Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Baked Spaghetti

This is a good old-fashioned one-dish dinner, easy to prepare in advance and keep in the fridge until ready to bake.  It can also be frozen unbaked and partially thawed overnight in the refrigerator before baking.  If I am not cooking for a crowd, I split this recipe into two smaller 9" to serve and one for the freezer.  Baked spaghetti is a favorite of young and old alike!



  • 1 pound spaghetti or angel hair pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound lean ground beef 
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoons black pepper
  • 4 cups prepared pasta sauce (use your favorite bottled variety or prepare your own)
  • 2 cups creamed cottage cheese
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese,
  • 2 cups grated Mozzarella cheese


  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until slightly underdone. Drain and rinse. Toss pasta with 1 tablespoon olive oil and set aside.
  2. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and onion and cook until meat is browned. (Use a potato masher to break up the lumps of meat while sautéing.) Add the garlic, salt and pepper. Sauté another minute. 
  3. Spray 9" x 13" deep-dish casserole with cooking spray.
  4. Cover bottom with a layer of sauce (about half).
  5. Spread cottage cheese over sauce.
  6. Add the pasta and spread evenly in pan.
  7. Spoon remaining sauce over entire dish.
  8. Sprinkle surface with Parmesan cheese and top with mozzarella
  9. Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. 
  10. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted  and bubbly. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Applesauce Bundt Cake

Our daughter in law cans her own fruit and I had some jars of applesauce from her that I wanted to use in a cake. This recipe that I found on the Food Network site uses 2 cups of applesauce and fit the bill nicely. I omitted some of the ingredients in the original recipe. It was served on a weekend when all of our kids were together at our home and everyone gave it a thumbs up!

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened.
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-1/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups applesauce, unsweetened
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cream butter in large bowl.
  3. Add sugar and continue creaming.
  4. Add one egg at a time and continue beating.
  5. Add the vanilla and beat until fluffy.
  6. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  7. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the applesauce to the creamed ingredients.
  8. Fold in the walnuts.
  9. Pour evenly into a greased and floured bundt pan. 
  10. Bake for 45 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
  11. Cool in pan and then invert onto cake plate.
  12. Dust with powdered sugar when completely cooled. 
  13. Serves 10 or more.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Light Brown Bread - farmer style

This bread is easy, delicious and includes a healthy choice of grains. Mix it by hand, in a Kitchen Aid mixer or bread machine ( taking it out to rise once it's mixed). It is important to use fresh tasting ingredients, so be sure to store seldom used grain products in the fridge or freezer until needed.

  • 2 cups hot water (from tap)
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup rye flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat bran
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour (approx) 
  • egg wash and sesame seeds, optional
  1. In large mixing bowl (stand mixer makes it easier but you can do by hand) mix ingredients in order given. Switch to hook attachment if you have, after stirring in the yeast. If not, stir with a strong wooden spoon and knead by hand for a minute or two to smooth out the dough. Oiled or floured hands make it easier.
  2. Cover bowl. Make sure there is enough room to double, or transfer dough to larger bowl before you cover and let rise about 1 hour.
  3. Prepare a large sheet by greasing or lining with parchment paper. Alternately you can just grease three loaf pans.
  4. Divide dough into three parts. Roll each out into a 10 inch oval or circle and roll up. Shape into loaf and cut slit along top. If using loaf pans, you can just knead and shape to fit into pan.
  5. Let rise about 45 minutes. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with seeds or rolled oats. 
  6. Bake at 375 F for 30 - 35 mintues. Cool on wire rack. Slice and freeze for your favorite sandwiches or enjoy with a bowl of soup.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Bread For the Journey

They Cannot be Counted 

My husband planted some sunflower seeds this spring and we are now enjoying the 'harvest'. 
Studying the sunflower is a very interesting lesson in mathematics. 
Nature has a fascinating numbering system that follows what is called Fibonacci numbers.
  Fibonacci is a sequence of numbers where each number
 is the sum of the two previous numbers  -  1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21 etc.   
This order is found in the leaf arrangement in plants, 
in the pattern of florets of a flower, 
the brats of a pine cone, 
or the scales of a pineapple,
 as well as in the spirals of the sunflower seeds.  
Our universe is founded on mathematics -  God counts and patterns 
all the details of His physical creation  
-  and we know He even counts the hair on our head and the stars in the sky.
 But did you know there is something that cannot be numbered
 and does not follow a pattern or 'order' ? 

God's thoughts toward us cannot be counted! 

Our hearts are warmed when we meet someone who greets us with a smile and the words ... 
"Oh, I was thinking about you!"
We so easily feel that God is far away and 'busy' with people and things
 that are more important than we are. 
And yet, God says  that we could never count His thoughts toward us ...
and they are so personal to each of us that they could never be put in any pattern or order. 

  Many, O LORD my God, are Your wonderful works 
Which You have done; 
And Your thoughts toward us 
Cannot be recounted to You in order; 
If I would declare and speak of them, 
They are more than can be numbered. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Steak Bites

Weekends call for good appetizers to share with family and friends. These little steak bites seasoned and wrapped in bacon are sure to be a real hit.
  • 2-3 beef tenderloin steaks, enough to get 24, 1 1/2" steak cubes when cut up
  • 8 strips bacon
  • Montreal Steak spice, or any other spice you enjoy
  1. Cut steak into 1 1/2" cubes.
  2. Season well and set aside.
  3. Slightly fry bacon strips, leaving them still very 'soft'. 
  4. Cool bacon and cut each strip into three. 
  5. Wrap bacon around steak cubes and secure with toothpicks.
  6. Grill, turning until desired doneness. 
NOTE: We like our steak medium, so having the bacon partly cooked already allows for the bacon and the steak to be just perfect coming off the grill. 

Friday, September 23, 2016


This Friday I'm re-posting my salsa recipe which was first appeared here in September of 2008. 'Tis the season! I tripled this recipe earlier this week, and hopefully that keeps us supplied with salsa until next year.  This is a zippy salsa!  If you prefer yours a little milder, remove all the seeds and ribs from inside the jalapeno peppers.

  • 10 cups tomatoes (peeled, chopped and drained)
  • 8 small jalapeno peppers chopped (remove seeds for less heat) 
  • 3 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped green peppers 
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 1/3 cups vinegar 
  • 1 can 12 oz. can tomato paste  (369 ml)
  • 1 tsp. cumin 
  • 1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes 
  • 3 Tablespoons pickling salt 
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
*Optional : Stir in 1/3 cup cornstarch diluted in cold water and simmer for several minutes to thicken salsa before filling jars. I prefer it this way.
  1. Combine all ingredients and simmer for 1 hour.
  2. Ladle into jars; tighten lids and process for 20 minutes in hot water bath.
Yield: 7 pint jars

*This recipe also makes a wonderful, tasty fresh salsa.  I use Roma tomatoes for the fresh version, cut back a little on the jalapeno peppers and make a smaller spelled out below.

Fresh Salsa
  • 5 cups chopped Roma tomatoes (un-peeled)
  • 2 small jalapeno peppers chopped
  • 1 cups chopped sweet onion
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • chopped fresh cilantro (according to preference)
  • 1/2 cup vinegar 
  • 1 can 6 oz. can tomato paste (156 ml. cans)
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin 
  • 1/2 Tablespoon red pepper flakes 
  • 1 teaspoons table salt
  • 1 Tablespoons brown sugar
  1. Place chopped veggies in a large bowl.  
  2. Mix vinegar, tomato paste, herbs and seasonings and add to chopped vegetables. 
  3. Stir to combine.  
  4. Keeps well in the refrigerator for a week. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

No Nuts Chocolate Chip Cookies - Gluten free

My granddaughter recently discovered she is intolerant of nuts.  I love nuts and have always used them freely in baking - both the nuts and ground into flour.
She has also moved from home, closer to her university and of course that calls for 'care packages.'
I sent these cookies last week-end with her sister and her report back was... "She loved your cookies, Nanna, and couldn't stop eating them."
They keep for several days on the counter and also freeze well.

Here is the recipe ...

  • 1/2 cup butter 
  • 1 cup No-Nuts Golden Peabutter (or other brand of no-nuts butter) 
  • 2/3 cup white sugar 
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar 
  • 2 lg. eggs 
  • 1 tbsp vanilla 
  • 3 cups gluten-free oat flakes
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda 
  • 1 cup large dark chocolate chips 
  1. In mixer bowl combine butters and sugars and beat until light and creamy
  2. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well 
  3. Mix in oats and baking soda
  4. Stir in chocolate chips 
  5. Drop by teaspoon,  on parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 10-12 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Do not overbake.