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Showing posts from September, 2011

Cranberry Orange Scones

Scones.  Do you love them?  I'm a scones fan.  I think they are a perfect pastry to have with a piping hot cup of coffee or tea.  I like their flaky consistency and their not too sweet flavor.  Somehow when I'm eating a scone I feel like I'm only being a little bit bad. Cranberry Orange Scone For this recipe I went into test kitchen mode.  I had seen Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, make these scones on her television program on the Food Network.  What caught my eye was her technique.  When I make scones I usually cut in the butter by hand with a pastry cutter, or I use my food processor.  Both techniques work well, by the way.  Ina used her stand mixture during the entire scone making process.  I wanted to try it that way and see how it would work. The  Cranberry Orange Scone recipe from the Food Network makes sixteen scones, so I cut the recipe in half.  You may want to make the whole recipe if you decide to try this, because you can freeze the dough and bake o

Chicken Salad with Walnuts and Dried Cranberries

As a rule I stick to the same old boring lunches day in and day out.  That's one of the ways I monitor my calorie intake.  If I stick to the same few choices I allow myself for lunch, I know that I am appropriately managing my daily calories.  Sometimes, I don't want the same old, same old though.  I call these days my wild and crazy days.  OK, not really wild and crazy, but I do occasionally step out of my rut.  Don't we all? Chicken Salad Sandwich The other day I was hankering for something out of the ordinary for my lunch.  A look in my refrigerator gave me the ingredients for this chicken salad with walnuts and cranberries.  Yes, that is what I wanted for lunch.  I had two chicken breasts as a result of cooking a chicken to make a stock for soup.  Chicken salad was a perfect use for them, don't you think? Chicken Salad with Walnuts and Dried Cranberries Chicken Salad Ingredients 2 boneless chicken breasts, poached and diced 1 stalk celery, chopped

Pantry Essentials-Pasta, Rice and Bread

Today's post is the third post in my well-stocked pantry series.  Previously we talked about selecting the right space for your pantry and the baking essentials.  Today let's focus on the essential pasta, rice, and bread products you'll want to keep on hand. Remember, creating your well-stocked pantry is a function of the foods you and your family like to eat.  No two families will have the same well-stocked pantry and that is exactly as it should be.  I'm sharing this look into my pantry as a starting point for those of you looking for help in getting your pantry organized.  If you already have a fully stocked pantry it may be fun to compare and contrast how we are alike or different. The Roll of Pasta, Rice, and Bread in a Well-Stocked Pantry A Glimpse of My Pantry Let's see what is on my pasta, rice, and bread shelf... The Pasta Essentials I like to keep on hand the various pastas I use to make most of the soups and main dishes my family likes. 

Peppers and Meatballs Sandwich

Peppers and Meatballs Sandwiches This time of year, thanks to generous friends or family, I often find myself with too much of something.  This week I had many green bell peppers thanks to my dad's prolific pepper plants.  I decided to make a one of my family's favorite sandwiches, a pepper and meatball grinder.  Yes, around these parts we call a submarine sandwich a grinder.  It's a Northeast thing . Even though I had a mess of bell peppers, I wasn't really in the mood to make meatballs.  Do you know what I mean?  Sometimes I'm just not in the mood.  Do you know what I'm talking about?  Of course you do.  No problem.  Thankfully I can get tasty meatballs already prepared at my local grocery store and I bet you can too.  See, there is no reason not to make a pepper and meatball sandwich. In my mind, the key to this sandwich is the sauce.  Just a few simple ingredients cook together to make a delicious sauce that makes a yummy sandwich.  Let's make it.

Steak with Mushroom Sauce

Sometimes you want a quick, but satisfying dinner.  Sometimes you want  a dinner that tastes like someone else made it.  Sometimes you want a quick, satisfying, dinner like you would have gotten in a restaurant, but you'd rather keep the $100 in your pocket.  Take a simple steak, fry it on the stove top and add a rich mushroom sauce.  You'll be surprised by how quick and delicious this simple meal can be. Shall we make it together? Steak with Mushroom Sauce Serves 4 Steak with Mushroom Sauce Ingredients 4 servings of steak, approximately 1/2 pound per person 1 stick unsalted butter 1 pound mushrooms, sliced 1-3 cloves garlic, chopped 3 scallions, sliced, whites and green parts 1 cup red wine, your choice (I used Pinot Noir) 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped salt and pepper to taste Directions Heat two tablespooons of butter in a heavy skillet over medium high heat.  I used a cast ion skillet.  Salt and pepper your steaks and put them in the hot pan.  Cook the

Blueberry Slump

Cobblers, Brown Bettys and slumps are words used to describe old fashioned desserts.  They may be more popular in one region of the country than another.  Blueberry slump is a dessert I discovered early in my married life.  In our first years together, Hubby and I lived in a house that shared a property line with a cemetery.  That cemetery had many, many low bush blueberry bushes on the undeveloped part of the property near our house.  Hubby was the blueberry picker and I was the cook.  We had so many blueberries, we didn't know what to do with them.   Blueberry slump came to the rescue. I know, you are wondering what exactly is blueberry slump.  It is a simple dessert made with stewed blueberries and topped with dumplings.   You can top it with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, or both.  Hmmm....think about a bowl of hot sweetened blueberries topped with a hot biscuit island.  Those hot elements are balanced by a scoop of icy cold vanilla ice cream and a dollop of sweetened wh

September's Gardening To Do List

Labor Day has come and gone.  Oh, yes, summer is behind us.  That means our gardens are winding down.  Do you start to lose your enthusiasm for your garden about this time in the season?  I know I do.  There is still a lot to do and keeping up with the garden chores now helps to make future garden tasks easier. Here's what is on my garden to do list this month. 1.  Keep harvesting vegetables.   I’m still picking green beans and jalapenos.   Harvest your herbs.   My basil is ready to be picked for another batch for my freezer.   Be sure to keep tomatoes, zucchini and other vegetables harvested as well, and don’t let the ones that have fallen to the ground rot in the garden.   They will be a perfect addition to your compost pile. 2. Prepare for fall .   Pull out plants once a crop is done in your garden.   Add compost to the area.   Keep weeding.   Protect the garden from diseases and pests by removing any browned and withered foliage. 3.  Keep deadheading flowers, both

Fritatta with Bacon and Potatoes

Most of the time our breakfasts at home are very light, heathly meals to get us jumpstarted for the day.  Occasionally we want a hearty bacon and eggs breakfast, but quite frankly I don't appreciate all the effort and mess that accompanies that hearty breakfast.  Who wants to start the day frying bacon and flipping eggs to everyone's specifications?  Are you with me on this? Fritatta with Bacon and Potates Well, this frittata comes to the rescue.  It's made in one pan so the clean up is a snap.  Yes, there is some frying of bacon, but you'll see from the recipe that it is quick and easy.  The icing on the cake with this recipe is the presentation.  When all is said and done you'll have a tasty, attractive breakfast dish that is sure to please the bacon and eggs lovers at your house.  If you are serving guests it is easy to double or triple the recipe and satisfy a crowd without much effort on your part.  But don't tell them that as you accept their kud

How to make Roasted Red Peppers

Don't you love roasted red peppers?  Oh boy, they add flavor to any dish.  I love them on sandwiches, on grilled chicken breasts and in pasta dishes.  Have you priced red peppers lately?  In my neck of the woods red peppers are outrageously priced.  Just the other day I thought I had snagged a deal at my local Walmart.  I had run in to the store to purchase a rotisserie chicken....but, alas no rotisserie chickens were available.  As a second choice I decided to roast a chicken on my own.  On my way to the meat department I spied a bin of red bell peppers marked $1.74.  The very naive Just One Donna thought, what a deal at $1.74 per pound.  I had just purchased red peppers from a competitor store for $2.49 per pound. At the check out I learned I had in fact, NOT snagged a deal at all.  Those peppers were $1.74 each,  I had three little red peppers in my bag and the charge was $5.34.  What were they thinking?   Isn't Walmart where you go for good prices?  No way, Jose!  Not t