Monday, August 27, 2018

Donna's Mac and Cheese

8 oz elbow macaroni
3 T butter
3 T flour
1T dry mustard
3 cps (2 large cans) Evaporated Milk
1 Bay Leaf
1/2 t Paprika
1 lg egg
1 lb sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1t salt
fresh black pepper

3 T melted butter
1 cp bread crumbs (I would use crushed potato chips, but to each                                  his own)

preheat oven to 350

Cook macaroni according to box directions, drain thoroughly.

In a separate pot, melt the butter over medium heat, and whisk in the flour and dry mustard. Keep moving until the roux turns slightly brown, about 5 mins. Stir in milk and paprika.  Add bay leaf.  Simmer for 10 mins, then remove the bay leaf.

Temper in egg ( ).  Season with salt and pepper.  Stir in 3/4 of cheese.  Fold in drained macaroni and pour into 2 qt casserole. Top with remaining cheese.

Melt butter in skillet and toss in bread crumbs.  Sprinkle over top.

Bake for 30 mins.  Allow to rest for a few minutes before serving.



My new favorite MEATLOAF

3 lbs Ground Beef (I use 73/27, but 80/20 should work fine)
1 can condensed French Onion Soup  (NOT envelope)
1 1/2 cps Italian Style Bread Crumbs
2 lg eggs
1/4 cp Ketchup
1 tsp Seasoned Salt (I use Morton's, but any will do)

heat oven to 350.

Be ready to get your hand dirty.  Using your hands, thoroughly combine all ingredients.  Drop into greased 8x11 baking pan. Shape into a firm loaf.  Bake 75 to 90 mins.
Place large drip pan in center of coal rack in covered grill (I use the ones Kingsford makes, available Home Depot). Put approx. 30 briquettes on each side of drip pan.  If using lump charcoal, fill to about 1/2" below pan edge.  Add a teakettle of hot water to pan.  Light coals.  When coals are hot, throw some soaked wood chips (couple hands full) or a chunk of hardwood on coals. I really like Pecan wood, but whatever your favorite.  Leave loaf in pan! Place on grill rack.  Close lid and bake about 75 minutes.  Try to keep temp under 400 by adjusting grill vents.  But it is not a huge deal if you can't.  

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Amazing Crock Pot Potatoes and Green Beans

I have to say these are super easy and amazingly good!!

6 large Russet potatoes
1 - 16oz bag cut Green Beans
2T Water
4 Tbls Butter (I used Smart Balance)
2 tsp dried Chives with Bacon bits
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 tsp dried Minced Onions
1 tsp Garlic Pwd
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 tsp dried Parsley
finely shredded Parmesan

add water to crock pot
slice potatoes lengthwise, then slice halves into 1" half moons and throw in pot.
Add frozen Green Beans to pot.
In a small skillet melt butter and add all the spices.  Stir till butter just starts to bubble.
Drizzle spiced butter over top of beans, then toss beans and potatoes to mix

Cover and turn Crock Pot to high.  Cook 4 hours
Sprinkle Parmesan over top of contents, cover, and cook one more hour.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Buttermilk Banana-Nut Bread

Had a bunch of ripe bananas and did a bit of experimenting today,  The result far exceeded my expectations.  It was as good as I have ever had.
Makes 4 -8 1/2' by 3 1/2' foil bread pans

3 large or 4 ave Bananas
1 cp Butter, softened
4 eggs
2 2/3 cps Sugar
1 cp Whole Milk
2 tsp Vanilla
4 Tbls Buttermilk Pwd
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Baking Pwd
4 cps All purpose Flour
1 cp Pecan pieces

preheat oven to 300 degrees

In a large bowl thoroughly stir together dry ingredients EXCEPT sugar.  In a second large bowl cream together bananas, butter, eggs, vanilla, and sugar, using electric beater on low.  Add dry ingredients to sugar mixture a heaping tablespoon at a time while using beater, still on low.  Slowly beat in milk.

Spray bread pans with no-stick spray.  Divide batter evenly between the 4 pans.  Bake for about an hour, until knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Let sit for 1/2 hour before removing from pans.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Red Eye Gravy

It's a southern thing.  Like old fashioned country ham.  But it turns out to be pretty good.

Left over country ham slices.  Couple pounds
Enough shortening to coat bottom of a large heavy skillet
1T butter
1T Flour
1/3 cp strong coffee
2/3 cp water
1/2 tsp Hot Sauce
Lowery's Seasoned Salt to taste.

Over med high heat, brown ham slices on both sides and put on heated platter to keep warm. 
Add butter and flour to skillet and combine to make a thin roux.  Add coffee and water.  Cook to thicken, scraping ham bits from bottom of pan while stirring constantly.  When thickened, add hot sauce and seasoned salt to taste.

Serve with biscuits or toast or over potatoes.

Saturday, June 07, 2014


Tried this recipe today with the family.  It was a hit. Nice thing is you can fix it the night before and bake it the following morning.

1/2 lb Bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
1 lb cooked Ham, cubed
2 - 5oz. boxes Hash Browns
1 can Cream of Potato condensed soup
1 - 16oz container Sour Cream
16 oz shredded Cheddar Cheese
4-5 Tbl Parmesan Cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then turn burnr to simmer.  Add hash browns and rehydrate 7-15 mins depending on brand. Drain thoroughly.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together ham, hash browns, soup, sour cream and cheddar cheese.  Spread into greased 10 x 14 baking pan.  Sprinkle crumbled bacon on top, then top with the Parmesan cheese.  Bake at 450 about 45 mins, or until top is golden brown.  

Saturday, February 23, 2013

BBQ (Sloppy Joes)

I finally found it!  Been looking for it for years.  Been making it they way I thought Mom made it, but it never came out quite right.  Then, while looking for something else all together, it fell out from between the pages of a cookbook.  Hand written in mom's handwriting, tomato sauce stained.  THE recipe card.  This is a recipe with so much family history behind it.  It was a favorite when I was a little kid.  After my dad died, the kids and I tried to visit my mom every 6 weeks. We'd leave after school.  When we arrived in Pontiac about 9, there would always be a skillet of bbq, along with Father Sam's pitas, and freshly baked Toll House cookie bars.

My son Steven as been asking me about this recipe for a while now.  So here it is, along with the missing secret ingredient.

2 lbs Ground Chuck
1 average Onion, chopped
1 - 15 oz can Tomato Sauce
1/3 cp light Brown Sugar, firmly packed
1/4 tsp ground Cayenne
1/8 tsp ground Clove
Break up and brown Ground Chuck on medium low (about 300 on electric skillet) until most of pink disappears. Stir in onions, and cook until they are clear. Add remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat for about an hour (highest point of simmer on electric skillet). Adjust spices to taste.....

Monday, December 10, 2012


This recipe is a combination of two different Frugal Gourmet recipes.  One from his first book, the other from his book "Our Immigrant Ancestors".  Turned out really well after a couple of modifications.

1 lb Black Beans
1 lb Thick sliced Bacon, chopped into 1/4" pieces
1 large Yellow Onion, finely chopped
2 ribs Celery, chopped
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 49 oz can Chicken Broth
2 Bay Leaves
1 Ham Hock
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Tabasco
1/2 tsp Chili Pwd
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Basil
1/4 tsp Thyme
1 Tbls Red Wine Vinegar

Step A:  Soak one pound of black beans in one gallon of water overnight.  Rinse, then simmer in 1 gal water for 5 hours.  Drain.
Open 6 - 15oz cans of Black Beans

Step 2:  In a large Dutch oven, cook bacon over med heat until well browned.  Drain, reserving 3 Tbls  of drippings.  Saute Celery in drippings for 3 mins, then add onions and saute until onions are soft and clear.  Add bacon, beans and remaining  ingredients to pot.  Simmer for 1 hour.  Discard Ham Hock and Bay leaves.  Remove 1 cup of beans from soup, smash with a fork, and stir back in to thicken.  Cook 10 mins more, then serve....


Saturday, August 25, 2012


This is amazingly good!  And easy!

Shuck as many ears of corn as you need.  Spread Mayo thinly on the corn, then sprinle with blackened seasoning.  Wrap in heavy duty foil.  Cook on top wrack of grill for one hour (or until corn starts to brown), turning after 1/2 hour.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and eat heartily!

note:  If blackened seasoning is too spicy for you, try bbq seasoning (I like Paul Prudhommes)     

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Fried Apples

Fried Apples are a long time favorite.  Easy to prepare and extremely versatile.  Great for breakfast along with sausage or oatmeal.  Terrific side dish with any cut of pork.  Serve alone or over ice cream for desert.  Tasty hot or cold.

4 strips thick sliced Bacon
8-10 med Apples, cored & sliced (skin left on)
1/2 cp Brown Sugar
1/3 cp Raisins (optional)
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Nutmeg

In heavy skillet, fry bacon over medium heat until crisp.  Remove from skillet and drain on paper towel.  Reduce heat to med/low and add remaining ingredients to skillet.  Cook about 20 mins, or until apples are soft.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Nic's Unbelievably Tasty Irish Stew

My Texas friend Nic Boedecker is not only good looking and smart, but a great cook too. Here's her idea of a perfect recipe for a cold winter day

1 ½ lbs STEW MEAT, cut into 1-inch pieces (I prefer buffalo stew meat)
6 large GARLIC CLOVES, minced
6 cps BEEF STOCK or canned beef broth
2 cps of GUINNESS STOUT BEER (I tend to just put in one can)
1 ½ cp of good RED WINE (I typically go for a Cab or Cab-Merlot blend)
1 tsp SUGAR
1 Tbl HERBS DE PROVENCE (basically a bunch of dried herbs pre-mixed - found in the spice aisle)
2 Tbl (¼ stick) BUTTER
3 lbs RUSSET POTATOES , peeled, cut into ½ -inch pieces (about 7 cups)
1 lg ONION, chopped (if someone has onion allergies onion powder can be used instead)
2 cups ½-inch pieces peeled CARROTS
1 ½ containers quartered fresh WHITE MUSHROOMS
2 cups sliced CELERY
SALT AND PEPPER (after simmering through add approx 1 ½ teaspoons of salt - I use sea salt b/c it's helathier for blood pressure issues than regular salt)

1. Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and sauté until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add beef stock, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, herbes de provence, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.

2. While the meat and stock are simmering, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add mushrooms, celery, potatoes, onion and carrots. Sauté vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes.

3. Add vegetables to beef stew. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender (minimum 1 hour). Discard bay leaves. Tilt pan and spoon off fat.

Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Salt and pepper to taste. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving. Transfer stew to serving bowl (or individual bread bowls) and serve.

Hint: To thicken a little add some plain instant potato flakes or you can bake and mash some fresh and add to the stew.

Hint: A sourdough bread bowl is the perfect container to serve this delicious stew in!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Sometimes ya want bbq, but don't feel like babysitting the smoker. Especially in the winter. This easy recipe will feed about a dozen of your buds.

5 to 6 lb Boston Butt Roast
BBQ Rub (I prefer Paul Prudhomme's)
Liquid Smoke
Spicy Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Thoroughly rub down roast with bbq rub. Cover and refrigerate 24 hrs. Brush roast with liquid smoke. Cook in Crock Pot on low 10 hrs.

Remove roast to platter and cool. Drain liquid into heavy bowl, cover and refrigerate.

When cool, shred pork with fork. Stir in enough SPICY BOURBON BBQ SAUCE coat pork shreds. Refrigerate. About 1 hour before serving, remove reserved liquid from refrigerator. Skim off fat and discard. Place liquid in heavy sauce pan. Add pork. heat, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly heated through. Serve on mini sub buns.


3T Butter
1 lg Onion, finely chopped
1 lb Brown Sugar (light for chicken and pork, dark for beef)
2 cps Ketchup
1 6oz can Tomato Paste
2 cps Bourbon
1/4 cp + 1T Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 cp Tabasco
2T Liquid Smoke

In a large heavy saucepan or high sided skillet, saute onions in butter over med heat until golden brown. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to boil, then simmer on low, stirring regularly, until reduced by half. Makes about a quart.

note: using a cayenne based hot sauce will negatively alter the taste of this sauce. Use only Tabasco.

Saturday, November 05, 2011


Makes about 30

2 Tbls (1/4 stick) butter
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup bourbon, divided
1 cup ketchup
2 Tbls Tabasco
1/3 cup tomato paste
¼ cp (packed) dark brown sugar
3 or 4 lbs Drummies and Flappers (wing pieces)

Melt butter in a heavy, large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until golden, about 5 minutes.

Add 3/4 cup bourbon; boil until most of liquid is absorbed, about 6-8 minutes.

Whisk in remaining 1/4 cup bourbon, ketchup, hot sauce, tomato paste and brown sugar. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. [the sauce splatters a bit as it simmers].

Remove marinade from heat; cool to room temperature.

Place wing pieces in a large glass baking dish (15x10x2-inch or whatever fits all of the pieces mostly in a single layer). Pour marinade over and turn pieces to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil or parchment paper [don't skip this unless you love scrubbing]. Place cooling rack atop prepared baking sheet [I use the one that came with my sheet pan set]. Arrange wings on rack, spacing slightly apart. Spread any remaining marinade from dish over chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake (still on cooling rack) until cooked through and brown in spots, about 45 minutes.

Transfer to serving platter.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


If you like fudgie, chewy brownies, I guarantee you'll love these!!!

Preheat oven to 350
Spray 9x13 pan w/no stick spray

In large mixing bowl, combine :
2 cps Sugar
½ cup Cocoa
½ cup Flour

In a separate bowl, melt 2 sticks of butter in microwave

In a third bowl, beat together 4 eggs and 2 tsp of vanilla

Stir butter into flour mixture until completely combined.
Stir egg mixture into batter until completely combined
Stir in 6 oz Mini Toll House chips

Spread batter evenly in pan

Bake 25 mins, or until toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs, or clean.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


1/2 cp Lime jc.
6 Tbls Olive Oil
4 Tbls Honey
3 Tbls Chipotle Tabasco
1 clove Garlic, minced
4 Cornish Game Hens, thawed and halved (see directions below)
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/8 tsp ground Black Pepper

Cut in half by inserting a heavy knife into cavity and cutting down the backbone. Turn and cut along breastbone.

Place chicken halves in a gallon ziplock bag. Add marinade, squeeze out excess air, and refrigerate over night, turning over occasionally.

Set your grill up to cook over indirect heat (2 piles of charcoal separated by a drip pan). If using a standard Weber, place 28 coals on each side of the pan.

Drain chickens, reserving marinade. Rub with seasoning. Place, skin side up, over drip pan. Add a handful of soaked wood chips on each pile of coal, Cook approx 1/2 hour.

Pour reserved marinade into sauce pan, bring to boil, reduce to low boil, and cook stirring for 2 minutes.

After 1/2 hour, brush birds with marinade, about every 10 minutes, until leg joint is loose and juices run clear.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Shorty's Smoked Sausage Chili

From my son Steven "South Side Shorty" Spurrrier



1 1/2 lbs (one and a half packages) Eckrich Smoked Sausage , cut into bite-sized half circles
1 large onion
1 packet chili mix( I used McCormick's)
2 (undrained)14-15oz. cans of Chili beans( I used meijer brand)
1 14-15oz. can kidney beans( I only used a little more than 1/2 can)
1 14-15oz. can kernel corn
2 14-15 oz. cans chili ready diced tomatoes( Red Gold brand)
1 29-30 oz. can of tomato sauce( I used Contadina brand)

Tabasco and chili powder to taste
brown 1 1/2 pounds of sausage(save grease)
saute large diced onion in leftover grease, till translucent
then dump ALL ingredients in large pot.
Bring to a boil then simmer for about 2 hours

Optional: we serve it with a dollop of sour cream and shredded cheese

Mark's slightly modified to fit large sauce pan version:

3/4 lb Eckrich Smoked Sausage
1 sm Onion, chopped
1 envelope McCormick's regular chili Mix
1 - 15oz can Brook's Chili Hot beans
1 -15 oz can Red (not Kidney) Beans or Pinto Beans
1- 15 oz can Red Gold Chili Ready diced Tomatoes
1 -15 oz can Tomato sauce
1- 8 oz can whole kernel Corn, drained
2 tsp Chili pwd
a couple firm shakes Tabasco

spray heavy sauce pan w/ no stick spray
quarter sausage links, then cut into 1/2 " cubes. Brown over med low heat. Remove sausage with slotted spoon and set aside. Saute onions in sausage grease until translucent. Return sausage to pan and add remaining ingredients. Simmer slow for an hour or two, till it reaches your preferred thickness. Serve with a generous amount of shredded sharp cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

Friday, December 25, 2009


I love Eggnog, but seldom make it, because it is a lot of trouble. Here are two recipes I like. The first I love, but haven't made in years. I have no idea where I got the recipe, probably from a newspaper somewhere.

The second I saw made on the Today Show last year. I tried it, and liked it a lot.

Traditional Eggnog Recipe

12 eggs, separated
6 cups milk
2 cups heavy/ thickened cream
2 cups bourbon
1+ 1⁄2 cups sugar
3⁄4 cup brandy
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

In a large bowl and using a mixer, beat the egg yolks together with the sugar for approx 10 minutes (you want the mixture to be firm and the colour of butter).
Very slowly, add in the bourbon and brandy - just a little at a time.
When bourbon and brandy have been added, allow the mixture to cool in the fridge (for up to 6 hours, depending on how long before your party you're making the eggnog).
30 minutes before your guests arrive, stir the milk into the chilled yolk mixture.
Stir in 1+ 1⁄2 teaspoons ground nutmeg.
In a separate bowl, beat the cream with a mixer on high speed until the cream forms stiff peaks.
In yet another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
Gently fold the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture.
Gently fold the cream into the egg mixture.
After ladling into cups, garnish with the remainder of the ground nutmeg.

Serves: 8.

This next one comes from Australian Chef Curtis Stone, as seen on TODAY. It is a bit different from the first, perhaps not quite as good, but much easier. But still excellent. And this recipe is cooked, so none of the perils of raw eggs. I made this last Christmas, and enjoyed it a great deal.

Curtis Stone's Eggnog

1 cup heavy Whipping Cream
2 cps Milk
6 large egg yolks
1/3 cp sugar
1 tsp Nutmeg (please grind fresh!)
dash Cinnamon
3 T Bourbon (or any good quality whiskey)

Combine the Milk and Cream into a heavy sauce pan and bring to gentle simmer over medium heat. In a large bowl , whisk together yolks and sugar until thick and creamy, about 3 minutes. Whisk the milk mixture into the egg mixture to blend.

Return mixture to the sauce pan, and add nutmeg and cinnamon. Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly, about 10 mins, until mixture coats the back of the spoon. DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL! Stir in Whiskey.

Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl. Place bowl in large pan of ice water, and stir nog until cold. Refrigerate to chill completely. Serve in small mugs topped with sprinkle of nutmeg and cinnamon.

Friday, November 27, 2009

GLUG (traditional Scandinavian holiday drink)

okay, you probably can't take this to the church potluck if you're an Evangelical. But if you're Catholic, go for it! If you're Lutheran, this is probably already a staple!

1 Tbl whole Cloves

8 sticks Cinnamon
8 Cardamom seeds
1 cp White Sugar
1 cp Brown Sugar (firmly packed)
2 cp Raisins
4 cp Water
2 qt Port Wine
2 qt Burgundy
2 1/2 cp Brandy

Tie cloves, cinnamon, cardamom seeds together in cheesecloth. Put 1 quart water over tied spices, sugars and raisins. Let simmer until raisins are plump. Add the wine. When mixture bubbles around edges, add brandy. Stir until it begins to steam. More brandy may be added if you want more of a kick in it. Serve in a warm cup. Serves 32 (6 oz. cups).

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


2 - 12 0z. pkgs. white button mushrooms (break off the stems)
1 pkg.(6-8 oz.) cream cheese
2 tbsp. sour cream
8 slices of bacon, cooked then chopped (I use a food processor to chop the bacon into really small pieces)
1/2 of a small sweet onion (3 tbsp.) diced into very small pieces (fry in a little bit of the bacon grease)
1 cup shredded mild cheddar
1 tsp. garlic salt
Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella

Mix cream cheese, s.cream, cheddar, bacon, onion , and garlic salt all together. Stuff the caps of the mushrooms as generously as you like. Place the stuffed mushrooms in a greased baking dish or pan, sprinkle parmesan cheese on top of the mushrooms. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. When done baking, set your oven to broil. Cover each mushroom with mozzarella, and broil for 3 or 4 minutes, just long enough to brown the cheese on top. DELICIOUS!

Sunday, November 30, 2008


2lbs Country Style Sausage (not Sage)
1 1/2 sticks (12 T) Butter
1 lg Spanish Onion, chopped fine
2 ribs Celery, chopped fine
2 tsp. Poultry Seasoning
2 - 14oz packages Pepperidge Farms Herbed Stuffing mix, regular, cubed, or both
5 or 6 cups Chicken Broth

In a large skillet, crumble and brown sausage. Remove from pan and drain on paper towel.

Melt butter in skillet, add onions, celery and poultry seasoning. Saute until onions and celery are clear and soft.

In a very large bowl or pan (I use Tupperware bread dough bowl) toss sausage, stuffing mix, and sauteed onions/celery/butter together until thoroughly combined. Stir in 5 cps chicken broth. Let stand 10 minutes.

Grab a small handful of stuffing and gently squeeze it in your hand. if it holds together easily, it is ready. If it falls apart or crumbles, add a bit more stock or water. Stuffing should be moist, but not soggy.

Spoon dressing into a greased 13"x18" roasting pan and bake at 350 for about an hour, or until top is nicely browned.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Family Favorite Meatloaf

One more meatloaf recipe, as requested by the former Mrs. Spurrier...

1 cup Whole Milk
2 lg Eggs
2 cps. crushed Ritz or Townhouse Crackers
3 lbs Ground Beef (I usually use a 3lb tube from Kroger)
1 rounded tsp Roast Meat Seasoning
1 rounded tsp Salt
3 rounded Tbls Catsup
1 med. Onion (chopped fine)

Warning: Prepare to get your hands yucky!

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together Milk and Eggs. Stir in crushed crackers, and let sit a few minutes to soften. In the meantime...

Place Ground Beef in a very large mixing bowl (I usually use a Tupperware bread dough bowl). Sprinkle seasonings evenly over the top. Distribute Catsup over the top of that. Sprinkle chopped Onion over that.

Spoon cracker crumb mixture over the top. Roll up your sleeves, and dig those hands in. Mix and knead by hand until thoroughly combined, with all ingredients evenly distributed.

Form into large loaf and place in greased 13 x 18 Pyrex baking dish or jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 about two hours.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


I adapted this recipe from one I found a while ago. It came from the Chicago Culinary Institute, circa 1956.

1/2 lb. mushrooms (sliced)
1/3 cp butter
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cp flour
1 t salt
1/2 t monosodium glutamate
Black pepper to taste
1 1/2 cp cream
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 1/2 cp boiling water
1 simmered chicken, cooled & deboned (see previous recipe)
3/4 cp frozen whole kernel corn
3/4 cp diced carrots
1/4 cp canned pimiento, cut into strips

In a small sauce pan, cover carrots with water, and simmer until soft. Add corn, cook about 7 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Dice the chicken. Set side.

In a large, heavy skillet or Dutch oven, melt butter. Add the mushrooms and green peppers, saute until soft. Remove the peppers and mushrooms with slotted spoon, allowing the butter to drip back into the pan.

Stir flour, salt, msg, and pepper into the butter. Cook about five minutes, or until mixture begins to take on the color of peanut butter. Remove from heat, whisk in cream.

Dissolve bouillon cubes in 1 1/2 cp boiling water. Stirring constantly, gradually add to flour/cream mixture. Return to heat and cook, stirring, until thickened. Stir in chicken, mushrooms, vegetables, and pimento.

At this point you can either:

Divide mixture into six cassolettes, top with your favorite pie crust, and bake at 425 until crust is golden brown, or (and this is my favorite way):

Prepare either Jiffy or Bisquick Drop Biscuits as per package directions. Pour chicken mixture into a 3 qt casserole and drop biscuit dough by tablespoon onto top of mixture. Bake at 375 until biscuits are golden brown.


Simmering chicken is the perfect way to cook chicken for use on sandwiches, in chicken salad, or anytime you need cooked chicken for a recipe. The breast stays wonderfully moist and flavorful when prepared this way.

You'll need:
One large stockpot with tight fitting, heavy lid.
One large (about 4lb) fryer

Fill the stockpot with enough water to completely cover the chicken. Bring water to a full rolling boil. Holding chicken by the ends of the drumsticks, plunge it into the water. Count to 20 (one mississippi, two mississippi). Pull bird out of water. Wait until water resumes full boil. Plunge chicken back into water, put lid on the pot, and reduce heat as low as you can without the flame going out. Cook for one hour. DO NOT PEEK! Remove from pot, drain and cool. Pull meat from the bones and you have the perfect chicken for sandwiches or salads.

note: Meat around the bones may have a red tinge. This is not blood, nor does it mean the bird isn't cooked enough. The simmering process may leach a bit of color out of the bone. It is harmless.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


This is an outstanding recipe that will thoroughly impress your cook out guests. I love these!

2 cps Apple Cider
1/2 cp Cider Vinegar
1Tbl minced Shallots
1 Tbl micned Garlic
1 tsp Salt
!/2 tsp Black Pepper

2T Peanut Oil
1 Yellow Onion, diced small
2T minced Garlic
1/4 cp Chili powder
I T finely minced Jalepeno (or a few dashes Tabasco)
1 cp Tomato Paste
1 cp bold Coffee (like Starbucks)
1 cp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 cp Cider Vinegar
1/2 cp firmly packed Brown Sugar

Over medium flame, heat oil in heavy sauce pan. Add onion and garlic and saute until translucent. Add chili powder and jalepenos and saute about 1 minute. Add tomato paste and cook about 1 minute , stirring constantly, before adding remaining ingredients. Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 20 min. Left over sauce will store in refrigerator about a month.

Marinade 6 chicken quarters about 12 hours. In your Weber Kettle, seperate your coals and place a drip pan in between (about 28 coals on each side). Brown chicken pieces directly over coals, about three minutes per side, then place over drip pan. Cover, and bake about 40 min, basting every 5 min for the last 20.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


I created this recipe in an effort to get rid of food on the last day of a canoeing vacation. It turned out to be magnificent!

1/2 lb Smoked Sausage, diced
2 large boneless, skinless Chicken Breast halves, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 med Onion, chopped
4 cps Water
1 cp Beer
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Paprika
2 boxes AuGratin Potatoes
1 package (1/2 box) Sour Cream and Chive Mashed Potatoes
4 cps Milk
1 can Corn, drained

In a dutch oven coated with non-stick spray, saute sausage, chicken, and onions until onions are clear. Add water, beer, salt, and paprika. Bring to boil.

Reserving cheese packets, add AuGratin potatoes to pot, reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are cooked, about 1/2 hour. Remove from heat.

Reserving season packet, stir in mashed potatoes until just moistened. Stir in contents of seasoning and cheese packets. Stir in milk and return to stove. Add corn and heat until chowder just begins to bubble.

This is a meal in a bowl!

Friday, May 12, 2006


Not sure where Mom found this recipe. I really like these though. And the kids always got a kick out of making them. They are really good filled with BBQ, or Chicken Salad, Tuna Salad, etc.

4 1/2 to 4 3/4 cp Flour
1 pkg Dry Yeast
1 1/2 tsp Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 3/4 cup Water
2 Tbls Oil

In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cps flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Mix well. In a sauce pan heat water and oil until warm (120 to 130 degrees). Add to flour mixture and beat on low speed until moistened. Beat 3 minutes on medium. By hand, gradually stir in enough flour to make a firm dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Cover dough with plastic wrap, then a towel. Let rest on board for 20 min. Remove towel and wrap and punch down dough. Divide into 12 equal parts. Shape each part into a smooth ball. Cover and let rise 30 minutes, allowing enough space between each ball to rise. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. With a rolling pin, roll each ball into a 6" circle. Place three circles at a time directly onto oven rack. Bake until puffed up and top just begins to brown. Cool on racks.

Cut in half and fill with your favorite fillings.


This is another recipe I long ago fattened up from Cooking Light. This is really good for breakfast with a cup of good strong coffee. And try spreading a slice with honey/pecan butter sometime!

2 Tbls Butter
2 Tbls tub Cream Cheese
1 cp Sugar
1 large Egg
2 cp Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/8 tsp Salt
1 cp ripe Banana, mashed
4 oz Evaporated Milk
2 Tbls Dark Rum or 1/4 tsp Rum Extract plus 2 Tbls Water
1/2 tsp grated Lime Rind
1 Tbls Lime Juice
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 cp chopped Pecans, toasted

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, cream cheese, sugar and egg on medium speed until fluffy. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a third bowl, combine banana, milk, rum, lime rind, lime juice and vanilla. With mixer on medium, alternately add flour mix, then banana mix to butter mix. Stir in pecans. Pour into greased 4x8 loaf pan and bake at 375 for 1 hour, or until toothpick comes clean. Cool in pan for 10 min, than turn onto rack to cool.

1/4 cp packed Brown Sugar
2 tsp Butter
2 tsp Lime Juice
2 tsp Dark Rum or 1/8 tsp Rum Extract and 2 tsp Water
2 Tbls chopped Pecans, toasted
2 Tbls Baker's Coconut

In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, lime juice, and rum. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in pecans and coconut. Spoon over bread.

Friday, May 05, 2006

BANANA CAKE w/ Rum Glaze

This is one of my favorite recipes. I adapted it from a recipe in Cooking Light about 10 years ago. I'll leave a link to the original recipe, which is also excellent.

1 3/4 cp Brown Sugar, packed
2/3 cp Butter or Margarine, softened
2 lg Eggs
1 cp ripe Banana, mashed
1/2 cp Sour Cream
1 Tbls Vanilla
1 tsp Cinnamon
2 1/2 cps All Purpose Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda

Place Brown Sugar and Butter in a large bowl. Beat at med speed until light and fluffy. Add Eggs, beat until smooth.

In a separate bowl, combine Banana, Sour Cream, Vanilla, and Cinnamon. Set aside.

Sift together Flour, Baking Powder, and Baking Soda. Set aside.

With mixer on low speed, alternately add Flour mixture and Banana mixture to Sugar mixture. Pour batter into a greased 10" Tube pan. Bake at 375F for about an hour, or until toothpick comes clean. Cool in pan for 10 min, then turn out on to rack and cool completely.

3/4 cp Powdered Sugar
1 Tbls melted Butter
2 Tbls Dark Rum (or 1/4 tsp Rum extract plus 2 Tbls Milk)

Stir together and drizzle over cake.

This cake is just killer served with a good premium coffee! I particularly like Sumatra Mandahling or Columbia Supremo.

Original Cooking Light recipe from 1997 HERE

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Okay, admittedly, this is definitely a guy recipe. But my kids have always loved this recipe, and I think the men in your family will too!


3 or 4 lbs Beef or Venison (I prefer Flank or Brisket)
1/2 cp Worcestershire Sauce
2-3 Tbls Water
1 Tbl Vinegar (I like Red Wine, but Cider or White will do)
1 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
10 dashes Tabasco
1/2 to 1 tsp Liquid Smoke (oven recipe)

Trim meat of all external fat (fat gets rancid over time). Slice meat WITH grain into 1/2 " thick slices. Using fine side of tenderizing mallet, pound to 1/4" thick. Combine remaining ingredients (omit liquid smoke if drying in smoker). Marinate meat in liquid for 24 hrs, turning occasionally. Drain meat, and blot dry.

Move top rack in oven to it's highest point. Using paper clips bent into s-hooks, hand strips from rack, over a drip pan. Set oven between 140 and 150 F. Dry 6 -8 hours. Jerky is done when stiff or slightly pliable.

NOTE: If using an outdoor smoker, omit Liquid Smoke in marinade. Soak 1 cup of hardwood chips over night. Drain, and wrap tightly in HD foil. Poke a couple of holes in foil, and place on top of heat source. Smoker temp should be maintained about 140 to 150 degrees. An old fashioned oven thermometer is very helpful here, but halfway up the low heat section of your smoker's thermometer is usually about right.

Store up to 3 months in glass jars with tight fitting lids. 4-6 weeks in Ziplock bags.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


I am not sure where I first came across this recipe. It has been a favorite of my family for many years. It is guaranteed to make a chicken that is moist , sticky, and just will force you to succumb to the temptation to lick your fingers.

ROAST CHICKEN - Cajun style
feeds 2 -4

for each whole broiler/fryer you will need:
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Paprika
3/4 tsp Cayenne
1/2 tsp Thyme
1/4 tsp Garlic powder
1/4 tsp White Pepper
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1 lg Yellow Onion (chopped fine)
1 rib Celery (chopped fine)

Combine spices in small bowl. Rub mixture into chicken inside and out, making sure the spices are evenly distributed and rubbed into pores. Seal in a Ziplock bag and refrigerate for 24 hours. Stuff loosely with onion and celery and bake, uncovered, for 4 hours at 250F (three hours unstuffed), basting occasionally.

This recipe also works well with large roasting Chickens. Simply double the ingredients, and bake 4 1/2 to 5 hours. Let sit 10 minutes at room temperature and carve. I like to defat the pan juices, heat them, and pour over the white meat slices.

For Cajun Gravy:
Deglaze the pan with a splash of water. Pour into a large measuring measuring cup. Dissolve 2 tsp of instant Chicken bouillon in the pan water, then add enough whole Milk to equal 2 cups. Over medium heat, melt 2 Tbls Butter or Butter flavored Crisco. Stir in 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning (see above spice mixture), and 3 Tbls Flour, and cook until mixture takes on peanut butter consistency. Whisk in milk mixture and heat until thickened.

Saturday, March 18, 2006


My kids love this recipe. It took many years to get it just right, but I really think this is as good as any I have ever had.


Whole Chicken (3-4 lb.), giblets removed
3 1/2 cps clear
Chicken Broth
1/4 cp
White Cooking Wine
2 ave.
Bay Leaves
1 tsp
1 tsp
Ham Hocks
3 Tbls
1 lg
Green Bell Pepper, diced*
1 lg
Yellow Onion, diced
2 cloves
Garlic, minced
4 ribs
Celery, sliced
1 bunch
Green Onions, sliced, including some of the tops
1/2 lb
Smoked Sausage or Polish Sausage, sliced
1/8 cp
Worcestershire Sauce
2 tsp
Tabasco (please don't substitute, it's flavor is unique amongst hot sauces)
1 28oz can
Whole Tomatoes (juice reserved), chopped
2 1/4 cps
Long Grain White Rice, uncooked
4 oz.
Tomato Sauce

In a large pot with a tight fitting lid (not cast iron), simmer the first 7 ingredients 1 hour. Remove and cool Chicken and Ham. Debone chicken, discarding skin and bones. Coarsely chop meat. Cut meat from hocks and chop. Strain and reserve stock. Saute vegetables in oil until the onions are clear. Add sausage and tomatoes to the pot. To the stock, add reserved juice, Worcestershire Sauce, and Tabasco, and enough water to equal 4 1/2 cups. Add to pot and bring to boil. Stir in Rice and Chicken, and reduce heat to very slow boil. Cover and cook until rice is tender and liquid is mostly absorbed, about 20 minutes. Add more water if necessary. When rice is done, stir in Tomato Sauce, cover, remove from heat, and allow to sit for 10 minutes.

Serve with Cornbread or a nice crusty European bread, a cold salad, and a good Lager Beer or fresh brewed Iced Tea (I prefer Red Rose or Louisianne). A nice cobbler is an excellent choice for dessert!

* I occasionally use a combination of green and red peppers.

Friday, March 03, 2006


This is one of my favorite meals! It is relatively easy to prepare and really tasty. It is especially good on a winters evening after sledding with the kids. It is also a great camping meal!

There are any numbers of variations on this meal. Instead of ham, I will sometimes use 1 1/2 lbs Pork Steak, boned, trimmed, cut into half inch cubes, and browned. I'll add an extra hock when I do this. Sometimes I'll use a pound of ground Pork, browned and crumbled. Sometimes I'll use smoked sausage instead of ham. Any way, this meal is always great.


3 Tbls
1 med
Onion, chopped
1 bunch
Green Onions, chopped, including tops
2 cloves
Garlic, minced
2 ribs
Celery, sliced
1/2 and average
Green Bell Pepper, chopped
1 tsp
1/2 tsp
Black Pepper
1/4 tsp
1/4 tsp
1 lg
Bay Leaf
1 48 oz jar
Pinto Beans*
2 14oz cans
Chicken Broth
3 cps
Ham, diced
smoked Pork Hock
4 cups
1 Tbls
1 1/2 tsp
2 cps
Long Grain White Rice

In a large heavy pot, saute vegetables in oil until soft. Add all remaining ingredients except water, butter,salt, and rice. Simmer 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. With a fork, smash 20 or so beans against the side of the pot to thicken broth, stir, simmer 10 more minutes. Remove Pork hock and discard.

Meanwhile, about 10 minutes after Beans have started simmering, place water, butter, and salt in a large, heavy sauce pan (one with a tight fitting lid) and bring to a boil. Add rice. Return to boil, stirring. Reduce heat to slow boil, and cover. Cook 15 min. Do not stir. Do not peek! Remove Rice from stove, and let sit 10 minutes. Again, do not stir, do not peek! Fluff rice with a fork.

To serve: Spoon a mound of rice into the middle of a large soup bowl or plate. Ladle beans around the rice. Serves 6 - 8.

* You may use Red Beans instead, but I think this recipe is more flavorfull using Pinto Beans.

Friday, February 24, 2006


I came across this recipe many years ago, in the Ft. Wayne Journal/Gazette. It comes from a feature where the recipes are drawn in cartoon form, titled CHEAP THRILLS CUISINE! The recipes come from Windsor/Toronto chef Bill Lombardo. Any how, I really love these. They are pretty low fat and really tasty! I have altered the recipe a bit (I always do), but it is pretty close to the original.


1/4 cp Red Onion, finely diced
1/4 cp Red Bell Pepper, finely diced
1 Celery rib, finely diced
1/3 lb Smoked Sausage or Smoked Andoulle Sausage, diced small
2 tsp Cajun Seasoning
1 tsp Fennel Seed, crushed
1 cp cooked Long Grain White Rice
1 lb Ground Round, browned and crumbled
1 Egg
1/4 cp Corn (I use frozen, but canned or left over will do)
1/4 cp unseasoned Bread Crumbs
6 Bell Peppers, tops cut off and seeded (I prefer green)
1 14oz can Diced Tomatoes
3 Tbl Salsa (chose you own heat)

In a heavy skillet, saute first six ingredients in one Tbl of oil for 5 min. Combine with next 5 ingredients. Stuff peppers to overflowing. Combine tomatoes and salsa. Pour over stuffed peppers. Bake, covered,* 1 hour at 350F.

* I use a small porcelain roaster, but a large casserole or small (not cast iron) Dutch Oven will work just fine too!

Saturday, December 10, 2005


pictured: Refrigerator Bran Muffins

Here are two excellent, but very different recipes. The first batch are light in color with a delicate, nutty flavor. The second are darker, and bolder in taste and texture. They are both delicious, and share one thing in common. The batter will keep for up to a month in the refrigerator. So you can easily and quickly make muffins whenever the urge strikes!


2 cps boiling Water
5 tsp Baking Soda
1 cp Butter (I use butter flavor Crisco)
2 cps Sugar
4 Eggs
4 cps All Bran
2 cps Bran Flakes
5 cps Flour
1 qt Buttermilk

Dissolve Soda in boiling Water, set aside to cool. In a very large mixing bowl, cream together Butter, Sugar, and Eggs. Stir in remaining ingredients by hand, adding Soda Water last.

Fill greased muffin tins about 3/4 full. Bake at 375F for 25 to 35 minute, depending on size of muffins. Recipe makes 5 - 6 dozen muffins. Unused batter will store in refrigerator for up to a month.

2 cps Flaked Bran (not cereal)
1 cp boiling Water
1/2 cup softened Butter (again, I use butter flavored Crisco)
1/2 cp dark Molasses
1/2 cp Sugar
2 Eggs
2 cps Buttermilk
2 cps All Bran
1 1/3 cps Whole Wheat Flour
1 cp unbleached Flour (or regular enriched Flour)
2 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt

Preheat oven to 375F. Combine Flaked Bran and boiling Water in a large bowl, and let sit about 15 min. Meanwhile, cream together Butter, Molasses, and Sugar. Beat in Eggs, and add to Flaked Bran. Add Buttermilk and All Bran, stir to mix well. Sift together Flours, Soda, and Salt and add to mixture; stir until blended. Spoon into well greased muffin tins and bake about 20 min., or store in refrigerator, covered. Makes 2 to 2 1/2 dozen Muffins.

Friday, December 02, 2005


Way back in the day, when Barb and Mark were kids (yeah, WAY back in the day), and Texas style BBQ was popular in, well, Texas, brisket was about the cheapest cut of beef you could buy. My mom found this recipe in the Pontiac Press, and, always looking for an inexpensive way to feed two very large appetites (my dad and me), decided to try it. Not only did it become an immediate family favorite, but for many years, it was the staple of church dinners.

Unfortunately, the growth of Texas BBQ has caused the price of brisket to soar, and it is no longer economical to serve as a church dinner staple. But it is still the single most demanded item for family dinners in my clan. This recipe is tremendously easy, very hard to screw up, and absolutely delicious. It works particularly well in an electric roaster, but does just fine in the oven as well!


wide roll Heavy Duty Aluminum foil
1 whole Brisket (NOT corned)
1 box (2 packets) Lipton's Onion Soup Mix

Place brisket fat side down on a double sheet of hd foil large enough to tightly wrap meat in. Spread two packets of onion soup mix across the top of the meat. Wrap tightly and place in roaster. Bake at 350 for 2 hours. Turn heat down to 325 and bake another 2 hours. Turn heat on roaster down to warm.* VERY carefully open foil package. Remove roast to cutting board, and pour liquid from the foil packet into the roaster. With an electric knife, slice meat across the grain in 1/4" slices and add to roaster. Spoon liquid over top of beef.

Any leftovers you might have (and around here that is rare) are wonderful heated and served over toast, or on a good hoagie roll!

* If you are baking in the oven, there are a couple of things you can do to keep the au jus and beef slices warm. If you have an electric griddle, place it on the table, thermostat on warm, and place roaster on top. Or you can transfer the liquid to your electric skillet, set on warm, and add slices to that. I prefer the former because it is one less pan to clean.

posted by mark

Sunday, November 27, 2005


As I believe I have mentioned before, for 25 years, Bill Knapp's was my family's favorite restaurant. I recently came across a number of recipes online, purporting to be from Knapp's. Quite frankly, I was dubious of a couple of them. So I used my kids as guinea pigs and fixed these for Thanksgiving dinner. I was very pleasantly surprised! They were a big hit! These recipes are in fact the real deal! So I am sharing them with you.


1 1/2 lbs Russet Potatoes
2 cps Milk
1/2 cp Butter
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 cp Flour
1 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp Pepper
1 tsp instant Chicken Bullion granules
6 oz American Cheese

Night before, boil potatoes until easily pierced with fork, approx. 1/2 hour. Chill thoroughly. Next day, peel potatoes and cut into 1/2" cubes. Set aside. Melt Butter in a large sauce pan, add Salt and Flour and blend. Gradually stir in Milk and cook, stirring, till thickened. Add Paprika, Pepper, Bullion and Cheese. Cook, stirring, till cheese melts. Stir in Potatoes. Pour into greased casserole dish and bake, uncovered at 350 for about 1/2 hour, or until top start to get brown and bubbly.

Note: If you double this recipe, it fits nicely in a greased 9 x 13 pan. You can also divide this into individual cassolettes and bake, which is how Knapp's served it.

posted by Mark



8 tsp Sugar
3 cups Bisquick
1 cup Cottage Cheese
2 Eggs
2 Tbl Lemon Juice

In a large mixing bowl, stir together Bisquick and Sugar, just to combine. Set aside. Pour remaining ingredients into blender and blend on high about 30 sec, or until smooth and completely combined.* Add blender contents to Bisquick and stir with a heavy spoon until all particles are moistened, and dough begins to pull away from the bowl. Turn out onto a board floured with Bisquick. With floured hands, knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 min.

Gently pat dough down to about 3/4 of an inch thickness. Dip a biscuit cutter or juice glass in Bisquick and cut biscuits. Arrange on a greased cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Cover with damp linen or paper towel (never terry cloth, it leaves lint!), and let rise slightly, 30 to 45 min.

Bake at 450 about 15 min, or until tops golden brown. Brush tops with butter. I guarantee these are the lightest, fluffiest Biscuits you will ever find! Makes about 15 biscuits.

* You can also use a hand mixer on high speed for a couple of minutes.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Mom's Meatloaf

1 egg, slightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
1 cup dry bread crumbs
2 lbs ground beef
2 tbls chopped onion
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup ketchup or chili sauce

Combine egg and milk; add bread crumbs and soak 10 minutes.

Add beef, onion, salt and pepper; mix lightly. Do not pack.

Place in a loaf pan or shape into a loaf on a shallow baking pan. Spread ketchup or chili sauce on the top.

Bake at 350 degrees about 1 hour.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

MEATLOAF (Heavenly Midwestern Comfort Food)

Is there anything more hopelessly midwestern than meatloaf? Or any greater comfort food? Here are a couple of excellent loaves, and Barb is searching for our Mom's, so there may be a third one here soon!


3 lbs Ground Beef
3 cps Bread Crumbs
2 pkgs Mrs. Grass' Onion Soup Mix
2 Eggs, slightly beaten
1 cp Milk
your favorite Meatloaf topping ( I use about a 50/50 mix of tomato paste and Heinz 57)

Unless you have a KitchenAid stand mixer, you're gonna have to get your hands messy. Thoroughly mix all the ingredients together. Form into a loaf and place in a 9x13 baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 80 min (that's one hour and twenty minutes for those of you in Crawford TX). Remove foil and bake about 25 min. Add topping, bake for 15 min.


4 slices White Bread
2 lbs Ground Round
1 cp Water
2 med Eggs
1 pkg Onion Soup Mix (4 serving size)

1 6oz can V-8 Juice

In food processor or blender, process bread into soft crumbs, one slice at a time. Combine crumbs with beef, eggs, water, and soup mix. Beat with an electric mixer till fairly smooth. Drop mixture into a greased 9x5x3 Pyrex loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 30 min. Carefully pour V-8 Juice around edges of meatloaf and bake 45 min longer. Brush Catsup on top and bake 5 min to glaze!

These are really great with Barb's FAT POTATOES or Jessiccarabbit's CHEESY TATERS

Sunday, November 20, 2005


Biscuits and gravy have become a family tradition for Holiday breakfasts at our house. However, my sons are not content to keep this as just a special holiday treat. About once every couple of months I get a phone call requesting this recipe, so I am posting it where everyone can easily find it!

The biscuit recipe was adapted from the late Jeff Smith's book THE FRUGAL GOURMET COOKS AMERICAN. It is my favorite biscuit recipe!

2 1/4 cp Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1/4 cp Shortening
1 cp Buttermilk

Sift together Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda and Salt. Cut in Shortening with a pastry blender until the texture of coarse corn meal. Using a fork, stir in Buttermilk. Do not over mix. Turn out onto a floured board and knead 3 or 4 times only. Gently pat out to about 1" thick. Cut into circles with a floured biscuit cutter or glass (I often just dip a chef's knife in flour and cut into 3" squares).

Heat oven to 500 degrees. Place a large cast iron skillet in the oven and heat about 7 min. Remove to stove top and melt 2 Tbls Shortening in the skillet (I use butter flavored Crisco). Place biscuits in skillet, then quickly turn each biscuit over. Return to oven, and bake until golden brown, around 10 min. You may have to do in two batches.

If you don't have a large cast iron skillet, you can bake these on a greased cookie sheet on 425 for about 15 min. Brush the tops with butter.

2 lbs good quality Whole Hog Sausage (Purnell or Tennessee Pride work very well)
9 Tbls Flour
6 cps Whole Milk (heated almost to boiling)

In a heavy cast roaster or Dutch oven, break up sausage and brown over medium heat until thoroughly cooked. Drain, reserving 6 Tbls of fat*. Heat fat over medium heat, and stir in flour. Cook, stirring, until flour takes on the texture and color of peanut butter. Whisk in milk, and return sausage to pan. Liberally grind pepper over top. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened.

* If using a premium sausage like Jimmy Deans or Bob Evans, you may have to add some butter or shortening, to make it to 6T of fat.

posted by Mark

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Before they closed their doors in 2002, Bill Knapp's Restaurants were a 54 year tradition in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. They were famous for their Birthday celebrations (you got 1 % off your bill for every year you lived!), their fabulous cakes, out of this world biscuits, au gratin potatoes, and good honest home cooking. They had the best fried chicken I have ever had anywhere. Mom and Dad loved the steaks. The ex and my daughter always got the Chicken Fricassee or the meatloaf. They had a very loyal clientele, and when they finally closed the doors on their last 26 restaurants in 2002, there were legions of disappointed people. My son and daughter-in -law still talk about how much they miss Knapps.

Awrey Bakery in Detroit still makes the cakes and markets them under the Bill Knapp's name. They are available at Meijer stores.

The following recipe is for my Dad's favorite:


2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons grated orange rind
1/3 cup orange juice
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Grease an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan.
Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Melt butter in boiling water. Add orange rind, orange juice, sugar,
vanilla and beaten egg and blend.
Sift dry ingredients over orange mixture. Add nuts.
Stir just until flour is damp. Batter will be lumpy.
Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

posted by Mark

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Even though my Mom's family was English, I never had this dish until about 25 years ago, when a small tavern specializing in traditional English food opened in Commerce MI. The tavern is appropriately named BUBBLE AND SQUEAK, and it is one of my favorite restaurants anywhere!


2 1/2 cps shredded Cabbage (about 1 lb)
3 Tbl Bacon drippings or Butter
1 med Onion, chopped
2 cps coarsely mashed Potatoes (about 1 lb)
1/2 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp ground Black Pepper
1 lb thinly sliced cooked Roast Beef or Corned Beef

Plunge Cabbage in a pan of boiling salted water, cook 5 mins,, thoroughly drain in colander.
Heat a heavy 10" skillet over medium heat. Melt drippings, add Onions, and cook till soft. About 5 min. Lightly press on cabbage with the back of your spatula to remove any remaining moisture, and add to the onions. Stir in potatoes, salt and pepper. Press mixture down lightly with spatula. Lower heat to med. low. Top with slices of meat. Cook, covered, about 15 min. Do not stir. Remove cover, and cook 10 - 15 min, till bottom is nicely browned. If you listen, closely, you should hear how the dish got it's name! While dish is cooking, prepare sauce.


2 Tbls Butter
2 Tbls minced Onion
2 Tbls Flour
1 cp Beef stock
1 Tbl White Wine Vinegar
1 Tbl English style Mustard
1/2 tsp prepared Horseradish
1/4 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Pepper

In a 1 1/2 qt. sauce pan, melt Butter over med heat. Add onion, stirring constantly, until soft but not brown. Stir in flour and cook one minute, stirring constantly. Add stock all at once and whisk until smooth. Stir in all remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 10 min.

Invert skillet contents onto plate. Cut Bubble and Squeak into wedges, and serve with sauce. Serves 6


I like this served with Corned Beef at FIDDLER'S HEARTH here in South Bend.

2 lbs Potatoes, peeled and cut into eights
2 tsp Salt (divided)
4 slices Irish Bacon (if unavailable, use American)
4 cps shredded Cabbage
1 1/2 cp Green Onions or Leeks, finely chopped (if using Leeks, use white part only)
1/3 cp Milk
1/4 cp butter (melted)
1/8 tsp Pepper

In medium sauce pan, bring 1/2" water to boil. Add Potatoes, 1 tsp Salt, cover, and cook 15 - 20 mins, till fork tender. Drain thoroughly.

Meantime, in large, heavy skillet, fry bacon until crisp. Remove and drain, reserving drippings. In the reserved drippings, saute Cabbage and Onions, with 1/2 tsp salt, until soft and translucent. Covering pan helps vegetables cook faster.

In a large bowl, beat together potatoes , milk, remaining salt, and pepper until light and fluffy. Fold in Cabbage, Onions and crumbled Bacon. Make a well in the middle and pour in melted Butter. This goes really well with Corned Beef and Wow Wow Sauce!

posted by Mark

Friday, October 21, 2005


This is an old recipe that has it's origins in French Canada. The Amish call it MILICHE FLITCHE (Poor Man's Pie), and add a bit of cinnamon.. The Cajuns top it with Meringue. Down south, it's just called BROWN SUGAR PIE. I found this recipe in the University of North Carolina's student newspaper, along with a story about a homesick student bringing a bit of grandma's house to campus. I decided to try it, and really liked it.

There are dozens of variations of this on the internet! So you might want to look for one that strikes your fancy! But I thought this was very tasty.


2 unbaked Pie Shells
1 lb Brown sugar
5 eggs
1/2 cp Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 tsp Vanilla

Whisk together Brown Sugar, Eggs, Condensed Milk and Vanilla. Pour into shells. Bake at 450 for 10 min, then 350 for 20 min. Serve warm or cold with ice cream or whipped cream.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

French Bread

I love homemade bread or rolls with soup or stew when the weather is cool. I usually make this into hard rolls topped with poppy seeds rather than loaves--or sometimes I make it into bread sticks. Bread lovers--enjoy!

7 - 7-1/4 cups flour
2 packages active dry yeast
1 tlbs sugar
1 tbls salt
1 tbls cooking oil
2-1/2 cups warm water
yellow cornmeal
1 egg white

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water (follow temperature instructions on yeast package). Add sugar, salt, oil and remaining water. Mix in about 4 cups of the flour, and continue adding flour until dough can be turned out onto floured board or cloth and kneaded. Knead, adding flour as needed, until smooth and elastic (5-10 minutes). Let rise until double in size. Punch down and divide into four parts. Cover and let rise 10 minutes. Roll each part in a 12x8 inch rectangle. Roll into loaves and taper ends. Place seam side down on greased cookie sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Gash tops of loaves 1/2 -- 1/4 inch deep every 2-1/2 inches.

Beat egg white till foamy. Add 1 tbls water. Brush tops and sides of loaves. Let rise. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Brush again and bake 20 minutes longer.


Friday, October 14, 2005

Chocolate Lover's Pizza

This is an absolute favorite among the teens (and adults) of our youth group.

1 Nestle's Toll House chocolate chip refrigerator cookie roll
.5 cup peanut butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
assorted candy bars, chopped; my favorite comination:
2 Butterfingers
2 pkgs Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
2 pkgs Reese's Peanut Butter Sticks
2 Kit Kats
1 Milky Way
1 Snickers

Press cookie dough onto an ungreased pizza pan or into a 9x13 inch cake pan. Bake about 14 minutes, or just until set. Remove from oven and drop peanut butter by spoonfuls on cookie. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let sit 5 minutes, then spread. Top with chopped candy. Let cool. Cut into wedges or squares.

Note: You can use Oatmeal Scotchies dough or any other flavor you like for the crust.


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Barb's Crockpot Chili

This is my adaption of my mom's chili recipe. I still prefer it made on the stove, but this is close.

For a 6-qt crockpot:

1-1/2 lbs ground beef, browned
3 cans dark red kidney beans with liquid
1 large can tomato juice
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
2-3 tbls chili powder (I like McCormick's)

Put all ingredients in crockpot and cook on high 5-6 hours or on low 8 or more hours. I quite often just let it cook overnight.


Pudding Cake

I finally found it--Mom's Pudding Cake Recipe! This is one of Mark's favorites.

1. In an oblong pan, 13x9x2, mix 1 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup cocoa. Then stir in 2 cups water.

2. Cut 13 marshmallows into quarters and scatter over mixture.

3. Spoon devil's food cake batter over this. Top with 1 cup broken nut meats (Mom would have used walnuts--I prefer pecans). Bake at 350 degrees 45 to 50 minutes. Top with whipped cream or ice cream.

If anyone is interested, I have a recipe similar to this for Hot Fudge Cake which is on the 'heart smart' list, with less than 30% of its calories from fat. I also have a pudding cake recipe made in the crockpot. It's actually quite good.


Sunday, October 09, 2005


I love Cheddar cheese! The first recipe I have had for years and made often. It makes a great dinner served with a salad and good crusty bread. The second recipe I found just the other day, and tried for the first time Friday night. It was just excellent! The last one I found just this morning, but it sounded so good, I thought I'd include it anyhow! Serve these with a good bread, or better yet, Shuler's Bar Chips!


1 stick unsalted Butter
1 large Yellow Onion, chopped
2 large Russet Potatoes, grated coarsely grated
2 lg. Garlic cloves, minced
1/8 tsp ground Mace
1/4 tsp Thyme
4 cps. Chicken Broth
2 cps Half and Half
8 oz extra sharp Tillamook Cheddar Cheese (or any high quality extra sharp Cheddar ), coarsely shredded
2 tsp Tabasco
1 cp thinly sliced Black Olives (pitted)

Melt butter in a large saute pan over low heat. Add onions, garlic, and potatoes. Saute, stirring often, for fifteen minutes. Add mace and thyme, continue stirring for three minutes. Add chicken broth, heat until just boiling, then simmer gently for 30 min.

Puree sauce pan contents in food processor or blender. Return to pan, stir in Half and Half, and heat, stirring constantly 2 or 3 mins. Add cheese and Tabasco, and heat over very low heat until cheese is melted. DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL, or soup may curdle. Remove from heat.

Stir in olives. Salt to taste.

Note: I HATE Black Olives. I always omit them. I sometimes add some steamed broccoli instead for my daughter's benefit.


1/2 cp Butter
4 cp Chicken Broth
16 oz. grated sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 cp Flour
1 1/2 cp Cream

6 oz Beer
1 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cp Chives
In heavy pan, melt butter and mix with flour until blended. Heat over low flame for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add broth and cream gradually. Cook, stirring, until smooth and thickened. Add cheese, mix till smooth and melted. Add beer and worcestershire sauce. Mix in chives. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring constantly.

Serves 8

Note: this recipe was posted in comments on a blog ( by this person:


4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons flour

3 cups milk

3/4 cup dark beer

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon crushed red chilies, chopped

2 cups premium (Black Diamond, Tillamook, Cracker Barrel)extra sharp Cheddar, shredded

1. Heat butter in saute pan. Add flour and cook on low heat. Stir mixture until it starts to bubble. Do not allow to brown.

2. Pull off fire and set aside. Heat milk in sauce pan until it's ready to boil. Add garlic, salt,pepper, and crushed chilies. Stir mixture until just before boiling.

3. Add half of flour/butter mixture (Roux) and stir with wire whisk until at a low simmer. Additional Roux may be added to thicken. Stir constantly to avoid burning.

4. Turn down heat and add cheese and beer. Stir to allow cheese to melt. Texture should be smooth to the touch. May be reheated on low temp. (Do not boil.)

serves 4

posted by Mark