Tuesday, December 21, 2010

You Deserve A Coffee Break Today Cooler ™

Love coffee drinks? This is an easy recipe that was inspired and requested by a neighbor. This is perfect anytime of the year.  

I've used vanilla ice cream. You can adjust the amount of ice cream You can use dairy free milk, dairy free ice cream, if needed. You can even experiment with frozen yogurt, if desired. 


1 cup (8 oz) black coffee (regular or decaf)
1/2 c skim milk
3-5 ice cubes
1- 2 scoops ice cream 
2-3 T chocolate syrup
Whipped cream (optional)

Brew coffee according to coffee maker instructions.

In a blender combine: coffee, milk, ice cubes, ice cream, 2 T of the chocolate syrup. Blend well for 20-30 seconds. 

Pour cooler into tall glasses. Top with whipped cream. Garnish with remaining syrup and straws.

Serves 2. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fall Noodles ™

This is a very simple recipe for winter squash. 

I've used fresh squash but you could also use pre cut instead.


1 package (12 oz) egg noodles  
1 c. chopped onion
2 - 3 c. chopped squash
1/8 tsp. each: nutmeg, dried oregano, pepper, salt 
1/4 c. pine nuts (optional)
2 - 3 T. olive oil

Cook noodles according to package instructions.

Peel squash with a vegetable peeler, and clean out seeds. 

Peel, rinse onion.

Cut onions and squash into chunks.

Heat pan over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium, add oil. 

Add onion, squash, black pepper, salt, nutmeg and oregano to pan.

 Stir occasionally and cook for 8 - 12 min. or until done.

 Towards end of cooking, add pine nuts. 

Drain pasta and toss with squash mixture. 

You can drizzle more olive oil if needed over pasta.

Serves 4.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Family Favorite Cheesecake ™

This is a family favorite for the holidays. 

Packaged graham cracker crumbs for this recipe were used.  You can crumble the crackers yourself if preferred. You can crumble them by placing the crackers in a plastic baggie and roll a rolling pin over them until crushed. A food processor works as well.  


1  1/2 c crushed graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c butter

Cheesecake Filling

1 pint small curd cottage cheese
1/2 c butter
2  8 oz packages cream cheese
4 eggs slightly beaten
1 pint sour cream
1/3 c corn starch
1 tsp vanilla
2  T fresh lemon juice
1  1/2 c sugar


Preheat oven to 325' F 

Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter into a mixing bowl. Mix well. Spread mixture evenly into a 9 inch spring form pan. Bake on 325' F for 15 min. When crust is done baking, set aside. 


Beat cottage cheese until smooth.  Add ingredients in order given, beating well after each addition using medium speed on mixer.  After all ingredients are added, beat an additional 10 min. until mixture is smooth and creamy.  

Pour mixture onto prepared graham cracker crust.  Bake for 1 hr. and 20 min. at 325' F. After baking turn oven off and let it stand in oven for 2 hrs.  Don't open oven during baking time and standing time.

Remove from oven and allow to stand at room temperature an additional hour. Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Top with canned cherry pie filling or with your favorite cheesecake topping. 

Serves 10.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Classic Chicken Salad ™

Looking for an idea for a quick lunch.

Here is an easy recipe for a classic lunchtime staple. 

I've used canned chicken, but this is perfect for leftover chicken too.

You can serve this as a sandwich but it also works served over lettuce or along side of crackers. Enjoy!

12 oz. cooked chicken (finely chopped)
1/4 c. finely chopped celery
1/8 c. chopped onion
1/3 c  - 1/3 c. light mayo (to taste)
1/8 tsp. each: black pepper, white pepper, granulated garlic

Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix well to coat mixture. 

Serves 4 - 6.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Poached Eggs

This is a very simple recipe for poached eggs. Enjoy!

2 eggs
1 c water
1/8 tsp each salt, lemon juice (optional)
1/4 tsp pepper

Bring water in a pot to a gentle boil. Add salt and lemon juice if desired.

Crack 1 egg onto a saucer or small dish.

Once water reaches boil, reduce heat to medium low. Add egg by tilting dish over pan to let egg slide off into pan. Repeat process with remaining egg.

Cook eggs for 4 min. Remove eggs with slotted spoon and transfer onto a clean plate. Sprinkle pepper over eggs if desired. 

Serves 1.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Grilled Raspberry Chicken Salad ™

This recipe was inspired by a nephew. 

This is a light, yet satisfying summer meal. I used fresh raspberries for the salad, but you can use frozen raspberries if needed.  I used a grill pan for this recipe, but this will work on an outdoor grill as well. 


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 package raspberries (6 oz)
1 tsp sugar, to taste (regular or dietetic)
1/8 tsp salt (optional)
1/4 tsp pepper
1-2 T oil (Canola)


1 c cherry tomatoes, halved
1 oz each: Gorgonzola cheese, sliced almonds
1/2 cucumber sliced
1/2 medium red onion, sliced
1/2 head Romaine or red leaf lettuce

Set aside a few raspberries for garnish. 

In a baggie combine: sugar, raspberries, salt, pepper. Use your fingers to finely crush raspberries. Add chicken to the baggie and massage bag with fingers to coat chicken evenly Let set in the refrigerator for a few hours to marinate.

While chicken is marinating, prepare salad and chill in refrigerator.

Heat grill pan over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium. and add oil. Cook chicken on 1 side for 6 - 10 min or until done. Flip chicken over and repeat cooking process. 

Let chicken rest for a few minutes before slicing.  Transfer chicken to cutting board and cut into slices.  Toss chicken slices into salad. Garnish salad with reserved raspberries. 

Serves 4.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Shrimp Oliver ™

Need an idea for a super simple dish. This quick recipe is based on a pasta dish that I had at a restaurant years ago. 

I've used cooked shrimp. If using raw, cook them in boiling water first, then set aside. I've used a dry white wine, but you can use vermouth instead. I've also used angel hair or linguine, but this should work with your favorite pasta.

1- 1  1/2  lb cooked shrimp (depending on size of shrimp)
1 pkg thin pasta  regular, or whole wheat or gluten free)
1 c each: chopped: ripe pitted black olives, chopped tomatoes (cherry or Roma), chopped bell pepper, chopped onions
1/3 c dry white wine or vermouth
1/4 c sliced green onions
3 T. oil  (olive or canola)
1-2 tsp each to taste: parsley, oregano, basil (dried or fresh)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp salt (optional)
1 clove fresh garlic, crushed & chopped
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon

Cook pasta according to directions. 

If using raw shrimp, cook shrimp in a pan with boiling water until shrimp turns pink (3-5 min), set aside.

In a skillet heat oil over medium high. Combine: vegetables, olives, herbs, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice and zest. Cook for 5- 6 minutes.  

Carefully add wine if desired. Add shrimp cook for 4- 5 minutes more or until shrimp is heated. Serve over your favorite pasta.

Serves 4

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Herb Dressing ™

This is my version of a classic herb dressing. This is an excellent way to use fresh herbs out of your garden. If you can't find fresh herbs, then dried herbs will work too. 

I used a clean glass jar with a lid to mix this dressing. But if you don't have any, you can use a small bowl to mix the dressing.

1/2 c oil (olive or canola)
1/2 -1 tsp lemon juice (to taste)
1/8  tsp salt (optional)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1-2 tsp each: parsley, chopped chives, basil, oregano, to taste (dried or fresh)

In a small bowl or a clean glass jar combine ingredients.  Mix well by shaking the jar or by using a fork. 

Makes 8 servings (1 T)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Potato Chip Chicken Bake ™

This a very easy and fun dish for a summer meal. Instead of breadcrumbs, I used potato chips to coat the chicken. Feel free to use one whole egg and 1 egg white instead of the 2 whole eggs if desired. Enjoy!

8 oz approx. kettle style potato chips (crushed)
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp salt (optional)
Squeeze of lemon
2 eggs
Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400' F

Spray cooking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

Crack two eggs in a shallow dish and beat gently with a fork. Add salt and pepper to the eggs. You can even add your favorite herbs and spices if desired.

In a plastic baggie, place potato chips. Use a rolling pin to crush them. You can also use your hands to crush them. Pour chips into a shallow dish.

Dip chicken into eggs, coating both sides. Dip chicken into chips. Make sure chicken is evenly coated on both sides.  Place on a cookie sheet.  Repeat process with remaining chicken. Squeeze a little lemon over top of chicken.

Bake for 25 minutes or until done.

Serves 4.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Yankee Doodle Pot Roast ™

 What can be more all American than a pot roast. This is an easy recipe for a classic. I've used a sirloin roast for this recipe but this will work for most kinds of roasts.

1  4 lb sirloin roast
2 cloves garlic cut into slivers
1 onion peeled and quartered
5 medium potatoes, rinsed and quartered
1 lb package rinsed carrots, broken in half
1/4 tsp each: lemon juice, dried parsley, tsp ground pepper
1/8 tsp salt (optional)
1/8 c olive oil
1/ 2 c - 3/4 c water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel and quarter onions. Rinse potatoes well and quarter. Rinse carrots well and break in half. Arrange vegetables and water in roasting pan. 

Put sirloin roast in roasting pan. Season roast with salt, parsley, pepper on both sides.
Make small slits all over roast with a knife to form pockets. Place garlic slivers in pockets. 

Combine olive oil and lemon juice in measuring cup.  Stir and pour over roast. 
Place roast in oven and cook for approx 2 hours or until roast is done.

Serves 8.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Simply Gravy ™

This is a very simple recipe for a basic beef gravy.  I used the juice and the drippings from a roast, but you can also use canned beef broth if needed.  If you're using liquid from your roast, you can pour the liquid through a strainer to catch any of the excess fat. 

2 cups beef broth (from roast liquid or canned low sodium broth)
2 T flour
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp salt (optional)

Into a 2 cup measuring cup, pour liquid through a strainer to catch excess fat. Combine broth and flour. Stir with a fork to dissolve flour to prevent lumps. 

Heat skillet over medium low heat.  Pour beef broth mixture into pan. Using a wire whisk, stir broth continually for 8-10 minutes or until it reduces to desired thickness.

Serves 8 (2 T)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sharons' Egg Drop Soup

This is a super simple, yet satisfying recipe for egg drop soup.

2 cans low sodium chicken broth 
1 egg (gently beaten)
1 tsp. corn starch
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. salt (optional)
2 T. green onion 

Crack 1 egg into a bowl. Gently beat with a fork for a few seconds, set aside.

Bring chicken broth, pepper, salt to a boil in a pan.  Boil for 2-3 minutes and reduce heat to medium low. 

Add egg slowly. As you're adding the egg,  keep stirring with a fork. This will create egg threads. Cook for 2 minutes. Add corn starch and cook soup for 1 minute more or until cornstarch is dissolved. 

Garnish with the green onions.

Serves 4

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Mary Had An Easter Lamb ™

This is a simple recipe traditionally served at Easter.

5 lb boneless lamb roast
2 cloves garlic crushed and sliced.
1 lemon zested and juiced
1 T each: dried parsley, rosemary
1/4 tsp. pepper 
1/8 tsp salt (optional)
3/4 - 1 c olive oil

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix 1/2 of olive oil  salt, pepper, lemon zest, 1 clove of garlic, rosemary, parsley together in bowl,  set aside. 

Put lamb roast in roasting pan. Make slits to form small pockets all over lamb roast. Put olive oil mixture and remaining garlic slices in pockets of roast. Pour remainder of olive oil over lamb. 

Bake at 350 for 2 - 3 hours approx. or until done. Baste periodically with juices from bottom of pan. Halfway through cooking,  squeeze lemon juice all over top of roast. 

Let rest 15  -  20 minutes before carving.

Serves 10.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Key West Chicken ™

Love a getaway but can't afford it? This recipe will give you a taste of a getaway without the hassle of packing. Enjoy!

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 limes (juiced and zested)
3 T  Teriyaki sauce
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp salt (optional)
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 T oil (olive or canola) 

Zest and juice lime.  

Combine chicken breasts, Teriyaki sauce, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes in shallow dish. Pour lime juice and zest over chicken. Let it marinate for several hours or overnight.

Heat grill pan or skillet on medium high heat. Add oil and reduce heat to medium. Add chicken and cook on one side for 10 minutes or until done. Flip chicken over and repeat cooking process on other side.

Serves 4

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sauced Steak ™

Need an idea for dinner.

This is a very simple yet elegant idea for steak. I've used an inexpensive cut of steak and dry red wine. Feel free to use what cut of steak and dry red wine that you like.

8 oz steaks
1  1/4 c (10 oz) dry red wine 
2 T chopped shallots
1 T Worcestershire Sauce
2 oz (1/4 c) sliced mushrooms
1/8 tsp salt (optional)
1/4 tsp pepper 

Combine steaks, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, 1 T shallots in shallow dish.  Pour 2 oz. red wine over steaks and marinate for several hours or overnight. 

Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium, place steaks and marinade in pan.

Cook on one side for 6 -10 minutes. Flip steaks over and repeat cooking process until desired doneness. Transfer steaks to serving plate and let rest.

Carefully combine remaining wine, remaining shallots and mushrooms. Stir to deglaze pan and let wine reduce for 6 - 7 minutes. Spoon sauce over steaks.

Serves 2.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Vegetable Stir Fry

Who says that a vegetarian dish can't be the main course.

This is a quick and healthy recipe for a vegetable stir fry. This recipe is perfect for the Lenten season. Feel free to experiment with different vegetables. You can also add nuts or Tofu to this recipe for added protein.

1 c each: sliced carrots, snow peas, sliced mushrooms, sliced celery, chopped onion, sliced bell pepper
1- 2 T oil (canola)
1 clove crushed garlic (diced)
1 T fresh ginger (diced)
1 can sliced water chestnuts
1/2 c each: sliced green onions, water

1 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp salt (optional)

Heat wok or saute pan on medium high heat, add oil. Combine: vegetables, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper in pan. Stir fry vegetables to 8-10 minutes or until done. 

In a cup or small bowl combine water and cornstarch. Mix to dissolve cornstarch.

Push vegetables to sides of pan. Pour water mixture into middle of pan. Let liquid reduce. Coat vegetables with sauce. 

Serves 4

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Grandmas Hamburger Soup ™

Nothing is better than Grandmas cooking.  This is an easy recipe for my Grandmas soups.

1 lb ground meat (ground round or sirloin)
1 c each: chopped onions, sliced celery, sliced turnip (optional)
2 - 3 c. approx. mixed vegetables 
1 - 2 cans diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp. each: parsley, pepper
1/8 tsp salt (optional)
6 cans (3 cartons) low sodium beef broth
2 cloves garlic crushed & chopped
pinch red pepper flakes

In a skillet, brown hamburger over medium high heat 8-10 minutes, drain off excess fat.

Peel, crush and chop garlic.

In large saucepan combine, broth, tomatoes, onions, celery, hamburger, turnips, mixed vegetables, salt,  pepper, parsley, garlic. Bring to a boil, for 15 min. stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat and let simmer for 1- 2 hours. 

Serves 12.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Moo Goo Gai Pan (Chicken With Mushrooms)

 Moo Goo Gai Pan translated means Chicken with Sliced Mushrooms.

This is very simple recipe for a Chinese classic. Enjoy!

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs  (sliced)
1 c. sliced carrots
1 c. fresh snow peas
1 tsp. fresh ginger (minced)
1 -  2 T. low sodium soy sauce
1 can sliced water chestnuts
½ bell pepper sliced
1 tsp. corn starch
1/ 3  - 1/2 c water (adjust as needed)
1 c green onions sliced
8 oz.  sliced mushrooms
1 -  2 T. oil (olive or canola)
1 tsp. sake (optional)

1/8 - 1/4 tsp. each:  pepper, salt

Cut chicken into slices. Combine chicken, 1 tsp of the ginger, sake, salt, pepper and soy sauce in bowl. Toss to coat chicken and marinate for a few hours.

Heat oil in wok or saute pan over medium high heat. Add chicken slices, ginger, stir fry for 8 minutes. Transfer cooked chicken to bowl, set aside.

Add more oil if needed. Add veggies, stir fry for 7 minutes. Return chicken to pan, stir fry for 3 more minutes.

In a cup combine water and cornstarch. Mix well to dissolve cornstarch. 

Push vegetables and chickento sides of pan to make well in middle of pan. Pour water mixture into pan. Let liquid reduce for 1 min.  Stir to coat vegetables with sauce. 

Serves 4.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Grand Slam Lasagna ™

This recipe is called Grand Slam Lasagna because 4 cheeses (Ricotta, Provolone, Parmesan, Mozzarella) are used. This is a home run with family and friends.

I've used my recipe for tomato sauce, but you can use jarred sauced if preferred. You can adjust the amount of sauce, if desired.

I also used ground round for this recipe. Feel free to experiment and use what cheeses and ground meats that you like. You can even make this vegetarian if desired
. Enjoy!

1 1/2 lb each: Ricotta cheese, Mozzarella,  lean ground beef (ground round)
1 lb each: Provolone (sliced), Parmesan cheese (grated or shredded)
1 package lasagna noodles (no boil or regular)
Non-stick cooking spray
6 c pasta sauce, to taste (my recipe or jar)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp salt (optional)
2 eggs (optional)
1/2 c chopped onions

Preheat oven to 375.

In a skillet or sauce pan, brown meat an onions for 8-10 minutes, drain meat and onions in strainer. Add tomato sauce and cook for 10 minutes more.

Meanwhile cook lasagna noodles according to package and drain, set aside. If using no boil noodles, omit this step.

Place ricotta cheese in mixing bowl add two eggs, and combine well.

Spray baking pan with non stick cooking spray. Take 1/2 - 3/4 cup of tomato sauce and spread on bottom of baking pan.

Layer 1/3 of noodles overlapping each other in bottom of baking pan. Spread 1/3 of sauce and meat over noodles. Arrange 1/2 of ricotta cheese mixture, sliced provolone, 1/3 of Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses over sauce

Top with 1/3 noodles and repeat layering process. Set aside 1 c of sauce without the meat. Top with remaining noodles. Layer 1 c of sauce, remaining Parmesan and mozzarella cheese over noodles

Cover lasagna with foil and bake for 60-70 minutes.

Makes 10 serving.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Refrigerator Donuts ™

Who doesn't love a good donut?

This recipe is so simple that my niece came up with it. She used canned refrigerated biscuit dough for this recipe. Enjoy!

2 cans refrigerated biscuit dough
2 c vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar (regular or dietetic)
2-3 T ground cinnamon

In a shallow bowl combine sugar and cinnamon. Mix well.

Unroll biscuits from can.

With a clean cap from a pop or water bottle, punch a hole out of the biscuits. We use leftover dough to make donuts dots.

Heat oil on high in deep pan. When the temp reaches 365 *F, it's ready. You can tell this by using a deep fry thermometer.

Drop a few doughnuts in the oil. Cook donuts 3 - 5 minutes or until golden brown. While frying, turn donuts over once to cook evenly. Repeat cooking process with remaining donuts.

Drain fried donuts on plate lined with paper towels.

Dredge cooled donuts in sugar cinnamon mixture, coating both sides of donuts.

Makes 20 donuts, (5 servings).

Monday, January 11, 2010

Double Play Panini ™

This is a very simple recipe for my version of a Panini. It's called double play because there are 2 kinds of nitrate free meat and cheeses used.

I've used ham, salami,  Provolone and Swiss cheese. I've used a regular skillet, but this recipe also works on a grill pan, a panini maker or even on an outdoor grill.

Feel free to experiment and use what meats, bread, cheeses, vegetables you like.  Try to use nitrate free if possible. You can even make this sandwich vegan,  if desired. 


8 slices each: bread
4 slices each: Provolone,  Swiss Cheese ( lean),
ham (lean), hard salami
1 Roma tomato (sliced)
4 lettuce leaves


1/4 c + 1- 2 T olive oil
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1 small clove garlic (crushed, chopped)
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp each: dried parsley, dried basil

In a small bowl combine: 1/3 c olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, parsley and basil. Mix well and set aside.

To assemble sandwiches: Layer 2 slices of ham and salami, 1 slices of provolone and the Swiss on 4 slices of the bread. Top with tomato slices and lettuce leaves.

Take remaining bread and drizzle or smear dressing on one side of bread. Top sandwiches with the bread dressing side down.

To heat: Heat grill pan or skillet over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium and add oil. Place 1 sandwich in skillet. Place small pan over sandwich to press down on sandwich. Cook on 1 side for 3 -5 min or until brown. Flip over and cook on other side for 3-5 min or until brown. Repeat cooking process with remaining sandwiches.

Makes 4 servings.