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Monday, January 26, 2015


Unfortunately I never got a photo of the finished inverted french toast that was oozing with yummy goodness.  I used my lasagna pan to create a nice loaf style french toast.

6 tablespoons butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
1 teaspoon Rum extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 medium bananas, ripe and sliced thin
  • VERY LIGHTLY spray pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a medium sauce pan melt butter.
  • Add brown sugar and corn syrup, stirring to dissolve.
  • Remove from heat and add cinnamon and vanilla.
  • Pour sauce into bottom of prepared pan.
  • Arrange banana slices evenly over the sauce.
1 loaf cinnamon raisin bread, cut into cubes
6 ounces cream cheese, cut into small cubes
8 LARGE eggs
1 cup milk
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons PURE vanilla
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
powdered sugar, for garnish
  • Layer half of the bread cubes over the bananas followed by the cream cheese cubes and the remaining bread.
  • Gently press the bread down over the cream cheese.
  • Whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg until well blended.
  • Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread mixture.
  • Using a piece of wax paper press down again to GENTLY force the bread to absorb the egg mixture.
  • Cover and chill overnight.
  • Remove casserole from refrigerator  and bring to room temperature (about 20-30 minutes).
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Bake uncovered 30-40 minutes.
  • Invert onto platter*.
  • Slice and serve.
  • Let rest 5 minutes.
*Because I use my lasagna pan and it's larger than any of my platters, I use a piece of heavy duty foil wrap over the lasagna pan to invert and then use a spatula to cut arrange pieces on the platter.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


2 pounds hamburger
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 large red onion, chopped
2 cups V-8
1 can tomato sauce
2 cans diced tomatoes with juice
+/- 8 ounces beef broth
salt and pepper to taste
1 small head cabbage, shredded
1 cup pasta
  • In a large saute' pan, brown hamburger with onion and garlic.
  • Drain off fat and return to pan.
  • Add V-8, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and broth, stirring to blend.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Simmer over low heat 1-2 hours.
  • Add cabbage and simmer 1 hour more.
  • Add  pasta and simmer 20 minutes more until pasta is tender.
If you like it thinner like soup, add more broth.


2-2 1/2 pound pork loin, cut into 1 inch chunks
3/4 cup Hoisin sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons sriracha
4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Place pork pieces in a large zip log bag.
  • In a mixing bowl whisk together the Hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sriracha, ketchup and honey until well blended.
  • Add brown sugar and garlic and mix well.
  • Pour over pork pieces and toss to coat.
  • Marinate for 24 hours.

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Cover baking pan with heavy duty foil*.
  • Remove pork pieces from bag, reserving marinade.
  • Place pork pieces on baking pan.
  • Bake 20 minutes.
  • Turn pork pieces and brush with reserve marinade.
  • Bake an additional 10 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Let rest 5 minutes before serving.
*This will make clean up sooooooooooo much easier.


I'm a BIG believer in buying local.  I also love when we move to a new area and there are so many new things to try.  My newest favorite is FACE ROCK CREAMERY cheese based out of Bandon, Oregon a quaint little seaside town that we visited not to long ago when our son and DIL were visiting.   I tried a sample of FACE ROCK CREAMERY Jack cheese at Costco the other day and fell in love with their smooth and creamy cheese.  On a whim I bought their Vampire Slayer Garlic Cheddar and found a new favorite way to make an old comfort food on a cold and cloudy night.

Tonight because it is cold, foggy and miserable, I served it with left over Wagon Wheel Soup for a rib sticking good meal.
1 1/2 cups dried macaroni (elbows or shells)
3/4 cup heavy cream**
2 tablespoons butter
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
3/4 pound or 2 cups shredded FACE ROCK VAMPIRE SLAYER garlic cheddar cheese
  • Preheat oven to 350˚.
  • Prepare macaroni according to package directions. Drain well.
  • Using the same pan, melt butter and add cream until smooth.
  • Add cheese a few pieces at a time, stirring until well blended.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Fold in pasta.
  • Pour into casserole dish.
  • Sprinkle with crispy onions or Garlic Croutons if desired.
  • Bake 20 minutes or until heated through and golden on top.
**I found I was out of heavy cream, but wait, there is a substitute using what you have on hand.
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon Wondra flour (this can be omitted if using whole milk)
  • In a small saucepan melt butter.
  • Whisk in Wondra until golden.
  • Add milk gradually, whisking until well blended and starts to thicken slightly.


My DIL tried this recipe via Facebook, but it was "missing" something or had too much as hers was a bit "runny".  She asked me if I'd take a look and after 2 tries I have finally adapted it into a working recipe.  I'll list the original recipe and my changes are in red.

BUFFALO CHICKEN MEATBALLS adapted from a Facebook recipe of unknown origin

1 pound extra lean ground chicken
2 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened
2 eggs 1 egg
3 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese, 2 tablespoons Gorgonzola crumbles
3 green onions, finely minced
1/2 cup finely ground Panko crumbs
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Blue Cheese or Ranch dressing for dipping sauce
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line baking sheet with heavy duty foil or parchment paper for an easier clean up.
  • In a mixing bowl combine all the above ingredients until well combined.
  • Form into meatballs (about 24 small ones) and place on baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup Frank's hot sauce
  • Whisk together butter and hot sauce.
  • Brush sauce over meatballs liberally.
  • Return to the oven for 20 minutes more.
  • Serve warm with dipping sauce


This SOUR CREAM APPLE COFFEE CAKE is so versatile - use whatever appropriate fruit is in season - love it with strawberries in May or peaches in August!

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
4 large Honey Crisp Apples
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Spray 9x9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Prepare the topping (see below) and set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar and eggs.
  • Add sour cream and vanilla, blending well.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt until combined.
  • Gradually add flour mixture to the cream mixture until well mixed.
  • Pour half the batter into prepared baking dish. 
  • Layer half the apples over the batter.
  • Top with a scant half of the topping.
  • Pour remaining batter over topping, followed by the remaining apples and topping.
  • Bake 1 hour or until tester comes out clean.
  • Cool completely.
  • Refrigerate for an hour before serving.
  • Heat and top with Caramel sauce before serving (optional).
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup Fisher's Cinnamon Pecans
  • Combine the brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon and pecans, mixing well.
  • Set Aside.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Carrot Raisin Banana Bread

Bananas and frugality are definitely a challenge for me. I have escaped the knowledge of buying just the right amount of bananas to be eaten before they become recipe ripe.  While I really enjoy eating bananas, after a certain stage of ripeness, I do not enjoy eating them fresh.

With a large bag of frozen bananas in our freezer, it was time to try another loaf of banana bread. Banana bread can be made in about a million ways, today we are adding carrots and raisins. And this one is a winner! Not too sweet and made with whole grains, I hope you like it as well as we do.

Carrot Raisin Banana Bread
adapted from:  The Wooden Spoon Bread Book
350 degree oven

1 c flour
1 c whole wheat flour (we use spelt)
1 t baking soda
1 t salt

1/3 c oil
1/3 c brown sugar
1/3 c sugar
2 eggs

1/3 c milk
3 bananas, mashed
2 - 2 1/2 c grated carrots
1 c raisins, chopped

Combine dry ingredients, set aside.

In a large bowl, beat oil, sugars and eggs. Stir in milk, bananas, grated carrots and chopped raisins. Fold in dry ingredients, mix well, however do not beat.

Turn into a prepared 9X5 loaf pan. Bake 1 hour or until done in your oven. Let cool in pan 15 minutes, turn out to cool completely.


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