Thursday, January 14, 2010


I cook up big batches of sweet onions until translucent, let them cool and portion into ice cube trays. When hardened, I pop them out into a zip top bag and store in the freezer. When a recipe calls for cooking onions, I zap a cube or two on high in the microwave for a minute. I save myself LOTS of time every week chopping and sweating onions! (I also freeze chopped red or green peppers the same way for the same reason.)


When ground beef is on sale, I buy several pounds of it (3-6) and brown ALL of it in a huge pot. I skim out the fat with a turkey baster as it cooks,then I let it cool and package it in one pound increments in individual zip top bags. Then, I lay them FLAT in the freezer to harden. Laying them flat allows for efficient space utilization in the freezer and SPEEDY thawing! They thaw in no time (in warm water or in the microwave). I then have quick access to cooked hamburger for: tacos, chili, Tamale pie, stuffed peppers, spaghetti sauce, etc. MAJOR time saver!

Zupa Toscana Soup

Zuppa Toscana Soup (Better than Olive Garden!)

Serves 6 - 8
1 lb ground Italian sausage
1½ tsp crushed red peppers
1 large diced white onion
4 Tbsp bacon pieces
2 tsp garlic puree
10 cups water
5 cubes of chicken bouillon
1 cup heavy cream
1 lb sliced Russet potatoes, or about 3 large potatoes
¼ of a bunch of kale, cho...pped

Sauté Italian sausage and crushed red pepper in a large pot. Drain excess fat, scoop into a bowl, and set aside.
In the same pot, sauté bacon until crispy. Set bacon aside and drain most of the bacon grease from the pot.
Next, inside that same pot, sauté onions until tender. Add garlic for the last minute or so of cooking the onions.
Mix together the chicken bouillon and water, then add it to the onions and garlic. Add bacon. Cook until boiling. Add potatoes and cook until tender.
Add heavy cream and sausage and cook on low until thoroughly heated.
Add kale just before serving.

submitted by Pam Pierce

Tortellini al Vodka

Kathy’s Tortellini Al Vodka
1 package tortellini
½ lb Italian sausage, crumbled and browned
2 tablespoons butter
½ small onion, finely chopped
1 cup sliced portabella mushrooms
1/3 cup vodka
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 cups tomato or pasta sauce
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 small Roma tomato, chopped
½ cup frozen leaf spinach
Salt and pepper to taste.

Brown sausage in sautee pan over medium-high heat. Set aside until ready to use.
Lower heat in sautee pan to medium and melt butter. Add onions and mushrooms and cook until onions are translucent and mushrooms are softened. Salt and pepper mixture.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add tortellini and cook according to package directions.
Add vodka to sautee pan and stir until it is reduced by half, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in tomato, tomato/pasta sauce, and spinach. Cook for 3-4 minutes until spinach is thawed. Add cream and stir. Add sausage. Simmer uncovered for approximately 10 minutes for flavors to marry.
Add drained tortellini to sauce mixture. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve.

Note: the sausage, onions, mushrooms, vodka and fresh tomato are all optional. To leave them out will make a lovely Tortellini al fredo rose'.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

BBQ Chicken Burgers with spicy slaw

makes 8 burgers

2 lbs ground chicken
1 red onion (1/2 chopped 1/2 sliced)
3 garlic cloves
1 cup tomato sauce
4 cups slaw mix
3 tablespoons lemon juice or juice of 1 lemon
5 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons hot sauce

put butter in pan
sautee chopped onions & garlic 3 minutes
add tomato sauce simme...r 3 minutes
transfer to bowl and cool for 5 minutes
add ground chicken
make patties
cook on stove top until done

in a bowl add:
lemon juice
hot sauce
sliced onions
MIX & let sit 5 minutes

Serve the burgers with slaw on top on a hamburger bun

Monday, January 11, 2010

Kathy's Beef Stew

Kathy’s Beef Stew

1 lb (or more) of 2 inch cubed, stew beef
½ cup flour
1 tsp garlic powder, some salt & pepper

1 chopped onion
1 chopped garlic clove
3 carrots, peeled & sliced into coins
3 celery stalks, sliced
Water or beef stock
1 small can V-8 juice (optional SECRET INGREDIENT)
1 tblsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
¼ cup Marsala wine (SECRET INGREDIENT)
Some dried or fresh rosemary leaves wrapped in cheesecloth or a tea infuser.
2 medium potatoes OR ½ cup pearl barley, rinsed.

1. Put flour into a gallon sized ziplock bag with garlic powder, salt and pepper & shake to mix. Drop pieces of cubed beef into the flour and shake to cover all sides. (The meat should not be too wet before going into the bag.) With hand in bag, pick up a handful of meat and shake off excess flour.

2. In a heavy-bottomed stew pot, add some olive oil to coat bottom of pan and heat to medium-high. Drop dredged beef into pan and brown on all sides. Adjust heat if necessary to avoid smoking and burning of flour. Don’t over-crowd the pan or stack the beef on top of each other. Brown in batches if necessary. Add more oil if necessary. When browned, add onions and cook for a few minutes.

3. Add enough water or beef stock (either or both) to cover the meat. (Essentially use as much liquid as the amount of stew you’d like to make). Adjust salt and pepper seasonings to taste. Tie bag of cheesecloth or tea infuser w/ rosemary in it to edge of pan for ease of retrieval before serving.

3. Add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT FOR THE POTATOES & BARLEY!

4. Bring to an easy boil and then reduce heat to low for several hours (the longer the better, but a minimum of one hour). IF using BARLEY: in the last 40 minutes before serving, and add the rinsed barley if using barley. IF USING POTATOES: in the last 15 minutes before serving, add the potatoes.

Dirty Rice- EASY Leftovers Dish!

Every ingredient is OPTIONAL, except the rice!

Extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
onions, diced
Red peppers, diced
Leftover meats, diced (ie: hot turkey sausage, ground turkey, ground beef, kielbasa, pork, andouille, chourico, Italian sausage, etc.)
1 cup white wine
1 ½ cups chicken broth
Salt & pepper
garlic powder, oregano, red pepper flakes, cumin, celery salt, paprika, etc.
a dash of Gravy Master
a dash of Soy sauce
a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon stir fry sauce

3 cups cooked rice

2 scrambled eggs

Coat bottom of big saute pan with some olive oil. Heat to medium heat. Saute the garlic, onions & peppers until soft.

Add all the diced meats and spices.
Cook meats until heated through if using pre-cooked meats, or until cooked through if raw.
Add the wine & chicken broth. Mixture should be fairly soupy (definitely more mixture than moisture). Let flavors combine for 5-10 minutes.
Add rice to the meat/veggie/liquid mixture. Cook for another 5-10 minutes so the rice soaks up the juice & serve!

I serve these with ripe plantains, double-fried and they are a nice compliment to the dish.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Kathy's Chicken Scallopini with White Wine & Caper Sauce

Thin sliced chicken breasts (or regular sized ones, cut in half and pounded thinly and the same thickness as the others)

Beat some eggs w/ a little milk or water (in shallow dish for dipping)... See More

Dip chicken in egg mixture, then dredge on both sides in a plate of seasoned flour (salt, pepper and some garlic powder). Set aside until all chicken is coated.

Add about 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a sauté pan over medium high heat (NOT too high or the fats will burn and you’ll smoke up your whole house!). Sauté one or two pieces of chicken at a time, adding more oil and butter if pan gets dry. (Only sauté one or two at a time, don’t crowd pan.)

Remove chicken from pan when browned on both sides.

(Optional: Lower heat to medium and add some baby Bella mushrooms to the pan and sauté until soft before adding the wine).

Add some white wine to deglaze the pan (3/4 cup or so).

Add about ½ cup chicken broth (or water).

Add as many capers as you like (a couple tablespoons full). Salt and pepper to taste.

Add chicken back into sauce and heat through (be sure not to overcook the chicken at this point, but make sure it’s cooked completely).

Serve over orzo or rice or pasta or egg noodles

Kathy Shea Mormino

Seafood Topping for Cod (or any fish, really)

serves 2 to 3
½ cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped onions
4 tablespoons butter... See More
2 slices wheat bread (made into bread crumbs in food processor)
1/ 4 cup Panko bread crumbs
6-8 large, raw shrimp, finely chopped
3 tablespoons sherry
½ cup white wine
1 -1 ½ lbs of fresh fish fillets (1/2 lb per person. I use cod fish)

Sautee onions and celery in butter on medium heat until translucent. Salt and pepper to taste. Add white wine and sherry and reduce a little bit. Remove from heat and cool.

Add cooled mixture to a bowl with shrimp, and bread crumbs. Mixture should be sticky and wet-ish.

Butter a baking dish and place fish fillets in dish. Place stuffing on top of fish. Cover and bake at 400 degrees for approximately 20 minutes.

Kathy Shea Mormino

Kathy’s Crockpot Jambalaya

1 LB boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into one-inch pieces
1 LB sausage links, cut into pieces (use cooked or raw, I like Johnsonville Brats the BEST in this recipe)
3 stalks celery, chopped... See More
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped in large chunks
2 med. onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes (undrained)
1 tblsp sugar
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (more or less to your heat preference)

1 LB frozen shrimp (peeled, uncooked)

Combine all ingredients except shrimp in a crock-pot. Cover and cook on LOW for 5-9 hours until chicken is cooked through. Increase heat to high just before serving and add shrimp. Cook until shrimp are pink (just a few minutes- don’t overcook!).
Serve over rice.

Kathy Shea Mormino

Chicken Cordon Bleu

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 slices swiss cheese
6 slices ham
3 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon paprika
6 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 chicken bouillon cube, crushed
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup whipping cream

Pound chicken to about 1/2 inch thick. Place a cheese slice and a ham slice wi...thin 1/2 inch of the edge. Fold edges of chicken over filling and secure with toothpicks. Mix flour and paprika, and coat chicken. Heat butter in skillet and cook chicken until browned on all sides. Add wine and bouillon. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Remove toothpicks and transfer to warm platter. Blend cornstarch with cream and whisk slowly into skillet. Cook, stirring until thickened and pour over chicken. If you halve this recipe, still make the full amount of sauce because it's so good. Enjoy!

Mary Close

Creamy Tomato-Basil Soup

2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups chopped red onion (very fine)
2 1/2 tsp. fresh chopped basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
3 – 15 (or 16) oz. cans of tomato sauce

(cream mixture – see below)
Saute: onions and butter in sauce pan til tender. Add: sauce, b...asil, salt & pepper

Simmer: 30 minutes, stirring often- remove from heat
In a separate pan:

Heat until very hot, not boiling(VERY IMPORTANT NOT TO BOIL OR IT WILL SEPARATE!:
2 1/2 pints whipping cream (I use half wh.crm. and half skim milk – just as good)
2 1/2 tsp. brown sugar.

After VERY HOT, add slowly to tomato mixture and simmer again for 10-15 minutes, stirring constantly. Optional: stir in 1/2 cup plain Brandy.

Cheryl Cohen Kresevic

Pudding Shots!

You take two 7-oz boxes of instant pudding (I use chocolate) and 1- 1/2 cups of milk; using mixer, mix until smooth. Add 1/2 cup of Vodka and 1 cup of Kahlua or Ameretto, etc., mix until liquor is incorporated. Then add an 8-oz tub of Extra Creamy Cool Whip, until smooth. Scoop into individual serving containers (I use small plastic shot glasses, found at your local paper, party store). Chill in fridge or freeze until needed. I have also found a unique way to travel with these little morsels - egg cartons!

Pam Smith

Tamale Pie

1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
1 red pepper, chopped... See More
1 LB ground beef
2 Tablespoons chili powder
A dash of Tabasco or dollop of jalapeno relish to kick-up the heat
Salt and pepper to taste
1, 14 ounce can crushed tomatoes

1 cup cornmeal
3 cups chicken broth (do NOT substitute water and there’s NO need to add salt)
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Brown the meat and add the onion, pepper and garlic. Sautee until soft.
Fry a bit and then add the chili powder, heat, salt & pepper and tomatoes.
Allow to simmer for flavors to marry.

Bring chicken broth to boil in a saucepan, then lower heat to medium and slowly add the cornmeal and whisk to avoid lumps. Cook until thickened (happens fairly quickly- watch out for bubbling if pan is too hot as it can be a burning hazard). Remove from heat.

Grease an 8x8” casserole dish. Spread half of cornmeal mush on bottom of pan. Top with meat mixture. Add remaining cornmeal to top and spread evenly.
Sprinkle cheese over the top.

Bake for ½ hour at 350 degrees.

Freezes well and makes wicked leftovers! Serves 4.

Kathy Shea Mormino

Chinese Omeletete

8 eggs
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
12 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tbsp chopped chives
2 tsp light soy sauce
Dash of chili sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil

1. Lightly beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl.

2. Add the shredded chicken and jumbo shrimp to the eggs, mixing well.

3. Stir in the chopped chives, light soy sauce, and chili sauce, mixing well to combine all the ingredients.

4. Heat the vegetable oil in a large preheated skillet over a medium heat.

5. Add the egg mixture to the skillet, tilting the pan to coat the base completely.

6. Cook over a medium heat, gently stirring the omelette with a fork, until the surface is just set and the underside is a golden brown color.

7. When the omelette is set, slide it out of the pan with the aid of a spatula.

8. Cut the omelette into squares or slices and serve immediately.

Bethany Doyen

Charred Tuna Steaks

Bethany Doyen wrote18 hours ago
Charred Tuna Steaks
Serves 4
4 tuna steaks
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp superfine sugar
1 tbsp sunflower oil

To Garnish:
Flat-leaf parsley
Lemon wedges

1. Place the tuna steaks in a shallow dish.

2. MIx together the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, sugar, and oil in a small bowl.

3. Pour the marinade over the tuna steaks.

4. Gently turn over the tuna steaks, using your fingers or a fork. Make sure that the fish steaks are well coated with the marinade.

5. Cover and place the tuna steaks in the refrigerator. Leave to chill for between 30 minutes and 2 hours.

6. Grill the marinated fish over hot coals for 8-10 minutes, turning once.

7. Baste frequently with any of the marinade that is left in the dish.
8. Garnish with flat-leaf parsley and lemon wedges.

Bethany Doyen

Crab-stuffed Red Snapper

4 red snappers, cleaned and scaled, about 6 oz. each.
2 tbsp. dry sherry
Salt and pepper
Wedges of lime, to garnish
Stir-fried shredded vegetables, to serve.
Stuffing Ingredients:
1 small red chili
1 garlic clove
1 scallion
1/2 tsp. finely grated lime rind
1 tbsp. lime juice
3 1/2 oz. white crabmeat, flaked

1. Rinse the fish and pat dry on paper towels. Season inside and out and place in a shallow dish. Spoon sherry over the fish and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, make the stuffing. Carefully halve, seed, and finely chop the chili. Place in a small bowl.

3. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Trim and finely chop the scallion. Add to the chili together with the grated lime rind, lime juice, and the flaked crabmeat.

4. Season with salt and pepper to taste and combine.

5. Spoon some of the stuffing into the cavity of each fish.

6. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Arrange the fish in a steamer lined with baking parchment, or in a large strainer, and place over the boiling water on the cooker.

7. Cover and steam for 10 minutes. Turn the fish over and steam for a further 10 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through.

8. Drain the fish and transfer to serving plates.

9. Garnish with wedges of lime and strips of chili, and serve the fish on a bed of stir-fried vegetables

Bethany Doyen


can be made with leftovers dragged out of the freezer in a snap! I precooked onions w/red peppers and had them in the freezer & this dish took NO time to throw together. Hearty, filling and YUMMY! (Thanks to my sister, Karen for sharing her recipe!)


1 bag egg noodles
3 chicken breast
2 medium onions
3 garlc cloves
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons butter1/2 Cup parsly

Boil Noodles for 10 minutes

Slice onions thin
chop garlic
Sautee in olive oil for 5 minutes

Chop chicken into bit size chunks - put into onion & garlic pa...n
add paprika & sour cream
Suatee 2-3 minutes
pour chicken broth in

I simmerered until noodles were done

Drain noodles add butter & parsley & toss
Place in large bowl
then add chicken mixture

Stir & Serve

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tomato, Cheese and Bread Soup

8 ounces crusty Sourdough croutons
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
9 garlic cloves, minced
3 large onions, finely chopped
8 cups chicken stock or low-salt chicken broth
2 28oz cans peeled plum tomatoes, drained and crushed
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheeseParmesan Reggiano rind (optiona...l)
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves (for garnish)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese shavings
1/4 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese

HEAT OLIVE OIL in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions and saute until very tender, about 25 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook 1 minute. Add chicken stock, crushed tomatoes, cheeses and cheese rind. Simmer soup uncovered 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper. For smoother texture, puree in blender or food processor before serving.
This is good served in a Bread Bowl for a change of pace.

Denise Hayes Forgione

Cream of Zucchini Soup

3 med zucchini chopped
1 onion chopped
3 carrots peeled and chopped
1 stick butter
4 T. flour
2-13 1/2 oz. cans chicken broth
4 oz. monteray jack cheese-grated
1 cup milk

Saute veggies in stock pot in butter until soft over med. heat. Stir in flour over low 3 min.. Slowly add broth, let simmer a few to thicken. Remove from stove and blend everything together with hand mixer right in the pot. Make as smooth or as chunky as you like. Return to stove and add milk and cheese. Serve with grinders or wraps etc... Hope you like it !!!

Lisa Eckie Collins

Spaghetti Pie

Spaghetti PIE

Box of spaghetii(regular sized box makes 2 pies)
3 eggs
Grated parmesan cheese
Large container ricotta or two small
Shredded mozzarella
Meat sauce

Cook spaghetti as directed and drain. Mix eggs with enough parmesan to make a coating for the spaghetti. Toss into spaghetti and stir well. Lay the pasta into two gre...ased pie plates as if it were a thick crust. Top with ricotta in the middle of the pie spread out not quite to edge of pasta. Add shredded mozzarella on top of that layer. Cover evenly with meat sauce and top with remaining mozzarella. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Cut like a pie and serve with extra sauce on the side.

My family can't wait for this meal....and it's pretty quick if your sauce is already made!
Sorry there aren't better measurements....but I tend to wing it when I cook! I also use lots of spices in my sauce so that flavors it up pretty well!

Lisa Mason Miller


9 baking potatoes
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups whole milk
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup bacon bits, divided
4 green onions, chopped
10 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream

Prick potatoes with a fork and cook in the microwave, 3 or 4 at a ...time, and scoop out the flesh (while the others are cooking).
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in flour and cook about a minute. Whisk in milk, a little at a time, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir in potatoes, salt, pepper, 1/3 cup bacon bits, 2 tablespoons green onions and most of the cheese. Cook until thoroughly heated. Stir in sour cream and heat through. Serve topped with remaining bacon, onions and cheese. I sometimes add chicken broth because it can be too thick sometimes.

Pam Pearce

Vegetable Soup

2 jars ragu chunky vegetalbe tomato sauce
1 container vegetable stock
1 jar water
1 tablespoon celery salt
1 bag frozen mixed vegetalbe
1 chopped satueed onion
mini meatballs

Cook meatballs with onions
Toss everything into crockpot 4 hours high

Southwestern Chicken Pan Pizza

Corn bread muffin mix (marie calendars or jiffy need 16 ozs total)
follow box directions and add 1 cup frozen corn


1 pound ground chicken
3 garlic cloves
1 medium yellow onion
1 small red bell pepper
salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Mrs Dash Fiesta Lime (can sub. chilli powder)
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 cup tomato sauce
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 bag cheddar cheese ( 10 ozs)
3 scallions

Preheat oven 375

Prepare crust per box instructions & add frozen corn. Grease 9x12 baking pan. Pour mixture in pan & bake per box instructions

*Heat olive oil in frying pan. Dice onions, peppers & garlic and add to frying pan - sautee until onions are translucent - about 15 minutes.

* Add ground chicken break up with a woden spoon

* When chicken is browned add cumin, Mrs Dash, and hot sauce

* Simmer 5 minutes

*Add tomatoe sauce, worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar - turn heat to low

*simmer 5 minutes or untill thickened

Remove cornbread from oven and add chicken mixture on cornbread top with cheddar cheese. Bake for 5 minutes.

Remove and add chopped scallions.

Under construction Girls

As I mentioned on the FB to this blogging stuff! If you would like to be the first try and post a recipe. I know there is a way to link back to FB group but I am still figuring it out!