Sunday, May 15, 2011

We have to have this on here!

This is a must have with our family recipes. But one question: who the heck is Norma?! Some long lost relative? I guess we can leave it named this and Norma can receive the credit. So Norma, this one's for you...

Norma's Spaghetti Sauce

1 lb. ground beef
1 lg. onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 (15 oz.) cans tomato sauce
2 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
1 1/2 c. water
1 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. basil
3 Tbsp. dried parsley
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 bay leaf

- Saute onion, garlic, and ground beef.
- Add all other ingredients.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 1-3 hours.

Serves 10-12. Freezes well.

Mama’s Lasagna

9 lasagna noodles

1 egg, beaten

3 cups cottage cheese – stir in w/ egg

12-oz. (3 cups) grated mozzarella

12-oz. (3 cups) grated cheddar – mix cheeses together

2 ½ - 3 cups Norma’s spaghetti sauce

Layer 3 noodles, then sauce, cottage cheese, then cheese. Repeat.

Bake uncovered @ 350° for about 45 minutes. Enjoy!

Corn Chowder

I thought it was about time to add more recipes on here! This one sounds good right now :)

Corn Chowder

1/2 lb. bacon (diced)

1 medium onion (chopped)

1/2 c. chopped celery

2 Tbsp. flour

4 c. milk

1 can cream style corn

1 can tiny whole potatoes (diced)

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. salt

Snipped parsley


- Cook bacon; cook onion and celery in 3 Tbsp. of drippings.

- Remove from heat and blend in flour.

- Cook over low heat, stirring until mixture is bubbly.

- Remove from heat and stir in milk.

- Stir in milk, heat to boiling, stirring constantly; boil and stir for 1 minute.

- Stir in corn, potatoes, salt and pepper until all heated.

- Stir in bacon.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Serves 10
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Cream Filling, recipe follows
15 small (1 1/2 inch) peppermint patties
Glaze, recipe follows
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 15 1/2-by-10 1/2-by-1 inch jelly roll pan with foil; generously grease and lightly flour foil.
For cake: Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Beat egg yolks in medium bowl on high speed of mixer for 3 minutes. Gradually add 1/4 cup of the sugar, beating 2 additional minutes. Add flour mixture alternately with 1/3 cup water and vanilla to egg yolk mixture, beating on low speed just until well mixed and smooth.
Beat egg whites in another medium bowl until foamy. Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup of the sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Add chocolate mixture to beaten egg whites, folding in carefully. Spread batter into prepared pan.
Bake 14-16 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly. Invert onto towel sprinkled with powdered sugar; carefully remove foil. Immediately roll cake and towel together from narrow end; place on wire rack to cool.
Unroll cake; spread with filling. Cut 10 peppermint patties into 8 pieces each; sprinkle evenly over filling. Re-roll cake. Drizzle with glaze. Cover; refrigerate about 6 hours before serving. Garnish with remaining peppermint patties, cut in half, before serving. Cover; refrigerate leftover cake.
Cream Filling:
1 cup (1/2 pint) cold whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Green food color
Combine cold whipping cream, powdered sugar, vanilla, and green food color in small bowl; beat until stiff
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons hot water
Green food color
Melt butter in small microwave-safe bowl. Add powdered sugar, hot water, and a few drops of food color; beat until smooth and of desired consistency. Makes about 1/2 cup glaze.

Serves 12

Irish Brown Soda Bread

4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup bread flour (I used all-purpose white flour)
1/3 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425. Lightly grease two baking sheets.

In a large bowl stir together flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Gently mix in the buttermilk until a soft dough is formed. Knead very lightly. Divide dough into four pieces; form into rounded, flat loaves. Mark each loaf with an "X" and place on prepared baking sheets.

Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 30-45 minutes. (I only baked them 30 minutes)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Microwave Brownies

Microwave brownies...what Mom and Dad make when the little kids go to bed... Remember the first time you were allowed to stay up and have microwave brownies? Or all the times you got up in the morning to find the glass pan in the sink?

How about all the times that we didn't eat them fast enough and they turned into rocks? :)

Microwave Brownies

1/2 cup margarine
6 Tbsp cocoa
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

In an 8x8 glass dish, microwave butter and cocoa 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, until butter is melted. Stir in sugar thoroughly. Add egg and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder, and salt and mix well. Microwave on high 5 to 6 minutes, rotating every few minutes (if microwave doesn't already rotate), until top is no longer wet.

Enjoy. Quickly. Before they turn into rocks.


And yes, I made these today. I couldn't help myself. They just sounded so good!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Goulasch and Spatzle

Oh how I love German food! (Well, I guess goulasch is technically Hungarian...) We made way too much goulasch and spatzle for dinner tonight, and then ate way too much, and still have left overs for lunch this week! Here are the recipes I've more or less settled on after making them many times and changing/perfecting them with each batch.

1-2 Tbsp oil
1 1/2 lbs stew beef
1 cup chopped onion
2+ Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp paprika
1 garlic clove, crushed
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp caraway
1 tsp marjoram
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup sour cream

For more tender meat: Heat oil in a large skillet. Add meat, and brown. Add enough water to cover, and simmer, covered, for up to one hour. Add a dash of salt and pepper if desired. Remove meat from skillet and set aside.

In a large skillet, melt the butter and add the onions and paprika. Saute until onions are soft but not browned. Add the garlic, lemon zest and juice, caraway, marjoram, water, salt and pepper. Stir well. Add the meat and tomato paste. Reduce heat and simmer gently, covered, until the meat is tender (at least 30 minutes).

Add the sour cream and stir well. If the sauce is too thick, add milk or water to the desired consistency. Return to a boil, then serve over dumplings or spatzle.

3 1/2 cups flour
3 eggs
2-3 cups milk
Dash of salt
Dash of pepper
Dash of nutmeg
2-3 Tbsp butter

Mix together all ingredients except butter. Start with 2 cups of milk, and add more if dough is too thick. It should form a very wet, soft dough. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Set the spatzle press or colander on top of the pot, and begin pressing about 1 cup of the dough through.

Cook the spatzle in batches, allowing each batch to boil for about 30 seconds. Remove the cooked spatzle from the pot with a slotted spoon.

Once all of the spatzle is cooked, melt the butter in a large skillet. Toss the cooked spatzle in the melted butter and fry for 1-2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Variation: Kase Spatzle
After cooking the spatzle, cover the bottom of a 9x13 pan with a layer of spatzle. Sprinkle grated cheese, salt and pepper, then another layer of spatzle, etc. Bake in the oven until the cheese is melted. Top with onion slices fried in butter.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Megan's Moroccan Birthday dinner

I decided to post the recipes from my birthday dinner, mostly so I wouldn't forget the chicken recipe since I kind of made it up.

Couscous Stuffed Moroccan Chicken - Ferakh Maamer (kind of)

1 10 oz. package Near East original plain couscous, prepared
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup sliced almonds
6 chicken breasts

3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup finely diced or grated onion
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
2 tsp cinnamon

Stir raisins and almonds into prepared couscous.  Cut open chicken breasts to make a pouch.  Stuff with couscous.  Place stuffed chicken breasts in a 9x13 pan. 

In a saucepan, combine honey, water, and oil. Stir over medium heat to combine.  Add onion, garlic, ginger, and cinnamon.  Add more of the onion, spices, etc. to taste.  If more sauce is needed, add more ingredients in similar ratios.  Pour sauce over chicken (there should be enough that the chicken is sitting in a shallow layer of the sauce).  Cover with foil and bake in the oven at 350 for about 40 minutes, removing the foil after about 25 minutes.


1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough, thawed
1 pound chopped pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup butter
1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey

Preheat oven to 350.  Butter bottom and sides of a 9x13 pan.  Melt the rest of the butter.

Mix pecans with cinnamon and set aside.  Unroll phyllo dough.  If it is one long roll, cut in half to fit the 9x13 pan.  If it is two smaller rolls, you may need to trim the ends to fit the pan.  Cover the dough with a damp cloth to keep it from drying out as you work.

Place two sheets of dough in the bottom of the pan, and brush with melted butter.  Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered in the bottom.  Sprinkle 2-3 Tbsp of the nut mixture on top.  Layer 2 more sheets of dough, brush with butter, and sprinkle with nuts.  Continue layering until you have 6-8 sheets left.  The last 6-8 sheets should be brushed with butter every two sheets like the bottom layers.

Using a sharp knife, cut into diamond or square shapes all the way through the bottom layers.  Bake for about 50 minutes, until it is golden and crisp.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by combining water and sugar in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until sugar is melted. Add vanilla and honey.  Simmer about 20 minutes.

Spoon sauce over baklava as soon as it comes out of the oven.  Let cool, and serve.  You can use cupcake liners to serve.  Do not cover left overs to prevent from getting soggy.

adapted from

One other suggestion - if you want the middle to be crispier, with more dough, try doing 3-4 layers of dough between layers of nuts instead of 2.  I haven't tried it that way yet, but it seems like it would be good!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Thai Food!

Since we never really got to do International Food Week, we decided to make Thai food this week!  So here are the recipes:

Chicken Satay

1 cup coconut milk
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
dash of pepper
2-3 lbs chicken breasts, cut against the grain into   
       1/8-inch-thick slices
12 long bamboo skewers, or other skewers

Mix all ingredients except the chicken in a small bowl until the sugar is dissolved.  Put sliced chicken in a ziploc bag, pour in sauce, seal bag, and massage until the chicken is coated.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Heat your grill or prepare a stovetop grill pan.  Thread 4-6 pieces of chicken on each skewer, keeping the chicken bunched toward the bottom of the skewer.  Grill the chicken, turning frequently, until crisp - about 2 minutes per side.  Serve with peanut sauce for dipping.  Serves 6-8

Chicken Satay recipe from

(Yes, it did say to massage the chicken.)

Peanut Sauce 

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup+ coconut milk
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 clove garlic, minced or crushed

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.  If sauce is too thick, add more coconut milk to desired consistency.

Tom Kha Gai

1 can coconut milk
1 can chicken broth
1 chicken breast, cooked and cubed or shredded
Lemongrass or green onions cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup fresh mushrooms, cut in half or quarters
1 tomato (optional) diced
Fresh ginger, cut into large chunks
1-2 serrano chilis, cut into large pieces
Cilantro, chopped, to garnish

Combine coconut milk and chicken broth, and heat through.  Add chicken, vegetables, etc. and heat through, stirring occasionally.  Before serving, remove the chunks of ginger and, if you want it less spicy, the pieces of chilis.  Top with cilantro and serve.  Serves 4

*We added carrots as well - long really thin strips (we used a potato peeler).  You can also add chicken.  We also didn't add the cilantro 1) because Mom doesn't like it and 2) because we forgot to buy it.  Oops!

Mango Sticky Rice

1 cup rice
2 cups water
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2-3 medium mangos, sliced
1 Tbsp sesame seeds

Cook rice according to directions on the package, but stir occasionally to make it sticky. 
In a small saucepan, combine coconut milk, sugar, and salt.  Bring to a boil, then mix with hot rice.  Scoop rice into bowls and top with mang slices and sesame seeds.  Serves 6

Friday, January 7, 2011

Split Pea Soup

Since we had this for dinner tonight, I thought I'd add the recipe

Split Pea Soup

2 cups split peas
2 quarts water
1 large onion, diced
2 medium potatoes, cubed
2 carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, sliced
1 cup diced lean ham
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. marjoram
1/4 tsp. thyme

Place all ingredients in a large pot.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 2-3 hours, until peas are soft.  If too much water evaporates while boiling, add more to desired consistency.  For a smoother soup, put it in a food processor or blender after cooking.

8-10 servings

Recipe from Set for Life

"Beautiful soup, so rich so green, waiting in a hot tureen..."

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Fudge - what else would we start with?

I figured it was only appropriate that our first recipe posted was Mom's fudge recipes.  Even though I think we pretty much all have copies already, and probably won't want to make or eat any for several months after the amount consumed this Christmas... :)  But here it is:

4 1/2 cups sugar
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
18 oz chocolate chips
1/2 lb margarine
1 Tbsp. vanilla

In a large saucepan, combine sugar and evaporated milk.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and boil for 8 minutes. Add chocolate chips and margarine, and mix with an electric mixer until chocolate has melted.  Add vanilla.  Pour into a 9x13 pan and chill until set, about 3-4 hours.

Eat lots and lots. Yum.