Thursday, September 28, 2017

Roasted Russet Oven Wedges

  • Peel 4 russets and cut 'em into 8 wedges
  • Throw 'em in a bowl with 1/2 C olive oil, salt, pepper, 1 TBS chili powder, and 5 zested garlic cloves  
  • Toss with your hands
  • Arrange on 2 baking sheets
  • bake 450° for 25-30 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice during baking.

Serve them with fry sauce: 1 part Ketchup to 1-2 parts mayo. Add dashes of hot sauce to taste.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Easy One Bowl, One Layer Chocolate Cake


  • 1 1/2 C sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/4 C unsweetened cocoa 
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 C cool water
  • 6 TBS oil (or extra-light olive oil)
  • 1 TBS fresh lemon juice (or white vinegar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. 
  2. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan.
  3. Sift dry ingredients into a bowl and set aside.
  4. In a measuring cup combine water, oil, lemon juice, and vanilla.
  5. Add liquids to bowl & gently stir until there are no lumps (about 30 seconds).
  6. Pour into pan and bake for 30 minutes (until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).
  7. Cool completely in the pan and frost, glaze, or dust with powdered sugar.
FROSTING (frost only the top, right in the pan):
  1. 2 TBS softened butter
  2. 1 C powdered sugar
  3. 1 TBS. cocoa powder
  4. 1/2 tsp vanilla 
  5. about 3 tsp milk

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Classic Chicken Pot Pie


  • PIE CRUST - Either (1) Pillsbury Pie Crust or (1) Puff Pastry crusts
Take out of the freezer when you begin so they can defrost and soften. If not frozen, take out of the fridge about 15 minutes before you're going to put the pie in the oven. I do not use a bottom crust any more because it was always soggy for leftovers, and who needs that, right?


  • 1/3 C butter
  • 1/3 C chopped onion (I usually use sweet Vidalia, but any kind will do)
  • 1/3 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1-1/2 C chicken broth/stock
  • 2/3 C milk
  • 1 whole Rotisserie Chicken, skinned and deboned, minus the wings, 'cause there ain't no meat on them wings!
  • 1 jar of sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 2 can mixed vegetables -any kind you like, or 3-4 cups cooked, fresh veggies


  1. Preheat to 425
  2. Make your roux - In a deep, large frying pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook 2-3 minutes or until tender. Add the flour, salt and pepper, stirring constantly until well blended. Gradually add the milk and chicken stock, stirring constantly until it thickens and gets nice and bubbly.
  3. Add veggies, mushrooms and chicken. Mix well. 
  4. Pour into the pie plate
  5. Unroll your pie crust (roll out with a rolling pin and a little flour if needed) and put on top. Fold under the crust and pinch out/flute however you like.
  6. Cover the edges of the pie crusts to protect from browning too much. (I use my Pampered Chef Pie Crust Shields which I would never be without, but before I had them I just used foil around the edges. I leave the shields on for the entire baking time and they always come out perfect.)
  7. Cut a few vents on top.
  8. Whisk an egg and lightly paint the crusts to give them a nice golden, glisten-y look when they're done.
  9. Bake 35-40 minutes.

I let the pie rest for 20-30 minutes before serving. Since I do not use bottom crusts anymore,

I use a large spoon for dishing it onto plates.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Black-Eyed Pea Supper Dish

  • 1/2 of a pkg of 14 oz Smoked Sausage (I use Echrich Skinless when I can find it!)
  • 2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 C bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 C vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp rosemary
  • 1 can Bush's Black-Eyes Peas with liquid (do NOT drain!)
  • shredded cheese 
  1. Remove skin from sausage if you didn't buy skinless. Cut the length into quarters, then slice into bite-sized pieces
  2. In a hot Dutch Oven, heat the olive oil and toss in the sausage to brown
  3. Add the green pepper, onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes
  4. Stir in the tomatoes and all the dry seasonings
  5. Stir in the Black-Eyed Peas and liquid
  6. Cover and simmer for at least 15 minutes
  7. Just before serving sprinkle on some shredded cheese
This is really good with cornbread and even better the second and third day! I always double this recipe!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Valerie Bertinelli's Tuna Casserole

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup all­ purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 8 ounces medium pasta shells (about 3 cups)
  • One 6­ounce jar Italian tuna in olive oil, drained and flaked
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat­leaf parsley
  • 2 cups grated sharp white Cheddar
  • 1 1/2 cups crumbled potato chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Butter a 2­quart casserole or baking dish.
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. 
  • Increase the heat to medium high and add the mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms release their liquid and turn golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and cook, whisking, about 1 minute.
  • Gradually add the milk while whisking constantly, then whisk in the chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring often. Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and stir it into the mushroom mixture. 
  • Add the tuna and parsley and stir to combine. 
  • Turn off the heat and add 1 cup of the Cheddar. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. 
  • Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup Cheddar on top and then cover with the potato chip crumbs. Bake until bubbling and golden brown on top, about 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Tuna Noodle Casserole with Potato Chip Topping
Recipe courtesy of Valerie's Home Cooking
Show: Valerie's Home Cooking
Episode: Everything Retro Is New Again

Mary Ann's Tuna Casserole

Mary Ann's Version:

Sautéed baby bella mushrooms, onion and garlic in extra virgin olive oil and butter. Added S&P, celery seed, a pinch of cayenne. Separately I cooked tri colored spiral pasta. Added two cans good quality tuna to mixture. I combined cream of mushroom soup, 1/2 & 1/2, heavy cream. Added cooked pasta and mushroom sauce into sautéed mixture. I added a handful of sharp cheddar cheese (frozen) peas, turned into a baking dish and topped with crushed potato chips. Baked about 10 minutes (everything was already cooked and hot) just to brown chips.

Sorry, I don't have measurements. The key is not to put into the oven even a little dry. More liquid is better, as you want it creamy and gooey. Good luck.

The photo is Mary Ann's husband David's version of Tuna Casserole he made after watching an episode of "Beat Bobby Flay, Tuna Noodle Casserole."

Friday, June 2, 2017

Ina Garten's Frozen Key Lime Pie

Click here for Ina Garten's Frozen Key Lime Pie

For the Crust:
  • 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. For the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl. Press into a 9-inch pie pan, making sure the sides and the bottom are an even thickness. 
  3. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

For the Filling:
  • 6 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons grated lime zest
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (4 to 5 limes)
  1. For the filling, beat the egg yolks and sugar on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for 5 minutes, until thick. 
  2. With the mixer on medium speed, add the condensed milk, lime zest, and lime juice. 
  3. Pour into the baked pie shell and freeze.
For the Decoration:
  • 1 cup (1/2 pint) cold heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Thin lime wedges
  1. For the decoration, beat the heavy cream on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form. 
  2. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until firm. 
  3. Spoon or pipe decoratively onto the pie and decorate with lime. Freeze for several hours or overnight.

Note: Remove the pie from the freezer fifteen minutes before serving.

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