Recipes #1

        When I started this blog my plan was to post a few of my best recipes every week until I had them all posted together on the Recipes Page.  I thought my children and grandchildren might someday want to cook something just as Grandma made it, but might not know how, so the blog would be a way to make that possible.  Then the thought occurred to me that it would be fun to have a cookbook printed to give to my family as Christmas presents.  After researching how best to make that happen, I published a cookbook on 11-11-11.  
        I then decided to re-post the blog recipes and those added to the cookbook.  Because of the number of recipes it was no longer possible to post them all under one heading, hence Recipes #1 and Recipes #2.  
        Some of the recipes I have included have been handed down for generations--usually with no specific measurements--so I have had to try to discover the approximate amounts and write them into recipes.  On these you may need to adjust some of the ingredients because it’s difficult to measure an exact amount for something you have always added until the recipe “looks right” or “tastes good”.
       Some recipes came from adjustments I have made over the years to various recipes I’ve tried.   Some have come from family and friends.  And some were discovered in cookbooks and on Internet sites, but all have become favorites.  Hopefully, you, too, will find some favorites here.

1  Appetizers & Dips
Spinach & Cheese Pies     
This is one of Jess’ favorites.  It is rather time-consuming, but excellent.
1 10 oz. pkg. frozen spinach
2 T. butter
1/2 c. chopped onion
3/4 c. feta cheese 
1/2 c. minced parsley
1/2 c. green onion
1/4 t. dill weed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1 lb. unsalted butter
1 pkg. phyllo pastry
Steam spinach just until defrosted.  Drain and squeeze out all moisture, leaving approx. 3/4 c. spinach.  Heat butter, add onions, sauté till transparent.  Combine with spinach.  Add feta, parsley, green onion and dill and mix well.  Thoroughly blend in eggs.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  Melt butter in saucepan.  Lightly butter baking sheet.  Work with 1 phyllo leaf at a time.  Cover the rest with waxed paper and then a damp towel to prevent drying.  Place phyllo on board and cut into two 2 1/2 strips.  Brush with butter.  Place 1 t. spinach filling on edge of each strip.  Fold each over and over, forming small triangle.  Brush finished triangles with melted butter.  Continue working as fast as possible.  Place on baking sheet.  Preheat oven to 425*.  Before putting in oven brush all triangles again with melted butter.  Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden.  Serve hot.  May be frozen and reheated at 375* about 15 minutes.
Tangy Sweet Meatballs      
From my friend, Pat Duke
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
2 c. soft breadcrumbs
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 T. minced parsley
2 t. salt
2 T. margarine
1 10 oz. jar apricot preserves
1/2 c. barbeque sauce
Combine first 7 ingredients, mixing well; shape into 1 inch balls, and brown in margarine.  Drain meatballs on paper towels and place in 9x13 baking dish.  Combine preserves and barbecue sauce, mix well, and pour over meatballs.   Bake at 350* for 30 minutes.   Yield: about 5 dozen.
Cheese & Beef Appetizers    
These are from my friend, Dorothy Povondra, who always found great recipes to try when our kids were growing up together.
3 oz. chopped dried beef
6 oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 c. real mayonnaise
2 T. dried chives
Ritz crackers
Mix all together and store in refrigerator at least 1 hour before serving.  Spread on crackers and bake 5-10 minutes at 350*.
Double Tomato Bruschetta         
This recipe was posted by Meredith, one of the readers of my blog, after I mentioned I was going to publish a cookbook.  I haven’t had time to try it yet, but I’m thrilled to have readers‘ participation, so I’m adding it so that we can all try it.
6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 c. sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 c. olive oil
2 T.  balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. fresh basil, stems removed
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. ground black pepper
1 French baguette
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven on broiler setting.  In a large bowl, combine the Roma tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes.  Cut the baguette into 3/4-inch slices. On a baking sheet, arrange the baguette slices in a single layer. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until slightly brown.  Divide the tomato mixture evenly over the baguette slices. Top the slices with mozzarella cheese.  Broil for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. 
Mexican Dip       
This recipe came from my neighbor, Linda Gordman, when we lived in Nebraska and continues to be our all-time favorite.
1 can refried beans
1/2 bottle taco sauce
1 4 oz. can green chilies, chopped
2 c. grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 can guacamole
4 oz. sour cream
chopped green onions
Spread first 4 ingredients in 9x13 pan and bake at 400* for 20-30 minutes.  Remove from oven and top with guacamole and sour cream.  Sprinkle with green onions.
Chili Con Queso     
A great, easy recipe for dip or for Nachos.  
1 T. vegetable oil
1 large onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T. flour
1 T. chili powder, or to taste
1 10 oz. can tomatoes and green chilies, or 1 can whole tomatoes, chopped and mixed with 1/4 c. diced green chilies
1 lb. Velveeta
2 jalapeno peppers, or to taste, seeded and chopped
Heat oil; add onion & garlic; sauté till translucent, approx. 5 min.  Stir in flour & chili powder & cook stirring constantly 1 minute.  Add tomatoes and continue cooking 5-6 minutes till thickened.  Reduce heat and gradually add cheese, stirring constantly till cheese is melted.  Stir in jalapeno peppers.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Serve hot as dip with tortilla chips or ladle over crisp tortillas.
Baked Beef Dip    
I’ve had this recipe, and several of those following so long I can’t remember where I got them.  This used to be one of our favorites, but I haven’t made it for years because I don’t make appetizers often anymore.
1 c. chopped pecans
2 t. melted butter or margarine
2 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
¼ c. milk
2 2 1/2 oz. pkgs. dried beef, chopped
1/2 t. garlic salt
1 8 oz. carton sour cream
4 t. chopped onion
Saute pecans in butter until lightly browned; drain and set aside.  Combine remaining ingredients, mixing well.  Spoon into a greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish; top with pecans. Bake at 350* for 20 minutes, or until thoroughly heated.  Serve hot with assorted crackers, chips or breadsticks.  Yield: about 4 cups.
Hot Crab and Cheese Dip
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
3 T. milk
1 T. finely chopped onion
1/4 t. prepared horseradish
Dash of garlic powder
1 4 1/2 oz. can lump crabmeat, rinsed and drained
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
Combine first 5 ingredients; fold in crabmeat.  Spoon into lightly greased 2 c. baking dish.  Bake at 400* for 20 minutes.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve with crackers, chips, or garlic toast.  Yield: 1 2/3 cups.
Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip
2 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese
1 14 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 10 oz. pkg. frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 c. real mayonnaise
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic
Beat cream cheese and mayo with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.  Add remaining ingredients, mix well.  Spoon into 9 inch pie plate or quiche dish.  Bake at 350* for 20-25 minutes or until very lightly browned.  Garnish with chopped tomato, if desired.  Serve with crackers or vegetable dippers.  Makes 16 servings, 2 T. each.
Superb Crab Spread
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 t. garlic salt
1/4 t. pepper
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 6 oz. pkg. frozen, cooked crabmeat, thawed & drained
Mix together.  Serve with crackers or vegetables.
Mexicorn Dip      
Jess’ family loves this great recipe that she shared with me.
1 can of Green Giant Mexicorn
1 can of chopped mild green chilies
2 packages of cream cheese
1 packet of Hidden Valley ranch salad dressing mix
Mix all ingredients, including juice from Mexicorn, and heat.  This is also very good cold! 
Spinach Dip   
Since Jessica was a child, she and I have always loved this.  It is sometimes difficult to find the rye bread, but keep looking because it adds much to the recipe.
1 round loaf Russian Rye bread
1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach
1 8 oz. carton sour cream
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Original Ranch Dressing Mix
Cut top from bread and hollow out inside of loaf, saving the hollowed bread for dipping, forming a bowl.  Butter inside of loaf.  Combine raw spinach, sour cream and dressing mix.  Pour into bread bowl.  Dip chunks of the hollowed-out bread into mixture.  Then eat the bowl.
Jalapeno Popper Spread      
A great, easy appetizer I discovered last fall when Sharon Cribelar gave me a bunch of jalapenos.   Everyone asks me for this recipe.
2  8 oz. packages cream cheese
1 c. mayonnaise
1  4 oz. can green chilies
4 oz. canned jalapeno peppers, or 5-6 fresh
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
Mix all together .  Spread in 9x13 baking dish and cover with Parmesan cheese.  Optional: 1 c. Panko or regular breadcrumbs may be added to the Parmesan and sprinkled on top of cream cheese mixture.  Bake at 375* for  20-30 minutes.  This is best served with toasted French or Italian bread slices, but is good with Club crackers or corn chips, too.
Fruited Yogurt Dip   
I think I found this recipe in a Southern Living cookbook years ago.  It is an excellent fruit dip.
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
2 8 oz. containers orange yogurt
2 T. brown sugar
1 t. lemon juice
1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
3/4 c. flaked coconut, optional
Combine and serve with fresh fruit.
Everybody’s Favorite Fruit Dip       
Kathy Arney, our daughter-in-law, Ashley’s mom, gave me the recipe for this super easy fruit dip.  Everybody who tastes it asks for the recipe.
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 10 oz. jar marshmallow cream
Mix together and serve with assorted fruits.

The Best Salsa Recipe I've Found So Far
6-8 tomatoes of varying sizes (Mine were particularly juicy so I removed the seeds and juice from the center.)
1 large or 2 small jalapeno peppers including seeds, more if you like spicy 
1/2 large onion
A handful of fresh cilantro
3 or 4 small garlic cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons lime juice 

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process to desired consistency. 

Flavors meld if allowed to set for several hours in refrigerator. Will keep in an airtite container in the refrigerator for about a week.

Jalapeno Popper Mushrooms

  • 2 slices bacon
  • cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, or bacon       
  •       drippings
  • 8 large mushrooms, stems removed and   
  •         chopped and caps reserved
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • 1/4 C. mayonnaise
  • 3 T. Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 c. canned jalapeños (or can use 
  •        a fresh pepper)
  • 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, 
  •       softened
  • 3 tablespoons shredded Cheddar 
  •       cheese
  • sea salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste

  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.
  1. To prevent mushrooms from being soggy, remove stems and place upside down in cooking dish.  Bake 15 minutes till they release water before stuffing. 

  2. Fry bacon over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned and crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate. Crumble and set aside.  (I think these would also be good without the bacon.)

  3. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the chopped mushroom stems, garlic, and jalapeno; (can add a few seeds if you would like it spicier) cook and stir until the mushrooms release moisture and soften, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mushroom mixture to a bowl, and stir in the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, Parmesan, and bacon. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the cheese mixture generously into the reserved mushroom caps, and arrange the stuffed caps on the prepared baking dish.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until cheese begins to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Cowboy Candy
  • 3 pounds fresh firm, jalapeno peppers, washed
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 6 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 3 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper


  • Wearing gloves, remove the stems from all of the jalapeno peppers. The easiest way to do this is to slice a small disc off of the stem-end along with the stem. Discard the stems.
  • Slice the peppers into uniform 1/8-1/4 inch rounds. Set aside.
  • In a large pot, bring cider vinegar, white sugar, turmeric, celery seed, granulated garlic and cayenne pepper to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Raise the heat to boiling again, add the pepper slices, return to a hard boil, then reduce the heat again and simmer for exactly 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the peppers, loading into clean, sterile canning jars to within 1/4 inch of the upper rim of the jar. Turn heat up under the pot with the syrup and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 6 minutes.
  • Use a ladle to pour the boiling syrup into the jars over the jalapeno slices. Insert a cooking chopstick to the bottom of the jar two or three times to release any trapped pockets of air. Adjust the level of the syrup if necessary. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp paper towel and fix on new, two-piece lids to finger-tip tightness.
  • *If you have leftover syrup, and it is likely that you will, you may can it in half-pint or pint jars, too. It’s wonderful brushed on meat on the grill or added to potato salad or, or, or… In short, don’t toss it out!
  • Place jars in a canner, cover with water by 2-inches. Bring the water to a full rolling boil. When it reaches a full rolling boil, set the timer for 10 minutes for half-pints or 15 minutes for pints. When timer goes off, use canning tongs to transfer the jars to a cooling rack. Leave them to cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours. When fully cooled, wipe them with a clean, damp washcloth then label.
  • Allow to mellow for at least two weeks, but preferably a month before eating. Or don’t. I won’t tell!

2  Breads & Breakfast Dishes
Mom’s Dinner Rolls                      
My mom, Evelyn Swisher, who is a great cook taught me how to make these when I was in junior high.  I have since taught lots of others, including family, friends, and guests.  So the tradition continues.
2 pkgs. yeast
1/4 c. warm water
2 c. warm milk, or water
2 eggs
1/2 c. or more sugar
3 t. salt
1/4 to 1/3 c. shortening, I use oil, or butter
6+ c. flour, I like unbleached, or bread flour
Combine 2 pkgs. dry yeast , or 4 1/2 t. if you buy yeast in bulk at Sam's like I do with 1/4 c. warm water and set aside.  Heat 2 c. milk till very warm.  If I use water, I combine the 1/4 c. water with the 2 cups and add the yeast to all of it in a large bowl.  Add the sugar and salt to the yeast mixture.   Beat the eggs till well mixed and add them.  Then add 3 c. flour and stir till well blended.  Add the shortening.  Mix until well incorporated. Then add more flour, a cup at a time, till a heavy dough has formed.  For me it works best to add just enough flour to keep the dough from running all over the counter when you pour it out to be kneaded.  Add the remaining flour to the work surface and pour the dough onto it.  This helps to keep me from adding too much additional flour during kneading.  Knead till the dough is no longer sticky, adding flour as you knead.  Return the dough to a well-greased bowl.  Turn it over to grease the top and let rise till double, approximately 1 1/2 hours.  Punch down, turn over and let rise again till double, about 45 minutes more.  Shape into rolls and let rise one more time, about 45 minutes.  Bake at 375* for approx. 12 minutes.  Brush tops with small amount of butter on paper towel when rolls are removed from oven.
Wonderful Cinnamon Rolls               
 The cinnamon filling and the cream cheese frosting make these fabulous!  I’ve taken them in to the grain elevator and baked them there a few times.  Even customers have asked to be contacted the next time I bake these.
1 recipe of Dinner Roll dough
1/4 c. melted butte
1 1/2 c. sugar
4 T. cinnamon
4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 c. butter
2-3 T. milk
1 t. vanilla
1/8 t. salt
2 + c. powdered sugar
Grease two 9x13 pans.  For easier handling divide dough into 2 equal parts.  Roll each part into a 12 inch by 12 + inch rectangle.  Spread 1/4 c. melted butter over the rectangles.  Mix sugar with cinnamon and sprinkle half on each rectangle.  Roll up.  Cut into 1 inch slices and place in greased pans.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight or up to 2 days.  These can also be allowed to raise 45 minutes and baked immediately.  If refrigerated, remove from refrigerator.  Let rise several hours in a warm place—at least 3 or 4 and up to 6 hours.  Bake at 375* for 22-24 minutes.  While rolls are baking prepare frosting.  Combine cream cheese, butter and milk.  Add vanilla and salt.   Add powdered sugar to make a thick frosting.  Frost warm cinnamon rolls.
Peanut Butter Cinnamon Rolls                    
Kent used to tell people these rolls are why he married me because I made them for him when we were dating.  I got the idea from rolls served for lunch in the cafeteria when I was in grade school.
1 recipe Dinner Rolls
peanut butter
1 c. sugar
2 T. cinnamon
Prepare dough according to Dinner Roll recipe.  After it has risen at least once and preferably twice, roll the dough out into a flat rectangle.  You may want to divide the dough in half and roll one section at a time--maybe even do as I do and make 1/2 peanut butter and 1/2 plain cinnamon rolls or pecan rolls--see recipes in this cookbook.  When the dough is rolled into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick, spread it with peanut butter.  Mix together cinnamon & sugar and sprinkle over p. butter.  Roll the dough into a log and cut it into 1 to 1 1/2 inch slices.  Place these on a greased jelly roll pan.  Let rise for 45 minutes and then bake at 375* till brown, approx. 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool a few minutes and frost with a powdered sugar frosting to which a few tablespoons of peanut butter have been added.
Pecan Cinnamon Rolls     
A family favorite that I’ve made since we were newly married.
1/2 recipe Dinner Rolls in this book
1/4 c. butter or margarine
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. dark corn syrup
1 c. pecans
Make 1/2 recipe of Dinner Rolls on this site according to directions.  You can skip one of the first 2 risings if you’re in a hurry. After dough has risen, punch it down, then roll into a 24x12 inch rectangle. Spread with 2 T. soft butter or margarine.  Sprinkle with mixture of 1/2 c. sugar and 3 t. cinnamon.  Beginning at long side, roll as for jelly roll.  Cut into 1 1/4 inch slices.   
Pecan topping:  Melt butter; add brown sugar and corn syrup.  Heat and stir till blended.  Pour into 9x13 pan.  Sprinkle with pecans.   Place sliced roll dough cut side down in prepared pan. Let rise till light, about 40 minutes.  Bake at 375* for 30-35 minutes.  Cool 5 minutes; invert onto jelly roll pan.
Italian Rolls            
This recipe is from my friend, Mary Jo Pedersen.  I’ve changed it a little, but it was her original recipe that got me started making these.  They are even easier to make than the Dinner Rolls recipe in this book.  Sometimes I add 2-3 T. oil and use this for pizza crusts.
3 c. warm water
4 1/2 t. yeast, equal to 2 pkgs.
3 T. sugar
3 t. salt
6 + c. flour
Add warm water to large mixing bowl.  Add yeast and let dissolve.  Add sugar and salt.  Then add enough flour to make a stiff dough.  Turn out onto floured surface and knead until the dough is no longer sticky, adding flour as needed.  Shape into a large round, turn upside down in well-oiled bowl to grease the top and then turn over.  Cover with a cloth.  Let rise till double, approx. 1 hour, and then till double again about 45 min.  Make into rolls by pinching off golf-ball sized, or larger pieces and tucking under the edges so the top is smooth, or divide into two parts and shape into loaves of bread.  I usually shape the rolls into hoagies and use them also for the Italian Sausage sandwiches recipe in this cookbook.  Bake at 375* for approx. 14 minutes for rolls, 45 minutes or so for loaves.   If you're in a hurry you can skip one of the risings.
Multi-grain Bread    
This is a great bread to serve with soups.  I found it on the Cooks Illustrated website. It is their attempt at making the perfect multi-grain bread.  
1 1/4 c. 10 grain hot cereal mix, or 7 or 8 grain, if 10 is unavailable
2 1/2 c. boiling water
3 c. unbleached flour
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
4 1/2 t. yeast, equals 2 pkgs.
1/3 c. or more honey to taste
4 T. butter
2 t. salt
3/4 c. raw unsalted sunflower seeds 
Place cereal mix in bowl and pour boiling water over it.  Let stand, stirring occasionally till cooled.  Once cooled, add honey, salt, melted butter and yeast.  Mix and add flours.  After mixing well add sunflower seeds and turn out onto floured surface to knead till dough forms a smooth, taut ball.  Place dough in large greased bowl, turning to grease top.  Let rise till double.  Punch down.  Let rise again.  Make into dinner size rolls, or shape into 2 loaves.  Bake at 375*.   Bake rolls for 12-15 minutes, bread for 35-45 minutes.
Whole Wheat Bread    
From a friend and neighbor in Nebraska, Pat Schima.  Amy’s, sister, Julie, won first place at a county fair in NE with this recipe when she was in 4 H.
3 1/2-4 1/2 c. white flour
2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
2 pkgs. yeast
1 T. salt
1/2 c. honey
3 T. corn oil
2 1/2 c. hot water
Combine 2 c. flour, dry yeast and salt.  Stir well.  Add honey, oil, and hot water all at once.  Beat 2 min. on mixer.  Add 1 c. white flour, 1/2 c. wheat flour.  Beat at high speed 1 minute.  Stir in remaining 2 c. wheat flour.  Add enough remaining white flour to make a soft dough.  Turn out.  Knead 5-10 minutes till smooth.  Cover with a towel and let rise till double.  Allow to raise again.  Punch down, divide into 2 loaves.  Brush with oil.  Cover with plastic.  Refrigerate 2-24 hours.  Let rise 10 minutes at room temp.  Bake at 400* for 35-45 minutes.
Ciabatta Bread      
I had never made ciabatta bread until this year.  This recipe turned out well and was a change from the regular Dinner Roll and Italian Roll recipes I usually make.  
1 1/2 c. water
1 1/2 t. salt
1 t. white sugar
1 T. olive oil
3 1/4 c. bread flour
2 t.  yeast
Mix all ingredients well and continue stirring till dough becomes sort of stringy looking.  It will be quite sticky and wet so resist the temptation to add more flour. Place dough on a lightly floured board, cover with a large bowl, and let rest for 15 minutes.  Lightly flour or use parchment lined baking sheets. Divide into 2 pieces, and form each into a 3x14 inch oval. Place loaves on prepared sheets, dimple surface, and lightly flour. Cover, and let rise in a draft free place for approximately 45 minutes.  Preheat oven to 425*.  Dimple dough for a second time, and then place loaves in the oven, positioned on the middle rack. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. During baking, spritz loaves with water every 3 minutes for the first 10 minutes for a crispier crust.  I place a bowl of water in the bottom of the oven and bake the loaves on parchment paper on my pizza baking stones.
Avanti Bread     
I found this good bread recipe in a magazine years ago and sometimes make it instead of using Mom’s Dinner Roll recipe.
10 c. flour
1 T. salt
3 T. oil
2 pkgs. yeast, 4 1/2 T.
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 egg whites, or 1 egg
3 c. warm water
Dissolve yeast in warm water.  Set aside.  Mix sugar, salt, oil, and egg whites and add to flour.  Mix.  Add yeast mixture.  Knead dough until not sticky, about 10-12 minutes.  Let rise 2 hours in greased bowl covered with a towel.  Punch down.  Shape into approximately 5-6 long, 12-16 inch loaves.  Or make into rolls.  Allow to rise 45 minutes on greased baking pans.  Bake at 350* for 15-20 minutes for loaves, less for rolls.  Butter tops when removed from oven.
Overnight Cinnamon Pecan Rolls   
I can’t remember when, or where I got this recipe, but it is an easy, impressive breakfast treat.
18 frozen dinner rolls
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 pkg. butterscotch pudding mix, 3.5 oz. not instant
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. pecan halves, or more
Place pecans in bottom of well greased Bundt pan.  Place rolls on top of pecans. Mix cinnamon with sugars.  In any order, sprinkle rolls with cinnamon/sugar mixture and pudding.  Pour butter over all.  Bake at 350* for 25 to 40 minutes, until golden brown.
Orange Butter Rolls     
From Bonnie Butts, whose husband, Bob, loved these rolls.
1 pkg. yeast
1/4 c. warm water
1 c. sugar
1 t. salt
2 eggs
1/2 c. sour cream
8 T. melted butter
2 3/4 -3 c. flour
1 c. toasted coconut
2 T. grated orange rind
Orange Glaze
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. sour cream
2 T. orange juice
1/4 c. butter
Soften yeast in warm water in large mixing bowl.  Stir in 1/4 c. sugar, salt, eggs, sour cream and 6 T. butter.  Gradually add flour to form a stiff dough, beating well after each addition.  Cover.  Let rise in warm place till light and double in size, about 2 hours.  Mix 3/4 c. sugar with 3/4 c. coconut and orange rind.  Knead dough about 15 times on well-floured surface.  Divide in half.  Roll each half into 12 inch circle.  Brush each half with 1 T. butter, sprinkle with 1/2 the sugar/coconut mixture.  Cut each into 12 wedges.  Roll up starting with wide end and rolling to the point.  Place rolls with point side down in 3 rows in a well-greased 9x13 pan.  Cover; let rise till doubled in size, about 1 hour.  Bake at 350* for 25-35 minutes till golden brown.  Leave in pan.  Prepare Orange Glaze by combining ingredients in saucepan and bringing to boil.  Boil 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Pour over top of rolls.  Sprinkle with 1/4 c. coconut.  Can use frozen dough but it is not quite as good, though quicker.
Baking Powder Biscuits   
From the Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook.  I use these with the Creamed Turkey recipe in Main Dishes.

3 c. flour
4 1/2 t. baking powder
3/4 t. salt
3/8 c. shortening
1 c. milk
Cut shortening into dry ingredients.  Add milk all at once and knead gently 10-12 strokes.  Roll, or pat dough 1/2 inch thick.  Dip biscuit cutter in flour then cut dough straight down.  Bake on ungreased baking sheet in very hot oven.  450* for 12-15 minutes.  Can add an additional 1/3 c. milk and drop onto greased cookie sheet. 
Corn Bread    
This recipe is off the Quaker corn meal box.  I’m adding it because it’s the best recipe I’ve tried for cornbread and who knows, they might remove it some day.
1 1/4 c. flour
3/4 c. corn meal
1/4 c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 c. milk
1/4 c. oil
1 egg, beaten
Heat oven to 400*.  Grease an 8x8 pan.  Combine dry ingredients.  Stir in milk, oil, and egg, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened.  Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until light golden brown and wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  
Banana Nut Bread     
We like this different twist on banana bread very much.  It is so moist! 
2 c. flour 
3/4 c. sugar
1 t. baking powder
1 t. soda
1/2 t. salt
1 egg, beaten
1 t. vanilla
1 c. crushed pineapple
1 c. mashed bananas
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. walnuts, or pecans
Mix all dry ingredients, then add remaining ingredients and hand mix until all is moist.  Pour into greased pans and bake at 350* for 45-50 minutes.  Use 8x4x2½ pans.  Makes 2 loaves.

Creamy Banana Bread

A great new discovery!

½ cup butter, softened

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 cup white sugar

2 eggs 

3 mashed bananas

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour 

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

¾ cup chopped pecans

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 T. ground cinnamon

Optional, 2 T. Softened butter


Step 1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8x4-inch loaf pans.

Step 2 Cream the margarine and cream cheese together. Gradually add the white sugar, and continue beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the mashed bananas and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder, and baking soda; mix until batter is just moist.

Step 3 In a small bowl, mix together chopped pecans, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, and cinnamon.  (Optional, 2 T. Softened butter.

Step 4 Divide half the batter between the two prepared loaf pans. Sprinkle pecan mixture over the batter in the pans, and top with remaining batter.

Step 5 Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of each loaf comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

Grandma Ghere’s Orange Bread    
My Grandmother, used to make this fragrant orange bread for us when we were children.  When my cousin, Sandra Fiscus, heard I was doing a cookbook she emailed me to please include Grandma’s Orange Bread.  I was glad to be reminded.  Here it is.
orange peel
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. boiling water
2 T. butter
dash of salt
1 egg
1 c. milk
3 c. flour
2 1/2 t. baking powder
Cover orange peel with water and cook 10-15 minutes.  Remove from heat, cool, and peel the white from the rind.  Discard the white and chop rind into small slivers.  Place 3/4 c. rind, sugar, and water in small pan.  Cook slowly 15-20 minutes.  Remove from heat and add butter and salt.  Let cool.  Beat egg,  milk, the orange syrup,  flour, and baking powder.  Mix well, pour into greased loaf pans, and bake at 350* for 1 hour.
Morning Glory Muffins     
I found this delicious, lower in fat, nutritious recipe recently.  It is so good!
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. white sugar
1-2 t. ground cinnamon
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 c. grated carrots
2 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
1/2 c. raisins  (I like them chopped)
2 eggs
1 c. applesauce
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 T. vanilla extract
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 375*.  Lightly oil 18 muffin cups, or coat with nonstick cooking spray.  In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, applesauce, oil and vanilla.  In a large bowl, stir together flours, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Stir in carrots, apples, nuts and raisins.  Stir in applesauce mixture until just moistened.  Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them about 3/4 full.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and spring back when lightly pressed.  Do not use paper liners for muffin pans because dough will stick to the paper.
Apple Strudel Muffins      
I'm always looking for recipes to use when I have excess fruit.  I discovered this tasty muffin recipe a few years ago when Mom's apple trees were loaded. 
2 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1+  t. cinnamon
1 1/4 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. chopped apples or 1 c. shredded, 1/2 c. diced
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 T. flour
1/8 t. ground cinnamon
1 T. butter
Preheat oven to 375*.  Grease a 12-cup muffin pan.  In a medium bowl, beat together butter, sugar, and eggs until smooth.  Mix in vanilla.  Stir in apples, and gradually blend in the flour mixture.  Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin pan.  In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, flour and cinnamon.  Cut in butter until mixture is like coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle over tops of mixture in muffin pan.  Bake 20 minutes in preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.  Allow to sit 5 minutes before removing muffins from pan.
Easy Morning Glory Muffins    
I really like this version of Morning Glory Muffins, too.  As is indicated, some of the oil can be replaced with applesauce to make this lower in fat.
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 c. white sugar
2 t. baking soda
2-3 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
2 c. shredded carrots
1/2 c. raisins, optional
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1/2 c. unsweetened flaked coconut
1 apple, peeled, cored and shredded
3 eggs
1 c. vegetable oil or 1/2 c. oil, 3/4 c. applesauce
2 t. vanilla extract
1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained, optional
Preheat oven to 350*.  Grease muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners, if using all the oil.  In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.  Stir in the carrots, raisins, nuts, coconut, and apple.  In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, oil, and vanilla.  Stir egg mixture into the carrot/flour mixture, just until moistened. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups.  Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.
Banana Crumb Muffins    
I discovered this recipe about 10 years ago when we were building our house and often brought these muffins to the workers.  One of the workers, who was particularly fond of them, often suggested to others they needed to get the recipe from me.  Of course, I'm always happy to share recipes.
1 1/2 c. flour
1 t. soda
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1/3 c. butter, melted
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 T. flour
1/8 t. cinnamon
1 t. butter
Mix together first 8 ingredients and put in muffin pans.  Then cream together brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and 1 t. butter.  Sprinkle over top of muffins.  Bake at 375* for 15-20 minutes.
Pumpkin Muffins       
Our daughter-in-law, Amy Littlejohn, makes these great muffins for her family, who love them.
3 eggs
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. butter
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 c. pumpkin
1 t. vanilla 
2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. soda
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
Mix together just till moistened and bake at 350*   Makes 15 jumbo muffins.  These are also good with a cream cheese filling, see Cream Cheese Brownies for a filling recipe.  Fill muffin tins 1/2 full; add cream cheese mixture.  Top with muffin batter.
Blackberry or Raspberry Muffins      
We have wild blackberries and raspberries growing on our property and have also planted some in the orchard, so I was delighted to find this recipe for berry muffins. 
2/3 c. margarine or butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 eggs
3 c. flour
3 heaping t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 c. milk
1/2 - 1 t. vanilla
1 10 oz. pkg. frozen or 1 1/2-2 c. fresh raspberries or blackberries to which sugar has been added.
6 T. sugar
6 T. flour   
3 T. butter
Cream margarine and sugar till fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Sift flour, baking powder, & salt.  Add dry ingredients alternately with milk to creamed mixture.  Gently stir in berries.  Mix topping ingredients until coarse and crumbly.  Pour batter into greased, or paper-lined tins, then sprinkle with topping.  Bake in preheated 375* oven for 15-20 minutes.  Batter keeps well in refrigerator for 1 week.

English Muffins
1 pkg. yeast (2 1/4 t. instant)
1/4 c. warm water
1 t. sugar
1 c. scalded milk
1 T. shortening
1 1/2 T. sugar
3/4 t. salt
2 c. flour
cornmeal to sprinkle on griddle & tops

Proof the yeast. (For those who aren't familiar with baking terms that means to add the yeast to the water and 1 t. sugar then let set for several minutes (5-10) before adding it to the other ingredients.)

Combine the shortening, sugar & salt with the scalded milk. Add the yeast mixture and then the 2 c. of flour.  Stir 1-2 minutes.  The mixture will be a very soft dough/thick batter.  Cover with waxed paper. Let rise 30 minutes. 

Grease the griddle and the inside of the muffin rings. When ready to cook, place the rings on the griddle and sprinkle the inside with cornmeal.  Don't stir the batter but begin dipping 1/3 c. batter into the rings.  (This is messy because the batter is sticky.  It doesn't pour well.)  Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with cornmeal. Cover the rings with a greased baking sheet and cook 6-10 minutes.  Remove the sheet.  Flip the rings over & cover with the baking sheet and cook 6-10 minutes. 

If you opt for the 6 minute cooking time to insure the muffins don't burn, then transfer them to a preheated 225 degree oven for 15 minutes to continue cooking, turning once half way through.

Once the muffins are cool, insert a fork several times around the middle and pry the muffin open.  This contributes to better "nooks & crannies." Toast & enjoy.

Pecan Coffee Cake      
A good new recipe I discovered on
2 c. flour
1/4 t. salt
1 T. baking powder
1/2 c. butter 
1 c. sour cream
1 1/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 T. vanilla
1 c. brown sugar
1 to 2 c. pecans
2 t. cinnamon
4 T. butter
Preheat oven to 350*.  Grease and flour a 9x13 baking pan.  Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder.  Set aside.  In large bowl, cream the butter till light and fluffy.  Beat in sour cream, then sugar and then beat in eggs one at a time.  Add vanilla.  By hand, fold in the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated.  Spread mixture in prepared pan.  
Pecan topping:  Mix together the last 4 ingredients until crumbly.  Sprinkle over cake batter.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes till toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Serves 12.
Banana Pancakes       
We used to eat in a wonderful little Mom & Pop restaurant in Longboat Key, Fl.  They served banana pancakes, which we loved, so I combined a couple of recipes to come up with this one to make at home.  
1 c. flour
1 T. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1⁄2 t. salt
1 egg, beaten
1 c. milk
2 T. oil
2 ripe bananas, mashed
chopped toasted pecans, optional
Combine four, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  In a separate bowl, mix together egg, milk, vegetable oil and bananas.  Stir flour mixture into banana mixture; batter will be slightly lumpy.  Heat a lightly oiled griddle, or frying pan, over medium high heat.  Pour, or scoop, the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1⁄4 c. for each pancake.  Sprinkle with pecans, if desired.  Cook until pancakes are golden brown on both sides; serve hot with maple syrup. 

U.P. Pancakes
Our good friend, Bob Butts, gave me this recipe.  I especially love the note he attached to the bottom because Bob died several years ago and his comment always makes me smile and remember his sense of humor.
3 eggs
1 t. salt
3 T. sugar
2 c. milk
2 c. flour
2 T. baking powder
6 T. melted butter
Beat eggs, add salt.  Add rest of ingredients and mix.  Let batter sit for awhile.  
Note: Do not recommend eating more than 52 cakes!
Amish Baked Oatmeal       
I found this recipe in a newspaper.  It isn’t as soggy or sticky as oatmeal prepared on the stove so I like it better.
1 1/2 c. quick-cooking oatmeal
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. butter, melted 
1 egg
1 t. baking powder
3/4 t. vanilla extract
2 c. warm milk, approx.
Fresh fruit and/or brown sugar, optional
Combine all ingredients except warm milk and fresh fruit; mix well.  Spread evenly in a greased 13 x 9 baking pan.  Bake at 350* for 25-30 minutes or until edges are golden brown.  Immediately spoon into bowls; add warm milk.  Top with fruit and/or brown sugar if desired.  This makes 4 good sized servings.
I reduce butter by 1 T.  to lower the fat content, and add1 T. milk to supplement the decrease in moisture.  
Overnight Apple Cinnamon French Toast        
I found this delicious recipe on a couple of years ago.  Almost all who taste it ask for the recipe.   
3/4 c. butter, melted
1 c. brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
2  21 ounce cans apple pie filling
18-20 slices white bread, or French, or Italian bread, sliced thick
6 eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
1 t. vanilla
Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. I use a lasagne pan which is a little larger.  In a small bowl, stir together the melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Spread the sugar mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Spread the apple pie filling evenly over the sugar mixture. Layer the bread slices in 3 layers of 6 if using plain white bread on top of the filling, pressing down as you go.  In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with the milk and vanilla. Slowly pour this mixture over the bread, making sure that it is completely absorbed. Cover the pan with aluminum foil, sprayed with cooking spray, and refrigerate overnight.  In the morning, preheat oven to 350*.  Place covered pan into the oven and bake for 75 minutes or till knife comes out clean when inserted in center. It is best to place a pan under it when cooking.  Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes, then cut into squares. Invert the pan onto a serving tray or baking sheet so the apple filling is on top.  Serve hot.  
If using 6 or 8 fresh apples, peel and thinly slice, then toss with 1/2  cup melted butter, 1 cup brown sugar, and 2-3 teaspoons cinnamon.
Clark’s Quiche    
A great quiche recipe I found on
1/2 lb. sliced bacon, cooked
1 10 oz. pkg. frozen spinach, thawed
1 8 oz. container sour cream
salt & pepper to taste
2 9 inch deep dish unbaked pie crusts
2 T. olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, finely diced
2 c. finely diced ham
8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
8 oz. Cheddar cheese shredded
4 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated
8 eggs
1 1/2 c. half and half
1 T. dried parsley
Preheat oven to 375*.  Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat.  Saute onions till soft and translucent.  Stir in mushrooms; cook for 2 minutes.  Stir in ham and cooked bacon.  In a large bowl, combine spinach, sour cream, salt and pepper.  Divide and spread into pie crusts.  Layer with bacon mixture.  Mix cheeses together and sprinkle over pies.  Whisk together eggs, half & half and parsley.  Season with salt & pepper and pour over pies.  Place pies on baking sheet and bake in middle of oven for 40 minutes.  Top will be puffed and golden brown.  Remove from oven and let stand for 5-10 minutes.  Can be made without crust in a 9x13 pan.
I can’t remember where i got this good recipe.
4-5 sausage patties or 1+ c. ham
2 c. whipping cream
12 oz. Swiss cheese
4 eggs
1/2 t. salt
dash pepper
onions, mushrooms, green pepper
1-2 T. light olive oil
Prepared pie crust
Heat cream slowly.  Saute vegetables in olive oil.  Arrange meat and vegetables on pie crust.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Beat eggs and add hot cream and seasonings.  Pour into pastry.  Place in 450* oven for 15 minutes.  Open oven door, set temperature to 300*, fan with a cookie sheet to bring temperature down, close door and cook an additional 1/2 hour.
Crustless Quiche      
From Jess--This is really delicious!     
1/2 c. melted margarine or butter
1/2 c. flour
1 c. milk
6 eggs 
4 c. monterey jack cheese
3 oz. pkg. of cream cheese
2 c. cottage cheese
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 t. sugar
1 c. ham, bacon or sausage
1 c. spinach
Add flour to butter, then add milk to make a white sauce.  Beat the eggs and add white sauce.  Add remaining ingredients and pour into greased 9 x 13 pan or 2 pie plates.  Bake at 350* for 45 minutes and let sit for 5 minutes.  This can  be frozen.
Sausage Mushroom Quiche       
I have not yet tried this quiche recipe but my sister, Barb, loves it.

1 lb. package regular sausage
1 1/2 lb.
. mushrooms chopped
1/2 c. chopped parsley or parsley flakes
3 eggs
1 c. half and half
1/2 c. shredded parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
2 deep dish pie shells

In large skillet, salt and pepper sausage, brown partially, add mushrooms and parsley. 
Cook till both sausage and mushrooms are done.  In separate bowl, beat eggs, then add half and half and cheese to them and pour into skillet with sausage and mushroom mixture, till just blended.  Poor mixture into deep dish pie shells and bake at 400* for about 35-40 minutes.
Breakfast Souffle         
From a magazine
1 1/2 lb. bulk pork sausage
9 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 t. dry mustard
1 t. salt
3 slices bread, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 1/2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
Cook sausage over medium heat until done, stirring to crumble.  Drain well on paper towels; set aside.  Combine sausage and remaining ingredients, mixing well.  Pour into a well-greased 13x9 inch baking pan.  Refrigerate, covered overnight.  Bake at 350* for 1 hour.  Yield: 8-10 servings.
Breakfast Pizza    
This recipe came from Debbie Laughlin’s church in Litchfield.  We visited when they were serving it for breakfast.  I loved it, so I asked for the recipe.  I’m grateful they willingly shared.
1 lb. bacon or sausage, cooked
2 pkgs. Crescent rolls
1/4 c. milk
cheddar cheese
3 c. hash brown potatoes
4 eggs, beaten
salt & pepper
Place rolled out crescent roll dough on greased cookie sheet.  Add cooked meat; then add hash browns.  Combine milk, eggs, salt and pepper.  Pour over hash browns.  Cover with cheese.  Bake at 350* for 30 minutes.
Texas Eggs     
I have been making this recipe for several years now.  It is so good, and so convenient to prepare ahead and then pop into the oven in the morning without having to preheat it before baking when we have guests. 
12 oz. frozen hash browns
10 eggs
1 c. cottage cheese
2 c. shredded Jack or Swiss cheese
2 sliced green onions
1 t. salt, or more to taste
1/4 t. pepper
8 drops hot pepper sauce
12 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
Defrost hash browns under hot water.  Drain well.  Beat eggs lightly; stir in all but bacon and paprika.  Turn into buttered 9x13 glass baking dish.  Scatter bacon on top and sprinkle with paprika.  Cover and refrigerate, overnight if desired.  Place cold dish, uncovered, in cold oven.  Turn on oven and bake at 350* for 40 minutes.  Serve while hot.  If cooked immediately, reduce baking time by 10 minutes.  Serves 10.  Makes great leftovers.
Grandma's Deviled Eggs       
When I make deviled eggs I just add a little of this and that.  In order to be able to actually write it as a recipe I had to measure the ingredients as I added them.  You may need to adjust the seasonings a little.
7 hard boiled eggs
dash salt
1/8 t. pepper
1 t. sugar
1 t. prepared mustard
1-2 T. sweet pickle liquid, from jar of sweet pickles
1/3 c. mayonnaise
Cut eggs in half.  Add yolks to small bowl and mash.  Add rest of ingredients.  Mix well.  Fill egg white halves.  Dust with paprika, if desired.

3  Main Dishes & Casseroles
Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole
I found this recipe in the December issue of Southern Living Magazine.  I cut the recipe in half because it says the full recipe will serve 10-12.   (From "New Recipe" post 2-21-12)  Disclaimer:  As of this posting I have not made the Shrimp or Cajun variations, but the Chicken is wonderful!)
1 (2.25 oz.) pkg. sliced almonds
2 (6.2 oz.) boxes fast-cooking long-grain and wild rice mix  (Can substitute 2 c. regular wild rice  
      mix which takes about 50 minutes to cook and cooked it while baking the chicken)
1/4 c. butter
4 celery ribs, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
5 c. chopped cooked chicken  (about 16-20 chicken tenders, cooked and cut up)
2 (10 3/4 oz.) can creme of mushroom soup
2 (8 oz.) cans chopped water chestnuts, drained
1 (8 oz.) container sour cream
1 c. milk
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
4 c. (16 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
2 c. soft, fresh breadcrumbs
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake almonds in a single layer in a shallow pan 4-6 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.
2. Prepare rice mixes according to package directions.
3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add celery and onions.  Saute 10 minutes or till tender.  Stir in chicken, next 6 ingredients, rice and 3 c. cheese.  Spoon mixture into lightly greased 15x10 baking dish or e (11x 7) baking dishes.  Top with breadcrumbs.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Sprinkle with remaining 1 c. cheese, and top with toasted almonds.  Bake 5 minutes more.
To make ahead:  Prepare as directed in steps 2 and 3.  Cover with aluminum foil, and freeze up to 1 month.  Remove from freezer and let stand at room temperature 1 hour.  Toast almonds as directed in Step 1.  Bake casserole, covered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake 55 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated.  Sprinkle with 1 c. (4 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese and toasted almonds.  Bake 5 more minutes.
Shrimp and Wild Rice Casserole:  Substitute 2 lbs peeled and deveined, medium-size raw shrimp (41/50 count) for chicken; 2 c. (8 oz.) Monterey Jack cheese and 2 c. grated Parmesan cheese for Cheddar cheese; and 1 c. dry white wine for milk.
Cajun Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole:  Omit salt and pepper.  Reduce chicken to 2 1/2 c.  Prepare as directed, sauteing 1 lb. andouille sausage, chopped, and 1 green bell pepper, diced with celery in Step 3.  Stir 1 (15 oz.) can black-eyed peas, drained and 1 t. Cajun seasoning into rice mixture.  Proceed as directed.

Chicken Parmigian         
One of our family favorites which I discovered about 30 years ago in a Southern Living cookbook.   It is great served over spaghetti.   
3 whole chicken breasts, split, boned and skinned, or 8 or more chicken tenders
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
3/4 c. fine, dry breadcrumbs
1/2 c. oil
2 15 oz. cans tomato sauce
1/4 t. dried basil
1/8 t. garlic powder
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
8+ oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
Place each chicken breast on a sheet of waxed paper.  Flatten to 1/4 inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin.  Combine eggs, salt and pepper.  Dip chicken breasts into egg mixture and roll each in breadcrumbs.  Brown chicken in hot oil in a large skillet; drain on paper towels.  Place chicken in a lightly greased 13x9 inch baking dish.  Drain oil from skillet.  Combine tomato sauce, basil and garlic powder in skillet.  Simmer 10 minutes.  Pour mixture over chicken, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Cover and bake at 350* for 30 minutes.  Uncover and top with mozzarella.  Bake additional 10 minutes till cheese is melted and golden.   Serve with spaghetti.  Yields 6-8 servings.
Fried Chicken Tenders          
We much prefer this to fried chicken and it is so much easier and quicker to cook.   These are also very good on "My Interpretation of Charleston's Chicken Club Salad" in this cookbook.
2-3 tenders per serving
1-2 c. flour 
1 c. milk
salt & pepper
cooking oil
Place milk, or buttermilk, in a bowl large enough to dip the tenders in, and a cup or two of flour in another bowl for the same purpose.  You may need to use more milk and/or flour depending on how many tenders you're frying.  Pour about 1/2 inch of oil, or 1/2 the depth of the tenders when lying flat into a skillet and heat on medium high heat.  Dip each tender in flour, coating it well, then in the milk and back into the flour.  Check to see if oil is hot enough by sprinkling a little flour into it.  If it bubbles and begins to cook, add tenders.  When skillet is full, sprinkle the tenders with salt and pepper to taste.  Watch that they don't burn.  Turn them over when they are brown on one side and cook till brown on the other.  This probably doesn't take more than 10 or 15 minutes total cooking time.  Pour off some of the oil and use the drippings and remaining oil in the pan to make gravy by adding flour and stirring till it begins to thicken and then adding milk and salt and pepper.
Chicken Divan        
Our kids, especially Doug & Jessica, have always loved this easy dish served with rice.
1 10 oz. pkg. frozen broccoli, cooked & drained
4 large slices of chicken or turkey, or 2 or 3 cooked chicken breasts
1 10 1/2 oz. can cream of celery, chicken, or mushroom soup
1/3 c. milk
1/2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
Arrange broccoli in shallow baking dish.  Top with chicken.  Blend soup and milk; pour over chicken; sprinkle with cheese.  Bake in a 450* oven until sauce is slightly browned, about 15 minutes.   Can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated until time to heat.  
Chicken Supreme         
I used to make this great recipe given me by Mary Regan when the kids were home, but had forgotten about it till I started searching through my recipe box.
8 chicken breasts, skinned & boned
8 thin slices boiled ham
8 thin slices Swiss cheese
3 T. flour
1 1/2 t. paprika
1/8 t. pepper
1/4 c. butter
1/3 c. sherry, optional
1 1/2-2 c. canned chicken or beef broth
Flatten chicken; place ham and cheese slice on chicken.  Roll and secure with toothpicks.  combine flour, paprika, and pepper; coat chicken rolls.  Saute breasts in butter until golden brown.  Add chicken broth and sherry.  Simmer covered for 45 minutes, turning once.  Or bake in the oven.  Remove toothpicks and serve with rice.
Three Cheese Chicken Bake  
I can’t remember where this recipe came from, but it is very good.
3 c. diced cooked chicken, or 2 c. tuna can be substituted
8 oz. lasagne noodles, cooked
1 recipe mushroom sauce
1 1/2 c. cream-style cottage cheese
8 oz. shredded American cheese 
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Mushroom Sauce
1/2 c. chopped onion  
1/2 c. green pepper  
3 T. butter 
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/3 c. milk
1 6 oz. can mushrooms, drained, 
1/2 t. basil.
Cook onion and green pepper in butter.  Stir in soup, milk, mushrooms and basil.  Heat till flavors blend.  Remove from stove. Place half the noodles in a 9x13 inch baking dish.  Cover with half, each of the mushroom sauce, cottage cheese, chicken or tuna, American cheese and Parmesan cheese.  Repeat layers.  Bake for 45 minutes at 350*.
Indian Skillet Chicken         
I like the different tastes and textures of this recipe and have made it for many years now.   I don’t often cook with Indian spices but I’m beginning to enjoy the taste.
1/2 c. long grain rice
3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut in small pieces 
2 T. butter
1/2 c. orange juice
1 t. curry, or more if desired
Ground red pepper to taste
1/3 c. chopped onion
1/2 t. coriander
1/2 c. seedless grapes, halved
2 T. apricot jam
Golden raisins
Cook rice according to directions, adding 1 t. chicken bouillon.  In a 10 inch skillet, cook breasts and onions in hot butter until brown.  Add orange juice, curry powder, red pepper and coriander.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Stir in grapes, jam and raisins.  Cover and keep warm till ready to serve.  Serve chicken with juices over rice.
Chicken Enchiladas    
Jess gave me this recipe years ago.
2 T. margarine
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 garlic clove, or 1/2 t. garlic powder
4 oz. can diced green chilies, drained
1/2 c. sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 c. chopped chicken, cooked
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c. milk
8 12 inch flour tortillas
In a medium saucepan melt margarine, sauté onion & garlic.  Stir in green chilies, sour cream and soup.  Reserve 3/4 of the mixture and set aside.  Fold in chicken and 1/2 c. of cheese into remaining 1/4 of the mixture.  Warm tortillas.  Fill and roll up.  Place seam side down in an un-greased pan.  In small bowl combine reserve mixture and milk, and spoon over tortillas.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake at 350* for 30 to 35 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.
Pesto Cheesy Chicken Rolls         
I found this recipe for Pesto Chicken Roll-ups a couple of years ago when we had a huge crop of basil.  It is excellent! 
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/4 inch thickness
1 c. prepared basil pesto, or use recipe in Miscellaneous
4 thick slices mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 350*.   Spread 2 to 3 T. pesto sauce onto each flattened chicken breast.  Place one slice of cheese over the pesto. Roll up tightly, and secure with toothpicks.  Place in a lightly greased baking dish.  Bake uncovered for 45 to 50 minutes, until chicken is nicely browned and juices run clear.  Serve over fettucini to which additional pesto has been added.   If I’m in a hurry I use chicken tenders without flattening, lay them flat in the baking dish, & spread pesto over each one.  Top with mozzarella cheese.  Bake about 25-30 minutes.
Creamed Turkey          
I’ve never seen this written in a recipe, but this is the way we make it.  It’s a family favorite for leftover turkey.
1-2 c. cooked turkey, diced
4 T. flour
3 T. butter
2 c. milk
1/2-1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
dash of poultry seasoning
Melt butter, over low heat, add flour, salt & pepper.  Add milk all at once.  Cook, stirring constantly, till mixture thickens and bubbles.  Add turkey and cook till heated.  Serve over baking powder biscuits, recipe in this book.
Chicken Alfredo      
From my niece, Ashley Begeman  

4 c. cream or half and half                       
2 sticks of butter                                   
4 T. cream cheese                           
1-1 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese                    
2 t. garlic powder
4-5 chicken breasts, grilled and cut in small pieces
Penne or other pasta cooked per directions
Garlic Bread                                
In a large skillet or saucepan combine butter, heavy cream, and cream cheese. Simmer this until all is melted, and mixed well. Very slowly, add the Parmesan cheese.  If you put too much in at once, it will ball up.  Add garlic powder. Simmer for 15 - 20 minutes on low until well blended and somewhat thickened. Add a little salt and pepper to taste.   Grill 4-5 chicken breasts and cut into bite-sized pieces.  Add to sauce just prior to serving or serve separately, personal preference.
Chicken Marsala   
I don’t make this often because I forget about it, but it is excellent!  
4-6 chicken breasts
1/2 c. scallions
1 c. fresh mushrooms
4 T. light olive oil
1/2 c. beef bouillon
1/2 c. Marsala wine
2 c. cream
salt & pepper to taste.
Bake chicken breasts.  Dice scallions & mushrooms and saute in oil.  Cook till tender; add bouillon, and wine.  Cook down till syrupy.  Add cream.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour over cooked chicken breasts.  Serve with pasta or rice.

  Chicken Marsala  (My favorite)
I found this great recipe on Epicurious and changed it a little.

1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (14 fl oz)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 oz mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoons ground sage
 Salt & pepper to taste
  1 cup all-purpose flour
8-10 chicken tenders or 4 chicken breasts
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons dry Marsala wine
1 1/3 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 200°F.
Bring broth to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan over high heat, then boil, uncovered, until reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 20 minutes.
  Cook onion in 3 tablespoons butter in a heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until onion begins to turn golden, about 1 minute. Add mushrooms, and sage,  and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated and mushrooms begin to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  Put flour in a wide shallow bowl. Gently pound chicken to 1/4 inch thick between 2 sheets of plastic wrap using the flat side of a meat pounder or a rolling pin.
Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour, 1 piece at a time, shaking off excess. 
Heat 1 tablespoon each of oil and butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté half of chicken, turning over once, until golden and just cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer cooked chicken to a large heatproof platter, arranging in 1 layer, then put platter in oven to keep warm. Wipe out skillet with paper towels and cook remaining chicken in same manner, then transfer to oven, arranging in 1 layer.
  Add 1 cup wine to skillet and boil over high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, about 30 seconds. Add reduced broth, cream, and mushrooms, then simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.  Add chicken to sauce to coat and then remove to serve. Add lemon juice and remaining 2 tablespoons wine and a dash of sage and salt & pepper, if needed, to the sauce and then serve with chicken.

Chicken Breasts in Caper Cream Sauce
I found this delicious recipe in the 2020 Aug./Sept. issue of Allrecipes magazine.

4 (6 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, patted dry (I     

      used 8 chicken tenders, which I always have on hand)

1 tsp. lemon pepper

1 tsp salt

1 tsp dried dill weed

1 tsp garlic powder

3 Tbsp. butter

1/2 c. whipping cream

2 Tbsp capers, drained & rinsed

1. Sprinkle chicken with lemon pepper, salt, dill, and garlic powder.  Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken, turning frequently, until golden on both sides, about 5 minutes. (Reduce heat a bit if butter starts to brown.).   Continue cooking, turning chicken once, 5-7 minutes (if using tenders this doesn't take as long) or until and instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest parts registers 165 degrees.  Transfer chicken to serving platter and cover with foil.

2. Increase heat to high.  Add whipping cream to skillet; simmer, whisking constantly, until reduced to sauce consistence, about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat, stir in capers, and pour over chicken. (I return the chicken to the skillet with the sauce because that coats the chicken better.)  Garnish with cherry tomatoes, if desired.

Note:  I double the whipping cream and capers since there isn't a lot of sauce leftover after coating the chicken to pour over the spaghetti when serving.

Chicken Taco Casserole

4 cups shredded, cooked chicken (about 10 chicken tenders)

1 can Cream of Chicken Soup 

1 cup sour cream 

1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained 

1 (1 ounce) envelope taco seasoning mix 

Coarsely crushed tortilla chips (3-5 cups)

1 lb. shredded Cheddar cheese

Chopped tomato

Sliced green onion 

1 c. frozen corn or canned corn, optional


    Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13x9x2-inch baking dish. 

    Stir the chicken, soup, sour cream, tomatoes and green chiles, beans and

seasoning mix in a large bowl.

    Layer half the chicken mixture, 1/2 the tortilla chips and half the cheese in the baking dish.

Layer with the remaining chicken mixture and tortilla chips.

    Cover the baking dish.  Bake for 30 minutes. 

    Uncover, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes more, or until hot and bubbling and the cheese is melted.

    Sprinkle with the chopped tomato and green onion before serving, if desired. 

 Yields 8 servings.  This is also good as a dip—just leave out the tortilla chips and serve them with the dip.  Can also use tortillas, instead of chips, in the casserole.

* A trick I just learned is to use a mixer to shred the chicken immediately after cooking while still warm.

Crock Pot Spanish Chicken       
From my niece, Kaylan Cooprider.
4 chicken breast halves
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 29 oz. can tomato sauce
1 can Rotel tomatoes with green chilies
Place chicken in bottom of crock pot.  Mix rest of ingredients and pour over chicken .  Cook on low 8 hours.  Serve over Spanish rice.
Swiss Enchiladas         
A very good Mexican dish that is lower in calories than most.  
1 1/2 c. chopped onion
2 c. chopped cooked chicken breasts
2 garlic cloves
2  4.5 oz. cans diced green chilies, undrained
1 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
2 c. reduced fat milk
2 T. flour
1/4 t. salt
6 8 inch flour tortillas
2 c. 8 oz. shredded Swiss cheese, divided
Preheat oven to 350*.  Heat a large nonstick skillet over med. high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add onion; cook 5 min, or till tender.  Stir in chicken, garlic, chilies, and tomatoes.  Reduce heat and simmer 7 minutes or until liquid evaporates.  Set aside.  Combine milk and flour in small saucepan over med-high heat; cook 5 min. till mixture thickens, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Stir in salt.  Warm tortillas.  Spoon about 1/2 c. chicken mixture and 2 1/2 T. cheese down center of each tortilla; roll up  Place in bottom of greased 9x13 baking dish.  Pour milk mixture over tortillas, and top evenly with remaining 1 c. cheese.  Bake for 25 minutes or till cheese is bubbly.  
Chicken Chimichangas      
An excellent lower in fat Mexican dish
1 T. minced garlic
2 T. olive oil
1/2 T. chili powder
2 c. salsa
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1 pinch salt
2 1/2 c. cooked chicken, shredded
8 12 inch flour tortillas
1 c. refried beans
olive oil for brushing
In large saucepan, sauté onion and garlic in oil until tender.  Stir in chili powder, salsa, cumin, cinnamon, and salt.  Stir in shredded chicken and allow to cool.  Working with one tortilla at a time, spoon a heaping tablespoon of beans down center of each tortilla. Top with a scant 1/2 c. of chicken mixture.  Fold up the bottom, top and sides of tortilla.  Secure with wooden toothpicks if necessary.  Place chimichangas in greased 9x13 baking pan, seam side down.  Brush all sides with oil.  Bake in 450* oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp, turning every 5 minutes.  Serve with sour cream and guacamole.
Chicken Lo Mein         
Another good low-fat recipe I found this year.
1 T. cornstarch
1 t. ground ginger
1/4 c. reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 T. sherry or chicken broth
1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
1 t. reduced-sodium chicken bouillon granules
1/2 c. hot water           
6 oz. uncooked linguine
1/2 lb. medium fresh mushrooms, sliced  (optional)
1/4 lb. fresh snow peas
1 large sweet red pepper, julienned
2 green onions, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 T. canola oil, divided
2 t. sesame oil  (have never used this because I don’t have any)
In a large bowl, combine the cornstarch, ginger, soy sauce and sherry or broth until smooth. Add chicken and stir to coat; set aside. In a small bowl, dissolve bouillon granules in hot water; set aside. Cook linguine according to package directions.  In a large nonstick skillet or wok, stir-fry mushrooms, snow peas, red pepper and green onions in 1 tablespoon canola oil for 3-5 minutes or until crisp-tender.   Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.   In the same skillet, stir-fry chicken mixture in remaining canola oil for 2-3 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in dissolved bouillon. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Return vegetables to skillet. Drain linguine; add sesame oil and linguine to skillet. Toss to coat. Cook 1-2 minutes longer or until heated through.
Turkey Casserole          
From my sister, Deb Wineinger, who used to bring this to family dinners.
2 c. cooked turkey
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 c. chopped celery
1 small onion
1 c. rice, cooked
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 c. real mayonnaise
top with corn flakes, optional
Combine all ingredients and bake at 350* for 25 minutes.
Zesty Chicken Quesadillas     
I found some of the following recipes in Love Hunger, a book about compulsive eating, when we were keeping a strict low-fat diet, and even though we aren’t following the diet as closely now, I still make them.
4 10 inch flour tortillas
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, or 2 6 1/2 oz. cans white chicken meat
1 yellow, red or green pepper, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
4 oz. part-skim cheddar cheese, grated
2 oz. mixed greens: romaine, red-leaf, Bibb
1 c. cooked black beans, if canned, rinse
1/4 c. picante sauce
Cut the chicken breast into lengthwise strips and poach or grill till tender.  If using canned chicken, drain.  Dice the peppers.  Lay the tortilla in a large heated nonstick skillet.  Sprinkle 1/4 of the chicken breast strips, the pepper, the tomato, and the cheese on one half of each tortilla.  Fold over the other half of the tortilla and grill until it is browned and crispy and the cheese is melted.  Cut each quesadilla into 3 triangles and lay each piece on a plate next to the greens.  Top the greens with the black beans.  Serve with picante sauce for dipping.  4 servings.
Turkey, or Chicken and Mushroom Tetrazzini     
Another low-fat recipe.
Nonstick cooking spray
3 oz. spaghetti
3 t. margarine
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced thin
2 T. flour
1/8 t. salt
1/4  t. pepper
1 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. skim milk
1 c. cooked chicken, or turkey, cut into chunks
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
Cook spaghetti according to package directions and drain.  Preheat oven to 350*.  In a 
Dutch oven, sauté mushrooms in 1 t. margarine.  Remove to a 2-quart casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray.  Melt 2 t. margarine over medium heat, and add flour, salt, pepper, broth, and milk, stirring until mixture thickens.  Add the milk mixture, cooked spaghetti, mushrooms, sherry, and turkey to the casserole dish.  Stir.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes or micro-wave for 14 minutes on high power.   4 servings
This recipe is also low in fat.
2 t. vegetable oil
1/4 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. ground pepper
1 c. chopped smoked turkey sausage (about 4 oz)
1 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
1/2 c. chopped celery
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 c. uncooked long-grain white rice
2  3/4 c. fat-free chicken broth
2 t. paprika
1/2 t. dried thyme
1/4 t. ground red pepper
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 lb. shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped, optional
1/4 c. thinly sliced green onions
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Sprinkle chicken with salt and black pepper.  Add chicken to pan, and cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.  Remove chicken from pan, cover, and keep warm.  Add sausage to pan, cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.  Add onion, green pepper, celery, and garlic; cover and reduce heat to low, and cook 12 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.  Stir in rice, cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add broth, paprika, thyme, and red pepper, bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.  Add chicken and tomatoes; cook, uncovered, 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.  Stir in shrimp, cover and cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done.  Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork.  Sprinkle with green onions.  
Cuban Chicken Pizza      
Jessica regularly makes this low-fat recipe for her family.
4 8 inch fat free flour tortillas
Cooking spray
1 11 oz. can whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 t. cumin seeds
2 c. diced roasted chicken breast from deli, or cook on George Foreman
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 garlic clove, minced
2 T. fresh lime juice, or Real lime, in a pinch
1/4 c. Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers
4 t. chopped fresh cilantro, or 1-2 t. dried 
Preheat oven to 350*.  Place flour tortillas on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Bake for 10 minutes, or until edges are light brown.  Remove from the oven, stack, and press down to flatten.  Set aside.  Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, coat pan with cooking spray.  Add corn to pan, and cook 1 minute, or until lightly charred.  Add cumin seeds, cook 5 seconds, stirring constantly.  Add chicken, black beans, and garlic; cook 2 minutes, or until thoroughly heated.  Remove from heat, stir in lime juice.  Place tortillas on baking sheet.  Spoon 3/4 c. bean mixture onto each tortilla; top each with 3 t. cheese.  Bake at 350* for 2 minutes or until the cheese melts.  Sprinkle each pizza with 1 t. cilantro.  Serves 4.
Manicotti Casserole        
Low-fat from the Love Hunger book.  If you add the hamburger and switch to whole eggs, it obviously raises the fat content.
1 c. low-fat cottage cheese
2/3 c. part-skim milk ricotta cheese
4 egg whites, or 2 eggs
1/4-1/2 c. low-fat milk
1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped, or 2 T. dried
1/2 t. oregano
1 T. vegetable oil
1/2 c. bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 jar prepared spaghetti sauce
Preheat oven to 350*.  Prepare manicotti shells according to the directions on package.  Drain.  Combine in a large bowl the cheeses, egg whites, and milk.  Mix well.  Add parsley and oregano.  Stir well.  Stuff the manicotti shells with the mixture.  In a non-stick skillet, heat the oil.  Saute the onion and bell pepper.  Add spaghetti sauce.  Coat the bottom of a baking dish with the sauce mixture.  Place the filled manicotti shells on top of the sauce.  Cover the shells with the remaining sauce.  Ground beef can be added to the sauce, if desired.  Bake, covered, 40 to 45 minutes.
Homemade Ravioli       
Many years ago I saw this recipe in a magazine so I decided to try it even though it was very time-consuming.  The whole family loved it.  Jessica usually requests it for her birthday dinner every year. 
2 1/2 c. flour
1/3 c. water
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 T. olive or salad oil
1 t. salt
Meat Filling:
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/3 c. minced onion
1 clove garlic
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/4 c. minced parsley
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 t. salt
Mix pasta ingredients together.  Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, not sticky, about 20 times, adding more flour if necessary.  Cover dough with towel and let rest 30 minutes.
Prepare Meat filling:  Cook ground beef, minced onion, and garlic until meat is browned; remove from heat; stir in eggs & egg yolk, beaten, parsley, Parmesan cheese, and salt.  Drain.
Divide pasta dough into 4 even pieces.  Roll each into 16x4 inch rectangle.  Cut into 4x 2 inch  pieces.  Spread rounded teaspoon of meat filling on 2 inch side of each piece of pasta to within 1/4 inch of edges.  Fold dough over filling bringing ends together.  With fork dipped in flour firmly press edges together. Or use a ravioli maker.  Place ravioli in single layer on floured clean towel.  Let dry 30 minutes before cooking.  Serve with Spaghetti Sauce recipe in this book, or commercial sauce.  I double or triple this because it is so messy and time consuming.  
Val’s Pizza        
Valentinos’s was our favorite pizza place in Nebraska.  This recipe came from a cookbook where someone attempted to duplicate their pizza.  I have modified it somewhat and now it is one of our favorites.  
1 recipe Italian bread dough, with 3 T. oil added
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 garlic clove crushed
1 bay leaf
1/4 t. rosemary
1/4 t. oregano
1/4 t. thyme
1/2 t. caraway seed
1 lb. sausage, hamburger, or any additional toppings
1-2 lbs. Mozzarella cheese, grated
Parmesan cheese to taste
Prepare Italian Bread recipe from this book but add 3 T. oil.  Knead; let rise 1-2 hours.  Divide dough in 1/2 and roll out 2, or 3, 15 inch rounds.  Place on greased cookie sheets or pizza pans.
Combine tomato sauce, paste, garlic, bay leaf, rosemary, oregano, thyme, caraway seed in medium saucepan and simmer 30 minutes.   Cook hamburger and/or sausage.   Divide sauce and place on dough rounds.  Top with choice of toppings and cover with Mozzarella cheese.  Sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese.  Bake at 450* for 12-15 minutes. 
Dessert: Roll out extra bread dough in long strips to make bread sticks. Bake and frost with a powdered sugar glaze to which cinnamon has been added.
This recipe is from the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook we received as a wedding gift in 1966.  It was recommended to me by Sara Radil about 40 years ago. Since then, I've tried other lasagne recipes, but I always return to this one.   
1 lb. sausage or hamburger
1 clove garlic
1 T. Italian seasoning
1 1/2 t. salt
2 c. canned tomatoes
2 6 oz. cans tomato paste
3 c. creamy cottage cheese
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
2 T. parsley flakes
2 beaten eggs
2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
10 oz. lasagne noodles, cooked
1 lb. Mozzarella cheese, grated
Brown meat.  Add next 5 ingredients.  Simmer approx. 30 minutes.  If sauce gets too thick add up to 1/2 c. water.  Meanwhile combine cottage cheese & next 5 ingredients.  I use a food processor for this, but it isn’t necessary.  Place a layer of noodles in a large baking dish, at least 9x13, or a lasagne pan.  Then add 1/2 the cottage cheese mixture, 1/2 the mozzarella cheese and then 1/2 the sauce.  Repeat layers.  Bake at 375* for 30 minutes or till bubbly.  This may be made ahead and refrigerated for a day or two.  Increase the baking time by 15 minutes or more, if refrigerated.

Better than the World's Best Lasagne
Combine the following ingredients in a dutch oven and simmer 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours.
2 (14 oz.) cans tomatoes (I put them thru a food processor because I don't like chunks of  
       tomatoes in my lasagna.)
2 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
1 (15 oz.) can of tomato sauce
1/2-1 c. water
3 cloves of garlic
1 t. caraway seeds
1 1/2 t. basil
1 T. Italian seasoning
1 T. sugar
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper

While the sauce is simmering, brown
1 lb. hamburger
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
Add meat to sauce when brown. 

Combine Filling:  (I do this in a food processor so the cottage cheese has a texture similar to Ricotta.) 
2 (16 oz.) cartons cottage cheese 
3 eggs
3/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
3 T. dried parsley flakes

2 lbs. Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 box lasagne noodles, cooked according to directions

In each pan begin layering the lasagne with a layer of lasagne noodles, then 1/2 the filling, followed by  1/2 the Mozzarella cheese, then 1/2 the sauce.  Repeat layers.  Cook 35-45 minutes in a 375 degree oven.  Let set 15 minutes before serving.

Easy Pasta Bake         
This is a very easy and delicious casserole.  Served with a salad and Italian rolls, it makes a wonderful quick dinner.  
1 lb. hamburger
1 lb. pasta, I use spaghetti
1 30 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
8+ oz. Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 375*.  Cook pasta according to directions.  Brown hamburger and add spaghetti sauce.  Mix Parmesan cheese with the cooked pasta and layer it in the bottom of a 9x13 pan.  Cover with the hamburger/spaghetti sauce mixture.  Top with mozzarella cheese.  Bake at 375* for 20 minutes. 

Grandma's Meat Loaf           
My mom taught me how to make this meat loaf when I was young, but since she doesn't measure when she makes it, I had to do a little trial and error experimenting to get measurements.   
1 lb. hamburger
1 egg
1/3 to 1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1/3 c. catsup
1/2 t. worcestershire sauce
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
12 saltine crackers, crushed  
Mix together all ingredients.  Shape into a loaf.  Place in an oven-proof skillet, or Dutch oven.  Pour an inch or so of water around the sides of the meatloaf.   Add peeled, quartered potatoes and carrots, if desired.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cover and bake 1 to 1 1/2 hours at 375*.
Beef & Noodles/Chicken & Noodles     
These are traditional “company dinner” dishes in this area and are served over mashed potatoes.  It must be a German influence.
A chicken, or chicken parts, or a beef roast
water to cover
salt & pepper to taste
Noodles, from recipe in this book
Cook a chicken, or a beef roast to which water, salt & pepper have been added--either in the oven, or by boiling.  Reserve the broth, add more water if necessary, and some of the cooked meat to the broth.  Bring the broth to a boil and slowly add the noodles--trying not to add much excess flour if there is some left on the counter.  Continue to stir as you drop the noodles into the water so they won't stick together.  You will probably need to add more water or canned chicken, or beef broth so that you will have enough broth to cook the noodles, and to keep the sauce created from the flour in the noodles from becoming too thick.  If you add too much liquid, you can always pour some off before serving, so don't get anxious.  After making these a few times you will be better able to estimate how much is needed.  Cook about 15 minutes, or until done.  Serve over mashed potatoes.  Serve the rest of the meat as the main course.  
I especially like cooked frozen peas served with this meal, and fresh chilled tomatoes when they are in season.
Beef Stroganoff             
This is from my friend, Sara Radil, who is a great cook, and who introduced me, early in my marriage, to new tastes in cooking!  I grew up in a meat and potatoes family.  So I have much for which to thank Sara.  
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 clove garlic
1/4 c. butter
1 lb. hamburger, or round steak
2 T. flour
1/2-1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1 can mushrooms
1 can cream of chicken soup, or cream of celery, or mushroom soup
1 c. sour cream
2 T. parsley (optional)
Saute onion & garlic in butter.  Add meat.  Brown.  Drain partially.  Add flour, salt, mushrooms.  Cook 5 minutes.  Add soup.  Simmer 10 minutes.  Stir in sour cream.  Heat through.  Sprinkle with parsley.  Serve over hot buttered noodles or rice.
Beef With Oriental Vegetables   
For Chinese food lovers
1 lb. boneless sirloin steak
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. sugar
1/2 t. pepper
1/4 t. dried onion flakes
2 T. oil
1/2 t. salt
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. sugar
1 carrot, thinly slice
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, sliced
1/2 c. shredded cabbage
1 14 oz. can Chinese vegetables, drained
2 or 3 large mushrooms, sliced
1 6 oz pkg. frozen Chinese pea pods, thawed and drained
1/2 c. water
Hot cooked rice
Partially freeze steak; slice diagonally across grain into 3 x 1/4 inch strips, and set aside.  Combine next 4 ingredients; add steak, stirring until coated.  Pour oil around top of preheated wok, or large skillet, coating sides; allow to heat at medium high, 325* for 1 minute.  Add steak; stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes or until browned.  Remove steak from wok.  Combine salt, 1 T. soy sauce and 1 T. sugar.  Mix well.  Add carrot, onion, celery, and soy sauce mixture to wok; stir-fry 2 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.  Add steak, cabbage, Chinese vegetables, and mushrooms; stir-fry 1-2 minutes.  Add pea pods; stir-fry 1 minute.  Combine water and cornstarch; mix well.  Add to wok, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly, until thickened.  Serve over rice.  Yield:  4 servings.
Mexican Pizza   
This recipe came from my sister, Debby Wineinger.  It is very easy and delicious.   
2 lb. ground beef
1 jar Ortega Taco Sauce
1 pkg. flour tortillas
2 c. grated cheddar cheese
Brown ground beef and add Taco Sauce.  Layer a 9x13 baking dish with 1/2 the flour tortilla shells, grated cheddar cheese, and meat.  Repeat the layer.  Bake at 350*.  Serve with lettuce, sour cream and guacamole.
Barb’s Tostadas       
My sister, Barb Harris, taught us to make these.  All the family loves them.
1 small beef roast, or 4 c. leftover roast beef
1 can Rotel tomatoes with green chilies, or 1 c. salsa
2 c. grated cheddar cheese
6-8 flour tortillas
Cook roast till tender.  Add tomatoes or salsa.  Fry tortillas till crisp.  Drain.  Or bake tortillas to use less fat.  Place on baking sheet.  Top with roast beef mixture, then with cheese.  Bake at 400* till cheese melts.  Serve with lettuce, avocado, and tomatoes.
Country Style Barbeque Ribs     
This is the only way I have ever made ribs. 
8 to 10 boneless Country-style pork ribs
salt & pepper 
Barbeque Sauce*
Brown ribs on all sides in small amount of oil in large roasting pan.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Add water about 2/3 up the depth of the ribs and add salt and pepper to the water.  Cook at 350* two or more hours till tender.  Pour off some of the water if it has not cooked down.  Turn the ribs over to keep both sides moist, and cover with barbeque sauce.  Return to the oven for 1/2 to 1 additional hour.  Turn the ribs over to coat both sides with sauce midway through this last hour of cooking.  These are wonderful served with the Au Gratin Potatoes recipe in this book.
*I use my mother-in-law’s recipe posted in “Miscellaneous” if I have time to make it.  Otherwise I use Famous Dave’s Sweet and Sassy or Sweet Baby Ray’s Original.
Mom’s Ham Casserole    
Mom used to make this when she had leftover ham.  We love it.  I sometimes add cheese to it, too.
Leftover ham
potatoes, peeled and sliced
salt & pepper to taste
Place sliced potatoes in casserole dish.  Fry ham in a small amount of butter or oil.  Remove and layer on potatoes.  Add flour to the drippings till bubbly.  Add milk and cook to medium gravy consistency.  Pour over ham & potatoes to completely cover.  See How To section in beginning of this book on making white gravy if you need directions.  Pour gravy over ham & potatoes.  Bake till potatoes are done, approx. 45 minutes at 350*.
Ham Balls       
A friend, Pam Banta, gave me this recipe many years ago.  I love the taste of these ham balls, but for some reason I forget about them and don't make them often.
1 lb. ground ham
1 lb. ground pork
1 2/3 c. bread crumbs
1 c. milk
1/4 c. ground onion
2 eggs
1 t. salt   

1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. vinegar
1/2 c. hot water
1 t. dry mustard
Mix together first 7 ingredients and shape into golf ball sized, or slightly larger, balls.  Place in 9x13 baking dish.  Combine sauce ingredients and pour over meatballs.  Bake at 325* for 1 1/2 hours.  Baste occasionally.  These are great with the Au Gratin Potatoes in this book
Sausage & Noodle Bake       
Sara Radil shared this recipe with me many years ago.  It is one of our favorites.
1 pkg. medium sausage
8 oz. noodles,or fettuccine, cooked  
1/2 green pepper
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 c. milk
1-2 c. grated Velveeta cheese 
Cook sausage and green pepper.  Cook noodles.  Combine soup, milk, and cheese; heat until cheese melts.  Combine all ingredients in casserole then top with buttered bread crumbs:  2 T. butter heated in skillet to which 2 slices cubed bread is added to brown.   Bake 30 minutes at 350*.
Grilled Salmon        
This is one of our favorite ways to prepare salmon.
1 1/2 lb. salmon fillets
lemon pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
salt to taste
1/3 c. soy sauce
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. water
1/4 c. vegetable oil
Season salmon fillets with lemon pepper, garlic powder, and salt.  In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce, brown sugar, water and vegetable oil until sugar is dissolved.  Place fish in a large resealable plastic bag with the soy sauce mixture, seal, and turn to coat.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Preheat grill for medium heat.  Lightly oil grill grate.  Place salmon on the preheated grill, and discard marinade.  Cook salmon for 6-8 minutes per side, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
Hearty Tuna Casserole       
I used to make this when our kids were young.
1 10 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
1/3 c. milk
1/4 lb. process cheese spread, cubed
1 8 oz. pkg. macaroni, cooked and drained
1 10 oz. pkg. frozen peas, cooked and drained
1 7 oz. can tuna, drained and flaked
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 t. salt
Dash of pepper
Combine soup, milk and cheese cubes; heat until cheese is melted.  Stir in macaroni, peas, tuna, onion, salt and pepper.  Pour into greased 2 quart casserole dish.  Bake in preheated 350* oven.  Makes 4-6 servings.
I’m putting this in for memories because Jess and her friends used to look through my recipe box and laugh about the title of this recipe.  It is from my mother-in-law.  
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. can tomatoes, undrained
2 lb. can peas, drained
1 4 oz. can mushrooms, drained
1/2 lb. Velveeta
1/4 lb. spaghetti, cooked & drained
Brown the beef.  Add remaining ingredients and heat thoroughly.

Yummy Pork Noodle Casserole
2 c. elbow macaroni
3 T. butter
1/4-1/2 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. chopped celery
1/4 c. chopped carrots
1 10.75 oz. can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 c.+ milk
1/2 c. sour cream, or more to taste
2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
3 c. cubed cooked pork, turkey or chicken
1 t. salt
1/4 t. ground black pepper
1/2 c. dry bread crumbs

Prepare pasta according to directions.  Drain well.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray.  Melt butter in skillet over medium heat.  Stir in onion, celery, & carrots and cook and stir till onion has softened and turned translucent (about 5 minutes).  Stir in pasta, soup, sour cream, Cheddar cheese, and cooked pork then season with salt & pepper.  Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle with bread crumbs.  Bake at 350 degrees till bubbly, 30 -35 minutes.

Baked Ziti
1 lb. ziti or mostaccioli pasta
1 lb. ground beef
1 onion
1-2 cloves garlic (or garlic powder)
1/2 t. caraway (or fennel) seed
2 26 oz. jars spaghetti sauce
8 oz. Provolone cheese, sliced
1 1/2 c. sour cream
8 oz. grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. or more Parmesan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare pasta according to directions on package.  Brown hamburger, onion, garlic & caraway seed till done--about 15 minutes and add spaghetti sauce.

Spray large 9x13 pan- this recipe makes a lot-- (or 2 8x8 pans and freeze one) with cooking spray.  Layer 1/2 pasta, 1/2 sauce, slices of Provolone, sour cream, rest of pasta, rest of sauce, mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with Parmesan.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes.  Remove foil to brown top.

4  Salads, Vegetables, & Side Dishes
Blueberry Salad         
I found this delicious salad several years ago, but forgot about it until I found it again as I was looking for recipes I want to keep in my cookbook. 
2 3 oz. pkgs. blackberry Jello
2 c. hot water
1 can blueberries
1 small can crushed pineapple
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 c. sour cream
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans
Dissolve Jello in hot water; cool.  Add blueberries, and pineapple with juice.  Pour into a 9x13 pan.  Place in refrigerator to congeal.  Mix together cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla.  Spread over chilled Jello mixture.  Sprinkle walnuts or pecans on top.  Cut into squares.  Serves 12.
Mark’s Favorite  Salad       
I used to make this salad almost every time I was hungry for Jello, but haven’t made it in a few years. It’s time to revive it.
1 pkg. cherry Jello
1 pkg. lemon Jello
1 pkg. frozen strawberries
2 sliced bananas
1 can crushed pineapple, med. size
2 c. water
Make Jello according to package directions using 1/2 the required water.  Add bananas, strawberries and pineapple. Refrigerate till set.
Grape Salad   
This recipe is from my sister, Barb Harris.

8 c. of seedless grapes, green, red or both 
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1 8 oz. container sour cream 
1/2 c. white sugar 
1 t. vanilla
1 c. chopped pecans 
1/2 c. brown sugar
Wash grapes.  In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, vanilla, and white sugar.  Add grapes and mix until grapes are evenly coated. Mix together brown sugar and pecans, use as topping, refrigerate until serving.   If time is short, put it in the freezer for a half hour or so to let it set.   Barb says she uses fat free cream cheese and low fat sour cream, and uses 1/2 cup Splenda instead of white sugar and Splenda brown sugar also, and it tastes just as good.
You can always cut the recipe in half if you don’t want as much.  The full recipe serves 8-10.
Cherries in the Snow      
My aunt, Joyce (Miller) Hancock, used to bring this salad/dessert to family dinners when I was a child.   I always loved it.
1/2 c. butter
1 pkg. graham crackers, crushed
2 c. powdered sugar
2 T. milk
1 large pkg. cream cheese
1 c. nuts
1 pkg. Dream Whip (or use 1 9 oz. pkg. Cool Whip)
1 c. cherry pie filling
Mix butter and graham crackers and spread in 9x13 baking dish.  Mix powdered sugar, milk and cream cheese until smooth and spread on cracker crust.  Sprinkle nuts over cream cheese mixture.  Prepare Dream Whip, or use 1 9 oz. pkg. Cool Whip.  Spread a very thin layer over the nuts, saving most till later.   Spread cherry pie filling over this.  Top with rest of whipped cream covering the cherries.

Yummy Apple Salad
1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained
1/4 c. sugar
1 3 oz. pkg lemon jello
1 8 ounce pkg cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 c. diced apples
1 c. chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
1 c. whipped topping
1-2 sliced banans, optional

In saucepan combine pineapple and sugar.  Boil 3 minutes.  Add lemon jello.  Stir until dissolved.  Add cream cheese.  Stir until mixture is thoroughly combined.  Cool.  Fold in apples, nuts, whipped topping, and bananas, if using.  Pour into 9 inch square pan.  Chill until firm.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad                
Jess is usually asked to bring this salad as her contribution to dinner.  We all love it, even though it could qualify as dessert--maybe because of that!  
2 c. crushed pretzels
3 T. sugar
1 stick butter or margarine, melted
8 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 8 oz. carton Cool Whip
2 3 oz. pkgs. strawberry Jello
2 c. hot water (boiling)
1 16 oz. pkg. frozen strawberries, thawed
1 can crushed pineapple, optional
Mix together first 3 ingredients and pat into 9 x 13 pan and bake at 350* for 15 minutes.  Cool.   Mix  cream cheese, powdered sugar and Cool Whip together and spread over cooled pretzel crust.  Chill.  Prepare strawberry Jello with hot water, cool to room temperature.  Add frozen strawberries, or a pint of fresh strawberries, and pineapple.  Chill Jello till partly set and pour over cream cheese.  Chill till firm.
Peachy Tossed Salad       
I discovered this tasty salad last year when our peaches were ripe.  
1 10 oz. pkg. ready-to-serve salad greens, or 1 head Romaine lettuce
1 medium fresh peach, cut into wedges
1/2 c. thinly sliced cucumber
1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese
1/4 c. thinly sliced red onion, separated into rings
In a large salad bowl, combine the greens, peaches, cucumber, feta cheese and onion.  Serve with Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing recipe that follows.
Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing
2/3 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. white vinegar
1/4 c. sour cream
2 t. poppy seeds
1/2 t. salt
In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the dressing ingredients; shake well. This is great with Peachy Tossed Salad, above.
Strawberry Salad with Cinnamon Vinaigrette           
One of our favorite salads from Southern Living Magazine.
1 11 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained
1 pt. fresh strawberries, stemmed and quartered
1 small red onion, or 2 or 3 sliced green onions
1/2 c. candied pecans
1 avocado sliced, or cut in smaller pieces
1 pkg. of 3 romaine hearts
Dried cranberries, optional
Feta cheese, optional
Cinnamon vinaigrette: 
1/3 c. olive oil
1/3 c. raspberry vinegar
1 T. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 t. hot sauce
Combine vinaigrette ingredients and refrigerate 2 hours, or more.  I usually use Maple Grove Farms of Vermont Fat-free Raspberry Vinaigrette to which I add 1/2 t. cinnamon and 1/2 t. hot sauce.  Combine all salad ingredients, drizzle with 1/2 the vinaigrette and toss.  Serve remaining vinaigrette with the salad.  I use Candied Pecans recipe in this book and often omit the oranges.
Oriental Coleslaw       
This is a great salad recipe given to me by Judy McClellan.  It is a welcome change from the typical lettuce salad.   Kent loves it! 
1 pkg. pre-mixed coleslaw
2 pkgs. Oriental flavored Ramen Noodles
1 small pkg. slivered almonds
1 small pkg. sunflower seeds
1 c. frozen peas, thawed
2 pkgs. seasoning from Ramen noodles
3/4 c. vegetable oil
4 T. sugar
6 T. red wine vinegar
Crunch Ramen noodles and mix into slaw.   Add dressing just before serving.
Spinach Salad with Savory Shrimp   
My friend, Mary Regan, made this great salad years ago when our kids were small.  I had forgotten about it.  I wonder if she has, too.
1 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. chopped green onions
1/2 c. chopped parsley
2 T. lemon juice
1 t. sugar
1/4 t. salt
1 lb. shrimp, cooked, cleaned, chilled
1 pkg. spinach
tomato wedges
Stir together first 6 ingredients, or could use blender.  Cover and chill at least 6 hours.  Toss dressing with spinach, avocado, tomatoes, and shrimp when ready to serve.
Happy Hollow Club’s Thunderbird Salad     
One of my friends, Mary Focht, loved this salad, a specialty of the Happy Hollow Club in Omaha.   She managed to get the recipe and shared it with me.  
Limestone lettuce
Diced tomatoes
Chives or green onions
Crumbled crisp bacon
Grated Swiss cheese
Toasted croutons
Thunderbird Dressing 
1 1/4 qts. mayonnaise
2 oz. champagne vinegar
1 oz. anchovy oil
1 oz. lemon juice
1 1/2 oz.  Worcestershire sauce
4 oz. garlic oil
1/2 t. celery salt
1/2 t. garlic salt
1/4 t. white pepper
1/4 t. Coleman’s dry mustard
1/2 t. salt
1 t. horseradish
1 t. Accent
1/4 t. rosemary
1/4 t. oregano
Place mayonnaise in mixing bowl and whip on low speed.  Add ingredients in the order listed above, allowing sufficient time for thorough blending.  Store in refrigerator.
Chinese Chicken Salad           
A great salad that was served at a luncheon I attended at Trinity Church in Omaha years ago.  
3 chicken breasts, steamed & chunked
1 head lettuce, shredded
3-4 chopped green onions
1 small pkg. slivered almonds, toasted
1 can water chestnuts, drained and sliced
1 small can mandarin oranges, drained
1 small can chow mein noodles
Salad Dressing;
4 T. sugar
1 t. Accent
4 T. rice vinegar
1/4 c. sesame oil
1/4 c. regular oil
2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
Mix together and add nuts and noodles just before serving.  
Chicken can be steamed with one bay leaf, chicken bouillon, onion and celery.
My Interpretation of Charleston's Chicken Club Salad      
I love Charleston's Chicken Club Salad.  I try to have at least one every time we’re in Omaha, but that’s not enough, so I have created a good copy.  It makes a wonderful lunch or light dinner. 
2 or 3 Fried Chicken Tenders per serving 
Romaine lettuce
1/2 Avocado per serving
Bacon, crumbled
1 hard boiled egg per serving
Toss the above and serve with Honey Mustard Dressing recipe that follows.
Honey Mustard Dressing
1 1/2 c. mayonnaise, can use no-fat or low-fat
1/4 c. Grey Poupon mustard
1/2 c. honey
1 t. to 1 T. lemon juice, optional
Mix the above and refrigerate 2 hours.  This will keep 2 weeks or more.
My Favorite Tossed Salad    
I started making this when we were eating low-fat.  I read we were to try to eat at least half our food raw so serving this and assorted fresh fruits was my way of increasing our intake.
Romaine lettuce
Green Onions
Red Cabbage
Golden raisins, or dried cranberries
Sliced raw almonds
Toss and serve with assorted dressings.  To keep it healthy I usually serve it with a homemade fat free Ranch dressing, using 1 1/2 T. dry Ranch dressing mix, 1/2 c. fat free mayonnaise and 3/4 c. skim milk.  Of course, the dressing is even more tasty if you use regular mayo.
Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Pea Salad          
A good salad to use as a side dish with a meat entre.  
1 head cauliflower, chopped
1 bunch broccoli, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 10 oz. pkg. frozen peas
1/2 c. sour cream
3/4 c. mayonnaise
3 T. dry Ranch dressing mix
Mix and chill overnight.  Top with bacon bits just before serving, if desired.
Chicken Salad  
From my friend, neighbor, and walking partner in Omaha, Michel Caniglia
2 c. cooked, coarsely diced chicken breast
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. sour cream
1/8 t. garlic powder
1/8 c. finely diced onion
dash pepper
3/4 c. chopped celery
2 hard boiled eggs, optional
1/4 c. slivered, toasted almonds, optional
1/2 c. seedless grapes, optional
1 c. shoestring potatoes
Mix all ingredients except shoestring potatoes together and refrigerate.  Just before serving add the potatoes.  These are found in the Chips and Snacks section of the grocery store.
Curried Chicken Salad       
I discovered this low-fat, delicious and different chicken salad in the Love Hunger book when we were on a strict low-fat diet.
4 boneless, skinless cooked chicken breasts.  I use 8-10 frozen chicken tenders, thawed & cooked
1 c. green seedless grapes, halved
1/4 c. walnuts or pecans
3 stalks celery, chopped
1/3 c. light mayonnaise
1/4 c. golden seedless raisins
1 green onion
1 T. lemon juice
1 t. curry powder
1 t. celery salt
1/8 t. pepper
Dice the chicken into 1/2 inch cubes.  Combine the rest of the ingredients and mix.  Chill.  Serve on a bed of lettuce.
Pesto Pasta Salad     
A new discovery!
3 c. basil leaves
1 c. baby spinach leaves
1/4 c. olive oil
2 T. lemon juice
1/2 t. pepper
1/4 c. pine nuts
1/2-1 t. salt
3/4 c. fresh grated Parmesan
6 T. mayonnaise
1 box Farfalle pasta
1 pt. cherry tomatoes
Bring 4 quarts of water and 1 T. salt to a boil.  Drop in 2 cloves garlic and blanch 1 minute.  Remove garlic and set it aside, then add 1 lb. Farfalle pasta to the boiling water.  Cook till well done, about 12 minutes.  Drain pasta and toss with 1 T. olive oil.  Spread on baking sheet to cool.  Add all ingredients, except Farfalle, to food processor.  Process till smooth.  Place cooled pasta in large bowl.  Toss with tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on size and preference.  Add pesto mixture and 1/2 c. toasted pine nuts.  Mix well and refrigerate till well chilled.  I like this best warm even though it is meant to be chilled.
Macaroni Salad          
From my sister-in law, Brenda Swisher
2 7 oz. pkgs. baby shell macaroni
1 large green pepper, diced
1 medium onion
4 large carrots, shredded
diced cheddar cheese
1 can eagle brand milk
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. vinegar
1 c. Miracle Whip
1 c. Hellman's mayonnaise
1 t. salt
Cook macaroni, rinse and drain.  Do not overcook.  Add remaining ingredients.  Mix thoroughly.  Chill at least 4 hours, or overnight. 

Broccoli Delight Salad            
My friend, Robin Bland, who has now gone to be with Jesus, first introduced me to this great salad many years ago.  I love it! 
1 bunch broccoli
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4-12 slices of bacon, depending on how you like bacon
1 c. sunflower seeds
11/2 c. green grapes
1/4 c. celery, diced
1/2 c. raisins
1/2-1 c. mayonnaise
1-2 T. sweet cider vinegar
1/4- 1/2 c. sugar

Place salad ingredients in large bowl, toss.  Mix ingredients together in large bowl. Chill. Combine dressing ingredients. and pour dressing over immediately before serving.
Stove Top Macaroni & Cheese          
This is the way Mom has always made macaroni & cheese and so it is how I have made it for our children and they make it for their children.  Since no one in our family has ever used a recipe to make it, I had to approximate the ingredients.
2 c. dry elbow macaroni
4 oz. Velveeta cheese
3/4 c. milk
2 t. sugar
salt & pepper to taste
Prepare macaroni according to directions.  Pour off water and add rest of ingredients, stirring constantly till cheese melts.  You may have to add a little more milk.  In fact, you can add more of anything in the recipe.  It will still be good.

Old Fashioned Mac and Cheese
2 c. uncooked elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions
4 T. butter
2 T. all-purpose flour
2 c. milk  (I used 1/2 c. half & half because I had it and was short of milk)
1/4 c. grated onion
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 lb Velveeta  
1/4 lb. shredded Cheddar cheese 
1/4 lb. shredded Swiss cheese
      (I used more cheese--probably 1/2 again as much.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
      While macaroni is cooking, melt butter in small saucepan over medium high heat.  Stir in the flour until a paste forms.  Add the milk and stir constantly until mixture begins to thicken slightly.  Add onion and Velveeta. Stir till cheese is melted.  Pour over cooked macaroni and stir.  Pour mixture into a 9x13 baking dish. (It will be soupy.)  Sprinkle with the Cheddar & Swiss cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

My Mom is a great cook so everyone loves to go to her house to eat.  She taught me to make these at a young age. 
3-5 eggs, beaten
1/2-1 t. salt
1+ c. flour to make stiff dough
Beat as many eggs as you want depending of the size of the crowd you're making them for.  For 3-5, add 1/2 to 1 t. salt,  a little pepper and enough flour to make a stiff dough.  Beginning by adding about 1 c. flour and add more as needed.  Turn out onto floured surface and knead a few times to incorporate enough flour to keep dough from being sticky.  Roll out into a thin circle, adding more flour if dough tends to stick to surface.  If using several eggs, you may want to divide the dough and roll each part separately.  After rolling, cut the circle into quarters and stack them together.  If they are sticky, add flour between the layers.  Roll up and slice into noodles 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.  Separate and remove as much loose flour as possible, and let dry on the counter for a few minutes up to a couple of hours, depending on how much time you have.
Au Gratin Potatoes        
This recipe came from Mary Jo Pedersen.  Someone had given it to her so she mentioned to that person that everyone she shared it with loved it.  The person was appalled!  Apparently she doesn't freely share this recipe.  It is an excellent accompaniment to ham or barbeque, or with grilled hamburgers.   
1 1/2 c. half & half, or milk
1/2 lb. Velveeta cheese
1 stick margarine or butter
1 T. chives
1 T. dehydrated onion
32 oz. pkg. Ore Ida Frozen Southern Hash Browns
1 1/2 c. grated medium or sharp Cheddar cheese
Combine first 5 ingredients and heat till becomes a sauce.  Stirring frequently.  Empty one 32 oz. package Ore Ida Frozen Southern Hash Browns into a 9 x 13 pan.  Pour the sauce over these.
Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.  Bake at 350* for 45 minutes.  Check doneness by tasting.
Low-fat Oven Roasted Potatoes       
A great accompaniment to sandwiches or grilled meats.  
6-8 medium sized potatoes
1-2 cloves garlic, optional
1-2 T. olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
Pam cooking spray
Peel and quarter potatoes.  I prefer red potatoes. Toss with garlic and olive oil.  Place in a single layer on a Pam-sprayed baking sheet. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Bake 15-20 minutes at 450* till done.  For more even browning, turn once in middle of baking time.  Serves 4.
Cheesy Potato Bake        
My sister-in-law, Brenda Swisher, says this is one of her son, Tommy’s, favorites.
1 24 oz. pkg. hash brown potato squares
1 16 oz. carton of sour cream
2 c. cheddar cheese shredded
2 cans cream of potato soup
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
Lay hash brown squares in greased 9 X 13 pan.  Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of hash browns.  Then combine sour cream and soup.  Spread on top.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top of that.  Bake at 425* for 40-45 minutes
Baked Stuffed Potatoes       
I have made these potatoes most of our married life.  They’re a great addition to ham, or roast beef.
8 large baking potatoes, scrubbed clean
1/2 - 3/4 hot milk
1/4 c. butter
1 egg
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
1/3 c. finely chopped onions
1 1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
Bake potatoes till tender.  Cool till they can be handled.  Cut slice from top of each. Scoop out the potatoes and mash.  Beat in enough milk to make the potatoes smooth and fluffy;  add butter; stir in remaining ingredients.  Pile back into shells and serve immediately or reheat as needed.  These can be frozen individually in aluminum foil and reheated.  It takes nearly an hour right out of the oven at 350*.  These freeze well so they can be made several days, or even weeks, ahead.  
Oven-fried Potatoes and Onions       
This is an easy way to make fried potatoes.  
6-8 potatoes 
1 large onion
1/4 c. oil
Peel potatoes and slice onion into a large bowl; add oil (I use light olive oil.)  Stir to coat the potatoes and onions.  Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake uncovered at 400* for 20-25 minutes, turning half way through. 
Gourmet Sweet Potato Classic     
I love this sweet potato casserole!  I could eat it every day, but then I would weigh about a hundred pounds more!
5 sweet potatoes                                  
2 T. white sugar
1/4 t. salt                                            
2 T. heavy cream
1/4 c. butter                                        
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla                                                  
3 T. flour
1/4 c. butter, softened                                        
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon                                  
1/2 c. chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350*.  Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.  Bake sweet potatoes in preheated oven till they begin to soften.  Cool slightly, peel, and mash. Or peel them and then boil them.  In a large bowl, mix the mashed sweet potatoes, salt, 1/4 c. butter, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar and cream or half & half.  Transfer to the prepared dish. In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 c. softened butter, flour, brown sugar, and chopped pecans.  Mix with a pastry blender or your fingers to the consistency of course meal.  Sprinkle over the sweet potato mixture. Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until topping is crisp and lightly browned.
6-Layer Casserole      
Jessica sent me this recipe to add to the cookbook.  She said she originally got it from Amy.
1 1/2 c. potatoes
1 c. carrots
1 c. white or brown rice 
1 1/2 t. salt
1 lb. hamburger, browned
2 cans diced tomatoes with juice
1 1/2 T. sugar or substitute 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
Layer the ingredients in the order they are listed.  Vegetables should be diced but not too small.
Cover and bake in 13X9” pan for 1 1/2 - 2 hours at 350*.
Baked Beans For a Few or For a Crowd      
I have had requests for my Baked Beans recipe, but since I don't use a recipe, I had to try putting them together with exact measurements.  The measurements are for 1 can of beans so multiply each measurement by the number of cans you use. 
1 can Pork and Beans
1-2 slices bacon per can of pork and beans
1/2 a small onion per can of beans
1 1/2 T. brown sugar
1 T. molasses
1 t. prepared mustard
1/8 c. catsup
Fry bacon until crispy, drain grease leaving a little in pan.  Break bacon into small pieces.   Brown onion in bacon grease until tender.  Pour beans into dish.  Depending on brand of beans, you may want to drain a little liquid off beans, reserving it till you see if it is needed.  Add onion and bacon and remaining ingredients.  Bake at 325* for 1 hour.   Adjust seasonings to your taste.
Baked Beans       
My aunt, Joyce (Miller) Hancock, said her husband, Donnie Miller, was always asked to bring these to work functions.
2 cans pork & beans
1 can chili hot beans
1/2 c. catsup
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 t. dry mustard
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
Combine all ingredients, cover, and cook at 350* for 1 1/2 hours.  These are especially good made a day ahead, then reheated.
Corn Casserole      
Our entire family loves this recipe which was given to me years ago by Ashley’s mom, Kathy Arney. 
1 can cream-style corn
1 can whole corn, undrained
1 egg beaten
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. butter or margarine, melted
1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
Mix all ingredients together.  Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan.  Bake at 350* about 45 minutes.
Broccoli in Cheese Sauce      
I used to make this recipe often many years ago, but forgot about it until I was looking through my recipe box.  
3 10 oz. pkgs. chopped broccoli, cooked, well-drained
2 cans mushroom soup
1 can mushrooms
1 large onion, chopped
1 roll Kraft garlic cheese, or add garlic to Velveeta,the equivalent of 1 ½ c.
Buttered bread crumbs made with 3 T. butter melted to about 2 ½ slices bread
Combine all ingredients and top with buttered bread crumbs.  Bake at 325* 30 to 40 minutes.
Cauliflower Supreme       
This is an excellent side dish that can be prepared ahead and heated right before you need it. 
1 10 oz. pkg. frozen cauliflower, cooked and drained
2/3 c. shredded Swiss cheese
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c. seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 c. melted butter
Place cauliflower in a 9 inch baking dish.  Combine remaining ingredients; sprinkle mixture evenly over top.  Bake at 425* for 10 to 15 minutes or till golden brown.  Yield:  4 servings
Spinach and Artichokes     
My friend, Katy Terry, who I met through the Aqueduct Board, gave me this delicious recipe.
2 10 oz. pkgs. frozen chopped spinach
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
2 T. butter
1 14 oz. can artichoke hearts, well drained
2 c. sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Cook spinach according to package directions.  Drain well.  Saute onion in butter.  Combine spinach, onion, artichoke hearts, sour cream, salt & pepper and 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese.  Place in buttered 1 1/2- 2 quart casserole dish and top with remaining cheese.  Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350*.  May be prepared early in day and refrigerated before baking.
Monterey Jack Vegetable Bake       
Another good recipe of unknown origin.
2 T. butter or margarine
1/2 lb. fresh broccoli
1-2 T. soy sauce
1 1/2 t. minced fresh garlic
1 t. celery seed
1/2 t. dried dill weed
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 lb. carrots, peeled and diced
1 small onion
7 eggs
1 1/4 c. milk
1 lb. Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
Break broccoli into florets, peel stems and cut into 1/2 inch pieces.  Melt butter in medium skillet until foam subsides.  Add broccoli stems and saute briefly.  Add soy sauce, garlic, celery seed, dill weed, and salt & pepper.  Cook over low heat about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add carrots, onion, and broccoli florets; cover and cook till tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Preheat over to 350*.  Beat eggs and milk in large bowl.  Add cheese and vegetables.  Turn into lightly greased, deep 3 quart baking dish.  Place in large, shallow pan and add boiling water to a depth of one inch.  Bake 50-60 minutes till knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Company Asparagus Casserole  
My grandmother, Sylva Swisher, won first prize in Vegetables with this recipe in a 1970 Charleston newspaper cooking contest..
4 c. asparagus, cut up, 
salted water to cover
2 c. soft bread crumbs
1 stick oleo
4 hard boiled eggs, sliced
2 rounded T. flour
2 1/2 c. milk
salt and pepper to taste
Cook asparagus in water until tender.  Drain.  Saute bread crumbs in melted oleo until golden brown.  Sprinkle with flour.  Pour in milk and cook until mixture thickens.  Pour small amount of sauce in baking dish, add a layer of asparagus, and a layer of sliced eggs.  Repeat until ingredients are used, ending with eggs on top. Cover and bake for 20 minutes at 350*.
Baked Brown Rice         
I recently discovered this foolproof way to prepare brown rice.  It is excellent!
1 1/2 c. brown rice
2 1/2 c. water
1T. butter
1 t. salt
Preheat oven to 375*.  Place the rice into an 8x8 pan.  Bring water, butter, and salt just to a boil in  covered saucepan.  Once the water boils, pour it over the rice, stir to combine and cover tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil.  Bake on middle rack of oven for 1 hour.  Remove cover and fluff rice with a fork. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Cheese Potatoes
I got the idea for these potatoes after reading one for scalloped potatoes, so I added cheese and tweaked a few of the other ingredients.  We love them.

1/4 c. chopped onion
2 1/2 T. butter
3 T. flour
3/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
2 1/2 c. milk
6-8 thinly sliced potatoes (3-4 c.)
2 inch slice of Velveeta cheese from 2 lb loaf
1-2 c. grated Colby Jack cheese
      Melt butter.  Stir in flour till blended.  Add milk, salt, pepper, onion, Velveeta cheese.  Cook and stir till cheese is melted and sauce has thickened.
      Place potatoes in 9x9 baking dish.  Cover with sauce.  Bake uncovered, at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. Top with Colby Jack cheese and return to oven till cheese has melted and is bubbly (about 15 min.)
      Serves 4-6.

Broccoli Casserole
I made this for Easter Dinner (2016) and liked it very much.

5 T. butter
1 onion, chopped
1 (10.75-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
7 cups frozen broccoli florets, thawed (about 20 ounces) thoroughly patted dry with paper towels
1/2 cup crushed buttery crackers (about 12 crackers)

      Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2-quart baking dish.
      Melt 3 T. butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Saute onion, stirring until golden, about 5 minutes
      Stir together soup, cheese, mayonnaise, eggs, garlic salt, seasoned salt, pepper, and lemon juice in a large bowl.  Fold in broccoli and onion.  Spread in prepared dish.  Sprinkle crushed crackers over top and dot with remaining 2 T. butter.  (I omitted these last 2 T. butter.)

      Bake uncovered, until heated through and browned on top, about 45 minutes.

5  Soups & Sandwiches
Cheese Soup           
This recipe is from my sister-in-law, Brenda Swisher.  It is a great hearty soup for cold weather.   
4 chicken bouillon cubes 
1 qt. water                                                                                                                    
1 c. chopped celery                                                                                                          
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 1/2 c. cubed potatoes
1 20 oz. pkg. frozen mixed vegetables
1 c. diced carrots
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 lb. Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
Place first 4 ingredients in soup pot.  Cover and cook for 20 minutes.  Add potatoes, frozen mixed vegetables, and diced carrots and cook covered 30 min. or till tender.  Add soup, and cheeses and simmer until melted.
Broccoli Cheese Soup             
This broccoli cheese soup is comparable to that served at Panera's.
1/4 c. butter
1 onion, chopped
1 16 oz. package frozen chopped broccoli
4 14.5 oz. cans chicken broth
1 lb. loaf processed cheese food, cubed
2 c. milk
1 T.  garlic powder
2/3 c. cornstarch
1 c. water
In a stockpot, melt butter over medium heat. Cook onion in butter until softened. Stir in broccoli, and cover with chicken broth. Simmer until broccoli is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.  Reduce heat, and stir in cheese cubes until melted. Mix in milk and garlic powder.  In a small bowl, stir cornstarch into water until dissolved. Stir into soup; cook, stirring frequently, until thick.
Beer Cheese Soup         
We used to go to a restaurant in Omaha called Gallaghers that served a wonderful beer cheese soup.  I found this recipe which seems to be very similar to how I remember it.  
2 c. milk
2 c. dark beer, like Heinekin
1 lb. Velveeta
1/3 c. crumbled bacon
1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. melted butter
1/2 t. salt

Combine flour and butter in saucepan till it forms into a ball.  Add milk, beer, and cheese to flour and butter.  Stir in bacon.  Cook over low heat stirring constantly.  Season with salt.  Serve.   Makes 6 1/2 cups.
Delicious Ham and Potato Soup         
This is a very good, hearty soup that I don't cook often because I don’t usually have leftover ham.
3 1/2 c. peeled and diced potatoes
1/3 c. diced celery
1/3 c. finely chopped onion
3/4 c. diced cooked ham
3 1/4 c. water *
2 T. chicken bouillon granules *
1/2 t. salt, or to taste
1 t. ground white or black pepper, or to taste
5 T. butter
5 T. flour
2 c. milk
1 c. grated Swiss cheese, optional

* Can substitute 2 cans chicken broth for the water and bouillon.
Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water (or chicken broth) in a stockpot.  Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes.  Stir in chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.  In a separate saucepan, melt butter.  Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute.  Slowly stir in milk.  Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4-5 minutes.  Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through.  Add Swiss cheese, if desired, and stir till melted. Serve immediately.
Potato Sausage Chowder         
This is another good hearty soup for a cool day.  
1 c. diced onion
1/2 c. minced celery
2 T. butter or margarine
14 oz. can condensed chicken broth
1 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. half and half
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 lb. pork sausage
1/4 c. flour
Saute onions and celery in butter till tender but not browned.  Add chicken broth, salt, pepper, and potatoes.  Cover and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer till potato is tender, about 10 minutes.  Add flour, milk, half & half, parsley and cheese.  Heat just till cheese begins to melt.  Meanwhile shape sausage into very small balls.  Fry until well browned on all sides, or just scramble the sausage and fry it.   Add to chowder just before serving.  Serves 4.
Ham and Bean Soup          
One of Kent’s favorite soups.   I usually double the recipe and freeze some in individual containers so he can thaw it for lunch if I'm going to be gone.  
1 16 oz. pkg. Great Northern Beans
3 c. chopped cooked ham
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T. olive oil
1 ham bone, optional
2 32 oz. cans chicken broth
1/2 t. dried crushed red pepper
Sort and wash beans.  Place in large pan.  Add water 2 inches above beans.  Soak 8 hours, or overnight.  Drain.  Saute ham, onion, and garlic in hot oil in large pan over medium high heat 5 minutes, or till onion is tender.  Add beans, ham bone, chicken broth and pepper.  Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 1 1/2 hours or till beans are tender and soup has thickened.  Serve with corn bread.
Creamy Eggplant Soup        
I had never tasted eggplant soup until my friend, Sara, gave me an eggplant from her garden and this recipe.  It is delicious! 
2 large eggplants
4 c. chicken stock
1 c. heavy cream
1/2 t. ground cumin
salt & pepper to taste
Place rack in center of oven.  Heat to 400*.  Put eggplants on an ungreased baking sheet and roast for 1 1/2 hours.  They will sag and possibly burst, look ugly, and be very tender inside.  Remove from oven.  Using 2 forks, immediately tear each eggplant open.  Scrape out the pulp onto the hot baking sheet.  Let it sizzle and brown.  This will help some of the juice to evaporate.  If there are puddles of juice, sponge them up.  Discard dry skins.  There will be 2 ample cups of shreds.  Puree the eggplant.  Makes a scant 2 c. of puree.  Add the remaining ingredients and bring just to the boil.  Simmer 5 minutes.   Makes 7 cups.
Chicken Noodle Soup    
An excellent soup from  
2 T. butter
1 c. chopped onion
1 c. chopped celery
1 c. sliced carrots
2 46 oz. cans chicken broth or 6-8 14 oz. (or make your own)
1 can vegetable broth, optional
1 lb. chicken breasts, cut up
1/2 t. dried basil
1/2 t. dried oregano
a pinch, or two of dried thyme
2 c. egg noodles*
2 c. frozen peas
salt and pepper to taste.
In large pot saute onions, celery and carrots in butter till tender.  Pour in broth and add chicken, basil, oregano, thyme.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer till chicken is cooked.  Add noodles and peas and cook till noodles are done.  Add salt and pepper, if desired. If you desire to make your own noodles, see recipe for Noodles in this cookbook.
I developed this easy recipe for chili, and regularly receive compliments on it from Kent.
1 lb. hamburger
1 large onion
1 can mild, medium or hot, seasoned chili beans
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 tomato sauce can of water, additional water can be added if you like thinner soup
1 T. sugar
1/2 t. cumin
salt and pepper to taste
additional chili powder, if desired
In large pan, or Dutch oven brown hamburger and onion.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add rest of ingredients and simmer for an hour or more on the stove or add to crock pot.  I use medium seasoned beans and think it comes out perfect for our taste.
Chicken Posole    
Jessica loves this soup, so she sent the recipe to add to this book.
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 lb. chicken breasts, cooked cut into small pieces or shredded
2 15 oz. cans each white hominy, drained and rinsed
1 med. onion, chopped
1 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. cumin
1/4 t. dried red pepper flakes
2 large chicken bouillon cubes
4 c. water
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes with jalapeños, or chilies, drained
1 T. lime juice
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
Combine garlic, chicken hominy, onion, oregano, cumin, red pepper flakes, bouillon cubes and water in large pan. Cover and cook for 2-3 hours.  Remove cover and stir in tomatoes, lime juice, salt and pepper until warmed through. Serve immediately.
Santa Fe Soup         
Pat Duke and I met when our children were little but then she moved.  We continued to trade recipes over the years.  This is one of her favorite soups.
2 lb. ground turkey, or beef
1 onion, chopped
2  .5 oz pkgs. dry Ranch-style dressing mix 
2  1 1/4 oz. pkgs. dry taco seasoning mix 
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can diced tomatoes with chilies
1 can tomato wedges, or diced tomatoes
2 cans white corn
2 c. water
Garnishes: sour cream, shredded cheese, sliced green onions
Cook meat & onion together until meat is browned.  Stir ranch-style dressing mix and taco seasoning mix into meat.  After this is incorporated, stir in the canned products and water.  Simmer for 2 hours because it needs this much time to thicken.  Add more water if mixture gets too thick.  If desired, garnish each serving with cheese, sour cream, onions.   Makes a huge pot of soup, but freezes well.
Plaza III Steak Soup        
Marlene Louden, the wife of one of Kent’s friends in law school, gave me this delicious, hearty soup recipe about 40 years ago.
1/2 c. margarine
1 c. flour
2 qts. hot water
2 lb. ground beef
1 c. onion, chopped
1 c. sliced celery
1 c. cubed carrots
1 T. salt
1/2 c. barley
1 c. tomatoes, 
1 or 2 10 oz. pkgs. frozen vegetables
2 T. beef flavor paste base
Melt margarine in electric fry pan.  Blend in flour to smooth paste.  Stir in hot water.  Saute ground beef, onion, carrots, and celery in pan and drain off fat.  Add meat to soup.  Add barley, tomatoes, other vegetables and seasonings.  Bring to boil and simmer until vegetables are done.  Can substitute beef bouillon and/or beef broth for beef paste.
Beef Barley Vegetable Soup         
I make variations of this soup, using whatever vegetables I have on hand.  I usually add cabbage, potatoes, and/or lima beans, and instead of the tomatoes I often add 1 large can of tomato juice.  I also usually leave out the barley, so I guess you could say this is a "starter" soup recipe.  
1 3 lb. beef chuck roast
1/2 c. barley
1 bay leaf
2 T. oil
3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 16 oz. pkg. frozen mixed vegetables
4 c. water
4  beef bouillon cubes
1 T. sugar
1/4 t. pepper
1 28 oz. can chopped stewed tomatoes 
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
Cook chuck roast till very tender.  Add barley and bay leaf during the last hour of cooking.  Remove meat and chop into bite-size pieces.  Discard bay leaf.  Set beef, broth, and barley aside.  Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium high heat.  Saute carrots, celery, onion, and frozen mixed vegetables until tender.  Add water, beef bouillon cubes, sugar, pepper, chopped tomatoes and beef/barley mixture.  Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer 10 to 20 minutes.  Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
Knock-A-Bout Soup   
This good soup came from an old Omaha cookbook that Mary Regan gave me years ago.
Beef, chicken parts, or ham bones
1 large onion, cut in large pieces
1 celery stalk, cut in large piece
1 carrot, cut in large pieces
3-4 garlic buds, chopped
1 T. salt
6-8 peppercorns
1 Bay leaf
Pinch oregano
Pinch tarragon
1/2 t. Italian herbs
1/2 c. fresh parsley, chopped
2-3 whole cloves, or 1/4 t. ground cloves
Potatoes, diced
Canned chick peas
Handful rice, or thin spaghetti broken in 3-4 inch pieces
1 T. soy sauce
1/4 c. parsley, chopped
3-4 scallions, slice
1/4 c. celery leaves, chopped
Begin preparing the day before.  Cover meat and bones with cold water.  Add the next 12 ingredients.  Bring to a boil; cover and simmer for 2 1/2 hours.  Chill overnight.  Day of serving, remove fat from top.  Add remaining ingredients.  Simmer until flavors blend well and vegetables are tender.  Other vegetables or slivered meats may be added.  Soup freezes well.  I usually make this all in one day.

Lasagna Soup with Cheesy Yum
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds bulk Italian sausage
3 cups chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6 cups chicken stock
2 (15 ounce) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 (8 ounce) package rotini pasta
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cheesy Yum:
8 ounces ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir sausage in hot oil until slightly brown and crumbly, about 5 minutes. Stir onion in sausage; cook and stir until softened, about 6 minutes.
Stir garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes into onion mixture; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomato paste; cook and stir until mixture has a brick-red color, 3 to 4 minutes.
Pour chicken stock, diced tomatoes, and bay leaves into pot; bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until flavors combine, about 30 minutes. Add rotini to pot and cook until tender yet firm to the bite, about 8 minutes; drain. Stir in basil and season soup with salt and black pepper.
Stir ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pinch black pepper in a bowl until well-combined.

Place a dollop of cheese mixture in the bottom of a soup bowl. Sprinkle some mozzarella cheese over cheese mixture and ladle soup over the top. Repeat with remaining cheese mixture, mozzarella, and soup.

Potato Leek Soup
1/2 cup butter
2 leeks, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
1 quart chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk

 In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Cook leeks in butter with salt and pepper
until tender, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes. 
Stir cornstarch into broth and pour broth into pot. Add the potatoes and bring to a boil.
Season with salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes till potatoes begin to soften and then
add the cream/milk.  Continue cooking for a few more minutes.until potatoes are tender.
Season with salt and pepper before serving.

Cheeseburger Soup
1 pound ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup diced celery
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
4 tablespoons butter divided
32 oz. chicken broth
4 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 lb of Velveeta processed cheese cubed or- 2 c. shredded cheddar
2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
¼ to 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup sour cream

     Brown the ground beef in 3 quart saucepan. Drain and set aside.
In the same saucepan add 1 T butter and add onion, shredded carrots, parsley flakes, basil and celery. Saute until tender.
     Add the broth, potatoes and beef and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
      In small skillet melt remaining butter (3 T) and add the flour. Cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until bubbly. Add to the soup and bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low.

 Stir in the cheese, milk, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat and blend in sour cream.

Cheesy Potato Corn Chowder

3 c. (or more) potatoes, cubed

1 large onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1/4 c. butter

1 14 oz. can chicken broth

1 4 oz, can chopped green chilies

1 can, or 2 c. frozen corn

2 c. Velveeta

Milk, or part 1/2 and 1/2 to desired consistency

Salt & pepper to taste

Melt butter in large pan.  Cook onions & celery till softened.  Add potatoes and chicken broth.  Cook till potatoes are tender (15-20 minutes).  With a fork mash some of the potatoes to help thicken the soup.  Add green chilies, corn, milk, cheese and seasonings.  Heat till cheese is melted.  Ham can be added if you would rather not have a meatless soup.  

French Onion Chicken Soup

For the Soup:

3 pounds yellow onions (4 large or 6 medium)

6 T. Butter, divided

1 tsp dried thyme

2 dried bay leaves

2 1/2 tsp salt, divided, plus more as needed

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

3 medium carrots 

3 medium stalks celery

3 cloves garlic (or 3/4 tsp garlic powder)

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or thighs

3/4 cup dry white wine

1 T. Dry sherry (I used Marsala wine as substitute)

1/4 c. Flour

6 c. Chicken broth

For the cheesy toasts (optional)

1/2 baguette or loaf of Italian/French bread

2 oz. Gruyere (or Swiss) cheese (about 1/2 heaping cup)

  • Peel, and thinly slice the yellow onions (about 10 cups)
  • Melt 4 T. of butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat.  Add the onions, dried thyme , bay leaves, 1 1/2 tsp salt and the pepper.  Cook stirring often and scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to prevent burning until the onions are soft and amber brown, 35-45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, peel and slice carrots and celery into 1/4 inch slices. (About 1 to 1 1/4 C. each) Mince the garlic.  When onions are done add remaining 2 T. butter to the onion mixture.  When melted, add carrots/celery/garlic and cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
  • Add wine and sherry to mixture.  Cook, stirring occasionally until mostly evaporated, 2-3 minutes.  Sprinkle with the flour and cook stirring constantly for 1 minute.  Continue stirring as you pour in the chicken broth. 
  • Season the chicken breasts (I use chicken tenders) with rest of salt.  (If breasts are thick, butterfly them by slicing longwise through thickest part.)
  • Add the chicken in a single layer on top of onion/carrot/wine mixture.  Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a lively simmer.  Reduce heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer.  Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, 15-20 minutes. 

Prepare cheese toasts:  

Arrange oven rack 3-4 inches below broiler unit and set oven to broil.  Cut baguette crosswise on a bias into 1 inch thick slices (about 8).  Place in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.  Grate the Gruyere cheese.  Sprinkle the bread evenly with the cheese.  Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

  • When chicken is well done, remove and shred with 2 forks, return to soup mixture. Remove bay leaves.  Add more salt/pepper if needed.  Ladle into bowls
  • Top each bowl of soup with a piece of cheese toast.  
  • Serve immediately.

Soup can be refrigerated 4-5 days or frozen for 3 months.

Chicken Salad Sandwiches        
This has been a family favorite since our kids were little.
4 or 5 chicken breasts, cooked, or a whole chicken
6 hard-boiled eggs
1+ c. mayonnaise
1 T. sugar
1-2 T. sweet pickle juice
1/2 c. or more sweet pickle relish, or chopped sweet pickles
Coarsely chop, or grind chicken in food processor, or meat grinder.  Then chop eggs.  Add all ingredients together and adjust seasonings.  May need to add more of some, especially mayonnaise.  Chill.  Serve on rolls from Dinner Roll recipe in this book.
California Chicken Sandwich    
A great sandwich recipe of unknown origin.
4 4 oz. skinned, boned chicken breast halves, or 8 chicken tenders
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. black pepper
cooking spray
8 1 1/2 oz. slices diagonally cut sourdough bread, toasted
4 small romaine lettuce leaves
2 plum tomatoes each cut lengthwise into 4 slices
1 peeled avocado, cut into 8 wedges
Citrus Mayonnaise:
1/3 c. mayonnaise 
2 T. thawed orange juice concentrate
1 t. lime juice
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/8 t. hot sauce
Combine all mayonnaise ingredients in a small bowl.  Set aside.  To prepare sandwiches, sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.  Place in large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.  Cook 5 minutes on each side.  Reduce heat to low.  Cover and cook 5 minutes more, or until done.  Remove from heat.  Cut chicken diagonally across grain into thin slices.  Spread 1 T. citrus mayonnaise from recipe below on each of 4 bread slices.  Top with 1 lettuce leaf, 1 chicken breast half, or 2 tenders, 2 tomato slices, 2 avocado wedges, and remaining bread slices.  Yields 4 servings. 
Italian Sausage Sandwiches     
We love this easy Italian Sausage Sandwich.  It is great with Italian Rolls recipe in this book. 
1 lb. package Italian sausages, mild, medium, or hot
1 T. olive oil
1 large green pepper
1 large onion
1 can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
Italian or Hoagie rolls
Cook Italian sausages according to directions on package.  I place them in a skillet, add about 1/2 inch water, cover them and cook about 20 minutes.  As the water evaporates I add more if needed.  Near the end of cooking time I let it all evaporate and turn the sausages to brown, or brown them on the grill.  While sausages are cooking, in separate skillet cook the peppers and onions in olive oil until they begin to soften.  Add the tomatoes and cook a few more minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Place sausages in rolls and top with onion/pepper/tomato mixture.  Serve hot.
Italian Runzas          
I made up this recipe after trying Runzas, which are Czech sandwiches with a cabbage and hamburger filling, that are popular in Nebraska.  All of our kids love it, but it is Greg’s favorite.  When he was in junior high, he and a friend used to try to get me to start a restaurant making these sandwiches.
1/2 Italian Roll recipe in this book
1 lb. hamburger
1 lb. or more, grated mozzarella cheese
1 small jar spaghetti sauce
Cook the hamburger and add the spaghetti sauce.  Heat 10 minutes or so.  Let roll dough rise till double.  Punch down and pinch off roll-sized pieces of dough, one at a time.  Roll each piece into a 6 inch round.  Place 1 T. of cheese and 1 T. sauce mixture in the center of the round.  Pull together all the edges and twist, sealing as much as possible before tucking them under.  Place sealed side down on greased jellyroll pan. Makes about 15 sandwiches.  Bake at 375* for approx. 15 minutes.   
Aunt Marion’s Sloppy Joes        
This recipe has been attributed to my grandmother, Florence Ghere’s sister, Marion. 
1 1/2 lb. hamburger
1 onion
salt and pepper to taste
1/4  c. water
1 1/2 T. vinegar
3/4 T. mustard
4 T. sugar, I uses brown sugar and not quite so much.
1 c. catsup
Cook hamburger and onion in a large skillet.  Add salt & pepper to taste and then add rest of ingredients.  Simmer to blend flavors. Serve on buns.

Sloppy Joes
1 lb ground beef
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 small onion chopped
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1⁄4 cup catsup
1⁄4 cup bbq sauce
1+ tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 -1 tablespoon vinegar  ( I prefer 1/2 T.)

In a large skillet, brown ground beef, celery and onion.  Drain the fat.
Stir in remaining ingredients, simmer covered, 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
If too sloppy, leave cover off and let moisture evaporate.
Ham Salad      
This is Grandma Swisher ‘s recipe.  She is often asked to make it for friends & family.
1 lb. bologna
4 eggs, boiled
6 or 7 sweet pickles
2/3 c. Miracle Whip
3 T. juice from pickles
pinch of salt & pepper
1 T. sugar
Grind bologna with meat grinder or food processor.  Then grind the eggs.  Then the pickles.  Combine the first 3 ingredients and add the rest, stirring till well mixed.  Refrigerate.  Serve on buns or rolls made from Dinner Roll recipe. 

Chicken Salad with Grapes
3 cups diced and chilled, cooked chicken meat (I use 12+ chicken tenders and bake them for 30 min. at 350 degrees)
1 cup chopped celery 
1-2 cups halved seedless grapes (I like lots of grapes in mine)          
4 green onions, sliced
3/4 cup pecans 
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 t. pepper
1 cup mayonnaise 
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 T. brown sugar
1 T. lemon juice

Whip cream to peaks, add mayonnaise, brown sugar, lemon juice and salt & pepper to taste.
Pour over rest of ingredients.  Refrigerate several hours, or overnight.  
This is fabulous on croissants!


Gyro Meat

1 medium onion, finely chopped or shredded

2 pounds ground lamb, beef, pork, chicken or a combination (I use lean ground beef)

1 T. finely minced garlic, or 2 or 3 cloves.

1 t. ground thyme

1 t. oregano

1 t. dried marjoram

1 t. ground cumin

1 t. dried ground rosemary

1 t. coriander

2 t. kosher salt

1 t. freshly ground black pepper


     Process the onion in a food processor for 10 to 15 seconds and turn out into the center of a tea towel or paper towel.  Gather up the ends of the towel and squeeze until almost all of the juice is removed. Discard juice.

     Return the onion to the food processor and add the meat, garlic, and spices and process until it is a fine paste, approximately 1 minute. Stop the processor as needed to scrape down sides of bowl.

To cook:

      Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

      Place the mixture into a loaf pan, making sure to press into the sides of the pan. Place the loaf pan on a wet towel in a larger pan and then fill to about half the height of the loaf pan with boiling water, and bake for 60 to 75 minutes or until the mixture reaches 165 to 170 degrees F. 

      Remove from the oven and drain off any fat.  Allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees F. Slice and serve on pita bread with tzatziki sauce, chopped onion, tomatoes and feta cheese.  (After slicing, I browned the slices in a very small amount of olive oil in a pan on the stove.  This is also a great way to heat them for leftovers.) 

Tzatziki Sauce:

16 ounces plain yogurt or sour cream

1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and shredded

Salt and pepper to taste

4 cloves garlic, finely minced

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 t. Dried dill, or to taste

If desired, you can place the shredded cucumber in a tea towel and squeeze to remove the liquid; discard liquid. I don’t do this because I like a more liquid tzatziki sauce.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the yogurt or sour cream, cucumber, salt, garlic, vinegar, and dill. Serve as a sauce for gyros. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups