Friday, October 31, 2008

Susan's Chicken Stir-Fry

Susan tried my Chicken & Broccoli Stir-Fry and made a few adjustments of her own. Click on the picture above for a link to the entire recipe. Doesn't Susan's picture look yummy? Here are the changes she made to the recipe:

I mixed together:

6 TB of low sodium soy sauce

6 TB Apple Juice

2 tsp of minced garlic (in a jar)

1/2 tsp black pepper

2 TB sugar

2 TB rice vinegar

I sliced my chicken, then added it to the marinade above. I let it set for about 15 or so minutes. I cooked the chicken in the hot skillet and poured the marinade into a saucepan. I stirred in the cornstarch. I cooked the bag of frozen veggies and rice (per package directions) until tender. When the chicken was done, I added 1/2 cup to the fry pan and took a wooden spoon to scrape the pan for all the goodies. Then I added the chicken water mixture to the marinade cornstarch mixture and cooked it for about 3 min after it came to a boil. I combined everything together. Due to the fact the veggies were microwaved and not stir fried, it did not seem to be flavorful enough. So I added about 1/2 tsp of ground ginger. It added the perfect kick. I might only add 1/4 tsp next time. But there will definitely be a next time. Love it!

Thanks Susan!

Pumpkin Crisp

Don't wait for Thanksgiving!
This quick and easy
pumpkin dish makes
any day special!

Pumpkin Crisp


1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanila extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (18.25 oz) package yellow cake mix - butter flavored
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup butter, melted

Pre-heat oven to 350. Lightly grease 13 X 9 inch baking dish. In medium bowl, stir together sugar and cinnamon. Add in pumpkin, milk and vanilla. Stir well. Pour into baking dish. Break up any clumps in the cake mix and sprinkle over pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle evenly with walnuts & drizzle entire dish with butter. Bake at 350 for one hour. Check dish and bake another five minutes or so until golden brown.

This dish is great served warm and topped with whipped cream. It is also great served cold.

Guest Recipe - Squash Casserole

Another great one from Susan!

Squash Casserole

2.5 lb. yellow squash
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 stick of butter or margarine
1 medium onion
1.5 cups crushed saltine crackers
1.5 cup shredded sharp cheese.

Wash, slice and boil squash until tender. Drain. Saute chopped onion in butter until tender. Mix Squash, soup, onion and butter, 1 cup of cheese and 1 cup of saltines and put in a baking dish. Sprinkle casserole with remaining crackers and cheese.
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until top is browned and casserole is bubbling.

Guest Recipe - Sweet Potatoes Casserole

A Recipe from Tonya


2 c sweet potatoes
½ c sugar (to taste)
2 beaten eggs
¾ stick melted butter
1 c milk
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon


¾ c crushed corn flakes (I left out the nuts and increased the corn flakes)
½ c brown sugar
½ c nuts
¾ stick melted butter

Mix all ingredients. Pour into greased casserole dish. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes. Combine topping ingredients. Add topping mixture and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Submitted by Tonya Palmer

Guest Recipe - Broccoli & Cauliflower Casserole

A Recipe from Susan!

I made the first one with Cauliflower only and the right way and everyone liked it best with just Cauliflower.

Broccoli & Cauliflower Casserole

(16-oz.) pkg. fresh broccoli and cauliflower florets (I used frozen Cauliflower)
1/2 cup Great Vaiue reduced-fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup Great Value shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 green onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. Dijon-style mustard
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
2 tbsp. Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp. paprika

Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Serves 6

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange florets in steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and steam 6 to 8 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain well.
2. Lightly grease 2-quart baking dish. Arrange florets in baking dish.
3. Stir together mayonnaise, Cheddar, Parmesan, green onions, garlic, mustard and red pepper. Spoon over florets. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and paprika.
4. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden.

Thanks Susan! This sounds great!

Guest Recipes

Wanda submitted this recipe for some yummy goodies:

Special "K" Goodies

1/2 cup sugar
4 cups Special K Cereal
1/2 cup white Karo Syrup
6 oz pkg chocolate chips
3/4 cup peanut butter
6 oz pkg butterscotch chips

Heat sugar and Karo, but do not boil. Stir in peanut butter, pour over cereal; blend. Press into a buttered 13X9 inch pan. Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips together and blend. Pour over mixture and spread for frosting. Store in refrigerator.

Thanks Wanda!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

No Time for Dinner?

Healthy Pinto Beans & Franks is a perfect time saving meal that you can have ready in under 10 minutes. Feel free to change or add an ingredient. You can even change it to kidney beans, black beans or any combination you desire. Use your favorite cheese. I used Oscar Mayer Light Beef Franks because I like the taste and texture. If you want to be super healthy or are watching your sodium, rinse the beans before preparing.



1 can pinto beans - drained & rinsed (15.5 oz can)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon canola oil
2 tablespoons medium salsa
2 beef hot dogs, sliced
2 tablespoons mozzarella cheese
salt/pepper to taste

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat and add chopped onion. Cook approximately 2-3 minutes and add hot dogs. Cook approximately 2 minutes until heated thru. Add beans and salsa. Continue cooking another 2 minutes or until mixture is hot. Add salt and peppar to taste if desired. Remove from heat, top with cheese and serve. This will make 2 good sized servings.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Acorn Squash

We've all had those moments in the grocery story. You're headed to potatoes and you spy the huge selection of squash in the corner. They're not the yellow crook-neck squash or summer squash you grew up with in abundance. No, these babies are all different colors and shapes. They look more like table decorations for Halloween or Thanksgiving. But, what are you going to do with one? I was afraid of the unassuming acorn squash. It mocked me in it 'squashness'. I wondered if it was supposed to be peeled, sliced, or diced. Was it even edible? Could I possibly replace a baked potato with it at dinner? Well, I took the plunge and bought something I didn't know how to cook. I did the research and thought that it could not be that simple. I learned a good lesson that day. It does not have to be complicated to be good. And sometimes a dish can taste wonderful and still be pretty! No matter how many years you've been cooking, don't be afraid to try something new. And, don't be afraid to admit you don't know how to cook something others might think of as easy or simple! The next time your reaching for that potato, try an acorn squash instead. You won't be disappointed!

Baked Acorn Squash

1 Acorn Squash

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons Honey or Maple Syrup

Dash of Salt, Pepper, and Pumpkin Pie Spice

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.

  • Wash the acorn squash and pat dry. Cut the squash in half, lengthwise, from stem to end. You'll want to use a large knife and cutting board for this since it is tough. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Place each half in a baking pan, cut side up.

  • Drizzle the top and inside of each half with the olive oil. Put one tablespoon of honey or maple syrup in each half. Sprinkle top and inside of each half with dash of salt, pepper and pumpkin pie spice.

  • Bake in the oven for about an hour. Check the squash and continue to bake until soft and the tops are browned. Serve warm.

If you're in a hurry, you can cook this in the microwave and finish it in the oven. Just wash and dry the squash. Prick the outside of the squash several times with a fork. Microwave 5 to 7 minutes. Using potholders, take the squash out of the microwave and cut lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and add the above ingredients. Finish by cooking the squash in the oven under the broiler until the tops are browned.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sweet Potato Oven Fries

When you're craving something salty & sweet, these oven fries are a perfect healthy snack!

Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees. Wash and peel a sweet potato. Slice into fries. Coat with canola oil - about a teaspoon since a little oil goes a long way. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Spread onto a cookie sheet in a single layer & bake on center rack in oven for 25 minutes or until crispy. You'll probably want to turn these half-way thru baking.

Friday, October 24, 2008

What do trees have in common with Simple Cookery?

I love trees. Trees have long been necessary to our history and survival. They've provided shelter, warmth from fire and heat to cook our food. And, of course, the paper for our written word. It might interest you to know that in many vintage cookbooks, recipes are called 'receipts'. The books themselves are often called 'cookery books' and involve more method than recipe. Of course, there are Mom, Mama, Mamie, and Grandma's recipes. In today's fast paced world of Internet search engines, you can find a recipe for almost anything at anytime. But, I still love the look and feel of a real cookbook even if a tree was sacrificed for it. I can always tell a tried a true recipe in one of Mom's cookbooks. The 'good recipe pages' are stained with bits of love and flour from the past. Quick notes written in the margins telling of an ingredient added or left out. It seems I inherited that trait, too, for I am constantly tweaking a recipe here and there. It amazes me how many people don't know how to do that these days. It's like they think the cooking sheriff will swoop down upon their kitchen if they dare to add some garlic or leave it out! Some of my favorite meals start with a chopped onion and 'whatever is in the fridge or pantry' thrown in the pan. How about you?

Easy Blackberry Cobbler

4 cups fresh blackberries (or frozen)

    1 cup flour (self-rising) - do not sift

    1 Cup Sugar & 1/4 Cup Sugar (reserved for topping)

    1 Cup Milk

    1/2 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees & grease 14 X 9 inch baking dish. You can use a 12 X 8 dish or smaller, but you will need to increase your baking time. You could also divide this into two smaller dishes.

If using fresh berries, wash them and drain. If using frozen, rinse them in cold water and drain. Stir together flour and 1 cup of sugar in large bowl. Melt butter. Add milk to flour/sugar and stir until blended. Stir in melted butter. Pour batter into baking dish. Add blackberries on top of batter distributing them evenly. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup of sugar over berries. Don't worry that the berries sink to the bottom! Bake at 350° for approximately 1 hour or until golden brown.