Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Light Chicken Piccata

(makes 4 servings)

2 tablespoons flour, divided
2 tablespoon grated Parmesan Cheese
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon shallots, minced
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon tarragon


1.Whisk 2 tablespoons flour and 1 cup broth in a small bowl until smooth. Place remaining 2 tablespoons flour and the Parmesan cheese in a shallow dish. Sprinkle the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon pepper and dredge both sides in the flour. Shake to remove excess.

2.Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown or no longer pink in the middle (2-5 minutes per side). Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.

3.Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the shallots and white wine, and cook until reduced by half (this should take about 1 to 2 minutes).

4.Stir in the reserved broth-flour mixture and the lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring until the sauce is thickened (about 5 minutes). Stir in the tarragon, parsley, butter, and capers.

5.Serve chicken with a light salad or pasta. pour sauce over chicken.

From: 12Tomatoes.com

Apple Bundt Cake

Big chunks of apples nestled into a cinnamon spice cake batter and covered in glorious homemade caramel sauce.

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp.vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon spice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 medium Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored. and chopped
Caramel Glaze
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tsp. heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 9 inch Bundt pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, oil, vanilla, and eggs with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  3. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; stir into the batter just until blended.
  4. Fold in the apples by hand. Pour into the prepared bundt pan.
  5. Bake for 55-70 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes in the pan and then invert on to a wire rack.
Caramel Glaze
  1. Heat the butter, heavy cream, and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then remove from the heat.
  3. Add in vanilla and stir until combined. Let sit 5-10 minutes to thicken.
  4. Drizzle over the warm cake.

Recipe by:  iambaker.net

Monday, June 10, 2019

Slow Cooker Balsamic Glazed Chuck Roast

Moist and fall apart tender beef chuck roast in a tasty balsamic glaze that is so easy to make in the slow cooker!

1 tablespoon oil
3 pounds Harter House Chuck Roast
1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pound baby carrots (optional)
1 pound mini potatoes or diced potatoes (optional)
2 tablespoons cornstarch + 2 tablespoons water

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, add the beef and brown on all sides, about 20 minutes and set aside.
Add the onions and cook until tender, about 2-3 minutes, before adding the garlic and red pepper flakes and cooking until fragrant, about a minute.
Place the beef, onions, broth, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, carrots and potatoes in a slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 3-5 hours. (The beef will be falling apart tender when done!)
Remove the carrots, potatoes and beef and slice or shred the beef.

Skim any fat from the cooking juices, place it in a sauce pan, bring to a simmer, add the mixture of the cornstarch and water and cook until the glaze has thickened a bit.

Skip the first 2 steps and place everything into the slow cooker.

Instead of using the crock pot, place additional ingredients in the pot you cooked the meat in, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, simmer,  and cook until meat is pull apart tender, about 3-4 hours 
OR transfer the pot to a 275 F oven and braise until the meat is pull apart tender, about 3-4 hours.

Recipe from Closetcooking.com

Monday, June 3, 2019

Garlic Butter Baked Pork Chops with 2 sides

Garlic Butter Baked Pork chops are juicy, tender, and super flavorful thanks to the amazing butter sauce. 

2 medium sized Pork Chops
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 Tablespoons butter - melted
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme - chopped
2 cloves garlic - minced
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper, and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the butter, thyme, and garlic.  Set aside.
  4. In a cast iron skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  5. When the skillet is really hot, add the pork chops.  Sear until golden, about 2 minutes per side.
  6. Pour garlic butter mixture over the pork chops.
  7. Place the skillet in the oven, and cook until the pork chops reach an internal temperature of 145 F, about 10-12 minutes.  The time depends on the thickness of the pork chops.*
  8. Remove from the oven.  Using a spoon, pour some of the butter sauce left in the skillet onto the pork chops before serving.

*  Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the pork chop.


2 pounds green beans - trimmed
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
salt and fresh ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425 F
  2. Place a baking sheet in the oven for 10 minutes
  3. In a medium bowl, place the green beans and all the remaining ingredients.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Arrange the seasoned green beans in a single layer on the preheated baking sheet.
  6. Bake for about 8 minutes or until crisp tender.


1 butternut squash
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 gloves garlic - minced
4 Tablespoons butter
Salt and black pepper
cayenne pepper for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.  Set aside
  3. Wash and cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise.  Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds.
  4. Place both halves face up on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and garlic.
  6. Roast in the oven for 45 - 60 minutes until fork tender.
  7. Remove the squash from the oven, and let cool for about 5 minutes.
  8. Using a large spoon, remove all of the squash flesh from the skin, and place it into a bowl for mashing.
  9. Add the butter, sea salt and pepper, and mash well until fluffy and smooth.  I like to use a hand mixer.
  10. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper and butter for extra flavor before serving.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Mandarin Shrimp Pasta

This recipe came from one of my business associates,
Jan O'Rear.

I recently came across it again and knew that I wanted to make it. 

Jan brought it and served it cold at our social event.

1 pound raw shrimp, shells removed
1 cup Italian dressing, divided
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 inch ginger root, peeled and grated
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
6 green onions, chopped
3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1 8-ounce can mandarin oranges, drained
8 ounce package almond silvers or sliced almonds, toasted (see instructions below)
3 cups angel hair pasta, cooked

  1. Marinate shrimp in refrigerator for 1 hour in 1/3 cup of Italian dressing; drain shrimp after 1 hour.
  2. While the shrimp is marinating, in a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining Italian dressing, peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, grated ginger root and red pepper flakes. Set sauce aside. *
  3. Toast almonds in a dry pan for 4 minutes, in a preheated 350 degree oven. Set aside.
  4. Boil pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.
  5. Saute the grated carrots, chopped green onions and chopped cilantro in the canola oil with the sesame oil until browned.  **
  6. Add the shrimp and saute until the shrimp are pink and opaque.
  7. Combine pasta, vegetables, shrimp and sauce in a large saute pan and heat thoroughly, stirring continually, until heated through.
  8. Garnish with toasted almonds and mandarin oranges.
  9. Serve hot or cold.
*   I use this as a guideline.  I may double the dressing for this recipe.
** I also like more cilantro and almonds.

For a variation, substitute 1 lb. boneless chicken breast cut into 1-inch pieces for the shrimp and add (1) 8 oz. can of sliced water chestnuts is desired.

Easy Cheesy Garlic Breadsticks

Easy Cheesy Garlic Breadsticks
1 (10 ounce) can prepared pizza crust
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dried basil
salt & pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Mix butter and garlic in a small bowl and set aside.
3. Unroll pizza dough onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and brush with butter and garlic mixture.

Easy Cheesy Garlic Breadsticks

4. Sprinkle cheeses and spices evenly over the dough.
5. Use a pizza cutter and cut dough into stick shapes (Lengthwise into 7 long strips and crosswise into 3 strips). Do not separate strips.

Easy Cheesy Garlic Breadsticks

6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown.
7. Recut along each strip and remove from cooking sheet.
8. Serve sticks warm with marinara sauce.

I found this recipe at SugarApron.com.


Ingredients for Carbonara
8 slices of Harter House thick cut bacon diced
1 shallot finely sliced
1 clove garlic (leave whole)
4 green onions
2 egg yolks
½ cup cream
1 cup parmigiano reggiano grated
fresh ground pepper
pasta of your choice (I used Linguine, but most recipes use Spaghetti)

Pasta Carbonara
Start cooking pasta in large stainless steel pot.
In small bowl mix together cream, egg yolks and ¾ of cheese.
In large skillet cook bacon until crisp, add shallots and ½ green Onions.
Smash down garlic clove a bit, add to bacon. (remove prior to adding pasta)
When pasta is finished cooking, drain well, then add to skillet of bacon.
Toss well, then transfer to large bowl.
Add cream mixture to pasta and combined well. Make sure pasta is still hot in order to cook the eggs and melt the cheese.
Arrange pasta on plate, top with seared scallops, add some fresh ground pepper, grated parmesan, and green onions.

Perfect Pan Seared Scallops
Blot scallops with paper towel to remove any water. Salt and pepper.
Heat large non-stick frying pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil.
Make sure frying pan is hot before adding scallops but not smoking.
Add scallops leaving plenty of space between. Overcrowding the pan will drop the pan temperature and cause scallops to steam rather than sear. (may have to do in batches)
Sear for about 2-4 minutes or when bottom is a nice golden brown. Don't move them around in the pan or you will prevent them from forming that nice brown crust. After a couple of minutes have peek under to see if golden brown.
Turn to sear other side. (about 1-3 more minutes)
Add 2 tablespoons of butter to pan now.
Spoon the melted butter over the scallops as the other side finishes cooking.
Transfer to paper towel covered plate.
Keep warm in oven, if making in batches.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

When I was growing up, this was my father's favorite cake.  So mother made it often.
I haven't had it lately, so maybe it's time to make it again.  How about you?   ~Shelly


1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
slices pineapple in juice (from 20-oz can), drained
maraschino cherries without stems, if desired
1 1/3 cups Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk


Heat oven to 350°F. In 9-inch square pan, melt butter in oven. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over melted butter. Arrange pineapple slices over brown sugar. Place cherry in center of each pineapple slice.

In medium bowl, beat remaining ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour batter over pineapple and cherries.

Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately place heatproof serving plate upside down over pan; turn plate and pan over. Leave pan over cake a few minutes so brown sugar mixture can drizzle over cake; remove pan. Serve warm. Store cake loosely covered.


Considered a classic American cake, pineapple-upside down cake first appeared when canned pineapple become available. But the method of creating a lusciously caramel-like topping for a cake, pastries (like caramel rolls), or bread has a long baking history.

Update this cake by using sliced fresh pineapple, peaches, apples or pear with fresh chopped herbs or dried spices added to the brown sugar and butter mixture.

Keep the ratio of butter and brown sugar fairly low, enough to create the rich syrup in the pan, but not so much that the flavor of the fruit is lost.

Skip the brightly colored cherries and replace them with candied or crystallized ginger pieces or a cluster of blueberries or cranberries.

The cake needs to be turned out of the pan shortly after it’s removed from the oven or the fruit will stick. Be armed with hot pads and a cake plate or board. Allow the fruit to stop bubbling, then place the plate on top of the pan. Carefully lift up the pan, holding the plate firmly in place, and invert the pan. Let it stand for a few minutes before lifting the pan off.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Lemon Anise Slush Recipe

I found this recipe in an old issue of Gourmet magazine quite a long time ago, I make it on the nicest summer days or whenever I get a craving. I also sampled it at Harter House World Flavors when I was sampling Limoncello Liqueur!
The thing that makes this special is the hint of unexpected anise flavor which pairs nicely with refreshing lemon.
There are a number of ways to approach this quencher. The original recipe calls for either water, or vodka (if you're not messing around) as the base. My mom tends to make this as a mid-day treat and find that water works great. Yogurt is an alternative if you're up for something creamier and more substantial. I tend to make it as a refreshing adult beverage. Or, my husband enjoys a pilsner in place of the water, and this is also a tasty variety. My favorite is to add a small splash of Limoncello (Liqueur) finishing things off in lemon-kissed heaven. It's optional, but if you happen to have some on hand, give it a try.

Find all the ingredients you need at your neighborhood Harter House Supermarkets!

Lemon Anise Slush
I like to crush the anise seeds a bit with my mortar and pestle before adding them to the blender, with the idea that it makes it easier for the blender to break down the seeds a bit. But I'm not actually sure it helps, and think of it more of an optional step than anything.

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
1/3 cup sugar or honey, plus more to taste
3/4 teaspoon anise seeds
1 cup water or yogurt (vodka or pilsner for adult version)
ice cubes, to fill blender
2 tablespoons limoncello, optional but excellent!

Blend juice, sugar or honey, and seeds in a blender until the seeds break up quite a bit, at least thirty seconds. Longer if needed.
Add the water (or vodka, yogurt, pils), and enough ice to fill the blender. Blend until smooth. I sometimes need to add more water, to thin things out a bit and keep the blender going - do so a bit at a time. Depending on your blender, you might also need to stop on occasion to scrape the sides of the blender to get an even slush. Adjust for sweetness and lemon juice as you go. Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6. Prep time: 5 min

Now sit back and pretend you are here!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Boneless Chicken Wings

You may be wondering how to make boneless chicken wings. 

Boneless chicken wings are simply breaded pieces of chicken breast. They are far less messy and very easy to eat with a fork and you don’t have to worry about bones.
Let's make some crispy chicken bites and some delicious savory sauces.

The first thing you are going to want to do is bread the chicken pieces and fry them. This is a universal breading that will work perfectly for all of the sauces in this post. The sauces can be prepared in advance or while the chicken tenders are frying.

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1” chunks)
Peanut Oil (for deep frying)
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
2 eggs
1 cup milk

Cooking Instructions:
Step 1: Heat oil in a deep-fryer to 375 degrees. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder. In a small bowl whisk together egg and milk. Dip each piece of chicken in the egg mixture, and then roll in the flour mixture. Repeat so that each piece of chicken is double coated.
Step 2: Fry chicken in the hot oil in batches until the outside is nicely browned and the juices run clear (about 5 minutes per batch). Drain on paper towels. Repeat until all of the chicken is gone.
Step 3:
Mix fried chicken bits with your favorite wing sauce.

Now, here are the sauces. The sauces can be prepared in advance or while the chicken bits are frying. I have recipes for 5 different types of delicious wing sauces. Most of these sauces will make a lot, so they will be able to cover large batches of boneless wings.

Buffalo Wing Sauce-
¼ cup hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon butter

Step 1: Combine hot sauce and butter in a small bowl. Microwave on high until the butter has melted (about 20 to 30 seconds). Mix well. This recipe can easily be double if you are making a large amount of wings.

Honey BBQ Wing Sauce-
1 ¼ cups ketchup
1/3 cup white vinegar
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon chili powder

Step 1: In a small saucepan over medium heat combine all of the ingredients. Stir until well combined and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes.

Parmesan Garlic Wing Sauce-
4 garlic cloves (peeled)
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
5 teaspoons grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon dried marjoram
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Cooking Instructions:
Step 1: Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss garlic cloves with olive oil in a small oven safe dish. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the garlic cloves began to turn light brown. Remove from the oven, cool garlic, and finely mince with a sharp knife.
Step 2: Combine garlic and the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Stir well, cover and chill for several hours before using.

Asian Wing Sauce-
2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
½ cup corn syrup
1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup chili-garlic sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic (minced)

Step 1: In a small bowl mix cornstarch with rice vinegar. Set aside. In a small sauce pan combine remaining ingredients. Add the cornstarch and rice vinegar mixture and mix well.
Step 2: Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat the simmer until it becomes thick. Remove from heat, allow it to cool then cover and chill it until ready to use (you can also use it right away if the chicken is ready).

Caribbean Jerk Wing Sauce-
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons green onion (minced)
1 cup water
¾ cup ketchup
½ cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons hot sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 ½ teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoons nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon sage
1/8 teaspoon thyme

Step 1: In a small saucepan sauté onion in butter over medium heat. Whisk in the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

I hope you enjoy these sauces!

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Greek Pastitsio, or Greek Lasagna

Pastitsio is Greek comfort food, pasta layered with meat, cheese and béchamel sauce.
I LOVE Greek food and this recipe looks delicious!   I will make this!
I found it on the hungry bluebird blog.
Be sure to look at this blog for more information on the proper Greek noodles and cheese to use.
I will probably use the recommended substitutions for items I am unable to locate.
The author, Kelly, introduces us to her friend Flora, who gave her this Greek family recipe.


  • 3 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 15-ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • coarse kosher salt
  • 1 package pastitsio noodles, or mostaccioli
  • 1/2 pound or more kasseri cheese, grated, about 4 cups (or asiago or an Italian blend) ~ Flora uses a lot of cheese, like a pound!)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 5 1/2 cups whole milk


  • Make the meat sauce one day ahead. In a large pot, add a little olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt, cook until onions are just translucent. Add the ground beef and cook and stir until no longer pink, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Add the 2 cans of tomato sauce and cinnamon, stir and bring to a simmer. Season with salt to taste. Let meat sauce stew for 3 hours, yes, for 3 hours with a lid on, slightly askew. Stir occasionally. Let cool and then refrigerate overnight.

  • Bring sauce to room temperature or warm gently before layering the pastitsio. Grate the kasseri (or Asiago) cheese and set aside, you want at least 4 cups.

  • Cook noodles in boiling salted water until al dente (I cook a minute or two less than package directions). Drain noodles and when cool enough to handle, put them in a large bowl and mix one beaten egg into the pastitsio noodles with your hands.

  • Preheat oven to 350º. In a lasagna pan, or other large pan, drizzle a little olive oil in the bottom or coat lightly with cooking spray. Put all of the noodles which were tossed with egg in the bottom of the pan and arrange evenly. Sprinkle with a third of the shredded cheese. Using a slotted spoon, cover the noodles and cheese evenly with all or most of the meat mixture, leaving room for the béchamel layer on top. Sprinkle another third of the cheese over the meat layer. You now have noodles, cheese, meat, cheese layered so far.

  • Make the béchamel sauce. In a heavy bottomed large pot, melt 1 stick of butter. Add the flour to the melted butter and whisk to combine well and cook, stirring constantly for a minute or two. Slowly add 5 cups of milk, whisking the whole time. Cook and whisk until it just starts to boil, when it starts to bubble. Turn off heat.

  • In a separate bowl, beat 3 eggs and 1/2 cup milk with a hand mixer. Add this mixture to the pot, slowly, whisking the whole time.

  • Put back on medium-high heat and cook and whisk until thick and bubbly. When at the desired consistency, cut the heat and let the béchamel sit for a few minutes.

  • In a small sauce pan, melt 1/2 stick of butter. After the béchamel has rested a few minutes, pour it over the meat and cheese layer, spreading evenly over the top. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the béchamel. Lastly, drizzle or spoon the melted butter on top of the cheese, this is what will brown the top of the pastitsio. (Okay, Flora says to use a stick of melted butter. Too much I think, especially for my pan size. But that is what she says to use.)

  • Place pan on a baking sheet and then into preheated oven and bake for 1 hour, until browned and center is hot. If not browned enough, after 1 hour, turn on broiler and cook another 3 - 5 minutes, watching carefully until top is browned.

  • Let pastitsio rest for 10 minutes before serving.


  • The sauce takes 3 hours to simmer and is best refrigerated overnight
  • Assembling the pastitsio takes about 30 - 45 minutes
  • Baking time is about 1 hour and then it needs to rest a bit
  • Use a very large pan, I used a 12 by 18-inch baking pan.
  • you can halve the recipe for a smaller pan.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Italian Sausage Rigatoni Bake

This casserole combines all of our favorite Italian flavors, 
but the fresh mozzarella really sets it apart!
Serve this with a warm Ciabatta Bread


  • 1 package (16 ounces) rigatoni
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 5 cups marinara sauce
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons half-and-half cream
  • 1 pound sliced part-skim mozzarella cheese


  • Preheat oven to 375°. Cook rigatoni according to package directions; drain.
  • In a large skillet, cook sausage, mushrooms and pepper over medium-high heat until sausage is no longer pink and vegetables are tender, breaking up sausage into crumbles, 8-10 minutes; drain. Stir in marinara sauce, Parmesan cheese and cream. Add rigatoni and toss to coat.
  • In each of two greased 8-in. square baking dishes, layer one-fourth of the rigatoni mixture and one-fourth of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. Bake, uncovered, until heated through and cheese is melted, 25-35 minutes. (Cover loosely with foil if tops brown too quickly.)

    Freeze option:
    Cool unbaked casseroles; cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 375°. Bake casseroles as directed, increasing time as necessary to heat through and for a thermometer inserted in center to read 165°.

Pecan Pie Bars

Pecan Pie Bars with a shortbread style crust, a sweet, creamy filling and crisp, toasted pecans on top; they're like pecan pie only without all the work!

Pecan Pie Bars
Slightly adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Crust Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold, unsalted butter - 12 tablespoons

3 large eggs
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups chopped pecans

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or spray a 9x13 inch baking pan with cooking spray. 

2. In a bowl mix the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the cold butter until the mixture is fine particles. Or you can mix this in a food processor and pulse until you have fine crumbs. Pour crust mixture into the prepared baking pan. Spread out evenly and press crust down firmly all over.

3. Place crust in oven and bake for about 20 minutes until just lightly golden around edges.

4.While crust is baking prepare the topping. Mix eggs, sugars, corn syrup, melted butter and vanilla together in a bowl until smooth. Stir in the chopped pecans. Spread the topping over the crust as soon as it comes out of oven.

5. Place bars in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until the topping is set. If the topping jiggles, it is not done. If the topping begins to brown to much, loosely place a sheet of foil over the pan.

6. Allow Pecan Pie Bars to cool completely before cutting. Enjoy!

From Lyndasrecipebox.com

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Pork, Sauerkraut, and Potato Dumplings

My family is mostly German and Bohemian.  My Grandma Bettlach made this every Sunday for her family.  So, of course I grew up with this meal and my family certainly has enjoyed it as well.
My sons ask for it for their birthday meals.

Although my favorite pork cut is a fresh picnic roast, sometimes called a pork Callie, this cut is a large roast from the shoulder area of the hog.  For a smaller gathering I have used a Pork Tenderloin or even a  pork loin roast.  Both of these last two cuts will be much leaner.  The best part of using the fresh picnic is the rind that gets crispy when cooked.  As kids, all five siblings fought for pieces, as did my dad.  YUM.

Fresh Picnic Roast - approximately 8 lbs.
Season with Salt, Pepper and 1/4 Cup Caraway seed

3 lbs. Potatoes, peeled and cut up.
3-4 lbs flour for dumplings
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1 large onion
Sauerkraut in a bag - Flanagan's or Frank's
1/2 Cup oil
1/4 cup flour - Sauerkraut

Rub Caraway, salt and pepper on roast.
In a large Dutch oven or pan, cook roast skin side up, with no lid. until meat reaches a temperature of 160 degrees.
I like to start from a frozen state in a 350 degree oven for a total of 7-8 hours.  This ensures the skin is always crispy.  If roast is thawed, cook at 300 for about 6 hours.

For Sauerkraut
Drain most, but not all, of juice from package.
Place in a sauce pan and cover with water.
Add 2 TBL caraway seed.
Bring to a boil and let simmer for 1 hour, you may need to add more water while cooking.
To make sauce for the sauerkraut;
In a skillet, sauté chopped onion in oil until browned.
Add up to 1/2 Cup flour to onions to thicken to desired consistency.
Add to sauerkraut. Keep on warm till the pork and dumplings are ready.

For the Dumplings
While the sauerkraut is cooking, cook and mash potatoes using only salt and butter; NO milk.
After the potatoes cool, put two cups of flour on the counter top and put potatoes on top of flour.
Add one large egg and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder.  Mix and kneed potatoes and flour, adding a cup of flour at a time until the potatoes are no longer sticky to the touch.  Roll into a long log or two, and cut into balls about 2 inches wide. Cook in boiling salted water, stirring to loosen from bottom, until they float, about 15 minutes.

When I started this blog on Monday, it made me really hungry for this recipe.  So I bought the ingredients and invited my son and his girlfriend to join me for dinner.  I chose two small pork tenderloins instead of a large roast.  I also purchased McCormick's Pork Gravy mix, since my tenderloins would not give me any drippings.

The Sauerkraut needs to cook for an hour.
The onions need about 15 minutes to brown and thicken.
The potatoes need 15-20 minutes to boil in salted water.  Then a little longer to cool.
I cooked the two pork tenderloins for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

It didn't take long to brown the onions.  Then, depending on how much oil you start with, determine how much flour to add to thicken the onions.  Then add to the sauerkraut.

Making the dumplings, start with plenty of flour, add the baking powder, add the cooled and mashed (with butter) potatoes, add one egg, and begin to kneed until the dough holds together and is no longer sticky, adding more flour as needed.  Be careful not to add too much flour though, or the dumpling with be too firm.

Roll into a long rope or log, about two inches wide and then cut about two inches in length.  Roll into balls.  Drop into boiling salted water for 10 - 15 minutes.  Stir with a wooden spoon to keep from sticking on the bottom of the pan.  The dumplings will float when they're done.  Three large potatoes made 19 dumplings.  Two large potatoes would have been plenty for three adults.

Our dinner was delicious!.  Everything goes well together.  And you'll find that your bites must come out even when you get to the end of the meal or you must get more.  You'll see what I mean when you make this.

I must add, this meal grows on you.  Some people don't like it the first time they try it.  Or they don't think they will.  Maybe it's the strong caraway seasoning.  Or they think the sauerkraut will be too tangy, which it's not at all.

If you try this recipe. please let me know what you think!  ~ Shelly