Friday, April 30, 2010

Mom M's Macaroni Salad

I posted a picture on Angie's Ad Lib last week of a container of macaroni salad. I got lots of positive feedback about how yummy that salad looked, so although I've already posted about this recipe LAST April (we must get in the mood for it every spring!), I thought I would post again for some of my newer followers.

Mom M’s Macaroni Salad


1 1/3 C pasta shells, cooked & rinsed in cold water
5 eggs (2 sliced on top)
1 dill pickle (dice very small)
¼ C plus, mayonnaise
ketchup to light pink
1 T. pickle juice
1 red onion (3 thin slices)
salt and pepper to taste

Mix together all ingredients ½ hour before serving.

Hint: Can get dry the next day, add mayo.

Recipe Given By: Mom Martens

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Got a recipe you just won't trade in? No matter how good someone claims theirs to be. Yep, Nestle has me too. I love their chocolate chip cookie recipe.

I've tried a couple of other recipes, but then given up. This is the best of the best, my friends. You may "psh" me or agree; it doesn't really matter. I'm a believer.

So how can a perfect recipe turn out so differently when 3 women from the same family bake them?

My grandmother used real butter in this recipe. He cookies turned stale within a day or two (could it have been the container?) and tasted like sugar. My mom blamed it on the butter.

My mother uses Crisco shortening instead of butter or margarine. He cookies are fluffy and HARD. She does freeze them and have them on hand, but they are a crunchy cookie most of the time.

I use Imperial margarine only. I LOVE my cookies. My family LOVES my cookies. I wouldn't use anything else. They never last long enough to get stale.

Did I mention there was a stubborn streak that runs in my family? :)

No matter HOW you bake 'em, may all your cookies be to your liking and may you be able to eat them guilt-free!

Oh, yum!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Russian Chicken

I participate in Project 365 where you take a picture every day for one year and share it with other bloggers. I post my project pictures every Sunday on my adlib blog.

I also go and check out other Project 365'ers and Rebecca Jo put up a recipe for Russian Chicken right as winter began to dig it's little icicles into the frozen ground (no bitterness, really.)

I made the recipe in February with Catalina dressing instead of RUSSIAN and it turned out well. However, I felt that I was doing the recipe/Rebecca Jo a disservice if I didn't give it a try with the correct ingredients so last week I made it with Russian dressing.

Oh my. So rich. So yummy. So easy!

This is now one of my husband's favorites; he can't seem to stay out of the leftovers.

Russian Chicken


Chicken Breasts
Russian Salad Dressing (or Catalina)
Envelope of Onion Soup Mix
Can of Cranberries or Cranberry Sauce

Place chicken in crockpot. Combine salad dressing, onion soup packet and cranberry sauce. Pour over chicken. Cook for 4 hours.

Serve over white rice.
Recipe Given By: Blogger:
Rebecca Jo at Knit By God’s Hand

Hint: Rebecca Jo used a little more than half the bottle of dressing and the whole can of cranberry sauce. I don’t know how many breasts she cooked. I cooked 6 breasts with a whole bottle of dressing, 1 soup pkt, 1 can of cranberry sauce. Next time I will reduce the dressing or add another cranberry sauce. The sauce was a little thin, but tasty.

Thanks, Rebecca!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)

I spent my early Saturday morning helping my son make two 9x13 pans of Spanakopita for a Greek Festival that was a part of his Ancient Greece class. We had fun working together making this somewhat time-consuming dish. It was worth it though; he got lots of compliments and came home with just a couple of pieces to spare.

I made some notes as I wrote this one out for you. I thought it was heavy on the dill and the next time I make it I will cut the dill in half. Also, I researched online how much phyllo dough most recipes call for. The recipe given below by the dairy said to use the rest of the phyllo on the top. If you used a full pound it wouldn't make any sense. I think they meant to use the rest of the 1/2 lb. pkg, which is what we did and it turned out perfectly. It also took longer to bake in my oven. Just so you know...

(Greek Spinach Pie)


1 stick plus 1 T. butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
20 oz. (approx.) fresh spinach, chopped
16 oz. Cottage Cheese (reg or lowfat)
12 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ t. each salt & pepper
2 T. fresh dill, chopped (for me 1 T.)
Pinch of nutmeg
1 lb. phyllo dough (use ½ pkg!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In skillet, melt 1 T. butter over medium heat. Add onion & cook until softened; transfer to large bowl.

Add spinach, cottage cheese, feta, eggs, salt, pepper, dill and nutmeg to onion and stir. Set aside.

Melt 1 stick of butter. Using pastry brush, lightly coat 9 x 12 (or 9 x 13) baking dish with butter. Unfold phyllo dough & line baking dish with 1 phyllo sheet, gently pressing into place and letting excess hang over sides. Brush sheet with butter. Repeat until there are 8 layers of buttered phyllo in the dish. Cover remaining phyllo sheets with damp cloth to keep from drying out.

Fill the phyllo-lined baking dish with spinach mixture. Fold in overhanging phyllo, sheet by sheet, brushing butter on each sheet. (*I didn’t have much overhang.) Place full phyllo sheet over filling and brush with butter. Repeat with remaining phyllo sheets in the ½ lb. pkg, brushing each layer and top sheet with butter.

Bake until golden brown, about 45-55 min. Let cool 30 min. before slicing. (We cooked ours about 65-70 min.)

Recipe Given By:
Friendship Dairies

Saturday, April 17, 2010

No-Bake Cookies

There are lots of no-bake cookie recipes out there, but this one is a tried-and-true keeper! I made them as part of the goodies given to my college daughter and her friends. When I made them I ran out of quick-cook oats and threw in 1 1/2 Cups of whole oats. It worked out great! I don't suggest doing a complete swap-out, but a little worked just fine.

I haven't made these for years because, as I said to my husband this weekend, "I don't like them." My memory is failing me because I ate my fair share and they were delicious.

No-Bake Cookies


4 C sugar
4 T. cocoa
1 C milk
1 ¾ cube butter
½ t. salt

Mix these ingredients and boil one minute.

Stir in:
2 C mini-marshmallows
1 C peanut butter
1 t. vanilla
6 C quick oatmeal

Drop by teaspoonfuls on wax paper.

Recipe Given By: Mom Martens

Monday, April 12, 2010

Chicken Spring Roll

I shared this recipe with you once before here. It was almost a year ago and this recipe is still a favorite at our house. I've taken pictures along the way this time. Enjoy!

Chicken Spring Rolls


8 oz. cooked chicken, shredded
4 oz. ready mixed coleslaw, the bag kind
2 T. of your favorite spicy Asian stir fry sauce
10 large (7”) egg-roll wrappers
White and black sesame seeds, optional (we don't care for the seeds)
1 T. peanut oil

Heat wok until almost smoking, then add oil. Add coleslaw and chicken, stir-fry about 30 seconds then add 2 T. sauce. Mix through and remove from heat. Let cool slightly.

Place one wrapper on the counter, with a corner pointing at you. Put 1/10th of the filling in the center of the wrapper. Fold the nearest corner of the wrapper up covering the filling. Fold in the two sides and finish by rolling away from you and moisten the very end with a dab of water to help stick. Continue with remaining wrappers. Brush tops very lightly with oil, sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake at 350 degrees until lightly brown. Serve with extra sauce for dipping.

Serving: 10
Recipe Given By:
Sam, the cooking guy

Your pictorial guide:

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Egg Noodle Lasagna

Although this dish below looks yummy our family didn't really care for it. It was a little too dry and we're not big "Velveeta in casserole" fans.

If you think the dish sounds good, please, give it a try. You may want to add another jar of spaghetti sauce. That would make it less lasagna-like, but would also moisten the dish. So far I haven't found a crockpot lasagna that my family likes. If you have a good recipe, please share!

*Ha, you may laugh at me. I didn't measure out the noodles when I made this. I just cooked up a bag-full and put it in. Measuring might have made the difference in dry/moist. Who knows. I'm just a home cook, y'all.

Egg Noodle Lasagna


6 1/2 C uncooked wide egg noodles
3 T. butter or margarine
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
2 1/4 C spaghetti sauce
6 oz. process cheese (Velveeta), cubed
3 C. (12 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook noodles according to package directions; drain. Add butter and toss to coat. In a skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Spread a fourth of the spaghetti sauce in an ungreased 5-qt. slow cooker. Layer with a third of the noodles, a third of the beef, a third of the remaining sauce and a third of the cheeses. Repeat layers twice.

Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or until cheese is melted and lasagna is heated through.

Serving: 12-16 servings
Recipe Given By: Taste of Home

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Creamy Garlic Dressing

When I first put this dressing together I thought it wasn't going to be a hit at our house. It just seemed like a spiced-up mayo, but after the flavors melded in the refrigerator it was scrumptious. It is a thick dressing, much like a Cesar dressing.

We put the greens in our salad bowl and then just added the amount of dressing each of us wanted and tossed it like Cesar salad. You could make one big bowl, as well. We ate this dressing for three or four days straight and it got tastier every day!

Creamy Garlic Dressing


1 1/2 C mayonnaise
3/4 C vegetable oil
1/4 C vinegar
3 T chopped onion
1 1/2 t. sugar
3/4 t. salt
1 garlic clove, minced

In a blender, combine all ingredients. Cover and process until smooth. Serve over a tossed salad.

Serving: 3 Cups
Recipe Given By: Quick Cooking

Friday, April 9, 2010

Garlic Herb Bubble Loaf

We love us some bread around here! We've made a "bubble loaf" for breakfast so I thought I'd try this savory version. It was delicious! I paired it with lasagna and it was an instant success. I think this recipe would work just as well with store bought frozen bread dough.

Garlic Herb Bubble Loaf


1/2 C water
1/2 C sour cream
2 T butter or margarine, softened
3 T sugar
1 1/2 t. salt
3 C bread flour
2 1/4 t. active dry yeast

Garlic Herb Butter:
1/4 C butter or margarine, melted
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 t. each dried oregano, thyme and rosemary, crushed

In bread machine pan, place the first seven ingredients in order suggested by manufacturer. Select dough setting (check dough after 5 min of mixing; add 1 - 2 T of water or flour if needed.) When cycle is completed, divide dough into 36 pieces. Shape each into a ball. In a bowl, combine butter, garlic and herbs. Dip each ball in mixture; place in an ungreased 9 x 5 x 3 in. loaf pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.

Serving: 1 loaf
Recipe Given By:
Quick Cooking S/O 2000

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sauerkraut Makes Me Smile-Guest Blogger

My husband, Mark, is a true foodie with a love of cooking! He LOVED the movie Julie and Julia and we went on a month-long craze watching old shows of Julia Child. It was a lot of fun! Mark loves to try new things and here's one of his latest endeavors:

Last October, we went to the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, VA. What a treat! Authentic homesteads from various locations and some dating back to the 1600's, have been reconstructed and manned for learning. They had English, Irish, African and American homesteads. There was also a German one, which brings me to the post for today.

At the German homestead, there was a gentleman docent who was demonstrating and describing various aspects of German farm life. In the kitchen, he showed me his sauerkraut and let me smell it! I was in heaven. I even called Angie over to check it out...trying to determine if I could get away with making it at our house. It worked, so I have been planning to make it for a while. The one thing that he told me that I had never heard, was to saute some onions and add it to the cabbage for extra flavor.

I have been looking for an appropriate crock to make it in ever since that vacation. I finally found one (actually a veggie dip chiller) that I thought would work. I made my first batch (only a half a head of cabbage) and obsessively checked it each day. It was smelling better and better every day. Finally a little over a week into it, I gave up! I had to try it. Yuuum! The kraut, though young, was delicious and for the next several days I enjoyed kraut dogs!

I shared some sauerkraut with one of the worship leaders at our church, who did not even put it on anything. He ate is straight, and confirmed my thoughts, that while it was definitely a "young" kraut, and would be better if it were aged longer, it was a success!

I decided I needed to go bigger for my next batch, so I now have a larger crock (thank you Salvation Army) and have batch 2 (in both the large and the small crock...since it would not all fit) going.

This time I am experimenting with the smaller crock and have added 3 squirts of hot chili oil (Asian) to the mix, for a bit of a kimchi vibe. I will let you know how that goes.

The clock it ticking soooo slowly, but I am determined to wait at least 2 weeks this time. I know it will be worth the wait.

UPDATE: I wrote this some time ago and the Sauerkraut is done and I have some observations. First, the timechart listed below works favorite was right at 3 weeks. Also, the hot chili oil did NOTHING in that volume. I have switched back and forth on my hot dogs, etc. and the slight flavor that you get from adding a little heat does not help it in any way. If you want kimchi, make kimchi...don't fake it with a little hot oil.

Here is the recipe!

Easy Sauerkraut Recipe

You will need:

Crock, glass or enamel container (preferably with straight sides, especially if weighting using the 2nd method)
Cabbage (2 med-large heads = appx. 5lbs., but make as much or as little as you desire. I made 1/2 head of cabbage my first time, because I was not sure how it would go and only had a small crock that would work.)
Kosher salt or sea salt (ratio of 4Tbsp per 5 lbs. of cabbage...I have heard to never use table salt) Heavy duty food-grade plastic bags or 2 gal freezer bags
Wooden spoon

Optional - My Secret: (from the docent) onions! He did not give me any proportions, but this is what seemed to work for me. For each head of cabbage, saute 1 yellow onion over med-low heat in 1 Tbsp butter until soft, then brown to nice med-dark brown. Let cool completely then mix into your kraut with the salt. This will add an earthiness and layer of complexity to your sauerkraut. I had a hard time not eating the cabbage and onion mixture when I was putting it in the crock. (See the brownish stuff by the spoon? - That is the onions)


To prepare the cabbage, remove and discard the outer leaves. Wash and drain and then cut the cabbages into quarters while removing the core in the process.

Step 1) Shred Cabbage - I just cut into thin ribbon strips with a very sharp knife.

Step 2) Mix, with wooden spoon or very clean hands, shredded cabbage with salt (do not use table salt) and toss and mix thoroughly until kosher salt dissolves! (You can make as much as you wish as long as you use the ratio above) NOTE: If you plan on refrigerating and not canning use 3 tbs of salt not 4!

Step 3) When juice starts to form on cabbage from tossing - Pack the cabbage firmly and evenly into a clean crock, glass or enamel container. Press firmly to encourage juice formation.

Step 4) Make sure juice covers the cabbage completely! Prepare additional brine by putting 1 1/2 Tablespoons of kosher salt into 1 quart of boiling water. Dissolve salt and cool brine to room temperature before adding to the pot of cabbage.

Step 5) Once cabbage is immersed in brine water, you need to cover completely and weight it down a bit.
Here are a couple of options:

Place a large food grade, plastic bag filled with brine water and lay on top if cabbage... (use 2 large bags, one filled with brine mixture inside the other - this way if the inner bag breaks it will not water down the cabbage into a tasteless mess)

Lay plastic over the top of the cabbage (make sure that it overlaps enough so that when weighted, the liquid from the kraut does not spill into the plastic), then place a weight, such as a bowl or a sterile (boiled) piece of wood that just fits into the crock. The plastic will help form a seal, but will allow the weight to progress downward as the structure softens on the cabbage.

The cabbage must be well sealed all around with the bag, so no air can get in and contaminate the sauerkraut with unwanted yeasts or molds!

Step 6) Now cover the container with plastic wrap, then a heavy towel or cloth and tie securely into place. Do not remove this until fermenting is complete!
NOTE: I have not done this, but it makes sense, especially if you are concerned with airborne contaminants.

Step 7) Put in an area where the temperature will not be above 75 degrees. Fermentation will begin within a day, depending upon the room temperature.

If room temperature is 75 degrees allow 3 weeks for fermentation.
If temperature is 70 degrees allow 4 weeks.
If temperature is 65 degrees allow 5 weeks.
If temperature is 60 degrees allow 6 weeks.
NOTE: If temperature is above 75 or 76 degrees, the sauerkraut may not ferment and could spoil!

I have to confess...on my first batch, I could not it only went 1 1/2 weeks. It was delicious. A young sauerkraut is tasty as well. Can be eaten immediately if you desire!

(Optional: mix in 1/2 teaspoon caraway seed into 4 cups, enough for a couple of pints or 1 quart. This makes a tasty variation.)
NOTE: if you refrigerate, only rinse and toss with cold water to attain the tartness desired!

Adapted from a recipe by Lena Sanchez

Friday, April 2, 2010

Grilled Fish with Garlic Salsa

We used to live near Gilroy, CA - famous for the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Almost anytime of the year you could drive down the freeway with windows wide open and smell the garlic in the fields. We LOVED doing that!

This recipe is from one of the festival's cookbooks. It may look complicated, but it's not. The prep is beyond worth it! My husband grilled this up for us last night and we ate it out on the back deck; our first meal outside this spring. What a treat! With this recipe, I almost felt like I was in the Mediterranean. :)

Grilled Fish with Garlic Salsa


1/2 C fruity olive oil
5 T lemon juice
4 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and slivered
1 bunch fresh cilantro, copped to make 1/2 C, reserving some whole leaves for garnish
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
6 firm-fleshed fish fillets, @ 6 oz. each and 3/4" thick (we use Haddock or Tilapia)
1/4 lb. sweet butter
1/4 C chopped sweet red onion
2 small hot green chilies, finely minced
1 T finely minced fresh garlic
1 lb. ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
lemon wedges

Mix together olive oil, 4 T. lemon juice, slivered garlic, 1/4 C chopped cilantro and salt and pepper to taste. Add fish fillets and marinate for 1 hour or overnight.

Meanwhile prepare Garlic Salsa. In a frying pan over med heat, melt 2 T butter. Saute onion, chilies, and minced garlic until soft, stirring. Add tomatoes and the remaining 1 T lemon juice. Cook, stirring for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in remaining 1/4 C chopped cilantro. Slowly stir in remaining butter until melted.

Grill fish over low glowing coals about 7 min or until done to your liking, turning fish once. Remove to warm serving platter. Top with garlic salsa. Garnish with lemon wedges and reserved cilantro leaves. (Angler/Monkfish is good in this recipe.)

Serving: 6
Recipe Given By:
The Garlic Lover's Cookbook
Hint: We serve this fish with Jasmine rice and a fresh vegetable or salad.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Butter-mint Shortbread

I'll have to admit that this recipe is NOT one of my favorites. I don't think my family is a shortbread kind of family. However, I thought that some of you might find this recipe to your liking so I wanted to still share it. It tasted good, but in small doses. It would be a great recipe to take to a tea where everyone could have a small portion. It had a refreshing element because of the mint, but the heaviness of the shortbread begged for some tea. If interested, give it a try and let me know your thoughts.

Butter-mint Shortbread


1 C butter, softened
3/4 C powdered sugar
1/2 t. mint extract
1/2 t. vanilla extract
2 1/4 C flour
powdered sugar

1. Beat butter and 3/4 C powdered sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add extracts, beating until blended. Gradually add flour, beating at low speed until blended. Press dough into an ungreased 15 x 10 inch jelly-roll pan.

2. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Cut into squares; sprinkle with powdered sugar. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Serving: 3 dozen
Recipe Given By:
Southern Living

Obviously, my cutting skills are a little challenged. :)