Saturday, July 31, 2010


Are you experiencing vegetable overload ? I am gratefully getting an ample supply of summer veggies from our garden. I sought out this recipe and substituted with the veggies I had on hand . The result was perfect. The kids thought it was great and then requested to watch the Disney movie "Ratatouille" before bed. This is a flavorful side or maindish. Enjoy!!


(printable version)

John Ratzenberger's Ratatouille:

    ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
    1 large onion, chopped into chunks
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
    1 small yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
    1 small green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares ( I only had green today so I used 2)
   1½ pounds fresh tomatoes coarsely chopped (leave in skins and seeds or you can substitute 15 oz can of diced tomatoes)
   1 small can tomato paste
   ½ teaspoon dried thyme
   ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
   1 teaspoon dried basil
   1 dried bay leaf
   1 teaspoon salt
   ½ teaspoon pepper
   1 medium eggplant, unpeeled, cut into chunks (didn't have an eggplant so I used some Patty Pan squash)
   2 average zucchini, unpeeled, cut into chunks

Heat oil in a large pot with a heavy bottom over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent, then add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Once onions are a light golden color, add peppers and cook for five minutes. Mix in tomatoes, tomato paste, thyme, rosemary, basil, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Then add eggplant and zucchini and cook for about 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender -- about 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf and enjoy!
Cook's note: This dish is even better the next day!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Make ahead S'mores

Don't you just love the Summer and camping and S'mores? I have been making these babies for awhile and they are a great alternative to the real deal when you want something fast that can be made ahead of time. These are a big hit with the young and old.

Make ahead Smores .....(printable version)

  • 1 (14-ounce) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk), divided
  • 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate mini morsels, divided
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 11 whole graham crackers, halved crosswise
  • Toppings:
  • chopped peanuts, candy-coated chocolate mini pieces, sprinkles


Microwave half of Eagle Brand in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in 1 cup chocolate morsels until smooth. Stir in marshmallows.

Spread evenly by heaping tablespoonfuls onto 11 graham cracker halves. Top with remaining graham cracker halves; place on wax paper.

Microwave remaining Eagle Brand at HIGH 1 1/2 minutes; stir in remaining 1/2 cup chocolate morsels, stirring until smooth. Drizzle mixture over cookies; and sprinkle with desired toppings.
If you want to make these on a stick ... Let stand for 2 hours; insert a wooden craft stick in center of each cookie

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Revisiting Mandarin Chicken Pasta Salad

I have made this salad over and over again. I first posted the recipe 2 yrs. ago but I did not take a picture. So here it is again in picture form . You can find the recipe here. I did do a couple of things different this time . For one I did not have any bow tie pasta and used small shells instead. I also substituted the orange juice for the juice off the mandarin oranges. Both changes worked perfectly. This is a great salad to entertain with.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Corn on the Cob

I found a new and easy way to make great corn on the cob. It is another fabulous recipe from Melanie at My kitchen Cafe. I have used a milk boiled corn recipe in the past. This recipe has moved to the top of my list. Our garden is loaded with sweet corn soon to be harvested. We will be using this recipe for sure. Thanks!! Melanie.

Perfect Corn on the Cob

7-8 ears of corn, husked and silky threads removed
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
Bring a large pot of water to a boil (probably about 4-6 quarts of water). When boiling, add the sugar and vinegar and bring to a full boil again. Add the husked corn, submerging all the ears in the water the best that you can. Bring the water to a full boil again. This is important! It may take a few minutes for the water to come back to boiling temperature once the corn is added but let it come to a full boil before moving on. Once the water is at a full boil, cover the pot, remove from the heat and let the corn sit in the hot, steaming water for 10 minutes. (The corn can stay in the water for up to 20 minutes without becoming pithy and dry.)

French Bread

 I found this great french bread recipe and had to try it . I wanted to try out the new pans I purchased turned out great. I brushed it with butter because I was feeding smaller children and wanted a softer crust. This recipe would be great for homemade french bread pizza and french toast.
Grandma’s French Bread
from The Sister’s Cafe
(Printable Version) 
2 ¼ c. warm water
2 T. sugar
2 Tbsp yeast
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp oil
5 ½ -6 cups flour-stirred before measured
Dissolve sugar and yeast in the warm water. Let this proof—or sit for a few minutes until it bubbles. Then add salt, oil and 3 cups of flour and beat well. Add in 2 1/2 -3 more cups of flour. The dough should clean off the sides of the bowl and not be too stick – but be careful not to add too much flour. Knead for a few minutes.
Leave the dough in the mixer to rest for 10 minutes and then stir it down (turn on your mixer for 10 seconds) and then allow to rest another 10 minutes. Repeat for a total of 5 times. Then turn dough onto a floured surface and divide into two equal parts. Roll each part into a 9×13 rectangle. Roll dough up, starting from long edge of loaf to seal. Arrange seam side down on large baking sheet that’s been sprinkled with corn meal, allowing room for both loaves. Repeat with second part of dough. With a sharp knife, cut 3 gashes at an angle on the top of each. Cover lightly; allow to rise 30 minutes. Brush entire surface with egg wash (one egg beaten slightly with 1 Tbsp of water). If desired, sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Stir Fry Sauce

 We celebrated the 4th of July yesterday with the standard BBQ fare. Today we used some garden fresh veggies and found this yummy chinese brown sauce recipe that was the perfect compliment to any stir fry. It is a basic recipe that uses pantry items and creates a fabulous flavorful sauce. Needless to say there were no leftovers. If you like a little heat in your sauce simply add a little red pepper flakes or chili oil. This recipe has limitless possibilities and is a definite keeper in my book.

Basic Stir Fry Sauce (Chinese Brown Sauce)
3 garlic cloves (minced)
4 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 ½ cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon oil
Cooking Instructions:

Step 1: In a bowl mix soy sauce, brown sugar, chicken broth and corn starch. Make sure the mixture is well combined and set aside.
Step 2: Add 1 teaspoon of oil to a wok or saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and stir fry for 10 seconds. Add the chicken broth mixture and bring to a boil. Cook until the sauce becomes thickened and bubbly.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

KFC Coleslaw

 If you enjoy coleslaw then this recipe is for you. It is very good and easy to throw together. It tastes like Kentucky Fried Chicken's version.

Coleslaw Recipe 

copycat of KFC's coleslaw courtesy of Recipezaar

(Printable Version)

  1. Cabbage and carrots must be finely diced. (I use fine shredder disc on food processor) .
  2. Pour cabbage and carrot mixture into large bowl and stir in minced onions.
  3. Using regular blade on food processor process remaining ingredients until smooth.
  4. Pour over vegetable mixture and mix thoroughly.
  5. Cover bowl and refrigerate several hours or overnight before serving.