Saturday, July 31, 2010

'Apple' Topping for ice cream

Folks, this is not made with apples but instead with green squash/zucchini. And let me tell you, it's good stuff! It is a real favorite here as topping on ice cream with some caramel sauce. I plan on making a pie or two with it in the near future, as we are producing more zucchini's than we can eat for a family of five. (2 green squash plants!)

I discovered this recipe on, but then discovered the probable original source here:

Zucchini Unlimited

I promise you that, as long as you do not tell, not a soul who eats this dessert will believe that it is anything more than an apple pie.

For the filling, you will need:

* 2 large (or 12 – 14 small) zucchini, peeled, seeded (if seeds are large), quartered or halved length-wise, and cut into 1/4″ slices
* 2/3 c lemon juice
* 1 c sugar
* 1/2 t cinnamon
* 1/4 t nutmeg

Cook zucchini slices in lemon juice until tender; add sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, simmer and then allow to cool.

For the crust and topping you will need:

4 c flour
2 c sugar
1/2 t salt
1 c margarine/butter/butter-flavored crisco
Combine flour, sugar and salt; mix well. Cut in the butter with a fork or other tined instrument, and mix until crumbly.

Fold 1/2 cup of the crust mixture into the filling mixture. Press 1/2 the remaining crust mixture into a 9" x 13" pan; bake this crust at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Pour zucchini over this new crust. Add 1 t cinnamon to remaining crust mix and sprinkle over zucchini. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes

Deviled Eggs

18-20 eggs, hard boiled*

1 cup mayo
3-4 teaspoons mustard, prepared - whatever kind you prefer (Dijon, spicy, golden, etc)
3 teaspoons vinegar (again, your favorite - i've used white distilled, white wine, etc)

then add in to taste:
pepper, (black or white)

optional additions - add none, some, or all - or create your own!
Parmesan cheese
parsley, chopped finely
onion powder
garlic powder

*hard boiled eggs - i cook them easily by putting in a pan, putting cold water on top of eggs (eggs are single layer), adding a generous splash of white distilled vinegar, then when eggs come to a boil, turn off burner, cover eggs and set timer for 15 minutes. when timer goes off, bring eggs to sink and run cold water over them til they're cool to touch. The vinegar makes the eggs peel easily.

to make deviled eggs

simply peel every egg and cut egg in half lengthwise. scoop out the yolk carefully with a spoon and a slight pinching of egg into a small bowl.

Mix the ingredients together and then put all mixture into a pastry bag with a large-ish tip - i use a star tip. Pipe into each egg white - filling up the cavity. i think it is easier with a pastry bag than to use a spoon - but the end result is the same - a yummy deviled egg.

my kids eat these like there's no tomorrow. (hence why i cook up quite a few at a time - 20 eggs is all that fits in my pan single layer).

It's a great summer treat and not much work involved in the kitchen.

Jell-o Magic Mousse

This is such a simple dessert that my children just love! Adults will enjoy it as well as part of picnic fare.

3 - 3 1/2 cups boiling water
8 serving package of your favorite flavor jell-o gelatin
8 oz cool whip, thawed

stir boiling water into gelatin - blend about 2 minutes or until completely dissolved. Stir in the cool whip with wisk til cool whip is completely melted and blended into gelatin.

pour into 6 cup container sprayed with pam.

fridge overnight or at least 8 hours.

Serve and enjoy the giggles from the kids - the dessert ends up having 2 layers - a gelatin bottom and mousse topping.

Yum. :)

makes anywhere from 6-20+ servings depending on size of serving spoon. :)

Ambrosia Salad

20 oz can crushed pineapple in juice, UNdrained
cold water
4 cups boiling water
4 pkgs (3 oz) orange flavor gelatin (jell-o)
16 oz cool whip, thawed
2 cans (11 oz) mandarin oranges, drained
10.5 oz pkg mini marshmallows - funmallows (4 flavors)
1 cup coconut flakes (optional - my kids don't care for the texture in the salad, so i omit this item)

drain pineapple juice, reserving the juice. Add enough cold water to juice to make 2 cups of liquid. Add boiling water to gelatin mix in large bowl; stir 2 min or until completely dissolved. Stir in measured liquid.
Refrigerate 1 1/4 hours or til slightly thickened. (Set a timer so you don't forget!!)

Whisk in cool whip until well blended. Fridge 10 minutes or until mixture will mound. Stir in pineapple, oranges, marshmallows and coconut. Spoon into pan mold sprayed with pam.

Fridge 3 hours or overnight. Unmold and serve.

Broccoli Salad

3 oz package 'real' bacon bits
2 heads fresh broccoli, chopped
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated (or 1/4-1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated) or omit if you wish. . .
1 large onion, chopped (whatever color makes you happiest - yellow, white, red, all are yummy)
1 carrot, grated

1/2 - 1 cup raisins or craisins
1/2 cup sunflower seed kernels

1 clove garlic, minced (or whatever amount you prefer - I like garlic) - this can be omitted . . .
green pepper
zucchini, peeled, diced

dressing - blend together and pour over veggies, toss well to combine
1/4 cup red wine vinegar (or white distilled vinegar if you don't have red wine vinegar)
1/8 - 1/2 cup white sugar (do as your taste buds lead you to do)
1/2 - 2 teaspoons ground black pepper (i personally prefer the lesser amount, others may wish more)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 - 1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

fridge until ready to serve.

this is a very forgiving recipe - just add in whatever makes you smile. i've added in chopped red beets from the garden, a little kale, some cauliflower, diced boiled eggs, you get the idea.

if you like a 'juicy' sauce, you may wish to increase the dressing volume a bit as with current recipe, there isn't puddles of dressing in bottom of bowl.

Enjoy! :)

Lemon Raspberry Mousse

You'll need a 6x9 glass pan -perfect fit! (recipe suggests 8x8 pan)

Start teakettle to boil water.


8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar, white granulated
2 tsp lemon zest

Beat ingredients in large bowl with mixer til fluffy.

blend in:

1/3 cup raspberry preserves


3/4 cup boiling water
1 pkg (3 oz) lemon jello
1 cup ice cubes

Add boiling water to gelatin mix; stir 2 minutes or until completely dissolved. Stir in ice til melted. (yeah, I got impatient with this and fished out the few ice cubes that didn't melt by the time I got the other ingredients mixed together.)

Pour gelatin mixture into mixer where the cream cheese, etc are beating away. Mixture is going to be rather runny now. Don't panic. It's gonna be ok. :) (taste the batter, see, it's yummy, and it will be thick and rich again, I promise!)

Stir in:

1/2 of an 8 oz container of thawed Cool Whip (or aldi brand topping *grin*)

Pour into pan. Product is now kind of fluffy again.

Lick spoon. Yum. yeah, it's tasty. Fight with children over who gets to lick the remaining bits in beater bowl and paddle. The cooking items are now practically clean - just a quick swipe with some soap and water and you're done!

Put in fridge overnight and serve as dessert tomorrow at suppertime.

Add a small dollop of remaining cool whip to each serving (if there's any left - I know when the family realizes there's cool whip in the house it's gone pretty quick as a topping on their hot cocoa, etc. . .)

I found this recipe in a magazine. Liked the concept, but I changed it to make it faster prep and gluten free - w/o me baking cookies on this impulse dessert making moment. (I just left out the cookies) and changed the instructions and layering, etc. Seriously, who has time for layering a simple dessert like this? these ingredients all work well together so I just pushed caution to the wind and went with it. . . *grin*

Chocolate Bean Cake

1 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained
1 cup canned fava (or northern) beans, drained
1/2 cup green or unripe tomato, pureed (you can sub 1/2 cup diced tomato - canned, drained)
4 eggs
1 t cherry flavoring
2 T cornstarch
1 cup brown sugar
3 T cocoa powder
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda

Preheat oven to 350*f. Grease 8 inch square pan. (Personally, I make cupcakes).

Separate the eggs, placing the whites in a large bowl to beat separately. (This step may be eliminated, but it makes a far lighter cake.) If you wish, add the eggs one at a time at the place I suggest adding the yolks. Beat after each addition.

In a food processor (I use my blender actually - holds more), puree the beans with the tomato puree until very smooth. Add the egg yolks and beat until smooth. Add cherry flavoring.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, brown sugar, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda. Add to the egg mix and beat only until well blended. If whipping eggs separately, beat only until soft peaks form, and fold gently into batter.

Spoon into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes (less with cupcakes) or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Serve warm or cool, garnished with whipped topping, or frost with your favorite icing.

Makes 9 servings.

Nutrients per serving: calories 220, fat 3g, cholesterol 85 mg, sodium 140mg, carbohydrates 42g, protein 7g.

Recipe is from "Gluten Free Gourmet Makes Dessert" by Bette Hagman. (No special ingredients section of the book, page 350)

This cake is worth the effort - it's REALLY REALLY good and unless you tell folks it was gluten free - no one will ever know. . . they just liked how moist and chocolate -y it was. . . .

has a tendency to flop in oven - so frosting it is a good idea, though to make the top look better when serving to guests. I usually make a sour cream or cream cheese frosting for it ('cause I just like cream cheese *grin*)

Pumpkin Pie

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger
1/4 t cloves
2 eggs
1 can pumpkin
1 can evaporated milk (or 1 can coconut milk! - really REALLY GOOD!)

9 inch pie shell

425*F 15 minutes
350*F 40-50 minutes

*NOTE* I personally add rounded amounts of the spices - esp when using coconut milk. I LOVE FLAVORFUL PIE! :)

Pie Crust

(this is an OLD recipe - from Fannie Farmer cookbook - and I swear it's the BEST ONE! :)

2 eight inch pie crusts

2 cups flour
1/2 t salt
2/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup cold water


2 nine inch pie crusts

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 t salt
3/4 cup shortening
6-7 T cold water


mix flour and salt. cut in the shortening with a pastry blender or two knives. combine lightly only until the mixture resembles coarse meal or very tiny peas; its texture will not be uniform but will contain crumbs and small bits and pieces. sprinkle water over the flour mixture, a tablespoon at a time and mix lightly with a fork, using only enough water so that the pastry will hold together when pressed into a ball.

roll the dough out 2 inches larger than pie pan, then fit loosely but firmly into pan. crimp or flute the edges.

for a baked pie shell, prick bottom all over with fork and bake shell 16-18 min in preheated 425*F oven

for partially baked shell, bake 10 minutes.

Pasta Carbonara

1lb linguine pasta (gluten free)
4 eggs
1 pound bacon, chopped into 1" pieces
1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese
8-12 cloves of garlic, diced
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 stick of butter
1 handful of parsley
1-2 tablespoons black pepper

1) slice up 1 pound of bacon into pieces about one inch wide. Cook the bacon, reserving the grease.

2) While bacon’s cooking, set a pot of salted water on the stove for pasta.

3) chop onion

4) Once the desired bacon bliss has been achieved, just scoop it out with a slotted spoon and set it onto a plate. And don’t dump the grease!

5) Throw the diced onions into the bacon grease. Give the onions a quick stir and let them cook down over a medium-high heat for a couple of minutes.

6) After the onions have cooked for a couple of minutes, throw in the garlic. Yes, all of it! Adding it after the onions have cooked a little will prevent the garlic from burning. Garlic burns up a little faster than the onions.

7) If your water is boiling by now, go ahead and add in your pasta, setting a timer for al dente (see package for time)

8) After the onion and garlic have cooked for another couple of minutes, they should be removed from the pan with our slotted spoon, leaving the grease…um…renderings behind.

9) NOW’S THE TIME TO DISCARD THE BACON GREASE. Once we’ve gotten rid of that grease, we should be left with a pan that has all the nice brownness still stuck to the bottom of the pan. Place the pan back on high heat until it starts to smoke a little.

10) As soon as the pan begins to smoke, pour in 1 cup chicken stock.

11) Using a whisk, fork, spatula, or wooden spoon, you’ll want to scrape the bottom of the pan vigorously until the little bits of flavor have released themselves into the liquid. Voila! You’ve just deglazed a pan!

12) After scraping, I’ll add in my second cup of chicken stock.

13) Then I’ll return my bacon, onion, and garlic to the sauce I’ve just created. Stir it all together and let it simmer over medium heat.

14) Allowing the hot part of our sauce to simmer, we’re now going to crack those four eggs into a large bowl. The bowl needs to be large enough to hold all the pasta and other ingredients, and still leave room to stir together.

15) Add most of the Parmesan and rough chop the parsley, adding it to the eggs as well. Mix it all up.

16) Now drain off the water from your steaming hot pasta.

17) And add the hot pasta to the egg/parmesan/parsley mixture. It’s important that the pasta be very hot, because this is what cause the eggs to thicken.

18) on top of the pasta, add 1/2 stick butter

19) Now MIX! Tongs work great for this. Get everything all worked together. Be sure to add in lots of black pepper.

4 servings - very hearty servings (feeds our family of 5 perfectly)

Lemon Waffles

3 eggs
1 cup whole milk plain yogurt (see recipe for making yogurt in your crockpot)
1/2 t vanilla
lemon zest of 2 lemons (i keep dried lemon peel spice in pantry for days when i don't have lemons in house and it works fine for this!)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (or gluten free blend - just add in 1/4 t xanthan gum)
2 t baking powder
1/2 cup sugar, white granulated
1/4 t kosher salt

mix liquid ingredients in order given, then add in dry ingredients.

i use 2 cast iron waffle irons to make waffles and it takes somewhere around 2-4 minutes per waffle.  :) 

i have to make a double batch of this when i make it. the kids eat them like there's no tomorrow.


fill crockpot with milk (i use 'whole' milk -3.25%)

turn to low.

2 1/2 hours later turn off crock

about 3 hours later, scoop out a cup or so of the warmish milk.

wisk in 1/2 cup of yogurt - natural with active culture - (i just buy walmart brand non fat plain yogurt - one small serving 6oz or 8oz - don't remember which it is) and dump in entire serving

then return the yogurt/warmish milk mixture to crock. put lid back on crock.

keep crock unplugged. wrap in warm towels, etc for 8 hours. (I put my crock in the travel crock bags and put it in the oven overnight - (gas) oven OFF!)

yogurt will be thinner than you're used to from storebought. if you want real thick (greek style) yogurt, simply take your pasta colander and line it with coffee filters. put the yogurt in that to drain off some of the liquid. it'll be real thick in a couple hours.

i like it both ways, thinnish and real thick. yum, yum!!

we use it up in a few days so i'm not sure of shelf life in fridge for it. to make a new batch of yogurt, just save about 1/2 cup of this yogurt as your starter. :)


add whatever toppings/sweeteners you desire. me i like plain yogurt. *grin*

Lentil Soup

1 bag lentils, sorted, rinsed
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
black pepper, grind some in
1 can diced tomatoes (juice and all!)
11 cups or so of chicken broth (today i used a mix of veggie broth and chicken broth from freezer)
1 t of thyme

put on high til the chicken broth/veggie broth has thawed. :) then put on low rest of day.

serve with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Salsa Chicken and Black Bean Soup

--1 pound chicken (I used 4 large boneless, skinless breast - frozen)
--1 bag black beans, pre-soaked, pre-cooked
--4 cups chicken broth
--1 cup sliced mushrooms
--1 can corn, drained
--1 jar prepared salsa (24 oz used)
--1 1/2 tsp cumin

low all day. :)

sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, tomatoes - diced, cilantro, tortilla chips for toppings at table

Apple Yogurt Pancakes

2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup yogurt, plain (I used homemade)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup oats, quick cooking (I ran them through food processor to make them very fine)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 apple, peeled, cored, minced (I dumped this in the food processor along with the oats til finely ground and smooth)
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1/8 c sugar

mix all together in mixer. 1/4c batter for pancakes.

Chicken Makhani

Got this recipe from:

Oh, yeah, it's good. Very, very good! :) My husband wants this on the regular menu schedule.

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken (mine were frozen solid)
1 onion, sliced
6 garlic cloves, chopped
4 T butter
15 cardamom pods (sewn together!) (or 1 1/2 t cardamon, ground)
2 tsp curry
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp garam masala*
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 can coconut milk
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
2 T lemon juice
1 cup plain yogurt (to add at the end)

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. The chicken should shred easily with 2 forks when fully cooked.

Stir in plain yogurt 15 minutes before serving. Discard cardamom pods. Salt to taste, served with brown rice.

* The basis of a North West Indian garam masala usually comprises cloves, green and/or black/brown cardamom, cinnamon (or probably cassia), and mace and/or nutmeg. Black pepper can be added if the mix is to be used immediately, but if kept, the fragrance will diminish, and may change in character. Also typical of the region is the use of black cumin (not white cumin, nor caraway, which is not an Indian spice). (from wikipedia)

Cranberry Pork Roast

3-4 lbs pork roast
salt, pepper to taste

mix together:
1 can cranberry 'berry' sauce
1/4 cup honey
1 t grated orange peel
1/4 t cloves, ground
1/4 t nutmeg, ground

pour over roast.

cook on low 8-10 hours

Potato Soup

Potatoes, peeled, diced
onion (red, yellow, whatever you have), diced
carrots, peeled, julienne strips
green pepper, diced
garlic, lots and lots of garlic, diced/minced whatever you want to do
veggie broth
chicken broth
meat (if you have meat eating folks)
stick of butter
can of evaporated milk
parsley flakes or fresh, chopped
pepper, black

I literally just start chopping up veggies and tossing them in til crockpot is full. then find a meat - tonight i'm throwing a cooked sausage in sliced (bacon, ham, etc all yummy in here - very forgiving recipe) (this is good as a meat free dish, but my husband prefers meat in soups/stews/etc. . . )

I keep homemade veggie broth and chicken broth in my freezer - today i decided to put in 2 cups of each - they're frozen solid - on top of meat & veggies the broth'lll thaw and heat up nicely by dinner and make a nice soup. .. . (alum foil on top of lid will hold lid down til the broth thaws enough to have lid make contact with crock.)

put all ingredients except the evaporated milk in crockpot. (the evaporated milk I put in about an hour or so before I plan on serving dinner).

cook on low all day.


Guaranteed to fill hungry bellies and fill the house with yummy smells. :) (and butter makes everything really rich tasting! :) )

I do not know amounts, I just dump in stuff til I am happy. Really no wrong amounts - soups are usually real forgiving. :)

Sunbutter Cookies with Hershey Kisses

This is my peanut butter recipe - all I did was change out the peanut butter for Sun butter (sunflower seed spread) as we have SEVERE peanut allergies here. .. so if you eat peanut butter - just use peanut butter! *grin*

375*F oven; 10 minutes; 36 cookies

1/2 cup butter, salted. (if unsalted butter is used, then add 1/4 t salt)
1/2 cup sunbutter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t vanilla
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour (can convert easily to gluten free - just use 'safe' flour blend and add 1/4 t xanthan gum)

sugar in a bowl.
36 hershey kisses, unwrapped (make sure you have a few extra as your helpers are gonna eat some as they unwrap them!)

mix ingredients together, adding one at a time in order given.
roll dough into 1" balls and then coat the dough ball in sugar. (my kids LOVE making these kinds of cookies! - but be warned, you will be cleaning granulated sugar off of pretty much every single surface in your kitchen. . .I have no idea how they do it, but they sure do get everything gritty!)

then put the dough ball on a cookie sheet.

AS SOON as the cookies come out of oven, stick a hershey kiss in the center of each cookie, pushing the kiss in a bit to stick after it cools. then patiently wait for the cookies to cool before you eat them. *grin* (good luck with that, my kids never wait for the first cookies to cool - they love nibbling and blowing on them fresh from the oven, holding a washcloth as a hot pad on their hands to protect from burning. .. )

seriously, this is another very easy cookie that's guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser, whether you use peanut butter or sunbutter. And from my tests of my neighbors, they say you cannot tell the difference between sunbutter and peanut butter desserts. Me, I think you can tell a difference, but I'm hard core peanut fan. . .and I miss peanut!! but this tastes close enough to satisfy those taste buds. .. .


2 lbs turkey/beef - ground and browned/drained with garlic/onion/green pepper/chili powder
1/4 bag each of your favorite four beans - cooked (i cook overnight in crockpot for next day's usage), drained
14.5 oz can tomato with green chilies UNdrained!
6 oz can tomato paste
3 cans diced tomatoes, italian style, drained
1-2 onions, diced
1-2 green peppers, diced
1T garlic, minced (i use fridge kind - VERY fast to scoop and dump in)
2 t mustard, dry
2 T chili powder
2 bay leaves
1 t pepper, cracked black

salt to taste. (i never add salt to dinner dishes - many times, we've discovered it's not needed - esp if one serves this with tortilla chips! - my kids LOVE this chili with chips. . . they'll eat huge amounts this way!)

crockpot low all day. YUM!

tastes even better as leftovers! freeze some for another day, too - or share with a friend. . .

This is a very, very mild chili. my husband and middle child do not like heat. so, if you're like me, just add a few splashes of tobasco sauce to your bowl at meal time. :)

Here's what I do to cook beans overnight.
1) open bag of beans (i use 2 bags personally).
2) rinse off beans in a colander - look for beans that are not perfect and also any rocks/grit/stuff that's not a bean. :)
3) put the rinsed beans in a ...good sized pot for the stove.
4) add a bunch of water - read the back of the bean bag for 'fast soak' instructions. Follow those instructions (takes about 20 minutes or so) on stove.
5) I then drain off the beans and dump those beans in my LARGE crockpot (affectionately named Martha - I think she's a 6quart one). Fill the crockpot with water - it ends up being too much water, but I'm ok with leaching out a few more vitamins.
6) put crockpot on low all night.
7) in morning, i drain the beans into my huge colander and put the beans back in the crockpot (usually I rinse out the crockpot, too, and get rid of the bean ring.)
8) layer all ingredients on top of the beans from the crockpot recipe posted here.
9)stir all ingredients gently into the crockpot (except the bay leaves - I leave them on top/slightly pressed into mixture so I can find them easily at dinner time).
10) crockpot on low. Dinner time, take bay leaves out and stir one last time and put crockpot on table. Dinner is served. Open a bag of tortilla chips to dip into the chili in your bowls. Put tobasco sauce, salt, shredded cheese, sour cream on table for folks to serve themselves. Seriously easy and very VERY tasty!
11) I have big eating kids - they will eat several bowls of this stuff, so I end up with 2 bags of leftovers and one small bowl for darren's lunch the next day. freeze or give away the 'leftovers' and make friends happy not to have to cook. :)

Azorean Spiced Beef Stew

--2 lb beef chuck stew meat
--5-6 cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped
--2 potatoes, chopped in 1 inch chunks
--3 green onions, chopped
--3 cups beef stock
--1 cup baby tomatoes, cut in quarters, or 2 large chopped tomatoes
--1 cup baby carrots
--2 T kosher salt (I never add salt personally til meal is served and let each person add their own)
--1/2 T red pepper flakes
--1 tsp all spice
--1 bay leaf
--1 tsp cumin
--2 cinnamon sticks

got this recipe from:


375*F 10 minutes ungreased cookie sheet yield about 2 1/2 dozen

1 c brown sugar
3/4 c shortening
1/4 c molasses
1 egg
1 t baking soda
1 t ginger
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t cloves
2 1/4 c flour

mix together and roll into balls. dip balls into:

1/2 cup sugar

put sugar encrusted cookie balls on cookie sheet. they will flatten as they cook.


375*F 11-15minutes ungreased cookie sheet - yield 5 dozen

2 sticks butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t cream of tartar
3 cups flour

mix together, roll into balls.

roll balls into:

1/2 cup sugar
2 T cinnamon

put sugar encrusted balls on cookie sheet. bake. they will flatten out during baking.

Beef Stroganoff

low 8 hours

1-2 lbs stew beef, cubed

  put meat in greased crockpot.


1/4 cup parsley
1 t oregano
1/4 t thyme
1/4 t paprika
1 can diced tomatoes, well drained (if you have fresh use fresh!)
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced green onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups beef broth
salt and pepper to taste

about 40 minutes before you want to serve dinner, turn crock pot to high and mix together:

1 T cornstarch - a small amount of cold water to make a paste, then remove 1 cup of hot liquid from crockpot - stir into the cornstarch paste and then stir in:

8 oz container sour cream

return all to crockpot, stirring to combine. Cover and cook on high about 30 minutes or til thickened and bubbly.

Serve over 4 cups cooked noodles or rice.


i have been known to add in some diced/julienne green peppers if i have some fresh from the garden.

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

Recipe: White Chocolate and Cranberry Cookies
375*F 11 minutes drop cookie

3 cups flour, all purpose
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup sugar, white granulated
1/2 t salt
1 t baking soda
1 cup butter
2 eggs
2 T vanilla
12 oz package white chocolate chips
6 oz package dried cranberries

makes 3-5 dozen depending on size of cookie blobs you drop on tray. (I get 4 dozen when I make them.)

Crispy's Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

375*F 15 minutes 'drop cookies'

4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg

1 cup butter
2 eggs
2 t vanilla extract
15 oz can pumpkin puree

2 cups (12 oz bag) chocolate chips
1 cup nuts (optional) - I personally omit (throw in an extra handful or two of chocolate chips if you feel you should instead)

grease cookie sheet. drop by spoonfuls.

makes a very cake like cookie. and yummy!

yield:  4 dozen cookies (I make generous spoonfuls of batter on cookie sheet)

Sugar Cookie Drops

350*F 8-15 min. (depends on size of your cookie!)

1 cup butter
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs
1 t vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1 t cream of tartar

3/4 cup granulated sugar (for decoration)

cream together the butter, oil, and sugars
add the rest of the ingedients.

roll dough into 1" balls (personally mine are bigger - i have no patience for itty bitty dough bits) so bake longer - mine take 15 minutes to bake.

roll the balls in sugar.

place on ungreased cookie sheet/pizza stone, whatever you like to use.

flatten the balls with a fork (if you remember, lol - i get distracted a lot when baking and half my cookies never get squished before baking and after baking they taste the same. the unsquished cookie dough balls will get a cool crackle finish on top, though. . . )

supposed to make 6 dozen. never makes that many for me. closer to 3-4 dozen in my reality. and wow are they ever tasty esp warm from oven. :)

freezes well, too if you have any left over.

Chicken Tortillas

This is the perfect recipe for the days when one is totally running late. And thinks, 'oh, crap, I need to have dinner figured out or it's takeout for sure'. . .

So, this is that recipe!

what you need (these are pantry staples)

frozen chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
jar of salsa
shredded cheese
tortillas/taco shells
sour cream
fresh tomato (or diced italian style tomatoes, drained)

grease the crockpot - spray pam or use some olive oil inside it.

dump the frozen chicken in the crockpot
pour the salsa on top.

put crockpot on high. (needs about 8 hours if frozen - i really never know as i'm usually gone about 10 hours on the days i make this - I only cook this when i'm desperatel)

when you get home, put some rice on to cook (best thing I ever did many years ago was buy a microwave rice cooker - no more ruined rice d/t burning on the stove!)

then pull out some tortillas and shredded cheese and sour cream. voila, dinner.

Orange Cheesecake

350*F 1hour 9" springform serves 12-16 (I use dental floss - makes much better slices!)

1/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cup vanilla wafer crumbs (about 36 wafers)

directions: mix together and push firmly into pan

3 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate, thawed
3 eggs
1 T cornstarch
1 t grated orange zest

mix together in ingredient order. one thing at a time. when the cream cheese is all soft and fluffy (sort of, lol), then start adding each add'l ingredient.

pour onto crust

bake in oven.

put a filled pan of water UNDER the cheesecake. (for example, my oven has 2 shelves. lower one shelf all the way to bottom and put the water pan there. then put other shelf in CENTER of oven and put the cheesecake there.)

when the center isn't all jiggly it's cooked.

Hershey Brownies

You know this recipe is good when the volume of sugar is 2x the amount of any other ingredient. .

This is truly my favorite brownie recipe. You couldn't pay me to buy a brownie cake mix in the store. This takes seconds to prepare and is WAY tastier! :)

'nough said? *grin*

4 eggs
2 sticks butter, softened
2 t vanilla
2 c sugar
1 c flour, all purpose (just sub your favorite gluten free flour blend! and add 1/4 t xanthan gum - if not already in blend)
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 c chopped nuts (optional)

being a peanut and tree nut free family, we omit the nuts.

9x12 pan, 30 minutes 350*F oven

this is a very thick batter. and wow is it ever tasty. raw or cooked. . .. my kids fight over the pan lickin's . . .as much as the completed brownie.

serves 1-12. . . *grin*

(please do not cut corners/fat/whatever and use anything other than butter!) salted or unsalted - whatever you prefer, but seriously, if you're gonna bake something in the dessert family, you NEED to go the extra mile and put in the butter! It's the 'secret' to my baking! Never EVER use low fat/low whatever anything when making a dessert - use the REAL ingredients - your taste buds will thank you! Just eat a smaller piece if watching the waistline and go outside and play with your kids. That'll burn off any calories. :) No kids, no problem! Come over and race around with MY kids! You'll sleep real good after an hour with my boys and daughter!


3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
3 tablespoons HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1 tablespoon light corn syrup or honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

Beat butter, cocoa, corn syrup and vanilla in small bowl until blended. Add powdered sugar and milk;
beat to spreading consistency. About 1 cup frosting.

Creole Chicken

Creole Chicken

6-8 chicken thighs

1 can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red onion, chopped (or 6 green onions) or whatever combo appeals to you. : )
1 can tomato paste
1 t salt (or to taste – I usually omit)
2 dashes hot sauce
1/2 lb polish sausage, sliced

5 cups water (4 cups water if using ‘regular’ white rice)
2 cups jasmine rice or brown rice
salt as desired.

Place all ingredients except chicken and rice/water in greased crockpot. Lay the chicken pieces on top. I personally sprinkle the top of chicken with some italian seasoning and some minced garlic (but I’m Italian and feel like no dish is complete w/o some garlic, oregano, and basil, lol)

Cook on low all day in crockpot.

About 15-20 minutes before serving dinner, cook up the rice however you prefer – stovetop, microwave rice cooker, whatever floats your boat.

I typically initially serve the rice on the side, but once the younglings have served themselves some rice, I stir the remainder of the cooked rice into the crockpot mixture (having already removed the cooked chicken and put them on separate serving plate).

Serves 4-8 – 1 chicken piece per person, but my 4yr old ate 2 servings of chicken as well as seconds, so you will need to decide for your family how much to cook. This is a very forgiving recipe. Just increase ingredients as needed.

And a bonus - this is a recipe that's gluten free, dairy free, and egg free for those watching allergens.

Fruit Filled Oatmeal Bars

Fruit Filled Oatmeal Bars
350*F 9x9 pan 30 minutes

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup quick cooking rolled oats
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened

in mixing bowl combine ingredients til resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1/2 cup or so of the mixture. Press remaining into ungreased pan. Spread with desired filling. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs over top.

This converts gluten free easily - just sub your favorite gluten free flour blend for the all-purpose flour!  :)

filling – this can be a jar of jam (have some mango or raspberry jam sitting around – makes YUMMY filling!!), or:

for raisin filling:
medium saucepan combine:

1/2 cup water, 2 T sugar, 2 t cornstarch. Add 1 cup raisins. Cook and stir til thickened and bubbly.

Applesauce Cake

Applesauce Cake
350*F 40-60 minutes 9x12pan

will make 72 mini muffins 20 minutes bake time  

3.5 cups flour = 437.5 grams
2 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 t cloves
2 t cinnamon
2 t ginger
1.5 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 cups applesauce
1 cup raisins (optional - i personally omit)

This is an old recipe of my mother’s/grandmother’s. It’s a really moist and tasty cake. Added bonus is that it’s dairy free and egg free for those watching those allergens.
This recipe is EXTREMELY easy to convert gluten free. Just use your favorite 'flour blend' - straight sub and add 1/4 - 1/2 t xantham gum. will cook up wonderfully in similar time frame - if you make as cupcakes instead of sheet cake. no one will ever know it's high in protein (bean based flours) unless you tell them! :)

PKU info:  this is my conversion on protein content:  437.5 grams flour/72 (if making mini muffins) = 6.08 grams flour/serving.  if one uses the assumption that all-purpose flour has 11% protein (range is 10-12%), then there is 0.67 grams of protein in these muffins (none of the other ingredients have any protein). 

Ham and Scalloped Potatoes

This is a very fast and easy recipe. Great for those days when you only have a couple of minutes (literally!) before leaving out the door for the day.

couple of ham slices (cut up into large-ish pieces) (about 1 1/2 -2 lbs)
potatoes - sliced (5-6 large)
onion - sliced
a few cloves of garlic, minced/diced/whatever your pleasure is
cheese sauce

bag of frozen green beans, thawed

layer in greased crockpot in order listed

i typically add a bag of frozen (thawed actually) green beans to it about an hour before serving if I'm home. If not, I just heat the beans on the stove and stir it in right before serving. (I don't like mushy green beans - if that doesn't bother you, then by all means, add in to the crockpot at the time you put everything else in!) (cheese sauce on top - it will melt down into the fixin's)

Easy-peasy - esp if you have a mandolin slicer (which I STRONGLY recommend for any household who cooks and does not have 'real' knife skills, *grin*)

I can put this dish together in under 5 minutes. .. serves my family of 4(+baby)

I buy my cheese sauce and ham slices from Aldi - and the cheese sauce from there is gluten free (always check your label as suppliers can change), so if you're watching that, this is great, fast recipe using ready made materials. . . for those crazy mornings. . .


oh, cook on low 8 hours, high 4 hours. . .

Rice Pudding

Rice Pudding (stovetop)

3 cups rice (white or jasmine)
6 cups water (7 cups if jasmine rice)
3 T butter
2 t nutmeg

combine. Heat til boiling, then cover and simmer 15 minutes (17 minutes if jasmine)


3 eggs (yolks broken)
2 T vanilla

stir eggs into rice – mixing constantly.

Then add:

1 1/2 cups sugar, white granulated

and then:

3 cans evaporated milk.

Stir well. Will be a bit thin but will thicken up overnight in fridge.

Add raisins as desired.

Pot Roast with Noodles (or rice)

2-3 lbs beef chuck pot roast (or whatever large cut of meat you find in grocer case - crockpots are VERY forgiving - actually, the cheaper the meat, the better it works in the crockpot!)
1 T oil

green pepper, sliced
onion, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
2 cloves, garlic, minced (or a few Tablespoons of the jarred stuff for quick prep - I LOVE garlic!)
1 T quick cooking tapioca

15 oz can italian style stewed tomatoes, undrained
6 oz can italian style tomato paste (or just add italian herbs - it's what I do)
1 T brown sugar
salt, pepper to taste
1 bay leaf

4 cups hot cooked noodles (or brown rice - my husband is not a pasta person)

trim excess fat from roast. brown all sides in hot oil. *Note* I usually skip this step because honestly, my meat goes in crockpot frozen solid - I rarely remember to thaw meat the day before. . .

place veggies in bottom of greased crockpot. sprinkle the tapioca on top. place meat on top of veggies

Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the meat. (or be lazy like me, lol and just pour each item into crockpot and let it do its own thing, sprinkling the top with the brown sugar. . .. )

cook on low 10-12 hours (if you have thawed meat) - otherwise, cook on high.

discard bay leaf, skim off fat. serve with hot cooked noodles (or rice).

makes about 5-6 servings (at least in our household). I have 2 young boys - 4, 2 and they truly eat as much - and many times MORE than my husband.

takes about 5 minutes prep if you skip the thawing of meat and browning on all sides. the tomato and brown sugar gives the meat a kind of glaze so you don't have 'ugly' meat.

Lemon Cheesecake

Full flavored, but yet light lemon taste in this delectable cheesecake.

approx. 25 ginger cookies (gluten free, crushed to 2 3/4 c, crumbs (you can use 'regular' cookies if you prefer, but realize that obviously it will not be gluten free then.)
1/4 c butter/margarine, melted

4 (8 oz) pkgs cream cheese, room temp.
1 1/2 c sugar
8 oz sour cream
4 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 c lemon juice
2 t grated lemon zest (or 1 t dried lemon peel, grated)
1 1/2 t vanilla extract


1. Oven: 350*F
2. 9"springform pan (inside I put parchment paper on bottom and sides to have prettier 'release')
3. Large roasting pan - put on bottom shelf filled with water
4. Crust: place cookies in ziploc bag, smoosh until crumbs. (I use my rolling pin.) Transfer crumbs to small bowl. Stir in butter until combined. Transfer to pan; using bottom of measuring cup press onto bottom and 1" up on sides. Bake 12-14 min until lightly browned; reserve.
5. Batter: At high speed beat cream cheese until very light and fluffy (4 min.). Reduce speed to low; beat in sugar. Increase speed to high; beat 2 min. Reduce speed to low. Beat in sour cream, eggs, yolks, juice, zest and vanilla until smooth, 4 mins.
6. Pour batter onto crust. Place pan on cookie sheet. Fill roasting pan with hot water - put on bottom shelf for moisture. Bake 1hr, 30 min. (check cake - sometimes ovens run hot/cold and may need more/less time.)
7. Cool on rack one hour; cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnite.
8. Garnish note: I usually serve by drizzling chocolate sauce in a zig zag sort of thing on the plate then placing the slice of cheesecake in center with 3 rasberries on the side of the slice on the dessert dish as a garnish.

also, I cut this cheesecake using regular dental floss. it will make 16 slices. This is a real favorite in the house. It's also the cake I make every year for my birthday. :)

add'l note: I've discovered that this cake does delightfully without a crust - so you can skip the crust steps if you so desire. :) (I don't always have gluten free homemade cookies just sitting around - I have a tendency to eat them if I see them.)

Italian-Herbed Chicken

6 pieces chicken (I usually use chicken thighs)
2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
1-2 tomatoes, wedges; drain well if canned (diced works well)
9 oz Frozen artichoke hearts (or use fresh if in season!!)
1/2 cup sliced pitted ripe olives
3 Tablespoons quick cooking tapioca

1 cup chicken broth
1 Tablespoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed (or fresh herbs)
2-3 Tablespoons Garlic, mince - that jarred fridge stuff is awesome for fast prep if you don't have a garden

linguine cooked and drained



combine the veggies and sprinkle with tapioca in the crockpot. Place the rinsed, dried chicken pieces on top.

combine the chicken broth and Italian herbs in a bowl. Pour over the chicken

cover, cook on low 7-8 hours; high 3 1/2-4 hours.

makes 4-6 servings (depending on how much my kids are eating at the time!)

serve the chicken and veggies on top of the linguine.

What I like about this recipe the most is that the chicken gets a nice crust on the skin - because it's on top of the food and not buried in the bottom. :) Really looks nice on the plate, too.

I serve Parmesan cheese with it and a salad.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake
350*F oven – preheated
8” springform pan
roasting pan of water


1 ½ cups oreo cookie crumbs
¼ stick butter, melted

(Blend together and press into 8” spring form pan that’s been sprayed with Pam. Bake 8-10 minutes at 350*F preheated oven.) Remove and lower oven temp to 300*F.


3 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2T cornstarch
3 eggs, large
½ cup sour cream
1 t vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 t pumpkin pie spice
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled

Beat cream cheese, sugar, cornstarch in large bowl til smooth. Add in remaining ingredients one at a time, blending all the while.

Divide batter into 3 bowls. Add vanilla to one, pumpkin and spice to second, and semisweet chocolate to third. Carefully pour these blended batters on top of crust layer, taking care not to mix them together when adding to the pan.

Bake 90 minutes to 2 hours at 300*F until center jiggles slightly when shaken. Turn off oven and keep cheesecake in oven for add’l hour. Remove from oven and cover/fridge overnight.

Chocolate Glaze

3 oz bittersweet baking chocolate
2T butter
1T corn syrup

Stir ingredients in small saucepan over low heat until smooth and melted. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Remove cheesecake from springform pan and spread glaze over top to edge. Fridge til glaze sets.

Serves 12 (or less, *smiles*)

This cake is a bit time intensive, but it's worth it. :)