Tuesday, December 26, 2006

New Year's Resolutions?

I have started to make my list, but I don't know where to begin.........meanwhile, maybe you can think of a few to share with all of us. Until then, enjoy your Holiday Celebrations and time with your family and friends. Happy Cooking!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy Holidays To You!

Wishing all my blogger friends, A Wonderful Holiday...............

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Mom's Easy Breakfast Casserole

My mother usually visits for the holidays, but this time she decided to remain home. I can't blame her- you never know "where" you may end up during this time of year if you are flying! She is also 84 years young....mom deserves a break from visiting once in awhile!
We normally start our Christmas day with a lavish brunch. When my kids were younger, they didn't want to take the time to eat. They headed right for the gifts under the tree.....after all, it was Christmas morning! Now, they are starving when they walk through the door and anxiously wait for me to hand them a plate! "Let's eat! "
Yesterday I prepared the casserole and placed it in the freezer. I am out of room in the frig! It's wonderful in that respect because it freezes so well. Along with the casserole, I will be serving a quiche, assorted breads, muffins and rolls, fresh fruits and mimosas and not necessarily in that order!

2 lbs.pork sausage
1 cup of chopped green pepper
1 cup of freshly sliced mushrooms
3 T. of butter
2 t.of curry powder
3 T. of flour
1 1/3 Cup of milk-lowfat works just fine.

Fry the sausage . Drain most of the fat away, save a small amount . Add the green peppers, mushrooms and saute. Place mixture in another bowl while you use the same pan to blend the flour and butter, while gradually adding the milk until the mixture has a wonderful thickness. You now have a white sauce! Add the curry. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook one minute. Mix the sausage and vegetables with the white sauce. Mix well and place in buttered casserole baking dish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs amd parmesean cheese. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


So, what is this stuff? I hear this word around "Christmas-time" a lot. Well, I am about to show you.
Somewhere in the Middle East I encountered a tree, a man dressed all in white and a camel. I was not very intrigued with the camel.....I'm assuming he provided the transportation to this desolate spot in the desert for the man in white. I arrived in a motorized vehicle and certainly had the wrong walking sandles on! This was one rocky barron region with a few scraggly trees scattered in clumps. Among the trees I saw one had a deep scar, probably similar to what we might expect to see if you were collecting rubber tree sap. Frankincense is nothing more than tree sap. When the tree bark is cut, out flows a milk like substance, the sap. This sap clings to the tree, running down the sides at a very slow pace. Sap can remain attached for three months or longer to dry out. It hardens and is picked from the tree and gathered in baskets, sorted and sold. As you can see, I had to purchase some. After all, I was at a market.........you never know what you will find.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Dreaded Fruitcake,Think Again!

Some time ago, I read a humorous article on fruitcakes. I read there were actually four Wisemen bearing gifts, however, the fourth Wiseman was ask to remain at home-he wanted to bring a fruitcake. Everyone relates to the fruitcake as "the gift that keeps on giving"....Actually, you can send me one anytime you feel like tossing it into a snowbank! I enjoy eating homemade fruitcakes.....what a difference there is between the cakes bought in the grocery, mail ordered and the fruitcakes made by your favorite aunt or next door neighbor.
Last weekend I was one of four judges invited to Historic Port Gamble, Washington, to judge the towns Third Annual Fruitcake Contest. These cakes are truly special occassion cakes and many that we judged were recipes based on origins of tradition-they melted in your mouth! I could hardly wait to taste each cake as a slice was delicately passed in front of me.
For those of us who truly cultivate the art of eating fruitcakes, this was hard work! We were judging thirteen cakes this year, and hopefully more next year. One might not expect it to take the better part of the afternoon, but we finally turned in our results two hours later. As the decision to find the perfect fruitcake drew to a close, I noticed several participants looking through the window anticipating the results. They all deserved a medal this year as there were no dreaded fruitcakes to judge this day.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Sausage, Apple and Cheese Pie

This is what the pie looks like....enjoy!

Dinner In One Dish

I'm not one to try complicated recipes..........period! I enjoy cooking with fresh ingredients, vegetables that are in season and want to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible. Then, I came across this recipe from LHJ...... It is a sausage, apple and cheese pie. I had to doctor it up some because I did not have all the called for ingredients, but I think it tasted wonderful with my adaptations.
I tried to condense this recipe as much as possible as many of the steps are things we already know how to do-why repeat eveything! Here goes........

Sausage, Apple and Cheese Pie
1 pound of cooked (grease drained) sweet sausage, not in casings.
2 cups of red chopped onions.
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced into 1/3 inch size.
1/2 cup white cranberry juice.
1 Tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.
2 Tablespoons of freshly chopped sage.
1 cup of freshly sliced mushrooms.
1 prepared piecrust, 2 sheets, thawed.
1 1/4 cup of milk.
4 eggs
1 cup of shredded Gruyere cheese- plain Swiss will work.

After cooking the sausage, drain the excess grease and cool. Save a bit of the grease for saute process. Break the sausage into smaller pieces.
Cook onion, season with salt and pepper, until golden brown. Add apple and 1 tablespoon of the sage. Cook for three minutes. Stir in juice and vinegar and reduce.Transfer to bowl and cool.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat with grease, a springform pan.
Roll out the dough into a 13 inch round and place into pan, slightly pleating or over-lapping the sides. Prick the dough all over and freeze until firm. Roll out the other pastry sheet and cut into 1/2 strips to make the lattice top. Place these strips on a cookie sheet and put in freezer to chill. They are much easier to work with when chilled. Fill the lined pan with whatever you use to weigh the crust down when precooking. Bake until crust is light brown. Cool.
Whisk the eggs and milk together and stir in sausage mixture.. Add the cheese and rest of sage. You can beat another egg to brush the top of the lattice if desired-I didn't. Much of the egg mixture came to the surface anyway. Wrap the outside of the pan with foil incase of a leak. Mine did leak some.
Bake until filling is set, about 1 hour. Garnish with fresh sage and serve warm.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

All Decked Out-Paris 2006

This isn't exactly a recipe or blog on food today, however, you will find a few pots and pans dancing and enticing table settings . Fervent beliefs in decorating, the French window designers continue to artfully design and sculpt their creations for the upcoming holiday season. It is truly through their educated eyes and amazing confidence that we see such a display of talent in store windows throughout Paris- enjoy and celebrate the season-