Monday, January 30, 2006

Zuppa Toscana Souplike Olive Garden's®

Zuppa Toscana Souplike Olive Garden's®

Serves: 10Prep. Time: 0:35

1 lb. spicy Italian sausage - crumbled
1/2 lb. smoked bacon - chopped
1 qt. water
(2) 14.5 oz. cans (about 3 2/3 cups) chicken broth
2 lg. russet potatoes - scrubbed clean, cubed2
garlic cloves - peeled, crushed
1 med. onion - peeled, chopped
2 cups chopped kale OR Swiss chard
1 cup heavy whipping cream
salt and pepper - to taste

-In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown sausage, breaking into small pieces as you fry it; drain, set aside.-In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown bacon; drain, set aside.-Place water, broth, potatoes, garlic, and onion in a pot; simmer over medium heat until potatoes are tender.-Add sausage and bacon to pot; simmer for 10 minutes.-Add kale and cream to pot; season with salt and pepper; heat through.

Notes: I am currently on a low-carb diet and I have substituted cauliflower in place of the potatoes and you can't even tell the difference.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Soup for a Sick Day.

Chicken and Stars Soup

One whole chicken
bay leaves
star pasta, or pasta of choice

Throw everything but the pasta in a stock pot, fill up with water and simmer for hours. Remove chicken, and while it's cooling, strain broth into another pan. Debone chicken, add to broth. When it's boiling, add pasta and cook til pasta is done.

After thought...should have added carrots. Oh well, next time.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Linguine With Clam Sauce

This goes into the "must try" file. Gleaned from the Feingold Message Board.

Oh gosh, it's so easy I'm not even sure it qualifies as actual cooking! I mince up some garlic and saute it in a little olive oil, then add the juice from 2 cans of clams, some dried basil and heat that up, then add the clams, squeeze a lemon over the whole mess, and heat it through. Toss with pasta and fresh parmesan cheese. Grinding of pepper and chopped fresh parsley on top. I've also skipped the lemon and used half-and-half for more of a cream sauce. If you were inclined you could put some white wine (st. 2) in the sauce; I prefer the wine on the a glass.

Frozen Apple Pie Filling

Cocoa shared with me, she got it from Kiersten, not sure if it's HER recipe or someone else's, but it's really good.

7-8 C sliced apples (thin) Granny Smith's are best
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 Tablespoons Butter cut into chunks

These are the directions as I tried a bunch of different ways to assemble them quickly (we still have 20 of these in our freezer... and I have made a lot of pies after we froze them)

Take your ziplock bag and dump in everything except the apples and lemon juice and butter.

Hold the top of the bag and shake it up really good. (I did 10 of these bags at a shot, and let the kids help me, since they would just measure the same thing over and over into each bag)

Peal, core and slice your apples and dump them into the bag. Chop the butter up into chunks (I tried to get at least 8 chunks.. it helps to freeze the butter before chopping it up) and dump that in the bag. Zip it shut with lots of air and flip the bag over and shake it all really good until everything is coated well. Open the bag, pour in the lemon juice, squish it around and suck all the air out of the bag with a straw and zip it shut.

Squish it flat and lay it flat in the freezer. I can get 15 high this way.Dont wait until all the bags are done before putting them in the freezer.... they get WAY to juicey.. and dont pour the lemon juice ON the apples before putting in the bag, because then the mix in the bag doesnt coat the apples well.

When you want pie, take it out and lay flat on the counter for about 30 minutes (covering with a warm wet t-towel helps speed it along) OR in the fridge over night. Squish it around to make sure the butter is evenly distributed and dump in a 9" regular raw pie shell, cover with a crust or with a dutch crumb topping. Set the pie on a drip pan (you WILL need it) and bake as you would a normal pie (I did about 20 minutes at 400, and then 45 at 325). I think a deep dish might have worked better, but it wouldnt be up to the top of the pan then once it was cooked. Maybe you could just add an extra cup of apples and use it for deep dish.

The apples will STILL hold their form and not be mushy. I was SO pleased with this recipe.. I intend to do this every year. It takes approx 9 apples to make a pie, and we used about a bushel to do 20+ pies.

BTW, Kiersten gave me this recipe. she must be a VERY good cook! ;o)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Best Granola

The Best Granola Bars (instructions at the bottom)

Granola can be made according to individual taste and the ingredients on hand. The only basic ingredients needed are oats, oil, and sweetener. The proportions depend on individual taste and how "healthy" you want it. Here is a basic recipe with many options.

Combine in a large bowl 7-8 cups dry ingredients:

3-6 cups oatmeal

1/4-1/2 cup each of any of the following: wheat germ, whole wheat flour, bran, cornmeal, coconut, milk powder, chopped nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds

1-1 1/2 tsp spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice

Combine separately and add to dry ingredients:

1/2-3/4 cup oil, margarine, or butter, melted
1/2-3/4 cup honey, or brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla or other flavoring

Bake at 350F for 30-45 minutes on large baking sheets until golden brown. Stir occasionally.

After taking granola from oven, add any of the following, if desired:

any dried chopped fruits
Chocolate chips

Add any of the following with wet ingredients: 1/4 cup acceptable juice, 1/2-1 cup peanut butter, 1/2 tsp maple flavoring

TO MAKE THIS RECIPE INTO GRANOLA BARS: Make granola and add 2 beaten eggs and 1/3 cup milk. Press granola into two well-greased 10x15-inch cookie sheets. Bake at 325F until golden brown. Cut into bars immediately. Remove from pans when cool. Increase sweetener if desired. Enjoy

Friday, January 06, 2006

ABC Muffin Mix (Make it fit any diet except low carb!)

This recipe has been passed around so many times, and no one seems to know where it originated from. Everyone adds their own touch. Take it, use it, if you came up with it, or know who did, let me know!

As for FG and such, use safe ingredients and have fun!


18 cups flour (whole wheat pastry, white, kamut, your choice!)
5 cups sugar (or equivalent, like Sucanat, Splenda [I do NOT recommend Splenda!])
2 1/4 cups buttermilk blend or non fat dry milk
6 Tb. baking powder
2 Tb. baking soda
2 Tb. salt

Stir together well, breaking up lumps.

Place ingredients in a large airtight container labeled with the date. If it's going to be stored for long, place contents in the freezer.

Mix makes enough for about 5 batches of 24 muffins each.

If desired, dry sweetener can be omitted then stir in 1 cup honey for every 24 muffins as you make them.

TO MAKE 24 REGULAR SIZED MUFFINS: {I used 1/2 recipe & made 18 muffins - don't know what size muffins tins she used. I used 1/4 cup batter per muffin}

Preheat oven to 400.
Coat muffin tins with an oil/lecithin mixture, grease with butter, or spray with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, beat:
4 eggs / 3 tsp. vanilla / 2 cups water / 1 cup oil** or butter- this measurement is up to your tastesand desires. We find them perfectly acceptable without ANY fat, but any amount of oil can be added up to one cup.

Stir in 5-1/2 cups muffin mix and any additional ingredients (listed on chart) just until moistened.
The batter should be lumpy.
Fill muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown. {I baked for 15 minutes, depends on your oven & pans}
Muffins freeze well.
To reheat frozen muffins, microwave on high for 30 seconds per muffin. (or heat in the oven until warm)

These two toppings would go well with almost any of the ABC muffins.
Sprinkle mixture atop uncooked muffins before popping them into preheated oven:

STREUSEL TOPPING for 24 muffins:
Mix together:
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2/3 cup flour
cut in 1/2 cup cold butter until mixture iscrumbly.

CRUNCHY TOPPING for 24 muffins:
Mix together:
1 cup rolled oats1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
cut in 1/2 cup softened butter with fork or pastrycutter until crumbly

Add-in's for muffins:

3 cups raw grated apples
1 tsp. gr. cloves
1 cup nuts or raisins
sprinkle with cinnamon and sucanat mixture beforebaking

1 cup applesauce omit oil

1 cup chopped dried apricots

2 mashed bananas
1 cup walnuts (optional)

2 cups fresh or frozen rinsed blueberries

Use only 3 cups of muffin mix.
Stir in:4 cups bran cereal
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup raisins

2 cups grated carrots
1 cup raisins
1-1/2 tsp. allspice

2 cups unsalted coarsely chopped cashews

2 cups fresh or dried pitted cherries

1-1/2 cups cocoa {try carob}
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups mini carob chips

3 cups toasted flaked coconut
reserve some to sprinkle on the top

2 cups chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup nuts
1/2 cup orange juice
2 Tb. orange peel

1-1/2 cups currants
1 cup chopped nuts

1 cup chopped dates
1 cup chopped nuts

4 tsp. rum extract
2 cups eggnog (omit water from recipe)
before baking, top with mixture of:
2 Tb. sugar
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

2 cups dried chopped figs
1 c. chopped walnuts

2 cups dried diced fruit

1 cup grated carrots
1 cup grated zucchini
1/2 tsp. ground cloves

2 Tb. ground ginger
1/2 cup molasses
2 cups raisins

reduce muffin mix to 4 cups and add:
1-1/2 cups granola
Top with additional granola before baking

reduce muffin mix to 4 cups and add:
2-1/2 cups grape nuts
1 tsp. allspice

2 tsp. ground cardamom
2 cups chopped hazelnuts

2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
Drop this mix by Tb. onto top of muffins beforebaking

1-1/2 cups jam or preserves(strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, cherry)
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

omit 1 cup water and replace with 1 cup lemon juice{haven't tried this, but sounds like too much lemon juice to me. I would start with 1/2 cup}
use 4 eggs
1/2 cup chopped nuts

1 (11oz) can mandarin oranges chopped andundrainedreduce water to 1 cup
1-1/2 cups shredded carrots

6 Tb. maple syrup
reduce water to 1-1/2 cups

1-1/2 cups orange marmalade
1 cup chopped nuts (opt)
1 cup orange juice (omit 1 cup of the water)

1-1/2 cups mincemeat

reduce muffin mix to 4 cups and add:
1 cup oats
use 4 eggs
up to2 cups raisins or grated apples

2 cups sour cream or yogurt
1 cup nuts or coconut (opt)2 cans (11 oz. each) mandarin oranges, drain
use 4 eggs

2 cups fresh or one large can (drained) choppedpeaches

1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
3 mashed bananas

1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
drop 1 Tb. jam into each muffin before baking.

2 cups fresh or one large can (drained) choppedpears

2 cups chopped toasted pecans
1 tsp. maple extract

1 cup grated carrots,
1 cup crushed pineapple,
drained1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

1 tsp. ground cloves
1 large can crushed pineapple, drained
1 jar (7 oz. or about 1 cup) macadamia nuts,chopped

2 cups fresh or canned plums, chopped

1 to 2 cups chopped prunes
1/3 cup poppy seeds

2 cups or 1 can solid pack pumpkin
1 Tb. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup each chopped nuts and raisins

2 cups fresh or frozen whole, unsweetenedraspberries

3 tsp. rum extract
before baking, top with mix of:
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1 cup toasted sesame seeds
before baking, top with mix of:
1/2 cup nuts
4 Tb. sugar
4 Tb. sesame seeds
2 Tb. flour
1/2 tsp. each cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

omit one cup of the water and add:
1 cup sour cream or yogurt
2 cups nuts
2 tsp. grated lemon peel (opt.)

2 cups mashed squash
1 Tb. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup each chopped nuts and raisins

2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries, chopped

1 Tb. allspice
4 Tb. dry orange peel
2 cans (10 oz each) sweet potatoes, mashed,well drained (about 2-1/2 cups)

1 cup dried mango or papaya, chopped
1 cup chopped banana chips or 2 fresh mashed
1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt
2 tsp. lemon peel, grated

2-2/3 c. wheat germ
use 4 eggs
1/2 cup extra water
before baking, top muffins with mix of:
1/2 c. wheat germ2 Tb. sugar

reduce water to 1-1/2 cups and add:
2 cartons (8 oz each) yogurt -- plain or flavored

2 cups grated zucchini
2 Tb. cinnamon
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Shepherd's Mac & Cheese (FG 1**, Crock*)

This recipe was inspired by Dinosaur Bar B Que; An American Roadhouse.

Now, the Dinosaur happens to be our very favorite restaurant. At the time of this writing, there are only three locations, and if you aren't fortunate enough to live in Rochester, Syracuse or New York City, well, I am truly sorry for your loss. But if you come to visit, I promise to feed you Dinosaur BBQ!! (If you live near a Wegmans, they are carrying heat and serve Dinosaur now, try the pulled pork!)

So aaaannnnyyyyways....

I found this recipe for Dinosaur-Style Macaroni & Cheese Shepherd's Pie. We've never seen this offered at the Rochester Location, but it looked SO good, I just had to try it. It was as good as it looked!

In true Leni fashion, I have changed the recipe a bit to make it suitable for various diets, but not too much.

**FG 1 means that it is acceptable for Feingold Program, Stage 1
*Crock Pot directions at the bottom

Shepherd's Mac & Cheese (FG 1)

1 lb. pasta shells, cooked and drained
1 lb. ground meat
2 C. chopped onion
5 cloves of garlic, chopped (I used about half)
1 1/4 lbs ground beef
1 T. black pepper
1 T. salt
1/4 C. butter
2 t. dry ground mustard
1/4 flour
2 1/2 C. milk
3 C. shredded cheddar
1 C. grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 375. Boil and drain pasta, set aside.
Brown the ground beef with 1/2 of the onions, garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons each of salt and pepper.
Drain all fat, and place this mixture in the bottom of a greased 13 x 9 pan.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, and fry the rest of the onions.
When they are soft, add the flour, remaining salt and pepper, and dry mustard, and whisk until thoroughly blended.
Slowly add the milk, whisking as you go.
When mixture is bubbly and thicker, remove from heat, and add 2 cups of cheddar and the parmesan cheese.
Fold in the cooked pasta.
Place this evenly over the meat mixture.
Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.

Bake 30-45 min, til golden on top. Serves 6-8 people.

*Crock instructions.
Do everything the same, but layer in your crockpot instead of pan, and bake on low for 3 hours or so.

I will warn you though, it doesn't get golden and nice on top in the crock pot, but it still tastes great!!