Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Cream of Mushroom Soup 
4 servings

1 lb. fresh button or crimini mushrooms, sliced

       ¼ cup butter 

                                  4 Tablespoons flour

  40 ounces chicken broth 

   ¼ cup fresh snipped parsley


              ½ cup dry sherry (or more chicken broth)

1 cup heavy cream, warmed 

Wash mushrooms and chopped coarsely
Heat butter in a 3-quart saucepan
Sauté the mushrooms about 5 minutes
Sprinkle the flour over to coat
Add the broth gradually, stirring constantly
Add the parsley and sherry
Bring to a boil
Remove from the heat and stir in the cream
You may whirl in a blender at this point for a smoother texture, if you prefer - I use a stick blender and only whirl about half of the soup. 

I made this soup for my folks when they lived with us - my Dad couldn't get enough - he said it was the best mushroom soup he ever had!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie

This recipe is my best effort to recreate Marie Calendar’s pie. I created it because it is seasonal and requests come anytime! My eldest son loves it and asks me to make it when we get together for holidays. This pie is so fresh and delicious it’s really hard not to pig out! To achieve the very best taste, use real ingredients not artificial substitutes

First make Classic Graham Cracker Crust   :

8 whole HONEY MAID Honey Grahams, finely crushed (about 1-1/4 cups crumbs)

1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
PREHEAT oven to 375°F. Mix all ingredients until well blended. PRESS firmly onto bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate. BAKE 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely.

While crust cools - make the cream cheese filling:

1 (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
1/3 c. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp.vanilla extract

Let cream cheese stand at room temperature until softened. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Slowly add sweetened condensed milk, beating until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla until well mixed. Pour into baked crust. Chill 3 hours, until firm

While cream cheese filling is chilling, make the blueberry pie filling:
3/4 c. sugar
3 tbsp. cornstarch
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/4 c. water
2 c. fresh or frozen blueberries (read package regarding thawing – it’s important)
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in saucepan. Add water and blueberries; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil and is thickened and clear. (Mixture will be quite thick.) Remove from heat and stir in butter and lemon juice. Cool and cover with lid so it doesn’t dry. Spread onto cream cheese pie filling after it has chilled completely.

Lastly make sour cream pie topping: - first pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

2 cups sour cream

1/4 -1/2 cup sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract


Mix these ingredients all together and spread on a blueberry pie filling to about an inch from the edge. Place it in the oven for 10 minutes. (400 degrees)

It makes a lovely, firm custardy topping.


Cool on rack for at least 20 minutes to allow it to firm up.

Makes 8 – 12 servings.

Cauliflower Rice 

This is a great low carb substitute for rice - it’s super delicious and easy! I’m hooked and like to eat this often – it’s one of my favorite ways to serve cauliflower.

Break into flowerets and grate them with a hand held grater into a large glass casserole  until “rice-like” cover with lid – no water needed!

Microwave for 5 minutes or until tender but still firm.

Serve with just a little butter salt & pepper – that’s it! 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Awesome Chocolate - Chocolate - Chocolate Cake

(Please read the whole recipe & directions before you start!!!)


6 squares Baker’s semi-sweet baking chocolate
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter
1 ½ cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 ½ cups flour, divided
¼ cup Hershey’s unsweetened coco powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup buttermilk
¾ cup water

Microwave chocolate & butter in large bowl on high for 2-3 minutes until butter is melted.
Stir until chocolate is completely melted.

Stir in sugar until well blended.
Add eggs beating with electric mixer on low until well blended.
Stir in vanilla, add ½ of the flour, baking soda and salt, and chocolate powder &  mix well. Add remaining 2 cups flour alternately with buttermilk and water, beating until well blended.
Pour evenly into 2 - 9” pans – line the bottom of the pans with circles of  waxed paper – spray with a little olive oil and lightly flour - and your cake will come out looking professional.

Bake 350 degrees for about 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, then remove from pans, leaving waxed paper on and place on cookie sheet, waxed paper up to keep from getting dry, and freeze hard. (about an hour)

1 lb. C & H powdered sugar
½ cup Hershey’s coco powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup butter

Combine al ingredients in mixing bowl. Beat with electric mixer  until smooth and creamy, scrape bowl often.
Cover with plastic wrap until ready to fill cake.


1 pkg. (8 squares) Baker’s semi-sweet baking chocolate
3 Tablespoons Hershey’s coco powder
1 pkg. (16 oz.) powdered sugar
½ cup (1 stick) butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup milk

Melt chocolate in microwave for 2 minutes, and stir until chocolate is melted.
Cool 5 minutes or to room temperature.
Add  cocoa powder, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla until well blended.
Gradually add milk, beating until well blended, light and fluffy.
Makes 3 cups, enough to frost the top and sides of cake well.

Directions to assemble:

Bake the cake layers first.
While cake layers are freezing, make filling, then frosting.
Make sure to cover bowls in plastic to keep them from drying while the cake is freezing.

Cut frozen cake layers with large sharp knife to make 4 layers.
Brush off any loose cake crumbs.
Place first layer on waxed or parchment paper on cake plate.
If you cut the wax paper in 4 pieces and lay them just under cake overlapping to cover the plate you will be able to gently pull them after you frost leaving the cake plate clean.
Fill the layers evenly to about 1” of the edge of the cake.
Frost quickly while the caked is still frozen to make it easier to work with the cake.
When you are done frosting, pull out waxed paper slowly.
Allow to sit just for a bit for the frosting to set.

Now – PIG OUT!!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Susie’s Multi-grain bread
J (Manna from above) J

12 oz non-fat milk
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup orange blossom honey
1½ tsp. sea salt

Measure milk into a 2-cup glass-measuring cup, add next 3 ingredients.
Heat in microwave until just warm.

1¼ cups unbleached bread flour
2½ cups whole wheat flour
¾ cups 9-grain cereal
2 T. course wheat bran
2 T. raw wheat germ
2 T. vital gluten
2 T. brewers yeast
1 T. dough enhancer
Blend these ingredients in a bowl.

1 T. yeast

Put warm liquids into bread machine.
Add dry ingredients.
Add yeast.

Select basic/white cycle with light or medium crust.
Remove baked bread from pan and cool on a wire rack.

This multipurpose bread is very heavy and moist – it needs no butter although it is heavenly with butter! I created this recipe about 7 yrs ago when my husband and I were beginning another one of our diets (UGH!) and trying to eat healthy whole foods but I was looking for bread with higher protein. Well, needless to say I didn’t find one that satisfied my particular search so I grabbed a pencil, sat down and prayed for inspiration and that’s’ how I created this one – we were both really pleased with the results and hope you will enjoy it as well.

G’ma Susie’s Fresh Orange French Toast with Creamy Orange Butter
(2 servings)

First, put butter and cream cheese in a small mixing bowl and set aside. Heat oven to lowest setting and place 2 plates and a cookie sheet in oven to keep warm while you’re cooking.

Ingredients for toast:
4 slices of your favorite bread (I use Double Fiber wheat, or homemade)
2 farm fresh eggs
½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice (I used little super-sweet seedless navels)
½ cup milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
1-2 tsp. orange zest*

Place eggs in large bowl and beat with a fork until light color.
Add juice, milk, vanilla, salt and zest and blend well.

Place some butter in a large cast iron skillet (or pan of your choice) over medium -high heat. When it start to sizzle, dip bread one slice at a time in batter and place in skillet, turn when golden brown and custard inside is set.
Transfer cooked toast to cookie sheet in oven.g

Ingredients for topping:
2 ounces butter
2 ounces cream cheese
1 tsp grated orange zest (*It’s easier to zest the orange first, then cut it in ½ to juice)
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup powdered sugar

g Now, combine room temp butter and cream cheese with a fork until light and creamy. Stir in zest, now add orange juice and mix well. Finally, stir in powdered sugar until mixture is creamy and fluffy.

Now you are ready to serve your toast. Place toast slices on plate, sprinkle with just a little powdered sugar. Top with a dollop of Cream Orange Butter on each slice and dress your plate with a couple of thinly cut orange slices.

            My husband and I were getting well after having a more than week long flu when I created this breakfast. We had purchased some little super-sweet Navel oranges and when I passed by them – that was it!  They called out to me and my imagination just took off!
The oranges were so wonderfully sweet, juicy and favorable that we ended up having fresh orange juice with our toast – a real blast of vitamin C!