Monday, January 26, 2009


Homemade pizzas are not something I usually make, but this recipe is soooo easy, and you're only limited by your imagination. You don't even need any yeast! All you need is some flour and a few other ingredients to make a batter that turns into a great, thin crust. What's even better is you can have it whipped up and served before you can call a pizza place and get one delivered and you can put any toppings you want on it.

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 large eggs
2/3 cup milk
My first one was like a bacon cheeseburger. I fried up about a pound of ground chuck with a small chopped onion, drained off the grease, and sprinkled it on top of the crust I had mixed up and baked it at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Then I squirted some mustard, and chopped pickles on top, sprinkled 1/3 pound of crumbled up, crisp bacon all over and added 2 cups shredded american cheese. Popped it back into the oven on broil and baked just until the cheese was nicely melted and slightly brown.(about 3 minutes)

You would make a traditional one by adding some pepperoni slices or cooked Italian sausage, 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (optional), baking 20 minutes, drizzling on 1 1/2 cups pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce and adding
2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese or pizza cheese .

Another good one would be shredded cooked chicken, 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes, baked, then drizzled with ranch or italian dressing, adding 2 cups of mozzarella or any other kind of cheese.

Let everyone choose their own toppings for a fun Supper Bowl Day!

Here aare the directions for the crust.
1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2 Grease and flour a pizza pan or 10 x 15 baking sheet (with sides).
3 Combine flour, salt, oregano, pepper, eggs and milk and mix well.
4 Pour batter in pan and tilt pan around until bottom of pan is evenly coated.
5 Sprinkle the cooked toppings over the batter.
6 Bake for 20 minutes.
7 Remove from oven and drizzle on pizza sauce or other condiments.
8 Sprinkle evenly with cheese.
9 Bake for about 5 more minutes, or until cheese is bubbling.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Blueberry Scones

I'm not sure how many of you have tried these delicious little fruit filled biscuits, but when I first tried this recipe I was very disappointed in the way they cooked up. So I sat about making them so they were as nice and high as I wanted them to be and also as sweet.

The butter should be frozen solid before grating. I chill the flour, sugar mixture before use. While the recipe calls for 2 whole sticks of butter, only 10 tablespoons are actually used (see step 1). If fresh berries are unavailable, an equal amount of frozen berries (do not defrost) can be substituted. Any fruit can be used in place of the blueberries. ( I especially like raspberries, so I buy the frozen ones to use in my scones. Cut larger berries into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces before incorporating. Refrigerate or freeze leftover scones, wrapped in foil, in an airtight container.

To serve, remove foil and place scones on a baking sheet in a 375-degree oven. Heat until warmed through and re-crisped, 8 to 10 minutes if refrigerated, 16 to 20 minutes if frozen. See final step for information on making the scone dough in advance.

Makes 6-8

16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), frozen whole (see note above)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries or any other fruit you desire (about 7 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces), plus additional for work surface
1/2 cup sugar (3 1/2 ounces), plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling ( I also use 1/3 cup on top of the fruit when making the scones and then the tablespoon on top with the butter before baking.
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest ( I omitted this but some of you may like to use it)

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Score and remove half of wrapper
from each stick of frozen butter. Grate unwrapped ends on large holes of box grater (you should grate total of 8 tablespoons). Place grated butter , the flour, and the 1/2 cup sugar in freezer until needed. Melt 2 tablespoons of additional butter and set aside.

2. lightly grease an 8" square or round cake pan. ( I use a round one and the scones bake up perfect.)

3. Whisk together milk and sour cream in medium bowl; refrigerate until needed. Add baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest , if used, in the bowl with the grated butter and flour/sugar mixture Toss with fingers until thoroughly coated.

4. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; fold with spatula until just combined. With rubber spatula, transfer dough to liberally floured work surface. Dust surface of dough with flour; with floured hands, knead dough 6 to 8 times,
until it just holds together in ragged ball, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.

5. Divide the dough in half and press one half into the prepared pan, then top with the blueberries jor other fruit and spread it evenly over the top of the dough. This is where I add the extra 1/3 cup of sugar. I sprinkle it over the top of the fruit evenly.

6. Now spread the other half of the dough over the top of the bottom dough with the fruit and brush the melted butter over the top. Then sprinkle the 1 tablespoon of sugar on top.
Using a floured bread scraper or spatula, I then score the scones by cutting them into eighths if in a round pan, or into 6 scones by cutting across the square pan once through from side to side and then twice through from the other side
NOTE: Cutting through the dough before baking to score it is not necessary unless you want your scones to break apart easily in proportioned pieces.

Bake 18 to 25 minutes.until tops and bottoms are golden brown. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes before serving.

To Make Ahead:
Scones may be refrigerated or frozen before baking, If refrigerated, bake as directed. If frozen bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until done and both top and bottom are brown.


Vietnamese food has never been something I wanted to learn how to cook. And, stir-fry, even though it fills me up for the moment, never seems substantial enough to quell my appetite for very long. But after becoming acquainted with a Vietnamese cook and eating a dish she prepared for me, one I can't even begin to pronounce, I am excited about sharing it with you. This is a satiating meal .................the whole family will enjoy, especially if it's accompanied by a couple of egg rolls.

When served this meal for the first time, I eye-balled the large Wok with trepidation. How could this pot full of rabbit food, with not one tidbit of meat to be seen, feed the five people who were seated around the table? How could one feel full without any meat? Or biscuits and gravy? Can you tell I'm a southern country gal used to meat and potatoes at every meal?

My Bigmother always taught me that "good manners" required I eat whatever the hostess prepared and convince her that I enjoyed it! And even though I felt this was going to take monumental acting skills , I dug in with the gusto of a "hound dog", and before the meal was over, had eaten my fair share of this delicious fare. This is probably the best "stir-fry" I have ever had and I make it regularly. It takes more "prep" time than it does
the 4 or 5 minutes needed to "cook" it and is the perfect meal for the hot, dog-days of summer we experience here in Florida. As I stated before, I can't begin to pronounce it's name so I just call it..........


Clean and cut, "julieanne-style", 1 cup carrots
Clean and cut crosswise into little rounds, 1 pkg. green onions ( bulbs & blades)
Clean and chop finely, 1 head Napa cabbage

Cook in half water and half chicken broth: 1 pkg. angel hair pasta, al dente ( drop pasta into rapidly
boiling water-broth liquid for 3-4 minutes) Immediately drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking action. Drain again and set aside.

In a Wok, or large skillet, heat to very hot, 1 Tablespoon Sesame oil ( reg veg oil may be used but I think the sesame oil gives it a unique flavor)
Add: carrots and toss, cooking for 1 minute
Add: green onnions and cook, tossing continuously, for 1 minute
Add: Napa cabbage and cook for another minute
Add: cooked, drained, pasta
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
and cook, tossing, until just heated all the way through and serve.

If you feel this is not a substantial enough meal, lay 1-2 eggs rolls on the side of each plate before serving.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Now This, is a Cake!

When Bigmother made cakes they were sometimes 10" high. Having 3-4 layers of cake and 2-3 layers of icing. One of my favorites was her Jam cake with caramel icing. It tastes like a cross between a spice cake and gingerbread to me and when I make it now, I leave off the icing and bake it in 2- 5" X 9" X 3" loaf pans. The first recipe for caramel icing is the one she always used. The second one is a bit easier to make.

1 cup butter
2 cup sugar
3eggs, beaten
3 cup flour
1 teaspoon each of, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, salt, soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup blackberry jam
1 cup nuts, optional
1 cup raisins, optional
Cream butter and sugar. add eggs and buttermilk, add jam, add spices to flour and mix together.
stir in additions of nuts and raisins.
Pour into 8-9" cake pans
bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes. makes 3- 4 layers, frost with caramel icing

In a saucepan put:
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup butter
Stir, cooking until all is melted. Boil without stirring 3-5 minutes or to the soft-ball stage ( 238 degrees F)
Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon vanilla and beat until cool and thick.
Double for more layers on cake.
Melt in a saucepan: 1/3 cup butter.
Add 1 cup light brown sugar and 1/4 cup cream.
Cook to 238 degrees f. ( soft ball stage)
remove from heat and beat in 1 box powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla.. Beat until thick enough to spread.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


I love the Pasta e Fagioli soup they serve at Olive Garden and a friend of mine gave me this knock-off recipe for it. It's really delicious and filling on a cold day, especially with a grilled cheese sandwich. Although they're not called for I also add potatoes to mine and then actually it's more like vegetable beef soup I still call it my.........


1 1/2 T. olive oil
1 lb ground chuck
or stew beef
3/4 cup onion , chopped
1/2 cup carrots, slivered
2 cups red potatoes, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 small can. tomatoes w/green chilies, canned, diced

1 can dark red kidney beans, drained

1 can white kidney beans, drained
32 oz. beef broth ( I make mine with Knorr's beef boullion cubes)

1/2 teaspoon oregano
3/4 teaspoon pepper

1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 sm. jar spaghetti sauce flavored w/ meat ( I use Ragu`)
1/2 cup dry pasta ( elbow, shells, twists, etc...)

Saute` beef in olive oil in large pot till it starts to brown. Add onions, carrots, potatoes,celery and tomatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes or until onions are translucent but not brown. Add drained beans to the pot. Also , add beef stock, oregano, pepper, spaghetti sauce and simmer about 45 minutes. Add dry pasta and simmer another 8-10 minutes or until pasta is done but not soft.

Serve with cornbread or for a really impressive service, cut the tops off individual french hard breads, about 1/3 down. Scoop out bread from inside and fill with soup. Serve scooped out bread on the side.


When the snow is piled knee deep to a tall indian, it's time for some soup! Especially after you've been outside shoveling snow. Or just on a cold winter morning, this soup will make a great meal and really warm ya up. You might want to mash a few of the potatoes to make it thicker , and I add 1 Knorr's chicken bouillon cube to mine for extra flavor. A dollop of sour cream on top is great too.


2 1/2lbs Red Potatoes, the small ones (approximately 15 chopped into 3/4" - 1" pieces)
1/2c minced onion
1/4c Land O Lakes butter, melted
2 to 3 tsp flour (for thickening)
1/2 tsp salt, pepper,& garlic powder
1/2 pkg. Oscar Meyer real bacon pieces...(2.8 oz bag) ( I prefer real bacon, about 4 slices, crumbled)
8 oz pkg shredded Monterey & cheddar cheese..(already mixed bag) ( I used mozzerella only)
14 oz can chicken broth
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 bunch green onions plus tops, sauteed` in a little butter (for garnish)
sour cream (optional)

Boil potatoes and set aside, saute onions in butter, thicken with flour to make a roux , add chicken broth and cream.Fold in the potatoes and cheese, add bacon and simmer on low just long enough to melt the cheese.