Thursday, May 26, 2016

Money Saving Ingredient Substitutions

Quick blurb from me - I haven't done one of those in a while - about one of my favorite topics; Saving Money! Not only are these subs cost friendly, several of them are flat-out healthier! Keep this list on-hand for times when you're in the middle of cooking and can't run out.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Peach Cobbler

Peach Cobbler
Peach Cobbler

It's just about peach time! Peak time for fresh peaches is usually July in most states, but they're out there as early as May. Choose fruit that yield to slight pressure but aren't mushy and try to avoid hard peaches. All the flavor and sweetness is gained on the tree, not after so no matter what color the skin, you can't really tell until you bite into one. One of the best peaches I ever had came from Newhard Farms in Coplay, PA. Famous for corn, but everything they sell is perfect!

Serve this cobbler warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and watch it  disappear. You can also make this with nectarines, plums or fresh berries for a change of  pace. Canned peaches don't work as well, so try to stick with fresh ripe fruits.

Peach Cobbler

Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 50-55 minutes
Serves: 8



8 large ripe peaches - pitted and sliced, about 6 cups
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup to 1/3 cup heavy cream
1 egg - beaten


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Toss together peaches and 1/4 cup flour. Place in the bottom of a greased, shallow 1 - 1/2 quart baking pan.
3. Mix brown sugar, cardamom, nutmeg and vanilla until well blended.
4. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over peaches in baking dish.
5. Cut 1/4 cup butter in small cubes and dot top of peaches and brown sugar with cubes.
6. Stir together 1 cup flour, baking powder, salt and granulated sugar.
7. Cut second 1/4 cup of butter into small cubes and rub into flour mixture until coarse crumbs form.
8. Add cream to flour and butter and blend until dough forms.
9. Roll out dough on a floured surface to a 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with a 3-inch biscuit cutter and top dough evenly with circles.
10. Brush dough circles with beaten egg.
11. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes until golden and peaches begin bubbling through crust.

Dough can be rolled to fit the pan and placed on top completely rather than cutting into circles. Cut slits to vent filling before baking

Friday, May 13, 2016

Turkey Waldorf Salad

Turkey Waldorf Salad
Turkey Waldorf Salad

I remember this stuff as a kid - it was a big deal in the 1970's it seems. I don't recall it with any type of protein, however. I added leftover turkey to mine, but you can surely use chicken or even shrimp!
Leftover turkey is already cooked, so it couldn't be easier to add to soups, stews and sandwiches. Salads are great with cooked turkey and something lighter is nice after a round heavy turkey dinners. Cooked and cubed turkey is a quick add to many salads -- including my favorite, the Turkey Waldorf Salad. I also swapped out raisins for dried cranberries and replaced mayo with protein rich Greek yogurt.

Turkey Waldorf Salad
Serves 4 - 6


2 cups diced cooked turkey
2 cups diced apples
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/3 Tablespoon Kosher salt or more to taste


1. Combine apples with lemon juice.
2. Add remaining ingredients and blend well.
3. Chill until serving time or serve right away. Does not keep well.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Herbed Cheese Crackers

Herbed Cheese Crackers
Herbed Cheese Crackers

This cheese and herb business isn't over yet. I first made these a really long time ago - like, 20 or so years - and loved them each time. I can't keep them longer than a day around here and they're so worth being shared.

Please do use whatever cheese your heart desires as long as it's hard enough to shred, and choose herbs to your liking, as well. I used Cabot's Tomato and Basil Cheddar with extra basil thrown in and their Extra Sharp Cheddar with dill. I also added smoked paprika to the Tomato Basil crackers. These are SO easy you just won't believe it!

Herbed Cheese Crackers
Herbed Cheese Crackers

Herbed Cheese Crackers
Makes 4 dozen 1-inch crackers


1/4 cup (half stick)  room temperature butter -unsalted
2 cups finely shredded cheese (8 ounces)
1 cup oat flour* (yes, you can use all-purpose)
1 to 2 Tablespoons fresh herb, minced or chopped very fine
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
Add in cayenne pepper, black pepper, smoked paprika etc. to your liking


1. Combine butter, herbs, salt and spice together until smooth - I use my KitchenAid with flat beater for this.
2. Add in shredded cheese and blend well.
3. While the mixer is running add in flour 1/4 cup at a time until combined. Add water as needed to make a stiff dough.
4. Pat dough into a flat circle and wrap in plastic. Chill for 1/2 an hour.
5. Roll out dough and cut into shapes about 1-inch in size.
6. Place crackers on a baking sheet lined with Silpat or parchment, about 1/2 an inch apart. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until just beginning to brown at edges.
7. Cool slightly and remove from baking sheets. Store in a cool, dry airtight container for up to a week, if they last that long.

*oat flour is simply rolled (not instant!) oats ground into flour by a processor. Simply put oats into a food processor or blender and pulse until a fine powder-like consistency.