Saturday, November 28, 2009

Old Fashion Hot Chocolate

5 T cocoa
5 T sugar
1/2 cup water
3 1/2 cups milk

Mix cocoa and sugar in a sauce pan. Mix in water. Cook and stir 3 minutes. Stir in milk. Heat just to a boil. Remove pan from the heat immediately. Serve hot with marshmallows. Makes 6 servings.

This is another drink that's forgotten. Oh sure, we have instant hot chocolate, but if you make this just once, the instant stuff just won't get it anymore. Here in the south we have very little snow. When we do and get to stay home, this is the best drink there ever was to warm up. Yes, I'm not a chocolate eater but this is different. Even I love this.

Ice Cream Floats

Ice cream or sherbert

In a tall glass put a large scoop of ice cream or sherbert. Slowly add cola. Top with another
scoop of ice cream.

This is one of the most refreshing, simple drinks there ever was. When I was a kid my Dad would go to the store and buy a 6 pack of mixed colas and a half gallon of vanilla ice cream. It was "float night." He would have regular cola, grape, orange, strawberry, and my favorite, root beer. Each of us picked our favorite cola and I would just hope no one would get my root beer. It was a race to see who could make their's first. This is also a forgotten drink that I've realized my own kids have seldom tasted. Bring this drink back. Make yourself a wonderful tasting float and see what you've been missing.


3 cups of sugar
2 cups water
1 cup lemon peel strips (about 6 lemons)
3 cups lemon juice (about 14 lemons)
1 bottle (1 liter) club soda, chilled

In a large saucepan heat water and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Stir in lemon strips. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Cool slightly. Stir in lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Remove lemon strips. Pour mixture into a pitcher. Gradually stir in club soda. Makes 10 cups.

The soda gives this a little "fizz." The flavor can be altered by adding slices of fresh fruit when serving... strawberries, blueberries or add a little vanilla for a creamy flavor. This is really refreshing on a hot summer day. I have found that the club soda needs to be added just before serving or it looses it's fizz.

Strawberry Punch

2 cups cold water
1 lg (6 oz.) pkg strawberry jello
1 can (6 oz.) frozen orange juice
1 can (6 oz.) frozen lemonade
2 cups boiling water
1 can (46 oz.) pineapple juice
1 cup sugar
1 qt. ginger ale
1 pkg (10 oz.) frozen strawberries or 20-25 fresh sliced strawberries

Add boiling water to the jello and dissolve. Add cold water, fruit juices and sugar. Mix well and refrigerate. Add ginger ale and strawberries when ready to serve.

This is a really refreshing punch. It can be changed by using different flavors of jello and fruit. You can use peach jello with frozen peaches. To get a tart flavor use frozen lime juice instead of the lemonade. Mix up the flavors you like and create your own flavor. This works best with an ice ring which can be made by freezing the pineapple juice or any other juice you may decide to use.

Mocha Punch

4 cups strong brewed coffee
1/4 cup sugar
4 cups milk
4 cups chocolate ice cream, softened

In a container, combine coffee and sugar and stir until sugar dissolves. Chill 2 hrs. Just before serving add milk and mix well. Top with scoops of ice cream and stir well.

I'm not a chocolate lover so I had to come up with a way to make this fit my taste. To do that I gave it an extra coffee kick by using coffee ice cream instead of chocolate. You can also add a little cinnamon or nutmeg, sprinkle it with crushed cookies, chocolate shavings, coconut flakes, granola or serving it with a cinnamon stick. You can even change the taste by using flavored coffee.

Pina Colada Punch

1 (46 oz.) can pineapple juice, chilled
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple with juice
1 (15 oz.) can cream of coconut
1 (32 oz.) bottle 7-Up, chilled

Combine all ingredients and serve over ice.

This recipe can be used as a base for other drinks. Add cherries, kiwi, strawberries or any other fruit you might enjoy. To me this drink is one of the most refreshing drinks there is. That's probably because I love anything with coconut and/or pineapple in it. When I lived in Florida my daughters and I went to a really great island on the Gulf called Boca Grande. There is a little store
on the island that sells frozen coconut bars. I'm sure they are nothing but juice with shredded coconut mixed in before freezing but I loved them. So since I no longer live in Florida I had to start making my own. By using this recipe, adding flaked coconut, pouring it into pop cycle containers and freezing them I now have that great taste again.

Spinach Balls

2 pkg (10 oz. each) frozen chopped spinach, cooked according to directions
3 cups herb-seasoned stuffing mix
1 small onion, finely chopped
6 well beaten eggs
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) melted
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Drain spinach well and squeeze to remove excess moisture. Combine spinach with remaining ingredients. Refrigerate 10-15 minutes. After refrigeration, shape into 3/4" - 1" balls. Place on a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake 15-20 minutes or until they start browning slightly. Makes about 50.

The green color of the spinach makes these very attractive. The stuffing mix makes them taste like sausage balls. They are perfect for those who don't eat meat but will still eat cheese and butter. Changes to these could be with a different cheese such as Parmesan. You might add some finely chopped celery or green peppers. Try them and see what you might want to add. "Think with your taste."

Shrimp Spread

2 cans of small shrimp, drain one can only
1 qt. jar of mayonnaise
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 small bunch of green onions, chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup
black pepper

In a sauce pan blend soup and cream cheese until warm (don't boil). Take off heat and add mayonnaise, shrimp including liquid from 1 can and onions blending well. Dilute the gelatine in 1 T of cold water. Stir into dip. Add black pepper to taste. Pour the dip into serving dish. Refrigerate covered for several hours or at least overnight.

This dip comes out thick and creamy so use heavy crackers for serving. This is also good served with party breads. You can also sprinkle a few green onion tops and a few small shrimp on top so the dish can be identified as a shrimp spread. To change this use 2 small cans of crab meat, draining one only. You might want to add a few small diced green peppers and/or celery.

Stuffed Shells with Pasta Sauce

1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. Italian Sausage
4 oz. cream cheese

Cook meat, drain, cool. Mix in cram cheese. (This works best if you use your hands crumbling the meat as you mix)

12 jumbo shells
1 T. Oil
1/2 med. onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 can (4 oz.) mushrooms, drained
1 jar (14 oz.) pasta sauce (can use spaghetti or pizza sauce)
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 cup shredded cheese

Cook shells according to directions on package, drain and cool. Saute onion and peppers in oil until tender. Add mushrooms, pasta sauce, garlic and seasoning. Stuff shells with meat mixture. Place in 8 x 8 baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray. Pour sauce evenly over shells. Cover with cheese. Bake 350 degrees 20 minutes.

This recipe came from a combination of 2 recipes that I pulled from. You can use all ground beef or all Italian sausage. You can change the flavor completely by using shredded chicken in place of the beef/sausage and Alfredo Sauce in place of the pasta sauce.

Fruit Salad Dressing

2/3 cup orange juice
3 T lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
Assorted Fresh Fruit

In a small saucepan combine juices, sugar and egg stirring constantly. Bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until thickened. Stain. Cover & refrigerate until serving. Makes 1 cup

I wasn't sure about the egg part but it really turns out very good. One really attractive way to serve this dressing is to toss it over a bowl of your favorite fruit just as you would a veggie salad. I've used it with all types of fruit and it's always tasted good but like it best as a dip for tart apples such as Granny Smith. And of course you can change the ingredients. Try using pineapple juice instead of orange.

Apple Dumplin Cobbler

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, sliced into 8 equal slices (16 total)
1 tube flaky cinnamon twists (8 count) with icing
3/4 cup water
1/2 stick butter
3/4 cup sugar

Separate each "twist". On a sheet of waxed paper using your fingers or a spoon press each flat (will be about twice their width). Cut each twist in half. Wrap each piece of apple with twist. Place in rows in a 9 x 9 baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray. Bring to a boil sugar, water and butter. Pour over apples. Sprinkle with more cinnamon (optional). Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Dizzle the icing over top (optional). Serves 6

This is a truly good, but sweet, cobbler. It's great with a scoop of ice cream or a slice of melted cheddar cheese. You can also make with fresh peaches or pears. I sometimes like to add a little allspice instead of the extra cinnamon.

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup chopped peanuts

In a bowl, combine and mix all ingredients. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick spray. Bank at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes. Makes 1 1/2 dozen cookies depending on the size.

There isn't much that can be changed in this recipe. You could add coconut instead of the peanuts, or chopped dates.

Italian Cream Sheet Cake

Italian Cream Sheet Cake

2 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
5 eggs, separated
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups cake flour
1 cup flaked coconut
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans

1 1/2 lbs. powdered sugar
1 pkg (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
milk to moisten (2 - 3 Tbl)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a quarter sheet cake pan (14 x 10) with non-stick spray. Whip egg whites until stiff. In a large bowl cream sugar and butter. Add egg yolks one at a time beating after each addition. Dissolve baking soda in buttermilk. Add 1/2 buttermilk, 1/2 flour to butter/sugar/egg mix, beat well. Add remaining buttermilk and flour, beat well. Fold in coconut,vanilla egg whites and nuts. Pour into pan. Bake 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Mix butter and cheese. Add sugar, vanilla and enough milk to moisten to a spreading
consistency. Ice completely cooked cake. I garnish with coconut and chopped pecans.

This recipe was sent to me by a friend. I made very few changes. One change I did make was using all butter and not butter and shortening which the original recipe called for. I also changed the cooking temperature to 325 degrees and baked it in a sheet pan. Reason? It makes a 3 layer cake and I don't have 3 cake pans of the same size. But this worked out great. I can't offer changes for this because it just wouldn't be an Italian Cream if I did. But if you want to make it into a 3 layer, raise the temperature to 350 degrees and use 3 pans of the same size baking for
about 25 - 30 minutes.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Broccoli & Bacon Quiche

1/2 cup fresh broccoli florets
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1-2 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
2 eggs
1/2 cup half and half cream
pinch of garlic powder
pinch of lemon-pepper seasoning
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using 5" pie plates sprayed with non-stick spray, place half of the broccoli, cheese and bacon into each. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, garlic powder, pepper and salt. Pour over broccoli. Bake uncovered 15-20 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Serves 2.

I've had several people ask that I post some recipes that feed one or two and this is a great one. Now of course, if you double the recipe you can easily make 4 individual quiches or use a full size pie pan. This quiche is different due to it not having a crust. If you want yours with a crust, simply add the ingredients listed above in order and increase the cooking time to 30-35 minutes. I've found that mine comes out better if I bake the crust for about 10 minutes before adding the ingredients. If you don't want to cook up the bacon, use the pre-cooked or you can even use real bacon bits. I also like to add a little sautéed onions and/or green peppers to mine.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Herbed Bread

1/4 cup butter
2 Tbl. vegetable oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
3 Tbl. grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbl. chopped chives
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 loaf (8 oz) French bread cut into 1/2" slices

Melt butter in a small frying pan. Add oil and garlic. Sauté until garlic is tender. Remove from heat. Stir in Parmesan, chives and mustard. Cook for about 5 minutes. Stir until creamy. Spread on one side of each slice of bread. Bake in a 400 degree oven, butter side up, for 6-8 minutes or broil 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned.

Changes - This is really too good to change. I've tried other cheeses but when melted they seem to clump and won't blend with the butter. So, I make this one as is.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bacon & Rye Cheese Ball

1 lb. cooked bacon crumbled
8 oz. cream cheese softened
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 cup rye bread crumbs
2 tsp. onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup parsley, chopped

Mix all except parsley. Chill at least 2 hrs. Make one large cheese ball or two small ones and roll in parsley. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Changes - roll in nuts. Add a little garlic. Use finely chopped deli corned beef instead of bacon.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Roasted Herb Potatoes

2 lbs. potatoes, washed, peeled and cut into 1 1/2" chunks
1 Tbl. your favorite herb salt free herb mixture
4 Tbl. vegetable oil
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 15 x 10 baking sheet with non-stick spray. Arrange potatoes in a single layer. Season with herbs, salt and pepper. Pour oil evenly over potatoes. Bake 1 hour turning after 30 minutes. Potatoes should be golden brown. Serves 4-6

Changes - use just one herb such as rosemary or chives. Add onion wedges for more flavor treating them the same as you do the potatoes. If your potatoes are browning quicker than they need to, lay a sheet of foil over them to slow down the browning.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Orange Cycle Salad

3-4 oranges, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
1 cup small marshmallows
1/4 cup almond slivers
2 Tbl. sugar, if needed
1 Tbl. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix all together and chill.

As a kid I couldn't get enough of those ice creams on a stick called Dream Cycles/Orange Cycles. The vanilla ice cream inside with the orange on the outside were so refreshing. This salad reminds me of those ice cream truck treats. The only thing I would change might be the nuts but even a change that small will change this salad's flavor.