Search This Blog

Friday, August 17, 2012

Blueberry and Peach Pie Cookie Bars

the basis for this recipe was published in a church cookbook about 30 years ago. it  is a family favorite . most fruit that you would use in a pie can be used. i  adjust the spices and sugar accordingly.


jelly roll pan

1 heaping quart fruit, for this i used half blueberries and half peaches
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 lb butter
3 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar

preheat oven to 400 degrees

 prepare fruit

 place crust ingredients in food processor or mix by hand with a fork

 place crumbs in jelly roll pan and press with fingers letting the crust creep up the edge

add the flour ,sugar, spices to the fruit and mix.
 spread the fruit mixture evenly on the crust

place in 400 degree oven for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350 and continue baking for another 30 minutes


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Aunt Ruth's Almond Cheesecake/Holiday Style

 i got this recipe years ago from my dear Aunt is a 'keeper'!  this cheesecake is just fine without the fruit but it was baked for a july get together. normally i serve it plain or scatter sliced almonds that i have toasted on the top.

i have a helper. my cook in training, molly the dolly and she is becoming a very good

10 " spring form pan

ingredients for the crust
2 packages of graham crackers
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 sticks of butter, very soft or melted

ingredients for cheesecake (all at room temperature)
5 - 8 ounce cream cheese
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract

ingredients for topping (all at room temperature)
8 ounces sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon almond extract, note it is a TABLESPOON
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

preheat oven to 375degrees F

place the crust ingredients in a food processor and blend. the butter needs to be very soft or melted.
if no processor is available, crush crackers with a rolling pin between 2 sheets of wax paper. place crumbs in a bowl and add sugar and melted butter and blend.

press the crumb on the bottom and sides of the spring form pan

 bake crust in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes and cool completely

place all the cheese cake ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix with an electric mixer for several minutes till all lumps disappear and it is very creamy. spread evenly

place all topping ingredients in a bowl and mix by hand. carefully spoon over cheesecake mixture

again, gently smooth the topping over the cheesecake mix

place the prepared cheesecake in the cooled oven and set oven for 350 degrees f. bake for approximately 50 minutes. it will still be a bit jiggly when removed from the oven.

bakes and ready to add toasted almonds or be served plain...or decorated for july 4th


Sunday, April 1, 2012

grouper in lemon and wine

this dish is simple to prepare for thick fish that will be baked. i accompany the fish with roasted vegetables.
the combo is great for company as it all can be assembled in advance and placed in the oven at the same temperature. the veggies just need to go in about 25 minutes ahead of the fish

 roasting vegetables is 'in vogue' now. the flavors are more intense and our family loves them. simply select the vegetables you like to eat, wash and cut them in the desired size and toss them in a little olive oil and garlic...i added some dijon mustard to these. place a sheet of foil on a cookie sheet, spread the oiled veggies on it and dash some salt on the top. they take about 45-55 minutes at 375. i turn them over about halfway through the cooking time.   now, back to the fish!
 for this preparation you need 2 pounds of thick fish such as grouper, a good white wine, 2 lemons, 1 package ritz crackers or similar brand, 1/2 stick of butter, and cajun seasoning(optional),
                  thinly slice the lemons and line a baking dish ( that will hold the fish) with the lemons
 place the fish upon the bed of sliced lemons and pour over 1/2 cup of good white wine. i used prosecco.
squeeze some lemon juice over the top of the fish and season with the spice. i used about 1/2 teaspoon
 crush the crackers and melt the butter. place crackers on top of the fish and drizzle butter over the crackers.

the fish is ready for the oven. all ovens very a bit so you will have to judge when it is complete. this took 35 minutes in a 375 degree oven.

 the vegetables are out of the oven and ready to serve. if the fish is not quite done, no matter...these are good at room temperature or place them in a glass serving dish and zap them in the microwave for a minute to reheat.
                                     the fish is out of the oven and ready to serve after 35 minutes

Monday, January 30, 2012

smoked salmon with pasta and peas

 this is a very easy and quick dish to prepare. i usually have most of the ingredients on hand so it can thought of at the last minute. again, some of the ingredients can be substituted.

1 pound of pasta, i used farfalle here but any sturdy pasta cut will do

1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup white wine
1/4 cup garlic scapes (ok, instead you can use 2 shallots and 2 garlic cloves or a small onion and 2 garlic cloves) i had frozen scapes from last june...
8 ounces smoked salmon ,chopped or torn
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon tomato paste (not necessary but i like the pink tinge it makes)
freshly ground pepper
1 cup petite frozen peas
1 handful arugula, chopped (or parsley)

place a large pot of salted water on the burner and bring it to a boil.
while the water heats, assemble the ingredients
when water is boiling, add the pasta and stirring constantly till it is boiling

 NOW: stir the tomato paste into the cream
 place the oil,wine and garlic, onion and salmon into a large pan and simmer of low
 place the frozen peas in the bottom of the colander in the sink where you will drain the pasta
when the pasta is close to done, add the heavy cream and freshly ground pepper to the salmon.
heat it to a simmer

drain the pasta over the frozen peas

mix the two (pasta and salmon sauce)

toss in the arugula or parsley at the end


Sunday, January 15, 2012

pear/gingerbread upside down cake

the first time i made a pear-gingerbread upside down cake, it took  longer that it does now. it was fall and i was inspired by an abundance of fresh pears. guests were coming for dinner so i thought i would give it a try. i made the gingerbread from scratch and used fresh pears. THIS IS THE QUICK VERSION... and just as good. my 8 year old granddaughter and i made these. we had lots of pictures but while trying to set the date on my camera, the card was 'wiped clean'.

a winner

ingredients for 1 cake:

8 or 9 inch spring form pan

1 gingerbread cake mix

1 can pears, drained and juice saved

1/4 cup molasses

1/4 cup brown sugar,either light or dark
1/4 cup melted butter

1.preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.butter bottom and sides of spring form pan
3.melt 1/4 cup butter and add 1/4 cup brown sugar...stir and put in the bottom of the pan and spread evenly
4.arrange pears on top of melted butter and brown sugar ( no picture so remember they are upside-down ;)

5.follow directions for cake mix but instead of all water, use 1/4 cup of molasses and the juice from the pears. add water if needed ( the mix i used called for 1 egg and 1 cup of water. the molasses and pear juice made a full cup so i did not need any water). add ingredients all together and stir with a spoon till mixed. 6.pour over pears
7.bake according to box directions...mine took 30 minutes

out of the oven and on to the plate

remove from pan and flip over on plate while still hot. otherwise the sugar and butter will start to harden and stick to the pan not ask me how i know this!  ;)

serve with whipped cream and ...............................enjoy!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

roasted beet salad with arugula, butter lettuce and goat cheese

there are many recipes for roasted beet salad with cheese and nuts. the dressing is the key in this recipe. it was to accompany a pork roast and a heavy sweet potato,leek, parsnip au gratin. i wanted it to be slightly sweet. it was a hit...a keeper!

first a note on the greens in any salad: for crisp greens that hold the dressing...wash the greens in ice water ahead of time and spin dry. wrap in a dish towel or paper towels and store in the frig. for a couple of hours

 wrap the beets in foil and roast in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour. when they have cooled, remove the skins. the beets can be roasted ahead of time and refrigerated for a day or 2 if needed.

cut the beets in the desired shape. if the beets were small i would have quartered them

diced beets

dressing ingredients
1/2 good quality olive oil
1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
juice of 1 clementine
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper

blend all ingredients. i place them in a jar and shake it. this too can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. be sure that it is at room temperature before using it.

crumble the goat cheese. i estimate about an ounce per salad

assemble the salad by placing the greens on a plate and adding a serving of beets,
spoon the dressing over all the beets and greens
add the crumbles goat cheese


Tuesday, December 6, 2011


it's that time of year, lots of parties and lots of food. the following recipe is easy. it can be made ahead and refrigerated and it can even be frozen. it serves 20 as an appetizer and even more when it is spread on crackers

finished cheese cake
ingredients at room temperature 
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup crushed cheese crackers
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces blue cheese or gorgonzola
3 eggs
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup picante sauce
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon cajun seasoning(optional)

preheat oven to 325 degrees.
1. butter an 8 inch spring form pan and sprinkle cracker crumbs on the bottom and sides.
2. blend cheeses, flour, eggs, salt,cajun seasoning, picante sauce and sour cream till nice and creamy
3. fold in onions
4. pour mixture into pan( i pour the mixture slowly over a spatula so that the crumbs on the bottom are not      displaced)
5. sprinkle the top with walnuts

bake for 1 hour. cool and chill overnight

serve at room temperature.