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Anything is good, in moderation. I cook because I love to and because I can share with those around me. I crochet for the same reason.

Do what you want to do, enjoy what you do and use it to touch those around you.

Oct 31, 2012


I make this with the soft Lady Fingers manufactured in Marysville, PA.  If you use those, less coffee is needed.  The quantity listed below is for the crunchy ladyfingers that can be purchased in the Italian section of your local grocery store.

  1 1/4 Cups Coffee, Strong And                                               1 Lb Mascarpone Cheese
  -Sweetened                                                                              2 Tbl Brandy
  7 Tbl Vanilla Flavored Syrup                                                   4 Doz Ladyfingers
  4 Egg Yolks                                                                             1 Tbl Cocoa Powder
  3 Tbl Superfine Sugar                                                             

***Superfine sugar can be made by putting granulated sugar in a food processor and processing until powdery.
In shallow dish, mix coffee with 2 T of the vanilla syrup.  In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar together until pale.  Add Mascarpone, one large spoonful at a time, mixing gently to keep the mixture light and airy.  Add remaining vanilla syrup and mix gently.  Dip about half of the ladyfingers into the coffee mixture and use to line the bottom of a 10 inch spring form pan.  Spoon half the Mascarpone mixture on top and sprinkle with half the cocoa powder.  Repeat layers, ending with a sprinkle of cocoa powder on top.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  When ready to serve, release the spring form and serve sliced from the metal base.

Oct 30, 2012

Three Bean Chili

Use ground turkey, chicken, beef, venison - or a mixture that suits you.  Serves 8.

  1 Lb ground turkey                                                                15 Oz kidney beans, rinsed
  28 Oz diced tomatoes, undrained                                            15 Oz great Northern beans, rinsed
  16 Oz Salsa                                                                          1 Tsp chili powder
  15 Oz black beans, rinsed                                                      1 Tsp ground cumin

Cook ground turkey in large saucepan until no longer pink, stirring to break up.  Add to slow cooker with all remaining ingredients.  Cover and cook on HIGH 3 to 4 hours (or on LOW 5 to 6 hours).

Per Serving: 344 Cal (10% from Fat, 36% from Protein, 53% from Carb); 32 g Protein; 4 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 1 g Mono Fat; 47g Carb; 13 g Fiber; 7 g Sugar; 105 mg Calcium; 6 mg Iron; 938 mg Sodium; 43 mg Cholesterol

Oct 29, 2012

Southwest Turkey Soup

Thanksgiving is on the way, let's start planning for leftovers.  Serves 6.   If you don't have turkey stock, use chicken or get a flavor puck.

  15 Ounce Diced Tomatoes                                                      30 Ounce Pinto Beans
  2 Clove Garlic                                                                         6 Cup Turkey Stock
  1/2 Tsp Chili Powder                                                               1 1/2 Cups Cooked Turkey
  1/4 Tsp Cumin                                                                         Salt
  1 Tbl Olive Oil                                                                         Black Pepper
  4 Ounces Pasta, Uncooked                                                     

In a food processor, combine the tomatoes, garlic, Cumin and Chili powder. Process until smooth.
In a heavy soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Break up raw pasta, add to the oil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta starts to turn golden, about 5 to 7 minutes.  While cooking, drain and rinse the beans.  Add to the pan along with the tomato mixture and the stock. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, until the pasta is al dente, about 5 minutes.

While the soup simmers, cook and dice the turkey.  Add to the soup and heat thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.

Per Serving: 383 Cal (21% from Fat, 28% from Protein, 51% from Carb); 27 g Protein; 9 g Tot Fat; 2 g Sat Fat; 4 g Mono Fat; 49 g Carb; 8 g Fiber; 7 g Sugar; 93 mg Calcium; 4 mg Iron; 1162 mg Sodium

Oct 28, 2012

Week 42 - 44.86

Only 10 weeks remaining in the year - where did the time go?  This week will be more challenging and I may wish I was actually in North Dakota or Montana based on Hurricane Sandy's imminent arrival.  This week finds me coming near Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park.  From the National Park Service website

"When Theodore Roosevelt came to Dakota Territory to hunt bison in 1883, he was a skinny, young, spectacled dude from New York. He could not have imagined how his adventure in this remote and unfamiliar place would forever alter the course of the nation. The rugged landscape and strenuous life that TR experienced would help shape a conservation policy that we still benefit from today.":

Oct 27, 2012

Pumpkin Revisited - Selecting Your Pumpkin.

  When selecting pumpkins, make sure you ask for cooking pumpkins.  Three varieties are pictured - Cinderella, Ghost and Fairy Tail.  If you don't know, ask at your local farm stand or farmers market.   Carving pumpkins can be made into purée, but they don't have the sweetness of a cooking pumpkin.  Flesh colors range from yellow to deep orange - almost red.  As you can see, I like to get several varieties and make a mixture.  In central Pennsylvania, 'neck pumpkins' are sold and most often are used for baking.  Finding true pumpkins can be difficult - of 4 stands at the farmers market, only one had true pumpkins.  If you are wondering why I say 'true' - pumpkins are a member of the squash family, but they are pumpkins.  Long neck pumpkins are not pumpkins - they are butternut squash.  They still make a good pie, but I am a purist and want pumpkin for my pies, bread, soup.....

Oct 26, 2012

3 Minute Fudge - Kathleen Ronk

For those of you who make no bake cookies, this will look very similar.  Pour it into a pan and let set until cool and cut into pieces.

  3 Cups Sugar                                                                           1/3 Cup Milk
  1 Stick Butter                                                                           1/2 Cup Crunchy Peanut Butter
  4 Tbl Coco                                                                               3 Cups Oatmeal

Line a 9 x 13 pan with non stick foil  Combine sugar, butter, cocoa and milk.  Cook and stir about 3 minutes until well blended.  Stir in vanilla and peanut butter until melted.  Remove from heat, stir in oatmeal and pour into prepared pan.

Oct 25, 2012

Slow Cooked Pork Roast

This pork roast has a nice tang from the vinegar.  The red hot is optional.  Makes 10 servings.

  2 1/2 Lb Pork Loin, Boneless                                                    1 Tbl ketchup
  1 Cup hot water                                                                       1/2 Tsp black pepper
  1/4 Cup Sugar                                                                          1/2 Tsp salt
  3 Tbl red wine vinegar                                                              1/4 Tsp garlic powder
  2 Tbl soy sauce                                                                        1 Dash Frank's Red Hot

Place the roast in a slow cooker.  In a bowl, mix together water, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, and hot sauce; pour over roast.  Cover, and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours, or on High for 3 to 4 hours.

Per Serving: 186 Cal (33% from Fat, 53% from Protein, 13% from Carb); 24 g Protein; 7 g Tot Fat; 2 g Sat Fat; 3 g Mono Fat; 6 g  Carb; 0 g Fiber; 6 g Sugar; 20 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 382 mg Sodium

Oct 24, 2012


Got Wine?  How about stew meat - venison, beef or both?  Then this stew is for you.  I used Three Ships to the Wind from Adams County Winery and a mix of both beef and venison.  Don't have wine?  Use all broth.

  1 Tbl Olive Oil                                                                        3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  1 1/2 Lb Stew Meat, Beef OR Venison                                    2 Cups Carrots
  1 Tsp Dried Thyme                                                                 2 Cups Potatoes, Diced
  1/2 Tsp Salt                                                                            2 Tbl Cornstarch
  1/2 Tsp Pepper                                                                       4 Tbl Water
  2 Cups Beef Broth                                                                 1 Cups Peas
  3/4 Cup Red Wine, Semi Dry Or Dry                                     

Heat 1/2 tbl of the oil in a large pot and brown stew meat (cut into 1 inch pieces).  Remove and set aside.  Add remaining oil and add the garlic and thyme.  Cook until fragrant and return the stew meat to the pan.  Add the salt, broth and wine and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Stir in carrots and onions and simmer until soft.  Dissolve cornstarch in water and add to the beef mixture along with the peas..  Stir to combine thoroughly and cook until just beginning to thicken. 

Oct 23, 2012

Pasta Casserole

The Swiss cheese in this recipe is a nice change from 'traditional' pasta casseroles.  Use any pasta shape that holds a sauce well - tri-color or whole wheat work well, also.  If you have Swiss chard, you can add it as well as or in place of the spinach.

  4 Tbl Butter                                                                             1/8 Tsp Nutmeg
  4 Tbl Cake Flour                                                                      1 Lb Spinach
  2 Cups 1% Milk                                                                       1 Lb Spiral Pasta
  1 Tsp Salt                                                                                 8 Ounce Swiss Cheese
  1/2 Tsp Pepper                                                                         8 Ounce Italian Cheese Blend

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Measure your spices into a small bowl and set aside.

Put the water on to boil to cook the pasta.  When ready, add the pasta.  Add the spinach during the last 4 minutes of cooking time.

Melt the butter in a medium size saucepan or saucier over medium low heat.  Whisk in the flour until blended. Add the milk a little at a time, stirring to fully combine after each addition.  When all milk is added, it should be fairly thick.  Add the spices, stir thoroughly and set aside until the pasta is complete.

When pasta is cooked, pour into a large bowl.  Add the cheese and pour the bechamel (flour and milk mixture) over everything.  Stir to combined and put into an oven safe dish.  Bake for about 30 minutes.

Oct 22, 2012

Roast Duck

Hubby has taken up water fowl hunting, so I had a wild duck to cook.  This is what I did with it.  One wild duck = about two servings.  The temperature is our preference.  Most prefer duck to be rare, so the temp would be 140 for that preparation.

  1 Duck, Dressed                                                                      2 Tsp Unsalted Butter
  2 Tbl Flour                                                                               1 Cup White Wine, Semi Dry Or Dry
  1 Tsp Salt                                                                                 1 Tbl Water
  1 Tsp Pepper                                                                            1 Tbl Dijon Mustard
  2 Clove Garlic, Sliced                                                              2 Tsp Plum Jam

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Wash and dry the birds.  Combine the flour, salt and pepper and sprinkle all over the duck.  Melt butter in a skillet large enough to hold your duck and add garlic.  Add the duck on top and brown on all side.  Put into a deep casserole along with the garlic and butter from the pan.  Pour the wine around the bird.

Roast until internal temp of the duck breast is 145 degrees.  Remove birds from the pan and pour the juices into the skillet.  Add the mustard and juices and stir until combined.  Cook over medium heat until jam is melted.  Reduce by about half.

Oct 17, 2012

Easy Pie Calls for EXTREMELY Easy Crust

  Thanks to Aunt Madeline, I have a crust that can be mixed in the plate.

Put 1 1/2 cup flour, 1 1/2 Tbl Sugar and 1 tsp crust in the pan.  Add a scant 1/2 cup cooking oil and 2 Tbl milk and mix by hand and press onto bottom and sides of the pan.

Fits up to 9 inch deep dish pie plate.

Oct 16, 2012

Extremely Easy Apple Pie

No peeling, no coring?  This was my kind of apple pie.  With the peels remaining, it also increases the fiber content.  The nutrition information below is for 8 servings and does not include the pie crust. Draining is an essential step, as is the butter/sugar glaze on the crust, to help prevent soggy bottom.  I mean, really, who likes a soggy bottom?

  3 1/2 Cups Apples, Grated                                               2 Large Egg, Beaten
  1 1/3 Cups Sugar                                                            1 Tsp Vanilla, Melted
  3 Tbl Flour                                                                     9 Tbl Salted Butter
  3/4 Tsp Cinnamon                                                           1 Tbl Sugar
  1/2 Tsp Nutmeg                                                                      

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare a 9 inch deep dish pie crust and put it in the refrigerator.

Grate apples - skin and all.  Combine with 1/3 cup sugar and pour into a fine mesh sieve to drain. 

Combine the remaining 1 cup sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.  In another bowl, beat the eggs.  Melt the butter.   Brush about 1 Tbl on the bottom of the pie crust and coat with 1 Tbl sugar, return to refrigerator.  Add remaining butter and vanilla to the eggs then stir in the dry ingredients.  Fold in the drained apples.  Pour into the pie crust.

Bake for 10 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 350 and bake for an additional 50 - 60 minutes or until golden on top.

Per Serving: 311 Cal (42% from Fat, 3% from Protein, 55% from Carb); 2 g Protein; 15 g Tot Fat; 9 g Sat Fat; 4 g Mono Fat; 44 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 40 g Sugar; 17 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 116 mg Sodium

Oct 15, 2012

Reuben Soup

If you really like corned beef, double the amount in this recipe.  I like to get deli roast beef and chop it for ease.  I also use the Sargento Shredded Swiss available in the refrigerator aisle - it makes this soup so much easier.  Two packages, done!  Makes 10 servings.

  2 Tbl Shallot, Minced                                                      5 Cups Beef Broth
  1/4 Cup Celery, Chopped                                                8 Ounce Corned Beef, Shredded
  3 Tbl Butter                                                                   15 Ounce Sauerkraut, Drained
  1/4 Cup Cake Flour                                                        3 Cups Half & Half
  2 Tsp Caraway Seed                                                      2.5 Cup Swiss Cheese

Melt butter and soften shallot and celery.  Stir in flour until smooth.  Add the broth a little at a time, stirring well after each addition to avoid lumps.  Add caraway seed and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Stir in corned beef, sauerkraut, cream and cheese.  Cook and stir for 30 minutes or until thickened OR stir until cheese is melted and put in a slow cooker on low for 1 - 2 hours.

Per Serving: 347 Cal (61% from Fat, 22% from Protein, 16% from Carb); 19 g Protein; 24 g Tot Fat; 14 g Sat Fat; 7 g Mono Fat; 14 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; 2 g Sugar; 369 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 1184 mg Sodium

Oct 14, 2012

Week 41 - 40.36 - and a pumpkin recap

Thanks for joining me for pumpkin week.  Hopefully, you were inspired to make a pumpkin dish of your own. 

This week's travels take me to Schnell Recreation Area.  From the North Dakota Department of the Interior website: