Showing posts from June, 2008

Baked Ziti

Note: This is my favourite recipe for Baked Ziti. It's from the side of the San Giorgio pasta box.

1 package (1 lb) of Ziti, uncooked
3 cups (about 28 oz jar) of Spaghetti sauce, divided
1 3/4 cups (15 oz) ricotta cheese
2 cups (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup of fresh parsley or 1 tbsp dried parsley flakes
1 egg
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 375°F. Cook pasta according to package directions. In large bowl, stir together hot pasta, 1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, parsley, egg, oregano, garlic powder and pepper.

In 13x9x2-inch baking dish, spoon pasta mixture; top with remaining 1 1/2 cups sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese; cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. 10 servings (1 cup each).

Make-ahead directions: Prepare recipe as directed, but do not bake. Cover with plastic wrap, then foil. Refrigerate up to 24 hours …

Chocolate Waffles

Notes: This recipe is from Mike's mom. I made it at least once, and it did come out a little runny but once they baked up, they were really good.

1 1/2 cups Bisquick
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
3/4 cup of water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 eggs

Beat all ingredients with a wire whisk or hand beater until almost smooth. Pour batter onto center of hot waffle iron. Bake for about 2 minutes (follow the directions for your waffle iron, though!).

Serve this as a dessert with sliced strawberries, apple topping or ice cream on top while still warm and melt it a little.

8-ish servings.

Chicken Soup with Rice

Notes: Use better than bullion or chicken stock in place of the broth. If you like veggies, you can put about twice as much as is called for in. That's what I did.

8 cups chicken broth
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup uncooked rice
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
salt and pepper (to taste)


1. Combine broth, onion, celery, carrots and garlic in a large soup pot.
2. Bring to a boil.
3. Add rice and thyme.
4. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add chicken and heat through.
6. Thin with more broth if necessary.
7. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Chocolate Chip Muffins

Notes: I am surprising myself in saying this, but I modified this recipe to half the original amount of chocolate chips. It was just too rich and too dense with an entire bag of chips. Half a bag would be fine. And then just eat the other half of the bag while you are waiting for these to bake. :-)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup light-brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup butter -- melted and cooled
2 eggs - beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 package (6 oz) chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans -- chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 F. and grease up twelve muffin cups.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, stir together milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla until blended. Make a well in center of dry ingredients; add milk mixture and stir just to combine. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

Spoon batter into muffin cups; bake 15-20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in center of…

Strawberry Jam

Note: This makes 4 jars of jam, I would say. When I made it, I halved the recipe but forgot to halve the lemon juice! It still turned out great, but on the runny side. I did not do the whole canning thing because we were going to use it right away and I wouldn't know what to do with a mason jar anyway.

4 cups mashed strawberries
4 cups sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice

You basically mix all three ingredients together, bring them to a rolling boil for about 10 minutes. Check the temp to make sure it reaches 220 degrees (F). Then place the mixture into sterilized mason jars.

Sausage Cheese Balls

Note: This is seriously easy and they are seriously awesome. Probably not the most healthy snack in the world, but so what?

1-1/2 cups Bisquick
1 pound bulk sausage
3 cups of shredded cheese

Get out a big bowl. Measure the Biscuit Mix and cheese into the bowl. Add the raw sausage. Use your hands to mix everything together like meatloaf.

It is sort of gooey, but the finished product is worth a little goo. Shape the mixture into small balls the size of walnuts or egg yolks. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake at 350° for 25 minutes.

Remove them from the oven and drain them on paper towels. These are best when they are still warm, but are still rather tasty cold. Makes 2 trays full, about 75.

They are also great re-heated in the toaster oven for about 5 minutes @ 350.


Cindi's Pizza

Note: I have made this, but it never comes out exactly the way that Cindi makes it! There must be secret baking properties in that special pan she has....

A packet of yeast
1 3/4 cup warm water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
4 cup flour
Optional: Add garlic, oregano, and basil to your dough.

16 oz. can unseasoned peeled tomatoes
16 oz. block of mozzarella cheese
Spices: Dried basil, oregano, parsley, salt
Minced garlic (dry or wet or both)
Olive oil

Dough: Combine all but the flour into a bowl or bread maker. Add flour slowly and knead until it is fully mixed. Let rise twice, kneading in between risings.

Pizza: Spread the dough over the cookie sheet, punching fork holes into the dough. Lay out rectangular strips of mozzarella on top of the dough.

Spread tomatoes and juices over the dough and cheese, being sure to get juice on the edges of the crust. Add spices, garlic, and toppings.

Without preheating, cook pizza on the bottom rack at 375 degrees for 10 -20…

Cheddar Pennies

Note: I love these. They have a savory flavor that is not overwhelming. I got the recipe from the newspaper a long time ago. One time we made these, we used toppings to make tiny pictures on each cracker.

1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose FLOUR
1/4 teaspoon fine SALT
8 tablespoons UNSALTED BUTTER, softened
4 ounces grated extra-sharp CHEDDAR CHEESE (1 cup)
2 teaspoons DIJION MUSTARD (or spicy mustard)

Optional Toppings: Caraway, fennel, dill, thyme, rosemary, coarse salt, cracked black pepper, black onion seeds.

Whisk flour, salt and paprika in a small bowl. With an electric mixer, beat butter, cheese and mustard until smooth. Beat in flour mixture until dough comes together. Divide dough in thirds and roll each piece into a log 1 inch across and 9 inches long. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Slice logs into 1/4-in…

Sausage Rice

Note: This is a recipe from Mike's mom that was his favourite growing up. For this to turn out "just like Mom made it", using Minute rice is a necessity. I think it is good with regular rice, too.

1 pound of polska sausage
2 cups of Minute rice
1 Jar of Ragu Super Mushroom
2 tablespoons onions
1 garlic clove (chopped)
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil

Cut sausage into bite-sized pieces and heat in oven for half an hour. Make 2 cups of Rice in traditional method. Heat Sauce over medium heat. Add spices to the sauce and stir. When Sausage and Rice are finished cooking, add sausage, rice, and sauce together in a large pan. Set to simmer allowing the rice and sausage to absorb the sauce.

Serves 4+

Daniel's Enchiladas

Note: Getting enchilada sauce in a cut or other open wound is not advised! It will sting! This is a recipe from my good friend Daniel's family (hence the name). Back in college, this was a meal we really looked forward to! It can definitely be made with store-bought tortillas, but it is not as good and making the tortillas fresh is cheaper.

4 c Flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBSP Oil
1 and 1/4 c Warm Water

Enchilada Filling
3 cans enchilada sauce
2 tomatoes, chopped (or a can of diced tomatoes, drained)
3/4 tsp Cumin
1 tsp chili powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
2-3 lbs of grated cheese - Your choice (Cheddar, Colby, Monterey Jack work nicely)
Optional: Meat! Chicken or Beef, 1-2lbs.
Optional: Veggies, peppers, onions, etc to taste.

Tortillas: Mix flour, salt, oil, and water in a large bowl. Stir until it is able to be kneaded. Knead until rubbery. Separate dough into 8-12 balls. Place balls on floured surface and let sit covered with a towel for 15 minutes. Using a …

Hash Brown Potato Casserole

Note: This recipe is fantastic! It is quick and simple and turns out fantastic. Can be a dinner or breakfast side dish. If you don't want to use packaged hash browns, feel free to use fresh potatoes. This recipe was from my mom, I think she got it from the newspaper, though.

1 (32oz) package frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted & divided
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 (8-ounce) sour cream
1 cup (4 ounces) Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups corn flakes
Lemon twist & Parsley sprigs (definitely optional)


Combine potatoes, 1/2 cup butter, onion, soup, sour cream, and cheese; stir well. Spoon into a greased 2 1/2-quart casserole.

Crush cereal and stir in remaining 1/4 cup butter. Sprinkle over potato mixture.

Bake at 350 for 50 minutes. Garnish with a lemon twist and parsley, if desired.

Yield: 10 to 12 servings.

Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Note: These are amazingly close to the biscuits they serve at Red Lobster. Seriously.

2 c. Bisquick
2/3 c. milk
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c. butter
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Mix Bisquick and cheese; add milk.

Spoon on an ungreased cookie sheet (makes about 12).

Bake at 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with melted butter and garlic powder.


Homemade Calzones

Note: The dough may also be used for pizza crust. Recipe from a member of the livejournal poor_skills community.


1 c warm water
2 1/4 tsp yeast (1 packet)
1 tsp salt
2-4 c flour (variable)
2 tbsp oil

Tomato or Marinara Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese, grated
Pepperoni, chopped
Cooked Sausage, chopped
Cooked Chicken, chopped
Cooked Ham, chopped
Peppers, chopped
Onions, chopped
Mushrooms, chopped
Anything else you can think of!

Dissolve the packet of yeast in warm water. Dissolve salt into mixture slowly. Mix in flour a 1/4 c at a time until a good doughy mixture is the result. (slightly tacky to the touch) Place dough in an oiled metal bowl, turn over to ensure good oil coverage and cover with a tea-towel to let rise about 1/2 - 1 hour or until double in

When the dough is finished rising, prepare a surface for rolling and preparing. Have the flour close at hand. Flour your hands and divide the dough into equal pieces (4 for larger calzones, 8 for small calzones). Ro…

Broccoli Cheese Casserole

Note: This casserole goes great with Thanksgiving dinner and also with Ham. For those who do not like mushrooms, any type of condensed cream soup could be used. This is a family recipe.

1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup mayonnaise (use light to cut calories)
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup onions, chopped
30 ounces frozen chopped broccoli
8 - 12 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
pepper to taste
1 dash paprika


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together condensed soup, mayonnaise, egg and onions.

Place frozen broccoli into a very large mixing bowl. Break up the frozen broccoli. Using a rubber spatula, scrape soup-mayonnaise mixture on top of broccoli, and mix well. Sprinkle on cheese, and mix well. Spread mixture into prepared baking dish, and smooth top of casserole. Season with pepper and paprika.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Egg Puff

Note: This is a family recipe. I have modified it for a 2-quart pan as well. Also, the original version called for cutting the crust off of the bread, but it has been found to be unnecessary and a waste. Any type of bread may be used, however, white bread was originally intended. Bread is easier to cube when it is frozen. Also, any type of cheese can be used to give the dish a different feel, but cheddar is my personal favourite.

16 Slices of Bread
3/4 lbs Grated Cheddar Cheese
5 Eggs
2 cups Milk

Butter a 9x13in pan.

Cut slices of bread into cubes. Layer bread cubes and grated cheese
in pan, every-other-one ending with bread.

Beat together Eggs and Milk. Pour the mixture evenly over the layers of Bread and Cheese. Place pats of butter on the top.

Place in refrigerator overnight or until ready to bake.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Bake Egg Puff for approximately 45 minutes. You will know it is done when the top is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling.


Lemon Pudding Cake

Note: I would love to change the name of this! If anyone gives this a try and has any suggestions, let me know. This recipe is from a friend and was originally called "Easy Lemon Pudding Cake".

- 1 cup flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup milk (or soy milk)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp lemon zest (or lemon peel)
- juice of 1 lemon

- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 cup boiling water
- juice of 2 lemons

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Get water boiling in a kettle.

1. (cake) Whisk together flour, sugar, powder, soda, and salt in a
bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together soy milk, oil, zest, and lemon
juice. Add to flour and stir with a spoon until just mixed. Pour into
a 8 x 8 pan and spread evenly.

2. (sauce) Whisk together sugar and flour, then sprinkle evenly over batter.

3. Pour boiling water and lemon juice over top. Do not stir.

4. Bake for 40-45 mins, until top is golden and cake is cooked through.

Banana Nut Muffins

Note: The original recipe called for a full cup of walnuts and that was WAY too many (even the boyfriend who loves walnuts thought so).

3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tbsp espresso or strong coffee (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts

No need for a mixer with this recipe.

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the
mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl.
2) Mix in the sugar, egg, espresso and vanilla.
3) Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.
4) Add the flour, mix until it is just incorporated. Fold in the
chopped walnuts.
5) Pour mixture into a prepared muffin tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Check for doneness with a toothpick inserted into the center of a
muffin. If it comes out clean, it's done. Cool on a rack.

Makes 12 muffins.


Granola Bars (Alton Brown)

Note: this is one of my favourites at the moment. Here are some of the variations I have done so far:
Raisins/Almonds (slivered or sliced)
Pineapple/Almonds (also replaced the vanilla with about 1 shot of OJ)
Dried Apples/Peanuts (I also added about a tablespoon of cinnamon)

2 cups -- Oats (old-fashioned rolled or quick oats work)
1/2 cup -- Raw sunflower seeds
1 cup -- Sliced almonds or your favorite nut (peanuts, walnuts, etc)
1/2 cup -- Wheat germ

1/2 cup -- Honey
1/4 cup -- Dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp -- Unsalted butter
2 tsp -- Vanilla extract
1/2 tsp -- Salt (regular or Kosher)

1 cup -- chopped dried fruit, any combination of apricots, cherries,
blueberries, raisins, pineapple, etc

Butter a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven
to 350 degrees F.

Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, and wheat germ onto a
half-sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring

In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, extract …