into wedges
1 ...................medium red bell pepper, cut into 8-inch pieces
1 ...................tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1/2 ................teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning salt

1.            Heat oven to 450°F. Spray 15x10x1-inch pan with cooking spray.
2.           In medium bowl, mix Bisquick mix, cornmeal, oregano and salt. Dip fish into yogurt, then coat with Bisquick mixture. Place in one side of pan. Toss remaining ingredients; spoon into other side of pan.
3.           Bake uncovered 18 to 22 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender and fish flakes easily with fork.

Heart healthy

Monday, November 18, 2013

Food for Thought : November is American Diabetes Month

November is American Diabetes Month . According to the American  Diabetes Association  the primary  objective  is to raise awareness about diabetes , its consequencess  ,mangement and prevention  of type 2 diabetes . Nearly 26 million children  and adults  have diabetes in the U.s. , while  another  79 million  are at risk  for developing  type 2 diabetes  .  Diabetes  is prevalent  in our area  and it is important  that you  understand  the risks  and complications  associated  with the disease . Here  are a few tips  to help you  talk to to your doctor  or dietitian  about diabetes;
1.  Know your risk for diabetes . Risk factors for type  2 diabetes  include older age  , obesity , a family history  , history of gastational  diabetes  , physical inactivity .
2 .   Know the truth from the myths . Diabetes is not  caused by eating  too much sugar  , people with diabetes  do not have to eat special  diabetic foods , people with diabetes can  have sweets  and chocolate  and you can't  get diabetes  from someone else .
3 .  There is  a lot of information  regarding  diet , exercise  and diabetes  management  online  and in magazines  . However  this advice  is not always  research based  or true . Consult  with your doctor  or dietitian  to get the best  information  to manage  your diabetes  or risk  of developing  type 2 diabetes.
Words of Wisdom :
Life is like an ice cream cone . You get it licked on one side  , and it runs down the other .

The best way to get hitched  is to have good horse sense  , stable thinking  and a bridle on your tongue .

Sow a thought , reap an act ; sow an act , reap a habit ; sow a habit , reap a character ; sow a character , reap a destiny .

The two most important days  of our lives  are the day we are born  and the day we find out why .
A  very proud grandpa          G.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


birthday greetings photo: Happy BDay Birthday.gif

Love Aunt Jeannie

And the very best of luck in Minden

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Chicken with Cornbread dumplings

 Serves  6          Total : 5 hours

Make a classic chicken and dumplings recipe more Southern by topping the vegetables and c

Make a classic chicken and dumplings recipe more Southern by topping the vegetables and chicken packed stew with cornbread dumplings .
3 ............skinned and boned chicken breasts (about 1-1/2 pounds)
6 ............skinless and boned chicken thighs
1 ............teaspoon salt
1/2 .........teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 .........teaspoon poultry seasoningM
1/2 .........pound carrots , sliced
4.............celery ribs , sliced
1 ............sweet onion , chopped
2 ............ (10-3/4 ounces) cans cream of chicken soup
1 ............ (32 ounce) container chicken broth

Cornbread dumplings :
2 ............ tablespoons butter or margaine
1............. celery rib , diced
1 ............samll onion , dice (about1/4 cup)
1/2 ......... teaspoon rubbed sage
3/4 ..........cup cornmeal
1/2 .......... cup all-purpose flour
1 ..............teaspoon baking powder
1 ..............teaspoon seasoned salt
1 ..............large egg, lightly beaten
1/3 ...........cup milk

Prepare Chicken : Rub chicken pieces with salt , pepper and poultry seasoning . Place breasts in a 6-quart slow cooker , top with thighs . Add carrots and next 3 ingredients . Whisk together soup and broth until smooth . Pour soup mixture over vegetables . Cover and cook on high 3-1/2 hours or until chicken breasts shreds easily with a fork . Remove chicken ; cool 10 minutes . Bone and spread chicken . Stir chicken into soup and vegetable mixture . Cover and cook on high 1 hour or until boilng .

Meanwhile , prepare dumplings : Melt butter in a small skillet . Add celery , onion and sage ; saute over medium-high heat 3 minutes

Combine cornmeal and next 4 ingredients in a medium bowl ; add egg , milk and celery mixture , stirring until dry ingredients are moistened .

Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls into simmering chicken mixture . leaving about 1/4-inch space between dumplings . Cover and cook on high 30 to 35 minutes or until dumplings have double in size .
You can also use cubed fully cooked ham for a different taste .
Heart healthy

Potato Cheese Soup

6 servings ( 1-1/2 quarts) Total time 30 minutes

3          medium potatoes (about 1 pound) peeled  and quartered
1          small onion , finely chopped
1          cup water
1           teaspoon salt
3           cups milk
3           tablespoons  butter , melted
2           tablespoons  all-purpose flour
2           tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1/8         teaspoon white pepper
1           cup (4 ounces) shredded  Swiss cheese

In a large saucepan , bring potatoes  , onions , water and salt  to a boil . Reduce heat  ; cover  and  simmer  for 15 to 20 minutes  or until potatoes are tender . Do not drain ; mash slightly . Stir in milk .

Meanwhile  , in a samll bowl , blend the butter  , flour , parsley  and pepper ; stir into the potato mixture . Cook  and stir over medium heat until thichened  and bubbly . Remove  from the heat ; add cheese  and stir until  almost melted .

For  those of you that cannot  have dairy products ,  omit the cheese .

Heart healthy

White Bean 'n' Ham Soup

Makes  6 servings -----Total time  30 minutes

This soup is a winner  on all three levels , It's easy on the budget , quick and yummy ! While canned beans  make this a tasty main dish  a fast fix , you can save money  by soaking  and cooking dry beans instead .

2         cans (15-1/2 ounces each) great northern beans , rinsed and drained
2         medium carrots , diced
1         small onion , chopped
2         tablespoons  butter
2-1/4   cup water
1-1/2   cups cubed fully cooked ham
1/2       teaspoon salt
1/4       teaspoon white pepper
1          bay leaf

Mashed  one can of beans ; set aside . In a saucepan , saute the carrots  and onion in butter . Stir in the water , ham , seasonings and whole and mashed beans ; cook over medium heat  until through .
Discard bay leaf.

Heart hearty

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Chicken Cacciatore

Makes   6 servings

This poultry dish is loaded  with flavor  and color . The chicken is fall-off-the-bone  tender  in just 15 minutes  . Making it a top pick for busy families .

1/4           cup all-purpose flour
1               teaspoon salt
1              teaspoon paprika
1/4           teaspoon pepper
1              broiler /fryer  chicken (3 to 4 pounds) cup up
1             cup canola oil
1             medium onion , chopped
1             medium green pepper , cut into strips
1             garlic  clove , minced
1            can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes , undrained
3/4         cup water
1            can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1            jar (6 ounces) sliced mushrooms  , drained
 Hot Pepper sauce to taste

In a large  resealable  plastic bag , combine the flour  , salt , paprika  and pepper . Add chicken  a few pieces at a time  and shake to coat .

In a pressure  cooker , brown chicken  in batches  in oil over medium-high heat . Return all chicken  to cooker  , add green pepper  , onion, garlic , tomatoes and water .

Close cover  securely , place egulator on vent pipe  . Bring cooker  to full pressure over high heat  . Reduce heat to medium -high  and cook 8 minutes .(Pressure regulator  should maintain  a slow  , steady  rocking  motion , adjust  heat as needed ). Remove from the heat ; cool immediately  according  to manfacturer's directions  until pressure  is completely reduced .

Using a slotted spoon , remove chicken to a platter . Add tomato paste  and mushrooms  to pan juices ; cook  and stir over  medium heat  until bubbly . Add hot pepper sauce  and chicken and heat through.

You can use  chicken legs   if you prefer   .You can also cook this chicken in a Dutch oven ... add 1 cup of water instead of 3/4 cup .
Heart  healthy

Monday, November 11, 2013

Chicken Marsala

Yield 6 servings
Chicken marsala is usually high in fat  and calories  , in this version , the flavor really comes from deglazing  the skillet  with the broth  and wine , so even though  I eliminated  extra  oil , the taste isn't lost .

6         boneless skinless breast halves  (4 ounces each)
1         cup fat-free Italian salad dressing
1         tablespoon all-purpose  flour
1/2      teaspoon garlic powder
1/4      teaspoon paprika
1/4      teaspoon pepper
2         tablespoons olive oil , divided
1         tablespoon butter
1/2     cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2     cup marsala  wine or 3 tablespoons un sweetened  apple juice  plus 5 tablespoons  additional  reduced-sodium chicken broth
1         pound  sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2      cup minced  fresh parsley

Flatten chicken  to 1/2 -inch thickness . Place in a large resealable bag ; add salad dressing . Seal bag  and turn to coat ; rrefrigerate  for 8 hours  ot overnight .

Drain and discard  marinade . Combine  the flour , Italian  seasoning  , garlic  powder , paprika  and pepper ; sprinkle  over both sides  of chicken . In a large skillet  coated  with cooking spray , cook chicken  in 1 tablespoon oil  and butter  for 2 minutes  on each side or until  browned . Transfer  to a 13-inchX9-inch baking dish  coated  with cooking spray .

Gradually  add broth  and wine to skillet  , stirring  to loosen  browned  bits . Bring to a boil  ; cook  and stir 2 minutes . Strain sauce  ; set aside . In the same skillet  , cook mushrooms  in remaining  oil for 2 minutes ; drain. Stir sauce  into mushrooms ; heat through . Pour over  chicken ; sprinkle  with parsley . Bake , uncovered  at 350*  for 25 to 30 minutes  or until juices run clear .

Heart healthy

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Food for Thought :What;s for Dinner ?

What's For Dinner ?

Nearly everything you eat comes from a plant or animal . Meat , fish , eggs and dairy foods are all animal products . Most of these foods come from farms .

Some of the food you eat may be locally raised , but much of it comes from faraway places . Some foods that you eat regularly , such as bananas , even come from other countries .

Plants take out of the soil and air to make their own food . The substances they contain , including sugars , starches and minerals , nourish us when we eat them . When we eat animal products , we are getting these same nutrients indirectly , becaust animals eats plants , too.
Many different parts of a plant can be eaten :

During an ordinary dinner , you might eat leaves , stems , roots , flowers , fruits and seeds ! If you don't believe it , think about those leaves you had for dinner the other night (lettuce) . In your salad , you might also have enjoyed some delicious stems (celery) , roots (carrots) and bulbs (onions). If your meal included broccoli or caulifower , you were actually eating flowers .

Grains such as wheat , corn and rice are seeds of grass plants . We eat grain in many forms . Wheat is usually ground into flour , which is used for baked goods . Corn may be eaten whole or ground . We usually eat rice whole , either with or without its browm husk.
Meat is the flesh of an animal :

The meat we usually eat is muscle , although other parts , such as liver , are some times eaten as well . Cattle (beef and veal) , pigs (pork) , chickens and turkeys are he most common food animals in the United States . We also eat fish and other types of seafood . Other animal products nclude eggs , diary foods and gelatin.

A fruit by any other name :When is a fruit not a fruit :

"Fruit " actually decribes the part of a plant that contains the seeds . By that definition , tomatoes , cucumbers and eggplants are fruits . We usually call them vegetables , however , and use the word "fruit" only for the sweet-tasting plants . A vegetable is an edible plant part other than the fruit .

Words of Wisdom:
It's been proven that if you can't take a joke , you will have to take medicine .

A merry heart does  good like a medicine , so when you laugh , it does your hert good . That's why humor is good  just for the health of it .

Politicians  are like tea bags , they are not worth much  until they have been  put through hot water .

The tongue  is the thermometer  that tell the temperature  of the person .

Marriage : An investment that pays you dividends if you pay interest .
A very proud  Grandpoppa               G.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Happy Birthday ..............Uncle Brian

Happy Birthday Uncle Brian

Jonny, Sha , Jenny , Man  Carano

Chris , Sheryl , Bubba Landrieu

Tell Aunt Jeannie to give you a bunch of kisses for us  and some cake .  We love you .

The Cubs

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sugared Chocolate Beignets

Prep : 1 hour + freezing time  ... Makes 32 Beignets

These gourmet doughnuts can be prepared ahead , requiring only a quick baking once your guests arrive.

2 ... tablespoons corn syrup
1/2 ..cup heavy cream
4 ... ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate
2 ... sheets (17 oz. total) cold thawed puff pastry dough
1 ... large egg
1/2 ... cup sugar


1 . combine corn syrup and heavy cream in a microwave-safe container . Heat in 30-second intervals until boiling . Put chocolate in bowl and pour hot cream on top . Stir chocolate until smooth , then chill, stirring often , until firm , about 20 minutes .

2 . Meanwhile , line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper . On a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin , roll each pastry dough sheetinto a 12-inch square . Cut each square into 16 smaller squares and tranfer to a baking sheet .

3. In a bowl , lightly whisk egg and 1 tabkespoon water to blend , then brush over pastry squares . Spoon about 1 teaspoon chocolate into the center of each square . Fold 1 corner of each square over to meet the opposite corner , forming a triangle . Press edges to seal . Use a 2-1/2-inch round cutter to trim corners of triangle and form a shape that resembles a three -quarter moon . Wrap trays with plastic wrap and freeze at least 1 hour and up to 1 week . (to save space , after 30 minutes of freezing , put pastries in resealable plastic bags in freezer ).

4 . Preheat oven to 400* . Bake pastries , switching pan positions once , until golden brown , about 15 minutes . Let cool 5 minutes . Put sugar in a bowl and turn Beignets in sugar to coat . Serve immediately.

Heart healthy

Monday, November 4, 2013

Fruity Orange Loaf...Great with After Dinner Coffee


Fruity Orange Loaf
A pureed whole orange adds a zesty flavour and replaces about half of the oil often found in loaf recipes. Sift some icing sugar over top just before serving.


2-1/2 cups (625 mL) all purpose flour
2/3 cup (150 mL) granulated sugar
2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground cardamom or ground nutmeg
1 medium seedless orange
2 egg whites
1 egg
1/2 cup (125 mL) milk
3 tbsp (45 mL) vegetable oil
2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla
3/4 cup (175 mL) chopped dried figs



In large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cardamom; set aside.
In food processor, mince unpeeled orange into small pieces. Using on/off motion, blend in egg whites, egg, milk, oil and vanilla; pour into measure and add enough water to make 2 cups (500 mL). Pour over dry ingredients. Sprinkle with figs; stir just until moistened.
Spread in greased 9- x 5-inch (2 L) loaf pan. Bake in centre of 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) oven for about 55 minutes or until tester inserted in centre comes out clean.
Let cool in pan on rack for 15 minutes; turn out onto rack and let cool completely. (Slices can be wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen in airtight container for up to 1 month; or freeze whole.)
Tip: Substitute raisins or dried cranberries for figs.

The preparation is fairly simple and it freezes great. Make several for Christmas gifts. Much better for people who dread the legendary fruit cake. Never had a come-back or a re-gift yet.

Lemon Bars Supreme


   Buttery, crisp shortbread topped with refreshing and subtly-sweet curd filling....absolutely delicious!
You don't have to use meyer lemons for this recipe but if you can find them you won't regret it.  The sweetness of the meyer variety is a nice change from the lip-puckering tartness that you'd find with a regular lemon.    
What I love about this recipe is that the filling is pre-cooked, like a curd, and when baked further in the oven its silky smooth texture holds its shape beautifully.   If you like citrus you can't go wrong with these meyer lemon bars.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus more to sprinkle on the finished bars
pinch of salt
8 Tbls unsalted butter, still cool and cut into 8 pieces
7 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
1 cup + 2 Tbls sugar
2/3 cup meyer lemon juice (from about 4-5 medium lemons)
finely grated zest from the lemons
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 Tbls unsalted butter, cut in to 4 pieces
3 Tbls heavy cream
For the crust
Cover a 9-inch square cake pan with two sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil, perpendicular to each other.  Spray with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Put the flour, powdered sugar and salt in a food processor and process briefly, about 2 seconds.  Add the butter pieces and process to blend, 8 to 10 seconds, then process until the mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse meal, about three 1-second pulses.  Sprinkle the mixture into the prepared cake pan and press firmly with your fingers into an even layer over the entire pan bottom.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Bake the crust until golden brown, about 25 minutes.
For the filling
In a medium saucepan whisk together the egg yolks and whole eggs until combined.  Add the sugar, meyer lemon juice, zest and salt until well combined, about 30 seconds.  
Add the butter pieces and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the curd thickens to a thin sauce-like consistency (about 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer), about 6 minutes.
Immediately pour the curd through a fine-mesh steel strainer set over a medium bowl.  Stir in the heavy cream and then pour the curd into the warm crust.
Bake until the filling is shiny and opaque and the center 3 inches jiggle slightly when shaken, about 10 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 45 minutes.  Remove the bars from the pan and transfer to a cutting board.  Cut into 2 inch squares, wiping the knife blade clean between cuts as necessary.  Sieve powdered sugar over the bars, if you'd like.