Sunday, November 30, 2014

Turkey and Stuffing Casserole

Post Thanksgiving leftovers are great, but they can take up a lot of space in your refrigerator. Here's a handy, and delicious recipe that combines your Thanksgiving leftovers into one casserole dish, saving space in the fridge.




Vegetable Cooking Spray
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 cups milk, chicken broth or water
1 package frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrot combination, thawed
2 cups cubed leftover turkey
3 to 4 cups leftover stuffing
1/4 cup leftover cranberry sauce (optional)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 400F and spray nonstick cooking spray into a 12 x 8 x 2 inch baking dish. Set aside.

Stir soup and liquid in a large mixing bowl until well blended. Add vegetables, turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce and mix thoroughly. Pour mixture into baking dish.

Melt butter in microwave and add breadcrumbs, stirring until they are moistened. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top of the turkey mixture.

Bake for 20 minutes or until sauce is bubbling.

Note: If you are short on stuffing slice bread into small cubes and add to stuffing.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Pumpkin Walnut Cheesecake Pie

Yes, I know I haven't been posting here in awhile. I've been busy writing and publishing books, and with life in general. That said, I've recently become acquainted with a new friend who loves cheesecakes. Me too. It's inspiring me to try making my own. So, I'm off to a good start. Pumpkin pie is one of those desserts that I could always take or leave, so yesterday I decided to do some experimenting with some pumpkin cheesecake recipes. I combined two recipes, and came up with something easy and delicious, and too good to not share. So, happy holidays.



2 8 oz packages of cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
1 15oz can of pumpkin
2 eggs
2 frozen pie shells, thawed
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt


6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Cream sugar and cheese together in a large mixing bowl. Add pumpkin and spices and mix thoroughly. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add salt and blend until creamy. Pour equal amounts into pie shells and bake for 30 mintues.

While cheesecake is baking prepare topping. Cream butter and brown sugar in a small mixing bowl. Add walnuts and blend thoroughly. Remove cheesecakes from oven after 30 minutes and sprinkle on topping. Return to oven and bake for approximately 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool. Serve with whipped cream topping, if desired.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Traditional Cranberry Sauce

With the holiday season coming up there's no need to buy canned cranberry sauce with its high fructose corn syrup and other additives that you may not want when it's so easy to make it yourself. You can also make it the day before and allow it to chill overnight.

Happy Holidays.



3 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Place cranberries in a colander or strainer and wash thoroughly, removing any damaged cranberries. Set aside.

Pour water into a 2 quart saucepan and place over medium high heat. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Bring to a boil, and add cranberries. Reduce heat to medium, stirring occasionally until cranberry skins begin to pop. Keep stirring for several minutes. If a smoother sauce is desired, keep stirring until most of the skins have popped. Remove from heat and set aside. Sauce will thicken as it cools.  Refrigerate sauce once it reaches room temperature.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

My Next Cookbook Project

I know, it's been ages since I've posted anything here, but lately most of my time seems to be spent writing novels and publishing books. That said, I've finally made some decisions regarding my next cookbook project.

My original plan was to do an updated version of Anna's Kitchen, with a new title, additional historic recipes, updates on how to prepare those dishes containing ingredients that are now hard to find, and updated measurements, since food manufacturers no longer produce items in "Number Two" sized cans. However, the more I thought about it, the less appealing the project was. I've already done a historic cookbook, and I really wasn't that enthusiastic about reinventing the wheel. I want to do something different. Finally, it hit me.

My next cookbook will be something to the effect of, Novel Cuisine: Classic Recipes for Busy Writers. I'll admit it. There are times when I get so darn busy working on a manuscript that I lose all track of time until I start feeling hunger pangs. Then I'll look at the clock, and discover it's late. Much later than I thought, and it's well past dinnertime. At that point it's all too easy throw a frozen meal in the microwave, or have pizza delivered, or jump into the car and go through the nearest fast-food drive-thru. None of those choices, however, make for healthy eating. What I have in mind is a collection of easy recipes, that would take about 30 minutes to prepare, and taste delicious. I also want to include some crock-pot recipes, as I've come to realize that a crock-pot can be a busy writer's best friend.

I'll probably include many of the recipes I've posted here, including many of my mother's recipes, along with many of the updated recipes from Anna's Kitchen. I'll also include more so-called "modern" recipes, including all of the ones included in the back of my Marina Martindale novels. 

Stay tuned. Something is definitely happening in my kitchen.


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Southwestern Chicken Soup

One thing I'm learning as a writer is that my crock pot is my best friend. Just put something in first thing in the morning, and by the end of the day dinner's done. I don't have to stop whatever I'm doing to cook.

I picked up a little recipe card book from A Taste of Home the other day at the supermarket. Of course, I'm adapting the recipes for my own taste. Here's one that I've added a little extra zing to.


2 to 3 boneless chicken breasts
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 32 oz package MSG free chicken broth
1 package frozen corn, thawed OR 1 can corn
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 4 oz can diced green chiles
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped (optional)
1 medium red pepper, chopped (optional)
1 tsp salt (optional)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika

Chopped chicken into bite-sized cubes and saute in oil over medium heat. While chicken is cooking chop onion and peppers, (if desired), and drop into crock pot. Add corn, chiles and tomatoes and stir. Drop in chicken, stir again. Pour entire package of broth over top and add seasonings. Stir again, cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours. Serve with hot cornbread.
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