I'm trying out a simplified version of a second page on the blog. I'm not very computer savvy, but I get enough requests for recipes that I thought I would put this option out there. From now on, new recipes will be posted on this page, too. So far I've gone back and added in every recipe from the last three years. Each recipe title is also a link to the original blog post for easy bookmarking or printing or linking. 

I won't be adding new recipes to this list, since I've decided to focus just on family elements on this blog. If you'd like to see more recipes and ideas, check out my blog Barefoot in the Kitchen

Sweet Italian Pork Tenderloin

1 pork tenderloin
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon crushed rosemary
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

Whisk together all ingredients except tenderloin. Place tenderloin in a shallow baking dish. Top with marinade. Marinate for at least two hours. Bake in a 400-degree oven for 20-25 minutes.

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons fresh herbs (I prefer thyme and parsley) or 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 green onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

In a medium saucepan, saute onion and garlic in butter for 2-3 minutes. Whisk in flour. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Whisk in chicken broth and milk. Bring to a boil, continuing to whisk until the sauce is thickened. Stir in herbs, cheese if using, and salt and pepper.

2 1/2 cups cooked, diced chicken
* 3 cups vegetables, your choice

1 cup butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups self-rising flour

Stir together all three ingredients.

In a 9x13 pan, layer chicken and vegetables. Pour sauce over top. Spread topping over all. Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes, until crust is golden.

*Fresh vegetables can be added raw, just use a small dice. Potatoes should be cooked first. You can also use frozen, no need to thaw. In a pinch you can use canned, but the results won't be as good. 

Simple Veggie Orzo

This is a recipe that's less a recipe and more a method. It's very versatile because the orzo pasta that forms the main body of the dish is so adaptable to whatever veggies you want to add; also because the amounts can be easily adjusted to feed as many as you like. For example, 1/4 cup of pasta and 1/2 cup of broth were perfect for a single serving. I used 1 cup of pasta and 2 cups of broth when I made this for the family.

Simple Veggie Orzo

Orzo pasta (dry measure)
Double the amount of chicken broth (liquid measure)
olive oil
chopped garlic
diced green onion
finely chopped vegetables, your choice
Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the pasta, garlic, and green onion in olive oil for 5 minutes. Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 8 minutes, then add in your vegetables. Stir briefly, cover and cook for another 2-3 minutes. The broth will absorb into the pasta, and the veggies will have steamed to perfectly crisp-tender. To finish, fold in grated Parmesan cheese.

Note: I add pepper, but no salt. I found that even with reduced-sodium chicken broth, I didn't need to add more salt -- especially with the Parmesan cheese.

Strawberry Limeade Punch

I am addicted to Sonic's Strawberry Limeade. It's so good! Plus, I can order the diet version and it makes me feel like I'm doing a good thing. Now, if you know me pretty well you know that I don't really like ice cream (sherbet is another story!), but when I saw that Sonic had sought to improve the Strawberry Limeade by offering it in smoothie version I had to try it! It was so delicious I knew I had to make a punch recipe out of it. Happily, I experimented and succeeded: it was a big hit at the ladies' meeting last night.

Strawberry Limeade Punch

16 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
12 ounce can frozen limeade concentrate, partially thawed
1-1/2 quarts vanilla ice cream
2-2 liter bottles Sierra Mist (you could use Sprite, but why would you when Sierra Mist tastes so much better?)

Give the strawberries and limeade concentrate a whir in the blender (you may need to do two batches). If you need some liquid, add a touch of milk. Pour this mixture into your punch bowl; stir in the ice cream until it's partially melted. Add in the Sierra Mist slowly, stirring gently as you go -- it will foam up a LOT. And there it is. Deliciousness.

Note: This makes a big batch of punch. If you don't have a really big punch bowl, you might want to start with half the ingredients and add more later. 

 Scrambled Eggs

I know this is kind of crazy, but I had to tell y'all about scrambled eggs this morning. I am not one to look for thrills in my scrambled eggs. My only requirement is that they aren't slimy. But I decided to get a little creative with them last night when I made breakfast for supper and I am so glad I did! I made more for my breakfast this morning.

First, start a small skillet going over medium heat with a pat of butter. In a bowl, crack two eggs and add in a dollop of sour cream, a splash of milk, a dash of salt and a couple of shakes of coarse ground black pepper. Cut a couple small sprigs of parsley from your herb garden on the front porch, wash them, then snip them into the eggs. Whisk all that together until smooth. Pour into the hot skillet. Cook for 2 minutes. Stir. Toss in a pile of shredded cheddar cheese. Cook and stir for another 2 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked to your taste. And you're done!

For those who need actual measurements ...
1 tablespoon butter
2 eggs
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 tablespoon milk
salt and pepper to taste
2 small sprigs parsley (this is optional, but if you have it on hand you really should use it!)
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
You can also add in cooked crumbled bacon or diced ham along with the cheese. That's how I made them this morning.

Carrot Zucchini Fritters

I don't eat nearly the veggies I should. In the tradition of the South, however, I've found that if you batter and fry something it makes it delicious! Herewith, my recipe for Carrot Zucchini Fritters.

1 green onion, chopped
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 egg
1 medium zucchini, shredded and squeezed dry (no need to peel!)
1/2 cup shredded potato (I use refrigerated hash browns)
1 large carrot, shredded (I use 5-6 baby carrots)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Oil for frying

Stir together veggies, butter and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together dry ingredients. Add to veggies and stir just until combined. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 inch oil over medium to medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, drop in 1 tablespoon of batter at a time, flattening it slightly into a little patty as you go. Fry for 4-5 minutes until golden, then flip and cook another 3-4 minutes. (You don't want them to cook too quickly or the potatoes won't be done. You also don't want to make them too big or the centers won't cook.) Drain on paper towels.

You can dip these in your favorite salad dressing, don't dip them at all, or stir together my handy-dandy dipping sauce:

1/2 cup sour cream
juice and grated peel of 1/2 a lemon
2-3 tablespoons of your favorite herbs (I used oregano, parsley and green onion last night)
dash of salt, dash of pepper

Do You Know the Muffin Man?

I love to make muffins for my family! They're quick and easy and very versatile. They also freeze well, so I can make a big batch and keep them handy. I recently found a wonderful recipe for muffin mix that makes them even more convenient. The recipe makes enough mix for 4 batches of muffins. The fun part is coming up with different combinations of stuff to mix into the muffins!
All-Star Muffin Mix

4 cups all-purpose flour
4 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Store in airtight containers in a cool dry place or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Additional ingredients:
1 egg
1 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup butter, melted

(Each batch of 12 muffins requires 2-3/4 cups of the muffin mix, plus the additional ingredients.)
To Prepare:
Place 2-3/4 cups muffin mix in a large bowl. (Fold in your choice of different ingredients here.) Whisk the egg, milk and butter; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. (Do not over stir!) Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 400° for 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Serve warm.

Here are some great options for different flavors of muffins:
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 cup mashed canned peaches
1 cup blueberries
1 cup miniature chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts
3/4 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup shredded apple
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1/2 cup dried cranberries
zest of one lemon or orange
replace half of the milk with orange juice
1/2 cup shredded zucchini

Use one or two of these options, trying different combinations to suit your family's tastes.

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes
3 potatoes, scrubbed and diced
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

This is a very simple, to-your-taste recipe. Just toss the potatoes with the olive oil and seasonings. I don't actually measure anything for this, so the amounts are all approximate. Bake on a foil-lined baking sheet in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Take out and stir around, flipping over the potatoes. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown.

Chicken Parmesan Calzones

I started with my basic pizza dough crust ...

1 2/3 cups warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons dry milk powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons yeast

All that goes in the bread machine to be rescued an hour and twenty-five minutes later. (This recipe makes 2 crusts.) Of course, you could use your own recipe or store-bought dough.

For the calzone filling, I made a basic white sauce ...

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk (if I'd had chicken broth, I'd have used 1 cup broth, 1 cup milk)

(When I melted the butter, I threw in a chopped clove of garlic, too. Yum!)

To which I added ...
2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
about 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Other delicious additions would be chopped onion, zucchini, red pepper, mushrooms, ricotta cheese ... whatever your family likes!

To put it all together, I divided the dough in half, setting one half aside for the freezer. The rest of it I divided into fourths. I rolled out each section into a circle -- not too thin! Each circle was topped with a touch of olive oil, some mozzarella cheese, and about a fourth of the filling. I folded the dough up over the filling, making a bun, and placed them seam-side down on a lightly greased baking sheet. Into the oven for 15 minutes or so on 375!

I served them with warmed spaghetti sauce for dipping. The whole family liked them, from Papa to the kids! Success. :)

New Recipes

I've made several new recipes lately, four just today! I made Cream Cheese Banana Bread which is wonderful and has just a hint of orange. For dinner I made Apple-Onion Pork Roast, Butternut Squash Apple Bake, and Butternut Squash Rolls. I served all that with mashed red potatoes and made gravy from the pork roast juices. Everything was really good!

You can follow the links to the recipes, but I made a few changes to them (naturally!). The bake I made pretty much the same except that I cut the amounts in half-ish.

Bonus Tip for coring apples: I have a little flower shaped cookie cutter that's maybe an inch across. After slicing the apples into rings, I used the cookie cutter to punch out the seeds/core. They looked very pretty!

For the rolls I used half whole wheat flour and half bread flour. The texture is sooo yummy that way! Also, I saved water from cooking the squash to use instead of plain tap water. Last, but certainly not least ... when the rolls were done baking, I melted a tablespoon of butter in the microwave along with a couple teaspoons of honey. I brushed that mixture over the hot rolls. Wow. Just wow.

The pork roast recipe I just made up, but in case you're curious, I put the meat in the slow cooker, and sliced an onion and a couple of apples (core, peel, and all, baby) over it. Then I seasoned it with fresh thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. I poured a cup or so of natural apple juice in there, and added a few tablespoons of cider vinegar. As an afterthought, I glugged in some chicken broth from a box in the fridge. I didn't want the roast to be too sweet from the juice. I cooked the whole mess on low for about 7-8 hours. Again, wow.

Nativity Cupcakes

Our homeschool Christmas party is tomorrow! We're pretty excited about getting together with our friends and celebrating the birth of our Saviour. We've developed a couple of traditions within our group, like serving our favorite brunch dishes and doing a book exchange between the children. All the moms pitch in and help bring food and organize crafts/activities. Our group has quite a wide range of ages, typical in a homeschooling organization. It can be a challenge to make sure there's something for everyone, but I think all the kids have fun.This year, I offered a combination dessert/craft for my contribution. I started on it today since we'll be gone all afternoon and we leave for the party at 8:30 in the morning.

Nativity Cupcakes
I started by baking two batches of cupcakes, chocolate fudge and butter yellow. Betty Crocker is my friend here! The decorating is the fun part! I purchased shredded wheat cereal, mini marshmallows, graham crackers, colored sprinkles, star-shaped sprinkles, and white frosting.
Once the cupcakes cooled, I made an example for the kids to follow. They'll decorate their own tomorrow. I frosted the top lightly. Then, I rolled the cupcake gently in sprinkles. Breaking the graham cracker in half, and half again, I poked the ends into the top of the cupcake in a V-shape. I crumbled a mini-wheat into the "manger" for hay, and added two mini marshmallows to make a baby Jesus. As a finishing touch, I placed a star sprinkle at the top!

Sour Cream Apple Muffins
Mix all of these ingredients:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/3 cup brown sugar

Stir in:
1 medium apple, peeled and diced
1/2 cup chopped nuts

In a separate bowl, whisk:
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 egg
1/2 cup milk

Add wet ingredients to dry, stirring just until moistened. Spoon mixture into greased muffin cups, 3/4 full.

Top each muffin with:
1 teaspoon reduced-fat sour cream
A sprinkle of white sugar

Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes.

Buttermilk Wheat Rolls

Buttermilk Wheat Rolls
  • 1-1/2 cups warm buttermilk (70° to 80°)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1-1/4 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted, optional
In bread machine pan, place the first 10 ingredients in order suggested by manufacturer. Select dough setting (check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water or flour if needed).
When cycle is completed, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and punch down. Divide into 24 pieces; shape each into a ball. Place on two greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes. Brush with butter if desired. Bake at 350° for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: 2 dozen.

Jeni's Pumpkin Bread

1/2 cup butter
2 large eggs
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 cup chopped pecans

Remove the butter and the eggs from the refrigerator to allow them to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350̊F and coat two 9" loaf pans with nonstick spray.

Place the butter in a mixing bowl and beat at high speed with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is pale yellow and very fluffy.

On low speed, add the eggs one at a time. Add the pumpkin puree and mix again.

Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together.

Fold in half of the flour mixture. Stir in the buttermilk and vanilla. Fold in the rest of the flour mixture and pecans. Be careful to not overmix.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans.

Bake until the loaves are golden brown and set in the center, about 40 to 45 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a paring knife into the center of each loaf; if the blade comes out dry, the bread is done. YIELD: 2 loaves

This is wonderful with Orange Pecan Butter – soften ½ cup butter, stir in 1 tablespoon grated orange peel, and ½ cup finely chopped pecans.

Yummy Oat Pancakes

1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional
1 egg
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup applesauce
2 tablespoons melted butter

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients and pecans if desired. In a small bowl, beat the egg, buttermilk, applesauce and butter; stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup half full to pour batter onto a lightly greased hot griddle; turn when bubbles form on top. Cook until second side is golden brown. Yield: 4 servings

Nutty Apple Dip

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
Sliced apples

In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sugars, and vanilla. Stir in pecans. Serve with apple slices.

Summertime Strawberry Punch

1 can (12 ounces) frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 package (20 ounces) frozen unsweetened strawberries, partially thawed
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups cold brewed strong tea
2 liters ginger ale, chilled

In a food processor/blender, combine lemonade, strawberries, and sugar. Cover and process until smooth. Transfer to a large pitcher or punch bowl; stir in tea. Add the ginger ale. Serve immediately. Yield: 3 1/2 quarts.

Oh. My. Word. Caesar Salmon Pizza

There's no recipe here, really, just a method for baking salmon and using the leftovers creatively. If you like salmon, you should definitely check out the link.

Lemon-Batter Fish

1-1/2 cups all purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup lemon juice, divided
2 pounds fish (perch, walleye, cod) fillets, cut into serving size pieces
Vegetable oil

In a bowl, combine 1 cup flour, baking powder, salt and sugar; set aside. Combine egg, water, and 1/3 cup lemon juice; add to the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Dip fillets in remaining lemon juice and flour, then coat with the batter. Heat 1 inch of oil in a skillet. Fry fish, a few fillets at a time, over meduim-high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Drain on paper towels. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Tasty Blueberry Muffins

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup egg substitute (or 1 large egg)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup fresh blueberries

In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Combine the orange juice, egg, applesauce and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in blueberries. Coat muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray; fill half full with batter. Bake at 400 for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Serve warm. Yield: 1 dozen

Blueberry Tips: To keep them from sinking to the bottoms of the muffins, toss the blueberries in a little of the flour you've measured out for the recipe. Also, you can use frozen blueberries -- just stir them in straight from the freezer.

Oatmeal Breakfast Treats
2 eggs
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup evaporated milk (or regular milk, or apple/orange juice)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup finely chopped tart apple
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

In a mixing bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients; mix well. Combine oats, flours, cinnamon and salt; add to brown sugar mixture and mix well. Stir in apples and walnuts (pecans). Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes or until set. Yield: about 2-1/2 dozen