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Showing posts from April, 2012

Quick and Easy Hamburger Penne Pasta

Hamburger Penne Pasta Lately I have not been in the mood to cook.  I blame it on spring.  There always seems like something else I'd rather be doing, or need to be doing.  Do you ever feel the same way?  This recipe was the result of my dinner making efforts on one of those days when there was too much to do and too little time to do it all.  Once again I turned to my freezer and pantry for ingredients that could be pulled together to make a tasty dinner quickly. You probably have these ingredients in your kitchen as well.  There are no exotic ingredients here.  The basic building blocks are the hamburger, some flavorful vegetables, tomatoes and pasta.  If you don't have both red and green pepper, substitute chopped celery.  No jalapenos in your refrigerator?  Add 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes instead, or leave it out entirely.  If your family prefers elbow macaroni instead of penne pasta, go ahead and substitute.  You get the idea.  This recipe works no matte

My Wild Goose Chase

I have been on a wild goose chase and I'm tired.  It's my own fault.  After al,l this wild goose chase is the result of me getting it into my head that I just have to have a garden stool for my three season porch.  I'm contemplating a bit of a face lift for the porch and I've decided the garden stool is a critical piece.  Here is my porch: My Three Season Porch That's my dog, Sadie in the picture.  Hi, Sadie! There is nothing fancy about the porch, but I love it.  I adore the wicker furniture.  It speaks to me.  It says, come sit a while.  It says, come rest your weary feet.  I love that the windows can be removed easily and replaced with screens.  From June through September there are screens in place of the windows and I love the gentle breezes that blow through the windows.  A couple of the windows have little wind chimes that make a soothing tinkle when the wind blows just right.  Most of all, I love when it rains and I can sit of the porch and listen as

Baked Cod

Baked Cod New England has a proud fishing heritage with many of the early settlers choosing to plant their roots along the shoreline.  For over 400 years the New England fishing industry has been known for its abundance of ground dwelling fish like haddock and cod.  As fishing methods changed and became more efficient the sustainability of the fish stocks became threatened.  As a result, New England's fishing industry is threatened.  With this in mind, I wasn't surprised to see that while the cod in my grocer's case was from the United States it was from the Pacific and not the Atlantic.  Seafood Watch Guide Is Pacific cod a good choice?  I checked my Monterey Bay Seafood Watch Guide  and found that U.S. cod from the Pacific is rated a best alternative.  Imported Pacific cod is listed as a fish to avoid, so knowing that the cod I was buying was from the U.S. was an important distinction.  Do you want to be sure you are purchasing your fish responsibly?  You can prin

Banana Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Banana Cake This banana cake recipe has been with me for about 25 years, ever since a work colleague gave it to me way back when.  Over the years I had forgotten about the cake and forgotten who had give me the recipe.  After all, there have been many more recipes and many more colleagues in those 25 years.  Not too long ago I was going through my old recipes and found the page with this recipe.  There was a time when I was making banana cakes frequently, but I hadn't made one in several years.  I put the recipe in my recipe binder, planning to make a banana cake again soon. About a month ago I received a phone call from that long ago colleague.  She was looking for the banana cake recipe and thought she remembered giving it to me.  Ah ha, at last I knew from whom I had received the recipe.  Did I have it. she wondered?  You know the recipe with bananas in the frosting?  Yes, I did have it.  She was relieved and I was motivated to make a banana cake. This is a dense cake, pac

Lemon Pie Filling Squares

Are you ready for another lemon recipe?  This is a homey recipe from my childhood.  It was a favorite dessert that my mom made for us.  Sometimes Mom made these squares with cherry pie filling, but when she made them with lemon pie filling I was in heaven.  Have I told you how much I love lemon? Lemon Pie Filling Squares This is a terrific recipe for bake sales, office parties, baby showers, or just because you want something sweet.  The recipe is baked in a 10 x 15-inch pan, so it makes a lot of squares.  You can use prepared pie filling, but this recipe is made with lemon pie filling from scratch.  It is easy enough to do if you have a couple of juicy fresh lemons on hand. Lemon Pie Filling Squares Print Recipe Pie Filling Squares Ingredients 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature 2 cups granulated sugar 4 large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 3 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt lemon pie filling Directions Prehe

Spicy Salsa Salmon Fillets

Today's salmon recipe is a winner, no matter how you look at it.  Are you looking for a dinner you can put on the table in less than thirty minutes? This spicy salsa salmon is for you.  Are you looking for a dinner that is packed with flavor, but won't throw you off your low-calorie diet?  This spicy salsa salmon is for you.  Are you looking for a recipe that you can serve to dinner guest without having to spend hours in the kitchen?  This recipe is for you. Spicy Salsa Salmon and Asparagus There are three basic components to this recipe.  The first is the salmon.   Buy the freshest salmon fillets you can find because this dinner is all about the fish.  The second component is the salsa.  You can use a prepared salsa from the grocery store or make your own.  I make my own these days.  Finally, you will make a spicy sauce from either fat-free sour cream or plain yogurt.  It's your choice, but mine is made from fat-free sour cream. Spicy Salsa Salmon Print Recipe

My Chicken and Chokes Rigatoni

Chicken and Chokes Rigatoni My chicken and chokes rigatoni is a one pan dish that is hearty and satisfying.  I love to have a meal like this any time we are in the mood for a casual meal that I want to be quick to make and easy to clean up.  The chicken in this recipe is actually chicken sausages.  Any flavor chicken sausages will work, so choose a flavor that you will like.  The ones I used in this dish had spinach in them and I added more fresh spinach to the pan just prior to serving to complement the spinach in the sausage.  Chicken and Chokes Rigatoni Serves 6 Chicken and Chokes Ingredients 1 pound box rigatoni 1 pound chicken sausage links, any flavor 1/2 medium onion, sliced 1 medium red pepper, sliced into strips 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1/2 can pitted black olives, sliced in half 1 can artichoke hearts, drained and cut in half 1/2 cup white wine, Pinot Grigio 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes salt and pepper to taste 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes 1

Fish Tacos

Fish tacos came into my life not too long ago.  I know, it's another case of me being late to the party, but be that as it may, I am now a huge fan of fish tacos.  Whenever I am a fan of a food I usually try to replicate it in my own kitchen.  These fish tacos are the result of that effort. Fish Tacos When deciding to make fish tacos a first consideration should be the fish.  Understanding the underlying flavor of the fish will help you to determine the level of spice you'll want to add to your marinade and sauce.  I chose cod for my tacos.  Its mild flavor creates a perfect foundation for spicy taco flavors.  Many kinds of fish will work, but you'll want to choose a fish that has some substance and won't fall completely apart in the cooking and taco assembly process. The other thing to think about when you make these tacos is the level of heat you are comfortable with.  The great thing about making fish tacos at home is that the level of seasoning you use is c