Monday, November 30, 2009

Pork Pitas with Cuke Yogurt Sauce

I got this from Veronica Haymore a couple of years ago.


1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup onion
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/8 tsp pepper
2 lbs boneless pork chops cut into pieces (I sometimes you a tenderloin)

Yogurt Sauce

8 oz plain yogurt
1/2 cup finely chopped cucumber
1 Tbsp chopped onion
1 Tbsp Parsley
1 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp garlic salt

In a plastic bag, combine all of the ingredients for the pork marinade. Add pork pieces and toss to coat. Seal and refrigerate overnight. Make yogurt sauce and refrigerate for several hours before you're ready to serve it. If you have a George Forman-type grill, use that to cook your pork; otherwise, cook it in a frying pan. Serve in fresh pitas with yogurt sauce.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Raspberry Trifle

This is a recipe I got from my sister-in-law. Those of you that were at the very last book club at Dorothy's may remember this dessert. My favorite quote from someone after eating this was, "I want to dive into the bowl and eat my way out." Enjoy.

1 cup heavy whipping cream (whipped)
3 (8-oz) packages cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
1 large angel food cake
2 bags frozen raspberries
Whip the cram and then add the cream cheese, sour cream, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Break the angel food cake into small pieces (size of golf balls) and fold into the above mixture. Layer 1/2 of this mixture in the bottom of a trifle bowl or glass bowl. Then layer 1 bag of raspberries over it. Layer the remaining 1/2 of the mixture over the raspberries and pour the remaining bag of berries on the top. Refrigerate and serve.

Pumpkin Waffles

I just tried these the other day, and they were so good that I was left wondering why I haven't been making them all along. Perfect for a Saturday morning breakfast with maple syrup. Next, I think we will try them for dessert, topped with vanilla ice cream!

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin
2 cups milk
4 eggs, separated
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat a waffle iron according to manufacturer's instructions.

Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, salt, and brown sugar in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together the pumpkin, milk, and egg yolks. Whip the egg whites in a clean dry bowl until soft peaks form.

Stir the flour mixture and 1/4 cup melted butter to the pumpkin mixture, stirring just to combine. Use a whisk or rubber spatula to fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter, stirring gently until incorporated. Fold in the remaining egg whites.

Cook waffles according to manufacturer's instructions.

I have made these the lazy way, just adding the eggs in whole, and they turn out fine. But, if you take the time to whip the egg whites, they are just that much fluffier.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

My mom's recipe. These are moist and sweet, great with honey and butter!

1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon honey
5 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons dry milk powder
2 tablespoons butter
4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Mix the yeast, warm water and 1 tbsp of the sugar and let sit until bubbles form. Then add the rest of the ingredients, leaving the flour until the end. After kneading, the dough should be moist but not sticky. I usually end up adding a bit more flour. Put in a bowl, cover and let rise for an hour or so, until doubled.

Punch down the dough, and divide into 24 balls. You can shape these however you want, but I usually just leave them as balls and place them on a cookie sheet close enough that as they rise they will touch. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes.

Cook at 350 for 15 minutes, until golden brown.

A few notes:

If you don't have almond extract, no sweat, just use vanilla. Or, if you don't have molasses, just use honey.
I have also substituted 1 cup of the white flour with whole wheat flour, and this makes them a bit heartier, and (I convince myself), a little bit healthy.

Friday, October 30, 2009

THE Crescent Rolls

This recipe is a Holmes family tradition. It is one I got from Scott's Mom and it has reached celebrity status among our friends. Enjoy.

2 packages active dry yeast
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 cups warm water
1 cup sugar
6 eggs, beaten
1 cup melted butter (cooled to lukewarm)
8 cups bread flour
2 tsp. salt

Mix warm water with yeast and sugar and let sit until bubbles form. Add remaing sugar, beaten eggs and melted butter* to the yeast mixture. Use a sifter to sift in flour and salt. I usually use my hand mixer for the first half of the flour and then use a spoon for the last half (the dough should still be pretty sticky). Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for two hours. Stir down the dough, cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge overnight.

About 5-6 hours before you plan to eat, remove the dough from the fridge, dump onto a floured surface and divide into four equal parts. Roll each part into a circle (about 12"). Brush the entire circle generously with melted butter. Use a pizza cutter to cut it (pizza-style) into 12 equal pieces. Roll-up each piece, starting at the wide end, to form a crescent. Place on a greased cookie sheet and cover with a dish towel. Allow to rise for 4-5 hours. Bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes.

*Test the butter before you pour it in to make sure it's not too hot. If it is too hot, it will kill the yeast and your rolls won't rise. I just use the "finger test". Put your (clean) finger into the butter and hold it there for 5 seconds. Does it burn? If not, dump it in. If it is too hot, stir it for a while to help it cool. The first thing I do when I make these rolls is melt the butter, that way it has plenty of time to cool.

French Bread

This is a recipe I got at a swap a few years ago. It is very good and accompanies our soup every time.

2 packets active dry yeast
3 cups warm water
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp oil (olive or vegetable, doesn't matter)
6-7 cups bread flour

Mix the yeast and water and wait for it to bubble. Add the sugar,
salt and oil. Add the flour a cup at a time. I don't really measure
the flour. I just keep adding it until the dough is firm and only a
little sticky. Cover and let rise for an hour. Turn dough out onto
floured surface and divide into three equal pieces. Roll each piece
flat with a rolling pin and into a rectangle (mine rarely look like a
rectangle) and roll up, pinching the ends and seams to form a "french"
loaf. Cut slashes in the top (purely aesthetic). Let rise for about
an hour and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cheesy Ham and Hash Brown Casserole

I found this on

1 (32 oz) package frozen hash brown potatoes
8 ounces cooked, diced ham
2 (10.75 oz) cans condensed cream of potato soup
16 oz sour cream
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease 9x13 baking dish.

In a large bowl, mix the hash browns, ham, soup, sour cream, and cheddar. Spread evenly into the baking dish and sprinkle with parmesan.

Bake for one hour or until bubbly and light brown.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Roasted Vegetables and Garlic

This is a Wegmans recipe. It is one of our favorites in the summer because we can grow so many of the vegetables. I don't always use everything in the recipe if I don't have it, and I have substituted fresh cherry tomatoes for sun dried tomatoes. Just add them to the rest of the veggies and bake.

1 pkg (16 oz) Italian Classic Whole Wheat Penne Rigate (Grocery Dept), prepared per pkg directions, keep warm
1 medium eggplant,1-inch dice
1 medium sweet green pepper, 1-inch dice
1 medium sweet red pepper, 1-inch dice

1 medium yellow cooking onion, peeled, 1-inch dice
1 clove Food You Feel Good About Peeled Garlic, chopped
1 medium zucchini, 1-inch dice
1 medium yellow squash, 1-inch dice
1 pkg (8 oz) sliced baby bella mushrooms
5 Tbsp Wegmans Basting Oil
5 Tbsp Wegmans Pure Olive Oil
Wegmans Sea Salt and pepper to taste
1 pkg (6 oz) Food You Feel Good About Fresh Baby Spinach
2 oz roasted red tomatoes (Mediterranean Bar), sliced thinly (about 1/3 cup)
4 Tbsp Italian Classics Shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese (Cheese Shop)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  1. Toss eggplant, green pepper, red pepper, onion, garlic, zucchini, yellow squash, and mushrooms with basting oil and olive oil in large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Spread vegetables in a single layer on baking sheet. Roast about 30 min, until softened and lightly browned.
  3. Combine pasta, vegetables, and raw spinach in large bowl. Toss gently until spinach wilts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with tomatoes; sprinkle with cheese.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake

I made this for the first time last night at book club. Several people asked for the recipe. Surprisingly easy for such a yummy cheesecake.

The recipe is Anthony Romano's. He is the executive chef at Players on Madison in Lakewood Ohio.

Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I used two packages of crackers ground up in the cuisinart)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter, melted

I just put all of the dry ingredients in my cuisinart, mixed them up and then added the butter. Press the mixture into a 9-inch spring form pan.

Chocolate Filling
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
16 ounces Mascarpone cheese (it came in a 17.5 ounce container, I used it all)
6 eggs
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cream cheese, vanilla and sugar until light and fluffy. Add mascarpone cheese and combine well, scraping sides of bowl. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Put chocolate in a large glass bowl and microwave for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir until all of the chocolate is melted. Add half of the cream cheese mixture to the chocolate and combine well. Pour the chocolate mixture onto the crust. Pour the remaining plain cream cheese mixture on top and use a spoon to "marble" the filling.

Place spring form pan in the oven on top of a roasting pan (or any pan with a lip). Pour hot water into the roasting pan so that the spring form pan is surrounded by water. Bake 1 3/4 hours. Remove and cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Remove sides of spring form pan and refrigerate cake for 8-10 hours before serving.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Roasted Beets with Feta

I'm a sucker for Feta cheese, so when I had some beets from the farm share to use, and I saw this recipe...

4 beets, trimmed, leaving 1 inch of stems attached
1/4 cup minced shallot
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Wrap each beet individually in aluminum foil, and place onto a baking sheet.

Bake beets in preheated oven until easily pierced with a fork, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Once done, remove from oven, and allow to cool until you can handle them. Peel beets, and cut into 1/4 inch slices.

While the beets are roasting, whisk together shallot, parsley, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and red wine vinegar in a bowl until blended; season to taste with salt and pepper, and set aside.

To assemble the dish, place the warm, sliced beets onto a serving dish, pour vinaigrette over the beets, and sprinkle with feta cheese before serving.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Chocolate Banana Bread

I saw this on Jamie Mitchell's blog. She doesn't say where she got it, but I found the picture she used at (credit to Alice). This is a slightly different recipe, though. It says this makes three loaves, but they come out sort of thin. If you can figure out at what temp and how long to bake it in two pans, give it a shot for a taller loaf.

1 cup butter, soft
2 cups sugar
2 t. vanilla
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 t. salt
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup sour cream
1 cup milk chocolate chips

Cream butter, sugar & vanilla.
Add eggs & mix well. Mix all dry ingredients together. Mix bananas and sour cream together. Add the dry to the butter mixture. Mix in banana mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Grease three loaf pans and lace with cocoa powder or flour. Bake at 350 for 55 minutes to 1 hour. Test with toothpick.

**The author of posted a comment below. If you want to make one loaf instead of three, check the above link and try her recipe instead.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Artichoke Spinach Dip

1 8oz pkg cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
2 tsp lemon juice
1 pkg frozen spinach, thawed and well drained
1 14oz can artichoke hearts, drained

Melt cream cheese and butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice. Then add the spinach and artichoke heats. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve with pita chips or bread.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Oven Ready Bran Muffins

Bran muffins are really delicious when they are hot out of the oven. I just found and tried this recipe on the back of my Hodgson Mill Unprocessed Wheat Bran box:

Mix batter according to directions. Store in refrigerator. Bake muffins at your convenience.

3 cups wheat bran
1 cup boiling water
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups buttermilk

Mix 1 cup wheat bran with 1 cup boiling water; stir and let water absorb into bran. In a separate bowl blend sugar and butter. Measure and combine flour, baking soda and salt. Combine the moist bran with beaten eggs, the remaining 2 cups of bran, buttermilk, blended sugar-butter mixture, and flour, soda and salt mixture. Stir until well blended.

Place in the refrigerator for future use, or bake at once. Preheat oven to 400F. Stir batter well and spoon into prepared muffin tins. Bake 15 minutes. Keep remaining mixture in airtight container for 2 to 4 weeks. Yield: 2 dozen.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

One Bowl Brownies

Someone asked if I had a good homemade brownie recipe. These are the best.

4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup butter
2 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
  2. Microwave chocolate and butter or margarine in large bowl at HIGH for 2 minutes or until butter or margarine is melted.
  3. Stir until chocolate is melted. Stir in sugar. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour.
  4. Spread in greased 13 x 9 inch pan (I line a pan with foil and grease that. That way you can lift the foil out with the brownies in it.). Bake for 35 minutes (do not overbake).

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Apple and Sausage Strudel

Jan Jacobson brought this to me after I had Jane. It is now an official member of our dinner line-up.

1 lb ground mild sausage
1 large onion, chopped
2 large tart apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup cooked rice
1 lb sharp cheddar, shredded
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 eggs
2 puff pastry crusts

Brown sausage in a large skillet. Add onion and cook until translucent, drain fat. Add apples, rice, one beaten egg and 3/4 of the cheese. Mix well, add salt and pepper. Sprinkle half of the remaining cheddar down the middle of one of the puff pastries, top with half of the meat mixture. Cut the sides of the pastry into strips and braid. Pinch ends to close. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Beat remaining egg and brush both pastries. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes. Enjoy.

Focaccia Bread

1 cup lukewarm water
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp yeast
1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
1 tbsp chopped red onion

olive oil
coarse sea salt
coarsely ground black pepper

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

Mix together the flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients and mix into a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface the knead for 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (1 - 1 1/2 hours).

Punch down the dough and turn out onto a floured surface. Knead in the sage and onion. Shape the dough into a ball, then roll out into a round of about 10 inches (pizza pan size). Cover and let it rise again until doubled, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400.

Poke dimples in the bread and drizzle olive oil on top, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes, until golden.

Serve warm. Tastes delicious dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

I often am really lazy and use 1 tsp dried sage and 1/2 tsp onion powder in place of fresh, and it works just fine. I have also used other spices, rosemary, thyme, oregano to change the taste a little.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Deborah asked for this one.

2 cups chicken (I use a rotisserie, the texture and taste of the meat is just better)
2 cups sliced carrots
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
6 cups water
6-8 tsp. bouillon (or just use 6 cups of broth)
1 box Uncle Ben's Seasoned Wild Rice Mix (reserve seasoning packet)

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
2 cups half and half
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Combine chicken, vegetables and water/bouillon/broth and boil until vegetables are tender. Add rice, cover and cook until rice is done. In a separate saucepan make a roux of the butter, salt, flour and pepper. Add cream and seasoning packet and cook over medium heat until thick. Add to soup and stir to combine. Serve immediately, enjoy immensely!

*I usually make this the day after we have a homemade rotisserie chicken. Here is the recipe as well as instructions on how to make the broth. If you do it this way, I promise you will feel very industrious and exactly like Martha Stewart.

Pizza Dough

This has been requested by several people. I got this from Deborah. It's nice because you don't have to let it rise.

1 package yeast
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 cups bread flour
2 Tbsp. oil

Combine yeast and water and wait for it to bubble. Add sugar, salt and oil. Mix in flour. Roll out immediately and top as you please. Bake at 400 until cheese is melted and crust is lightly browned.