Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tofu Pad Thai with Sweet Chili Sauce

Forget ordering take-out!  This was delicious served with fresh pineapple, a Romain lettuce salad with a spicy peanut vinaigrette dressing and fresh green beans.  Don't be afraid to use the fish sauce.  It adds saltiness, not a fishy taste at all. 

1 (1 lb) pkg wide rice stick noodles*
4 tsp vegetable oil, divided in half
1 (12oz) pkg extra firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 large eggs
3 large egg whites
2 cups fresh bean sprouts* 
1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley*

Sweet Chili Sauce:

1 1/4 cup Heinz chili sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
4 TBS water
2 TBS fish sauce
1 TBS fresh lime juice
2 tsp grated fresh ginger

2/3 cup coarsely chopped dry roasted peanuts, for topping

Lime wedges, for serving

Cook noodles in boiling water for 5 minutes.  Drain and rinse under cold water.
In a large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of oil over medium-high heat.  Cook tofu for 5-7 minutes, until browned (mine took longer than 7 minutes).  Remove from the pan.

Whisk 2 eggs and 3 egg whites.  In the skillet, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat.  Add eggs and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Set aside.

For the sauce, in a medium bowl, combine chili sauce, brown sugar, water, fish sauce, lime juice and ginger.  Add sauce and drained noodles to skillet with egg mixture in it.  (I found it was easier to stir together with tongs rather than a spoon.  Also make sure you use a very large skillet).  Cook for 2 minutes over medium-high heat.  Stir in tofu, bean sprouts and parsley, cooking an additional 3-5 minutes.  Serve sprinkled with peanuts and garnished with lime wedges.

Serves 6-8

Source:  Bite Me - Julia Albert and Lisa Gnat

*I was unable to locate wide rice noodles so I used Chinese Wide Lo Mein Noodles (wheat) instead.  I also could not find fresh bean sprouts so I used a 14 oz can of sprouts.  Next time I would use cilantro instead of flat-leaf parsley.  I also sprinkled my plate with crushed red pepper flakes for a little heat.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Cheesy Baked Penne with Ham and Broccoli

I was told this is a keeper!  Everyone really enjoyed it.  This quick and easy dish went great with fresh beets from the farmer's market, a salad and Italian bread.   I will definitely be making this again soon.

salt and pepper
8 oz penne pasta (I used about 10-12 oz)
2 cups chopped broccoli florets
5 TBS unsalted butter
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (or other coarse bread crumbs)
1/4 cup flour
3 cups low-fat milk, at room temperature
1/2 tsp paprika
1 cup Gruyere or Swiss cheese, grated
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar, grated (I used white cheddar)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
4 oz ham, cut into 1 inch strips (I used 8 oz of ham)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a 9x13 baking dish.  Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook pasta for 7 minutes (or a little less).  Add broccoli; cook 3 to 4 minutes longer.  Drain, rinse with cold water; drain again.  Pour into greased casserole dish.

In a pan over medium heat, melt butter.  Remove 1 TBS melted butter; stir this 1 TBS of butter into panko in a small bowl.  Set aside.  Add flour to pan of butter; whisk until bubbling, about 1 minute.  Whisk in milk.  Add paprika, pepper and salt to taste.  Constantly stir until sauce thickens, 6 to 8 minutes.  Watch carefully so milk doesn't burn on the bottom of the pan.  Remove from heat.  Stir in Gruyere (or Swiss) and 1 1/2 cups cheddar and Parmesan into sauce until smooth.  Stir in ham.

Stir sauce into pasta and broccoli.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Cheddar.  Sprinkle reserved panko on top of cheese.  Bake until crumbs are browned and sauce is bubbling, 30 minutes. 

Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

(I felt that the pasta was a little too done.  You may not want to cook for as long as noted above)

Serves: 6-8

Source:  All  You -  Eat Well, Save Big Cookbook


Monday, July 23, 2012

Stick to Your Ribs-pork tenderloin "ribs"

I made this pork tenderloin on the grill while vacationing in Virginia.  I asked Susan and her friend Tony if they like them, they said 'not saying anything says it all'.  In otherwords, they were too busy eating.  They were wonderful and everyone loved them.  They tasted great with the sweet potato.

 Spice Rub

1 TBS brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

2 large pork tenderloins

Barbecue Sauce

1 TBS butter
2 TBS finely minced onions
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup hickory-flavored barbecue sauce
2 TBS freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 TBS molasses
1 1/4 tsp chili powder
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp black pepper

Mix all spice rub ingredients together in a small bowl.  Set aside.

Using a meat mallet, pound the pork uniformly into about 3/4 inch thickness.  Using a sharp knife, score the pork in 1 inch intervals so that it looks like ribs.  Cut about halfway into the meat, not all the way through.  Use about 1 1/2 TBS spice rub per slab of "ribs" and rub into both sides of meat and into score marks.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight for best flavor.

To make sauce, melt butter in a small pot over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic.  Cook and stir until onions have softened, about 1 minute.  Add all remaining sauce ingredients.  Mix well.  Simmer, uncovered, over low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Sauce will thicken slightly as it cools.

Preheat grill to high setting.  Place pork on a grill rack that has been lightly brushed with oil.  Grill pork for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally and basting often with barbecue sauce.  Grill marks are mandatory!  Be sure not to overcook the pork, as it will be dry.  It's OK for pork to be a little pink in the middle.  Remove pork from grill and let rest for 1 minute, then cut along score marks into individual "ribs".  Serve hot.

Makes 5 servings

Source:  The Looneyspoons Collection - Janet & Greta Podleski


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Impossible Ham and Cheese Quiche

An ‘impossible” quiche is one that’s made with a flour-thickened custard in lieu of a traditional pie crust.  During baking, the flour helps form a “crust” on the bottom of the quiche.  This quiche was very easy to make and I will definitely make it again.

3 TBS finely grated Parmesan Cheese
8 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded (2 cups) ** (see note below)
4 oz thickly sliced deli ham, chopped
4 green onions, minced 
1/2 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup half-and-half
2 TBS melted unsalted butter
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg 

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9-inch pie plate with softened butter and coat evenly with Parmesan cheese.

Combine cheese, ham, and onions in a bowl. Spread ham and cheese mixture evenly in bottom of greased pie pan.  Combine flour, baking powder, pepper and salt in the now-empty bowl.  Whisk in half-and-half, eggs, melted butter, mustard and nutmeg until smooth.  Slowly pour batter over ham and cheese mixture in the pan.

Bake until quiche is light golden brown and filling is set, 30-35 minutes.  Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes.  Slice into wedges.  Serve warm.

I baked this the night before and refrigerated it.  I warmed individual slices in the microwave the following day and served with hash browns and sausage.  It tasted great!

** I used 1 cup Swiss & 1 cup Monterey Jack instead of the Gruyere cheese as Gruyere can be very expensive.

Serves 8

Source: - America's Test Kitchen - Cook's Country


Emeril's Seasonings...BAM!

My favorite of these three seasonings is the Southwest Seasoning.  I absolutely love it on grilled cheese sandwiches.  I sprinkle it (very generously) on the outside of a grilled cheese sandwich before grilling.  Any of these spices are great sprinkled onto fish, chicken, eggs, sandwiches and baked potatoes.  Also excellent on corn on the cob and popcorn.  Use your imagination!  

Emeril's Southwest Seasoning

2 TBS chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 TBS paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 TBS ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 TBS garlic powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 TBS salt
1 TBS dried oregano

Emeril's Rustic Rub

8 TBS paprika
3 TBS cayenne
5 TBS freshly ground black pepper
6 TBS garlic powder
3 TBS onion powder
6 TBS salt
2 1/2 TBS dried oregano
2 1/2 TBS dried thyme

Emeril's Essence Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast)

2 1/2 TBS paprika
2 TBS salt
2 TBS garlic powder
1 TBS black pepper
1 TBS onion powder
1 TBS cayenne pepper
1 TBS dried oregano
1 TBS dried thyme

Combine all ingredients and store in an air-tight container.

Source:  Food Network


Friday, July 13, 2012

Eileen's Pie Crust

I found this recipe when I was first married and have been making it ever since.  My family enjoys this flaky crust.  This crust will make your pie extra delicious.

1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup corn oil
3 TBS cold water

3 1/2 cup flour
2 tsp salt
1 cup corn oil
6 TBS cold water

Mix flour and salt together.  Blend in oil thoroughly with a fork.  Sprinkle all of water over dough; mix well.  If the dough is too dry, add 1-2 TBS more oil.  Press dough into a ball.  If you are making a double crust pie, cut ball in half. 

Lightly moisten your surface that you will roll the crust on.  Place 2 large pieces of plastic wrap on table, overlap the pieces.  Slightly flatten the dough and place on the plastic wrap;  cover dough with 2 more pieces of  plastic wrap.  Roll crust out to desired size.  Make sure you don't roll the dough too thin.

Gently peel back top layer of plastic wrap.  Gently lift the edges of the plastic wrap and ease the dough in bottom of pan.  This dough is very fragile.

**You will have some dough left over after trimming the crust.  Re-roll the dough and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.  Bake in the oven for a few minutes; watch closely as it doesn't take long to bake.  This is a special treat!**

Source:  Better Homes & Gardens


Fresh Blueberry Pie

I enjoy making this pie every summer.  You can't go wrong with a fresh blueberry pie!  Serve it with some vanilla ice cream for an extra special treat.
See "Eileen's Pie Crust" recipe for crust ingredients.

Pie Filling Ingredients:

3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 TBS minute tapioca
1/2 tsp cinnamon
6 cups fresh blueberries
1 TBS lemon juice
2 TBS butter

Heat oven to 425.  Prepare pie crust and roll out crust.  Make sure you roll the crust larger than the pan.  Gently place bottom crust into pie pan.  You should have some crust hanging over the edge of the pan.

Sort through blueberries and remove any stems.  Rinse blueberries in a colander and drain for about 5 minutes.  Pour blueberries into a large mixing bowl.

Mix sugar, flour, tapioca and cinnamon together in a small bowl.  Sprinkle sugar mixture over blueberries and mix gently.  Pour blueberries into pastry-lined pie pan.  Sprinkle blueberries with lemon juice and dot with butter.  Cover blueberries with top crust; seal and flute the crust.  Cut four 1" slits in the top of the crust so the steam can escape.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar if desired.

Cover edge of pie crust with a 2"-3" strip of aluminum foil to prevent excess browning; remove foil during the last 15 minutes of baking.

Bake until crust is browned and juice begins to bubble through the slits in the crust, 35-45 minutes.

Makes one 10" pie (or one  9" deep-dish pie)


Sloppy Joes

This recipe is a combined effort of Eileen and Janice over the years.  It's been tested, tweaked and tried many times.  Sloppy Joes are a Schulz all-time favorite for family get-togethers.

2 lbs ground chuck, browned and drained
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 can tomato soup
1/4 cup ketchup
1 TBS brown sugar
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 cup Open Pit Original BBQ Sauce (don't substitute a different BBQ sauce)

You may need to add a little more BBQ sauce and/or ketchup to your liking.

Combine all.  Simmer til hot.

This freezes well.


Figure approx 1/2 lb of meat per person (approx 2 sandwiches per person)
2 lbs meat - 6-8 sandwiches = 3-4 people
3 lbs meat - 9-10 sandwiches = 5-6 people
4 lbs meat = 12-14 sandwiches = 6-7 people (double the above ingredients)
6 lbs meat = 20 sandwiches = 10-11 people (triple the above ingredients)

Eileen & Janice

Lemon Poppy Bread

My cousin, Charyl, would make this delicious bread every year for Christmas Eve.   It is so moist and delicious.  This bread freezes well.  Eat one now and save one for later!

1 pkg. lemon cake mix
1 small pkg. instant lemon pudding
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup oil
4 eggs
3 TBS lemon juice
1/4 cup poppy seeds

Grease and flour 2 loaf pans or 1 bundt cake pan.

Combine cake mix and pudding in a large bowl; add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Pour into prepared pans.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Source:  Charyl


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Creamy Dreamy Fruit Fandango

Very easy and delicious.  This can be served as a dessert, a salad or just a snack.  

1 cup Cool Whip
1 TBS Jell-O Vanilla Instant Pudding mix
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and chopped (about 4 cups)
3 cups seedless red grapes, halved
2 cups chopped strawberries
1/4 cup thinly sliced dry-roasted or honey roasted almonds (like Almond Accents)
2 TBS mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, optional

Place Cool Whip in a large bowl, sprinkle with pudding mix, and stir until smooth and slightly thickened.  Add fruit and toss to coat.  Add almonds and chocolate chips, and gently stir. 

* Almond Accents can be found in the produce section of the grocery store.  

* I did not put the chocolate chips in my salad.  I also sprinkled the almonds on top so they would not get soggy.

* For the healthy version of this recipe, use the Cool Whip Free and Sugar Free Pudding Mix.

Makes 8 - 1 cup servings

Source:  Hungry Girl


Salmon Ring with Parsley Pea Sauce

I found this recipe in a Better Homes and Garden magazine in 1959.  This was one of the first dinners I made as a newlywed.  This recipe was a $400 winner.  My husband was a winner, too!

1 can (1 lb) Red Salmon, drained
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 TBS butter, melted
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp prepared mustard
2 cup whole-wheat, bread crumbs
1 cup milk

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Turn into greased 9" ring mold, and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Unmold onto a platter and fill center with parsley peas (or you may spoon the pea sauce on top of individual servings).  Serve with lemon wedges.

Parsley Peas:

2 cups frozen peas
2 TBS butter
1 cup milk
1/8 tsp pepper
2 TBS chopped parsley
2 TBS flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Cook peas.  Combine remaining ingredients and cook until it thickens.  Add peas to mixture.  Pour in center of salmon ring.

Serves:  6

Source: Better Homes and Garden Magazine


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ice-Cream Sandwich Dessert

This delicious dessert was a perfect ending to our very hot 4th of July picnic.  A refreshing summer-time treat. 

24 ice-cream sandwiches
1 - 16 ounce can Hershey's syrup
3/4 cup peanut butter
2 - 8 ounce Cool Whip 
Salted roasted peanuts

Place Hershey's syrup and peanut butter into a bowl.  Heat in the microwave about 2 minutes, stirring halfway through.  Cool til room temperature.  Stir.

Line a 9x13 pan with ice-cream sandwiches, cut to fit.

Spread one container of the Cool Whip on top of sandwiches.  Gently drizzle then spread the chocolate peanut butter mix on top of the Cool Whip.  Sprinkle with peanuts (as many as you like).

Repeat the layers again.  Ending with peanuts on top.

Freeze.  Can be made up to 3 days ahead of time.

Source:  WVCY TV - At Home


Baked Beans

Baked beans are a must for any Schulz picnic. 

6 slices bacon – cooked & cut into 1/4 - 1/2 ” pieces or so
3 (28 oz) cans Bush’s Baked Beans (I prefer: 1 Home Style & 2 Country Style)
2 TBS prepared yellow mustard
¼ cup ketchup
½ cup brown sugar
1 1/2 TBS molasses
Pepper & Salt

Lightly drain the can of the Home Style Beans (do not rinse).  There is no need to drain the Country Style as it has a thicker bean sauce.  Combine all ingredients.
Cook uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour til hot & bubbly.

These beans taste just as good if you prefer to leave out the bacon.
Makes 2 1/2 quarts


Just Like Dawn's Potato Salad

In Wisconsin, the Piggly Wiggly delis carry Dawn's Potato Salad.  This is my favorite potato salad.   I tweaked the recipe just a little bit.  I made this for our 4th of July picnic.  My first attempt at making potato salad!  I usually buy it! 

9-10 medium red potatoes (3-4 lbs)

1 1/8 cup mayonnaise
1 1/8 cup Miracle Whip
1 1/2 TBS white vinegar
1 1/2 TBS yellow prepared mustard
1 1/2 TBS sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt or Lawry's Seasoning Salt
1/4 - 1/2 tsp pepper

6-7 Hard boiled eggs (4 to dice and put in the salad & 2 or 3 to slice on top as a garnish)
5-7 radishes thinly sliced (cut slices in half if they are too large) Depending on size of radishes, about a 1/2 cup
3 TBS green onion tops or chives, sliced
2 TBS fresh flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 - 1 cup chopped celery

Mix the dressing ingredients together.  Set aside.  Chop the remaining ingredients and have them ready to add to the potatoes as soon as they are done cooking.

Boil potatoes just til firmly tender - about 10 - 13 minutes.  Watch carefully so they do not overcook.  Pierce with a knife to check for doneness.  Remove from the heat and while still hot, peel by wiping with a paper towel.  Cut into medium sized chunks and place in a large bowl. The potatoes will continue to cook, so this step must be done right away.  Taste the dressing before adding to the potatoes; it should be tangy.  Immediately, pour about a 1/3 of the dressing over a third of the warm potatoes, fold dressing into potatoes.  Continue to pour dressing and adding potatoes, gently stir after each addition.  You may not need all of the dressing, it depends on how creamy you like your potato salad.  Gently, add the remaining ingredients.  Do not over-stir or the potatoes will break down too much.  Chill overnight or 5-6 hours before serving.  Garnish top of salad with slices of the remaining two eggs.  Sprinkle with paprika.

Makes 2 1/2 quarts

Source:  Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News  - wecnmagazine.com


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Blueberry, Caramel and White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Oh my...I just found my new favorite cookie!  I made half a batch of blueberry and half a batch of cherry.  Delicious!

2 sticks softened butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 TBS vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups oatmeal, I used quick oats
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups Caramel Bits, by Kraft (11 oz bag)
1 1/2 cups dried blueberries (or cherry or cranberry)
1 cup white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla until well combined.

Place flour, oatmeal, cinnamon, soda and salt into a large bowl; mix to combine.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.  Add the caramel bits, blueberries and white chocolate.  Mix until just combined.

Use a medium cookie scoop and scoop dough onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet.   Bake for 9-11 minutes or until edges are just turning golden brown.  Remove and let cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.

* If using a muffin-top pan, spray pan and scoop 1/4 cup dough into each muffin-top pan cup.  Press to about 1/2 inch thick.  Bake 11-14 minutes.  Makes 24 large muffin top pan cookies.

Makes 4 dozen cookies

I ended up with 5 dozen cookies, however, I didn't think I made them too small.
I also had to bake mine for 12 minutes.

Source:  www.picky-palate.com


The Perfect Iced Tea

OK..first of all, we are Northerners and like our tea unsweetened....we are sweet enough.  ;)  For all you Southern folks, feel free to add sugar.  I know iced tea seems really basic, however, surprisingly, some people don't know how to make it.  I know I just couldn't seem to get it right.


Boil 4 cups of water
Add 4 tea bags
Steep for 8 minutes
Add 4 cups cold water
Stir well

Chill several hours or overnight.  Add ice.  Find a lawn chair in the shade and enjoy!

We like the Lipton Green Tea - Mixed Berry, Mint or Superfruit Red Goji & Raspberry.

Makes 2 quarts