Spike's & Jamie's Recipe Collection & a Whole Lot More!

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Recipes from Spike & Jamie

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How to use these pages:  Below is a list of the recipes on this page.  You can either scroll down the page and look at all of the recipes, or look at the titles.  When you find one that seems interesting, use your web browsers FIND function to take you directly to that recipe (on my IE browser it's Edit/Find (on this page)   or Ctrl - F on your keyboard).








































































Serves 4

1/4 cup cold water

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges in syrup

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cup evaporated milk

3/4 teaspoon almond extract


Pour cold water into a bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over water. Let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Drain oranges, reserving syrup. Set aside orange sections for garnish. Add enough water to reserved syrup to make 3/4 cup liquid.


Combine syrup and sugar in a pan. Cook, stirring, over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Add softened gelatin; stir until dissolved, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat. Add evaporated milk and almond extract. Pour into 4 dessert bowls. Cover. Refrigerate until firm, 3-4 hours, or overnight.


To loosen desserts, warm base of each dish in a bowl of warm water. Place a serving plate over bowl; invert to unmold. Garnish with orange sections.



1 pizza crust

4 med apples - peeled and sliced

1/3-cup brown sugar

1-t cinnamon

Prepare pizza crust as per recipe. Pat dough into a pizza pan or a baking

sheet. Crimp edges as for a pizza. Spread apples over dough and sprinkle

brown sugar and cinnamon over apples. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes.



Serves 4

8 medium leeks (or 4 large, cut in half lengthwise)

1/2 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon minced parsley (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Trim and wash leeks.


Whisk chicken stock, cream and mustard together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange leeks in a shallow-sided baking dish just large enough to hold them in one layer. Pour seasoned cream over leeks. Bake 30 minutes, then turn leeks with tongs. Continue baking, spooning cream over top once or twice, until cream is almost entirely absorbed and leeks begin to brown and crisp, about another 30-35 minutes. Garnish with minced parsley.



yield: 2 loaves

sift together:

2 c. flour

1 TB. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. allspice

1/2 tsp. cinnamon


1/3 c. softened margarine

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. white sugar

1 egg

2 egg whites

1 tsp. vanilla

Add flour mixture alternating with:

1/2 c. buttermilk

2-3 mashed bananas (should measure out to a heaping cup)

Spoon into 2 greased and floured bread pans.

Bake 45-55 minutes.

Ok to add raisins, nuts or mini chocolate chips sometimes.


28 squares Graham crackers, finely crushed (about 2 cups crumbs)

1 cup sugar, divided

1/3 cup margarine or butter, melted

3 (8-oz.) packages Philadelphia Low-Fat Cream Cheese, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup egg substitute or 3 large eggs

1/2 cup mashed ripe banana

1 cup halved strawberries

1 banana, sliced, dipped in fresh squeezed lemon juice

to prevent browning

1 (i-oz.) can pineapple chunks, drained

Chopped Planters Walnuts and melted semi-sweet chocolate (optional)

Mix graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar and margarine or butter. Press on bottom of 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

Blend cream cheese, remaining sugar and vanilla in bowl with mixer at medium speed. Add egg substitute or eggs, mix until blended. Stir in mashed banana.

Pour into crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until center is almost set.

Remove from oven, set in place away from drafts. Cool. Refrigerate 12 hours or overnight. Top with strawberries, sliced banana and pineapple. Sprinkle with nuts and drizzle with melted chocolate if desired. Cut into squares to serve.



6 servings

2 each bananas

3 cups (a 32oz container)

plain nonfat yogurt

1 dash ground cinnamon

1 dash cayenne pepper

1 dash cardamom

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Puree one of the bananas (ripe but not over-ripe) with some of the yogurt.

Cut up other banana in 1/2-inch pieces. Combine all ingredients & chill.



Makes 5 cups


1 cup Best Foods mayonnaise

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon pepper

4 cups cubed, cooked potatoes (5 to 6 medium)

1 cup sliced celery

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped


In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, sugar and pepper. Stir in potatoes, celery, onion and eggs. Cover and chill.





Makes 5 cups


1 cup Best Foods mayonnaise

3 tablespoons vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons prepared mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 (8-ounce) package elbow macaroni, cooked and drained

1 cup sliced celery

1 cup chopped green or sweet red bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped onion


In a large bowl, stir together mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper until smooth. Add macaroni, celery, bell pepper and onion; toss to coat well. Cover, chill.



(great way to eat those black-eyed peas for the New Year!!)

1/2 pound sliced bacon

2 cups diced celery

2 cups diced green peppers

2 cups diced onions

1 can beef broth

2 cans whole tomatoes

2 cans black-eyed peas

In large Dutch oven, cook bacon until crisp; remove with slotted spoon,

drain on paper towel. Add celery, green pepper, and onion to bacon

drippings; sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Drain off excess drippings.

Add beef broth to Dutch oven; bring to boil. Add tomatoes and black-eyed

peas; bring to boil again, then lower heat and simmer 30 minutes. Serves 10.



3 cups Raisin Bran -- or any bran cereal

1 cup Water -- boiling

1/2 cup Vegetable Oil

2 Eggs

2 1/2 cups Flour

1 1/2 cups Sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda

2 cups Milk, skim -- mixed with vinegar

1/2 teaspoon Vinegar

In large bowl, combine cereal and boiling water. Stir in shortening and eggs. Add remaining ingredients & blend well. Spoon batter into lined muffin tins, filling 2/3 - 3/4 full. Bake at 400 degrees F for 18 - 22 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from pan. Serve warm.

(Batter may be stored in refrigerator up to 6 weeks)

Note: For Bran-Apple muffins, use plain bran cereal, and add one cup sliced

canned apples-drained, to batter.



Makes 9 rolls

2 packages yeast

1 3/4 cup warm water

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

4 teaspoons oil

4 to 4 1/2 cups flour, divided use

1/3 cup wheat germ

6 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon


Combine yeast and warm water in large bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Add granulated sugar, salt and oil. Mix in 3 cups flour. Beat at medium speed 5 minutes, or until elastic. Stir in wheat germ and remaining flour to make soft dough. Turn out on floured cloth or board and knead 15 to 20 minutes. Place in greased bowl and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.


Punch down and roll out to 20-inch by 10-inch rectangle. Cover evenly with butter, sliced. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over rectangle. Roll up from long side loosely, about three and a half turns. Pinch edges to seal. Cut into 9 slices. Place cut sides up in a well-greased 9-inch by 13-inch pan. Cover with waxed paper and let rise about 30 minutes.


Remove waxed paper and bake in center of a 400-degree oven until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Loosen edges to remove. Serve warm or cool. Wrap and freeze. When ready to serve, thaw, then reheat at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.



1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup corn syrup


1/2 tsp baking soda

Pop 2 batches of popcorn ( 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn = 1 batch) Put popped

corn in a brown paper grocery sack, discarding old maids.

Mix brown sugar, butter, salt, and corn syrup in a pan. Heat to boiling and

boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add baking

soda. Stir well. Pour over the popped corn in the bag. Close the bag

and shake well. Put the bag in the microwave and cook on High 30 - 45

seconds. Turn the bag over (I give it another shake, too) and cook on high

30 - 45 seconds. (The longer time in the microwave, even up to 1 minute

each time, makes it less sticky. I prefer sticky so only do 30 seconds





Serves 6


1 cup granulated sugar

2 cups water

1 (16-ounce) bag frozen, unsweetened, pitted sweet cherries, unthawed

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup cold heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier orange liqueur


Combine sugar and water in saucepan. Bring to boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Boil 1 minute. Add frozen cherries and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Cool cherries in syrup at room temperature. Refrigerate up to 3 days.


Just before serving or up to 6 hours ahead, whip cream with sugar and liqueur until very soft peaks are formed. Refrigerate if made ahead. To serve, spoon cherries and their syrup into dessert dishes. Top with whipped cream.




4 pounds chicken

1 carrot

2 celery stalks

1 onion

2 chicken bouillon cubes

1/4 cup butter/margarine

1 cup flour

1oz. Sherry

1 Tbsp. Lemon juice


yellow food color (optional)


Place chicken in pot, cover with water, and bring to a biol. Simmer until chicken is tender. Remove chicken from pan and remove backbones. Set aside.


Add chopped carrot, celery and onion, and simmer 30 minutes. Add chicken stock base and remove from heat. Strain and reserve stock.


Melt butter and stir in 1 cup flour until smooth. Add to strained reserved chicken stock. Simmer 5 minutes. Add sherry and lemon juice, salt to taste and, if desired, add food color.



1 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp. Baking powder

1/4 tsp. Salt

3 tsp. Shortening

3/4 cup milk


Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, and salt in mixing bowl. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles cornmeal. Stir in milk until just blended.


Place about 1/2 inch water in saucepan with a wire rack that comes to 1 to 3 inches above water line. Cover rack with lightly oiled waxed paper, oiled side up.

When water is gently simmering, drop dumplings by tablespoon onto the waxed paper, leaving room in between for expansion. Steam them 8 minutes, uncovered, then cover and steam 7 minutes longer.


Meanwhile, remove skin from cooked chicken and debone if desired. Cut in large pieces. Place chicken pieces in casserole. Arrange dumplings on top of chicken and cover with sauce. Serves 4 - 6



Serves 4

6 ounces wide rice noodles or dried egg noodles

4 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided use

2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced

1 pound Chinese long beans or whole green beans, cut into 3-inch pieces

1/4 cup water

1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 large carrot, peeled, sliced

1/2 onion, cut into 1-inch pieces

12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into thin strips

1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning or other spicy seasoning blend

2 medium tomatoes, cut into thin wedges

2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar


Cook rice noodles in lightly salted boiling water 3-5 minutes or until tender. If using egg noodles, cook according to package directions. Drain noodles and keep warm.


Meanwhile, pour 2 teaspoons of oil into a wok or large deep skillet. Heat to medium-high. Add garlic and stir-fry 15 seconds. Add beans and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add water; reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, 2-3 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender. Remove beans and add bell pepper, carrot and onion and stir-fry about 2 minutes. Remove and set aside.


Toss chicken with seasoning. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to skillet. Add chicken; stir-fry 2-3 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in beans, vegetables, tomatoes and vinegar; heat through. Serve over warm noodles.



Cooking spray

6 cups thinly sliced onion

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth, divided

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

6 (4-ounce) skinned, boned chicken breast halves

1. Coat a large skillet with cooking spray; place over medium heat until hot. Add onion; cover and cook 10 minutes or until onion is golden brown, stirring frequently.

2. Combine salt and next 3 ingredients; stir well. Sprinkle half of herb/spice mixture over onions; add 1/4 cup chicken broth, and cook 10 minutes, stirring

frequently. Add 2 tablespoons broth, and cook until liquid evaporates, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons broth; cook until liquid evaporates. Add vinegar, and cook an additional 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Remove onion mixture from skillet; set aside, and keep warm. Wipe skillet clean with paper towels.

3. Rub chicken with remaining spice mixture. Recoat skillet with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat until hot. Add chicken; cook 5 minutes on each side or until done. Serve chicken with caramelized onion mixture.




Makes one 8-inch cake


9 ounces bittersweet chocolate

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup chopped hazelnuts

Chocolate sauce:

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate

2/3 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

2 tablespoons Frangelico liqueur


In top of double boiler, melt chocolate over simmering water. Whisk until smooth and set aside.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of an 8-inch round cake pan with parchment paper and grease. With electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until fluffy; add eggs and beat until smooth. Add warm chocolate and vanilla; beat on low just until smooth. Sift flour and salt over batter and mix in. Stir in nuts. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake 30 to 35 minutes; the top will be still slightly moist, but edges will be dry and look crackled. Cool completely in pan on rack.


Run knife around edges of pan to loosen cake. Invert onto rack over piece of waxed paper on flat plate; peel off parchment and brush off any crumbs. Decorate by dusting powdered sugar through a paper doily to create a pattern. Wrap in plastic and store at room temperature.


To prepare sauce: Combine chocolate, cream and corn syrup in top of double boiler and gently melt over low heat. Whisk until smooth. Stir in liqueur and serve warm, ladled over wedges of cake.




6 ounces thick-slice bacon (4-5 strips), coarsely chopped

1 large onion, peeled, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

3 1/2 pounds tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped (8 cups with their juice)

Salt, to taste

1 cup chicken stock

Fresh thyme sprigs

1/2 cup milk

1 cup heavy cream

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Combine the bacon, onion and butter in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot, and sauté over medium-high heat until the bacon is crisp, eight to 10 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, and scrape up the browned bits clinging to the bottom of the pot. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.


Add the stock. Working over the soup pot, strip the stems from the thyme leaves, and add the leaves and tender portions of the stems to the pot. Continue to simmer, partially covered, until the soup is fragrant and slightly thickened, about 25 minutes. Stir occasionally. Stir in the milk and cream and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 6

Note: Canned tomatoes may be substituted for fresh.




Makes 16 tarts


2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

1 cup evaporated milk

1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped

1 egg

1/4 butter, melted and cooled


Double-crust pastry dough (homemade or purchased)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Combine filling ingredients in a bowl; mix well.


Roll half the pastry between two sheets of plastic wrap until 1/8-inch thick. Cut into eight 3 1/2-inch circles. Press circles into greased 2 1/2-inch muffin pan cups or tart pans. Stir coconut mixture and fill cups evenly. Repeat with remaining pastry to make a total of 16 tarts.


Bake tarts until golden brown, 25-30 minutes. If necessary, cover tarts with foil after 20-25 minutes to prevent excess browning.



2 pounds Ground Beef, extra lean

1/2 cup Cornflake crumbs

3 cloves Garlic -- minced

1/4 cup Onion -- finely chopped

1 Egg -- beaten slightly

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper -- freshly ground

3 cups Water

1 cup Milk, skim

1 teaspoon Salt

2 2/3 cups Instant Mashed Potatoes -- dry

1 tablespoon Margarine

In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, cornflakes, garlic, onion, egg, salt and pepper. Mix well with hands. Place beef mixture into 9" pie pan. Pat to cover bottom and sides evenly. Bake meat mixture at 425 degrees F for 30 minutes, then drain off excess fat.

Heat water, skim milk, and salt just to a boil, then remove from heat. Add potato granules or flakes, and mix thoroughly with a wire whisk (depending on brand used, you may need to adjust the amount of flakes for proper consistency). Add margarine to potatoes and blend well. Cover and allow to stand 5 minutes, or until potatoes thicken. Spread evenly over meat mixture. Return to oven and bake until potatoes are golden brown. Allow to rest 10 minutes before cutting pie into wedges.

*Variation: For a fancier company meal, reserve 1 cup of the finished potatoes. Spread the main amount of potatoes onto the meat, and then place reserved potatoes into a cake decorating tube or sleeve. (I have also used a zip baggie with a small amount of corner snipped off). Decorate pie with potatoes as desired, then bake as directed above. For a different look, food coloring or American cheese may be added to potatoes for coloring.

Copyright: "(c)2001, Kaylin White/Real Food for Real People"




1/2 cup margarine

17 oz. can whole corn with liquid

17 oz. can cream corn

1 (8 1/2 oz.) box Jiffy corn bread mix

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1/2 cup Cheddar cheese

1/2 cup chopped green pepper

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 cup sour cream


Melt margarine in 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Add whole corn with liquid, cream corn and corn bread mix, stir slowly. Add onion and green pepper. Add eggs and fold in sour cream. Sprinkle with cheese.


Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.



serves: 6


4 cups corn kernels cut from 8 large ears

2 1/2 cups water, divided use

2 cups chicken broth

2 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 small Bermuda onion, finely chopped (1 cup)

5 tablespoons butter, divided use

2 cups hot milk

Salt and coarsely ground pepper to taste

Cayenne pepper to taste

1 cup heavy cream


Place the corn in a large pan. Pour in 1 cup of the water and the chicken broth. Place on low heat, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching.


Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in the remaining 11/2 cups of water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain.

Gently cook the onion in 4 tablespoons of the butter, without browning, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the onion, well-drained potatoes and hot milk to the corn. Puree this mixture in a blender, 1 or 2 cups at a time, running for one minute at low speed and another minute at high speed.


Place the puree in the top of a very large double boiler. Season to taste with salt, pepper and cayenne. Place the pot over boiling water and heat the soup thoroughly. When the mixture is scalding hot, stir in the heavy cream. Place the remaining tablespoon of butter in a soup tureen, pour in the corn chowder and serve at once.



Makes 12-18 muffins

1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 cup milk (skim, low-fat, soy or rice)

1/4 cup apple juice or cider

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 medium apple (Granny Smith, Braeburn, Empire)

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 12 large or 18 small muffin cups. In a large bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a small bowl, mix together milk and apple juice. Beat in honey, oil and eggs. Make a well in center of dry ingredients. Pour in liquids and cheese. Stir to barely combine batter.


Peel, core and finely dice apple. Stir into other ingredients until batter is just lumpy, not smooth. Fill each muffin cup about two-thirds full. Bake 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from muffin cups immediately and cool on wire rack or serve hot.



1 Tbsp butter

1/2 Cup chopped celery

1/2 Cup chopped pepper

1/2 Cup chopped onion

1/2 Cup or more cooked, diced ham or turkey ham or any kind of meat

1/2 Cup or more shredded cheddar cheese

6 eggs

1/2 Cup heavy cream (whipping cream)

1/2 Cup water

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp paprika

Cook veggies in butter until barely tender. Sprinkle vegetables, meat and

cheese into pie pan. I normally oil the pie pan with either olive oil or a

light spray of Pam. Beat eggs, cream, water, salt and paprika together pour

over meat and vegetables. Bake 375º about 30-40 minutes until knife comes

out clean. Let set for 5 minutes before serving.



Serves 2-3

2 tablespoons olive oil or butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon mild curry powder

2 1/4 cups milk

2 medium sweet apples (Golden Delicious, Mutsu/Crispin, Empire, Gala)

1/2 cup raisins

1 (1 pound) center-cut slice, fully cooked ham, cut -inch thick

Peel, core and dice apples.


Heat oil in a medium-size skillet. Stir in flour and curry powder and cook for 1 minute. Pour in milk and, using a wooden spoon or wire whisk, stir to make a smooth sauce.


Add apples to curry sauce with raisins. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes.


Cube ham (remove fat and bone) and stir into pan. Cook 10 minutes longer, or until heated through. Serve with jasmine rice, a mixed-green salad and crusty bread, if you like.




1 small to medium pumpkin

1 onion, chopped

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 lbs ground beef

2 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp brown sugar

1 4 oz can sliced mushrooms, drained

1 can of cream of chicken soup (I have also used cream of celery)

1 1/2 cups cooked rice

1 8oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained


Cut off the top of pumpkin and thoroughly clean out seeds and pulp. Preheat

oven to 350. In a large skillet, sauté onions in oil until tender. Add meat and brown. Drain drippings from skillet. Add soy sauce, brown sugar, mushrooms and soup. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cooked rice and water chestnuts. Spoon mixture into cleaned pumpkin shell. Replace pumpkin top and place entire pumpkin, with filling, on a baking sheet. Bake 1 hour or until inside meat of pumpkin is tender. Put pumpkins on a plate. Remove pumpkin lid and serve filling. For your vegetable, scoop out cooked pumpkin and serve. (For Halloween you can paint a face on the front of pumpkin with a permanent marking pen or acrylic paint before filling and cooking.)




3 lbs ground meat

16 ozs. sliced ham, chopped

2 medium onions, chopped

1 large green pepper, chopped

3 Tablespoons of Oregano

4 cups cooked brown rice

2 8oz. cans of tomato sauce

2 large cans chopped black olives

3 beaten eggs

2 cups raisins

1 clove garlic

salt and pepper


Brown first 4 ingredients together until tender. (you will need a large frying pan for this). Add remaining ingredients and mix by hand, well. Put into large cleaned out pumpkin and cook at 350 degrees for 2 hours until pumpkin is tender. Scoop out pumpkin meat with filling as you are serving it. Feeds about 8 people.


*Note: Make sure that the pumpkin you buy will fit in your oven before starting this. Measure your oven from top to bottom, and when buying the pumpkin measure it also. Also put pumpkin on a cookie sheet with sides. Some fluid will run out of the top of the pumpkin while cooking.



Makes 8 tarts

1 pound Pepperidge Farm puff pastry, thawed overnight in refrigerator

4-5 (1 1/2 pounds total) tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and halved lengthwise

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. On floured work surface, roll out sheet of puff pastry to no more than 1/8-inch thick. Using a 6-inch plate as a pattern, cut rounds out of dough; you will get 4 rounds per sheet. Transfer rounds to baking sheet and put in freezer while cutting the apples.


Slice apples thinly by hand or with the thin (2mm) slicing disc of a food processor. Remove puff pastry from freezer and arrange some apple slices in a circular petal design on each round. Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on each tart. Dot tarts with butter. If not baking immediately, refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Bake until golden and apples are cooked, 15 to 18 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature with whipped cream or crème frâiche.




1/2 pound ground pork sausage

16 ounces frozen shredded hash brown potatoes

1 large onion, chopped

1 can chicken broth

1-2 cups water

1 can cream of celery soup, undiluted

1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted

2 cups milk


Brown sausage in a Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring to crumble. Drain fat and rinse sausage. Return to Dutch oven. Add potatoes and next three ingredients to sausage; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Stir in soups and milk; cook, stirring often, until thoroughly heated.


Alternate cooking method: After browning the sausage, add it along with all the remaining ingredients to a slow cooker. Cook on high for two to three hours or on low for four to five hours. Makes eight servings.



4 servings

3 cups diced apples

2 cups plain nonfat yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons brown sugar, (if apples are tart)


Cook the apples in 1/2 cup water 5-10 minutes, or until soft. Drain apples. Reserve 1 cup and put the rest into a blender with 1 cup yogurt, vanilla, cinnamon and brown sugar. Blend very briefly. Mix in the rest of the ingredients together.




(In the South, fried meat is never served without cream gravy. My grandma taught me how to make cream gravy when I was a young girl, but it seems to be a "lost art" in today's fast-track world.)


This recipe will work for any floured meat you are frying.


Cool frying pan that contains fried chicken drippings, and then pour all drippings into a bowl and set aside.


Add 4 level tablespoons of the cooled drippings back into the skillet

Blend 4 level tablespoons of flour into the drippings.

Add seasonings to taste

salt, pepper, garlic powder, seasoning salt, and celery salt

Stir flour/drippings/seasonings mixture until it is pasty.

Turn heat to medium-high and cook mixture until it is bubbly and a little brown.


SLOWLY stir in 2 cups milk or cream, stirring continually, making sure the mixture is smooth and doesn't stick. Continue stirring until (and while) mixture boils for one minute. Reduce heat, while continuing to stir, until gravy is smooth and desired consistency. Turn heat to "Warm" and serve gravy immediately.


(Note: Southern gravy is not thin. It should have a rich, creamy texture)




2 pkg. (8 squares each) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup chopped Walnuts

Microwave chocolate and milk in large microwavable bowl on HIGH 2 to 3 minutes or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring halfway through heating time. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in vanilla and nuts. Spread in foil-lined 8-inch square pan. Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm. Cut into squares.



October 24, 2001 Posted: 01:20:03 AM PDT



When evening temperatures start to drop, it's time to put on the soup. On crisp fall evenings, there's nothing like a steaming bowlful.


Whether your favorite is brimming with vegetables, beef, beans, sausage, tomatoes, pasta or chicken, suddenly, life is full of comfort.


If you're looking for a stress-reliever, soup is it. Soup forces you to slow down. Just throw it in a pot and relax while it simmers.


Soup also is perfect for experimentation. Part of the fun of making a pot is throwing in a little of whatever you have on hand. If you don't like cumin, don't use cumin. If you like ginger, put in ginger.


If you want curry, add curry.


When accompanied by a warm wheat roll or a slice of fresh-baked bread, soup becomes a well-balanced and substantial meal. Add a small green salad to round out the repast.


To get started, think beyond chicken noodle and split pea. Combine different tastes and textures, and contrast flavors such as sweet and sour or salty and sweet.


Preparing soup can be fast and easy, and the finished product still will have a from-scratch taste with time-saving techniques.


Check out the produce and freezer section of the grocery store, and pick up ready-cut vegetables. Convenience products such as canned chicken broth, tomatoes and evaporated milk can save time as well.


So get out a pot, start throwing in your favorite ingredients and get ready for the aroma to draw hungry appetites to the kitchen.




1 lb Frozen bread dough -- thawed

2 tsp Vegetable oil

1 cup Mozzarella cheese -- shredded

1 can (15 oz) Tomato sauce

1 tbsp Onion -- chopped

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Dried oregano leaves

1/2 tsp Garlic powder

2 cup Cheddar cheese -- shredded

4 oz Pepperoni or salami -- sliced

Green pepper strips

Ripe olives -- sliced


Heat oven to 325 degrees. Divide thawed dough in half. Roll and stretch each half into 10-12" circle on lightly floured baking sheet. Turn up edges 1/2" and pinch or pleat. Brush circles with oil; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Mix tomato

sauce, onion, salt, oregano and garlic powder; pour on circles. Top with cheddar cheese. Decorate with overlapping pepperoni slices around edge of pizzas, olive slices for eyes, and green pepper strips for eyebrows, noses and smiles. Bake

until crust is brown, 20-25 minutes. (2 pizzas)




1 pound dry Great Northern beans

1/2 pound cooked ham, diced

1 medium onion, diced

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 garlic clove, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce

Rinse beans in a large pot; discard shriveled beans and any small stones.

Add 8 cups of cold water. Let stand overnight or at least 8 hours. Remove beans that have risen to top, drain, and rinse. Return beans to pot and add ham, onion, brown sugar, garlic clove, salt, pepper, Tabasco, and enough water to cover beans--plus an inch more. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 3 hours, or until beans are very tender. Add more water if necessary during cooking time. Serve with cornbread.



Serves 10, makes 22 6-inch crepes

2 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon cognac or apricot brandy

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup cornstarch

1 tablespoon sugar

Pinch of salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Additional melted butter to coat pan

2 cups cold crème frâiche (see below) or sour cream

1 1/4 cups sifted confectioner's sugar

4 fresh lemons, cut into large wedges


Place eggs, egg yolks, milk, water, liqueur, vanilla, cornstarch, sugar and salt, in the order given, in blender container. (Or if you wish to use an immersion blender, place the ingredients in a deep mixing bowl.) Mix on high until smooth, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides and bottom of container once. Add melted butter and blend 15 seconds longer. Use immediately or refrigerate until needed.


Heat a 6-inch crepe pan or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Use a pastry brush to coat pan with a small amount of melted butter. Stir the batter a few times. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately ladle in 2 tablespoons batter, tilting and rotating the pan quickly in all directions to coat entire surface evenly.


Return pan to heat. Cook 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, until edges are lightly browned and the crepe, when lifted up slightly from the pan is seen to be set and almost dry. Slide long spatula underneath crepe and turn carefully to prevent tearing. Cook about 30 seconds, just until brown in spots but not until crispy. The second side is never as attractive in appearance as the first. (When you fill, keep the first side on the outside.) The crepes should remain soft, so don't overcook. Invert the pan to release the crepe onto a clean dish towel. This goes very quickly once you get going and you can use two pans at once.


Continue to make crepes in this manner, stirring batter before cooking each one, and greasing the pan lightly as needed.


If using crepes within a few hours, cover with another towel. For longer storage, stack cooled crepes, separated by waxed paper and slip into a zipper plastic bag. Refrigerate up to 3 days, or freeze up to 1 month.


To serve: Set out crème frâiche, confectioner's sugar and lemon wedges. Fold each crepe into quarters and warm in the oven or chafing dish. Arrange 1 or 2 crepes on a dessert plate; top with a sprinkling of confectioner's sugar and a dab of crème frâiche. Squeeze some lemon juice over all. Eat immediately.


Creme fraiche: Place 1 (16-ounce) bag frozen unsweetened raspberries in a bowl and sprinkle with sugar. Let stand until thawed, a few hours. Press through a sieve and refrigerate.




3 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 onions, chopped

2 cups chopped celery

5 carrots, sliced

2 cups chicken broth

2 cups water

4 cups tomato sauce

1/2 fluid ounce red wine (optional)

1 cup canned kidney beans, drained

1 (15 ounce) can green beans

2 cups baby spinach, rinsed

3 zucchinis, quartered and sliced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup seashell pasta

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese for topping

1 tablespoon olive oil


1. Over medium-low heat, in a large stock pot, heat olive oil and sauté garlic for 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes. Add celery and carrots, sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.

2 . Add chicken broth, water and tomato sauce, bring to boil, stirring frequently. If desired add red wine at this point. Reduce heat to low and add kidney beans, green beans, spinach leaves, zucchini, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, the longer the better.

3. Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until tender. Drain water and set aside.

4. Once pasta is cooked and soup is heated through, place 2 tablespoons cooked pasta into individual serving bowls. Ladle soup on top of pasta and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Spray with olive oil and serve. Serves 8




BY BETSY JONES, Special to the Mercury News

Now that you've got the right knives and know how to use them, you have to take care of them.


Don't leave knives lying in porcelain or metal sinks. It may damage the blades. Don't put knives in the dishwasher, either. Make sure that when you put them away, the blades don't bang into each other or into other items in a drawer. Both knife blocks and magnetic strips, which hang on the wall, help prolong the life of your cutlery.


Sharpening is a bit more complicated.


One of the biggest problems is the lack of a properly beveled edge to begin with. A good test of sharpness, says teacher and chef Charlie Vollmar, is the paper test: Make a small slice in a piece of paper and then slice through it. A good knife will cleave the paper in two smoothly and easily. If the blade pulls or drags, it's not sharp. Also, if your knife won't cut through the skin of a ripe tomato, it's not sharp.


Have the knife professionally sharpened to create the correct cutting surface, advises Grant Garber, who, with his brother Todd, owns Sharpening Mechanic's in Campbell. It will cost you $4 to $6 per knife. That professional edge should last about one year.


To maintain cutlery, knives that undergo light use should be steeled once a week. Those that get heavy use should be steeled two or three times a week. Steeling does not sharpen a blade; it aligns it to correct any bending of the edge and removes burrs that occur naturally during use.


Hold the steel -- a long, cylindrical rod that comes with many knife sets -- in one hand, either upright in front of you or pointing down on a cutting board. With the other hand, place the heel of the knife against the steel near the handle. Draw the blade from heel to tip at a 20-degree angle, using a constant, light pressure. Four or five strokes on each side should refine the knife's edge.


Honing is another method home chefs can use to cure defects in a blade. A bronze rod coated with very finely crushed diamonds is used to create a sharpening rod, used the same way as a steel. Unlike steeling, honing sharpens the blade, correcting any imperfections on the knife's surface. Before use, wash both the rod and the knife to remove the debris created by shaving off metal fragments, Garber said.


Garber doesn't have much regard for most electric sharpeners. He considers them ``glorified can openers,'' and says they are too aggressive. Without a guide system, he said, ``You're just guessing at the angle.''


Still, you can get a professional-level edge at home, he says. Of the several home-sharpening kits available, Garber suggests the Lansky system, which holds the blade in place while you use sharpening plates set at predetermined angles to create a quality edge.


With practice, a set of knives can be sharpened at home in about an hour. ``It's more of a hobbyist thing,'' Garber says. ``Most people don't take the time.''


Mastering difficult cutting jobs

Corralling a carrot, step by step

Chef Steve Mesa says carrots are the trickiest thing to cut. Maurice Dissels doesn't like bell peppers and soft tomatoes. Here are a few tricks from Mesa, Dissels and knife skills teacher Charlie Vollmar:


Onions: Vollmar suggests refrigerating onions about an hour before cutting. This causes the juices to coagulate and lessens those tear-inducing acids.


To chop an onion, cut about 1/2 inch off the tip. Then trim the root end, leaving the root intact. Cut onion in half from tip to root and peel off the skin. Place the onion halves on a cutting surface, cut side down. Vollmar teaches a horizontal slice from tip to root, carefully holding the root end of the onion. (Your knife will be parallel to the cutting board.) Make this horizontal slice two to four times depending upon the desired size of the pieces of onion.


(Mesa invented a renegade method after a cooking school mishap: With the root end of the onion resting on the cutting board, make slices by cutting downward from tip to root.)


Now, make vertical cuts 1/4 to 1/2 inch apart from the tip to almost, but not quite, through the root end. Lastly, slice across the onion. The result: a uniform chop or dice.


Carrots: Tricky carrots can be made more stable by laying a peeled carrot on its side and slicing a strip off one side of the carrot. Place the carrot on the cutting board, cut side down. Cut the carrot into manageable lengths appropriate for your recipe. Now you can cut ``coins,'' half-moons or smaller pieces. Or you can slice the carrots lengthwise, stack the slices and slice again, to make a classic julienne cut ( 1/8 inch by 1/8 inch by 2 1/2 inches).


Citrus: Both Mesa and Vollmar offer a wonderful method of preparing citrus fruits. Slice off both the blossom and stem ends of the fruit. Stand fruit on a cutting board with one cut side down. Cut peel and pith away from fruit from top to bottom, following the curve. Section the fruit by carefully slicing between the sections, running the knife on either side of the fibrous membrane around each slice of fruit. Sections should fall right into a waiting bowl.




1/3 cup Vegetable Oil

5 Flour Tortillas -- about 9 inch

14 ounces Beans with tomato sauce

2 teaspoons Chili Powder -- or to taste

1 teaspoon Oregano

1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder

1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder

1/4 teaspoon Cumin

4 ounces Jalapeno Chile Peppers -- drained & chopped

1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack Cheese -- shredded

1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese -- shredded

1 head Lettuce -- shredded

2 medium Tomatoes -- chopped

4 tablespoons Salsa -- or to taste


In a 10 inch skillet heat oil over medium heat. Fry tortillas in hot oil 5 to 10 seconds each side until lightly browned and blistered. Drain well on paper towels. Purée beans with sauce in blender with seasonings until smooth. Place one tortilla on ungreased cookie sheet, and top with 1/4 bean mixture, 1/4 chilies, and 1/4 Mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers 3 more times ending with last tortilla on top. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake at 375 degrees F, for 20-25 minutes until heated through and cheese melts. Let stand 5 minutes. Garnish with lettuce and tomatoes, then place on warm serving plate. Cut in wedges, serve with taco sauce or salsa and raw vegetable crudites for lunch, or with Mexican rice for a supper dish.



2 cups dry brown lentils -- rinsed

1 bay leaf

1 cup uncooked fine bulgur wheat

1 cup soft whole-wheat bread


1 egg substitute -- beaten

1 tablespoon ketchup

1 medium onion -- chopped

1 clove garlic -- crushed

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried tarragon

salt and pepper to taste

3 tablespoons tomato paste or tomato


Prep: Cook lentils and bay leaf in pot with 6 cups water. Bring to a boil,

reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are soft and water has been

absorbed, about 45 min.

Combine bulgur and 2 cups water in a med. saucepan. Bring to a boil,

reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 15 min.

Preheat oven to 350F. Transfer lentils to a large mixing bowl. Add

bulgur, and remaining ingredients except tomato paste or sauce. Mix well

with your hands until thoroughly combined. Pat mixture into a 9" loaf pan.

Bake for 40 min. until firm but not dry. During last minutes of baking,

brush top with tomato paste or sauce. Let cool for 15 min. Cut into slices

and serve warm.

This goes wonderfully with mashed potatoes and your favorite vegetable! The

leftovers taste very good in a Pita pocket, and if there are mashed potatoes

leftover, one can stuff the pocket with both.




10 ounces (about 1 1/4 cups) dried red lentils

1/4 cup bulgur wheat

1 1/2 quarts reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1 medium onion, peeled and very finely chopped

1 tablespoon tomato paste diluted in 1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil

About 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 tablespoon dried mint

Freshly ground black pepper


Rinse the lentils and bulgur. Put into a 5- to 6-quart pan, adding the broth, onion, diluted tomato paste, butter and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring well. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. The lentils and bulgur should be tender and the soup should have a creamy consistency. Stir in the paprika, mint and a little pepper. Simmer five minutes. Taste, adjust seasonings if necessary and serve. Serves 4 to 6



1 pound Mostaccioli, Ziti, or other medium pasta

shape -- uncooked

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano

1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1/2 cup fresh parsley -- chopped

10 large mushrooms -- sliced

2 cups roast beef -- julienned

2 cups snow peas -- chopped in half

1 red bell pepper -- ribs and seeds removed, julienned

1 yellow bell pepper -- ribs and seeds removed, julienned

Salt and freshly ground black pepper -- to taste

Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain.

In a large bowl, mix vegetable oil, lemon juice, vinegar, parsley, oregano,

thyme, mustard, mushrooms, and beef. Add snow peas and peppers and mix


Add pasta and mix again. Serve immediately or refrigerate for one hour and

serve cold. Yield: 12 servings.



2 (1-pound) boxes powdered sugar

1 cup butter, softened

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

2 cups flaked coconut

2 cups finely chopped pecans

1/2 block paraffin wax

1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips

1. Combine powdered sugar, butter, sweetened condensed milk, coconut and

pecans together, mixing well. Roll into 1-inch balls and place on a waxed

paper lined baking sheet. Chill.

2. Melt chocolate chips and paraffin in double boiler. Using a wooden pick,

dip candy balls into chocolate mixture and place on prepared baking sheet.

Chill until chocolate is firm. Makes about 4 dozen candies.



(Happy Halloween)


Medium sized pumpkin (4 lbs.)

1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef

1/3 Cup chopped green pepper

3/4 Cup chopped celery

3/4 Cup chopped onion

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 Cup soy sauce

2 Tbsp brown sugar

1 4-oz. can mushrooms

1 can cream of chicken soup

2 Cups cooked rice

Black olives

Steamed carrot

Whole cloves

Fresh parsley


Cut top off pumpkin and scoop out seeds and excess membrane. Brown ground

beef, green peppers, celery, and onion. Add next 7 ingredients mix well, place into pumpkin cavity, replace top. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours on a foiled lined cookie sheet. Just before serving arrange the parsley for hair and with toothpicks the olives for the eyes and the cooked carrot for the nose for the mouth the whole cloves. To serve scoop out part of the pumpkin, along with the meat mixture onto each plate.



3 cups uncooked medium pasta shells -- (7 1/2 ounces)

2/3 cup Italian dressing

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

2 medium carrots -- sliced (1 cup)

1 medium green bell pepper -- chopped (1 cup)

1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans -- rinsed and drained (15 to 16 ounces)

1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans -- rinsed and drained (15 to 16 oz. )

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Italian-style stewed or diced tomatoes, drained

Cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Toss pasta and remaining

ingredients. Serve warm or cold. Yield: 6 servings.





1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie

6 cups thinly sliced apples

1 lemon, juiced

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 cup butter, chilled and diced

9 caramel squares, quartered

1 tablespoon white sugar


1. In a large bowl, combine apples, lemon juice, sugars, spices, flour, butter, and caramels. Stir to coat fruit evenly.

2. Roll dough out, and cut out two crusts. Line a pie plate with one of the crusts. Spoon filling into the bottom crust, and cover with the top crust. Crimp the edges. Place the pie on a baking sheet covered with foil. Poke fork holes over top. Sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar.

3. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 50 minutes. If you notice over-browning after 30 minutes, reduce heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Serve warm, or at room temperature.



1 pound Ground Beef, extra lean

1 medium Onion -- chopped

3 cups Rice -- cooked

1 cup Celery -- diced

1 can Cream of Mushroom soup, condensed

1 can Cream of Chicken soup, condensed

1 can Bean Sprouts -- drained

1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce

1 package Chinese Noodles -- dry

Brown ground beef & onion together in a large frying pan. Mix with other

ingredients in a large Dutch oven size pan and let simmer until celery is

cooked. Serve over dry Chinese noodles.

*Note: Instead of serving over noodles, you may mix the noodles into the

mixture just prior to serving, if desired.

*To Freeze for later use: Do not add the Chinese noodles. Freeze the

cooled casserole in a labeled container for up to 6 months. To serve, thaw

overnight in refrigerator, heat through in a saucepan or in the oven, and

serve over Chinese Noodles. From Real Food 4 Real People




Makes 1 pie

1 9-inch graham cracker pie crust

1 14-ounce can presweetened condensed milk

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup Nellie & Joe's Key West lime juice


Combine condensed milk, egg yolks and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Pour filling into pie crust and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Allow to stand 10 minutes before refrigerating. Just before serving, top with freshly whipped cream and garnish with lime slices.



By: Pat Williams (The recipe is formatted exactly like she wrote it.)

1 Small Potato - An Idaho baking potato is the very best, but I have always

used whatever we grow, and it works just fine if I beat the potato enough to

get the lumps out while it is still hot.

1 Tablespoon Butter

1 Teaspoon Vanilla

- or -

1 Medium Potato

2 Tablespoons Butter

2 Teaspoons Vanilla

- or -

1 Large Potato

3 Tablespoons Butter

3 Teaspoons Vanilla

- plus -

Sufficient sifted Confectioner's Sugar to make a soft fondant that can be

kneaded and rolled out like pie dough

Creamy-style Peanut Butter

Note: The size of the potato dictates the size of the batch. Around our

house, though, any size batch still seems to just serve four persons.

Scrub the potato really well - DO NOT PEEL. Cover the potato with cold water

in a covered pan and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and boil the potato gently for about 30 minutes (large potato), or until it can be pierced through easily with a fork. Remove from heat, drain, and peel. Place in a large mixing bowl and mash with an electric mixer until smooth. This is the secret to a nice, smooth batch of candy: the potato must be peeled and mashed while still very hot. Add the butter and vanilla immediately and mix into the potato. Begin adding confectioner's sugar slowly. It will liquefy at first, but as you continue to add sugar and beat it, it will become as thick frosting. Stop here, and place the mixture on a breadboard that is sprinkled generously with confectioner's sugar. Knead until the fondant is

smooth and white and still pliable, not crumbly. Divide into four roughly equal pieces, and shape into balls. Leave one ball on the breadboard and place the other three in a bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth to prevent the fondant from drying out. Cover the board with confectioner's sugar again, and roll the ball of fondant out to about 1/8" thick (about pie crust thickness). Spread the peanut butter on the fondant - enough for a smooth layer, but not any thicker than the fondant itself, which is why creamy is better than chunky for the purpose. Roll this up as for a jelly roll. Have a scraper handy, as the fondant likely will stick to the board and you will need to use the scraper to ease it gently off the board as you roll it up. Place the completed roll to one side, on a wax-paper-lined cookie sheet, as you repeat the process with the other three balls of fondant. Once all four rolls are complete, starting with the first roll made, slice each roll into

1/4" thick slices. Use a very sharp knife to slice, so as not to crumble the rolls. Lay the slices out on the wax paper to dry until all rolls are sliced. Place the candy in airtight containers with wax paper or plastic wrap separating the layers. Store in a cool place. The flavor develops as it is stored, and it becomes even more delicious - if any lasts that long!

The slices can be dipped in melted unsweetened chocolate, which is very good, but my family prefers it plain. The thickness of the peanut butter layer can be varied as desired.




2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

1 cup water

3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed

4 carrots, sliced

1 large green bell pepper, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 onion, chopped

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 (14.5 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped

2 tablespoons beef bouillon granules

1 sugar pumpkin (10 to 12 lbs)


1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Place

beef in the saucepan and cook until evenly brown. Mix in the water, potatoes, carrots, green bell pepper, garlic, onion, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer approximately 2 hours.

2. Dissolve the bouillon into the beef mixture. Stir in the tomatoes.

3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

4. Cut top off the pumpkin and remove seeds and pulp. Place the pumpkin in a

heavy baking pan. Fill the pumpkin with the beef mixture. Brush outside of

the pumpkin with remaining oil.

5. Bake in the preheated oven 2 hours, or until tender. Serve the stew from

the pumpkin, scraping out some of the pumpkin flesh with each serving.

Makes 8 - 10 servings




2 teaspoons margarine or butter

1 large onion -- chopped (1 cup)

1 medium stalk celery -- chopped (1/2 cup)

1 small green bell pepper -- chopped (1/2 cup)

2 cloves garlic -- finely chopped

1 cup peeled and deveined raw small shrimp (1/2 pound) --thawed

1/2 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon red pepper sauce

1 bay leaf

1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes -- undrained

3 cups cooked quick-cooking brown or instant rice


Melt margarine in 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic in margarine, stirring frequently, until onion is tender. Stir in remaining ingredients except rice. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in rice. Cover and let stand 10 minutes. Remove bay leaf. 4 servings.



3 tablespoons butter, divided use

1 medium onion, chopped

1 1/4 cups water

1/2 cup uncooked rice

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 cup raisins

4 large apples (Rome Beauty, Mutsu/Crispin, Winesap)

1/4 cup apple juice or cider

Heat oven to 350 degrees.


Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a medium-size skillet. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in water, rice, allspice and ginger. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cover skillet. Simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender but not soft. Stir in raisins.


Core apples, leaving about 1/4 inch of flesh at bottoms. Scoop out about 1/4 inch from centers. Chop and add to rice mixture.


Place remaining apples in a baking dish and spoon rice stuffing into and on top of apples. Add apple juice to dish. Cut remaining tablespoon of butter into small pieces and dot over rice. Cover loosely with foil. Bake 45 minutes. Serve hot as a side dish with roast chicken or pork, or as a light lunch. Serves 4.




6 large potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 ribs of celery, thinly sliced

2 large onions, thinly chopped

1 can creamed corn (optional)

1 can cream of chicken soup (or 2 chicken bouillon cubes and 8 ounces of water

--soup will be thinner with cubes and water)

1 stick butter or margarine

1 cup Half & Half (or more)

1 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon thyme

1/8 teaspoon rosemary

2 cloves finely diced garlic

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Black pepper to taste

Salt to taste


Boil cubed potatoes in a saucepan for about 15 minutes (until they are fork-tender), drain and set aside. In medium skillet, simmer onion and celery in stick of butter until they are translucent. Add corn and garlic; simmer a few (approximately 5) minutes and remove from heat.


In larger saucepan or kettle, combine cooked cubed potatoes with sautéed onion and celery in butter. Next, add the chicken soup (or bouillon cubes and water).

Mix gently, adding the Half & Half, then milk. Heat slowly, adding spices, and then simmer on low for 20 to 30 minutes.


Serve in large soup bowls, and garnish with crumbled bacon, chives, and grated Cheddar cheese, and crackers on the side. Serves 4 - 6




5 carrots, sliced

1 small onion, sliced

5 ribs celery, sliced (thin)

1 (10-ounce) package frozen broccoli

1 (20-ounce) package frozen cauliflower

6 cups chicken broth

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon Accent

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1-1/4 cups shredded Swiss cheese


Place all vegetables in 3 cups of chicken broth. Simmer just until tender. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Accent. Process vegetable mixture in blender or food processor on high speed until veggies are well blended. Add additional chicken broth if mixture is to thick to blend well. Return to saucepan and add balance of chicken broth. Heat until very hot (but not boiling).


Whisk in cheeses until melted and well blended. If soup is too thick, add just enough milk to achieve desired thickness.




1 frying chicken, cut up

1 1/2 cups flour

1 packet (dry) Good Seasons Italian Dressing

1 tsp. MSG (Accent)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. Nature's Seasoning

2 eggs, well beaten

2/3 cup milk

Olive oil, to cover bottom of skillet (about 1/ inch deep)


Combine eggs and milk. Set aside


Combine flour with (dry) Italian Dressing seasoning, MSG, and all the other seasonings.


Dip chicken pieces in milk-egg mixture and then roll in the flour-seasoning mixture. REPEAT procedure. Arrange coated pieces in hot skillet. Fry pieces over medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes, turning often.




Your favorite stew recipe, COOKED;

1 large fresh pumpkin


Prepare your favorite stew recipe, either a beef stew or a vegetarian stew.

While stew cooks, prepare pumpkin. With a heavy knife, cut off top quarter

of pumpkin. Scoop out seeds and strings and discard. Set aside pumpkin

shell and top. Line a 9x13 pan or cookie sheet with sides with foil. If desired, use paints that will withstand heat and paint a face on the pumpkin. Put the cleaned pumpkin (with lid) in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes while the stew cooks. Fill pumpkin with hot stew, cover with top and return to oven. Bake about 1 to 2 hours (depends on the thickness of the pumpkin flesh) or until pumpkin is soft. Serve with rolls, scooping out some pumpkin to go with the stew.

Warnings: If you get a tall pumpkin, make sure it will fit in your oven without touching the top of the oven. If you get a wide pumpkin, make sure it is not wider than your baking sheet. Try to get a pumpkin that is big enough to hold your stew recipe and leave a little top space.



6 servings

1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice

1/2 cup raisins

1 pint washed, sliced fresh strawberries

3 cups plain nonfat yogurt

Simmer raisins in the apple juice 5 minutes and cool. Puree raisin mixture

in blender with half the strawberries and 1 cup yogurt. Stir in remaining

strawberries and remaining yogurt.



4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1 tablespoon canola oil

salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste

2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger

1 cup orange juice

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 teaspoon lime juice

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/4 teaspoon coriander

1 can (15 oz.) sweet potatoes, drained

1/3 cup slivered almonds

1 cup dates

Heat oil in large skillet over moderate heat. Season chicken with salt and fresh-ground pepper. When oil is hot, add chicken, cooking till light brown on both sides. Add the ginger, orange juice, wine, lime juice, mustard, maple syrup, thyme, and coriander. Stir, blending. Add sweet potatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add almonds and dates.




1/4 cup soy sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/2 teaspoon sesame or vegetable oil

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 small onion -- sliced

1 small green bell pepper -- sliced

1 medium carrot -- thinly sliced (1/2 cup)

3/4 pound peeled and deveined raw large shrimp -- thawed if frozen

Hot cooked rice -- if desired


Mix soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch, red pepper and sesame oil; set aside. Heat

vegetable oil in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion, bell pepper and carrot in oil 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender. Stir in soy sauce mixture and shrimp. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are pink and firm and sauce is thickened. Serve over rice. Yield: 4 servings.




1 large onion, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 red pepper, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

1 crushed garlic clove

1 (13 3/4-ounce) can beef broth

1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

1 (14-ounce) can garlic-seasoned diced tomatoes

2 cups coarsely chopped cabbage

6 Italian sweet sausages (about 1 pound)

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans

1/2 cup sliced ripe olives

1 (8 1/2-ounce) can artichoke hearts

1 (1-pound) package fresh tortellini

Chopped fresh parsley, optional

Shredded Parmesan cheese, optional


In a soup pot, sauté the onions in the oil until translucent. Add the peppers and garlic and sauté for five minutes. Add the broth, water, tomatoes, cabbage, sausages, and seasonings. Bring to a boil; then cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Remove the sausage, cut into 1/2-inch rounds and return to the pot.


Add the beans, olives and artichoke hearts and cook for five minutes. Just before serving, add the tortellini and cook in the soup until al dente. Garnish the soup with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese, if desired. Makes eight servings.




1 can Hunt's diced tomatoes

1/4 c finely minced onion

1-2 tsp. butter

1/3 c heavy cream

1 1/2 ozs. cream cheese

1 rounded tsp. dill weed

1 tablespoon finely chopped spinach (used canned)

1/4 tsp. minced garlic (used dried)

Soften garlic in hot water for few minutes. Sauté onion in butter (adding bit of water so onion cooks and is soft). Meanwhile whir the spinach in a food processor or blender until it is mushy - you want it to be in tiny, tiny pieces. Add the dill weed, spinach and can of tomatoes - juice and all to the onion/garlic mixture. Simmer slowly until blended and onion and garlic are soft. Just before done (and this takes just a few minutes) stir in the cream cheese and stir until it is dissolved. Then add the cream and simmer for a few minutes.




1 pound ripe tomatoes, cored and diced

1 small red onion, diced

1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

1 garlic clove, minced

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper


In large bowl, combine all ingredients, gently stirring to combine. Cover and refrigerate for several hours to allow flavors to develop. Adjust seasoning before serving if necessary.




1 (14-ounce) can chicken broth

1 1/2 cups water

1 vegetable bouillon cube

1 tablespoon dried parsley

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup diced celery

1/2 cup diced carrot

1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram, crumbled

1 (12-ounce) can chicken packed in water

1 (15-ounce) can cannellini, navy or white beans


Pour chicken broth and water in a Dutch oven. Add bouillon, parsley, soy sauce, onion, celery, carrot and marjoram. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add chicken and beans. Continue cooking to heat through. Serves 8



Save a 4C container; either a large yogurt container with the lid or a mayo

jar, etc. You will also need a small container with a lid like a butter dish. The smaller container is to hold your starter yogurt for the next batch. Buy a fresh container of plain yogurt with live culture in it. It will say this on the container.

The recipe:

Bring 4 cups of milk (no fat, 1% or 2%, your choice) just to a boil. (Note:

It works the best in the microwave) While this is coming up to temp, fill a lunch sized cooler with warm water 110-115 degrees F. Also fill your sink 3 or 4 inches deep with cool water. Place your pan or bowl of hot milk into a sink of cool water. Using a candy thermometer, bring the temp down to 110-112 degrees F. Remove any coating that might have formed on the top. Add 3 heaping Tablespoons of your purchased yogurt (brought to room temp) and stir. Pour your inoculated milk into the 4 Cup container and about 1/4C into the small container. Place both containers into your cooler of warm water. You might have to put an overturned dish on the bottom to hold up the small container. Make sure the warm water comes to the top but, not over your containers.

Place the lid on your cooler and let stand for 3-4 hrs. Do NOT agitate your yogurt. Leave it be. Gently, change out some of the water if it cools down too much. After it is processed, refrigerate. It is ready to eat.

Other notes:

To make a gallon at once, use the same process, a larger cooler, 1 gallon

milk and 1 Cup fresh yogurt. The longer you let it process, the more sour it

will be. Processing it at too high a temp will cause it to curdle.



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