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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.

Jan 29, 2013

Egg Bagels

These bagels boiled larger and fluffier than the new york bagels.  Granted, that could have been user error, but I love egg bagels and I won't purchase them often as they usually contain yellow food coloring.  Trust me, the color you sometimes see in a store is not the color of these bagels.  This recipe is also from

  8 Cup All Purpose Flour                                                          4 1/2 Tsp Active Yeast
  2 Cup warm water                                                                   1 Tbl Kosher Salt
  ¼ Cup Olive Oil                                                                       1 Tbl Sugar
  4 Large Eggs                                                                           

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; knead gently 10 minutes, until thick and sticky. Place mixture in a separate large greased bowl; cover and allow to rise in a warm spot 20 minutes.  Once risen, punch dough down; divide into 30 round donut-shaped pieces. Place back in greased bowl; cover and allow to rise 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large bowl of water to a boil. Preheat oven to 450F. Line two baking sheets with non stick foil or a silicone mat.

Drop risen bagel pieces into water in small batches; cook each batch 3 minutes and remove to paper towels to dry.

Place boiled bagels on prepared baking sheets. 

Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. 

Cool and serve.

Per Serving: 152 Cal (18% from Fat, 12% from Protein, 70% from Carb); 5 g Protein; 3 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 2 g Mono Fat; 26 g  Carb; 1 g Fiber; 1 g Sugar; 10 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 248 mg Sodium

Jan 28, 2013

MMMM...Bagels...First Up - New York Style

A recent trip to visit my niece and help her overcome a trepidation about yeast led me to consider making bagels.  I have made bread, I have made dinner rolls, aside from the boiling, how different could they be.  Right?  I went searching for a recipe and stumbled on - I love this site.  I have made the New York and the Egg Bagels.  Below are the New York Bagels - with some slight modifications.  Not because there is anything wrong with the recipe, it is perfect, but I added some steps to allow for baking of one pan while boiling with the other.  The outcome - fantastic - and the egg bagels, coming tomorrow, were even better.

You can use a full cup of the potato water.  Don't throw out the potato - I mashed it and added it to the cheesy potatoes.   Finally, if your baking pan won't hold all 18, boil 9.  Stop there and brush them with egg wash.  Put them in the oven to bake while you boil the remaining bagels.  If you use a large enough pot, you can boil more than one at a time, but you don't want them to be crowded.

  1 Medium Potato, peeled, quartered                                        ¼ Cup olive oil
  2 1/4 Tsp Active Dry Yeast                                                     2 Large Eggs
  4 Cups All Purpose Flour                                                         1 Egg White
  ½ Tbl Kosher Salt                                                                    1 Tsp Water
  1/2 Tbl Sugar                                                                          

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat; add potato and cook 15 minutes, until softened. Remove from water, reserving 1/3 cup liquid; drain and set aside.

Cool 1/3 cup cooking liquid to about 110 degrees in a small bowl then sprinkle yeast over and stir gently. Set aside for 3 minutes.

Sift flour, salt and tablespoon of sugar together in a large bowl.

Add yeast mixture. Add oil and another 2/3 cup water; stir well.   Add eggs and stir to form a dough ball.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface; knead 10 minutes, until firm. Transfer dough to a medium greased bowl; cover and allow to rise in a warm place 60 minutes.

Punch down the dough to flatten; remove from bowl. Cut dough into 18 equal pieces; shape each into a 6-inch long, ¾-inch thick rope. Bring the ends of each rope together and pinch to a close, using a little water on the end to help secure. 

Cover all rings with a towel; allow to rise 20 minutes.   

Fill a large pot half full of water, add 1 Tbl of salt and put over high heat to begin to boil.

Preheat oven to 450F. Put a silicone mat or non stick foil on a baking sheet.  Drop bagels into boiling water one at a time, cooking each 1 1/2 minutes on each side; remove from water, place on paper towels, and repeat with remaining bagels.

Transfer boiled bagels to prepared baking sheet. Brush tops of bagels with egg white mixture. Bake 15 minutes, until bagels are golden.

Jan 27, 2013

Surprise Cupcakes

In honor of national chocolate cake day, I give you these cupcakes.  In honor of a friend's birthday, we enjoyed eating them.  Made with Special Dark Cocoa Powder, they are VERY rich, dark chocolate brownies, with peanut butter filling.  Regular cocoa powder can also be used.

  3/4 Cup Special Dark Cocoa Powder                                       3/4 Cup Sour Milk
  1 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour                                                    3/4 Cup Water
  1 1/2 Cup Sugar                                                                       3 Tbl Vegetable Oil
  1 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda                                                             8 Tbl Butter
  3/4 Tsp Baking Powder                                                            1 Cup Jif
  3/4 Tsp Salt                                                                              13 Ounce Marshmallow Cream
  2 Large Eggs                                                                           

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat muffin cups with baking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, milk, oil, and 3/4 cup water.  Beat into dry ingredients on medium until smooth.

Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool about 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes to a rack and cool completely.
In a large bowl, beat room temperature butter and peanut butter and marshmallow fluff on high until fluffy. Transfer 1/2 to a frosting gun.  If you do not have a frosting gun, use a zip-top bag and cut off one corner to make a 1/2-inch opening.  With a melon baller, scoop out center of each cupcake top and put into a small bowl. Fill cavities with peanut butter mixture using the filling in your gun or bag.  Level off the filling to be even with the top of the cakes, returning any excess to the bowl with the reserved peanut butter mixture.

Crumble the cake removed with the melon baller into the reserved frosting.  Mix well and top each cupcake with this mixture.

Next up on local shopping - a little PAZAZZZ

As we were walking into Tastemakers, we could not miss the store next door.  The PAZAZZZ window display was quite catching and seemed right up our alley, so that was our next stop.

PAZAZZZ is a 'home decor and all that jazz' store - gifts for home, baby, pet and yourself.  Fun shirts, great wall art and even some interesting peanut butter.  I found Mighty Tough dog toys there and spoiled Abby a little bit, too.  Stop in for a look - they can be found at State Street Plaza . 829 State Street . Lemoyne PA 17043.

Jan 25, 2013

Chili Pepper Bites

If you like stuffed chili peppers or jalapeno bites, you will like these.  Make them a little larger for an appetizer or party food or a little smaller as a nice soup topper.  Diced chilies or jalapenos can be used.

  8 Ounce Low fat Cream Cheese                                               2 Large Egg Yolks
  8 Ounce Parmesan, Grated                                                      2 Cups Panko
  4 Oz Chilies, Diced                                                                 

Combine all ingredients except breadcrumbs in a bowl.  Mix to form a paste and shape into 1/2 OR 1 inch balls, roll in breadcrumbs.  Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10 to 20 minutes until browned.

Jan 24, 2013

Black Bean Soup

You can puree this soup as much, or as little, as you like.  I pureed it almost smooth.  You can use chicken stock, but I was looking for a vegetarian meal.  Great topped with cheddar cheese and/or sour cream.  Makes 12 servings.

  1 Cup Red Bell Pepper                                                            32 Ounce Vegetable Broth
  2 Tbl olive oil                                                                          14.5 Ounce Diced Tomatoes
  2 Tsp Garlic                                                                             8 Ounce Chopped Green Chile
  45 Ounces Black Beans                                                           2 Tsp Cilantro

Dice the peppers, mince the garlic and rinse and drain the beans.

In a large pot oven, sautee the peppers in oil until tender. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.  Stir in the beans, broth, tomatoes and chopped green chilies. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Add cilantro; cook 5 minutes longer.  Remove from the heat; puree with a stick blender.

Per Serving: 210 Cal (19% from Fat, 20% from Protein, 61% from Carb); 11 g Protein; 5 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 2 g Mono Fat; 33g Carb; 10 g Fiber; 2 g Sugar; 51 mg Calcium; 3 mg Iron; 596 mg Sodium

Jan 23, 2013

Slow Cheesy Potatoes

These can be made with shredded or southern style hash browned potatoes.  If you do not thaw them first, add at least an hour of cooking time on high then reduce to low for two hours.  Nutrition information is for 10 servings made with healthy choice cream of chicken soup.

  2 Lb Hash Brown Potatoes                                                      8 Ounce Sour Cream
  4 Cups Low Fat Cheddar                                                         1 Cup 1% Milk
  21.5 Ounce Low Fat Cream Of                                                Pinch Salt
  -Chicken Soup                                                                         1 Tsp Garlic

Thaw the hash brown potatoes.  Shred the cheddar cheese and mince the garlic.  Combine all ingredients and put in a 4 quart slow cooker.  Cook on low, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours.

Per Serving: 176 Cal (23% from Fat, 35% from Protein, 42% from Carb); 16 g Protein; 4 g Tot Fat; 3 g Sat Fat; 1 g Mono Fat; 18 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 2 g Sugar; 258 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 354 mg Sodium

Jan 22, 2013

Hamburger or Hot Dog Rolls

Who needs bun sized hamburgers or hot dogs?  Make the rolls to match what size you need.  This recipe makes 24 rolls.  The nutrition information is for all 6 cups of flour.  If you prefer wheat rolls, replace the all purpose flour with wheat flour.

  2 Cups 1% Milk                                                                       4 1/2 Tsp Yeast
  1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter                                                          2 Tsp Salt
  1/4 Cup Warm Water                                                               3 Cups All Purpose Flour
  1/4 Cup Sugar                                                                          3 Cups Bread Flour

Line 2 pans with non stick foil or silicone mats.  Set aside.
Warm milk and combine with melted butter, warm water and sugar.  When mixture is 110 to 115 degrees, stir in yeast and let sit for about 5 minutes.

Mix in salt and all purpose flour.  Gradually add bread flour until a soft dough forms.  Divide into 24 pieces and form into roll shape - hamburger or hot dog.  Let rise for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees while rising.  Bake for 15 minutes.

When I make these, I prepare the first pan into the shape that I want and start the 20 minute timer at that point.  When done, I bake the first pan.  Once I start the timer,  I start forming the second pan.  That way, the second pan is done rising about the time you are taking the first pan from the oven.  If they raise longer than 20 minutes, it is not an issue. 

Per Serving, for AP and Bread flour: 155 Cal (15% from Fat, 12% from Protein, 73% from Carb); 5 g Protein; 3 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 1 g Mono Fat; 28 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 3 g Sugar; 30 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 207 mg Sodium

Jan 21, 2013

Roasted Pepper and Tomato Soup

I made this soup using the olive oil that I purchased at Tastemaker's in Lemoyne.  If you don't have this specific olive oil, you can use any olive oil with italian herbs or add some sun dried tomatoes to the soup, as well.  If you do not have an immersion blender, this soup can be pureed in a blender, but be VERY careful and do small batches at a time.  Makes 6 servings.

  10 Ounce Grape Tomatoes                                                      2 Tbl Garlic Clove
  3 Large Red Bell Peppers                                                         1 Bunch Basil Leaves
  2 Tbl Tuscan Herb Olive Oil                                                    1 Tsp Dried Oregano
  28 Ounce Tomato Puree                                                          1/2 Tsp Rosemary
  1/2 Cup White Wine                                                                4 Ounce Romano, Grated
  2 Cups Vegetable Stock                                                           1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
  1 Tbl Tuscan Herb Olive Oil                                                    Salt
  1 Tbl Leek                                                                               Pepper

Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Put a layer of foil in the bottom of a baking sheet.  Wash tomatoes and coat in Tuscan Herb Olive Oil.  Place on baking pan.  Core, seed and quarter the bell peppers.  Coat in Tuscan Herb Olive Oil.  Add to pan with tomatoes.  Bake for about 45 minutes until soft.  Once the tomatoes and peppers are done, remove from the oven and set aside.
Mince the leek and the garlic.  Heat 1 Tbl Tuscan Herb Olive Oil in a large stock pot over medium high heat and sauté the garlic and leek until fragrant.  Add the stock, tomato puree, basil leaves and oregano.  Dice the tomatoes and peppers and stir in.  Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes.   Remove from the heat, add the heavy cream and cheese, puree with an immersion blender.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Per Serving: 277 Cal (53% from Fat, 16% from Protein, 31% from Carb); 11 g Protein; 17 g Tot Fat; 7 g Sat Fat; 8 g Mono Fat; 22 g Carb; 5 g Fiber; 10 g Sugar; 252 mg Calcium; 3 mg Iron; 786 mg Sodium

Jan 20, 2013

Mexican Poultry Wraps

I love slow cooker recipes any time I know I have a short time in the evening between when Hubby gets home and runs back out the door.  This can be made with either chicken or turkey thighs. 

  2 Lb Turkey OR Chicken Thighs, Skinned             
  4 Ounce Chopped Chilis                                       
  2 Tbl Worcestershire                                    Toppings
  2 Tbl Chili Powder                                               Cheese, Shredded
  6 Ounce Tomato Paste                                         Sour Cream
  6 Ounce Water                                                    Tomatoes, Diced
  1/4 Tsp Garlic Powder                                          Peppers, Sliced
  1/2 Tbl Cumin                                                      Lettuce, Shredded         
  1/4 Tsp Onion Powder                                                             
  8 Large Wheat Tortillas

Place poultry in a slow cooker.  Stir together tomato paste, water,Worcestershire sauce and spices.  Pour over turkey.  Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.  Remove turkey from bones and shred.  Combine with sauce and spoon onto tortillas, top, wrap and Enjoy!

Jan 19, 2013

Local Shopping Stop 3 - Tastemakers

My sister in law mentioned that she liked balsamic vinegars, so we found ourselves at Tastemakers.  This is a wonderful little shop full of different balsamic vinegars, olive oils and salts.  The best description is found at their website:

"Welcome to Tastemakers™, a brand a new oil and vinegar taphouse and tasting emporium created to provide Central Pennsylvania with the freshest, finest, and broadest selection of extra virgin, naturally flavored and fused olive oils from around the world; aged traditional and naturally flavored balsamic vinegars from Modena, Italy; specialty salts and blocks; other fine flavorings and gourmet accessories."

While there, I purchased a Black Cherry Balsamic vinegar for use with the ducks and geese that Hubby had successfully been hunting.  Duck breast marinated in just the vinegar was wonderful.  I also picked up some Italian Seasoned Olive Oil.   Seasoned with Sun Dried Tomato and various Italian spices, it's taste is reminiscent of bread dipping oil.  Sarah asked what I was going to do with it - and I picked up a recipe for roasted tomato and pepper soup that they had on the shelf.  While I used it as a guide rather than an actual recipe, it was wonderful and will be shared later.  In addition, I used it for the following:

  • Sauteing garlic and arborio rice for a rabbit risotto.
  • Brushing dinner rolls with the oil and grilling to eat along with soup.
  • Roasting vegetables for the tomato and pepper soup.
Try the, and try a variety of the oils and vinegars, you'll be glad you did.

Jan 18, 2013

Italian Chicken - A La Kathleen Ronk

When I make this for myself, I omit the onion and add garlic.  I also use whole grain pasta.

  1/3 Cup Green Pepper, Chopped                          15 Oz Spaghetti Sauce
  1/3 Cup Green Onion, Chopped                           3/4 Ounce Chicken, Flaked With Fork
  1 Tbl Butter                                                       4 Ounce Sliced Mushrooms
  7 Oz Spaghetti, Cooked And Drained                  1/2 Cup Sliced Black Olives

Sauté green pepper and onion in butter.  Combine with remaining ingredients, except cheese.  Pour into greased 1 1/2 quart casserole.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through.

Jan 15, 2013

Poultry Broccoli Casserole

  Frozen holiday turkey or small game in the freezer?  Make this casserole.  Serves six.  I found this recipe at the American diabetes association website.

    20 Ounce Frozen Broccoli                   1/2 Cup Skim milk
    2 Cup Turkey, Cooked & Diced           1/2 Cup Cheddar Cheese, Grated
    10 Oz Cream Of Mushroom Soup    

Preheat oven to 375° F. Cook broccoli according to package directions. Layer in 12 x 8 inch baking dish. Spread turkey evenly on top.  Combine soup with milk, mix until smooth and pour over turkey. Sprinkle grated cheese on top.  Bake for 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Per Serving: 241 Cal (53% from Fat, 32% from Protein, 16% from Carb); 20 g Protein; 14 g Tot Fat; 5 g Sat Fat; 4 g Mono Fat; 4 g Poly Fat; 10 g Carb; 3 g Fiber; 180 mg Calcium; 466 mg Sodium; 55 mg Cholesterol

Jan 14, 2013

Poultry Bake

  This bake can be made with any poultry - chicken; turkey; goose; or, according to Pennsylvania, rabbit.

    1 1/2 Cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese,             1 Cup Mayonnaise

        Shredded                                                  1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

    1 Tablespoon Flour                                      1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano

    16 Ounce Poultry                                         1/4 Teaspoon Salt

    1 Cups Celery, Sliced                                  1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper

    1 Cups Carrot, Sliced                                  1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Cook and shred the poultry.  Mix 1 cup cheese with flour.  Add turkey, celery, carrots, mayonnaise, lemon juice and seasonings.  Mix and put into a 9 by 13 baking dish or oven safe dish that will hold the mixture.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake 30 - 35 minutes.

Jan 13, 2013

Healthier Tuna Salad

Making a lunch is healthier than eating out because you can control volume and content.   When I first saw a recipe with tuna and apple, I was skeptical, but it really works.  I like to use Greek yogurt - it doesn't separate as easily and increases the protein.

    10 Ounce Tuna, Drained          1/2 Cup Carrot, Shredded
    5 Tbl Plain Low-Fat Yogurt    1/2 Cup Granny Smith Apple, Diced

Mix all ingredients and enjoy.

Jan 12, 2013

Local Shopping Tour - Stop 2 - Kauffman's

Kauffman's Coffee, Tea and Spice in Lemoyne is a wonderful little shop that offers just what it says - coffee, tea and spice.  We spent significant time here, as well, which actually made things a little cramped as it is in the front room of a former house.  However, it is well worth the trip.  Not only did I purchase several teas, including their new cranberry orange tea, I have recently purchased Spanish saffron.  I am very excited to have a local shop at which to purchase whole nutmeg.  They don't have a website, so stop by.  You'll like it.

717) 763-0829
222 S 3rd St, Lemoyne, PA

Mom's Kraut Cake

I have another recipe out here for a cake made with sauerkraut.  I made that one before I went through my mother's recipes - then I found this one.  This cake is quite dense, and you still don't notice the sauerkraut.  If you choose to make the layer cake, double the frosting recipe.

  2/3 Cup Butter                                                               -And Finely Chopped
  1 1/3 Cup Sugar                                                             3 Large Eggs
  2 1/4 Cup Flour                                                              1 Tsp Vanilla
  1 Tsp Baking Powder                                               Cream Cheese Frosting
  1 Tsp Baking Soda                                                         3 Ounce Cream Cheese
  1/2 Cup Cocoa                                                               1/3 Cup Butter
  1 Cup Water                                                                  2 Cup Confectioners Sugar
  2/3 Cup Sauerkraut, Rinsed-Drained                               1 Tsp Vanilla

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Add vanilla.  Sift dry ingredients together and add to creamed mixture alternately with water.  Stir in kraut and turn into greased and floured 9 inch square or round pans  OR 1 9 x 13 pan.   Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (40 - 45 for oblong pan).  Cool completely.  Mix frosting ingredients and put on cake.

Jan 9, 2013

Beef and Bean Stew

This easy soup makes a quick, nice meal on a cold winter night.  Don't want beef?  No problem, add black beans instead.

  1 1/2 Lb Stew Beef, Diced                              45 Ounce Diced Tomatoes
  1.25 Ounce Taco Seasoning                           30 Ounce Pinto Beans, rinsed and drained
  1 Ounce Ranch Dressing Mix                         4 ounce diced green chiles
  2 Cups Corn                                                                            
  15 Ounce Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained                            

Brown beef and drain well,  Add all other ingredients and simmer until hot.