Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Ready, Set, Cook! #21

My boring ole blog has been reduced to just our game for now. So sorry I haven't posted much else but I've been super busy and laboring on and off for a week...gotta end sometime!

Before you play, please read the rules
HERE first!
Anyhoo...these 3 ingredients are from a recipe I found online in a listing of Fall/Halloween recipes. See what you can make of them!

1 (4 lb.) pumpkin
1 Pound lean ground beef
1 Cup chopped onion

Leeway: Since a whole pumpkin can be tough to handle, you can replace the pumpkin with several cups of diced pumpkin or pumpkin puree since any whole pumpkin could be cut up and cooked for use that way.

Have fun and I'll share the recipe this came from on Thursday!

PS! Check out The Gallumphing Gourmand, Ian's blog, for his recipe and photos from last week~GOOD STUFF!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

R,S,C #20 Recipes

Well, one player this week~I would have played too but we are really down to the wire here with baby coming and I'm still racing around like a madwoman. Here is a really awesome sounding submission though!

From Ian the Steadfast at
The Gallumphing Gourmand:

Bacon Bundles with Noodles

4 blocks dry ramen noodles
Bacon Bundles:
1 can of whole water chestnuts, drained and cut in half
250g (1/2 lb) imitation crab pieces, cut into 1-inch lengths
125g (1/4 lb) bacon strips
bunch of green onions, sliced lengthwise
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp ginger, minced
1/2 C sesame paste
5 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 C chicken or fish broth
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp Louisiana hot sauce
3 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp white wine or vermouth
6 green onions, sliced

Preheat oven to 350F.
Place one piece of chestnut and one piece of crab together and wrap with
just enough bacon to overlap slightly. Tie bundle with length of green
onion. Repeat.
Place bundles on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes at 350F.
Cook ramen noodles in boiling water until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove
from heat, drain and keep warm in covered bowl.
For the sauce, combine all remaining ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
Add bacon bundles and toss gently to coat.
Serve over noodles.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Ready, Set, Cook! #20

Time for Ready, Set, Cook!

If you have not played before please click
HERE for the rules of play before getting started.

Here are today's 3 ingredients:

water chestnuts
ramen noodles
imitation crab flakes (surimi or crab legs)

Get your aprons on~Ready, Set, Cook!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Whatcha Craving Baby?

How about a big bunch of nothing? At least this time around.

I got to thinking last night about all the cravings I've had during each pregnancy (since thinking about food doesn't give me heartburn...yet) and they have all been so different.

First baby~a girl~I craved deep fried tacos. I had only ever had one in my life up until that point. When I was about 10 my best friend's grandmother took us to Sebio's Lounge in Bethlehem and I had my first deep fried taco there. By the time I was pregnant with #1 (10 years later) and had that HUGE craving, we went to the now-defunct Zapata's~same road in the same town. They had some really awesome Mexican food there and sadly, not only are they not open, the building was razed to make way for a *gag* Wendy's.

Second baby~a girl~I was working part-time evenings for the Globe Times in circulation and I would waddle on over to the lunch room to buy a King Size Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. That's 4 cups in one package and I ate a full package every night. Somehow I only gained 11 pounds despite all that.

Third baby~a girl~I had a huge craving for plain boiled new potatoes; no salt, no butter, no nada-just potatoes. That was until my last month. Hubby was working a second job at a convenience store and brought home a pint of Ben and Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk EVERY night. I ate the whole thing EVERY night. Another tiny weight gain regardless~go figure.

Fourth baby~a boy~nothing. I had no cravings at all and kept waiting for one to hit but it never happened.

Fifth baby~a girl~I ate almost a full bag of Snyder's of Hanover JalapeƱo and Cheddar Pretzel Pieces daily. No heartburn, no ill effects, no WAY I could do it now. I've tried eating them since then and I can't handle the heat. I also ate a version of peanut butter soup I found in an old Campbell's cookbook~PB and condensed tomato soup mixed together. I know, GROSS, I still like it but not like I did then. I also ate a ton of ice and didn't have any iron deficiency at all to blame that one on.

Sixth baby~a boy~nothing again. I did eat a lot of hummus and whole wheat pita and veggie burgers but not really because I craved them. I was just trying to do the healthier thing.

Seventh baby~supposedly a girl~nothing...and sometimes something. Make sense? Mostly I don't have cravings at all but I have an occasional taste for something and one or two bites does it. Like the chicken pot pie...I don't want it anymore now that I've had it. I have far too much heartburn to eat much of anything lately anyway so if I did have a craving I'd have to suffer through it or take some serious antacids before and after.
I keep having people tease me about boy/girl twins (it's definitely ONE baby) and if I did have them it would explain the craving issue based on my history; you think?

So....pregnant or not, what are you craving?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

R,S,C #19 Recipes

Awesome recipes, as usual. Please give the players a read at their blogs!

Thanks for playing you two!

From Compulsive Writer at
From the mixed up files of a middle aged mind:

Easy Grilled Flank Steak Over Pasta

Marinate steak overnight in any Italian-style salad dressing.

Cook up a batch of your favorite pasta--I would choose something long
like linguine.

Grill steak as desired.

Slice tomatoes in half; quarter a small red onion. Brush with oil,
sprinkle with basil. Grill alongside steak.

Toss pasta with butter, a bit of cream, sauteed garlic, salt and a
little white pepper, along with some freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Cut grilled steak in cubes or strips. Toss the steak strips or cubes
over the pasta. Top with tomatoes and onion.


From Ian at
The Gallumphing Gourmand:

Marinated Steak Hoagies
makes 4

1 lb flank steak, about 1/2-inch thick
3 small tomatoes, chopped
1 yellow onion, sliced
1/2 C dark soy sauce
1/4 C honey
1 tsp chipotle pepper flakes
fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
4 medium ciabatta rolls
8 slices Monterey Jack cheese

·Score the flank steak diagonally on each side to a depth of about 1/8 of an
inch, and place in a large Ziploc baggie.
·Add all other ingredients, except the bread rolls and the cheese, into the
baggie, and shake to combine.
·Place baggie in the fridge overnight to marinate and let the flavours
combine, turning often.
·Remove from fridge and let sit at room temperature for about 2 hours before
·Preheat the grill to high heat.
·Remove the steak from the marinade and set aside. Pour marinade into
saucepan and heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes,
stirring occasionally until sauce reduces by about one third. Remove from
·Place meat on the grill and cook over high heat for no more than 5 minutes
per side. We’re going for medium-rare at the most here, people.
·Remove meat from grill and let rest for about 10 minutes. Slice steak
diagonally in thin slices. Place steak on rolls, add two slices of cheese
each, and pour some of the sauce over the top.

This is the recipe the ingredients came from:

Thai Grilled Beef Salad
6 servings

2 Garlic cloves; minced
1 ts Black peppercorn
1 tb Fresh coriander roots
1/2 ts Salt
2 ts Vegetable oil
1 lb Flank or flatiron steak - trimmed
3 sm Firm tomatoes
1 Bermuda onion- cut into 1/4-in slices

1 Sheet heavy-duty alum. foil- (8" x 18")
1 Head red-leaf lettuce


1 ts Ground Dried Shrimp w/Chiles- (optional)
2 Garlic cloves; chopped
2 Red serrano chiles; sliced
2 Green serrano chiles; sliced
1 tb Roasted chile sauce-(nam prik pao)
3 tb Fish sauce (nam pla)
5 tb Lime juice
2 ts Sugar
1/4 c Coarsely chopped fresh mint
1/4 c Fresh coriander leaves-(coarsely chopped)

Pound garlic, peppercorn, coriander root and salt into a paste; add
oil and mix together. Rub the garlic mixture over the beef; marinate
for 30 minutes. Broil or grill beef until medium rare. Slice into
2-by-1/4-inch strips. Set aside in a large mixing bowl. Quickly char
tomatoes under a hot broiler, turning occasionally. Do not overcook.
Cool. Cut into wedges and add to the beef. Evenly spread the sliced
onions on 1/2 of the sheet of foil. Fold in half, seal the edges to
form a flat parcel. Place directly on top of a medium-high stove
burner for 1 minute--it should make sizzling sounds. Turn over; cook
for about 30 seconds longer until charred. Remove, unwrap and cool.
Add to the beef mixture. Line a platter with the large lettuce
leaves. Shred remaining leaves and scatter them on top.


In a hot, ungreased skillet, toast optional
ground dried shrimp until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Reduce to
medium heat. Add garlic, chiles, roasted chile sauce (nam prik pao),
fish sauce, lime juice and sugar; stir together until dissolved.
Cool. Add beef mixture, mint and coriander to wok; toss together
gently. Pour mixture over lettuce. Serve at room temperature.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ready, Set, Cook! #19

Ok guys and gals, if you are new to R,S,C, please read the rules of play HERE before continuing on.

Today's ingredients are once again from a recipe I already have on hand. Let's see what other ideas you can come up with! Here they are:

1 lb flank steak
3 small tomatoes
1 onion (your choice)

Ready, Set, COOK!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sunday Dinner x2

What to do with this after Sunday Dinner?


Not complicated in any way, chicken pie is easy and a true comfort food. Any pie dough will do but, as with many things, homemade is best. My favorite pie crust recipe is this:

Pie Crust

Single :

1 1/4 c flour
1/4 t salt
1/3 c shortening
3 to 4 T ice water

Combine flour and salt.
Cut in shortening until it looks like small peas.
Add water and knead a few times.
Let rest covered for 10 minutes and roll out as needed.

Double crust:

2 c flour
1/2 t salt
2/3 c shortening
6 to 7 T ice water

Same method as above.

Simply cut up the leftover chicken, potatoes, carrots and onion (if you have that) into bite sized pieces and mix with about 2 cups of leftover chicken gravy. Season to taste (I like salt, pepper, thyme) and sprinkle the bottom pie crust with a tablespoon or two of flour before adding the chicken mixture. Top with the second crust, vent and bake at 350°until the crust is browned and the filling is hot and bubbly.

Easy second dinner and not at all like typical leftovers!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

R,S,C #18 Recipes

As usual, I've gotten some really yummy recipes! Check these out and have a look at the great blogs written by the players!

From: Ian, The Gallumphing Gourmand

Chocolate Fruitcake
Makes 4 loaves

1 C butter
3/4 C semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/4 C brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 C all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 C red maraschino cherries, halved
1 C green maraschino cherries, halved
1 1/2 C walnuts and pecans, chopped
1/4 C grated coconut
red and green maraschino cherries, for garnish

Melt butter and chocolate chips in a heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring
often to keep it from burning or sticking to the sides. Remove from heat,
and let it cool for about 15 minutes.
Stir in brown sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring after each addition.
Add flour and salt, stirring until blended. Stir in candied fruits, nuts and
coconut. Spoon mixture into 4 greased and floured 5 x 3 x 2-inch loaf pans.
Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes
out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool on wire
Seal cakes in plastic wrap and chill thoroughly before cutting. Garnish with
more maraschinos, if you like.

From: Paula, The Cookbook Junkie

Cherry Cherry Cookies
Silver Spring Presbyterian Church Cookbook ’98 Copyright 1998

1 c. packed brown sugar
¾ c. margarine, softened
1 egg
2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
½ c. maraschino cherries, well drained and chopped
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips
½ c. flaked coconut

In a large mixing bowl, cream brown sugar, sugar, butter, egg, milk and vanilla. Combine flour, salt, baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture. Fold in cherries, pecans and coconut. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Yield: 4 dozen

I can't count this as a submission since I planned on doing this for one of my older daughters. I make these often (just the brownie bite without the cherry) and she loves maraschino cherries so I thought the two may be good together. She loved them!

Cherry Brownie Bites

Printable Recipe

1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 stick (1/2 c) butter
1/2 c plus 2 Tablespoons flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 c packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
24 maraschino cherries, rinsed and drained well.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 24 mini-muffin cups with paper liners or grease well.

Melt chocolate chips and butter together until smooth and let cool to room temperature. Set aside.
Mix flour and salt together in a small bowl-set aside.
Mix eggs and brown sugar together until thick and pale. Stir in vanilla and cooled chocolate mixture until well blended. Stir in flour until just combined.
Fill each muffin cup halfway with dough and top each with a cherry. Cover the cherries with more dough to nearly the top of the cup.
Bake 12-15 minutes (I find 14 works well) until the edges are set but the centers are moist and fudgy.
Cool for several minutes before removing.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ready, Set, Cook! #18

OK kids, let's do something a little different today~dessert!

This may seem more difficult but I don't think it will be.
If you choose to bake something usually amounts are a little more exact than for other recipes. I tend to still be a "handful of this, pinch of that" type even when baking.
BUT, these ingredients can be used in so many ways though that I don't want anyone to get bogged down with fear that you can't make something with them unless you bake!

So, that said, here are today's 3 ingredients:

chocolate chips (semi-sweet, milk chocolate, your choice)
brown sugar (dark or light, again your choice)
maraschino cherries (these are the super red sweet guys that we all see on top of sundaes)

On your mark, get set, COOK!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Kentucky Butter Cake

Kentucky Butter Cake
Kentucky Butter Cake
This recipe is from a book of recipes that belonged to my mother's friend, JoAn Henry. JoAn passed away some time ago and her husband put together a compilation of recipes in her memory. The book is so much more than just recipes though and I have enjoyed reading it time and again. I have very fond memories of John and JoAn Henry. They were from Indiana, as my mother was, but were also transplanted to Pennsylvania due to John's job with JCPenney.

John has since moved back to Indiana and I miss his warm smile and manner and JoAn's sweet and quiet nature.

This recipe is just awesome. For anyone who doesn't readily know this, oleo is the same as margarine although I use real butter when I make this. Also, soda means baking soda.

Kentucky Butter Cake
(John's Favorite)
Printable Recipe

1 c. oleo
4 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. soda
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. sugar
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 c. buttermilk

Cream 1 cup oleo. Gradually add 2 cups sugar. Blend in 4 eggs, one at a time. Combine 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon soda. Combine 1 cup buttermilk with 2 teaspoons vanilla. Add milk and flour mixtures alternately to creamed mixture, ending with dry mixture. Mix well. Turn into greased 10 inch tube pan. Bake at 325° for 60 to 65 minutes.


1 c. sugar
1/4 c. water
1/2 c. oleo

Combine in saucepan. Heat until butter melts; add 1 tablespoon vanilla. Poke holes into top of cake with fork. Pour sauce slowly over cake while cake is in pan. Cool before removing from pan.

Great with strawberries or peaches over it.

Note (included with the recipe): I remember my grandmother making cake very similar to this one. She would make it using the old wood stove. The only difference was, she didn't put the glaze on it. She also made corn bread in an iron skillet. I remember when my grandfather bought her a kerosene cook stove. I'm not sure she ever got used to it, because the old wood stove stayed there in the kitchen until she died in 1955.

From: Best Cookin' Ever, JoAn Henry's Favorite Recipes, by John Henry

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Monkey Bread

This is so easy that it's even doable on busy mornings and the kids love it. I've made this with various types of doughs from frozen bread dough to regular canned biscuits but what we all agreed on was the type of canned biscuit that was best. The flaky ones that pull apart into layers taste the best hands-down. I don't do the "double-dip" method of first dipping in butter or margarine and then dipping in sugar. I find that isn't necessary at all since it all gets covered over with a butter-sugar mixture anyway.

There are so many versions of this that it's mind-boggling! I've seen a pumpkin one that I will try and report on but for now, this is the one we like.

Monkey Bread
Makes one bundt pan


3 cans flaky-type biscuits (the kind that come apart in layers)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon-ground
1 teaspoon nutmeg-ground


1. Coat the inside of a bundt pan with oil or cooking spray.
2. Mix sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg until completely blended.
3. Cut each biscuit into quarters.
4. Dip each quarter into sugar and spice mixture and place randomly into bundt pan.
5. When all biscuit quarters have been dipped and placed into pan you should have about 1/2 c of the sugar and spice mixture left-over. Add 1/4 c of melted butter or margarine to sugar and spice and mix well. Pour this over the biscuits in pan.
6. Bake at 325° for 35-40 minutes or until puffed up and browned. Let stand for 5 minutes and turn out onto a large plate.
7. Serve by pulling apart with a fork into large pieces.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


I feel rather pathetic. I honestly didn't mean to miss RSC today.

I am so busy with life in general that I think I might drop over soon.

My husband has had some inconclusive MRI's done recently and has other testing coming up soon to try and pinpoint where his chronic pain and weight loss (30 lbs) is coming from. Some scary stuff when the Drs look so concerned. He is not able to make calls or appointments for himself so I do all of that on top of regular daily life. His birthday is Thursday and I decided to get the "library" done and set up with another TV so he can play the few games he has time for without the kids tripping in front of him every 5 minutes. That was a bigger task that I thought and wore me out this weekend. Cake etc will be Thursday and I have a few other things to run around for as well.

I have 2 children heading for general anesthesia at the hospital for dental work just 2 days before my due date.

I have one son having difficulties in school with being bored and the behavior "problems" that can arise from that. We are looking at homeschooling again but just spoke with the principal today (our request) and will see if that makes a difference.

My mother-in-law is having a knee replacement on the 9th and I and my older girls are the only ones that will really be able to help her after that.

My own mother is having some depression issues stemming from grandma's death last year and is not doing too well. I'm hoping she can have her medication changed to help.

My two oldest are doing very well in school but they are both in the play this fall and are gone for much of the time and needing rides to and from practices etc.

I am in my last weeks with baby here and although I am healthier than usual, I'm also more tired than usual (gee, I wonder why) and am almost down to weekly appointments which is honestly an annoyance rather than a necessity at this stage. I had an appointment today and had the two littler ones with me. Let's just say that Drs offices are not too exciting at that age.

So, please forgive me for overlooking this (I also was not able to do board-posting duties for an online community that I belong to yesterday. I feel like I'm failing miserably there too!) I love you guys for checking in and thanks K for e-mailing me to check up!