Friday, December 28, 2012


Evening Everyone,
Thought  I would send my first newsletter for the upcoming year a bit early...will be working this weekend, off a couple of days and it will be 2013. Praying richest blessings on all my family and friends for the upcoming year.
Hugs, Paula
Food for Thought:
I  Awaken, to a New Year...
A new Chapter in my life...a new Venture...a new Pathway...searching and wondering what lies ahead.
As I turn the pages of life daily, new Chapters, new Ventures, new Pathways will unfold...
I will search diligantly to know that which is right and good for me, a new Chapter of happiness.
A new Venture to find love, laughter and contentment that I so desire.
A new that will open to trails of those things I have been missing in my life.
I  Awaken, To a New Year...a new Direction and Purpose for myself.  Fulfillment of the woman I am.
Direction, Purpose and Fulfillment  are those things that I find myself desiring.
Whether that Direction will be alone or shared with another, only time will tell.
Purposely seeking to make life worthwhile, seeking to enhance myself and others.
Fulfillment of knowing who I am, where I am going;  not compromising myself or my convictions.
I Awaken, To a New Year...completing old Chapters...having learned from life's experiences.
Ready to enter  new Ventures each day...seeking what Direction will be traveled.
Walking Life's Pathway with Purpose...enhancing life from day to day.
Finding Fulfillment...making a difference in my life and others...
I Awaken, To a New Year...a New Me, unfolding new Chapters, new Ventures and New Pathways.
Mushroom Puffs
from Patty Sandlin
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 (8-oz.) can mushroom pieces and stems, drained and chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1 large egg
1 (17.3-oz.) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
Parchment paper
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
 Beat cream cheese at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until smooth. Stir in mushrooms and next 4 ingredients. Cover and chill 1 to 24 hours.
 Preheat oven to 400°. Whisk together egg and 1 Tbsp. water in a small bowl. Roll 1 puff pastry sheet into a 16- x 10-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Cut pastry in half lengthwise. Spread 1/2 cup cream cheese mixture down center of each rectangle; brush edges with egg mixture. Fold each pastry half lengthwise over filling, and pinch edges to seal. Cut pastries into 10 pieces each, and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat procedure with remaining puff pastry sheet, egg mixture, and cream cheese mixture.
 Brush remaining egg mixture over tops of pastry pieces; sprinkle with pepper.
 Bake at 400° for 20 to 25 minutes or until browned. Serve immediately.
Note: To make ahead, prepare recipe as directed through Step 3. Freeze pieces on baking sheet until firm (about 1 hour), and transfer to zip-top plastic freezer bags. Freeze up to 1 month. To bake, place frozen puffs on parchment paper-lined baking sheets, and proceed as directed in Step 4.

Sarasota's Cheesy Ham Dip in a Bread Bowl
Kim Churchill

1 round loaf pumpernickel bread
crackers or bread sticks
vegetables of your choice
2/3 cup baked ham, diced (deli ham works great)
1 small white onion, diced fine
1/2 cup scallions, diced fine (white and green parts)
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced (seeds and ribs removed)
1 (4 ounce) can green chilies, drained
2 cups white cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/4 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
pepper to taste
pinch of salt
How To Make This Recipe
Step 1 Dip ... Add the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, ham, green chilies, jalapeno, scallions, onion, garlic, worcestershire, pepper, salt (go easy); then mix well and set to the side. Make sure to taste for seasoning.
Step 2 Bread ... Cut off a thin slice from the top of the loaf and scoop out the bread from the inside. Using a knife and a spoon, cut and then scoop out as much of the bread as you can without cutting through the loaf. You still want to keep a nice layer of the bread on the inside, so it isn't too thin. Save that bread - it makes a great dipper.
Step 3 Fill the hollowed bread loaf with the dip; cover with top slice of the bread loaf and wrap the loaf in heavy duty foil - or 2 sheets of regular foil.
Step 4 Bake ... Preheat a oven to 350 degree oven and bake 1 hour on the middle shelf.
Step 5 Serve ... Enjoy with the bread scooped out, cut in small cubes; crackers, bread sticks, vegetables, broccoli, par boiled potatoes, and asparagus is a favorite as is broccoli. Basically any of your favorite dippers. ENJOY!
Step 6 A fun, easy, and different dip, which is just that little bit unique. And the best part is - it is kid and adult friendly which you can make it ahead. Just don't fill the bread bowl until you are ready to bake it. If I go to someones house, I usually bake it for about 45 and then finish it in their oven for the remaining 15-20 minutes, and it comes out great. Also, it will also stay warm wrapped up in the foil and then a towel wrapped around it for a good 30 minutes after you remove it from the oven. It is best served warm, but room temp is just fine for this dish.
"This tangy, creamy dip tastes just like buffalo chicken wings. It's best served hot with crackers and celery sticks. Everyone loves the results!"
1.5 lbs. shredded chicken
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese,
1 cup Ranch dressing
3/4 cup pepper sauce (such as Frank's
Red Hot®) 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1 bunch celery, cleaned and cut into 4
inch pieces
1 (8 ounce) box chicken-flavored
crackers (or your favorite)
1. Heat chicken and hot sauce in a skillet over medium heat, until heated through. Stir in cream cheese and ranch dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended and warm. Mix in half of the shredded cheese, and transfer the mixture to a slow cooker. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, cover, and cook on Low setting until hot and bubbly. Serve with celery sticks and crackers.
Fiesta Shrimp Dip
1 (3 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp. lemon juice
1-5/8 oz. pkg. Italian dressing mix (like Good Seasons)
1-1/2 cups shrimp, cooked, peeled, deveined and chopped (I cook mine in Old Bay)
Blend well cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice and dressing mix. Fold in shrimp. Chill at least 1 hour before serving. Serve with crackers or chips.
Yields: 4 servings
p.s. you might want to double or triple the recipe!!!

Paula's Smoked Salmon Spread
Paula George
1 lb. flaked smoked salmon (Alaskan Smoked Salmon, preferred)
1 lb. cream cheese, room temp
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 Tbsp. dried dill
1 tsp. hot sauce
1 tsp. worcestershire
2 Tbsp. prepared horseradish (or more)
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour before serving. Delish, served with flatbread, crostinis or "good" crackers to spread on.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Family Favorite Christmas Candies!!!

I have made numerous candies over the years for my family that includes 3 children, 6 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. These are a few favorites of family and friends.

Old Fashioned Potato Candy (Jeremy's favorite)
  • 1 small potato
  • 2 pounds confectioner's sugar
  • peanut butter
  1. Peel and slice potato. In small sauce pot, cover potato slices with water and cook over medium heat until soft. Drain potato and place in mixing bowl. Beat until mashed. Add 1/2 sugar and mix well. Mix in remaining sugar, scraping down sides as needed.
  2. Line a countertop with a sheet of waxed paper dusted with confectioner's sugar. Scrape out dough onto waxed paper and dust top with more confectioner's sugar. Roll out to a thickness of about 1/4 of an inch. Spread dough with peanut butter and roll up like you are making cinnamon rolls. Once you have rolled up into a log, roll log up in your waxed paper and cut in half. Place halves in a gallon zipper seal bag and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
  3. When ready to serve remove waxed paper an slice into 1/4 inch slices. Store leftovers in the refrigerator

Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares aka Homemade Reece's Cups (Josh's Favorite)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup butter
3-1/2 cups powdered sugar
12 oz. chocolate chips

Mix brown sugar and peanut butter until well blended.

Add powdered sugar and 1/2 cup of melted butter.

Place peanut butter mix into a 13x9 pan.

Melt chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of butter in microwave, stirring
every 30 seconds.

Pour chocolate mix over peanut butter and spread evenly.

Chill until firm before cutting into bars.

Jill's favorite! me, she doesn't care for a lot of sweets unless it is LEMON! ;)

Grandma Cadelle's Pecan Pralines (My longtime friend Marsha Banko's favorite)

Cadelle was my step-grandmother...lived in Algiers, LA.
She taught me to make these in the early 70's.

In a heavy saucepan, combine:
2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 small can evaporated milk (2/3 cup)
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
dash of salt
Bring to a soft boil over medium heat and boil for 8 minutes.
Remove from heat and add:
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 cups chopped pecans
Stir until pecans are coated and drop by spoonfuls onto cookie
sheets lined with waxed paper. Let stand until firm.

  1. refrigerator.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

December 2012 Newsletter

Food for thought:

Thank You, Great Spirit, for the beautiful gems You've placed in my pathway.
Family, friends, all of nature to brighten my life each day.
Thank You, Great Spirit, for the varied ingredients You've provided to compile life's recipe.
Family, friends, all of nature; unique, yet pertinent, compiled to reveal a life of beauty.
Thank You, Great Spirit, for Your Love and Guidance, that You shower upon us each day.
Family, friends, all of nature; leaving a glimpse of You while crossing my pathway.
                                     Paula 2003

Can't go through the holidays without thinking of Becky...
2 cups red or green bell pepper strips
2 cups cider vinegar
1/4 cup (or more, depending on taste) chopped fresh jalapeno peppers
1 cup dried apricot halves, slivered
6 cups sugar
3 oz. liquid pectin
Combine pepper strips, vinegar and jalapeno peppers in a blender or food processor.
Pulse until small chunks remain.
Combine with apricot slivers and sugar in saucepan; bring to a boil.
Boil and stir 5 minutes. Remove from heat; skim off any foam.
Cool 2 minutes; stir in pectin. Pour into sterilized jars; seal at once.
(If desired, process in boiling water bath 15 minutes). Makes 6 1/2 cups.
Carolea's Jamaican Jerk Shrimp
2 pounds frozen peeled LARGE cooked shrimp (with tails)
1 tablespoon Jamaican Jerk seasoning
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1-1/4 cups from a 24-26 oz. jar refrigerated sliced papaya, drained and coarsely chopped
1 (8 oz.) can/jar pineapple junks, drained
1/4 cup chopped roasted red sweet peppers
1/4 cup sliced green onions (not just the white – include the green part)
1 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced

Thaw shrimp.  Place shrimp in a resealable plastic bag.  Add Jerk seasoning and oil to shrimp.  Seal bag; turn to
coat shrimp.  Chill for (at least) 30 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine papaya, pineapple, sweet peppers, sliced green onions, lime peel, lime juice and
garlic.  Cover and chill until serving time.

To serve, gently stir together the shrimp and fruit mixture.

Makes 12 servings (?).

NOTE:  I have substituted refrigerated jarred mango for the papaya and after making the dish the first time I added
an additional teaspoon of Jerk seasoning and ONE TEASPOON of lemon juice.

Carolea Dick
Newton, KS
August 2011
Crockpot Caramelised Onions
Becky aka decolady
Caramelising onions in the slow cooker eliminates the possibility of burning them that exists when you cook them on the stove top. An added bonus is the broth you end up with, which can be used in other dishes along with or separately from the onions. Use the onions and liquid to flavor soups, stocks, and stews. They make a wonderful addition to risotto, a perfect pasta sauce, and the world's best pizza topping (for this use you will have to drain off the liquid first). The onions can be served on their own as a vegetable to accompany fish, meat, or fowl. Cooking for a very long time insures they are a deep mahogany color.
3 lbs Vidalia or other sweet onions (4-5 onions, 3-4” diameter)
8 Tbsp (1 stick) butter
Peel onions and cut into 1/8” thick to ¼” thick slices. Place the onions and butter in the slow cooker, cover, and cook on LOW for 12-14 hours, or until the onions are deep brown and very soft. It's almost impossible to overcook these; make sure to let the onions cook until they are mahogany colored.
1. If you have a larger slow cooker, you can double the onions, but probably don't need to double the butter.
2. When you drain and chill the onions, the onion-flavored butter will congeal on the surface of the cooking liquid. Skim it and use it when you sauté other vegetables, over pasta, or in risotto.
3. I like to put these on at night and then they are ready in the morning.
Makes about 3½ cups.
1. These are so easy. Tonight I used about 6 onions to fill the crockpot. They were a little large, so I quartered the onions lengthwise before slicing. They are in the crockpot now. I will make a photo of them tomorrow after they are cooked.
2. My crockpot is one of the older ones that cooks more slowly. If you have newer one you probably will need to adjust the time.
Sunday Gravy
Originally posted by upstate  aka Maria in Recipe Requests
No secret at all. Here you go..........
2 Tbs. of olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
- Saute onion in oil until transparent.
1 whole clove garlic
assorted meat (normally it’s beef and pork for flavoring ~ the meatballs provide the beef and for pork you can use pork spare ribs, pork neck bones or make brascioles with pork steaks) ~ recipes follows.
- Add garlic and meat to the pan. Brown meat.
- Add 1 glass of white wine ~ cook until alcohol evaporates. Then add:
1 large can of crushed tomatoes (I use my own canned)
1 large can of tomato puree (I use my own canned)
enough water to cover meat
2-3 small cans of tomato paste (depending on thickness desired)
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add additional tomato paste if sauce is too watery. If too thick, you can dilute with a bit of water or wine.
- Add the meatballs to the sauce and top with several fresh basil leaves. Put lid on the pan and simmer slowly for several hours until cooked. You can add a pinch of baking soda to reduce acidity.
1 lb. ground beef
1-2 beaten eggs
bread crumbs (1/4 cup)
grated romano cheese (1/4 cup)
chopped parsley ~ 2 TBS.
chopped garlic (1 clove)
salt/pepper to taste
- Mix all ingredients and shape into small balls. No need to fry or pre-cook. Drop into your sauce gently.
Brascioles (pork steaks):
lay piece of meat flat
add small pieces of chopped garlic
1/4 tsp. grated romano cheese
pinch of salt/pepper
chopped flat leaf parsley
- Roll tightly and secure with toothpick. Brown with other meats before adding to sauce. 
Salt Potatoes
5 pounds new potatoes
1 1/2 cups fine salt or 2 cups Kosher Salt
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1.Wash the potatoes and set aside. Fill a large pot with water; stir in salt until it no longer dissolves and settles on the bottom. Place potatoes in the pot and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender but firm, about 15 minutes. Drain; cover to keep hot.
2.While the potatoes are cooking, melt the butter in a small pan over medium high heat, or in microwave. Serve immediately poured over potatoes.
Clyrelle's recipe for RED VELVET CAKE
1/2 cup crisco 1/1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs 2 1/4 cups cake flour
2 tbsp cocoa 1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk 2 oz red food coloring
1 tsp vanilla 1 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp baking soda
cream crisco, sugar,and eggs. sift cake flour,cocoa and salt together sift well. add alternately dry mix with buttermilk and crisco mixture. add food coloring and vanilla in seperate bowl mix baking soda and vinegar then add to batter. pour into 3 greased and floured cake pans bake 350 for about 25 minutes ICING
1 cup milk
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup crisco
1 cup reg sugar
cook milk and flour until thick, cool must be cool. beat crisco and sugar till light and fluffy. add vanilla and cooked milk-flour mixture. beat until it reaches consistency of whipped cream spread between layers sides and top
I double the recipe for the icing so there will be enough.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fall weather...Comfort Food!!!

...and one of my favorites is pasta! Meat sauce, Alfredo Sauce, Pomodoro Sauce and various kinds of pasta. These are comfort foods!

from mecookin's kitchen

1 lb. ground round
1 lb. mild Italian sausage, skins removed
1 large onion, chopped
1 each, red/yellow/green bell peppers chopped
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup red wine
28 oz can plum tomatoes, hand crushed
6 oz can tomato paste (2 cans water)
tsp. salt
tsp. pepper
Tbsp. Italian seasoning
2 Tbsp. basil pesto
Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

Brown meats & drain. Add onions, peppers & garlic; saute 5 minutes. Add mushrooms;saute 1 minute. Deglaze with red wine. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

There may have been...

There may have been others who have held me;
Told me things I wanted or needed to hear.
They might have been there in my hurting time...
To chase away all doubts and fear.
But, alas, more times than not...they were gone
Much too soon.
Sadly, my hurting was the only feeling that lingers there.

I know there have been others that have held you;
Tell you things you wanted or needed to hear.
They may have been there in your hurting time...
To chase away all doubts and fear.
But, alas, more times than not...they were gone
Much too soon.
They never stayed nor made the hurting disappear.

I want you to be the one to hold me;
Tell me things I want and need to hear.
Always be there in my hurting time...
To chase away all doubts and fear.
Don't ever be that one, that was gone much too soon.
Take time, My Dear, to make the hurting disappear.

Paula 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

November 2012 Newsletter

Hi Everyone,
November is almost here and thought I would get my newsletter out early before the weekend as work tends to get busier.
My heart goes out to all of those that are experiencing difficulties due to Hurricane Sandy...doubled for some with the snow storm from the other direction. Be sure to take heed to offers of help from Red Cross, churches and government funding if you are in need. Having lost my home in '95 to a tornado, I do know there are many services available to assist in these times.
As the sun shine returns, be thankful for your blessings of life, family and friends. These are the priceless treasures in this world.
Cleaning Cupboards & My Heart
Today while cleaning cupboards
With organized housewifely art
I suddenly decided  To clean the cupboards of my heart.
I threw out negative criticism
To the trash pile-to the fire!
I added extra cups of appreciation
And worthwhile thoughts that will inspire.
I threw out constant condemnation                                  
Which says, you're wrong, I'm right!
I put in an extra measure of consideration
For all folks, red, yellow, black, & white.
Yes, out went constant complaining
Grumbling about those trivial things
I put in smiles and laughter,
To ease the tensions each day brings.
Friends, let's all clean our cupboards,
With help from Creator above
Throw out pride and hatred, too.
Replaced with humility and love...
Paula George

Dutch Oven Layered Chicken Three-Cheese Enchilada
Use your favorite enchilada sauce to prepare this recipe, which layers corn tortillas, chicken and three kinds of
cheese into one hearty casserole.
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 1/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 3/4 cups red enchilada sauce
9 corn tortillas, each about 6 inches in diameter
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
3/4 cup shredded yellow cheddar cheese
Sliced green onion tops for garnish
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
Preheat an oven to 350°F.
In a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, season with salt and
pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Add the chicken to the onion and stir well to combine.
Spread 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 3 1/2-quart round wide Dutch oven. Arrange 3 tortillas
in a single layer on the sauce, overlapping them as needed to cover the sauce. Top with a generous 1 cup of
the chicken-onion mixture, 1/2 cup of the sauce and 1/4 cup of each cheese. Repeat the layering 2 more times,
alternating the direction of the tortilla layers and finishing with 1/2 cup sauce and 1/4 cup of each cheese.
Transfer to the oven and bake until the ingredients are heated through and the cheese is melted, about 30
minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with green onions and cilantro.
Serves 4 to 6.
Italian Lemon Creme Cake

1 18.25-ounce box Betty Crocker white cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 egg whites
I added 1 tsp. lemon zest to the cake.
1 (8 ounce) pkg cream cheese, softened (could use mascarpone instead of cream cheese) I used cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cold butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10-inch cake pan or springform pan
Make white cake following the directions on the box. Pour the batter into prepared pan.Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. Allow cake to cool completely when it comes out of the oven.
Make lemon cream filling by mixing cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Mix in lemon juice.
Whip cream in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until it forms stiff peaks. Combine cream cheese mixture with whipped cream. Stir by hand until blended.
Make crumb topping by combining flour and powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Add butter and dribble in the vanilla extract. Use your hands to mix cold butter into the flour and sugar. Break butter into smaller and smaller pieces as you incorporate it into the dry ingredients. Be sure not to press the mixture together. You want to end up with a very crumbly consistency with pieces no bigger than a pea. (If you have trouble making small crumbs, pop the bowl into your fridge for a few minutes.) Chill this crumb topping until you are ready to use it.
When the cake is cool, slice it in half through the middle and remove the top. Spread all but 1/2 cup of the lemon cream mixture onto the bottom half of the cake, then carefully replace the top half of the cake.
Spread the remaining 1/2 cup of cream filling over the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle the crumb topping on top of the cake and press it onto the sides all the way around the cake.
Now chill the cake for at least 3 hours before you serve it. When you are ready to dig in, slice the cake into 12 slices. Serve each slice topped with powdered sugar tapped through a strainer.
Servings: 12
Lasagna Rolls
from Suzanne @ Emeril group
1/2 c ricotta cheese
1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
2 T grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 t garlic powder
1 t dried basil
1/2 t dried oregano
1 egg
8 lasagna noodles
14 oz jar pasta sauce or  2 cups of your own homemade marinara
Cook the lasagna according to the package directions, drain,
and rinse in cold water to cool. Stir together the ricotta, mozzarella,
and Parmesan cheeses, garlic powder, basil, oregano, and egg.
Spread about 2 T of this mixture on each noodle, then roll up the
noodle. Arrange the rolls, seam side down, in a lightly oiled
baking dish. Pour the pasta sauce over all, cover, and bake at
350 for 20 to 25 minutes.
Lemon Olive Oil Cake
From Olives & Oranges
slow-cook recipe/Makes 10 servings
Versions of this simple cake are made all over Italy, to be eaten at breakfast with coffee or tea. Similar to pound cake, it differs mainly in that the fat used is olive oil instead of butter, which, surprisingly, results in a cake with an even richer and more unctuous character. yogurt adds a subtle tang. Use your best extra-virgin olive oil here.
Flavor tip:Whether you are baking or making a sauce or salad dressing, capture the flavorful oil that lies just beneath the peel of a lemon, lime, or orange by zesting the citrus directly into the bowl with the other ingredients.
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Put oven rack in center position and heat oven to 325* F. Lightly oil a 9-inch springform pan.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
With an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl on high speed for 5 minutes, or until pale and thick. Add yogurt and zest; beat to combine. With mixer on medium speed, add oil in a quick, steady stream. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture just until blended. Whisk batter by hand to make sure that all ingredients are incorporated.
Pour batter into pan. Bake, rotating pan once, until cake is golden, center springs back to the touch, and edges pull away from pan, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan for a minute or two on rack, then release from pan and let cool completely on rack before slicing.
Place a doily on top of inverted cake and dust lightly with confectioner's sugar. Remove doily before serving.
Mediterranean herb-Roasted Chicken

Whole leg portions are the tastiest part of the bird, and one per person is just enough to satisfy. If you can’t find entire legs, purchase separate thighs and drumsticks. Potatoes, onions, zucchini and mini sweet bell peppers roast alongside the chicken, making this a complete meal in a pan.
5 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
4 teaspoons chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried savory or oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 medium red potatoes, cut into 8 wedges each
2 medium onions, cut into 1-inch wedges
4 whole chicken legs
1 (4-oz.) pkg. multi-colored mini sweet bell peppers, halved, or 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch wedges
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise, cut into 2-inch pieces
1. Heat oven to 375°F. Finely chop rosemary, garlic and salt together; place in small bowl. Stir in lemon juice, oil, thyme, savory and pepper.
2. Spray bottom of wide shallow roasting pan with cooking spray. Scatter potatoes and onions in pan; add chicken. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the herb mixture over chicken and vegetables in pan; toss to coat. Place chicken on top of potatoes and onion.
3. Bake 45 minutes. Remove from oven; baste with accumulated juices. Scatter peppers and zucchini around chicken; spoon remaining herb mixture over chicken and all vegetables. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until chicken is browned and no longer pink in center.
4 servings

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My Version of Baklava

> Paula George
> Syrup:
> 1-1/2 cups sugar
> 3/4 cup water
> 1/4 cup honey
> 2 cinnamon sticks
> Bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce to simmer and cook 20 minutes. Set
> aside
> to cool.
> Filling:
> 1-1/4 lb. walnuts chopped fine
> 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
> 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
> 1/3 cup honey
> Baklava:
> 1 lb. phyllo dough, thawed
> 3 sticks butter, melted
> Glaze:
> 1-1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
> 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
> 2-3 tsp. water to get glaze consistency
> Prepare syrup, set aside.
> Combine ingredients for filling.
> Working quickly, have phyllo sheets on large tray, cover with plastic wrap
> and a
> damp towel. Brush 15x10x1 jelly-roll pan with melted butter. Layer phyllo
> sheets
> in single layer, brushing each with melted butter. Layer 8 layers of dough.
> Sprinkle with 1/2 to 3/4 cup filling. Repeat with 4 layers of dough,
> brushing
> each layer with melted butter. Repeat filling layers 2-3 times. Finishing
> with
> another 8 layers of phyllo dough. Brush entire top with butter. Cut through
> dough with sharp knife on a diagonal about 1-1/2 inches apart. Cut in the
> opposite direction at same distance to form diamond pattern. Bake at 325
> degrees
> for 40-45 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and spoon syrup over entire
> top.

OPTIONAL: Prepare glaze and drizzle sparingly over top.
> Eat warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fall...Soup, Sandwich and Dessert...Perfect Meal for Fall

Sometimes a hearty sandwich just fits the bill to accompany a hot bowl of soup...soup and sandwiches are a favorite at the restaurant and I think this would satisfy even the heartiest of appetites!

Turkey Artichoke Panini
1 loaf pesto focaccia bread
8 oz. freshly sliced turkey
4 oz. spinach artichoke spread
2 oz. asiago cheese
1 small red onion, diced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1-2 tomatoes, sliced ( 6-8 slices)
1 pinch salt and pepper
Preheat panini grill to medium temperature.
In a medium sauce pan, sauté diced red onion in olive oil until
transparent. Add balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
Slice the loaf of pesto focaccia into two semi-circles, and halve
each semi-circle.
Layer the turkey onto the bottom halves of the focaccia bread, and
spread spinach artichoke mix over turkey. Layer sautéed onions,
asiago/parmesan blend and tomato slices. Close face of panini with
the top halves of focaccia bread.
Add panini to preheated grill and press lightly. Grill 5 minutes on
medium or until the cheese begins to melt and there are grill marks
on the focaccia bread.
Serves 2
1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 jar (14.75 oz.) Cara Mia Marinated Artichoke Hearts, drained and chopped.
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients; mix well. Spoon into a microwave-safe 9-inch pie
plate and heat in the microwave (80% power) for 3 minutes.
Serve immediately. Serves 5-6

A delicious Robillito soup from my online friend, Mare, after repeated attempts to lighten the soup "sans" the bread that is normally in Robillito...this is Mare's version that gets rave reviews!
1/4 lb. smoked bacon, diced
4 carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 onions, sliced thinly
2 medium potatoes, diced small
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 28 ounce can of chopped tomatoes (I use Pastene)
1/2 large savoy cabbage, cored and chopped
1 bunch of kale, ribs removed and chopped
1 can of small white beans, rinsed and drained
6 cups of chicken stock
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 T. kosher salt
1 t. black pepper
1 t. red pepper flakes (or a pinch more if you like a kick) parmesan cheese for sprinkling on top
Place large Dutch Oven on stove top, heat to medium and add bacon. Cook bacon until it's golden brown and remove to paper towels, set aside.
Add onions, carrots and celery, turn down to low and cook for about 10 minutes. Add garlic, potatoes, reserved bacon, salt and peppers. Cook for a few more minutes. Add tomatoes and chicken stock, turn heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Let cook for about 15 minutes on a low simmer. Add kale and cabbage, stir, let cook for another 15 minutes. Stir again and add the beans. Turn to low, adjust seasoning and let simmer with lid on, but not sealed for about 10 more minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for another 10 minutes. At this point, I use an immersion blender to whiz it a bit. NOT much though. Just a bit to get the large pieces chopped.
Serve hot with a big sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

So,if you are in the mood for a complete comfort meal...try the Turkey Artichoke Panini and a comforting bowl of Robillto!

To finish off this fall dinner menu...Mom's Apple Cobbler is sure to fit the bill!

Mom's Apple Cobbler
1/2 cup one stick butter or 1/2 cup margarine
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup milk
2 cups peeled and finely chopped apples (or fruit of choice)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a 13x9x2 inch baking dish ( I prefer to use a glass one).
Cut shortening into flour until particles resemble fine crumbs.
Add milk and stir with a fork only until dough leaves the side of the bowl.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured board or pastry cloth, and knead just until smooth.
Roll dough out into a large rectangle about 1/4 inch think. Sprinkle cinnamon over chopped apples,
then sprinkle apples evenly over the dough. Roll up dough like a jelly roll and dampen the edges with water to seal. Slice dough into about 16 slices, 1/2 inch thick. Place slices in baking dish with the melted butter. In saucepan, heat water and sugar until dissolved. Pour the sugar syrup around the rolls. This will look like too much liquid, but dough will absorb it while baking. Bake for 55-60 minutes.
2VARIATION: This cobbler can also be made with other fresh, frozen, or canned fruits such as blackberries,
cherries, or peaches. If the fruit is packed in liquid, drain and substitute for part of the water
in the sugar syrup. Add enough water to make two cups of liquid.
I also make a small amount of glaze,
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. milk
Whisk together and drizzle over warm cobbler.

Happy Eating! :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October 2012 Newsletter

Evening Everyone...
Fall is definitely in the air...loving these cooler temps! Hope this finds all well...
I thought of my new great-granddaughter, Jayda Nevaeh that was born prematurely 3 weeks ago...and the love her Mommy, Sierra formed
when she knew she carried this life in her body.
Enjoy the fall recipes using chicken and pears!
Your Mother's Love...

From the moment I learned of the life I carried within me...I already knew I'd love you,
Even before I knew if a little boy or little girl is coming into my life.
Before I even met you, my heart was stirred; you had your Mother's love...
Knowing I had been blessed to carry and give birth to a little one.
From the moment you were born, you stole my heart, you'd always know your Mother's love.
There may have been some long nights, as you were unsure about this place!
Yet, there were many moments...a smile, a coo...even that sparkle in your eyes...
And I knew, even in those earlier days, you'd always know your Mother's love.
Childhood, adolesence, young adult, even becoming a wife...I knew there would be
Trying times, times of training and discipline; yet all were given with your Mother's love.
I'm sure as the years have passed, and, now that you're a young adult, these things are seen more clearly.
Wherever life made lead you...although sometimes, not easy, nothing will change!
And should the path we're given take one of us from this earthly walk...
You'll Always Have My Love, from the moment you were conceived, You've had Your Mother's Love!

August 2011

Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Puff Pastry Croutons
from Splendid Soups and Spectacular Sides

4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup quartered button mushrooms ( I used Baby Bellas)
1/2 cup diced carrot
2 tsp minced garlic (I used 4 large cloves, minced)
1 1/2 cups diced red potatoes (I used, unpeeled red potatoes)
1/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp dry sherry (I used 1/2 cup Dry Vermouth)
5 cups chicken broth
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken ( I cut and sautéed 3 chicken breasts in 2 Tbsp. Olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper)
2 Tbsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dry)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup frozen green peas
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (or 1 Tbsp. dry)
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt & pepper, to taste (I didn't find it necessary to add any more salt or pepper)
Puff Pastry Croutons

Melt butter over medium high heat in the pot you will use to make the soup.
Sauté onion, celery, mushrooms, carrot and garlic for about 4 minutes.
Add potatoes and cook about 3 minutes more. Whisk in the flour and cook a couple of minutes to
get rid of the raw taste. Deglaze pan with sherry. Stir in broth, chicken,
thyme, bay leaf, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil,
then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are cooked through
and the mixture has slightly thickened. Stir in the corn, peas, parsley and lemon juice.
Taste and adjust seasonings. Ladle into bowls and top with croutons.


Grandma's Lab-Tested Chicken Soup
Allergies, sinus infections galore! Pulmonary infections! This really does help! Not only does it help, it is delicious!

Found this recipe several years ago in Reader's Digest. It had been lab tested by pulmonoligists and said to be effective in pulmonary infections. I have made it several times and it honestly does help! Not sure of the combo of nutritional values but it does work!

Grandma's Lab-Tested Chicken Soup
1 2-1/2-3 lb. chicken
2 lbs.chicken wings, extra
3 large onions, peeled and diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
3 parsnips, peeled and diced
2 turnips, peeled and diced
11 to 12 carrots, peeled and diced
5 to 6 sticks celery, sliced
1 bunch parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1.Put cleaned chicken in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to boil.
2.Add chicken wings, onions, sweet potato, parsnips, turnips and carrots.
3.Boil for 1 1/2 hours, removing fat from surface as it accumulates.
4.Add celery, parsley, salt and pepper, cook for 45 minutes, then remove chicken and skin, bone and dice.
5.Remove vegetables, process 1/2 of veggies in food processor until smooth. Return with chicken.


White Chicken Chili
Makes 12 servings

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon ground chipotle chile pepper
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
3/4 cup chopped poblano pepper
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
4 bay leaves
1 quart chicken broth
2 (4-ounce) cans diced green chiles
2 (19-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained
2 (16-ounce) cans navy beans, drained
4 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup sour cream

In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. A
dd chicken, ground chipotle chile pepper, cumin, salt, coriander, and red pepper.
Cook, stirring constantly, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until chicken is browned.
Remove chicken to a bowl. In same Dutch oven, heat remaining 2 tablespoons
olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, poblano pepper, jalapeño peppers,
garlic, and bay leaves. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until tender.
Add chicken, chicken broth, and green chiles. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer,
and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans;
cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard bay leaves.
Add cheese and sour cream, stirring just until cheese is melted.


Saw a version of this recipe in Sunday's, naturally, I had to try it (change it up, as usual)...rolls eyes! haha

Chicken Tortilla Soup

4 b/s chicken breasts, cut in bite size strips
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1-1/2 cup chopped onions
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
1 (28 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes in juice
2 cans seasoned black beans, undrained
2 cans Chipotle corn, drained
2 qts chicken broth (or 3Tbsp. chicken base & 2 qts. water)

For serving:
Tortilla Chips
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheddar
Chopped Green Onions
Lime Wedges

Heat olive oil in Dutch oven. Toss chicken strips with chili powder and salt. Add to hot oil and cook until chicken is cooked through. Add onions and cook 5 minutes longer, add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Add remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Place tortilla chips in bowl and ladle soup over. Can add additional toppings of sour cream, shredded cheddar, diced avocado, chopped green onions; if desired. Add a lime wedge to be squeezed over individual servings.
Louisiana Pear Cake with Lemon Sauce recipe:
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups finely chopped, peeled pears
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Grease & flour 13x9x2 baking pan. Combine flour, baking powder and
salt; set
aside. In mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Add
mixture and mix well. Fold in pears and pecans with wooden spoon.
Spread in
baking pan. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. or until toothpick inserted
center comes out clean.
For sauce, in a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, butter,
lemon zest, and corn syrup.Cook and stir over medium heat until
boils; remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and cool slightly. Serve
warm cake
with warm sauce spooned over.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

September 2012 Newsletter

Hi Everyone,

Sending the newsletter out a bit early this month as I will be out of pocket for a few days. Some sad and melancholy days recently with the passing of Cathy (employee at the restaurant)...even thought of including recipes from her...the more unusual a recipe sounded, the more she wanted to try it! Pinto Bean Cake, Sauerkraut Cake or Green Tomato Cake were a few of them. Today would have been Becky (decolady's) birthday...along with her family, friends and online friends, she is greatly missed.
On a lighter note...lots of things happening in Athens and at LuVici' scheduled downtown in the next couple of months, caterings and the pleasure of seeing longtime customers and new customers in the restaurant.
Have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend!
----- Original Message ----- From: Paula aka mecookin To: paula Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 3:36 PM
Subject: newsletter

One Another...
Drifting along the ocean blue waters,
underneath the starlit skies...
Like two ships passing in the night,
we happened upon one another.
The fragrance of the rocky, salted seas,
that have purged us deep within...
Leaving refreshed and cleansed hearts,
seeking love, we discover one another.
The moonlight surrounds you with a shining aura,
the stars twinkling in your eyes...
Your eagerness and searching heart unfolds,
we find love for one another.
And now we sail along those same waters,
never more to pass in the night...
Our hearts revealed, our course is set,
Together sailin' forever, with love for one another.

Orange Rolls...Yum! Ahhh, Memories! I worked next door to the Original All Steak Restaurant for 6 years in the early 1980's...
I am not much of a sweet eater, but these orange rolls are to die for!
Three different versions given below, hope you enjoy!

Orange Rolls a la All Steak Restaurant
my kopykat version
Paula George
1 pkg, frozen bread dough, thawed, let rest through first rising
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup orange marmalade
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp. grated orange zest
Roll dough out into thin rectangle. Spread with softened butter. Sprinkle with sugar, and spread with orange mamalade. Roll jelly roll style. Cut 1" thick and place in large buttered baking pan. Allow to rise until double. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Cool slightly, frost with icing. Serve immediately while still slightly warm!
************************************************** **

Elaine's Orange Rolls (Bitty Buns) Recipe courtesy Elaine Hyatt Show: Calling All Cooks Episode: Moroccan Couscous/Bitty Buns
All Steak Restaurant
Cullman, AL
Biscuits: 2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup buttermilk
Filling: 1/4 cup butter, softened (1 teaspoon per biscuit)
1 cup and 2 tablespoons orange marmalade (1 1/2 tablespoons per biscuit)
1/4 cup brown sugar (1 teaspoon brown sugar)
 Icing: 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon butter, softened
2 tablespoons cream cheese
Dash salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons orange zest
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. For Biscuits: Combine dry ingredients for biscuit. Cut shortening into dry mixture. Add buttermilk and blend. Roll out biscuit dough on floured waxed paper until about 3/4 of an inch thick. Cut with a round biscuit cutter as if you were making biscuits. You'll get approximately 10 to 12 biscuits. Roll out each individual biscuit until it is 5 inches in diameter and 1/4-inch thick. On each biscuit, layer butter, marmalade and brown sugar. Roll up each biscuit and slice into 3 pinwheels of equal size. Place rolls in 2 (7 by 7-inch) baking pans. (You can also use other dimensions of pans. The key is to keep the rolls close together). Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before icing. For Icing: Mix powdered sugar, orange juice, margarine, cream cheese, salt, vanilla, and orange zest until smooth. Drizzle over rolls.
 These rolls have been served as part of the bread "basket" for as long as I can remember...and that's a looonnnggg time! Personally, I prefer the yeast dough but the filling/icing that she gave are similar and I like to intertwine the two recipes and use the icing she gave sometimes...
The "Wallace's", Elaine's grandparents were the original owners of the restaurant.
I worked next door (1980's), prior to their moving to the current location above Wachovia Bank.
These are a "classic"...even my mom remembered having them as a young woman "YEARS" ago circa 1940's!
Peach Gallette
1 refrigerated pie crust
8 oz. cream cheese at room temp
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
4 Tbsp. cornstarch, divided
2 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
1 egg, separated
2 cups peeled, sliced peaches or fruit of your choice (Nectarines, Apricots, Berries)
2 Tbsp. sugar for sprinkling (I used Splenda)
Roll pie crust to form 13" circle. Place on baking sheet. Cream together cream cheese, confectioner's sugar, 2 Tbsp. corn starch, 1 tsp. extract and egg yolk. Spread on crust leaving 2" edge. Toss together fruit, 2 Tbsp. cornstarch and 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Spread over cream cheese mixture. Fold edges of crust up toward center in rustic manner. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes until golden.
It's called Naked as it doesn't have a prepared crust.
Naked Apple Pie
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. dark rum
1/2 cup flour
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 apples, pared and sliced
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
Sift flour with baking powder. Put all ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Spread mixture into a greased 9-inch pie plate and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
from Becky (decolady)


2 cups red or green bell pepper strips
2 cups cider vinegar
1/4 cup (or more, depending on taste) chopped fresh jalapeno peppers
1 cup dried apricot halves, slivered
6 cups sugar
3 oz. liquid pectin

Combine pepper strips, vinegar and jalapeno peppers in a blender or food processor. Pulse until small chunks remain. Combine with apricot slivers and sugar in saucepan; bring to a boil. Boil and stir 5 minutes. Remove from heat; skim off any foam. Cool 2 minutes; stir in pectin. Pour into sterilized jars; seal at once. (If desired, process in boiling water bath 15 minutes). Makes 6 1/2 cups.
Cathy made a version of this cake and brought to is my version...

Georgia Cornbread Cake Recipe
This recipe comes courtesy of a 86 year old lady that has been cooking since she was 9 years old. The recipe has been in her family for many years. The ground pecans gives it a texture of cornbread, but there isn't any cornmeal in it. This cake is perfect for potlucks or to pack in lunchboxes.
55 min | 20 min prep
1 cake
1 cup sugar or 1/2 cup Splenda sugar substitute, for baking  (I used Splenda)
1 cup brown sugar or 1/2 cup Splenda brown sugar blend  (I used Splenda brown sugar blend)
4 eggs, beaten 1 cup vegetable oil 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 cups pecans, chopped very fine ( I used pecan meal)
(my Additions: 1 cup chopped pecans & 1 cup finely chopped apricots)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees; lightly grease and flour a 9x13-inch baking dish. Stir together sugar, brown sugar,, eggs and oil in a medium bowl until smooth. Stir in flour and vanilla; add finely chopped pecans (or pecan meal) and stir until evenly mixed. Stir in chopped pecans and apricots.

Spoon into prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool; cut into squares.
Good served with a dollop of whipped cream, enjoy.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Roasts...Perfect for Cooler Weather!

With the onset of some cooler weather...a slow-cooked roast comes to mind...the aroma fills the house and tantalizes the tastebuds!

A long time favorite:

Spicy Beef RoastPaula George

3 lb. round tip roast1 Tbsp. cracked black pepper
3 cloves garlic minced
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. dry mustard
Optional add ins: 1 large onion cut in strips
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 lg. bell pepper, cut in strips

Rub the cracked pepper and garlic into the roast. Place the roast in a crock pot, make several small slits in top of the roast. Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over roast. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or high 4-5 hours.


Italian Beef Sandwiches

1 (3 to 4 1/2 lbs) beef roast, trimmed
1 can (12 ounces) beer (you choose the flavor), or use 1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 envelope dry Italian salad dressing mix
1 12-oz. jar sliced Pepperoncini peppers, with the liquid
Hard Rolls, Ciabatta Rolls, French Bread, etc.
Pour beer into crock pot. Drain liquid from pepperoncini into crockpot. Stir in the salad dressing mix until well-blended. Place about half of the peppers in the crockpot. Trim fat from the roast; place in crock pot on top of peppers. Top roast with remaining peppers. Cook Italian beef on low 8 to 10 hours Remove cooked roast from crockpot; cool slightly. While still warm, pull roast with two forks to shred. Toast split rolls, add 2 slices Provolone cheese. Spread with Dijon or Spicy Mustard. To serve, ladle small amount of warm liquid from crock over split roll or bread, top with shredded beef, then follow with more beef liquid as desired. Serve with additional peppers on the side.
Serves 12 to 16
Serve with forks and a stack of napkins.

Note: I serve the broth on the side as an au jus for dipping!

Wine-Roasted Pork Loin
by Paula George

3 lb. boneless pork loin
2 Tbsp. Montreal Steak seasoning
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large red onion, cut in slices
1-1/2 cups Burgundy wine

Rub steak seasoning on all sides of pork roast. Heat olive oil in large Dutch
oven over medium-high heat. Add roast and brown on all sides. Remove roast and
set aside. Add onions and saute for 5 minutes. Return roast to pan. Pour wine
Cover and bake in 350 pre-heated oven for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until roast is
tender. Remove cover last 20 minutes of baking.

I have made this for years and it is delicious...a side of Caramelized Sweet Potatoes & Onions, Green Beans...make for a delicious meal.
Optional: per tigerlwyr...
Holy moly, Nana. Just awesome! I made some small alterations, but wow! I used a 2 pound pork loin. After browning the roast, I deglased the dutch oven with a half cup of Beaujolais, then threw in the onion. When I put the roast back in, I used 2.5 cups of Beaujolais. When it was done cooking, I put a half stick of butter in the juice and let simmer while the roast rested, and then spooned the onion/wine sauce on top of the cut meat on the plates. OMG, it was awesome. We had Baked sweet potato and steamed green beans as sides. The sweet potato and beans married perfectly with the meat.

Thank you.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas...and more...

serve with Pepper Salad, Spanish Rice for a complete meal!

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas

Makes: 6 servings; Total time: 20 minutes prep + 6–7 hours cooking (low)
11⁄2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, seasoned with salt and black pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil


1 large white onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped garlic
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1⁄2 tsp. ground coriander
1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
1⁄2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 can diced tomatoes in juice (14.5 oz.)
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
Salt to taste
12 fajita-size flour tortillas, warmed (6-inch)
Purchased guacamole
Sour cream
Brown chicken in oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat, 2–3 minutes per side. Remove chicken to a plate.

Add onion, garlic, oregano, chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt, and cayenne to the pan; cook 2–3 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes, scraping up browned bits from chicken; bring mixture to a boil. Transfer tomato mixture to a 4–6-qt. slow cooker. Add reserved chicken and drippings. Cover slow cooker and cook 3–4 hours on high setting, or 6–7 hours on low setting. Remove chicken to a plate; let rest 5 minutes. Shred chicken into strips.

Purée tomato mixture in slow cooker with a handheld blender; stir in lime juice and season with salt. Reserve 1 cup sauce, then toss chicken with remaining sauce.

Serve chicken in tortillas with Pepper Salad, guacamole, sour cream, shredded cheese and reserved sauce.

Nutrition Information
Per serving: 279 cal; 10g total fat (2g sat); 4mg chol; 733mg sodium; 39g carb; 3g fiber; 8g protein

Pepper Salad
This salad not only looks pretty but it's also full of carotenoids, which boost immunity and help fight against cancer and heart disease.

Makes: 6 servings; Total time: 10 minutes
2 each red and yellow bell peppers, thinly sliced
2 jalapeños, seeded and thinly sliced
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt to taste
Combine bell peppers, jalapeños, red onion, and cilantro in a bowl. Whisk together lime juice and oil; toss with pepper mixture. Season salad with salt.

Nutrition Information
Per serving: 55 cal; 3g total fat (0g sat); 0mg chol; 3mg sodium; 8g carb; 2g fiber; 1g protein

Nana's Spanish Rice

1 pkg. Zatarain's yellow rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1 packet Sazon seasoning
1 tsp. Goya Adobe seasoning
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/2 - 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 red onion, coarse chopped
1 can (4 oz.) whole green chiles, coarse chopped

Bring chicken broth & tomatoes to boil. Add seasonings and peppers. Add yellow rice packet and red onion, stir and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 15 minutes. Add green chiles and cook 5 minutes more.