Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fall Lentil Soup with Potato Rolls

  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 (14.5 ounces) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups dried lentils, washed according to package directions
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 bag potato rolls
  • 1 bag baby carrots
  • 1 bottle ranch dressing

In a large saucepan, heat oil. Add carrot, celery, onion and minced garlic. Saute until tender. Remove vegetables from the pan and add Italian sausage to the pan. Brown the drain off fat. In a large stockpot, pour chicken broth, saute'd vegetables and the sausage. Add tomatoes with juice, and lentils. Season with salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, oregano, thyme, fennel seeds and bay leaf. Simmer until the lentils are tender, 30-45 minutes. Remove bay leaf before serving. Serve with potato rolls from bakery and baby carrots with ranch dressing for dipping.

Spiral Ham with Fruit Glaze

  • 1 fully cooked spiral sliced ham (about 4 pounds)
  • ½ can (8 ounces) unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained
  • ¼ cup apricot jam
  • 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1 tea 6-8 medium sized potatoes, peeled, and cut inch 1 inch cubes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • spoon prepared horseradish
  • 3 pounds fresh broccoli spears
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 4 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoons grated lemon peel

  • 5 ½ - 6 cups flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon quick rise yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted

Place ham on a rack in a large roasting pan. Cover and bake at 325 for45 minutes. In a small bowl, combine pineapple, jam, mustard, and horseradish. Spread over ham and bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 140. Makes 8-10 servings.

Place potatoes in a large pot and add enough water to cover potatoes. Sprinkle salt over into the water. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover and reduce heat to medium and cook 20-25 minutes or until fork tender. Remove from heat, drain and mash with a hand mixer or potato masher. Add sour cream and combine well. Serve warm.

Place broccoli in a large saucepan, add about 1 inch cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 5-8 minutes or until crisp tender. Meanwhile, in a small heavy saucepan, heat broth and butter until butter is melted. Dissolve cornstarch in cold water in a small bowl and add to broth mixture. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat, stir a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks; return all to pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and peel. Drain broccoli and serve with sauce.

In a large bowl, combine 3 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a small saucepan, heat milk and oil to 120-130 degrees. Add to dry ingredients, beat until just moistened. Add eggs, beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky). Turn onto a floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Divide dough into thirds. Roll each portion into a 12 inch circle, brush with butter. Cut each circle into 12 wedges. Roll up wedges from the wide end and place point end down 2 inches apart on baking sheets sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans and cool on a wire rack. Makes 3 dozen.

Black Bean & Pumpkin Chili

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 ½ cups cooked chicken
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid pack pumpkin
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Tortilla Chips

  • 1 fresh pineapple
  • 1 container (8 ounces) whipped topping
  • 1 container (4oz) strawberry yogurt

In a large skillet, saute the onion yellow pepper and garlic in oil until tender. Transfer to a large stock pot add additional ingredients except chips and bring to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes. Makes 10 servings.

Cut off outer edge of pineapple and then cut into spears. Serve with fruit dip mixture (see below).

In a small bowl, combine whipped topping and yogurt. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Recipe

2 Tbsp. active dry yeast
½ cup warm water
4 eggs
1 cup shortening
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup warm milk (110-115 degrees)
½ cup sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup instant vanilla pudding mix
1/3 cup instant butterscotch pudding
1 teaspoon salt
7-8 cups flour

¼ cup butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Favorite cream cheese frosting
(I like the canned with 1 teaspoon vanilla added for that “homemade” taste)
Freshly ground cinnamon, optional

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the eggs, shortening, pumpkin, milk, sugars, pudding mixes, salt and 6 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (it will be sticky). Turn onto a a floured surface; knead until smooth about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down, divide in half. Roll each portion into a 12x8 inch rectangle and brush with melted butter. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon, sprinkle over dough. Roll up jelly-roll style Cut into 12 slices. Place cut side down in to greased 13x9 inch baking pans. (**If you want to freeze for later, see special note below**) Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 350 for 22-28 minutes or until golden brown and done. Frost with favorite cream cheese icing and sprinkle with freshly ground cinnamon.

**To freeze directions**: Place cut rolls on a cookie sheet sprayed with a cooking spray, or lined with parchment paper. Freeze rolls until frozen solid. When frozen, put in zipper seal freezer bags or vacuum seal until ready to use. When ready to use, place frozen rolls in a greased pan with desired amount of rolls, leave room for rising. Cover with sprayed plastic wrap and let rise overnight. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until done. Frost while warm and serve.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Slow Cooker Cola Roast with Sweet Potatoes


2.5 pound beef roast
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
2 cans (12 ounces each) cola
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
2 medium onions, cut into eighths
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 Tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoon pecans, coarsely chopped
½ teaspoon dried sage leaves
1 bag Distinctively Dole Salad


Place roast in a greased 4-5 quart slow cooker. Sprinkle with onion soup mix. Pour soda over the meat in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat 7-8 hours or on high heat 4 hours. DO NOT USE DIET COLA in this recipe!

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place sweet potatoes and onions in a 9x13 inch pan, drizzle with butter and toss to coat. Bake uncovered 25-30 minutes, stirring once, until almost tender. Stir in brown sugar, pecans and sage. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until coated and tender.

Prepare salad according to package directions and serve with Cola Roast.

Penne Pasta with Spicy Sauce w/ Cream Cheese Brownies

  • 1 package (16 oz.) penne pasta
  • 1 can (28 oz.) fire roasted whole peeled plum tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 Tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ cup freshly grated cheese
  • 2 pounds fresh broccoli, cut into florets
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice (fresh is best)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 loaf French bread
  • 1 ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
Brownie Ingredients
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup baking cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 Tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 egg
  • 2 ounces reduced fat cream cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • Powdered sugar, if desired

Cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Meanwhile in food processor or blender, place tomatoes with juice. Cover and process until coarsley chopped. Set aside. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook garlic, red pepper and parsley in oil about 5 minutes, stirring frequently until garlic starts to turn a golden color. Stir in chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add pasta and ¼ cup of the cheese to tomato mixture. Cook another 3 minutes, tossing gently until pasta is coated with sauce. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and serve.

Steam broccoli until tender but firm, about 5-7 minutes. Heat butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat, add garlic and saute for about 1 minute. Add the steamed broccoli, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to coat and heat through. Serve warm.

Cut French bread into 1 inch slices. Butter one side and sprinkle with about 2 Tablespoons of shredded cheese. Place prepared slices on a large baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden brown. Serve warm.

Brownie Instructions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8x8 inch pan with a nonstick cooking spray. In a bowl, combine flour, ¾ cup sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Stir in melted butter, water and egg until dry ingredients are moistened. Spread in prepared pan. In a small bowl, mix cream cheese 2 Tablespoons sugar and vanilla. Drop small spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture over patter. Swirl with a knife. Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean, when tested in brownie and not cream cheese. Cool completely, about 45 minutes. If desired sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

Broccoli and Ham Stromboli w/ Old Fashioned Root Beer Floats

  • 2 cans (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent roll dough
  • 1 ½ cups shredded Swiss cheese
  • ½ cup fully cooked ham, diced
  • 2 ¼ cups chopped fresh broccoli
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • tomatoes
  • ½ gallon vanilla ice cream
  • 1 2-liter root beer
  • 1 8oz. tub Whipped Topping
  • 1 jar maraschino cherries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll crescent dough and place triangles on a 12 inch pizza pan or stone, forming a ring with the pointed ends facing the outer edge on the pan, wide ends overlapping. Lightly press wide ends together. Combine the remaining ingredients, and spoon over the wide ends of rolls. Fold points over filling and tuck under wide ends. The filling will be visible and that is o.k. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 6-8 servings.

Slice tomatoes about ¼ inch thick. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper as desired.

In serving glasses, place desired amount of ice cream followed by desired amount of root beer. Repeat in each serving glass. Top each serving with a dollop of whipped topping and 1 maraschino cherry.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Caesar Burgers in a Pita

  • 1 ¼ pounds ground beef
  • ½ cup creamy Caesar dressing
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 6 pita (pocket) bread halves
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • Potato Chips

Heat grill to a medium high heat. In a medium bowl, mix ground beef, ¼ cup Caesar dressing, the egg and bread crumbs. (I prefer Panko Bread Crumbs, but regular will be fine.) Shape into 6 equal size patties (about ½ -inch thick). place patties on grill and cover grill. Cook on medium heat 7-10 minutes, turning only once or until center of patties is 160 degrees. During last minute, top each patty with cheese. If desired, place pita bread on grill for a minute to warm up or place in microwave. Fill pita halves with meat patty, remaining dressing, tomato and cucumber. Serve with Vegetable Spears and potato chips. Makes 6 servings.

Vegetable Spears: Cut desired vegetables into long "spears" or pieces. Serve in a glass with the vegetables standing up. I chose carrots, celery, and a red pepper for mine, however, you can choose vegetables your family enjoys. If desired, serve with salad dressing on the side for dipping.

Pork Ribs with Steamed Asparagus and Potatoes

  • 3-4 pounds boneless pork country style ribs
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 pound medium asparagus, tough ends trimmed
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced paper thin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 bag frozen shredded hash browns, thawed
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 cans (10.75 ounces each) cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs

Combine all ingredients in a greased 3 ½ - 5 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat 8-10 hours. Makes 6-8 servings. Serve with steamed asparagus and potatoes (recipes follow)

Gently lay asparagus in a microwaveable dish. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and black pepper as desired. Place lemon and bay leaf over the top. Stretch plastic wrap over the dish, leaving one corner open for ventilation. Microwave on high 2 ½ - 4 minutes or until done.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine hash browns, sour cream, butter, onions, soup and cheese. Spread mixture evenly into a greased 13x 9 inch pan. Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top and bake uncovered 45-50 minutes or until hot in the middle. Makes 8-10 servings.

Teriyaki Beef & Pineapple Lettuce Wraps with Lo Mein

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Dash of black ground pepper
  • 1 can (8 oz.) pineapple tidbits, drain and reserve liquid
  • ¼ cup teriyaki glaze
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2-3 Tablespoons sliced green onions
  • ¼ cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 Boston lettuce heads, leaves carefully removed, washed thoroughly and dried
  • 1 package linguine pasta, cooked until barely tender, drained and set aside
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 ½ cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 can (14 ounces) bean sprouts
  • 1 bottle Stir Fry Sauce

In a large skillet, cook ground beef over medium-high heat until cooked through and no longer pink. Drain well. Salt and pepper to taste. In a small bowl, mix reserved pineapple juice, glaze and cornstarch until smooth. Stir mixture into ground beef. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly, stirring frequently. Stir in pineapple, green onions and peppers. Continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, until heated through. Spoon about ½ cup meat mixture into each lettuce leaf, roll up (if desired) and serve with Simple Lo Mein (Recipe follows). Makes 6 servings.

Lo Mein instructions:

Heat oil in an extra deep 12 inch skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion, carrots and mushrooms. Drain the sprouts, rinse under cold water and drain again. In a small bowl, combine Stir Fry Sauce ingredients. Add sprouts, stir fry sauce and noodles. Raise the heat to high and cook until the noodles are heated through and coated with sauce.