Sunday, November 30, 2008

chicken and rice casserole

1 pkg. Uncle Ben's Rice with herbs
4 chicken breasts (cooked and chopped)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 c. chicken broth
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1 c. shredded cheese
1 can Durkee dry onions

Cook Uncle Ben's Rice as directed on package.  Mix well, put in 13x9-inch pan, bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Add 1 can of Durkee dry onions and put back in the oven for 5 minutes.

[From the Mulder's Blest Recipes cookbook]

Saturday, November 22, 2008

judy's cranberry relish

Many years ago, when we lived in the suburbs of Washington, DC, we spent many Thanksgiving Days sharing a meal at the Studebaker home with their family and friends. Mrs. Studebaker (Judy) served this and it has been a staple of our holiday meals ever since.  

1 small package cherry jello
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup boiling water
1 T. lemon juice
9 oz.  pineapple cut into small pieces (tidbits cut in half work well)
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped cranberries
1 orange, peeled with a knife to remove membranes, and sections cut-out separately to remove all inner membranes, chopped
1 cup chopped pecans

Drain juice from pineapple.  Add boiling water to sugar and stir.  Mix into jello and stir until goopy.  Add lemon juice, pineapple, celery, cranberries, orange and pecans.  Chill until firm.  Stir before serving.

Monday, November 17, 2008

mushroom-squash soup

This is perfect to warm you up on a cold, winter day.

1/4 c. olive oil
2 sprigs Rosemary
4 sprigs Sage
1/2 large yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1 yellow squash, peeled and seeded, diced
1 zucchini, peeled and diced
3/4 t. salt
1/8 t. freshly ground white pepper
1/2 lb. portobello mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
1/2 lb. oyster mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
1/2 lb. shitake mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
3 c. chicken stock
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 T. unsalted butter

Heat the olive oil in a  large pot over a medium flame.  Bundle the rosemary and sage together and tie with kitchen twine.  When the oil is hot, add the herb bundle and sizzle for a few minutes on both sides to infuse the oil.  

Add the onion, yellow squash,, zucchini, garlic, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown.

Turn the flame to high and add the mushrooms.  Cook for 10 minutes, during which the mushrooms will give off their liquid (which should evaporate quickly due to the high heat) and deflate significantly.  Stir occasionally.

Add the chicken stock and simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove the herbs, then add the cream and butter.  Using a stick blender, puree the soup until smooth (you can also puree the soup in a blender, working in small batches).  Keep at a very low simmer until ready to serve.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

pot o' pintos

This is a staple in our house since I am married to a Texan.

1 lb. bag of dried pinto beans (about 2 cups), picked, sorted, and washed
1 hambone
2-3 quarts of water
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
salt and fresh ground black pepper
1/2 t. ground cumin
1 T. chili powder
2 t. paprika

After cleaning the beans, place them and the hambone in a large pot and cover with enough water to have as much depth of water above the beans as there are beans. Soak overnight then drain off the water and cover with clean water.

Add the garlic cloves and bring the water just to a boil. Turn down the heat to low and cook until the beans are soft, but not torn apart, about 4 hours. Try not to stir, as that makes the beans mushy.

After the beans are to the texture you like, add the cumin, chili powder and paprika, to your taste. Cook for another 45 minutes. Once the beans are done, add the salt and pepper. Do not add salt until after the beans are done or they will make the bean hulls tough.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2 medium onions, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 8 oz. package of fresh mushrooms
1 t. basil leaves
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. oregano leaves
dash of pepper
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
16-oz. can (2 c.) tomatoes, cut up or pureed in blender
15-oz can (2 c.) tomato sauce
8 oz. pkg. lasagna noodles (or egg roll wrappers, as an alternative)
12-oz. carton (1 1/2 c.) ricotta cheese
2 c. (8 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, brown ground beef, green pepper, onions, celery, mushrooms and garlic; drain excess fat. Add basil, salt, oregano, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Simmer covered, 30-45 minutes.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In an ungreased 13x9-inch pan, layer 1/3 noodles/wrappers, 1/3 meat sauce, 1/2 of ricotta cheese, and 1/2 of Mozzarella cheese. Repeat with next layer of noodles/wrappers, meat, ricotta and Mozzarella. On last layer of noodles/wrappers, spread meat mixture and sprinkle with Parmesan.* Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes for ease in cutting.

Makes 8 servings.

To make ahead, prepare until *, cool, cover and refrigerate up to 2 days. to serve, bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes.

This recipe was adapted from the Lasagna recipe found in the Pillsbury Kitchens' Family Cookbook.