Thursday, August 14, 2008

Jiffy Hush Puppies

Fish n' Chips is one of my favorite meals, and these go great along side.

  • 2 boxes Jiffy mix
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped fine
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of Emeril's Essence (BAM!)
  • Milk
Combine all ingredients except milk. Just before cooking, add milk. Drop by teaspoons into deep hot fat. Cook until done (about 2 minutes at 350 degrees). Flip over halfway through cooking to brown both sides.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Shrimp Creole


  • 2 lbs. Peeled and Deveined Shrimp, save shells to make Shrimp Stock
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Large Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Ribs Celery, finely chopped
  • 1 small Green Pepper, finely Chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Creole Seasoning (BAM)
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 2-1/2 Cups Very Ripe Fresh Tomatoes, Diced
  • 1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 2 Cups Shrimp Stock (recipe here)
  • 2 Tbsp Garlic, minced
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • Cayenne to taste
  • Kosher Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp White Pepper
  • 1 bunch Fresh Thyme
  • 2 Tbsp Tabasco
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Green Onions, green tops thinly sliced, white part sliced into 1/4″ thickness
  • 1/8 Cup Flat Leaf Parsley, minced
  • 1 Recipe Creole Boiled Rice*

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan with the vegetable oil over medium high heat. When the butter begins to froth add 1/2 cup of the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown. Add the remaining onions, celery, and bell pepper, reduce the heat to medium and season with 1 Tbsp Creole Seasoning and a healthy pinch of salt. Sweat the vegetables until the soft.

Add the tomato paste mixing well, and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste begins to brown, then add the fresh tomatoes and another healthy pinch of Kosher salt, this will help the tomatoes break down. Stir well.

When the tomatoes start to break down into liquid add the white wine, and turn the heat to high until most of the alcohol burns off. Add the Shrimp Stock, remaining Creole seasoning, garlic, bay leaves, black pepper, white pepper, cayenne (to taste), and Thyme. Bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer. Simmer for 30-45 minutes.

(If necessary at this point thicken the sauce with 1 Tbsp Cornstarch/ 2Tbsp water. Bring to a boil to maximize the thickening power of the cornstarch.)

Add the hot sauce, Worcestershire, and season to taste with Kosher salt. Last chance to re-season your sauce, remember that good cooking is all about proper seasoning. Make your Boiled Rice, and season your shrimp with 1 Tbsp Kosher salt and a pinch of Cayenne.

Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat to low and add the shrimp. The key is to not overcook your shrimp. Let them slowly simmer in the sauce until just cooked through.

Serve with boiled rice and garnish with the remaining green onions and parsley.

Serve immediately.
Serves 4.

*Creole Rice - Boil 1 cup rice with 1/2 tsp Emeril's Bayou Blast and a bay leaf.  Add 1 tbl butter after rice is done.

Singing Cake

This was sent to me by a friend I met on the 'net, Gypsy.

  •  1 c Butter
  •  2 c Brown sugar
  •  2 t Baking powder mixed in
  •  1 c Buttermilk
  •  1 c Raisins (I'd have to omit these for Pete - he hates raisins!)
  •  2 t Cinnamon
  •  2 Sq. bitter chocolate, melted
  •  3 Eggs, separated 
  •  1 c Strawberry jam
  •  1 c Chopped nuts
  •  4 c Sifted flour 
  •  1 t Cloves

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks and stir. Add melted chocolate and stir. Add raisins and stir. Add cinnamon, cloves, flour and stir. Add nuts and jam and stir.

Now add the baking powder and buttermilk and quickly add to the cake mixture and stir. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Quickly pour mixture into greased and floured angel food cake pan. Bake at 350 F until cake stops singing, about 45 minutes.

Make sure you time the recipe so your guests are present during the baking. Once cake is baked the effect is over.

Split Pea Soup

  • 2 cups dried split peas (about 1 lb)
  • 2 qts water
  • 1 ham bone
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1 cup minced celery
  • 1 sprig parsley
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Combine peas and water in large kettle, heat to boiling and boil gently for 2 minutes, then remove from heat, cover, and let stand for an hour.

Heat to boiling and boil for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until peas are soft and mushy. Remove bone; trim meat from bone and add to soup. If you wish, thin the soup with milk or water and season to taste

Tater Tot Casserole

This is good "comfort food" on a cold, snowy or rainy day.

  •  3/4 lb ground beef 
  •  1/2 lb sausage (hot)
  •  1 can whole kernel corn
    or 1/2 pkg frozen corn
  •  1 can pieces of mushrooms (optional)
  •  1 can of cream of mushroom or celery soup 
  •  1 package of shredded cheddar cheese 
  •  1/2 an onion (chopped) 
  •  1 bag or less of tater tots 

Heat oven to 400F. While cooking ground beef till done mix together the corn, mushrooms, soup, 1/2 bag of cheese, and the onion. After ground beef is done mix all ingredients together.

Put in a well greased baking pan. Top with tater tots, and bake at 400∞ for about 30 mins.

Ten minutes before its done top with rest of cheese. Bake till tots and cheese is done. Serves about 4 people.

For a mexican flair, use Campbell's Nacho Cheese soup (instead of the cream soup) and some frozen Santa Fe blend vegetables (black beans, corn, & broccoli instead of corn). Add 1/2 tsp chili powder to the beef, or season to your own taste.

Turkey with Orange, Cloves, & Sage

Pete and I made this for the last holiday dinner that I got to spend with my mother, Martha. It was a special holiday, and he really went all out for her. She enjoyed spending the evening with us instead of at the nursing home and we all ate well!

For the herb rub:
  •  1 tablespoon rubbed sage
  •  1 tablespoon kosher salt
  •  2 tablespoons dried orange peel
  •  1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

For the turkey:
  •  1 12-pound oven-ready turkey
  •  2 small oranges
  •  12 whole cloves
  •  6 cloves garlic
  •  1 bunch fresh sage, tied with butcher s string

To make the herb rub, mix together all rub ingredients; set aside.

Rinse turkey and pat dry. Insert 6 whole cloves into each orange. Pierce each orange several times with a knife. Put oranges, garlic, and fresh sage bunch into turkey cavity. Turn wings back to hold neck skin in place. Return legs to tucked position. Rub entire outside surface of turkey with herb mixture, pressing it into the skin surface.

Grilling directions: Set your grill up for slow cooking (coals on the sides and a drip pan in the center). Place turkey, breast side up, in a roast holder set inside a large heavy-gauge foil pan. Place in center of cooking grate.

Oven directions: Preheat oven to 325∞. Place turkey on a rack, breast side up, in a roasting pan. Place in center of oven.

Cook 11 to 13 minutes per pound to an internal temperature of 180 F in the thigh and 170 F in the breast (about 2-1/4 hours for a 12-pound turkey). Cover wings and/or drumsticks with heavy-duty aluminum foil if they brown too quickly. Remove turkey from grill/oven and let stand 15 minutes before carving.

Makes 12 to 14 servings.

Val's Chili

  •  1 lb. ground beef or ground turkey
  •  1 large clove minced garlic
  •  1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  •  1 medium green pepper, finely chopped
  •  1 can (16 OZ.) diced tomatoes
  •  1 can (16 OZ.) Dark red kidney beans-liquid drained
  •  1 can (16 OZ.) black beans-liquid drained

  •  4 TBS. chili powder
  •  1 TBS cider vinegar
  •  1/4 TSP allspice
  •  1/4 TSP coriander
  •  1 TSP cumin
  •  1/2 TSP salt & pepper
  •  dash tobasco (to taste)

Cook ground meat, garlic, onion, green pepper over medium-high heat. Cook until meat has lost color and onion is soft. Add spices to meat and blend. Add drained beans. Add tomatoes with liquid. Mix well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer on low 45 minutes, stirring frequently.

Variations: VEGETARIAN: Substitute One (16 OZ.) CAN of PINTO or LIGHT KIDNEY BEANS for meat.

PINTO or LIGHT KIDNEY or GARBANZO BEANS can be substituted for BLACK or DARK KIDNEY BEANS. Add TOMATOES with Jalapeños for a hotter chili.

Val's Hummus

I'm not a big fan of chick peas, but grind them up with some olive oil and smear them on a Rye-Krisp and they're great!

  •  1/3 Cup Sesame Tahini (can substitute Olive Oil)
  •  1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
  •  5 Cloves Fresh Garlic, minced
  •  5 Drops Tabasco
  •  1/4 Cup Water
  •  1/2 tsp. Cumin
  •  2 Cans (15 oz.) Garbanzo Beans (aka. Chick Peas)

Combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth. Food processor is fastest way.

Or else: Hand mash beans, with potato masher, until soft enough to blend with electric mixer.

Serve with pita bread quarters or Rye-Krisp crackers.

Pete's Seafood Newburg


Poaching Liquid
  •  2 cups water
  •  1 Tbls Black Peppercorns
  •  2 Bay leaves
  •  A pinch of salt
  •  1/2 peeled shrimp
  •  1 cup Sea Scallops
  •  2 large Lobster tails

  •  1/2 cup of flour
  •  1 tsps Paprika
  •  1 tsps Curry powder
  •  1/2 tsps ground Nutmeg
  •  1 tsps Cayenne pepper

Gremalada Topping (Chop all well)
  •  2 cloves garlic
  •  1 Tbls Lemon zest
  •  1/4 cup each of FRESH Rosemary and Parsley

Bring water and spices to a boil for 2 minutes then turn down to med. low. After water temp comes down from boil add the shrimp and the scallops. Poach for 3 minutes ONLY. Remove and set aside. Place in the lobster tails and poach by themselves for 4 minutes ONLY. Remove them and allow to cool. After cooled, crack the shells, remove the meat and cut into large chunks. Set aside.

In a sauce pan add 1 1/2 milk and 1/2 small can of tomato paste. Whisk until thoroughly combined then put on low to keep warm.

In fry pan add 3 Tbls butter and melt without browning. Add in the roux ingredients. Make a roux then add 2/3 cup white wine and wisk until smooth. Then add the milk mixture and continue wisking until the Newberg sauce is fairly thick.

Then gently fold in the seafood and gently simmer for 5 minutes

Serve the Seafood Newberg over white rice then top with the gremalada.

Pete's Steak Marinade

  •  1 tsp. garlic powder
  •  1 tsp. onion powder
  •  1 Tbs. meat tenderizer
  •  1 tsp. pepper
  •  2 Tbs. Sam Seltzer's Steak Seasoning*

  •  1 tsp. Liquid Smoke
  •  2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  •  1 tsp. scotch

Allow steak to become room temp. Mix dry stuff (except Seltzer's) and sprinkle equal amounts on each side, one side at a time. After sprinkle, take fork and stab vigorously. Allow to sit about 20 minutes.

Mix wet stuff and pour equal amounts on each side.

Sprinkle Seltzer's equal on both sides, one side at a time. After Seltzer's take fork and pat onto surface of steak. Flip over and repeat.

Put steak on plate and cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temp until the coals are ready.  Grill to your own taste, we like medium rare, about 4 minutes on each side.

*If you don't live in Tampa, FL and can't find the Seltzer's steak seasoning, McCormick's "Montreal Steak" will work, it's very close.

Pork Oriental Stir-Fry

  •  2-3 lbs pork, cut in small chunks (pork steaks are cheapest)
  •  1 Cup chopped cabbage
  •  3 radishes, sliced fairly thin
  •  1/2 Cup julianned carrots (julianne: cut lengthwise into small strips)

Marinate veggies for 30 min or more in:
  •  1/4 Cup soy sauce
  •  2 Tb vinegar or lemon juice
  •  1/4 tsp salt
  •  1/4 tsp ginger
  •  dash or two of hot mustard powder (prepared mustard will do, but use it sparingly unless you like hot food!)

Marinate meat for 30 min or more in:
  •  1/4 soy sauce
  •  1/4 tsp ginger
  •  1/2 tsp onion salt
  •  1/2 tsp barbeque spice (or 1 tsp BBQ sauce)
  •  2 Tb brown sugar (regular will do, brown's better)
  •  dash or two of paprika
  •  dash or two of hot mustard powder

Put a Tbl of oil in the pan or wok and coat the inside. Heat the pan and add meat, draining excess marinade. Stir-fry meat until brown on the outside. Push meat to sides of pan (or wok) and dump in the veggies with the veggie marinade. Cover and turn down heat to a low simmer. Stir the veggies once or twice during cooking. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until veggies are tender but not soggy. Mix the meat into the veggies. Serve over a plate of white or long grain rice.
Serve over rice or chow mein noodles. Serves about 4.

NOTE: Lots of other veggies will work. Try a pkg. of frozen veggies that you like: Broccoli/Cauliflower mixture or greenbeans or carrots and diced green pepper. Be creative and make changes! Try to use fresh or frozen - canned veggies tend to be soggy.

Potato Bread

  •  2 small potatos, peeled and cubed
  •  1 1/2 cups water
  •  6 - 6 1/2 Cups flour (I have never got this much into 2 loaves, but you need this much for kneading).
  •  2 pkgs active dry yeast 
  •  2 Tbs. shortening
  •  1 Tbs. salt
  •  3 Tbs. sugar

Boil potato cubes in the water (unsalted) for 10-12 minutes. Don't drain the potato water, instead skim out 1/2 cup of it and set aside to cool. Mash the potatos and water together, then add warm tap water to make 2 cups. When the 1/2 cup of set-aside potato water is between 110 to 115 degrees, mix it with the yeast to soften the yeast and start it growing. Once the yeast is dissolved, add the potato mixture (also cooled to between 110 and 115 degrees), 2 cups of the flour, and the sugar, salt, and shortening. Beat at low speed of mixer for 1/2 minute, then high speed for 3 minutes. The thin dough should be smooth with no lumps of flour or yeast.

If you have a mixer with dough hooks, get them out and mix in as much of the remaining flour as you can with the hooks at high speed. If you don't have dough hooks, mix as much of the flour in as you can with a spoon. At this point, the dough should be getting stiffer, but still very sticky. Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead in enough of the remaining flour as you can to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic, but still a bit tacky if you rest your hand on it too long.

Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl, turning it once to grease both sides. Cover and let rise till it's double in size (45 min to 1 hr). I usually place a wet tea towel of a light material on the top to add moisture and darkness and turn the oven on to "warm", sitting the dough on the stove or right next to it. Mom used a crockery bowl and a wet tea towel, then put the bowl on the top of the refridgerator, since heat rises toward the ceiling. The optimum temperature for yeast to rise is about 80 degrees, so don't get the dough too hot or cold. This first rise is called "proofing" the dough. Basically, you are "proving" that the yeast is working before you go on to the next step.

After rising, punch the dough down (literally punch the dough once, with enough strength to "shock" the bigger air bubbles and break them). Divide the dough in half (use a kitchen knife if you like) and then cover the dough with the tea towel and let it rest 10 minutes.
Shape each bit of dough into a loaf and put each in a greased 8x4x2 loaf pan. Cover with the tea towel and let rise again, till nearly double (about 30 - 35 minutes). Bake in a 375 degree oven on the middle shelf for 40 to 45 minutes. Check the bread at 30 minutes; if the top is browning too much, cover the loaves with foil to slow the browning for the last 15 minutes. Test for doneness by "thumping" the crust with your fingernail. If you get a hollow sound, it's done.

Bread is always a challenge. Differences in the type or freshness of the yeast, the ambient temperature, and the humidity can speed up or slow down the rising process. You may be tempted to let the dough rise more than double, or far above the rim of the loaf pan (an inch or two is ok), but don't do it. If you let bread dough rise too much, it will form big bubbles and then you have hollow spots (or "voids") in the finished bread.

Once the bread is done, turn it out of the pans and put on a wire rack to cool. If you try to cut the bread while it is too warm, it will mash the bread. Make sure the loaves are cool enough to handle comfortably before cutting. Use a bread knife (long knife with a rounded tip and lots of small serrations) or something similar, and don't put pressure on the bread with the knife. Use the sawing motion of the knife to do the work, as if you were sawing a piece of wood. Put your hand lightly on the top of the bread and cut through the crust, then curve your fingers over the cut to hold the top of the new slice close to the loaf instead of letting it fall over as you cut down through the loaf.

Ramen Noodle Side Dish

Lipton, Knorr, and others make noodle side dishes that cost about a dollar a piece.  But you can get a package of ramen noodles for about a dime (usually sold in packs of 6 or more).  And you can make them into a nice side dish very easily.

  •  1 pkg. ramen noodle soup (beef, pork, or other flavor)
  •  2 Tbs. butter

Boil noodles (without flavor packet) until done, about 5-7 minutes. Drain and add butter. Stir over low heat until butter melts, then sprinkle the flavor packet over noodles and mix well.

Whole Roasted Smoked Chicken

  •  4 lb roaster
  • Marinade
    •  1 TB parsley
    •  1 Tsp celery seed
    •  1 Tsp Marjoram
    •  1 Tsp Sage
    •  1/2 tsp Thyme
    •  1 TB salt
    •  1 tsp pepper
    •  1 tsp garlic powder
    •  1-2 TB lemon juice or vinegar

Mix dry ingredients (test spices by smelling - it should smell "green") and rub into bird, inside and out.

Sprinkle lemon juice over all and let marinate at least 1-2 hrs before cooking.

Spray bird with Pam spray before cooking. Cook over indirect heat until thermometer reaches 170 (about an hour). Add wet smoke chips after 15 min of cooking, keep adding them when smoke dies out.

Sauteéd Fish With Mustard

  •  1 lb. fish filets
  •  1 lg. clove garlic, crushed
  •  1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  •  1 Tbs. spicy mustard (brown or chinese)
  •  1 bay leaf, crushed (about 1/4 tsp.)
  •  1/8 tsp. salt
  •  juice of 1 lime
  •  1 Tbs. chopped dill (optional)
  •  1/4 cup cooking oil

Combine the lime juice, garlic, mustard, bay leaf, cayenne, and salt in a bowl. Coat fish with the marinade and allow to stand for at least 30 minutes. Sautee gently in the oil until done, turning once. Sprinkle with dill.

Homemade Seafood Boil

  •  4 Tbs. yellow mustard seeds
  •  3 Tbs. coriander seeds
  •  2 Tbs. allspice (whole)
  •  2 Tbs. dill seeds
  •  1 tsp. whole cloves
  •  1 Tbs. crushed red pepper
  •  8 bay leaves
  •  salt and cayenne or liquid hot sauce to taste.

Combine all dry ingredients. Place in a square of muslin or cheesecloth and tie securely with string, like a large sachet. Add salt and cayenne or hot sauce to the water to taste, then bring to a boil.

When water for seafood is boiling, add the bag and boil for several minutes, until the boiling liquid is tinted and seasoned, then add vegetables and/or seafood and cook until done, depending on what you're cooking (4 minutes for shrimp, or until they are pink).

Makes enough to boil 5 lbs. of seafood.

Kevin's Brownies

I created this recipe for Pete. I started with a Parker brownie recipe and a recipe for cake brownies and "reverse engineered" them until the result was a gooey, extra chocolatey brownie that will still come out of the pan better than a Parker brownie will.

  • 1/3 Cup cocoa
  • 2 Tbl oil
  • 1/4 c butter, margarine or shortening
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 -4 Tbl milk

Measure cocoa, flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl and mix together.

Cream oil, butter and sugar with mixer until well blended. Add egg and vanilla and mix well. Add dry ingredients. The batter will be thick, so keep adding tablespoons of milk until it is soft
enough to spread in a greased 11/7 pan.

Bake in 300 degree oven for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Kevin's Latkes

I love potatos - you really can't ruin them.  No matter how you fix them, they're something that I can eat no matter how sick I am or how upset my stomach.  This recipe is my favorite latke recipe.  They're great with some applesauce and sour cream.

  • 4 cups peeled, grated potatoes
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 eggs
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons chopped chives (optional) 

Wash, peel, and grate the potatoes. Squeeze out liquid. Combine with onion, salt, flour, and pepper (and chives). Lightly beat the egg, and stir into the mixture.

Heat the oil in a skillet, and spoon in tablespoons of the mixture to make medium sized patties. Brown on one side, turn and brown lightly on the other. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.

Serve with applesauce, cottage cheese, yogurt, or sour cream.

Kevin's Spicy Meatloaf

  •  2 eggs
  •  1 1/2 stacks of saltine crackers, finely crushed
  •  1 tsp salt
  •  1/2 tsp sage
  •  1/4 to 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  •  1/4/ to 1/2 cup green pepper, finely chopped
  •  1 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
  •  1 to 2 dashes hot seasoning (paprika, chili powder, Bam!, etc.)

  •  1 lb lean hamburger (or ground turkey works well) 
  •  1/2 lb ground pork sausage (medium or hot, mild isn't strong enough)

  •  1/2 cup catsup
  •  1 Tbl hot mustard (oriental or horseradish)
  •  1 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
  •  1 Tbl brown sugar

Mix the first 7 ingredients (everything but the meats) well, then drizzle enough milk to make it the consistency of hamburger. It should not be dry or too mushy.

Knead and mix by hand until the loaf looks like ingredients are evenly distributed. Divide in 2 balls and make oblong loaves about 1 1/2 inch high. Place in a 13 x 9 pan (with baking potatoes, if you are making them) and bake for 1 hour @ 350 degrees.

About 15 mins before the meatloaf is done, coat the with the topping and put it back in the oven to finish.

Kool Apple Crisp

This was a spur-of-the-moment idea to use up some apples that were getting a bit past their prime.  It is a great way to use apples that aren't "baking apples."  The lemon drink mix gives the apples some tartness that most "eating apples" don't have.

  •  4-5 medium eating apples, cored and cut in wedges
  •  1/4 Cup sugar
  •  2 Tb flour
  •  1 pkg lemonade drink mix (unsweetened)
  •  Dash of salt

Top with:
  •  1/2 Cup rolled oats
  •  1/2 Cup brown sugar
  •  1/4 Cup flour
  •  1/2 tsp cinnamon
  •  1/4 Cup butter or margarine (1/2 a stick)

Mix until sugar is blended in. Spread mixture in the bottom of a 13x9 baking pan.

Combine topping ingredients, cutting butter into mixture until it is the consistency of coarse crumbs.

Sprinkle topping evenly over apples. Bake at 375 about 45 to 50 minutes.

Ultimate Mac & Cheese

My mother made the best mac and cheese! This was years ago, before you could buy it in a box for 35 cents. It was for this recipe that I first learned to make a roux, and she made a nice cheese sauce with it.

I still make it her way, though I've added some tinkering of my own. Just when I thought it was perfect, Pete went and added a topping to it that made it even better!

To make the Mac and Cheese:

  •  2 Tbl olive oil or butter
  •  2 Tbl to 1/4 Cup of minced onion
  •  1/4 to 1/3 Cup flour
  •  3 Cups of Ziti noodles
  •  2 Cups of cheddar or colby cheese, cubed
  •  2 1/2 Cups milk

Boil the Ziti according to package directions (about 10-12 minutes).

Saute"Æ the onion in the oil. When it just begins to brown, add the flour and take it halfway off the fire while you stir the flour into the oil, making the roux for your sauce. Add the milk and put pan back on fire, turning it to high or med high and whisking until it begins to thicken. Once it's about the consistency of buttermilk (thicker than whole milk, but thinner than cream), add the cheese and stir until the cheese is well incorporated. To this I had about a 1/2 tsp salt and pepper to taste.

Combine the ziti and the sauce in a casserole dish, mixing well. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, adding the topping after 15 minutes.

To make the topping:

  •  4 slices of bread, toasted well but not burned. White or wheat.
  •  2 Tbls melted butter or margarine
  •  1 Tbls olive oil
  •  1 Tbls Parsley (fresh if possible)
  •  1 Tbls Thyme (fresh if possible)
  •  1/2 tsp salt

Put toast in food processor and process until you have fine crumbs. Put crumbs into a bowl with the other dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add butter and olive oil and fluff with fork. Immediately sprinkle on top on Mac and Cheese and continue baking 15 minutes.

Do not make topping until you are ready to apply it! It will get soggy if you let it sit!

Orange Frothie (AKA Orange Julius)

  • 1 Cup Orange Juice
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sugar or Splenda
  • 1 1/4 cup ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender
and turn on to high for 15-30 seconds.

Makes 2 Drinks.

Pete's Easy Seafood Pasta

Green Bean Casserole

One of my all-time favorites. Usually served at big family holiday meals, or sometimes it shows up at office potlucks. Either way, I love to clean up the leftovers!

  •  2 pkgs frozen green beans (2 9oz pkgs or can use 2 cans of beans, drained)
  •  1 can cream of mushroom soup (try the new cream of chicken with mushroom, it works!)
  •  3/4 cup milk
  •  1 can (2.8 oz) French's French Fried Onions, divided in half
  •  1/8 tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients except 1/2 of the onions in a 1 1/2 qt casserole dish.

Bake in a 350 oven for 30 minutes, top with remaining onions and bake another 5-10 minutes until the onions are golden and crisp but not burned.

Herbed Rice

  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup brown rice, uncooked (5oz)

In a medium saucepan, combine water and spices. Bring to a boil over medium heat.

Add rice. When water boils again reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 45 minutes, until rice is tender and most of the liquid has cooked out.

Remove from heat, fluff rice with a fork, replace cover, and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Hershey's Fudge (YUM!)

  •  2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa or HERSHEY'S Dutch Processed Cocoa
  •  1/8 teaspoon salt
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  3 cups sugar
  •  1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  •  1-1/2 cups milk

Line 8-or 9-inch square pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Butter foil.

Mix sugar, cocoa and salt in heavy 4-quart saucepan; stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to full rolling boil. Boil, without stirring, until mixture reaches 234"F on candy thermometer or until small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water, forms a soft ball which flattens when removed from water. (Bulb of candy thermometer should not rest on bottom of saucepan.)

Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla. DO NOT STIR. Cool at room temperature to 110"F (lukewarm). Beat with wooden spoon until fudge thickens and just begins to lose some of its gloss. Quickly spread into prepared pan; cool completely. Cut into squares. Store in tightly covered container at room temperature. About 36 pieces or 1-3/4 pounds.

NOTE: For best results, do not double this recipe.

NUTTY RICH COCOA FUDGE: Beat cooked fudge as directed. Immediately stir in 1 cup chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts and spread quickly into prepared pan.

MARSHMALLOW-NUT COCOA FUDGE: Increase cocoa to 3/4 cup. Cook fudge as directed. Add 1 cup marshmallow creme with butter and vanilla. DO NOT STIR. Cool to 110"F (lukewarm). Beat 8 minutes; stir in 1 cup chopped nuts. Pour into prepared pan. (Fudge does not set until poured into pan.)

-- Increase milk to 1-2/3 cups
-- Use soft ball cold water test for doneness OR Test and read thermometer in boiling water, subtract difference from 212"F. Then subtract that number from 234∞F. This is the soft ball temperature for your altitude and thermometer.

Honey Dijon Fish

  •  1/2 cup Honey Dijon salad dressing (or Honey Dijon Mustard)
  •  1 tsp liquid smoke
  •  1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Other ingredients
  •  1 tsp dried dillweed or 1tsp fresh dill
  •  2 tsp lemon pepper
  •  1/2 tsp salt

Place thawed fish (cod or other white fish) in a dish or sealable bag and add the marinade. Close and let marinate for 30 minutes..

In a baking pan melt 2 tbls butter and add the remaining ingredients. Place fish on the melted butter and spices and bake @ 400 degrees for 15 minutes then broil for 4 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

Hope's Tuna-Rice Sh*t

My friend Hope taught this dish to me, a variation on the old "Tuna Casserole" dish.  It's quick and easy and tastes great.
  • 1 can (3 1/2 oz.) tuna (dolphin-safe, please!) 
  • 1 can (10 1/2 oz.) of cream soup (chicken, mushroom, or celery) 
  • 1 cup uncooked rice (or instant rice to make 2 cups cooked) 
  • milk 
  • salt 
  • pepper 

Cook rice according to package directions.  Mix in the can of cream soup and tuna, thinning with some milk until desired consistency.  Season with salt and pepper.

Add to this recipe as you like.  Some ideas are peas, broccoli, or cheese (parmesan works well!).

To Go Withs:
Canned, frozen, or fresh vegetables
Green Salad

Jalapeño Cheesecake

  •  One prepared graham cracker crust
  •  candied jalapeños
    •  4-5 large jalapeños, sliced into small pieces and seeds and veins removed
    •  1/2 cup sugar
    •  1/2 cup water
  •  cheesecake batter
    •  16 oz of cream or neufchatel cheese 
    •  2/3 cup sugar
    •  1 large egg
    •  1 large egg yolk
    •  1 tsp vanilla extract
    •  1/4 cup heavy cream
    •  1/4 cup sour cream
    •  zest of 1 small lemon

Candy the jalapeños by combining the sliced chiles, sugar, and water and simmering about 20 minutes. Drain off the syrup and save it to drizzle over the cheesecake when serving. Cover the bottom of the graham cracker crust with the softened jalapenos.

Beat the cream cheese with your mixer until it beats easily, then add the sugar and cream the two together. Add the egg, beat with mixer, then add the yolk, scraping the bowl down to make sure of even consistency. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until you get a smooth batter.

Fill the pie shell with the cheesecake batter, then use a shallow roasting pan with enough hot water to come about half way up the side of your pie tin. Bake in a 325 degree oven for about 1 hour, until the edge of the pie is turning a light brown and the center is still a little jiggly.

Refrigerate the pie for 2-3 hours, or until it's sufficiently set to remove slices. Drizzle the jalapeños syrup over the pie, if you like extra hotness (it's not really that hot, surprisingly). Makes a great dessert for a Cinco de Mayo celebration!

(based on Tommy Erb's "Surprise Happy Ending Cheesecake" featured on Food TV's "Emeril Live")

Jello Cake

  •  2 pkgs single layer white cake mix (Jiffy or similar)
  •  1 pkg Jello (or other brand) gelatin (flavor is your choice)

Prepare white cake mix per pkg directions, except add the pkg of gelatin to the dry cake mix. Mix well with electric mixer until you get a uniform color and your mixer leaves "wake trails" behind it.

Pour into a 13 x 9 cake pan and bake at 350 for about 50-60 minutes. Cool and frost with your favorite frosting.

Cheesy Creamed Eggs

A family favorite, made with simple ingredients.

  •  3 eggs, hard boiled and chopped
  •  3-4 Tb butter
  •  2 Tb flour
  •  cheese packet from a box of Mac & Cheese (Kraft or similar)
  •  2 cups milk
  •  1 tsp dijon mustard
  •  1 tsp mayonaise
  •  dash of hot pepper sauce or ground red pepper
  •  dash of paprika
  •  salt and pepper to taste

Boil the eggs 5 minutes, then let sit in hot water for 10 minutes. Rinse in cold water, peel and chop into chunks.

For sauce, melt butter in sauce pan, mix in the flour, cheese packet, paprika and hot spice/sauce. Save salt and pepper until done, some cheese packets are can be salty already, you don't want it to taste like a salt lick!

Mix the flour and spices into the butter until all is moist, then continue to make a roux by adding the milk, mayonaise, and mustard, stirring over med-high heat (use a whisk, it's easier) until mixture begins to boil, then remove from heat. Add the chopped eggs and mix lightly (don't want to break up the yolks into the sauce too much, unless that's your preference).

Serve over fresh biscuits, toasted english muffins, or your favorite toast or bread. Serves 3.

Neil's Clam Chowder

  •  2 cups chopped potato
  •  2 cups chopped onion (brown, white, green is also great)
  •  1/2 pound fried bacon (don't over cook and keep drippings)
  •  2 or 3 cans of clam KEEP THE JUICE
  •  2 Tbs flour
  •  2 cups water
  •  1 pint cream (heavy)
  •  1 1/2 cups milk
  •  4 splashes Worchestershire sauce
  •  pepper

Add water, bacon with drippings, clam juice, potato and onion, bring to boil, cover and cook over medium heat 20 min. Add cream and 1 cup of the milk, and the clams, splash in the worchestershire and bring to a boil. In a bowl add the flour with remaining 1/2 cup milk (I use blender), mix well and add to soup. Add pepper to taste.

Cocoa Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup sugar (or Splenda, see below)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbl sugar-free maple syrup 

Combine flour, soda, salt, and cocoa in a bowl and mix well. Cream the butter for about 30 seconds with a mixer (longer if the butter is very cold or stiff). Add the sugars and peanut butter and mix until well-incorporated, then drop in the egg and vanilla and beat until the mixture is uniformly smooth.

Add the flour mixture a little at a time, making sure it gets mixed in well. Toward the end, the mixture will get tough to mix, then add the syrup to loosen it up a bit. Mix the syrup in well.

Drop the cookies by spoonfuls (about 3/4 to 1 inch size) onto a baking sheet (about an inch between them). Bake for 10 minutes in a 375 degree oven.

You can also make these with Splenda, and they taste great! They don't make as much bulk (sugar adds bulk to cookies and cakes and Splenda doesn't), but they have 1/2 as much carbs!

When baking with Splenda, it's important to mix it about 1/2 and 1/2 with real sugar, to help give the characteristics of sugar (browning/carmelization and bulk). Since this recipe has equal parts brown sugar and regular sugar, you can just substitute the Splenda for the white sugar. But since Splenda disintegrates when it gets wet, losing bulk, mix it with the flour rather than with the other sugars.

Emeril's Bayou Blast (AKA "Essence" or "BAM!")

  • 2 1/2 Tbs. paprika
  • 2 Tbs. salt
  • 2 Tbs. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbs. black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. onion powder
  • 1 Tbs. ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbs. dried oregano
  • 1 Tbs. dried thyme

Combine all ingredients. Makes about 1/2 cup. I find it works best in a shaker bottle so you can control the amount used!

Emeril's Southwest Spice

  •  2 Tbs. chili powder
  •  2 tsp. cumin (ground)
  •  2 Tbs. paprika
  •  1 Tbs. dried oregano
  •  1 Tbs. ground coriander
  •  1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  •  1 Tbs. garlic powder
  •  1 tsp. crushed red pepper
  •  1 Tbs. salt
  •  1 tsp. black pepper

Combine all ingredients. Makes about 1/2 cup. I find it works best in a shaker bottle so you can control the amount used!

Fennel Pork Roast

  •  3 to 4 lb pork roast
  •  1/2 tsp fennel seed
  •  2 tbl sugar
  •  1 tsp salt
  •  1 tsp ground sage
  •  1 tsp dried marjoram
  •  1/4 tsp celery seed
  •  1/4 tsp dry mustard
  •  1 tbl snipped parsley

Insert the tip of a knife into meat and push 4 or 5 fennel seeds into the pocket. Repeat this all around the roast until seeds are used up. Combine sugar, salt, sage, marjoram, celery seed, dry mustard, and 1/8 tsp pepper and rub the roast with this mixture. Cover roast and let marinate 4 hrs or overnight in refrigerator.

Place roast on a wire rack in shallow baking pan and insert a meat thermometer. Roast uncovered for 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 hrs at 325 (or until thermometer reads 170). Place on platter and sprinkle with parsley.
Goes well with stuffing or mashed potatoes.

Catie's Pork Steak Bake

  •  1 can sauerkraut
  •  1 can applesauce
  •  1 pkg. Liptons onion soup
  •  4 pork steaks

Mix sauerkraut, applesauce, soup mix. Put in
baking dish, steaks on top. Bake at 350 for 1 hour, turn once.

Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

  •  2 cups mayonnaise*
  •  2 cups buttermilk
  •  1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  •  2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
  •  2 tablespoons parsley flakes
  •  1 teaspoon black pepper
  •  1 teaspoon salt or substitute
  •  1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder


Combine ingredients in order given, whisking until smooth. Makes 1 quart

For spicy buttermilk ranch, add 3 tablespoons Picante sauce.

*Soy mayonnaise, cholesterol-free, homemade or commercial mayonnaise can be used. If fat-free mayonnaise is used, reduce amount to 1 cup and increase buttermilk to 3 cups.

Good Biscuits (Kevin's recipe)

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. sugar or Splenda
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2/3 cup milk

Combine all dry ingredients and mix well. Cut in shortening until you get pea-sized dough, then add milk in a well all at once and stir with a fork. Keep going until the all/most of the flour is absorbed, then turn out onto a floured surface.

Fold but don't knead the dough until it's easy to work with and all the flour is absorbed. Don't overwork the dough, or your biscuits will be tough. Roll or pat out the dough to 1/2 inch and cut biscuits. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 425 for 10 minutes.

Make Your Own Biscuit Mix (like Bisquick)

  • 3/4 Cup Flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1/3 tsp Salt
  • 2 1/2 TBL Shortening 


Mix all the dry ingredients, then cut in the shortening until the mixture is the consistency of rough crumbs. Refrigerate up to six weeks. Makes 1 cup, for larger amounts the recipe scales up well.

BBQ Pork Steaks

  • 2 large pork steaks (about 1/2 lb. each)
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • seasoned salt
  • garlic or garlic powder
  • sage
  • hot pepper sauce (Tobasco or similar)
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce (your favorite flavor is fine!)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. butter, oil, or shortening.
  • 1 can (16-20 oz) baked beans (your choice, but Bush's work best)

Make 1/2 inch cuts through all major fat edges to keep steaks from curling as they cook. Rub steaks with crushed (or pressed) garlic or sprinkle with garlic powder. Sprinkle steaks with salt, pepper, seasoned salt and sage to your own taste. In a deep skillet, heat the butter, oil or shortening. Drop steaks in pan and brown both sides well.

While steaks are browning, mix the onion and brown sugar with the baked beans. When steaks are brown, turn heat down to medium low. Sprinkle hot sauce on the steaks liberally, then cover them with the barbecue sauce. Finally, pour the beans over the top and cover the pan tightly with a lid.

Let them cook on medium low for 10 to 15 minutes.

BBQ Beef Brisket

BBQ Beef Brisket, point end
  •  3-4 lb point end brisket, nicely marbled w/ fat left on one side.
  • Marinade
    •  1 tsp cayenne
    •  1 TB paprika
    •  3-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
    •  3 tsp brown sugar (lite)
    •  1 TB parsley
    •  1 TB oregano
    •  1 tsp red pepper seeds
    •  1 tsp meat tenderizer
    •  1 tsp garlic/pepper blend steak seasoning
    •  1 TB salt
    •  1 tsp pepper
    •  1 TB vinegar
    •  1/2 cup pureed grape or cherry tomatoes
    •  1 TB worcestershire

Line a bowl large enough to hold the meat with enough plastic wrap to completely wrap the meat.

Mix dry ingredients and rub directly onto meat. Mix wet ingredients together and spoon over and under the meat. Wrap the meat tightly in the plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator.Marinate for at least an hour (up to overnight).
Soak wood chips (hickory or mesquite) in water for at least 30 minutes before cooking. Spray brisket with non-stick cooking spray to help seal in the juices.
If you are cooking on a charcoal grill, you will need to add coals about once an hour. For a 22" grill, start with 25 coals on each side of the grill and a drip pan below the meat. Add 8 coals to each side every hour to prolong the cooking time. Add a handfull of wood chips every 30 minutes and to give the fire a chance to "perk up."

Mop the brisket with your favorite mopping sauce. Mopping sauce should have a vinegar/acidic base to break down the connective tissue, but no sugar which will burn. For this, I used:

Mopping Sauce Ingredients:
  •  1/4 cup vinegar
  •  1 tsp worcestershire
  •  1 tsp habanero salsa
  •  several drops of Tabasco sauce
  •  1 cup coffee (no cream or sugar!)
Smoke for 1 to 1 1/4 hour per pound.

Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs


  • 4 frankfurters
  • 8 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 hot dog rolls
  • wooden toothpicks


Preheat the broiler. Pat the frankfurters dry. In a skillet cook the bacon for 3 minutes or until still pliable and not crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Cut a 1/2-inch slit lengthwise from end to end of each frankfurter. Stuff each frankfurter with the cheese. Wrap the entire length of each frankfurter with 2 slices of the bacon and secure with toothpicks.

Place the prepared frankfurters on a rack over a baking pan or on a broiler pan. Broil the frankfurters until the bacon is crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes or bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

Apple Johnny Cake

  •  4 medium apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thin
  •  1 c water
  •  1 c brown sugar
  •  1 t cinnamon
  •  1/4 t ground cloves
  •  1/4 t allspice
  •  2 pkgs corn bread mix (Jiffy brand or similar)

(The Jiffy mix requires an egg and 1/3 cup milk per pkg, other brands may have different requirements). Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour a 13x9 cake pan. Submerge the apple slices in the water while you are coring and slicing the apples to prevent them from turning brown. When they are all sliced, add the brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves and allspice to the apples and water. In a saucepan, bring the mixture to a boil.

Mix one pkg of the corn bread according to pkg directions and spread it carefully in the bottom of the cake pan. Ladle the apple mixture on top gently (don't clobber the batter!), leaving enough left over to top the cake. Mix the second pkg of corn bread and spread it over the apple filling in the pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until the top is an even golden brown. Spread the remaining apple filling over the top of the cake while it is still warm.
Cut after cooling.

Pete's Favorite Jello Salad

Pete loved this salad, so I thought I'd share it with you. It's a recipe that I came up with just on the spur of the moment. I had some sugar-free Jello and some low-cal yogurt and both were the same flavor, so I thought, "Why not mix them?" It's a great low calorie and low carb dessert if you're dieting or diabetic. The yogurt gives the jello a tangy flavor that will make your mouth water!


  • 1 small low carb strawberry-banana yogurt
  • 1 pkg strawberry-banana Jello (sugar free)
  • 1 can tropical fruit chunks (mango, pineapple, etc.) in Splenda syrup, lite syrup or natural juice

Prepare gelatin per box directions, but for the cold water, put 3 ice cubes in a 2 cup measure and fill with water to about 3/4 cup. After gelatin is dissolved in the hot water, add the ice water and stir until the ice is gone, then put in the refrigerator for 1 hour or until semi-set.

When the gelatin is partially set, add the yogurt and mix with electric mixer until completely mixed together. Drain the fruit and mix it in with a spoon.

Return mixture to fridge until set. Note: if your gelatin is too liquid, the yogurt will sink to the bottom of the container. If you check the fridge and see it's separating, just get out the mixer and beat it some more!

Top with whipped topping or salad dressing or mayonnaise, to taste.