Welcome to my kitchen! Sit right down and join me for something yummy!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

This may not be very healthy, but it is very good!

1/2 cup butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 (10 oz) pkgs frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
1 (8 oz) pkg sour cream
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided (I like Pepper Jack)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 Tbsp. hot sauce

Melt butter in a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in spinach, artichokes, cream cheese, sour cream, 3/4 cup Monteray Jack cheese, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and hot sauce. Stir until well blended and heated through. Pour mixture into a 1/2 quart casserole dish and top with remaining cheeses. Bake in a 350 degree oven until cheese starts to brown and bubble, about 10 minutes.

Serve with favorite dipping chips...bagel crisps, tortilla chips, etc.

Makes 4 cups.

(Thanks Janet!!!)

Rice Pudding

This recipe is not what I think of when I think of rice pudding. However, my kids and I love it...and it's so easy! We eat this for breakfast and it's nice and warm and satisfying!

1 cup brown rice
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups water
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup maple syrup (I've used pancake syrup and real maple syrup and the real stuff tasted much better!)

Bring water and salt to a boil. Stir in rice, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. (You can make the rice ahead of time and warm it up in the morning. I use my rice cooker and make a double batch.) Stir in butter and syrup. Put in bowls and pour a little milk into each bowl. Serve warm.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Does anyone here use a Vita-Mix? If so, what are your favorite things to make in it? A friend of mine was telling me about hers and I remembered that Neal's Grandpa owns one. I asked my MIL if he uses it, and she said he wasn't using it now. Neal called and asked him if we could borrow it, so I could see if I would actually use it. We picked it up last night, and I've used it twice so far. This morning I made Blueberry/Strawberry Smoothies, and tonight I made Cappuccino's. The smoothies were really good and enjoyed by the entire family. I took a cup over to Grandpa's, but he wasn't home. Then I took it to my Mom and she enjoyed it. Tonight I made the coffees for Neal, Beth and I. Let me tell you...they were DE-LISH! They had a nice foam on top and everything. Wow! I can't wait to try some soups and peanutbutter in it.

I hope someone else out there is using one, so you can tell me all about it!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Kielbasa Potato Casserole

If I like a recipe, it doesn't matter what time of year it is, I'll make it. We often have Chili in the middle of summer. It's easy to fix and put in the crockpot, and then when we get back from the pool it's all ready to eat! We can sit in our air conditioned house and pretend it's cold outside!

But there are many recipes that one tends to think of as "Fall Recipes." That's what this food carnival is about...Fall Recipes. I have several recipes, but I'm going to talk about one from my childhood. I grew up in Ohio, and I've met other people from Ohio and Pennsylvania who make dishes similar to this one. Just add a vegetable on the side, and you've got a complete meal!

Kielbasa Potato Casserole

Polska Kielbasa Sausage (I use turkey kielbasa)
about 4 medium potatoes, cooked and sliced
1 tbsp butter
1 green pepper, sliced in thin strips
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded

Using a small skillet, saute onions and green pepper in butter until tender. In casserole dish layer potatoes, pepper & onions, cheese and sausage (I cut my sausage link into 2 to 3 inch pieces). Cover with lid and bake at 375 degrees for approximately 20 minutes.

Serve with a vegetable and bread. Enjoy

For more Fall Recipes head over to The Nourishing Gourmet.


Neal and I started making our own salsa about 15 years ago. We usually make at least two big batches and can them. We like to can about 80+ pints a year so that we can share with family and friends. We always set aside most of a Saturday to do our canning...and we keep plenty of tortilla chips on hand to try out our salsa! (Our tortilla chip brand of choice is Utz white corn tortilla chips!)

Here it is in the pot. This year we added corn and black beans for extra yumminess!

I put these lids until I was ready to put them in the canner. That way they did prematurely seal.

Here's our basic recipe. We change it and play around with the ingredients until we get the flavor we like.

Neal and Teresa's Salsa

Half of a 20 qt stock pot filled with tomatoes -- peeled and quartered (sorry I can't be more accurate here, but this is a lot of tomatoes)

Cook tomatoes in stock pot about 2 to 3 hours or until desired consistency for salsa (I usually use my electric hand mixer to break up the tomatoes).

Add remaining ingredients and simmer 2 to 3 more hours:
6 medium green peppers, chopped
2 hot banana peppers, chopped
1 jalepeno pepper, chopped
3 six oz cans tomato paste
1 cup vinegar
4 T garlic powder
1 T black pepper
1/4 cup hot sauce
3 medium onions, chopped (I like a sweet onion)
2 T sugar
1 1/2 T salt
4 T oregano
3 T cilantro

Sometimes I make a small batch without cooking it, and we eat it fresh!


"Quinoa plants grow at high altitudes and produce round, highly nutritious kernels that can be boiled into pilafs, turned into soups, stirred into breakfast porridge or ground into flour." (Kitchen Window)

About a month or two ago I purchased some Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah). I wanted to try it as a side dish, but kept putting it off due to lack of a recipe. Monday I started looking for a recipe, and ended up doing my own thing. The results were tasty!

Now I know this picture doesn't look appetizing since there is a lack of color, but the food tasted good! The quinoa is at 1:00 on the plate. The other foods on this dish are tilapia and lima beans.

Basil Quinoa

1 tbsp butter
1 cup uncooked quinoa (rinse thoroughly)
1 small onion, chopped
5 button mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp chopped garlic
2 cups chicken broth
4 or 5 basil leaves, diced

Melt butter in large non-stick wok or skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onions, mushrooms and rinsed quinoa. Saute until quinoa is somewhat toasted, and onions and mushrooms are softened.

Stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook until quinoa has absorbed the broth -- about 15 minutes.

Stir in diced basil leaves, and place in serving bowl.

The consensus in my family was favorable overall. My daughter said she likes couscous better, but she liked it. She said it kind of reminded her of wild grain rice due to the texture being chewy. My husband and I thought it was very good, and I will make it again. Maybe as a breakfast food next time!

Homemade Crackers

This was my first attempt at making homemade crackers. My family loved them! I found the recipe online, but unfortunately I forget where I found it! I changed it a little bit to suit my tastes, and was pleased with the results. The crackers that were thinnest were the crispiest...the ones that weren't as thick were a little softer, but still tasted good.

I do grind my own wheat, so my crackers would taste different than if you purchased a whole wheat flour in the store. I think they would still taste good though!

Homemade Crackers

3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I used soft white wheat or pastry flour)

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Gently mix together all five ingredients until combined and dough forms a ball. Roll out dough until it is about 1/8th of an inch thick (I separated my dough into smaller portions and worked with a little bit at a time.) When your dough is the right thickness, take a knife and cut into the dough into the size crackers you want and place on greased cookie sheet. Prick holes into dough and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt, if desired.

Bake for about 10 minutes (you might want to check around 8 minutes). When the edges are brown, your crackers should be done. Place on cooling racks.