Featured Chef -- February 2010

Sunday, February 28, 2010


I told you a few days ago that I was going to be doing a Featured Chef post on the last day of each month. My first Featured Chef is Sherri Murphy of Everything In Moderation!

I think Sherri is absolutely awesome and I can't wait for y'all to get to know her too! I know, I should hush and let you do just that :) 

1.How long have you been cooking?

Since I was first married, almost 30 years ago.

2.Where did you learn to cook? Do you have any formal training?

My mother taught me her secrets and tips, and I read many cookbooks and watch THE FOOD NETWORK. No formal training, although I did take a cake decorating class.

3.Where do you get your recipes?

Cookbooks. Magazines. Online. Food blogs. Swap with friends.

4.How long have you been writing a cooking blog?

About one year.

5.What is your favorite meal to cook? Least favorite?

I love to cook pasta dishes for supper. I don't enjoy making big breakfasts as I am usually rushed in the mornings.

6.Do you endorse any products? Do you receive any compensation for your blog or items on it?

I have endorsed COUNTRY BOB'S BarBQ sauce and ENTERTAINING AT HOME products. No, I do not receive any compensation.

7.Do you cook anywhere besides at home?

No, I don't cook elsewhere.

8.Where else can we find your blog?

I am also on Facebook.

9.We all know that food plays a huge role in peoples lives. Do you have a favorite memory that involved food?

Our family still enjoys huge holiday meals when we all get together. Even for the "less important" holidays, like St. Patrick's Day. We use any excuse to throw a party and enjoy delicious recipes!

10.What are your future plans for your site?

My plan is just to continue making tried and true recipes that I enjoy and share them with the world!

See? Awesome lady! Click here to visit her blog Everything In Moderation. You'll be happy you did!

Vanilla sugar

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Some of you may remember that I won some vanilla beans. I tried so many different recipes using them it was amazing! And so delicious! I was astonished by the difference in taste using vanilla beans vs. vanilla extract (which I made from some of these beans also). My favorite recipe was for vanilla sugar. It is awesome sprinkled on French toast, pancakes, oatmeal and ice cream. I'm sure there are lots of other things it is good on. Just use your imagination!

What you'll need:
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 4 Tbl powdered sugar
Roughly chop the vanilla bean and add it to a food processor or grinder with the sugar. Grind together until vanilla bean is "powdery". Let sit overnight. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 1/4 cup of vanilla sugar.

vanilla beans - $2.49
powdered sugar - $1.67
Total - $2.26

Betty Crocker Chocolate Honey Bun Cake

Friday, February 26, 2010

I think I told y'all a time or two that I receive meal mail from several of the bigger "cooking" companies. One of them is Betty Crocker. They send all kinds of tempting things to my email. I drool....a lot :)

A new place I hang out

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Just wanted to tell you guys that I joined Great Cooks Community :) I think it's cool there. Here's my badge (which I've added to my sidebar) or you can click here to visit my page there. See you tomorrow with a recipe. Happy Cooking!

Visit Great Cooks Community

Blender butter

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I enjoy making things from "scratch" and make 99% of my meals that way. This recipe for blender butter I don't make often but it is fun to make for a dinner party so that you can show off a little :)

What you'll need:
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 1/2 c cold water
  • 1 ice cube
Pour the cream into blender and blend on high for 15 seconds or until the cream is whipped (just begins to thicken around the blades). Add the water and ice cube and blend on high for 2 minutes. Spoon the butter off the top into a very small holed sieve or a paper cup with a few holes punched into the bottom of it. Knead smooth with a wooden spoon to extract the liquid inside. Put butter onto a dish or in a bowl and serve. Keep refrigerated if not using immediately. Makes about 3/4 cup of sweet butter.

cream – $1.12
Total - $1.12

My fellow food bloggers...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I've decided that I would like to do a feature post each month on one of my fellow food bloggers. The first featured chef will be published here on the last day of this month with each consequent featured chef being published on the last day of each month. Please let me know if you'd like to be a featured guest. I think it will be awesome!

ALL YOU magazine

Monday, February 22, 2010

I told you guys that I had received the ALL YOU cookbook and how awesome I think it is. Well today I thought I'd tell you about their magazine.

The March issue of ALL YOU magazine reveals ways to buy affordable organic food, reduce monthly bills, and decorate for $30 or less. In time for spring cleaning, the magazine shares strategies for tackling big cleaning jobs, dressing for spring for under $80, and preparing an easy, elegant Easter brunch. ALL YOU magazine is published by Time Inc. and sold on newsstands at Walmart stores nationwide and by subscription.

Highlights include:

HOW TO BUY ORGANIC FOOD FOR LESS (p. 20) – ALL YOU features 10 simple tips for eating better without busting your budget. They include:

• ALL YOU reader
Barrie MacLauchlin from Kentucky writes to her favorite organic companies who send her coupons in return, many of which can be doubled at grocery stores.

• Shop your freezer in winter. Instead of buying overpriced fresh produce off-season, stock up on frozen organics.

• Have boxed items delivered. ALL YOU reader
Sandra Knutson from California suggests using Amazon.com’s Subscribe and Save program, which saves shoppers 15% and offers free delivery.

• Join a local food co-op. For groups of friends interested in banding together to purchase organic foods in bulk, try contacting local wholesalers yourself. Google “organic wholesalers” for a list of suppliers around the country.

HOW TO TACKLE BIG CLEANING JOBS (p. 115) – ‘Tis the season for spring cleaning. Breeze through annual and semiannual chores like a pro with surefire strategies for getting the job done as quickly, simply, and thoroughly as possible. Quick and easy how-tos include:

• Spray pots and pans with oven cleaner to get them gleaming again.

• Wash windows with a squeegee that has a soft rubber blade to cut down on streaks.

• Use paste wax for polishing wood furniture. This natural, botanical substance acts as a wood protectant and won’t degrade the finish.

HOW TO MAKE EGG-CELLENT EASTER CRAFTS (p. 27) – Make this Easter extraordinary with easy homemade crafts. ALL YOU presents fresh ways to decorate eggs, set the table with style, and brighten your mantel or wall.

• Drape Easter egg garland strung on a colorful ribbon to add charm to a wall or mantel.

• Embellish eggs with beads and paper flowers and place in egg cups around the table.

• Illuminate the Easter spread by pairing a boldly patterned cloth with a neutral runner.

HOW TO CUT MONTHLY BILLS (p. 125) – ALL YOU presents 10 smart household gadgets that will help consumers save both money and energy. Lower your cell phone bill, slash heating and cooling costs, and decrease grocery expenses. Here’s how:

• XLink, a console that routes cell phone calls to a home phone so that you can gab all you want without paying for extra minutes.
SAVE: About $33 per month.

• Smart Strip Power Saving surge protector, an energy saving power surge strip that allows you to deactivate some devices and leave others on, which could save up to 22% on appliance consumption and lower your monthly energy bill.
SAVE: From $50 to more than $100 per year.

• FoodSaver vacuums are plastic bags that can vacuum seal food which can be stored to extend freshness up to five times over.
SAVE: Approximately $600 per year.

SEVEN SPRING DRESSES FOR $80 OR LESS (p. 34) – Welcome warm weather with pretty frocks that cost just $80 or less. Plus: Simple tricks to highlight your best features and ways to turn these wardrobe staples from daywear to night chic with a few easy accessories.

DECORATE FOR $30 OR LESS (p. 108) – Give your home a budget makeover with bargain-priced new products sure to jazz up any room. Featured decorative accents that won’t break the bank include:
• Mini LED chandeliers for $20
• Graphic silhouette rugs for $20
• Trendy flower coat hooks for $10
• Elegant serving trays for $20

ALL YOU, published by Time Inc. and sold on newsstands at Walmart stores nationwide and by subscription, includes fashion ideas for every body type, diet and fitness advice that fits a busy lifestyle, practical beauty ideas, economical, easy-to-prepare recipes and much more. ALL YOU is focused on real women and their everyday lives. ALL YOU Reality Checkers, over 23,000 women nationwide, ensure that everything on the pages of the magazine passes the Reality Checked test. Visit www.ALLYOU.com, from the team that created ALL YOU magazine, for more trusted, money-saving content plus exclusive high-value coupons, daily discount offers, low-cost recipes and more.

Canadian pea soup

Sunday, February 21, 2010

With the weather not wanting to warm completely up yet, I've really been craving soups lately. This recipe came from The New York Times Cookbook that was published in 1961.

What you'll need:
  • 1 lb dried yellow peas
  • 3 quarts (12 cups) cold water
  • 1/2 lb pork, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 c diced carrots
  • 1/2 c diced turnips
  • 1 white onion, chopped
Put peas in a large pot and add just enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and boil for two minutes. Turn off heat, cover pot with lid and let peas soak for one hour. Drain and put into another large, deep pot. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Let it simmer for 4 hours. Add salt & pepper to taste and serve. Feeds 4. 

dried peas - $1.00
pork - $3.50
carrots - $1.19
turnips - $1.08
onions (3 lbs) - $0.99
Total - $7.05

Texas mac & cheese

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I call this recipe a side dish but if you double it it can be a main dish.

What you'll need:
  • 2 c macaroni noodles
  • 2 Tbl butter
  • 1 1/2 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes
Cook the macaroni until tender. Drain and toss with butter. Stir in the cheese and Rotel. Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes until the cheese is melted and light brown. Serve hot. Feeds 4.

elbow macaroni - $1.75
butter - $2.38
shredded cheddar - $1.98
Rotel tomatoes - $2.12
Total - $5.34 

I almost forgot!

Friday, February 19, 2010

What do you think of the pages feature? Do you like it? Did you notice it on my sidebar without me telling you about it? Let me know!

Oh yes, and if you want to find out a little more about Pages click here...

Now I'm going to post this on all my blogs so I can get everyone's opinion :D

One last update

Hey guys! Since I gave you so many recipes yesterday (even though they were recipes I had posted over on my Wordpress site), I decided today to tell you the new stuff that's here. 

Because Blogger rocks and added pages to our blogs, I was able to clear up my sidebar and put all that stuff onto pages. Those pages are at the top of my sidebar, right underneath where it says Welcome Chefs! Please check out all the pages & please follow me & please become a fan of my Facebook page & please check out all the other great cooking blogs that are on my sidebar... 

I know, that's a lot of pleases :) Here's a big thank you in advance for doing those things:

Thank you!!

I think my update yesterday may have gotten lost in all the recipes I posted. If you missed it you can click here to read it. Have a great day everyone! And, as always, Happy Cooking!

Fried cheese balls

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A super simple recipe that is surprisingly delicious. Remember to allow your egg white to come to room temperature before beating it.

What you'll need:

  • 1 egg white
  • 2 c grated parmesan cheese
Beat egg white until stiff and tripled in volume. Mix together 1/3 of the beaten egg white and 1 cup of the parmesan cheese. Beat well. Alternate mixing in the remaining egg white and cheese until it is all mixed together. Drop marble sized balls off the end of a teaspoon and fry @ 365 degrees until lightly browned. Makes about 3 dozen cheese balls.

eggs (18 count) -$1.47
parmesan cheese - $2.88
Total - $2.96

White chip chocolate cookies

I think these cookies are pretty.

What you'll need:

  • 2 1/4 c flour
  • 2/3 c cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 c (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 2/3 c brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt and set aside. Beat together butter, both sugars and vanilla until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually mix in flour/cocoa mixture. The dough will be stiff. Stir in chips. Roll 1 Tbl dough into a ball and then flatten slightly. Place 1" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 9 - 11 minutes. Makes 5 dozen cookies.

all purpose flour - $1.25
cocoa - $2.84
baking soda - $0.50
salt (large) - $0.38
butter - $2.38
sugar - $2.42
brown sugar - $1.44
vanilla (2 oz) - $1.96
eggs (18 count) -$1.47
white morsels - $1.97
Total - $5.11/$1.02 per dozen

Classic country fried okra

What you'll need:

  • 6 fresh, medium sized okra per person
  • cornmeal
  • salt to taste
  • oil to fry in
Boil the okra until it is tender enough to pierce with a fork without tearing them. Slice into 1/8 - 1/4" medallion slices and roll in salted cornmeal. Fry in oil heated to 350 degrees until browned. Serve hot.

okra – $3.99/lb
cornmeal – $3.12/5 pound bag
Total - $2.31 for 1/2 lb okra (feeds 4)

Pineapple chiffon pie

*A special note to Chris: This recipe calls for softened gelatin*
What you'll need:

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 c sugar, divided
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 c pineapple, cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 c cream
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 (4 oz) pkg gelatin softened in 1/4 c water (stir gelatin and water together and allow to sit for approximately 5 minutes)
  • 1 (9") pie crust, baked and cooled
In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, cook and stir the egg yolks, 1/2 c sugar, lemon juice, cream, salt, pineapple chunks and vanilla until it is slightly thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in softened gelatin. Allow to cool. Beat the egg whites until fluffy and then gradually beat in the remaining 1/2 c sugar until stiff peaks form.* Fold into cooled custard. Pour into cooled pie crust and chill for at least one hour. Serve each slice topped with whipped cream. Makes 1 pie.

*If you allow the egg whites to come to room temperature, they will beat up much fluffier.

eggs (18 count) -$1.47
sugar - $2.42
lemons – $1.99/4
pineapple – $1.09
cream – $1.12
vanilla (2 oz) - $1.96
gelatin – $0.99
frozen pie shells (2) - $1.88
Total - $4.58


This is a great non-alcoholic party drink. You need a large percolator (30 cup) to make it or you can make it in a large, deep pot, tying the herbs in a cheesecloth. This makes 16 1/2 cups of Wassail.

What you'll need:

  • 1 quart apple cider
  • 1 pint cranberry juice
  • 1 c orange juice
  • 1/4 - 3/4 c lemon juice
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 tsp (2 or 3 sticks) cinnamon sticks
In the bottom part of the perculator (or in a large, deep pot), combine cider, juices and sugar. The amount of lemon juice is up to your taste. Stir well. In the "coffee grounds basket" (or in a cheesecloth), place allspice, cloves & cinnamon sticks. Heat until perculating (or bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low) and allow to perculate (or simmer) for 10 - 15 minutes. Serve warm.

apple cider – $2.85
cranberry juice – $1.49
orange juice – $2.99/gallon
lemons – $1.99/4
sugar - $2.42
cloves – $1.12
cinnamon – $1.85
Total = $11.00/$0.67 per cup

Just a tip

If a recipe calls for "softened gelatin" or "quick gelatin", that just means you soak the gelatin in 1/2 - 1/4 cup of cold water before you make the recipe.

Baked corn

A special note to Joni: This recipe uses buttered crumbs :D For the rest of you, I gave a tip a little while back on what buttered crumbs are. Just mix equal amounts of crumbs and softened butter together.

What you'll need:

  • 3 Tbl butter
  • 3 Tbl flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1 1/2 c light cream
  • 2 1/4 c (8 - 9 ears; remove corn from cob) cooked corn
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 c buttered crumbs
  • Paprika
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring the cream to a boil and then remove from heat. In a deep skillet, melt the butter and then whisk in the flour. Add the salt & pepper. Add the hot cream all at one and stir with a whisk over medium heat until thickened and smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in corn. Slowly stir in eggs, whisking the entire time. Pour into a greased 5 - 6 cup casserole dish. Top with buttered crumbs and sprinkle paprika on top. Place casserole dish into a shallow pan filled 1" deep with hot water. Bake 45 - 50 minutes covering the top with foil if it's browning too much. Feeds 6.

butter - $2.38
all purpose flour - $1.25
cream – $1.12
corn - $0.50/ear
eggs (18 count) -$1.47
bread crumbs - $1.89
Total - $5.79

Cherry angel food trifle

This is absolutely decadent!

What you'll need:

  • 5 c angel food cake cubes (1 store bought angel food cake)
  • 1/4 c cherry liqueur (optional)
  • 1 c powdered sugar
  • 1 (3 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (8oz) carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1/2 c toasted, chopped pecans
  • 1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling
Place cake cubes in a large bowl and cover with cherry liqueur. Let stand 30 minutes. In a medium bowl, cream sugar and cream cheese well. Fold in all but 2 Tbl of the whipped topping. Stir into cake cubes. Add pecans and mix well. Spoon 1/2 of the mixture into serving bowl. Top that with 1/2 of the cherry pie filling. Top that with the other 1/2 of the cake cube mixture and then top that with the other 1/2 of the cherry pie filling. Refrigerate at least 3 hours. Top with the reserved 2 Tbl whipped topping and serve. Feeds 8 - 10.

angel food cake from bakery - $3.25
cherry liqueur - $2.25
powdered sugar - $1.67
cream cheese - $0.98
frozen whipped topping - $1.78
pecans – $3.00/lb
pie filling – $1.99
Total - $10.05

Cheese puffs

This recipe calls for pot cheese which is basically cottage cheese that has been drained longer and therefore has a slightly drier texture. If pot cheese is not available where you live, use cottage cheese but let it drain in a sieve for approximately half an hour before you use it. Also, this is a very time consuming recipe so don't start it until you have plenty of time!

What you'll need:
  • 1 lb Feta cheese
  • 1 (12 oz) pkg pot cheese
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 c parsley or dill, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lb real butter OR 1/4 lb real butter + 1/4 lb margarine
  • 1 lb Phylo pastry sheets
Crumble Feta into small pieces into a large bowl. Add pot cheese and blend well. Add the eggs and beat thoroughly. Mix in the herbs. Set aside. Carefully cut the Phylo pastry into three equal portions. Put two of the portions (covered) into the refrigerator until ready to use. Place a damp towel over the portion you are working with. Phylo dough dries out very quickly and you don't want it dry. You are going to work with one sheet at a time.

Remove one sheet of dough, place on a flat surface and butter well using a pastry brush. Fold the long side towards the middle making a strip about 2" wide. Butter again. Place 1 Tbl of the cheese mixture on the bottom right hand corner of the strip and fold over into a triangle shape. Keep folding and making triangles until you get to the end of the strip. Lightly butter the finished triangle and place on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Continue this process until all the dough/cheese has been used. This should make 75 pieces.

Bake @ 425 degrees for 20 minutes, turning once. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Feta cheese - $4.79/lb
cottage cheese - $2.86
eggs (18 count) -$1.47
herbs - $1.20 in store/free from herb garden
butter - $2.38
Phylo dough - $3.89
Total - $14.28/$0.19 per piece

Yogurt dip

Try this dip with different varieties of crackers. Whole wheat crackers are my favorite.

What you'll need:

  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 or 3 whole walnuts, shelled
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 c plain yogurt
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • dash of vinegar
  • 1/2 c diced cucumber
Using a muddler, mash the garlic and walnuts in the olive oil. If you don't have a muddler you can quickly mash them in a food processor using the pulse for 2 - 3 seconds. You don't want them to be complete mush; you want some pieces of garlic and walnut but not large pieces. Blend the mixture into the yogurt. Stir in remaining ingredients and chill for at least one hour before serving. Makes approximately 1 cup of dip.

garlic clove – $0.50/1 head
walnuts – $2.00
yogurt – $2.12
vinegar (small) - $0.92
cucumber - $1.00
Total - $4.92

Jalapeno bean dip

Another great party recipe.

What you'll need:

  • 1/2 c onion, minced
  • 1 Tbl butter
  • 2 c (two 8 oz cans) refried beans
  • 1/2 lb Monterrey jack cheese, cubed
  • 1 (4 oz) can (1/2 c) green chilies, drained & chopped or approximately 8 jalapenos, chopped
Saute onion in the butter until translucent. Stir in remaining ingredients and heat through. Serve with tortilla chips. Serves 12.

yellow onions (3 lbs) - $0.99
tub butter - $2.38
refried beans - $1.00
Monterrey jack – $1.69
chilies – $1.19/can
Total - $5.20

Chili cheese balls

With less than a month before the Superbowl, I thought I'd start posting some good party recipes. These are excellent. This recipe feeds 6 but it can be doubled or tripled depending on your party size.

What you'll need:

  • 1/2 lb sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 c margarine, softened
  • 1 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 (4oz) can green chilies, drained and chopped
Mix all ingredients together well. Form into 3/4" balls. Place 1" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake @ 375 degrees for 12 - 15 minutes turning over once halfway through baking.

cheddar cheese block - $3.98
tub butter - $2.38
all purpose flour - $1.25
chilies – $1.19/can
Total - $3.25

Just a tip

When a recipe calls for buttered crumbs don't panic! :) Just mix together equal amounts of butter and crumbs.

What's in season right now?

I got asked today what foods are in season right now. I usually keep a garden and can just look out the window and tell you this is growing, and this and also this, but sadly the last couple of years I have been garden-less. I do have an answer for your question though Shelly...

There is a great website, NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), that you can get to by clicking here. The page I have linked you to is called "Eat Local". You simply put in your state and what time of year it is and it tells you what is fresh near you!

I hope this answers your question sweetie. Feel free to email me if you have any other questions....that goes for all my readers :D

Have a great day and Happy Cooking!!

Sauteed tomatoes

Very simple. Use red or green tomatoes.

What you'll need:

  • Firm tomatoes sliced into 1/4" - 1/2" slices
  • 1 - 4 eggs depending on how many tomato slices you are making, slightly beaten
  • Cracker crumbs or bread crumbs
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Butter to cook in
Dip tomato slices into eggs and then into crumbs. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Brown on both sides in butter heated over medium heat, about 10 minutes. Serve hot.

tomatoes - $0.98/lb
eggs (18 count) -$1.47
bread crumbs - $1.89
Total - $1.94

Chocolate mint sauce

This is a super simple sauce that is excellent over ice cream

What you'll need:

  • 10 York Peppermint Patties (the candy)
  • 3 - 5 Tbl cream (depending on how thick you want it)
Melt the candies in the top of a double boiler stirring occasionally. Blend in cream when candies are completely melted. Use immediately. Makes enough to cover 6 servings of ice cream (or 4 if you heap it on like I do!)

candy - $1.50
cream – $1.12
Total - $1.72

Classic drinks

I am not an alcohol drinker just because my body can't handle alcohol. It makes me very ill. But I have no problem with other people drinking alcohol and am at times the drink maker. Because of that, I decided one day to find out just how to make certain drinks that I've always heard of. This was the result...

Bloody Mary

In a cocktail shaker filled with crushed ice, add one part vodka, two parts tomato juice, the juice of half a lemon, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce and a dash of salt and pepper. Shake vigorously and strain into serving glass.


In a shaker with crushed ice:

Simple: Three parts gin and one part dry vermouth

Dry: Four to Seven parts gin and one part dry vermouth

Extra-dry: Gin in any proportion and a splash of dry vermouth

Strain and garnish. For a simple and a dry martini, garnish with a green olive. For an extra-dry martini, garnish with a twist of lemon peel.


Pour over ice and stir

Sweet: One part sweet vermouth, two parts bourbon or rye whiskey and a dash of bitters. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Dry: One part dry vermouth and two parts bourbon or rye whiskey. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Whiskey Sour

In a shaker filled with crushed ice put one part sugar syrup, two parts lemon juice and eight parts rye whiskey or bourbon. Shake vigorously and strain. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and an orange slice.

Old Fashioned

Dissolve 1 lump of sugar in a small amount of warm water. Sprinkle with bitters and crush with a muddler. Add a little rye whiskey or bourbon and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add cracked ice to fill the glass and top with two jiggers of rye whiskey or bourbon.


In a shaker with crushed ice put one part sugar syrup, two parts lime juice and eight parts light rum. Shake and pour into serving glass.

Tom Collins

Mix one Tablespoon sugar syrup, juice of one lemon and two jiggers of gin. Stir well. Add ice and a shot of carbonated water. Stir once and serve.


Fill an 8 oz glass with cracked ice. Pour in 1 oz Italian bitters (Carpano), 3 oz (2 jiggers) sweet vermouth and club soda. Stir. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.

Black Velvet

Pour chilled champagne and chilled stout (a heavy bodied dark brew made with roasted malt & hops) slowly and simultaneously into a 14 oz glass.


Pour 1 1/2 oz (1 jigger) vodka and 4 oz orange juice over ice. Stir.

Remember to enjoy yourself responsibly. Please don't drink and drive.

Broccoli crunch

This is also very good with sunflower seeds instead of peanuts or almonds. Use 2 cups of sunflower seeds if you decide to try it that way instead. Also it's important to use Miracle Whip and not regular mayonnaise. There are seasonings in Miracle Whip that give this dish a little "zing".

What you'll need:
  • 3 c diced broccoli (about one bunch)
  • 1 c roasted peanuts or almonds
  • 1 c raisins
  • 1/2 c cooked crisp, crumbled bacon
  • 1/2 c diced green onions
  • 1 c Miracle Whip
  • 2 Tbl sugar
  • 2 Tbl vinegar
In a large bowl, mix together broccoli, nuts, raisins, bacon and onions. In a small bowl, mix together Miracle Whip, sugar and vinegar. Combine and lightly toss both mixtures together. Serve immediately. Feeds 4 - 6.

broccoli – $1.89
dry roasted peanuts - $2.38
raisins - $1.58
bacon - $2.98
small onions – $1.50/bunch
miracle whip – $2.12
sugar - $2.42
vinegar (small) - $0.92
Total - $7.46
Broccoli on Foodista

Salmon fromage

When I think of canned salmon, I always think of salmon patties. This is a delicious alternative to the "same old thing".

What you'll need:

  • 2 cans salmon
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1/4 c butter
  • 2 Tbl finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 c flour
  • dash of Tabasco
  • 1 1/2 c cottage cheese
  • hot biscuits
  • parsley & pimento strips for garnish, optional
Drain the salmon but do not discard the liquid. Mix liquid and milk together and set aside. Break salmon into pieces using a fork, set aside. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. Add onion and cook until transparent. Whisk in flour. Add milk/salmon liquid all at once and cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture begins to thicken. Add Tabasco. Fold in the cottage cheese and stir gently until it is heated back through. Add salmon and stir gently until heated through again. Serve over hot, split biscuits. Feeds 6.

canned salmon – $2.12
milk - $1.78/gallon
tub butter - $2.38
yellow onions (3 lbs) - $0.99
all-purpose flour - $1.25
Tabasco sauce - $1.59
cottage cheese - $2.12
canned biscuits - $2.28/4 pack
Total - $7.08

Barbecue sauce

Barbecue, or as we have always called it, BBQ is just not the same without a good sauce. I'd like to share three of mine today. They are all good on any kind of meat or grilled seafood. This first one is very simple and is particularly good on chicken. The second takes a little time but is worth the wait. It's excellent on pork. The third is perfect when grilling fish or shrimp. It can be used to baste the seafood while it is grilling or is also good as a marinade before grilling.

BBQ sauce #1
(Makes about 3/4 cup)

What you'll need:

  • 2 Tbl Worcestershire
  • 1/2 lb (2 sticks) butter
  • 2 Tbl vinegar
  • 12 drops Tabasco sauce
Mix all together and heat over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat. Use immediately.

Worcestershire sauce – $1.79
butter - $2.38
vinegar (small) - $0.92
Tabasco sauce - $1.59
Total - $1.66

BBQ sauce #2
(Makes about 3 cups)

What you'll need:
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 3 Tbl butter
  • 2 Tbl vinegar
  • 1 Tbl orange juice
  • 6 Tbl brown sugar
  • 2 c ketchup
  • 1 c water
  • 1 1/2 c finely diced celery
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 Tbl Worcestershire
  • small can of crushed pineapple
In a large, deep pot, saute the garlic and onion in the butter. Mix in remaining ingredients. Allow to simmer for 45 minutes adding water if it becomes too thick. Let cool 10 minutes before using.

garlic clove – $0.50/1 head
yellow onions (3 lbs) - $0.99
butter - $2.38
vinegar (small) - $0.92
orange juice – $2.99/gallon
brown sugar - $1.44
ketchup (small) - $1.58
celery – $0.99
mustard - $1.28
Worcestershire sauce – $1.79
crushed pineapple – $1.09
Total - $3.55

BBQ sauce #3
(Makes about 1 3/4 cups)

What you'll need:
  • 1 c peanut or sesame seed oil
  • 1/4 c soy sauce
  • 1/2 c sherry
Mix all together well.

oil (small) - $2.28
soy sauce $1.89
sherry – $2.00
Total - $2.89

Just a tip

Many recipes call for wine. If you don't want to use wine in your cooking, you can substitute water in equal amounts. It will change the taste of your recipe though, from a little to dramatically depending on the recipe.

A reader on my Wordpress site suggested this also:

If you’re cooking a savory dish, you can also use stock or broth in a complimentary flavor in place of the wine.

Quick & Easy Hopping John

This is a traditional New Year's Day "good luck" meal. Happy New Year's Eve everyone!

What you'll need:

  • 1/2 c dry black eyed peas or 1 pkg frozen black eyed peas
  • 1 strip of bacon, cooked til crisp and crumbled
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 c hot, cooked rice
  • 1 Tbl red wine vinegar
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbl chives, chopped
  • 2 Tbl parsley, chopped
Cook the beans, drain but reserve 1/4 c of the liquid, set aside. Add onion to same pan and saute over medium heat 1 minute in one Tbl of the reserved liquid. Add garlic clove and cook 3 minutes more. Add peas, rice, vinegar and enough of the reserved liquid to make the mixture moist. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir in salt & pepper. Put into 4 serving bowls. Top each with a portion of the bacon, chives and parsley. Serve immediately. Feeds 4.

dry peas - $1.00
bacon - $2.98/lb
yellow onions (3 lbs) - $0.99
garlic clove - $0.50/1 head
rice - $1.32
vinegar (small) - $0.92
herbs - $0.50
Total - $2.18

Mrs. Filhiol's Recipe

I'm posting this recipe today more for fun than anything. I won't be including a cost-to-make section. This is more of a history-of-cooking post. I got this recipe out of the cookbook "Cooking the Cajun Way" also known as "The French Acadian Cookbook" which was written by Ellis Cormier "The Boudin King". It was published in 1955. According to the cookbook, this cake was origionally made for Miss Annie Filhiol's wedding in 1878. The wedding was postponed for 6 months and the cake kept perfectly fresh wrapped in a blanket and stored in a large tin box.

This is what she used:

  • 1 lb light brown sugar    
  • 1 lb flour
  • 3/4 lb butter
  • 12 eggs, beaten well   
  • 2 tsp baking powder    
  • 2 lbs raisins    
  • 1 c molasses    
  • 2 lbs currants    
  • 1 Tbl citron    
  • 1 Tbl mace    
  • 1 Tbl cinnamon    
  • 1 Tbl nutmeg    
  • 1/2 goblet of wine    
  • 1/2 goblet of brandy
The instructions were:

Cream the butter, add sugar and then the eggs. Beat well. Add the molasses, brandy and wine. Mix together the spices, baking powder and flour. Add the raisins, currants and citron to the flour. Mix all together well. Pour into a long baking dish. Bake over medium to low flames for 3 1/2 hours.

Remember, in 1878 she was using a wood stove! If you wanted to try to make this cake yourself in a gas or electric stove, bake @ 250 degrees in a 13 x 9 x 2" pan. Set the pan in a larger pan of water and bake for 2 1/2 hours. Remove the pan of water and bake for 1 hour more or until cake is cooked through.

Herb dressing

This is a tasty homemade salad dressing that can be kept up to a week in the refrigerator. It makes about 2/3 of a cup.

What you'll need:

  • 1/2 c salad oil (This is really any oil you like. It can be corn, vegetable or olive oil)
  • 3 Tbl wine vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp powdered thyme
  • 1/8 tsp powdered marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil leaves OR 4 fresh basil leaves, chopped finely
  • 1 Tbl minced onion
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbl parsley, finely chopped
Combine all ingredients in a salad dressing jar or any jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake vigorously. Let stand for 10 minutes before using. Shake again before each use.

vegetable oil (regular) - $2.28
vinegar (small) - $0.92
herbs & spices - $1.50
Total - $1.82

Foodista contest

Hey guys! I received an email today about The Foodista contest....well, let me just let them tell you...

The Foodista

Cookbook Contest

Have you dreamed of being published in print? Want to see your writing in a book?

Foodista and Andrews McMeel Publishing are thrilled to announce The Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook! Food bloggers worldwide are invited to submit their favorite blog posts, recipes and photos to compete for a spot in a Foodista.com cookbook.

From December 1, 2009 through February 28, 2010 Foodista will be accepting submissions. Then, Andrews McMeel will publish the winning blog posts in a beautiful full-color, internationally distributed cookbook!

The idea behind The Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook took form during the “Blog to Book” panel at the first International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC) earlier this year. Thus, The Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook was created to celebrate the best food bloggers in the world.

Everyone can be part of the contest! Vote to help select the best bloggers!

That's pretty cool, isn't it? :D I think so. So here's the deal. I'm entering! I'm going through my cookbook today and adding a Foodista widget to my favorite recipes.

If you see a widget on a recipe, click it and that gives me a vote.

Or you can click the enter button above and vote on other people's recipes that you like or enter your own recipes.

OR you can leave me a comment on this post telling me what your favorite recipe of MINE is and I'll add a widget to that post for you, you go to that recipe and click the widget and that gives me a vote.

Look for the widgets from my sidebar. Go to "What are you looking for?" and then "Other Stuff". Then under that is the category "vote for Foodista contest". Click on it. That will bring up all the recipes that have a widget on them. The widget looks like this:

Choose your favorite recipes and click on the widget and follow the directions from there. That's it! You just voted for me :) Sound good? I hope you all vote! It would make me very happy to be in the cookbook!!

Homey Click Salad

I promised you one of my "notebook recipes" today and this is the one I picked. This is great as a brunch.

What you'll need:

  • Cooked meat from a 4 lb chicken (about 2 cups) or 2 cans chunk chicken*
  • 1 c celery, cut on an angle
  • 1 c green bell pepper, minced
  • 2 tsp grated onion
  • 2/3 c mayonnaise
  • 1/4 c light cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbl vinegar
In a large bowl, mix together meat, celery, bell pepper and onion. Set aside. In another bowl, mix together mayonnaise, cream, vinegar and salt and pepper. Mix into meat mixture well. Chill for at least one hour or overnight covered with plastic wrap. Stir once before serving. Tastes great served with cranberry sauce or a tart jelly. Feeds 4 - 6.

*If using canned chicken, break up the chicken chunks with a fork before mixing with other ingredients.

canned chicken chunks - $2.50
bell pepper – $0.90
yellow onions (3 lbs) - $0.99
mayonnaise - $3.12
cream - $1.12
vinegar (small) - $0.92
Total - $6.50

Christmas breakfast casserole

Hey guys! I hope y'all had a great Christmas! Ours was wonderful! :D We went to my husband's son & his wife's home for breakfast and she made a delicious casserole for us. I thought it was so good (and simple!) that I'd share the recipe with you.

What you'll need:

  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 1/8 c milk
  • 2 Tbl butter, divided
  • 1 lb breakfast sausage
  • 3 c shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 bag frozen, shredded hash browns
Beat the eggs and milk together and scramble in 1 Tbl butter. Put half the scrambled eggs in the bottom of a casserole dish and set the other half aside. Brown the sausage, crumbling it as it cooks. Drain. Put into a large bowl and set aside. Brown the hash browns in 1 Tbl butter. Mix together the cooked hash browns, cooked sausage and 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese. Spread on top of eggs in casserole dish. Top with remaining eggs and then the remaining cheese and bake @ 350 degrees until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Feeds 4.

eggs (18 count) -$1.47
milk - $1.78/gallon
pork sausage – $1.89
shredded cheddar - $1.98
frozen shredded hash browns – $2.29
Total - $7.30

A quick update

If you saw this cookbook this morning (and my other blogs for that matter), you know I've been very busy today. I'm really happy with the way all of it turned out. With the pages being a new thing for Blogger, I think a lot less people will leave it. If you were able to get a template that allowed pages before then you were one of the lucky ones. I never could find one. But that's beside the point...

All I have left to do here is copy all the recipes I added to Wordpress while I was gone from Blogger (I'm sorry Blogger...I'll never leave you again...I promise!) which is probably about 20 or so recipes. For the ones of you that were nice enough to follow me from here to there and now back to here again, thank you and I'm sorry...you'll be seeing recipes you've already seen. I just want all my recipes here. I hope you can understand that. 

For those of you that have been visiting here, wondering where I am (I see by my Site Meter report that this page still gets LOTS of visits), I'm sorry too. I will stay here this time. I don't want to go through all that I'm having to do today again (I know, I'm lazy lol).

I've got one more way that I'm going to be a pain in your butt and then I promise everything will be back to normal...

If you changed my URL to follow this cookbook on wordpress, please change it back to blogspot. That is the only part of the URL that changes. 

It goes from http://theeatfoodnotmoneycookbook.wordpress.com to http://theeatfoodnotmoneycookbook.blogspot.com

Please, thank you and I'm sorry. I'm done being a pain now :) On with the recipes!

Cooking Light - January/February 2010

It's time again for my monthly Cooking Light magazine review. I got my issue yesterday and it is awesome as usual! I spent all of last night reading it and marking down the recipes that I'm dying to try. My pick this month as my favorite is the Speedy Chicken Potpie (page 32). Here are the highlights from this issue:

The Cooking Light Way to Eat (page 133) – Cooking Light offers 10 rules for healthy eating in 2010 and 50 small changes that can make a big difference.

The plan’s ultimate tips include: Try something new; Choose healthy fats; Cook more often; Eat less processed meats; Eat more whole foods; Start the day off well; Indulge adventurously; Eat out creatively; Be portion aware; and Drink well.

Feed 4 for Under $10
(page 178) – This month’s recipes for delicious, nutritious, and budget-friendly eating include: Grown-Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Butternut Squash, and Shrimp Fra Diavolo.

Ease Anxiety About Health-Care Costs (page 53) – The payoff for reforming your basic approach to medical costs is some real peace of mind and the good news is that it can be done. Cooking Light offers simple tips to help ease the stress: Keep an eye on the paperwork, stay in-network, and take care of yourself to prevent disease.

Navigating a Sub Shop Menu (page 70) – Eating out is often part of our weekly routine. But a quick lunch on the go can result in many unwanted calories. Cooking Light offers the best and worst menu picks at a sub or sandwich shop.

Jamie Oliver Interviewed by Mark Bittman (page 161) – Jamie Oliver believes that by teaching ordinary Americans new cooking skills, and getting them to share those skills with others, he can improve our national diet. “Cooking is not taught at school, they’re eating crap at school, and there’s largely processed food being sold to the home market. We need to create a (food) movement so people can understand it really quickly and simply,” Oliver tells Cooking Light.

Chili Basics (page 102) – Learn the secrets to making a great bowl of meat-based, bean-based or completely vegetarian chili. Cooking Light offers three tasty versions of this ultimate comfort food.

Start with a Can of Tuna… (page 94) – Canned tuna, an inexpensive pantry staple, lends itself to a Spanish salad, a delicious panini, and a creamy sauce for chicken.

Readers’ Winning Recipes (page 184) – Out of more than 2,800 entries for the fifth annual Cooking Light Ultimate Reader Recipe Contest, Suzanne Rumsey of Fort Wayne , Indiana , was chosen as the grand prize recipient, winning $20,000 and a $5,000 donation to Heifer International. The judges loved the simplicity and vibrant flavors of Rumsey’s Greek Chicken and Barley Salad.

Rating the Best Bacons (page 58) – The porky, smoky taste of great bacon can be central to the fat-cutting idea of using meat as a flavor, rather than a main ingredient in all kinds of light recipes. Cooking Light tasted 23 bacons and rated their favorite for breakfast, for recipes, best store brand, and overall winner.

Dinner Tonight (page 77) – Start the new year off right with stopwatch tested, healthy and tasty family meals including Roast Chicken with Balsamic Bell Peppers, Pan-Grilled Halibut with Chimichuri, and Chiptole Bean Burritos, all ready in under 40 minutes.

If you haven't bought this magazine before, you're really missing out! Pick one up today! And don't forget to visit them online too! Happy Cooking everyone!

I'm coming back

Yes. It's true. I plan to bring this cookbook back to Blogger! To read all the details, click here.

See you soon!!

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