Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fresh Fruit Salsa

This is an absolutely wonderful summer treat! The more fruit, the better!

1 cup strawberries, sliced

1 kiwi, peeled and sliced

Juice from 1 orange

2 Fuji Apples, peeled and chopped

2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar

2 Tbsp. Any Berry Jam

(I add pineapple tidbits and banana slices, too!)

Blend together in food processor or salsa maker. Serve with cinnamon chips. Brush flour torillas with melted butter and sprinkle cinnamon-sugar. Cut into wedges and bake at 475 for 4 - 6 minutes.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

No food photo today but I wanted to share what my friend, Charith, brought to me during my recovery from the surgery. She called it "comfort food" and I can completely agree. (I'm sharing a photo of something else that brings me comfort instead!) I asked for the recipe and she kindly shared. I'll be making this one again for sure!

1 6.2 oz package Fried Rice flavored Rice-a-Roni, cooked. (Cook the Rice-A-Roni using 1 Tbsp. oil)

4 cups shredded cooked chicken

1 cup reduced fat sour cream

1 10.75 oz. can reduced fat cream of chicken soup

36 crushed Ritz crackers

6 Tbsp. (3/4 of stick) butter, melted

1 Tbsp. poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 375°. Spoon the rice in an even layer over the bottom of an 11x7 inch baking dish. Combine the chicken, sour cream and chicken soup in a medium bowl. Mix well. Spoon this over the rice. In the same bowl, combine the crackers and melted butter. Scatter this over the chicken mixture. Sprinkle the poppy seeds evenly over the top. Bake until it is bubbly and the crackers have lightly browned. Serve immediately.

The nummiest cheesecake ever!

My good friend, Charith, brought me this cheesecake for my birthday last year. Honestly, it is the best homemade cheesecake that I've ever tasted! While recovering from this surprise tonsillectomy, Charith arrived with another cheesecake! I've not been in my kitchen for almost three weeks. I'd been sad that I'd not thought to take a photo when she brought it by to share here on the blog. So, when Doug walked in with a plate bearing the coveted "last piece", I was thrilled! Even if I didn't get to photograph it until there was only a bite left. This is THE cheesecake to make! Enjoy!

2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
3 squares white bakers chocolate (melted)
1 chocolate flavored graham crust
3 tablespoons raspberry preserves
Melt chocolate on low. In a separate bowl, mix cream cheese. Add sugar and vanilla, mix on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, mix until blended. Stir in chocolate, mix. Pour into crust. Microwave preserves until melted (15 sec.) Dot mix with preserves and cut through with knife to marbleize. Bake at 350° for 35 - 40 min or until center is almost set. Let cool. Refrigerate for 3 hours.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

update on Mom, from Liza

This is Sophia's daughter, Liza. Mom asked me to post and let anyone who's new to her blogging here, or who visits her other blog, know that she just had emergency surgery. She's got lots cooking but not till she is back in the kitchen. Right now, she can't eat anything besides popcicles and her friends are bringing in lots of good meals. She'll be back to blogging soon! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Lemonade Pie

4 cups vanilla ice cream, softened

6 oz. can frozen lemonade concentrate

thawed 1 9" graham cracker crust

Mix softened icecream and lemonade concentrate until blended. Immediately spoon into graham cracker crust. Freeze about four hours until firm. Garnish with strawberry slices (I sprinkle with sugar on top of berries.) Let stand at room temp (long enough to add the strawberry slices) before serving. (Any other fruit juice concentrate will work as well. LOVE Strawberry-Banana-Orange juice!)

Bean Salsa

This has to be one of our favorite dishes and it's perfect for a party or company! This huge batch of salsa needs to be served to a large group. (At our home, we, also, serve this as a main dish summer salad!) If you take it to a party, make sure to print out a few copies of the recipe because you'll, for sure, be asked for it! Try it, you'll love it!

1 15 oz. can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz. can of black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
2 cans diced tomatoes (try it with the spicy ones, if you dare!)
1 8 oz. bottle Zesty Italian salad dressing
3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
3 avacados, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 small bag frozen corn

Mix and chill. Serve with chips!


Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Frequently, I have people suggest that I create a cookbook with all of the recipes that I share on my "other" blog. I mentioned to a friend that I was going to share them on a separate blog that would make it easier to find them again in the future and her response was "Well, it's about time!" First, I must thank the many wonderful friends that I've been blessed with... friends who are great cooks and willing to generously share their recipes. While my great friends and I love to cook, we go from one extreme to the other...keep things simple or go that extra mile to make things special or just plain fun!
The recipes that I create on my own usually come while I'm standing at the baking center in my kitchen covered to my nose in a flour shower or splattered butter or cocoa dust... not the best time to write things down. But, I'm going to try to write them down more often, photograph the pretty stuff and share all that I can!
My "secret brownie" recipe is my most requested. It's the only recipe that I don't share. Years ago, when I was a newlywed, a friend's mother had a secret recipe that was to die for, that she never shared with anyone. Tasting the coveted recipe was always a special treat, something to look forward to! I decided way back then that one day, if I ever came up with a "perfect" recipe of my own, I'd keep it as my secret until the day I died. Then, once I died, it would be printed on the back of the program of my funeral services. I created my secret brownies in about 1982 and to this day, they are still my secret. Want the recipe? Come to my funeral! Until that day, I'm happy to bake the brownies for anyone or any occasion upon request!
You won't get my secret brownie recipe here on the blog, but I promise to share lots and lots of other great ones, plus some fun kitchen tips and ideas to make your own "sentiments from the kitchen"! Enjoy!