Tuesday, December 23, 2014


These little appetizers from Betty Crocker are a big hit with any crowd.


  • Prep Time 20 min
  • Total Time 45 min
  • Servings 102


3 cups Original Bisquick™ mix
1 pound uncooked bulk pork sausage*
4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (16 ounces)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley or 1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes
Barbecue sauce or chili sauce, if desired


  • 1 Heat oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease bottom and sides of jelly roll pan, 15 1/2x10 1/2x2x1 inch.
  • 2 In large bowl, stir together all ingredients except barbecue sauce, using hands or spoon. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Place in pan.
  • 3 Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until brown. Immediately remove from pan. Serve warm with sauce for dipping.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 1 Cheese Ball
Calories 40
(Calories from Fat 25),
Total Fat 2 1/2g
(Saturated Fat 1 1/2g,
Trans Fat 0g),
Cholesterol 5mg
Sodium 95mg
Total Carbohydrate 2g
(Dietary Fiber 0g
  Sugars 0g),
Protein 2g
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A 0%; 
Vitamin C 0%;
Calcium 4%;
Iron 0%;

Sunday, December 21, 2014


When you deep-fry, hold each piece of food with long tongs as you add it to the oil. Hold it just below the oil's surface for five seconds before releasing it. This will seal the exterior and stop it from sticking to the pot or the other food. 

Michael Psilakis
FishTag and Kefi, New York City

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/chefs/articles/100-greatest-cooking-tips-of-all-time.page-2.html?oc=linkback

Friday, December 19, 2014


I like having little statues of pigs around because they're a symbol of good luck and prosperity.  Have one of these mini-sandwiches and your appetite will be blessed with good fortune.  Have several, and you'd best stay away from the scale.  If making these for a party, just multiply the ingredient amounts by 1 1/2 (for 36 servings) or 2 (for 48 servings), figuring one per person, or maybe two.  These are also delicious with soup instead of the usual fat-laden buttery crackers.

Makes 24 appetizer servings

Prep:  15 minutes
Bake:  375* for 10 to 12 minutes

Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray
All purpose flour, for rolling
12 pieces (1 ounce each) frozen bread roll dough or frozen bread dough, thawed
Dijon-style mustard (optional)
12 extra-thin slices Black Forest ham (about 3 ounces)
12 thin slices reduced fat cheese such as cheddar or Monterey Jack (about 2 ounces)
Sesame seeds (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 375*.  Coat nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray.  On lightly floured board, using floured rolling pin, roll each piece of dough out to a 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch square.  If desired, spread each with a little mustard.

2.  On top of each dough square, place 1 slice ham and 1 slice cheese, folded to fit neatly.  Roll up dough to enclose filling.  Cut in half and trim edges if necessary.  Roll in sesame seeds if desired.  Place, seam side down and 1 inch apart, on prepared baking sheet.

3.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until heated through and dough is golden brown.

51 calories
4 g protein
1 g fat (16% fat)
7 g carbohydrate
248 mg sodium
3 mg cholesterol

Taken from Richard Simmons Farewell to Fat Cookbook (c) 1996.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Who doesn't need a quick and easy meal this time of year?  Here's one for you to try.
Easy Crock Pot Rotisserie Chicken
1 roasting chicken ( choose one that will fit into your crock pot comfortably, and serve your size family)
Lawry's Seasoned Salt
4 -5 aluminum foil balls (or about 4-5 foil covered potatoes, scrubbed clean, or if using foil balls only, make them the size of small potatoes)

Directions: Crumple up 4-5 foil pieces into balls, or wrap potatoes in foil and place at bottom of crock pot. This will keep the chicken from sitting in it's juices and will make it roast not boil. Plus, if you do it w/ potatoes, you just have to throw together a salad and you're done.
  Rinse chicken and pat dry w/ paper towels. Sprinkle all over generously w/ seasoned salt.
  Place on top of foil balls in crock pot or on the foil covered potatoes.
  Cover and cook on HIGH (very important), for 6 hours or until chicken is done.

Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, December 14, 2014


If you find you need more oil in the pan when sautéing, add it in a stream along the edges of the pan so that by the time the oil reaches the ingredient being cooked, it will be heated. 

Anita Lo
Annisa, New York City

Saturday, December 13, 2014


I tasted my first stuffed mushroom at a wedding reception.  It was so delicious I said to the water, "Give me the platter and I'll serve them for you."  Well, by the time I got to the first guest, the mushrooms were gone!  Now whenever I go to a wedding reception (or any reception) I ask, "Are you serving stuffed mushrooms?  Oh you are!  Well I'll be happy to pass the platter for you."

Makes 12 Appetizer Servings

Prep:  15 minutes
Cook:  2 minutes
Bake:  375* for 15 minutes

12 large whole white mushrooms
Nonstick olive oil, cooking spray
1/4 cup each grated Parmesan cheese and low-fat ricotta-cheese
2 tablespoons each chopped fresh parsley and fresh bread crumbs
1 teaspoon each fresh lemon juice and minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1.  Preheat oven to 375*.  Wipe mushrooms clean with damp paper towel.  Twist and pull out stems, leaving cavity for stuffing.  Set mushrooms aside, cavity side up.  Trim ends from stems.  Finely dice stems.  Coat small nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat.  Add diced mushroom stems.  Cook, stirring, over medium-high heat for 2 minutes or until lightly browned.

2.  In small bowl mix remaining ingredients.  Add browned mushroom stems and stir to mix thoroughly.

3.  Spoon stuffing mixture into upturned mushroom caps.  Arrange in small baking pan.

4.  Bake, uncovered, 15 minutes or until mushrooms are cooked and heated through.

26 calories
2 g protein
1 g fat (39% fat)
2 g carbohydrate
100 mg sodium
3 mg cholesterol

At first glance these look like a fat no-no.  (Remember, you're only having one of these; okay, maybe two if no one is looking, but that's it!)  The percentage of calories from fat is 39 percent -- that's high.  But there's only 1 gram of fat per mushroom -- much less than most low-fat cookies or chips, or even vegetable side dishes tossed with a little sauce.  The calories are very low, too:  25 per mushroom.  Figure it out yet?  Since the calories are low, the ration of grams of fat to calories is high, even though the mushroom itself is a fairly "healthy" morsel.  The lesson here?  Don't stop with just the percentage of calories from fat, also take a look at how many grams of fat and calories a particular food has.

Taken from Richard Simmons Farewell to Fat Cookbook (c) 1996.

Sunday, December 7, 2014


Remember schmaltz? Your mom and grandmother probably used a lot of it in their home cooking. Schmaltz, or chicken fat, has a great flavor and richness; it has a deeper flavor than duck fat and can be used on nearly everything. I also love poaching fish in it. 

Friday, December 5, 2014


I like to slice vegetables such as a zucchini and eggplant lengthwise so that the pieces will be large.  If I'm grilling the vegetables, this works especially well, since there's less chance of the pieces slipping through the grill rack.  How embarrassing -- it's happened to me!

Makes 12 appetizer servings

Prep:  10 minutes
Broil:  10 minutes
Cook:  6 minutes

Non-stick vegetable oil cooking spray
2 cups sliced (1/4 inch thick) vegetables such as eggplant, bell peppers, zucchini, and yellow squash
6 fat free flour  tortillas (about 8 inch)
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzzarella cheese
1/2 cup bottled medium-hot salsa

1.  Preheat broiler.  Coat baking pan with cooking spray.  Arrange vegetable slices in single layer in pan, placing peppers skin side up.  Coat vegeables lightly with cooking spray.

2.  Broil vegetables about 2 inches from heat for 10 minutes or until browned, turning all once, except peppers.  Remove vegetables and let cool.  Peel peppers.

3.  Place 3 tortillas on flat surface.  Divide vegetables over each.  Top with cilantro, cheese, and salsa.  Cover with remaining tortillas.

4.  Coat nonstick skillet with cooking spray.  Heat over medium high heat.  Place quesadillas one at a time in skillet, and cook until lightly browned and cheese is melted, about 1 minute on eah side.

5.  Cut each quesadilla into 4 wedges.  Serve immediately. 

89 calories
4 g protein
2 g fat (17% fat)
14 g carbohydrate
234 mg sodium
5 mg cholesterol

Taken from Richard Simmons Farewell to Fat Cookbook (c) 1996

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Another Christmas cookie recipe for you.  Why don't I make these all year?  They are so good.

Makes 36 cookies

Prep time:  60 minutes
Total time:  3 hours 10 minutes

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

1.  Combine butter, sugar and egg in a bowl.  Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy.  Add orange juice and vanilla.  Continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well combined.  Add flour and baking powder and continue beating at low speed until well mixed.

 2.  Divide dough into thirds.  Shape each third into a ball and then flatten slightly.  Wrap each in plastic food wrap.  Refrigerate for 2-3 hours until firm.

3.  Heat oven to 400*.

4.  Roll out one third at a time on lightly floured board to 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick.  (Keep rest of dough refrigerated while you do this.)  Cut with 3 inch cookie cutter and place on ungreased cookie sheet 1 inch apart.  Sprinkle with colored sugar.

5.  Bake 6-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.  Let stand 1 minute on cookie sheet then remove to cooling rack.  Cool completely.

 NUTRITION FACTS:  (1 cookie)
Calories:  150
Cholesterol:  25 mg
Carbohydrates:  21 g
Protein:  1 g
Fat:  7 g
Sodium:  70 mg
Dietary fiber:  0 g

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


My love of barbecue grew from a wonderful memory of a small BBQ chicken restaurant just outside of Dallas.  I can still remember bowls of extra barbecue sauce on the table.  When no one was looking, I stuck in my finger and snuck a quick taste -- I was hooked.  So now you see why I couldn't pass up the chance to sneak some barbecue sauce into my chicken quesadilla.  To me, a quesadilla makes the perfect lunch, or even snack -- it's a cross between a sandwich and a pizza.  Whatever will be, will be.

Makes 12 appetizer servings

Prep:  10 minutes
Broil:  4 minutes
Cook:  6 minutes

6 ounces boneless, skinned chicken breasts
1/3 cup bottled barbecue sauce
6 fat-free flour tortillas (about 8 inch)
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
6 canned pitted black olives, sliced, or 1/4 avocado, pitted, peeled, and chopped
2/3 cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese
Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

1.  Preheat broiler.  Place chicken on rack in broiler pan.  Spread with some of the barbecue sauce.

2.  Broil 1 to 2 inches from heat for 2 minutes.  Turn chicken over.  Spread with more barbecue sauce.  Broil 1 to 2 minutes more or until meat is no longer pink in enter.  Cut chicken into bite-size chunks.

3.  Place tortillas on flat surface.  Spread with remaining barbecue sauce.  Scatter chicken chunks over half of each tortilla.  Top with red onion, a few cilantro leaves, olive or avocado, and cheese.  Fold over each tortilla in half to enclose filling.

4.  Coat large nonstick skillet with cooking spray.  Heat over medium-high heat.  Place 2 quesadillas at a time in skillet.  Cook until lightly browned and cheese is melted, about 1 minute each side.  To serve, cut each quesadilla in half.

101 calories
7 g protein
2 g fat (20% fat)
14 g carbohydrate
212 mg sodium
13 mg cholesterol

Taken from Richard Simmons Farewell to Fat Cookbook (c) 1996.

Monday, December 1, 2014


Want to hear a real story about American ingenuity?  Late one night at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, Dominick Beltissimo asked his mom, Teressa, the cook and co-owner of this restaurant-bar, to cook up a midnight snack for him and his buddies.  The only thing Teressa had on hand was a pile of chicken wings set aside for soup stock.  But Mom loved her son Dominick, so she said what the heck.  No soup!  She cooked the wings in some hot oil, brushed them with a tangy barbecue sauce, and served them with a blue cheese dressing and celery sticks -- the rest is history.  Thank you, Teressa!

Makes 4 appetizer servings

Prep:  5 minutes
Marinate:  30 to 60 minutes
Bake:  425* for 20 minutes

1 pound chicken drumettes
1/4 cup hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestrshire sauce
2 teaspoons paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or less for milder flavor
1 cup fat-free blue cheese flavored salad dressing
8 celery sticks

1.  In sealable plastic bag combine drumettes, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon paprika, and cayenne.  Seal bag and shake to coat chicken.  Refrigerate and marinate at least 30 minutes.

2.  Preheat oven to 425*.  Remove drumettes from marinade and arrange in single layer in shallow baking pan.  Sprinkle with half the remaining paprika.

3.  Bake 10 minutes.  Turn drumettes over.  Sprinkle with remaining paprika.  Bake another 10 minutes or until meat is no longer pink near bone.

4.  Pour blue cheese dressing into small bowl.  Arrange chicken and celery sticks on serving platter.  Accompany with blue cheese dressing for dipping.

Nutrient Value Per Serving:
206 calories
18 g protein
6 g fat (29% fat)
17 g carbohydrate
755 mg salt
53 mg cholesterol

What are Buffalo wings without the skin?  I make the choice here to keep the Sacred Fat skin on, although you could remove it before marinating for an even skinnier version -- but they won't taste as good.  Even with the skin on, the fat checks in at only 6 grams per serving.  But promise you won't eat more than your portion -- one recipe is not one serving, it's four!

Recipe taken from Richard Simmons Farewell to Fat Cookbook (c) 1996.

Sunday, November 30, 2014


Brine, baby, brine! Ya gotta brine that poultry to really give it the super flavor. 

Guy Fieri
Diners, Drive-ins and Dives

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Now that Thanksgiving is over, it's time to start the Christmas cookies.  This is one of my favorites.  I stumbled on it when I didn't have raisins in the house, but found a bag of craisins instead.  Craisins are dried cranberries and give these cookies a different flavor.  So good.  Every time I make them they are gone in a matter of minutes.


2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3 cups quick cooking or old fashioned oats
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup craisins

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.  In large bowl, beat all ingredients except oats, flour and craisins with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon.  Stir in oats, flour and craisins.

On ungreased cookie sheet, drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart.

Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until light brown.  Immediately remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack.

Makes 36 cookies.


Quick-cooking and old-fashioned rolled oats are interchangeable unless recipes call for a specific type. Instant oatmeal products are not the same as quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats and should not be used for baking—you will get gummy or mushy results.

For 3 grams of fat and 95 calories per serving, substitute unsweetened applesauce for the shortening and 1/2 cup fat-free cholesterol-free egg product for the eggs. Increase cinnamon and vanilla to 1 1/2 teaspoons each.

Press dough in ungreased 13x9-inch pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until light brown. Cool in pan on cooling rack. For 36 bars, cut into 6 rows by 6 rows.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


A couple of days ago I was looking for something to make to use up some tomatoes I had.  No use letting them go bad when I spent so much money for them.  I was reading a cookbook I had gotten out of the library when I came up with this idea.  Oh the inspiration I get to create my own dishes while reading recipes.


Cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 small onion, chopped
2 clove garlic minced
Olive oil
Dried basil
Salt and pepper

Put about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until juices are released (about 2 minutes).  Add the onion, garlic and basil and cook until onion is just transparent.  Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste.

You can make as much or as little as you want.  I am thinking it would work with chopped up slicing or beefsteak tomatoes also.  I'm going to try it the next time I make it.

Monday, November 24, 2014


After working with garlic, rub your hands vigorously on your stainless steel sink for 30 seconds before washing them. It will remove the odor.

Gerard Craft
Niche and Taste, St. Louis

Saturday, November 22, 2014


When I was in high school my mom gave me a Betty Crocker cookbook.  Probably a lot of you have or had one.  It is a red binder with lots of recipes divided into sections.

One of my go-to recipes in that book was the sugar cookies.  I have been making them for 40 + years and they have never let me down.  With Christmas coming you know these are going to be one of the varieties I make.


1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (I sometimes use lemon or orange)
1 egg
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
Granulated or colored sugar

Mix powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, almond extract and egg in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients except granulated sugar. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Heat oven to 375ºF. Lightly grease cookie sheet.

Divide dough in half. Roll each half 1/4 inch thick on lightly floured surface. Cut into desired shapes with 2- to 2 1/2-inch cookie cutters. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Place on cookie sheet.

Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until edges are light brown. Remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.

Enjoy while you can.  They won't last long.    

Thursday, November 20, 2014



Never buy boxed brownie mix again! Follow the recipe below and make brownies for approximately .30 a mix!
So simple, so easy. Not just frugal but cuts out the unknown ingredients. 
  1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1/3 Cup Cocoa
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Baking Powder

Put mix in plastic bags or mason jars and store in a cool dry place.
  At baking time add:
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 teaspoon Vanilla
  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes in an 8x8 or 9x9 pan. Check after 12-15 minutes of baking and remove when brownies are done.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Sausage Muffins

1 cup of Bisquick

1 lb. cooked sausage, crumbled

4 eggs, beaten

1 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese

Combine the four ingredients.  Spoon into greased muffin pans (or line with paper cups).

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. 

Makes 12 muffins.

 You can use any kind of sausage you would like.  I used breakfast sausage, but sweet Italian sausage or even a hot sausage or turkey sausage would be good.

Because I am allergic to dairy, I used a cheese with no lactose.  It tasted good and no one was the wiser.

YUM! Great for a cold night! Or  morning breakfast!