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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

This is a summer dessert that is just yummy! I know we are heading into fall, but I wanted to make it at least once this summer and just got around to it. It is the best with fresh peaches, but frozen or canned will work as well.

Peach Dessert

Makes a 9x13 pan


2 packages graham crackers (about 20 crackers), crushed
1 square melted margarine or butter
4 Tablespoons powdered sugar
1 Cup sugar
2 Cups water
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 small package peach jello
4 Cups sliced fresh peaches
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 Cup powdered sugar
2 Cups Cool Whip, plus extra for topping (I substitute whipped cream)


Combine graham cracker crumbs, melted margarine or butter, and 4 Tablespoons powdered sugar. Set some crust mix aside to sprinkle the top of the dessert. Pack into pan and place in the freezer for the crust to set until ready for use.

2. Boil sugar, water, and cornstarch (be sure to make a cornstarch slurry before adding the cornstarch; ie. mix cornstarch with a bit of water before adding); Add jello, stirring to dissolve. After mixture has cooled a little, add fresh peaches. Set aside.

3. Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, and cool whip.

4. Layer in the following order:
a. Graham cracker crust
b. Cream cheese mixture
c. Peach mixture
d. Frost with cool whip (only after jello has set)
e. Sprinkle with crust mixture.

5. Chill until ready to serve.

Macey's SALE on Butter!

For those in the Utah County area, Macey's has butter on sale for 3# for $5. They have this sale occasionally (though it seems less often lately) and I stock up and freeze the butter in their original containers. They keep fine. When I'm running low in the fridge, I just pull one out of the freezer and put it in the fridge so that it's ready when I need it.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Rich and Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

This flavorful soup is perfect for using up fresh garden tomatoes and basil, and it is delicious with grilled or broiled sandwiches. Between Austin making dinner suggestions, or friends hoping to make it for their own families, this recipe is requested often. Thanks to Jami, our newest author, for the picture!

4 tomatoes--peeled, seeded, and diced
4 cups tomato juice
14 leaves fresh basil
1 cup heavy whipping cream*
1/2 cup butter*
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the tomatoes and juice in a stock pot over medium heat. Simmer for 30 minutes. Puree the tomato mixture along with the basil leaves, and return to the stock pot (It also works well to puree in the pot if you have a Bamex or hand-held blender). Over medium heat, stir in the heavy cream and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Do not boil.

*If you wish to cut back on the fat, reduce the butter by 1/3 and consider using half and half instead of the heavy whipping cream.

Pizza Topping Mix

This is a flavorful topping that can help use up some fresh garden produce. Our family quite likes the rich flavor. This is similar to a calzone filling, but is just spread on top of the pizza dough. There's no need for pizza sauce!

Makes topping for 1 large pizza.


1-2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 Tablespoons grated or shredded Parmesan Cheese

2 Tablespoons Fresh Basil, chopped

2 Tablespoons – ¼ Cup* Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip

3-4 Roma tomatoes, chopped (no need to skin)

2 Cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

*I never need to use more than 2 Tablespoons dressing.


Mix above ingredients and spread across pizza dough.

Bake at 400-425° for 15-20 minutes.

Pizza Dough

Makes 1 large round or rectangle pizza


1 Tablespoon Active Dry Yeast

3/4 Cup warm water

½ Teaspoon salt

1 Teaspoon Italian herbs

½ Teaspoon honey or sugar

2 Cups flour

1 Tablespoon oil

1 Tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded


1. Stir yeast and honey into warm water. Allow 5-10 minutes to grow. Add half the flour (I like to use at least 1 cup of whole wheat*), the salt, italian herbs, parmesan cheese and oil; mix well. Mix additional flour in until dough clings to hook.

*Whole wheat makes a stickier dough; do not exceed recommended amount of flour or the dough may dry out. It is ok if the dough sticks to the bowl a bit.

2. Knead dough until smooth and elastic. Place in oiled bowl, turning once to cover all surfaces. Cover and let rise 1 hour**, or until nearly doubled. Punch down and form into pizza shape. Add desired toppings and bake at 400-425° for 15-20 minutes.

**To help the dough rise faster pour some water into an oven safe bowl and place in oven. Turn oven to 400° for 1 minute; turn off. Place dough in oven to rise and check after about 20 minutes to check progress.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Homemade Peach Ice Cream

Grandma's homemade ice cream is a favorite in our family. I italicized her instructions about things to add---I don't think I've ever had to add anything, and it's been just right.

4 c. peeled, chopped peaches
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 c. white sugar
the juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon
1 pint whipping cream
1 can evaporated milk
1 pint half & half
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp(+) almond extract
1 tsp (+) vanilla extract
pinch of salt


Mash half of the peaches and puree the other half. Mix all ingredients (if needed, milk can be added to make up any difference). After mixed, taste (add up to a Tbsp of almond and vanilla if not well enough flavored--freezing takes some flavor out). Follow instructions on your ice cream maker, and enjoy!

*makes 4 quarts

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Enchilada Sauce

Chicken breasts filled with green chilies and cheese with a southwestern crust baked in enchilada sauce and corn is hot to trot! These are from a Trim and Terrific Cookbook so they are also figure friendly.
Makes 6 to 8 Servings.

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, flattened
1 (4 oz.) can green chilies, drained
2 Tbsp minced garlic
4 oz. reduced fat Monterrey Jack cheese, cut into slices
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs or seasoned breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup fat-free sour cream
2 cups canned enchilada sauce
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
chopped green onions

Spread each piece of chicken with the green chilies and garlic. Top each breast with a slice of cheese and roll up. Secure with a toothpick if needed. Combine breadcrumbs, chili powder, cumin, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Dip each chicken roll in sour cream and roll in crumb mixture. Chill before baking, time permitted.

To Prepare and Eat Now: Place breasts, seam side down, in a baking dish. Preheat oven to 400. Mix enchilada sauce with corn and pour over the chicken. Bake for 45 minutes or until chicken is done. Sprinkle with green onions before serving.

To Freeze: Wrap individually or together in a baking dish, label, and freeze. Recommended freezing time: up to 3 months.

To Prepare After Freezing: Remove from freezer to defrost. Prepare as above. Bake at 400 for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Zucchini Tomato Soup

I'm on a roll...another online recipe that we LOVED. If you want the soup thinner, you could add more broth, or add milk or cream. You can taste the soup after you've made it and add any more/other seasonings you like. I used a bit more Worcestershire and also added some more broth and penne pasta in to make it more of a meal. DELISH.


* 1 pound zucchini, sliced
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 2 onions, chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 4 cups chicken broth (I did a mix of chicken and vegetable broths)
* 1 large tomato, chopped
* 2 teaspoons lemon juice
* 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
* 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
* 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
* 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
* salt and pepper to taste


1. In a large colander, sprinkle salt over zucchini slices. Let stand 30 minutes to drain then pat dry.

2. In a stockpot, heat vegetable oil over medium high heat. Sautee zucchini onion and garlic in the hot oil for about 10 minutes or until onions are translucent. Stir in the chicken broth and tomato; simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the broth using a slotted spoon and puree them (to whatever consistency you like) in a blender or food processor.

3. Return the pureed vegetables to the stockpot and stir in the lemon juice, sugar, oregano, basil, parsley and nutmeg. Season with Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

Nancy Lueck's Salsa

I put our changes and thoughts in italics.

30 tomatoes peeled and cut (we used mostly Romas, but any mixture is good, I think)
4 small onions (we used one JUMBO white onion)
4 green peppers
1 can green chilies (we used 3)
1 3oz can jalapenos or 8-12 fresh depending on how hot you like (we took the seeds out of half of them. The more seeds, the more spicy it is)
3 TBL garlic powder
1 TBL pepper
1 TBL salt or to taste
1/2 cup vinegar
*Elliot added about 1 TBL of cumin---yum
(you can add cilantro if you like)

Peel tomatoes and chop them and the other veggies. Add other ingredients. Mix together.


Cook (simmer) to desired consistency (2-3hrs)
Elliot and I liked it raw best. We did the 2nd canning method, and even the 20 minutes changed it quite a bit. Still good...but not the same texture and pizzaz.
Nancy's words:
This how my mother did and now I do my tomatoes and my hot sauce.
Your salsa is on the stove hot, you have washed your jars already in the dish washer, so they're clean, then on the stove you have two pans of water boiling.
Into 1 goes 2-4 pint jars or quart jars to sterilize the other pan you put your lids and rings into.
Then you take out a jar that is very hot ,add salsa that is very hot, put on lid and ring that is very hot, and screw on. Set aside they will seal or pop pretty quick.

Or you can mix all ingredients together (not cooked), fill jars
process for 20 mins in boiling water bath.
Ours didn't seal until we woke up the next morning, but they did seal.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Stuffed Green Peppers

Again, I had some things to use from the garden, and I decided that stuffed peppers would be the best thing. Another plug for You can go there and put in any ingredients you have on hand, and it will bring up recipes with those ingredients. Very nice.
This is the recipe I used, but there are LOTS of ways to make these--vegetarian, low-fat, high-fat, southwestern...I just used this one because I had to make sure and use up tomatoes and green peppers. Brown rice would have been good if I'd had time. I also might have added a little something more for flavor, but Elliot liked them the way they were.
The recipe calls for 4 peppers, but I filled up six of them with ease.

  • 6 medium tomatoes - peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 4 medium green peppers
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup instant rice, cooked
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, combine tomatoes, onion, celery, tomato sauce, water, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, cut tops off of green peppers and remove seeds; set aside. In a bowl, combine ground beef, rice, basil and remaining salt and pepper; mix well. Fill peppers with beef mixture. Carefully place peppers in tomato sauce. Spoon some sauce over tops of peppers. Cover and simmer for 40-45 minutes or until beef is cooked and peppers are tender.

A New Way to Use Cheryl's Pesto

Last night as I was looking for something to make for dinner with the ingredients I had around, I looked and found this recipe on It was perfect, since I had gnocchi to use and a new bottle of Cheryl's basil pesto. Plus, we had the veggies fresh from the garden. It was a nice, "earthy" taste, if that makes sense.

Gnocchi with Pesto Sauce
  • 1 (18 ounce) package potato gnocchi
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet yellow pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup prepared pesto
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • Toasted pine nuts
  1. Cook gnocchi according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the zucchini and yellow pepper in oil until crisp-tender. Drain gnocchi; add to skillet with the pesto. Gently stir until coated. Stir in tomatoes. Sprinkle with pine nuts if desired.

Nutrition information

Nutritional Analysis: 1 cup (calculated without pine nuts) equals 371 calories, 11 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 14 mg cholesterol, 671 mg sodium, 56 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 12 g protein.