Friday, April 12, 2013

Roasted Cabbage Wedges

Rachel found this recipe on Martha Stewart's website and cooked it for us. It has become another of our favorite veggie dishes. Here it is with Rachel's modifications in purple.

This is pretty much how it looks...just imagine
crumbled bacon instead of caraway seeds.
1 tablespoon plus 2 more tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium head green cabbage, cut into 1-inch-thick rounds
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 teaspoon caraway or fennel seeds We omitted the caraway/fennel seeds but added crumbled bacon sprinkled on top.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush a rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Place 1 medium head green cabbage, cut into 1-inch-thick rounds, in a single layer on sheet and brush with 2 tablespoons oil. Season with coarse salt and ground pepper and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon caraway or fennel seeds cooked bacon crumbles to taste. Roast until cabbage is tender and edges are golden, 40 to 45 minutes.

Depending on how thin you slice the cabbage, you may want to shorten the cooking time. The edges should be brown as shown to the right, just not burned.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Roasted Asparagus with Feta

Mom made this dish as her contribution for Thanksgiving dinner. We love it and have made it often. We now have a new family tradition for Thanksgiving. Who needs green bean casserole, anyway?

2 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt to taste
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Arrange asparagus in an ungreased 13 in x 9 in baking dish. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt.

Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 15-20 min or until tender. Transfer to a serving dish; sprinkle with the tomatoes and feta cheese. Serve immediately. YIELD: 6 servings.

My Changes:
  • I usually break the asparagus in half when I put it in the baking dish to make it easier to arrange.
  • I don't measure the olive oil--I just drizzle it over the asparagus then I move the asparagus around so that each piece will have some oil on it.
  • Be careful with the salt! It is easy to get it too salty. I usually just use a pinch (or 2).
  • I bake in a glass baking dish so don't bother to transfer to a serving dish. 
  • After I add the tomatoes and feta cheese, I mix it all up.
Don't throw away the trimmings! Microwave or sauté them and serve them to the dogs for a healthy and tasty addition to their meal.

Chicken Stew

You know how you get some dish in your mind and you obsess over it until you eat it? Well, I started obsessing over chicken noodle soup or chicken & dumplings, but with Tom being on a low-carb diet, I can't make them. So, I got creative and came up with this concoction. It was delicious and Tom loved it, too!

1 whole chicken, at least 5 lbs.
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 pkgs. (16 oz/1 lb) packages Tuscan-Style vegetables (I used Safeway Kitchens brand) with broccoli, red peppers, mushrooms & onions
1 yellow onion, chopped
6 ½ cups chicken stock & broth
½ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon thyme
2 Tablespoons parsley (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Roast chicken in a cooking bag following cooking directions for the cooking bag (necessary to generate lots of chicken stock). Boil the gizzards and either toss or give to the dogs. Shred cooked chicken. Retain stock, mix with the water that you boiled the gizzards in, and add canned chicken broth to make 6 ½ cups.

Sauté chopped onion and Tuscan vegetables in butter and olive oil over medium heat. Stir in thyme then pour in chicken broth. Add shredded chicken. Bring to a boil. Cover pot and simmer for 20 minutes.

Pour heavy cream into the pot. Add minced parsley if using. Cover pot and continue to simmer for 15 minutes.

Serve with fresh baked bread (but don't let Tom eat it).  

You can use a rotisserie chicken instead of a fresh chicken, but you will lose the tasty stock. You can use canned chicken stock instead, but it really is not as good. But, it's a lot easier and faster, so go for it!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Peanut Butter Balls

I used to make these all the time, but I can't make them very often now.  It hurts my hands to do the rolling.  Now Nikolas helps.  He has lots of people at his school that keep asking him for them.


1 (20oz) jar peanut butter  (I prefer Jif)                       1 stick margarine (softened)
1 box powdered sugar                                                 1 cup Rice Krispies
1 (12 oz) milk chocolate chips                                    1 (8 oz) Hershey bar
½ square parafin wax

Cream sugar, margarine, peanut butter.  Add Rice Krispies and form in balls.  Put in freezer for at least 4 hrs.  When you are ready to dip the balls in chocolate, melt wax in double boiler.  Add chocolate chips and hershey bar, stirring frequently.  When completely melted, keep warm (medium heat).  Dip balls into chocolate using toothpick and place on wax paper.

Individual Cheese Cakes

I make these for Aaron for his birthday every year.  I taught Nik how to make them so he can bake them for his father any time he wants to butter him up.

12 Vanilla Wafers
1 tsp vanilla
2 (8oz) pkg cream cheese softened
½ c sugar
2 eggs

Line muffin tin with foil liners.  Place 1 cookie in each tin.  Mix cream cheese, vanilla and sugar on Medium speed until well blended.  Add eggs and mix well.  Pour mixture over wafers, filling ¾ full.  Bake 25 min at 325.

Remove from pan when cool.  Top with fruit, preserves, nuts or chocolate.

Makes 12 cheesecakes


Crush Oreo cookies, add melted margarine.  Place 1 tbsp in each foil liner and press (instead of using vanilla wafer).  After mixing eggs into cheesecake mixture, fold in chocolate chips.  After cakes are cooled, melt some chocolate chips (about ½ cup) and drizzle chocolate over the cheesecakes.

Moist Caramel Apple Cake

I make the cake for Angela for her birthday every year.  She always asks for it.

1 pkg. (2-layer size) yellow cake mix
1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Vanilla or French Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1 cup water
4 eggs
1/3 cup oil
3 Granny Smith apples (1 lb.), peeled, coarsely chopped (or shredded)
1 tub of caramel dip (for caramel apples – found in the produce section)

HEAT oven to 350ºF.

BEAT first 5 ingredients in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Stir in apples. Pour into greased and floured 12-cup bundt pan or 10-inch tube pan.

BAKE 50 min. to 1 hour or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan 15 min. Loosen cake from side of pan; invert onto wire rack. Gently remove pan. Cool cake completely. Transfer to plate.  Drizzle caramel over cake (you may need to microwave for a little bit to make it easier to drizzle).  I usually don't put the caramel on the cake until I cut it.  Then the caramel is drizzled on each individual piece.  That way, the cake doesn't get soggy.

Special Extra

Serve topped with thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping or vanilla ice cream.