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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.

Aug 30, 2013

Dorothy Thomas Three Bean Salad

Family Friday Four in a row.  This week, a side dish.  This is an incredibly easy three bean salad.  The directions called for frozen beans, but I could not find frozen wax beans, so I used canned.

As written:

1 pkg frozen green beans
1 pkg frozen wax beans
1 can kidney beans (drained)

Cook the frozen beans, add to kidney beans. Add 1 thinly sliced onion, separated into rings.

Since I could not find frozen wax beans, I used 1 14.5 ounce cans of each type of bean, rinsed and drained. I also ommitted the onion entirely.

The recipe provided two dressings, I prepared using the following:

1/2 cup oil (I used olive oil)
1/2 cup vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp oregano

Mix together and pour over beans.  Refrigerate for 24 hours.

You can use any kind of beans.  I (D. Thomas), like lima beans or canned butter beans.

When I made this, I used 4 cans of beans- Green, waxed, lima and butter.

Aug 23, 2013

Dorothy Thomas Meatloaf

I found two recipes for meatloaf in the recipes my mother in law shared with me.  This one was the most heavily used.  On the recipe card, it is attributed to Mary P.  When I talked to my mother in law, she told me that Mary was a neighbor and friend of the family. 

2 lbs ground beef
2 Tbl Horseradish
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup milk
2 cups bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard
3/4 cup onion
1/4 cup green pepper
2 eggs

400 degrees, 35 minutes

That is it, everything that was on the recipe card.  Here is some additional detail:

I only used 1/4 cup onion due to allergies.

This makes a LARGE meat loaf, so to get it to cook in that time frame, you should divide it between two pans or cook it in a large, flat pan, such as a round cake pan.

Aug 19, 2013

Smore Treats

  I went to a family reunion this weekend and wanted to take something a little different.  I didn't think we would be making smores, so I decided to expand on something I have made before.  Bigger is better, right? (especially when sharing).

So, what you'll need:

A 9 x 13 pan and butter to coat the bottom and sides.  Foil works well, you can mash it to help get the incredibly sticky treats out.  Prepare your pan and set it aside.

1 stick butter
16 ounce marshmallow fluff
2 cups mini marshmallows
11.5 ounce milk chocolate chips
1 lb box Golden Grahams cereal

Melt butter in a large saucepan.  Add marshmallow fluff and stir over low heat until combined.  Keep over low heat while you pour all of the other ingredients in a large bowl.  If you want the chocolate to have a chance of remaining solid, put it in the bottom and put everything else on top.  I like it to melt, so I put it on top. 

When the marshmallow fluff mixture is smooth, pour it over the contents of the large bowl and stir quickly.  Pour into prepared pan and refrigerate for at least an hour before cutting.

Aug 18, 2013

Smoked Corn and Crab Chowder

I am finding more and more uses for our big green egg.  Next up - smoking corn to make a chowder.

2 lbs crab claw meat
1 quart seafood stock
2 cups potatoes, diced
1 stick salted butter
1/4 cup onion, minced
1/4 cup leek, minced
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
1/2 cup orange pepper, finely diced
1 cup cake flour
1quart half and half
6 ears corn
20 to 24 ounces frozen corn
8 ounces cream cheese, cut into small cubes
2 ounces rum

Cook the ears of corn for at least 15 minutes in a steamer.  Prepare your egg and smoke for about 10 to 15 minutes - you just want the flavor of the smoke.  Cool then remove from the ears.

Cook the potatoes in a large saucepan to al dente, drain and put in a bowl, cover with ice water to stop cooking.  Set aside.

Melt the butter over medium low heat in the same saucepan.  Add onion, leek, celery and peppers and saute until tender.  Add the flour and continue cooking for 2 to three minutes.  Add the seafood stock, a little at a time, stirring well to avoid lumps.  Add the potatoes, half and half, all corn, cream cheese and rum.  Heat through.  You may add the crab to the soup at this point or, if you are having a dinner party, put the crab in each bowl and top with the soup so that everyone gets crab meat.

Aug 17, 2013


Shortcakes are not just for strawberries.  My father often had these for breakfast, topped with whatever fruit was in season.  These go really well with peaches, plums, etc.

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 Tbl Sugar
2 Tbl Butter
5 Tbl 1% Milk
2/3 cup fruit

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Mix the fruit with sugar (not included in quantities above), if you like,  set aside.

In a small food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Pulse the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles crumbs.  Add the milk and pulse just until the mixture pulls away from the sides.

Divide into four pieces, shape into a circle that is about 1/2 inch thick.  Place on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone mat or non stick foil.

Bake for 8 - 10 minutes until golden brown.

Top with fruit.  Can also top with  milk, ice cream or whipped cream.

Aug 16, 2013

Dorothy Thomas Meatballs

I am still working through the recipes that my mother in law gave me.  This week, her mother's meatballs.  The recipe card acually says "Betty Crocker Meat Balls", so they are from Betty Crocker.  The recpie card has just the ingredients, no cooking instructions, so I will include what I did.  I used 2 Tbl onion due to an onion allergy.

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
3/4 cup bread crumbs (I used panko)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbl chopped parsley
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 egg (I used large)
1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)

Mix all ingredients.  Make into balls - mine were about 2 inches.  I then fried them and added them to spaghetti.  Leftovers?  No problem, cook them with some sauce and make sandwiches.

Aug 15, 2013

Kebabs with Dilled Slaw and Yogurt

  Woman's Day was batting 1,000 in July 2013.  Next from their magazine - Kebabs with cabbage, carrot and pickle slaw.  Hubby really likes dill pickles and it was the dill in the slaw that first caught my eye.  I will admit that the greek yogurt on the pita seemed very different, but I couldn't keep my blog TRY and like if I weren't willing to try, right.  The yogurt was perfect on these pitas.  Highly recommend the recipe (minus the onion, of course).  I made it with the beef option.  I also used a 14 ounce bag of slaw mix to make it even easier.  The original recipe can be found at

2 small dill pickles, halved and thinly sliced
1 Tbl rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbl olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
14 ounce bag of cole slaw
1 1/2 lb sirloin steak, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tsp dried oregano
4 pieces flat bread
Greek Yogurt

Start your grill so you can get to a moderate temp - about 375.

Whisk together pickle brine, vinegar, sugar, 1 Tbl oil, salt and pepper.  Pour over the cole slaw mix, toss to combine.  

Add the pickles, then stir.

In another bowl, add the beef, remaining oil, salt, pepper and oregano. Toss to coat.  Thread onto skewers.

Grill, turning occasionaly, until beef reached desired doneness.  Grill the flatbread 1 minute per side as the beef finishes up.

Spread the pitas with yogurt, top with a layer of slaw then top with the beef.  Fold and enjoy

Aug 14, 2013

Sweet N Spicy Corn Pudding

  Sweet corn is in season, chili peppers are in season, why not make this corn pudding?  Makes an excellent main dish or side dish.  Also makes pleanty for leftover lunches.  Add or remove chili peppers to your desired level of heat.  If you don't have cake flour, all purpose flour will work.

2 Tbl cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
4 large eggs
1 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup 1/2 and1/2
1/2 cup 1% milk
1 Tbl sugar
4 cups corn
3 Tbl chili peppers, minced with seeds
1 cup bell pepper, diced
6 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray, set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the chili peppers, bell pepper, cheddar and 2 cups corn.  Set aside.

In a food processor, pulse the flour, baking powder, salt, eggs, yogurt, milk, sugar and the remaining corn.  Process until nearly smooth.   Pour over ingredients in large bowl, stir to combine.  

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

Bke until golden brown and set, about 50 to 60 minutes.  Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Aug 13, 2013

Roasted Eggplant Hummus

  Time for eggplant in our Central PA CSA.  Roasted Eggplant Hummus makes a nice light lunch - dip in carrots or crackers, even celery or pepper slices.

1 small eggplant (you will need about 12 ounces after peeling)
1/4 cup roasted tomato olive oil
1 - 3 tsp red pepper flakes
16 ounce can chickpeas
1/3 cup peanut butter
3 Tbl lemon juice
2 Tbl water
1/2 Tbl garlic, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Peel eggplant and cut into rounds.  Brush with 2 tbl olive oil and place on a baking sheet on a sheet of non stick foil.  Sprinkle with red pepper flakes (more or less, to your liking of spice).  

Roast in oven for about 20 minutes until soft.

While roasting, put the remaining ingredients (including remaining olive oil) in the food processor.  When eggplant is done, add to the food processor and pulse until almost smooth.

Aug 9, 2013

Dorothy Thomas' Potato Salad

Of all of the recipes that my Mother In Law shared, this is the one that I have used the most (so far).  This is also one of the recipes that had the least amount of instructions.  So, while I don't know that I am making it exactly like my Grandmother In Law, but my Mother In Law said that it tastes correct.  For mustard, I used Bookbinders Horseradish Mustard.  What you need:

1/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Flour
2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Vinegar (I used Apple Cider Vinegar)
1/2 Tsp Mustard
2 Eggs
1 Cup Milk
1 Tbl Butter

You will notice, this does not list bacon or potatoes.    You also need:

6 - 8 slices bacon.
1 to 4 lbs of potatoes - Yes, 1 lb makes a very CREAMY potato salad, but that is okay.

Cube potatoes and boil until soft.  While cooking, put a large skillet on the stove.  Beat together sugar, salt, mustard and eggs.  Set aside.

Line skillet with bacon and cook over medium heat until crisp.  Remove from pan to paper towels, set aside.  Carefully add butter to the pan.  Stir in flour.

Add the milk, about 1/4 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. 

With the first addition, it will become almost the consistency of mashed potatoes as it thickens.  That is how you know when it is time to add more milk.

By the end of the milk, it will look like this:

Add the vinegar all at once.

IT WILL CURDLE - this is expected when you add vinegar to milk.  This is what you want, this is what adds the tang to the dressing.  It will not make you sick.

Stir together then add the egg mixture (I temper some of my milk mixture into the eggs, but that is a personal preference).

Stir together.

Drain potatoes and put in a bowl large enough to stir easily.

Pour dressing over potatoes and stir together.

Crumble bacon and add to the potato salad.  Stir and enjoy.

Aug 8, 2013

Beef Satay Skewers

Recently, we opted to purchase the hind quarter of a cow to share with our niece and nephew.  I have been looking for new recipes to use - half of a hind quarter is A LOT of beef.  I found a recipe titled Fiery Beef Satay Skewers on the Family Time website, I had to make minor changes due to an onion allergy.  To find the original, click here.  I used Bookbinder's Stone Ground Dijon Mustard.

2 Lbs Sirloin, cut into cubes
4 Bell peppers, cut into 8 pieces each
1/2 Cup Dijon Mustard
1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
1/4 Cup honey
2 Tbl Fresh Lime Juice
2 Tbl Minced Garlic

Put cubed sirloin in a large bowl. 

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients (Except Bell peppers). 

Put 1/2 cup of this mixture in a small bowl or cup, cover and refrigerate.   Pour remaining liquid over beef and let marinade at least four hours. 

Soak wooden skewers OR get your fire wire.  Thread beef onto skewers, alternating with peppers.

Prepare gill until 350 to 400 degrees.  Grill kebabs for 10 to 12 minutes for medium rare, basting at least twice with reserved sauce.

Aug 7, 2013

Grilled Pork Chops and Vegetables

I found the beginning of this recipe in Women's Day Magazine, and you can find the original here.  I didn't want leftovers, so this is a dish for two, with other minor changes.  I am grateful that Women's day published tihs recipe the week I received my first CSA eggplant.  I used half of the eggplant in the vegetable mix and used the other half to make an eggplant dip.  I used a roasted tomato olive oil for additional flavor in the vegetables.

  2 Bone In Pork Chops                                            1 Small Zucchini, halved lengthwise
  1 Tsp Kosher salt                                                   1 Small Eggplant, Quartered
  1 Tsp Pepper                                                         2 Tbl olive oil
  1 Cup mini peppers (any color), halved                    2 Tbl store-bought pesto, plus more for serving

Heat the grill to medium-high. Season the pork with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Brush the peppers, zucchini, and eggplant with the oil. Grill the pork until just cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes per side. Grill the vegetables until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes per side.  Cut the grilled vegetables into 1 1/2-inch pieces and place in a large bowl. Add the pesto and toss to coat. 

Serve the pork with the vegetables and additional pesto, if desired.

Aug 6, 2013

Baked Oatmeal with Fruit

Lots of fruit in a CSA = looking for ways to use it.  Up next, baked oatmeal with fruit.  While the recipe says Granny Smith Apple, any firm apple works well.  No blueberries?  Use any berry or even chopped peaches.  I don't peel the apples, but it is personal preference.  The nutrition listed is for 12 servings. 

  4 Cups 1% Milk                                                          3/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  1 Tbl Butter                                                                3 Cup Oatmeal
  1/2 Tsp Salt                                                                 2 Cup Granny Smith Apple, Chopped
  2 Tsp Cinnamon                                                          1 Cup Blueberries
  1 Tsp Nutmeg                                                             2 Large Eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 9 x 13 pan, set aside.  In a large pan, bring milk, butter, and salt to a boil.  While waiting, combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl.  Pour boiling milk over oatmeal, stir.  Pour into baking pan, bake for 35 minutes.

Per Serving: 278 Cal (18% from Fat, 15% from Protein, 67% from Carb); 11 g Protein; 6 g Tot Fat; 2 g Sat Fat; 2 g Mono Fat; 48 g Carb; 5 g Fiber; 21 g Sugar; 142 mg Calcium; 3 mg Iron; 161 mg Sodium

Aug 3, 2013

Strawberry Ice Cream

Do you have extra ripe, end of season strawberries?  What is better in August than Ice Cream?

3 Large Egg Yolks
3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
3/4 Cup Half and Half
4 Cups Quartered Strawberries, rinsed and dried
1 Tsp Orange Extract
1/8 Tsp Salt
1 Tbl Orange Liqueur, such as Triple Sec or Orange Rum

Place the strawberries in a bowl and cover with 1/4 cup sugar, set aside.

 Put half and half in a medium sugar in a heavy pot over medium heat.  Heat gently. 

While hating, put the egg yolks in a bowl and whip gently. 

When half and half mixture is warm, temper into the eggs.

Then return to pot.  Continue to cook gently until thick.  Place sieve over a large heat safe bowl.

Pour the mixture through the sieve, discarding solids. 

Stir in heavy cream, vanilla and liqueur.

Stir in the strawberries and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

Freeze according to your ice cream maker's instructions.

Aug 2, 2013

Black Bean and Corn (Salsa) Soup

A few years ago, my friend Mary Ann shared a black bean and corn salsa recipe with me.  It is one of Hubby's favorites.  I was looking for an option for supper and while Hubby would eat just this salsa for a meal, I wanted soup.  So, I played with mixtures until I came up with this.  I like to use hot salsa, but you may use your preference, even omit the chili pepper, if you don't like much spice.  If you don't have a stick blender, carefully puree in a blender.  Goes great with cornbread or topped with tortilla chips.

2 Tbl Olive Oil
2 Tbl Minced Garlic
3 Cups Tomatoes - quartered
1 Cup Bell Pepper
2 Chili Peppers - Minced
1/2 Cup Salsa
15 Ounce Black Beans, rinsed and drained
6 ears corn, cooked and removed from the cob
1/4 Cup Lime Juice
2 tsp Cumin
2 tsp Cilantro
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Heat the olive oil and cook the garlic until fragrant.  Stir in tomatoes, bell pepper, chili peppers and salsa.  Cook until tomatoes are soft, puree with a stick blender.  Add black beans, corn, lime juice, cumin and cilantro.  Cook until heated through.

Aug 1, 2013

Baked Beans

Next up in my BGE endeavor - baked beans.  I will admit that the temp on the egg got away from us and we lost some beans to sticking, but the taste was amazing.  I used Sweet Baby Rays barbecue sauce.

1 Lb Navy Beans
9 Cups Water
1/2 Lb Bacon
1/4 Cup Onion, minced
1 Tbl Garlic, minced
1 Tbl Chili Powder
1/2 Tbl Hot Hungarian Paprika
1/2 Tbl Cumin
1/2 Cup Whiskey
1 Cup Barbecue Sauce
1/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Molasses
4 Tbl Worcestershire Sauce

Cover the beans with water and let soak for at least 6 hours.  When done soaking, drain, KEEP THE WATER.  Add enough water until you 9 cups again.  Set aside.

Heat your egg (or your oven) to 350 degrees.

In a 3 to 5 quart dutch oven, brown the bacon until crisp.  Remove from pan.  Cook onion and garlic in bacon grease until soft.  Stir in spices then add whiskey, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, molasses worchetershire sauce and stir to combine.  Add water and beans.  

Cover dutch oven and put in egg (or oven) and cook for two to three hours, until beans are soft.  Check the liquid once an hour, adding a cup of water if they start to get dry.