Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Homemade Rye Bread

I found this recipe on Allrecipes.com but as usual I changed it up a bit, so here is my version. I use the bread machine to let it do the mixing and first rising :)

1 (.25oz) package active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups warm water
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 TBSP shortening
2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups rye flour
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2-3 TBSP caraway seeds
3-4 TBSP vital wheat gluten (optional, but makes a lighter loaf)

Combine all ingredients in your bread machine, according to manufacturers instructions. Use the dough cycle. Check on it about 10 minutes into the cycle to see if you need to add a bit more water (I usually do, just a little at a time). Then check again another 10 minutes later to make sure it looks ok (not dry, not too sticky)

Once the dough cycle is complete, punch down the dough and divide into 2 pieces. Take each piece and form into a loaf in a 9" loaf pan.

Let rest in a warm place approximately 60 minutes or until double. I like mine to rise just above the pan. Then bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown and sounds hollow when knocked on. We have an old oven that heats hot, so it only took 25 minutes.

Remove from pans and melt 1 TBSP butter and brush on top of the warm loaves.

Yield: 2 Loaves

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Creamy Mac and Cheese

I don't know about you, but I really hate mac and cheese that comes out dry. So, after a lot of experimenting I came up with this delicious recipe, based on one out of my Betty Crocker Cookbook.


2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni 
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 TBSP Onion, chopped (optional - but gives great flavor)
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp ground mustard (dry)
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 1/2 - 3 cups milk (the more milk the creamier)
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
Paprika, optional


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees

2. Cook macaroni as directed on package.

3. While macaroni is cooking, melt butter with the onion in a 3 quart saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in milk, put back on heat and heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in cheese and cook, stirring constantly until cheese is melted. Add sour cream and mix thoroughly.

4. Drain macaroni. Gently stir macaroni into cheese mixture. Pour into a greased 2 quart casserole. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.

Serves approximately 6.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Baked Cinnamon French Toast

I received this from a friend and modified it a bit. My modifications are below the original recipe.

I made this Christmas morning and it was a huge hit!

Baked Cinnamon French Toast


10 oz loaf of cinnamon swirl pepperidge farm bread
cut into 1" thick pieces and lay in a greased 13 x 9 inch pan
8 large eggs
3 cups milk
4 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp vanilla
2 tbsp butter

In large bowl, beat eggs, milk, sugar, salt, vanilla and pour over bread.
Generously sprinkle cinnamon on top of unbaked ingredients.
Cover with foil and refrigerate 4-36 hours (over night is best)
Bake uncovered at 350 for 45-50 minutes.
Dot with butter bread will be puffy and lightly browned.
Let stand 5 min before cutting and serving

My modifications:
I used raisin bread instead of the cinnamon swirl bread and added 2 tsp. cinnamon to the egg/milk mixture.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dill Pickle Meatloaf

Wow! This tastes delicious! If you love dill pickles, you are going to LOVE this meatloaf. This recipe is from one of my favorite sites and can be found here. This didn't need any adjustments, the only thing I did differently was to use dry Italian bread crumbs instead of fresh bread and cooked it in the microwave to drain away all the fat :)


  • 1 egg
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dill pickle juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 slice bread, torn into small pieces or 1/2 - 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup chopped dill pickles
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce


  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 8x8 inch baking dish.
  2. Beat the egg in a mixing bowl. Whisk in the onion, pickle juice, salt, and pepper. Stir in the bread until soggy, then mix in the ground beef until evenly combined. Form into a loaf and place into the prepared pan. Stir together the chopped pickles, ketchup, water, sugar, and Worcestershire sauce; pour over the meatloaf.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the center, about 1 hour. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). 

Alternatively, you can cook this in a Tupperware Micro Cooker so that fat drains from the meatloaf. I cooked it for approx. 35 minutes on high. I did put the lid on for the majority of the cooking and took it off the last 10 minutes.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Linda's Eggplant and Zucchini Casserole

If you have an abundance of eggplant and zucchini and you are looking for something different to make, give this recipe a try. I based it on a recipe I found online, but of course I had to make it my own ;-) All measurements are approximate, as I did not measure.


2 medium eggplant, peeled and chopped 
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 + 1/2 small - medium sized onion, chopped
1/2 med size green pepper (red pepper would be good too), chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of Salt
Approx. 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Approx. 1 tsp. italian seasoning
1 cup italian bread crumbs, divided
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Olive Oil


In a microwave safe bowl, add the zucchini, eggplant, onion, green or red pepper and garlic. Add just a pinch of salt, you don't want any more than that or it will be too watery, as the salt draws out the moisture in the eggplant and zucchini. Add the black pepper. Coat the veggies in the 1 tbsp olive oil.  Make sure everything is coated. Put a lid on it and microwave approximately 8 minutes on high or until everything is soft. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes.

When slightly cooled, add 1/2 cup bread crumbs, 1 cup cheese and italian seasoning. Mix well and then add in the eggs. Mix well and put into a 1 quart greased casserole dish. Top with 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and top that with 1/2 cup bread crumbs. Drizzle olive oil over the top, you can kinda mix the crumbs with the oil, if you want. Then bake in a 350 oven for 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Linda's Crock Pot London Broil

I had a partially thawed London broil in the refrigerator and decided at the last minute to cook it in the crock pot. I had to think quickly so that it would be done for dinner, so here is my recipe:

London Broil
2 cups beef broth (I used Watkins Soup base - see below on how to order this)
1 Bay leaf
Approx. 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 large onion
1/2 packet dry onion soup mix
dash Italian seasoning
Garlic Powder to taste
few fresh oregano leaves

Slice the onion in the bottom of the crock pot. Put the meat on top of the onion (I scored my meat so that the flavor would absorb). Mix your broth (if using Watkins) and add half to the pot. The other half, add about a tablespoon of cornstarch...mix so that there are not any clumps. Put the dry onion soup mix in the pot and pour remaining broth mixture on top. Sprinkle the Worcestershire sauce over the meat and add the garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Cook on high for approximately 4 hours. At the last hour before serving, add in the fresh oregano leaves.

Note: If your meat is thawed, cook on low for approximately 8 hours.
If you want a thicker gravy, during the last hour or so, mix a couple tablespoons Cold water and a couple tablespoons cornstarch together to make a paste and add to the liquid to help thicken it up.

I did not measure my seasonings, added according to what I like - so use your own judgment.

Optional: Serve with fresh mashed potatoes and other vegetable of your choice.

To order Watkins Beef Soup base - visit www.watkinsonline.com and upon checkout enter my consultant # 367300. The soup bases last a long time and you only need 1 1/2 tsp per 1 cup of hot water.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Linda's Creamy Blueberry Ice Cream

This is so creamy and delicious. If you like the taste of the homemade blueberry pie filling, you are going to love this ice cream!  This is made in two stages - the filling and then the ice cream.  The ice cream is a perfect base to add other items too, not just the blueberry filling.  And the filling is a great way to add on top of a cheesecake or store bought ice cream.

Yields: 2 quarts of ice cream

Blueberry Filling:
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup water
1 pint fresh blueberries (2 cups frozen can be substituted)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 - 1 teaspoon cinnamon, depending on your taste

In a saucepan combine the sugar and the cornstarch.  Stir in the water until smooth.  Add blueberries, lemon juice and cinnamon.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for approximately 10 minutes or until blueberries pop and sauce thickens.  Remove from heat and gently smash blueberries with a potato masher or similar device. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.  When cool enough to handle, put in the refrigerator. 

Vanilla Ice Cream:
2 cups sugar (use less if using regular pudding - approx 1 1/2 cups)
2 small boxes or 1 large box instant vanilla pudding mix (I used sugar free)
2 cups whipping cream (1 pint)
3 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whip all ingredients together until fully combined.  Put in the refrigerator for approximately an hour (or over night).  It will thicken up in the refrigerator. Fill your ice cream maker to about 2/3 with the ice cream mixture and churn according to the manufacturers instruction (depending on the size of your ice cream maker - you will have some left over - just put it back into the refrigerator until you are ready to use it)

In a freezer safe container add 1/4 of the blueberry mixture and half the ice cream - then 1/4 of the blueberry and the remaining ice cream and gently fold or swirl the two together. Freeze.

You could add 1/2 the blueberry mixture to the first batch of ice cream, but you are not going to see a nice texture on the ice cream - this is the way I did mine the first time, it was very soft.  But, it hardens up nicely in the freezer :)

Hope you like it as much as we do!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Strawberry Rhubarb Jello

I found this on one of my favorite recipe sites - http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Molded-Rhubarb-Salad/Detail.aspx

The original recipe follows, my changes are below


  • 3 cups diced rhubarb
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 (6 ounce) package strawberry gelatin
  • 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook rhubarb in water until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in sugar and gelatin until dissolved. Add pineapple and nuts. Pour into an oiled 6-cup mold. Chill until set.


I used one small package of strawberry jello and one small package of orange jello.  I reduced the sugar a bit, because jello is made out of sugar why add more?  I think this could easily go down to 1 cup and definitely use a sugar substitute and sugar free jello to make it diabetic and waist friendly :) 

I let mine chill for 6 hours in a mold and it still was not set, so I just put in a big bowl.  This makes a LOT.  I think it would be great to take to a picnic or covered dish event. 

It was really good and will definitely make it again, but will definitely cut it in half - way too much for 2 people ;-)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Linda's Crockpot Creamy Chicken and Noodles

This recipe is something I made up, but did go along the guidelines for a similar recipe found in the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.

2 cups sliced carrots (4 medium)
1 1/2 cups chopped onion (3 medium)
1 cup sliced celery (2 stalks)
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
3-4 large boneless chicken breasts, cut into large pieces (or you can leave them whole)
2 cans cream of chicken soup or substitute one of the cans for cream of mushroom or cream of celery
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2-3 cups Dried wide noodles (or you favorite)
Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
1 cup sour cream

In the bottom of the crockpot place the carrots, onion, celery, parsley and bay leaf.  Place the chicken on top of veggies. 
In a bowl, mix together the soup, water, thyme and 1/4 tsp pepper.
Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or on high 4 - 4 1/2 hours.
Approximately a half hour to an hour befor serving, add in the uncooked noodles and a little extra water, as the noodles will soak up the water.  Once the noodles are cooked, add in the sour cream, garlic, salt and pepper.  Cook a little while longer.
Remove bay leaf and serve.
You can also add frozen peas at the end as well.  This is a very versatile recipe that can easily be adapted to your own tastes.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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