Archive for Recipes


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A long time ago, at my son’s football award banquet, one of the moms brought these delicious lumpias.  I had never had, nor even heard of them but once I tasted them, I immediately requested the recipe.  These are filipino lumpias, which are a take on egg rolls. Now since I never actually saw her make them, here is my translation of the recipe she gave me.

1 pound ground pork
1/2 C. finely chopped celery
1/2 C. finely chopped carrot
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
3 minced garlic cloves
1 egg
1/4 C. soy sauce
Salt and pepper
Egg roll wrappers (she recommended TYJ spring roll wrappers, found in the freezer section)

Mix well all of the ingredients (except the wrappers, of course).  Since the wrappers are rather large, we cut them into fourths.  On each little square of wrapper, put about a 2-3 teaspoons of the filling near one corner.  Roll up the corner over the filling, fold the sides in and continue to roll toward the other corner.  Put a little bit of water on the corner to help seal up the lumpia. 

Heat about 3/4 cup of vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.  Cook the lumpia in batches in a single layer in the oil until brown on all sides and cooked through, about 5-8 minutes.  Serve with sweet and sour sauce or sweet chili sauce.

Makes about 50 or so.  The uncooked lumpia freeze really well.  I freeze them on a cookie sheet and when frozen through, I transfer them to a zip-lock bag..

The Best Pickled Beets…..EVER!

Suzanne’s neighbor, Bernie the Saint, makes the most delicious pickled beets on the planet. I was so excited to grow beets in my garden this year so I could pickle my own using Bernie’s recipe, but alas, there weren’t enough beets ready to be harvested at the same time, so I had to buy most of them.  My friend, Karlene, and I have been canning fools lately.  We made strawberry jam, raspberry jam, and just last week, pickled beets. Its so much more fun to can with a friend! When we were making the strawberry jam, I said, “Hey, I smell smoke.  The neighbors must be burning brush.” But then we noticed a wooden spoon had worked its way onto the burner and was smouldering.  We got a good laugh out of that.  But anyways, back to the beets…here is the recipe for the most delicious pickled beets you will ever eat:

1 1/2 C. sugar
1 T. whole allspice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks cinnamon
3 1/2 C. vinegar
1 1/2 C. water
3 quarts peeled, cooked small beets

To cook the beets, wash and drain beets.  To prevent the beets from “bleeding” too much, leave the tap root on and leave 2 inches when trimming the stems.  Put the beets in a large pot and cover with boiling water. Cook for about 20-25 mins.   

Immediately put the cooked beets into a sink full of cold water.  This will help the skins to slip off. Using gloves, rub each beet until all the skins are off.

In the meantime, combine the brine ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes. Put the lids and rings in a pot of water and keep hot. Bring a canner with water to almost a boil.

Cut the beets into slices, large chunks, or even leave them whole if they are small enough and pack them into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch head space.

Strain the brine to remove the cinnamon sticks and whole allspice.  Bring the brine to a boil.  Pour the brine over the beets leaving 1/2 inch head space.  Put a lid and ring on each jar and hand tighten.  Place the jars in the canner and process in boiling water bath for 30 minutes.

After processing, remove the jars from the water and let cool.  After the jars have cooled, make sure all the lids have sealed.

Yield: about 6 pints.

Georgia Peach Pie

Since I had to unload groceries, pack for camping, pat out hamburgers, marinate some chicken thighs, make potato salad, and avacado corn salsa  (recipes posted soon)….and it was 7:30 at night, I thought it would be a perfect time to make a peach pie.  No kidding, that’s how my mind works. I’m so glad I did though.  I  had a piece fresh out of the oven with some vanilla ice cream, and it was so good it makes me want to use cuss words to describe it. I found this recipe in the Crisco American Pie Celebration cookbook booklet I’ve had for 10 years or so.  I’ve made it several times before, but this time I used fresh peaches instead of canned, sometimes I use a combination of both.

First, you need to make a 10″ double crust.  I used the Crisco recipe (It’ll do you proud every time!):
2 2/3 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 C. Crisco shortening (I used 1/2 C. butter flavor, and 1/2 C. regular Crisco)
7 to 8 T. water

Combine flour and salt in a bowl.  Cut in the shortening using a pastry blender or two knives until the flour is blended in to form pea size chunks.  Sprinkle water one tablespoon at a time.  Toss lightly with fork until dough will form a ball. (In all my years of making pie crusts, this has never, ever happened.  I use my hands to form a ball).  Divide dough in half.  Roll dough out on floured board or table.  Trim dough one inch larger than upside down pie plate. Fold dough in fourths or roll it around your rolling pin and place it in the pie pan. Roll out top crust.

For the peach filling:

1 can (1 pound 13 ounces) yellow cling peaches in heavy syrup  (or 5-6 fresh peaches, peeled)
3 T. cornstarch
1 C. sugar, divided
3 T. reserved peach syrup (if using fresh peaches, use water)
3 eggs
1/3 C. buttermilk
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Drain canned peaches reserving 3 T. syrup.  Cut peaches (fresh or canned) into small pieces in a large bowl.  In a medium bowl, combine cornstarch and 3 T. sugar.  Add 3 T. reserved peach syrup (or water) and stir till combined.  Add remaining sugar, eggs and buttermilk, mixing well.  Stir in melted butter and vanilla.  Pour over peaches and stir till coated.  Pour filling into unbaked pie shell. Cover with top crust.  Fold top edge under bottom crust and crimp edges with fingers or flute with a fork.  Cut slits in the top for steam to escape.  Place on a foiled lined cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes.  Cool to room temperature before serving – I couldn’t wait and dug into it after about 15 minutes.

My family thinks I’m a messy cook…I have no idea what they are talking about.


Oreo Cheesecakes with Mini Chocolate Chips

It’s a rainy day here in the northwest.  A perfect day to hang out and make some yummy things in the kitchen.  Hmmm, what to make, what to make? I only have about a thousand recipes I’ve been wanting to try and I could easily get sucked in to Pinterest for a few hours looking at recipes.  What kept coming to mind, were these individual sized Oreo cheesecakes. Yum! I had everything on hand but the Oreos. Off to Safeway I went, and look at this deal I found.  Not sure if it was one of those Friday only sales or what, but what a score!  The regular size packages of Oreos were on sale for $3.99 (which I think is still too much, regularly $4.79, I don’t think so!).

After looking around at all my options, I discovered these on the top shelf….

So that makes the family size package only $2.50! That’s $1.49 cheaper than the regular size package….but wait, there’s more…look what else I found….

That’s a peelie for $1.00 off of any two packages of Nabisco products.  So I grabbed a family size package of Chips Ahoy cookies, too. So in the end, I paid $4.00 for two family size packages of cookies. I love surprise deals like that.  It pays to look around!

So anyways, back to the Oreo cheesecakes…here’s what you will need:

24 Oreos
2 – 8oz packages of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. real vanilla
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 C. sour cream
pinch of salt
1/3 C. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.  Put a cupcake liner into each cup of a muffin pan.  Place one Oreo into each cup.

With a standing or handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese till smooth.  Add the sugar and beat till combined. Beat in the eggs and vanilla, then the sour cream and salt.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Using an ice cream scoop divide the batter evenly into the 24 cups.

Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool completely (if you can wait that long!).  YUM!


Ham Asparagus Quiche

It’s spring and my hens are back into full swing. I’ve been getting a lot of eggs and looking for ways to use them up. I had some leftover roasted vegetables from dinner so I used them in a yummy quiche.I  also had some frozen pie shells that Shelley and I totally scored on. We found them on a clearance after the holidays and had a coupon to combine so they only costs $0.25

Asparagus Quiche with ham
4 Eggs
1 1/2 C evaporated milk or 1/2 & 1/2
1/4 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
Sliced swiss cheese
Ham or bacon
Roasted vegetables

Mix eggs, milk, nutmeg, salt & pepper. Add in your chopped asparagus, mushrooms, ham, bacon, (whatever you have on hand) If your asparagus is raw nuke it for a few minutes with a little water just to soften it up a bit.
Lay slices of cheese over the crust. Pour over the egg mixture and bake on 350 for 45 mins. Check after 30 to see if it’s looking set.

Once it’s set take it out to cool to room temperature and serve. I set mine outside on a plant rack for 1/2 hour.

The cheese keeps the crust from getting soggy from the eggs. Yummy breakfast, lunch or dinner.


Homemade crock pot refried beans

I just love refried beans. They are sooooo easy to make, cheaper and healthier. You can buy beans just about anywhere, but I get mine at Winco or Cash & Carry. My husband prefers whole beans so I don’t blend all of them I just add whole beans back to the blended beans for added texture.

In a crockpot I add:

4 C pinto beans, rinse and looked over
11 C water
2 T chicken stock paste (Costco)
1 & 1/2 tsp garlic
1 & 1/2 tsp cumin
1 & 1/2 T chili powder
2 tsp salt
2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp pepper

I cook on high for 4 hours. I have had beans that needed to cook longer so I think it depends on how old your beans are. I would check after 4 and if they need longer, adjust. Once they’re done you scoop out most of the water and you blend them with an immersion blender or potato masher. Add the removed water back in till the beans are your desired consistency.

You can pour them into ziplocs, lay flat and freeze. They freeze well and are super convenient to have on hand..

Geeder’s Chicken and Leek Turnover

Suzanne and I (and my two daughters) visited our parents in Yuma, AZ last week.  While we were there, my dad was talking about Giada, but he couldn’t remember her name and called her Geeder. We had quite the laugh about that and now we will always affectionately call her Geeder.  Recently on the Food Network channel, Geeder was making a Chicken and Leek Cornish Turnover.  It caught my attention because two of the ingredients were leeks and Yukon Gold potatoes.  I had two leeks and Yukon Gold potatoes that came in my Bountiful Basket (if you don’t already know, we LOVE Bountiful Baskets).  Other than noticing that leeks and potatoes were part of the ingredients, I got distracted (squirrel!!), until Geeder was cutting into this beautiful golden brown chicken turnover and wished then I had paid more attention to how she made it.  I looked it up at and found that I had all of the ingredients on hand with the exception of mushrooms.  And as fate would have it, my daughter wanted to run to Walmart to buy some makeup and they had sliced mushrooms in their produce cooler, yippee.

This turnover was sooo delicious.  It it what every chicken pot pie aspires to be when it grows up, but with leeks, and mushrooms and parmesan.  The filling was creamy and rich.  The crust was crispy and flaky and buttery. A perfect combination.  Thanks, Geeder! (You’ll notice I doubled the recipe and made two).


1/4 C olive oil
1 large leek, white and light green parts only, sliced   thin
1 carrot, sliced thin
2-3 small yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1-1/2 C white mushrooms, sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 T. fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

2 C. bite sized pieces of cooked chicken (to make things easier, use a store bought rotisserie chicken – Costsco’s are the best and cheap at around $5!, or cook two chicken breasts rubbed in olive oil and salt and pepper in the oven at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes)
1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
1 beaten egg


2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1 C. milk
1/3 C. grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Pinch of ground nutmeg (use a fresh nutmeg and grind your own, it is so much better than the preground stuff!)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I lined my baking sheet with a Silpat – a silicone baking sheet).

For the filling:  heat the olive oil in a large skillet or dutch oven (LOVE my Lodge pot!). Cook the leeks until slightly soft, about 3 minutes.  Add the carrots, mushrooms, potato, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and cook till tender, about 12 minutes. At this point, my chicken breasts were done cooking in the over, so I poured the juices from the pan into the vegetables, chunked up the chicken and added it to the vegetables, too. I dumped all of this into a bowl, so I could reuse the same pan to make the sauce, which was great because it picked up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

For the sauce:  Melt the butter over medium heat, add the flour and whisk till smooth, about 2 minutes.  Whisk in the milk and simmer, whisking constantly till nice and thick, about 10 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parmesan, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Now give it a taste, and do your best not to stick you face in the pot, this sauce is fricking awesome!  Dump in the veggies and chicken and give it a big stir to combine with the sauce.

Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured board or table till you have a 10 by 10 inch square.  Transfer the dough to your baking sheet by rolling the dough around your rolling pin, then unrolling right onto the sheet.  Spoon the filling onto half of the pastry and using a pastry brush, brush the beaten eggs along the edges.  Fold over the dough and crimp the edges to seal in the filling.  Brush the top with beaten egg and cut a slit to release the steam.

Bake until golden, about 30-35 minutes.  Cool for 15 minutes before slicing into 4 pieces.

Another thing I want you to know, is that most of the ingredients I bought when they were super cheap and had in the freezer or fridge (chicken, puff pastry, and butter, leeks, carrots, potatoes, thyme from my herb pot, and eggs from my chickens).  That’s what we’re talking about when we say in our coupon class to build meals out of your stockpile.


Easy and frugal Chili Bar for Super Bowl

Photo Courtesy of McCormick

I think I’m gonna go super easy for Super Bowl this year with a chili bar. I have a ton of beans and tomatoes on hand from last weeks QFC stock up sale. I have frozen shredded cheese from Fred Meyer a few weeks back and have a ton of potatoes and onions on hand from my Bountiful baskets. I’ve got frozen dogs and boxes Nabisco crackers that were on sale around Thanksgiving. The only thing I think I’ll need is sour cream and fritos. I can deal with that. Here’s the link to our super yummy crock pot chili.  Don’t forget to look through your stock piles when it comes to entertaining. You may very well be able to make everyone happy with what you have on hand.

I think I’ll put out

Shredded Cheese
Chopped onions
Fritos (for some reason it has to be Frito’s not tortilla chips)
Hot dogs
Baked Potatoes
Sour cream

For the cost of just a few items everyone can have what they like.  You could even make the chili vegetarian to please everyone.


Boston Cream Pie

My recipe drawer was a di-sas-ter!  I finally pulled the entire drawer out of the cabinet the other day and had to reach way in the back of the cabinet for all the recipes that overflowed and got smashed in the back.  Sitting down on the floor in front of the fire with a big Coke on ice, I rolled my sleeves up and dove in.  I keep most of my recipes in a card filing box with dividers.  But I am SUPER lazy about refiling them when I am done.  Anyways, I came across this recipe for Boston Cream Pie.  I’ve been wanting to try it, but was a little intimidated by the fact that the recipe calls for eleven eggs, and knew I needed to be in a “cooking for the sport of it” mood.  Well, it just so happens that I was and I gave it a try. Its a little labor intensive, but so worth the effort – delicious!

Sponge Cake
1/4 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 C. cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3 T. milk
2 T. butter
5 room temperature eggs
3/4 C. sugar

Preheat oven to 350 with the oven rack in the middle position.  Grease two 8 inch round cake pans.  Set the pans on a piece of parchment paper and trace around the bottom with a pencil.  Cut out the circles of parchment and place inside the greased pans. Whisk flours, baking powder and salt in a bowl.  Heat milk and butter in a small saucepan on low until the butter melts.  Remove from heat and add vanilla; keep warm.

Separate three of the eggs, putting the whites into the bowl of a standing mixer with the whisk attachment.  Place the three yolks and two whole eggs in another small bowl.  Beat the three whites on high speed until foamy.  Gradually add 6 T. sugar and continue to beat till soft moist peaks.  Transfer the whites to a large bowl, then put the the yolk/whole egg mixture into the standing mixer bowl.  Beat the yolks/whole eggs with remaining 6 T. sugar on medium high until eggs are thick and pale yellow in color, about 5 minutes.  Pour the beaten eggs and yolks into the bowl with the whites.

Add the  flour mixture to the  beaten eggs and whites and fold using a rubber spatula.  Add the milk mixture and fold until all the flour has been incorporated and whites and whole eggs are evenly mixed. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake until cake tops are light brown and feel firm and spring back when touched, about 20 minutes

When cakes are done, immediately run a knife around pan to loosen cakes.  Invert cakes onto large plates and remove parchment paper.  Re-invert cakes from plate onto cooling rack.

Pastry Cream
2 C. milk
6 egg yolks
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 C. cornstarch, sifted
1 T. rum
1 tsp. vanilla
1 T. butter

Heat milk in small saucepan until just hot.  Whisk yolks, sugar and salt in another large saucepan until mixture is thick and lemon-colored.  Whisk in the cornstarch.  Slowly whisk in hot milk a little at a time so you don’t cook the eggs.  Cook milk mixture over medium-low heat, whisking constantly until it thickens to a pudding like consistency.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, rum and butter. (At this point, do your best not to stick your face in the pan and eat the whole thing – this stuff is  Pour into a bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface and refrigerate until firm.

Chocolate Glaze
1 C. heavy cream
1/4 C. light corn syrup
8 oz. semisweet chocolate (I used chocolate chips)
1 tsp. vanilla

Simmer cream and corn syrup over medium heat.  Remove from heat and add chocolate.  Cover and let stand for 8 minutes.  Add vanilla and stir until mixture is smooth.  Refrigerate until it has cooled to room temperature.

Assembly:  place one cake layer on a plate or cake stand.  Spoon pastry cream over cake and spread  to cake edge.  Place the second layer on top.  Pour glaze over middle of top layer and let flow down the sides.  Let sit until glaze fully sets, about 1 hour..

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