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Garlic Parmesan Orzo

Garlic Parmesan Orzo

recipe credit: Krista Hollister

2 cups uncooked Orzo
3 tsp minced garlic
1/4-1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup grated parm
1/4 c milk
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Cook orzo according to package directions. Saute butter & garlic until tender. Drain orzo and add to skillet. Stir in rest of ingredients & heat thoroughly. Serve!


Herb Roasted Potatoes

Herb Roasted Potatoes

recipe credit: Krista Hollister

Large Baking Potatoes – 1 per person
1 tsp salt
2-3 Tbsp melted butter
chopped herbs (fresh or dried), parsley, thyme, rosemary, etc
garlic salt
grated cheddar & Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425. Peel potatoes and slice into 1/2 inch slices. Spray a cookie sheet with PAM spray and lay the potato slices in a single layer. Drizzle melted butter over the potatoes. Sprinkle with the salt & herbs. Bake for 40 minutes. Sprinkle with the parm & cheddar for another 7 minutes, then broil for 3 minutes to create a brown crust. Serve!

Playgroup Granola Bars

2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup raisins (optional)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Generously grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, raisins and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well using your hands. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting or they will be too hard to cut.

Recipe Credit

Mom’s Rice Pudding

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Mom’s Rice Pudding

recipe credit: marlene major

1/3 cup uncooked rice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350. Combine ingredients & stir. Bake uncovered. After 1/2 hour, stir. Cook 30 minutes & stir again. Then cook 15-30 minutes longer. Depending on your oven, you may have to do this process (30 min increments) a few more times.

Pancetta and Parmesan Torte (aka Quiche)

Pancetta and Parmesan Torte


* 1 refrigerated pie crust (half of 15-ounce package), room temperature
* 1 teaspoon olive oil
* 4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, chopped
* 2/3 cup whipping cream
* 1/2 cup whole milk
* 3 large eggs
* 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 2/3 cup shredded Parmesan


Position the rack on the bottom third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Press the crust into a 9-inch-diameter tart pan with a removable bottom. Trim the edges; set aside.

Heat the oil in a heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and saute until crisp, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to paper towels and drain. Beat the cream, milk, eggs, parsley, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl to blend. Stir in the cheese and pancetta. Pour the cream mixture into the crust.

Bake the torte until the filling puffs and is golden brown on top, about 25 minutes. Let the torte cool for 15 minutes. Cut the torte into 12 thin wedges and serve.

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs
Adapted from Everyday

3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup whole milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
4 ounces pepperoni, cut into small cubes (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup pizza sauce
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 24-cup mini muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes.

Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Microwave the pizza sauce until warmed through, then stir in 1 Tablespoon basil. Sprinkle the puffs with the remaining 1 Tablespoon basil. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping.

Lightened Up Egg Salad

Lightened Up Egg Salad

recipe credit: everyday food magazine jan/feb 2010 issue

4 hard-boiled egg whites – chopped
1/2 avocado, pitted & diced medium
1/4 red onion, diced small
1 tsp mayo
1 tsp sour cream
1 tsp dijon mustard
handful of arugula

In a bowl combine all ingredients. Season with salt & pepper. Serve on whole grain bread with arugula. Enjoy!

Chai Concentrate

Chai Concentrate
Adapted from The Oregonian

1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

In a medium-sized pouring vessel, such as a Pyrex measuring cup, add sweetened condensed milk, sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Mix until combined. Store in the refrigerator.

To use: Brew a cup of strong black tea, such as Assam, then add two heaping teaspoons of concentrate or more to taste. Stir well until concentrate has fully melted. Or, pour over vanilla ice cream, it’s absolutely delicious. Keep refrigerated.

To give: Pour into small jars (I used half pint jars, all but about 2 Tablespoons did not fit in this size jar) with lids and package decoratively. Attach a tag with instructions to keep the mix refrigerated and how to use it.

To keep: Store in refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Backpack Snacks

Backpack Snacks

2 cups granola
1/3 cup chopped peanuts
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup wheat germ or ground flax..I used some of each
2 tbsp pumpkin seed
2 tbsp shredded coconut
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup peanut butter

In a large bowl stir first 7 ingredients together.
In a small saucepan bring honey to a boil. Boil vigorously for 30 seconds, then whisk in the peanut butter.
Add to the granola mixture and stir to combine.
While mixture is still warm form into 1 1/2″ balls and refrigerate till firm.
Wrap up each ball with saran wrap or waxed paper so they can easily be taken along on that hike.
Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. That is if they last that long..
Yields 20 balls..I actually had 19. It doesn’t really matter what size you make them.

Spinach, Sausage, Ricotta, Mozzarella Mealuffins

Spinach, Sausage, Ricotta, Mozzarella Mealuffins
Makes 8

8 golf ball size portions of pizza dough
8 oz baby spinach
2 sausages diced
4 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup ricotta
1/2 cup mozzarella
1/2 cup marinara sauce
1 tablespoon of milk
1 egg

Preheat oven to 375.

In a frying pan, over medium heat, cook sausage in garlic and olive oil. Add spinach and cook until wilted.

Roll out 8 pieces of pizza dough into 5 inch diameter disks, about 1/4 inch thick.

Grease muffin tin. Place each disk into individual muffin tins. In each dough-lined cup, put 1 tablespoon marinara. Then place 2 tablespoons of sausage spinach mixture, 1 tablespoon ricotta, and 1 tablespoon mozzarella cheese. Seal up the dough.

Mix together egg and milk. Brush the eggwash mixture on each mealuffin.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until outside is golden brown. Serve with extra marinara (my kids wanted it) if desired.