Thursday, July 24, 2014

Friday, July 18, 2014

Pineapple Picking

This was super helpful!  I had no idea how to get a ripe one except seeing if the leaves pull out easily.  That wasn't mentioned here!



Monday, July 14, 2014

Sue Gregg Recipes

As I find it easier to meal plan with my recipes, grocery list, and meal plans all on the computer, I copy even recipes I have in books onto the good old PC.  Here are a few from Sue Gregg's books, thanks to :

Hawaiian Rice

Cook 3 c. brown rice
Cook 1 - 1/2 c. chicken or turkey and cut up into small chunks.
In a small saucepan stir together in order and heat just till well blended:
1 tbsp. melted butter
1 tbsp. olive oil.
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. mustard
1/4 c. cooking sherry wine
8 oz can (1 c.) unsweetened crushed pineapple, undrained
1 green pepper cut into chunks
Place in casserole dish in this order:
3 c. cooked rice
cooked chicken/turkey
1/2 c. roasted nuts (cashews, any nut works)
sprinke paprika over it all
Cover and bake at 350* for :20-:30.

This recipe is from Sue Gregg's 'Main Dishes' cookbook.

Lentil Rice Casserole

Put the following in a pot and bring to a boil:
3 c. water and bouillion or 3 c. chicken broth
3/4 c. uncooked lentils
1/2 c. uncooked brown rice
1 small chopped onion
1/2 tsp. basil leaves
1/4 tsp. oregano leaves
1/4 tsp. garlic powder or some minced garlic
Simmer on low for :35. Add water if needed.
To serve, top with 3/4 c. grated cheese and stir it in so that the casserole melts it.
Stir in some salsa and top with minced fresh parsley.

This recipe is from Sue Gregg's Main Dishes cookbook.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Baked Spaghetti Squash Casseroles

I'm a pasta lover and, surprisingly, find spaghetti squash a satisfying alternative. 
I found the below recipe and another one recommended from Stacy as well,  Creamy Spaghetti Squash Casserole.  

 I'll copy the second recipe and photo at bottom, just in case I have a hankering to try it.  But I think if you just put some leftover meat sauce over this recipe, and substitute ricotta for cottage cheese and add onion, garlic and bell pepper, it's nearly the same and seems simpler.

 I've browsed Trim Healthy Mama a little bit, and I know Stacy was into it, so if you are too, check out her site with more recipes that feature that diet, though Stacy's on Sabbatical. :)

A couple of other spaghetti squash recipes, stir fry style:
Greek Spaghetti Squash Recipe 
Spaghetti Squash Primavera

 Spaghetti Squash Deluxe

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash, cooked  (boil for 15- 20 min.) and shredded
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese

  1. Combine all, except Parmesan. Mix well.
  2. Pour into greased 8 inch baking dish.
  3. Sprinkle top with Parmesan.
  4. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until browned and set.
Yield: 5 servings

Creamy Spaghetti Squash Casserole

16 servings
2 medium-large spaghetti squashes (about 6 [packed] cups of cooked squash all together)
2 tablespoons butter
1 small-medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
8 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
8 ounces (2 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese
2 ounces (1/4 cup) shredded cheddar cheese, optional
8-12 ounces (about 1 1/4 to 2 cups) cooked ground beef
4 cups spaghetti sauce (can use a 26 ounce jar or a quart of homemade)
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1. In a large stock pot, put about 2-3 inches of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Wash outside of squash, cut squash in half and place in the stock pot of boiling water, flesh side down. Cover and boil for 15-20 minutes, until squash is tender.
2. Drain squash. Holding halves with a potholder, use a fork to scoop out the stringy "spaghetti". Set aside.
3. In a large stock pot or saute pan, melt butter. Add onions, garlic, and bell peppers and saute until tender. Add squash and cook and stir until heated through.
4. In a separate saucepan on low heat, melt the cream cheese. Add the sour cream, salt, pepper, and parsley flakes, stirring to make a smooth white sauce.
5. Stir the white sauce into the cooked squash mixture.
6. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish. Spread the white squash mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Spread about 1 1/2 cups of the shredded mozzarella cheese over the squash.
7. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, spaghetti sauce, sugar, and Italian seasoning. Spread over the layer of shredded cheese. Top with the remaining shredded mozzarella cheese and cheddar cheese (if using). Sprinkle with dried basil or oregano flakes for garnish if desired.
8. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees (325 for glass dish) for 30-40 minutes, until casserole is hot and bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly (10-15 minutes) before serving.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Napa Cabbage Slaw

Napa Cabbage Slaw from

Whisk sauce:

1 lime, juiced
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons Asian chili oil (made this hot sauce equivalent)
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon soy sauce 
Add and toss:
3 cups finely shredded napa cabbage
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced snow peas
3 scallions, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
 Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

America’s Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Tequila and Lime Turkey Chili

This recipe comes from America’s Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution (page ). In ATK’s true style, some unique ingredients are added, along with a panade (milk soaked bread) to prevent the ground turkey from being dry. Some turkey chilis can taste bland, but adding tequila, fresh squeezed lime, honey and soy sauce (yes, that’s right) yields a flavorful turkey chili. Of course a little extra tequila, added just before serving, makes a nice touch. I guess you’d call this grown up chili! Could you leave out the tequila? I would think so, but I can’t guarantee it would taste as good as the original recipe. - A Feast for the Eyes Food Blog
Tequila and Lime Turkey Chili
Yields: 8-10 servings


1 slice high-quality white sandwich bread, torn into quarters
2 Tablespoons whole milk
1 pound ground turkey

salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, minced
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano or ½ tsp dried
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
1 15-oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup tequila, plus extra as needed
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon minced canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce*
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus extra as needed

you can reduce the chipotle to ½ tsp, if you don't like spicy heat


Mash bread and milk into paste in large bowl using fork. Mix in ground turkey, ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper, using hands.
Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, until shimmering. Add onions, chili powder, tomato paste, garlic, cumin, oregano and red pepper flakes and cook until vegetables are softened and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
Stir in turkey mixture and cook, breaking up any large pieces with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, scraping up any browned bits; transfer to slow cooker.
Stir diced tomatoes with juice, beans, 3 tablespoons tequila, soy sauce, honey, and chipotles into the slow cooker. Coer and cook until turkey is tender, 4-6 hours, on low.
Let chili settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using a large spoon. Stir in remaining tablespoon tequila, lime zest, and lime juice.
Season with salt, pepper, tequila and lime juice to taste and serve.
Optional: garnish with diced avocado and sour cream.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

One Pot Meat Sauce and Pasta

Savory heaven to my taste buds!!  I found this recipe when I was looking for the goulash, which you can put on pasta to be similar to this one pot meat sauce and pasta recipe.  I need to add a slow cooker version to this post so I have both handy (I need meaty pasta).  So far, they all make just the sauce and ATK requires microwaving the pasta.  I don't own a microwave.

Blog commenters: grated carrot instead of sugar in my sauce.

One Pot Spaghetti 


  • 2 pound ground meat (used half turkey from costco/72% lean beef)
  • 2 tablespoon dried minced onion [= 1/2 c. raw; prefer tripled ]
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (used 1/2 t. minced jarred)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning [subbed fresh/frozen basil - 3 parts fresh = 1 part dried]
  • 16 ounces spaghetti noodles(macaroni stays together well), broken into smaller pieces (used tru Roots GF Penne)
  • [added 3 handfuls of fresh spinach and a handful of chopped canned olives(both almost unnoticable) ]
  • 2 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • Fill the used can with water 2x
  • 4 cups tomato sauce (32 ounces) [used crushed/1 1/2 c. paste+2 c. water]
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 tablespoons sucanat [skipped]
  1. In a stock pot or Dutch oven, brown the ground meat.
  2. When meat is browned, add everything but noodles, bring to a boil, covered, then add them.

  3.  Stir every 3- 5 minutes until macaroni are barely al dente - residual heat will cook them soft. They will get more likely to stick to the bottom near the end.
Serve immediately. Parmesan, basil, ricotta. Cook in: shredded carrot, beet, bell pepper....
Yield: 4-5 servings

Monday, July 7, 2014

ATK's Hungarian Goulash (Slow Cooker!)

ATK's Hungarian Goulash from foodfix

1 boneless beef roast cut into 1 inch pieces (or pre cut stew meat, which is what I used- the recipe says 5 lbs but that is WAY more than what I used and it was fine) [used 3 lb. ground meat]
5 TBSP sweet paprika (make sure on this or have a nice spicy surprise for dinner)
2 TBSP oil
3 onions, roughly chopped [due to pregnancy, skipped this til the end, added dry for other family]
2 red bell peppers, roughly chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 TBSP tomato paste
1/2 cup flour - [GF Cup4Cup]
1/2 sour cream
3 TBSP red wine vinegar
1/4 parsley, minced (I left this out) [dried]

Brown the meat (or don't if you want to save time) and remove from pan
Add peppers, onions, 1.4 tsp of salt and paprika. Cook about 5-10 min until veggies are soft
Stir in garlic until fragrant and add tomato paste and broth
Bring to simmer and add to slow cooker
n.b. I think you could omit all of this prep and put it directly in the slow cooker- ATK seems to think differently but hey, not all of us have endless amount of prep time

Cover and cook on high for 6-7 hours (depending on your crock pot) until meat is tender
About 20 minutes before serving mix water, broth and sour cream together and add to pot. Let it cook until the sauce starts to thicken, about 20 minutes longer. Add vinegar before serving (I gave it another 5 minutes after adding to let the flavor mix in)

I served this over egg noodles per the recipe's suggestion.

Small House Solutions

Excerpts & photos from   Small House? 10 Big Ideas and  Small House? Solutions for More Space

Other articles I haven't perused: How to Get Organized in a Small House Interior Windows: Make a Small Space Brighter & Larger     Making This Home: Simple Joys of a Small Kitchen 

Small Space Organization Ideas

This image from Better Homes & Gardens is one of my favorite small rooms. Not only do I love how this room looks, I love how it functions. It has so many solutions for small spaces.
  • The furniture has small or tight arms.
  • The round ottoman allows an easy flowing traffic pattern in and out of the conversation area.
  • The tray on top of the ottoman doubles the use as a functional coffee table.
  • The nesting tables are slender and of course can be separated to offer another table to a guest.
  • The tall vertical bookshelves offer a lot of storage in a small room.

...[CHAIR] legs, which take up a less visual weight.


Bumped out windows
can really enlarge an awkward space.
For much less than adding on an entire room,
you can transform the room you have.

Knock out walls, like this staircase.

Add interior glass doors for charm and to bring light and
movement through a house. In this case, by simply adding some roller
shades or curtains to these doors you can have an instantly private guest room

Install windows and doors to the outside.
Visually your space will expand even on a dreary day.

Create a courtyard patio. I love this idea and actually put in a
courtyard like this in my old house.
It doubled our living space in mild weather and
was so much more charming than a worn patch of grass.

By building in drawers and cabinets, you can
create a lot more function in a small space. Use Nooks and crannies.

clear shower doors can double the visual room size
and windows can add in lots of light.

Vault a ceiling to make a room more spacious and dramatic.

Amish Potato Salad from Cook's Country

Amish Potato Salad from Cook's Country (America's Test Kitchen) from

3 lbs yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
salt and pepper
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
4 large hard-cooked eggs, peeled
1/2 teaspoon celery seed  [used 1 t. celery salt in place of c. s. and salt ]
3/4 cup sour cream
1 celery rib, chopped fine


COOK POTATOES Bring potatoes, 1 tablespoon salt, and enough water to cover by 1 inch to boil in large pot over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes.
PREPARE DRESSING While potatoes simmer, microwave vinegar and sugar in small bowl until sugar dissolves, about 30 seconds. Whisk vinegar mixture, mustard, 1 hard-cooked egg yolk (reserve white), celery seed, and ½ teaspoon salt in food processor until smooth. 
SEASON POTATOES Drain potatoes thoroughly, then transfer to large bowl. Drizzle 2 tablespoons dressing over hot potatoes and, using rubber spatula, gently toss until evenly coated. Refrigerate until cooled, at least 30 -minutes, stirring gently once to redistribute dressing.
ASSEMBLE Whisk sour cream into remaining dressing. Add remaining hard-cooked eggs and egg white to dressing and, using potato masher, mash until only small pieces remain.
 Add dressing and celery to cooled potatoes. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 -minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve. (Salad can be refrigerated in airtight container for 2 days.).

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cream Cheese Frosting for one cake -
  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch salt 
Cream butter and sugar for 2 minutes.  Add Cream cheese in 8 pieces, incorporating well after each.  Add rest. 

Alternative using honey from

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, can use Neufchatel
  • 14 cup softened butter
  • 14 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon peel or 1 tsp. orange peel, omit if using vanilla extract