Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tapioca University

I thought it was a grain. Wayne thought it was a seed. We were both wrong.

Tapioca is a starch extracted from the cassava plant, which is a shrub-like plant native to South America. Cassava on its own has toxins which can be dangerous in large amounts. Therefore, the roots must be treated before they can be used in food products. The word for tapioca comes from the Tupi language of what is now known as Brazil. It integrates ty for “juice,” pya, or “heart,” and oca, for “remove.” The Tupi word for the food is tipi'oca, in a reference to the way in which the food is extracted. To make tapioca, the root is pulped and washed to leave the usable starch behind. The starch is heated so that individual granules will burst, and the resulting paste is reformed into a powder, flake, or pearl form.

Why were we even discussing tapioca? Because Wayne made us another delicious dessert! Some family members can't stand the texture of tapioca, but for those who do like it, this version was much better than our normal "back of the box" recipe.
Butterscotch-Nut Tapioca Cream

1 egg, separated
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 cups milk
3 tablespoons tapioca
dash of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons chopped pecans

Beat the egg white until foamy. Gradually add and beat in 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Beat until mixture stands in peaks. Melt the butter in a small pan over low heat. Add remaining sugar and cook until dissolved. Put the egg yolk and 1/4 cup of the milk in a different saucepan and beat until well mixed. Add the remaining milk, tapioca and salt. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the butter-sugar mixture. Gradually stir about 1/2 cup of the hot mixture into the egg white. Then add the remaing hot mixture and stir well. Add the vanilla and nuts. Let stand until cool, stirring once after 15 minutes. Chill well. Serve plain or with cream. Makes 4-6 servings.

Whole Wheat Cereal

In my opinion, cracked wheat cereal is easier to prepare, but Wayne actually prefers it cooked whole. To do that I have to put the crockpot on a timer so that it can cook several hours and be hot - but not mushy - at breakfast time!

Place 2 cups of whole wheat and 4 cups of water plus a little salt in the crockpot around 9 PM. Set it to turn on at 1 AM on low. Then at 6 AM it's done. Using a slotted spoon (it usually doesn't absorb all the water), take out your serving and dollop it with brown sugar and milk. Put the rest into the fridge and save for another use. (We either heat it in the microwave for breakfast another day, use it in bread dough, or add it to a casserole/stew for dinner.)

(You can also cook wheat by simmering it for 4-6 hours on the stove.)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cracked Wheat Cereal

The kids prefer Malt-O-Meal (if they HAVE to have hot cereal). I like oatmeal, but Wayne doesn't. So, he gets cracked wheat. The only thing is I have to remember the night before to get it ready. Place 1/3 cup cracked wheat in a bowl (top left). Add 2/3 cup water and a pinch of salt (top right). Let it sit over night (bottom left - doesn't look like there's a difference, but there is). Pop in the microwave for about 2 minutes - watch it! - sprinkle on some brown sugar (bottom right), add a little milk and eat it. Wayne's parents have this for breakfast every morning and usually add raisins as well. If you forget to soak it overnight, you can cook it on the stove - one part cracked wheat to two parts water - but it will take about 20 minutes.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Another Chicken Soup

Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

6 oz box long grain & wild rice, cooked as directed (about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon oil
8 oz boneless chicken breast, chopped
2 cups sliced mushrooms (8 oz. pck)
1 ¼ cup chopped onion (1 medium)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 ¾ cups chicken broth
½ teaspoon tarragon
¼ teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 ½ cups fat-free evaporated milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons dry white wine, optional

Sauté chicken, mushrooms, onion and garlic in oil. Add broth and spices. Bring to a boil. Combine cornstarch with a small amount of the milk and stir into the boiling soup. Add the rest of the milk and the rice with the optional wine. Bring to a boil again. Makes 6 servings (approx 1 ½ cups and 250 calories each).

To make your own evaporated milk, combine 2 parts dry milk powder with 3 parts warm water and mix well. For 1 ½ cups, use ¾ cup milk powder and 1 1/8 cups water.

Curried Chicken Corn Chowder

Wayne loves curry. I love chowder. So when I came across a new recipe in a magazine, I had to give it a try. Here's our variation. It had the "perfect spiciness" for Wayne, which means it was just a touch too hot for me, but I still enjoyed the leftovers.Curried Chicken Corn Chowder

One medium onion, chopped
One rib celery, chopped
½ tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon parsley
3 cups chicken broth
Dash of salt and pepper
¼ cup flour
¼ cup milk
2 cups corn (fresh, canned or frozen)
1 cup cubed, cooked chicken

Briefly sauté onions and celery in butter. Stir in curry, parsley and chicken broth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Combine milk and flour and stir into soup. Add corn and chicken and heat through. Serves 4-5.

Next time I might try adding either rice or potatoes, but maybe not, because it was delicious without them.

Clam Chowder

When we had Christmas Day dinner at the relatives, our tradition was to have Clam Chowder on Christmas Eve. Once we moved away, we had our "nice, sit-down, holiday" dinner at home on Christmas Eve, but I still try to make this sometime around Christmas.Bratten’s Boston Clam Chowder

1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
2 cups chopped potatoes
2 cans (6 ounce) clams with juice
salt and pepper to taste
¾ cup flour
¾ cup butter
1 quart half-and-half

Simmer onion, celery and potatoes in juice of clams and enough water to cover vegetables. Cook until tender, about 25 minutes. Make a white sauce by melting the butter, stirring in the flour, and whisking in the cream. Cook until thick, then add to the vegetable mixture with the clams. Serves 6-8.

Stuffed Pasta Shells

Here's another recipe for using the Spaghetti Sauce posted below.

Make-Ahead Spinach Manicotti

1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
1 egg
2 teaspoons parsley
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
2 (28 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
1 ½ cups water
1 (8 ounce) package manicotti shells

In a large bowl, combine ricotta, spinach, 1 cup mozzarella, ¼ cup Parmesan, egg, parsley, onion powder, pepper and garlic powder. Combine spaghetti sauce and water; spread 1 cup sauce in an ungreased 9x13” baking dish. Stuff uncooked manicotti with spinach mixture; arrange over sauce. Pour remaining sauce over manicotti. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 40-50 minutes. Serves 6.

We tried this recipe once using pasta shells, which I did parboil first.
The filling is really easy to mix together.
I was planning on freezing some of them for later use, so they aren't sitting in sauce yet.
Because it was a busy December evening, we ate in shifts. Three shells made a nice individual serving.
We just topped them with spaghetti sauce, and then cheese.
And they turned out deliciously!


Good old spaghetti shows up frequently on our menu. Our "tried-and-true" sauce recipe comes from the Make-a-Mix Cookbook. Last night the kids had theirs with plain meatballs (didn't add anything to the ground beef, just rolled them into little balls and baked them in the oven) while the adults had leftover garlic shrimp. That was delicious!Spaghetti Seasoning Mix

1 tbls instant minced onion
1 tbls parsley flakes
1 tbls cornstarch
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp instant minced garlic
1 tsp sugar
¾ tsp Italian seasoning.

Combine all ingredients and store in a cool, dry place.

Note: I usually just mix this the day I'm ready to use it. Maybe some day I'll get around to preparing little packets ahead of time.

Spaghetti Sauce

1 pound ground beef
16 oz. can tomato sauce
6 oz. can tomato paste
2 ¾ cup water or tomato juice
1 pkg. seasoning mix (recipe above)

Brown ground beef and drain. Stir in the other ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve over hot cooked spaghetti.

Notes: I omitted the ground beef in the version pictured above, and used meatballs or shrimp instead. Usually I'll use a quart of bottled tomatoes instead of the water. And this is an excellent recipe for using Wheat/Meat!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Pretzel Dogs

One day I was planning on making a squash soup that I knew the kids wouldn't like, so I tried searching for something to serve with it that they would like. These pretzel dogs were a hit. We made them again when the boys were home for the holidays, and they liked them too. So, that makes them a Family Favorite. (The dough also makes great, chewy pretzels that don't get squished in lunch sacks!) Bagel Dogs

1 tablespoon yeast
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water
5 cups flour
1 tablespoon gluten
3/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons baking soda
1 package hot dogs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Kosher Salt

Dissolve the yeast and brown sugar in the 1 1/2 cups of warm water. Let it sit for a minute or two, then stir in the flour, gluten, and salt. Knead in bread mixer or by hand for about 8 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, turn to coat the entire surface, cover and let rise for 1 1/2 hours.

Combine the 2 cups warm water and baking soda in a shallow baking dish.

After the dough has risen, cut it into 12 pieces. Roll each into a rope about 18 inches long and wind it around a hot dog that has been patted dry. Dip into the soda/water solution for a second, and gently place on a parchment covered cookie sheet.

Let rise an additional 20 minutes. Bake at 450° for about 10 minutes. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with Kosher Salt.

When you run out of hot dogs, just make pretzels.
Between the water bath and the cookie sheet, I briefly patted the pretzels with a clean towel so they wouldn't be dripping.
They taste fine without the extra Kosher Salt.
The original recipe called for 3 cups all-purpose flour and 1 cup bread flour. I've discovered that flour in Florida has a higher moisture content, so I always have to use more. I don't have bread flour, which is why I added the gluten.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Impossible Pie

The other day we had some leftovers in the fridge and I decided that a quiche would be the perfect way to use them up. I don't particularly like rolling out pie crusts (and besides, they're not the most healthy thing in the world), so I was delighted several years ago to discover the concept of impossible pies. The "magic" ingredient is Bisquick (or Quick Mix). Somehow it combines with the other ingredients during the baking process to form a crust, without all the hassle or calories of rolling one out. Here's the recipe I was originally given:

Impossible Quiche

12 slices bacon, about 1/2 poud, crisply fried and crumbled
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese, about 4 ounces
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
2 cups milk
1/2 cup Bisquick baking mix
4 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 9 or 10" pie pan. Sprinkle bacon, cheese and onion evenly in the pan. Combine the remaining ingredients in the blender and process until smooth. Pour into the pan. Bake for 50 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 6.

You can find dozens of other variations here.

Here's my most recent variation:
Layer whatever you want (here it's hashbrowns and crumbled sausage) in a pie plate. Blend the batter and pour it in. Top with cheese and bake it. This particular quiche was delicious served with a dollop of salsa.

Disclaimer: This is not a "whole family" favorite, but I really like it!


We enjoy the convenience of Bisquick, but discovered that it's much cheaper to make your own. It doesn't take much effort, and it is easily stored. Here's the recipe we use.Quick Mix

8 1/2 cups flour
4 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups instant nonfat dry milk
2 1/4 cups vegetable shortening

In a large bowl, combine everything but the shortening. Then cut in the shortening. Store tightly-covered in a cool, dry place. Use in any recipe that calls for Bisquick.

Recipe taken from

Make-a-Mix By Karine Eliason, Nevada Harward, Madeline Westover

And here's a very simple recipe to use the mix.

Drop Biscuits

Combine 3 cups Quick Mix with 3/4 cup water or milk. Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 450°. Makes 10-12.Drop


I promised directions for making wheat/meat. It's super simple. All you do is combine equal parts cooked cracked wheat with browned ground beef. When cooking the wheat, add some beef bouillon. I usually add chopped onions, green pepper and/or celery after draining the grease off the hamburger and before adding the cracked wheat. One cup cracked wheat cooked for 15 minutes in 2 cups beef broth and added to about 3 pounds of ground beef is a good ratio for us. Use in any recipe that calls for browned hamburger. Substitute 2 cups wheat/meat for 1 pound of ground beef.
Here it is in Sloppy Joes. To make the filling, just stir the desired amount of ketchup into the wheat/meat and heat it up. Serve on hamburger buns. This is a super simple, super quick recipe. I learned very early in my "cooking career" that the #1 biggest time saver was to keep cooked hamburger in the freezer. I'd buy it 5-10 pounds at a time, cook it all up, and then freeze it in family-serving-size portions.
Edited to add pictures of the process.
The cooked meat (adding onions, green pepper and garlic):
The cooked cracked wheat on the left:
Mixed together:

Cinnamon Streusel Breakfast Cake

This is the family favorite breakfast (since we don't drink coffee) cake that we keep coming back to. Ours is an adaptation of the one in the Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook that we received as a wedding gift. We double the topping and omit the nuts.Cinnamon Streusel Breakfast Cake

1 ½ cups flour
¾ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
½ cup milk
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
½ cup chopped nuts, optional

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in egg, milk, and oil. Pour into greased 9” square baking pan. Combine brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter. Add nuts if desired. Sprinkle over batter. Bake for 25 minutes at 375°. Makes 9 servings.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Dutch Apple Cake

This is one of "Wayne's Recipes" and we had the 8th variation (cold with custard sauce) today. That was the last variation on the list, but it's a pretty good dessert and we'll probably make it again.

Dutch Apple Cake

3-4 medium-size tart apples
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
Peel, core and slice the apples. Sift the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt together. Cream the shortening and sugar. Add the egg and beat vigorously. Stir in the dry ingredients alternately with the milk. Turn into a greased 9" square pan. Arrange the apples on the batter in rows. Overlap the wedges slightly with the rounded sides up, pressing the thin side into the batter. Brush the apples with the melted butter. Mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Sprinkle over the apples. Bake for 35 minutes at 375°.
Serve warm or cold, plain or with cream, orange sauce, or custard sauce.

Hot Fudge Sauce

When we bought our first microwave, it came with a cookbook and this hot fudge recipe is the one we use most often from it. It's super simple, and I'm including this picture to show Jeff how easy it would be for him to make in his dorm room!
Combine 1/2 cup light corn syrup and 1 cup chocolate chips in a microwavable bowl. Microwave them for one minute, then stir until the chocolate is melted. Mix in 1/4 cup cream or milk and you're done. (The original recipe also adds 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 tablespoon butter, but I usually leave them out. In addition, you can see the difference between cream and milk in the two pictures above.) Once it's done, you can dip marshmallows or pretzels or whatever you want in it, or build yourself a banana split. Store it in the refrigerator and just reheat in the microwave again when you want some more.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Blueberry Muffins #2

Here's our usual blueberry muffin recipe. I like the surprise ingredient of oatmeal! The first time I made it was to take to my seminary class; they all enjoyed it as well. On that day I baked it in a 9x13 pan so that works, too, although I prefer it as muffins.

Blueberry Coffee Cake
1 1/2  cups flour
3/4 cup quick oats
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1 egg
1 cup frozen blueberries

streusel topping: ¾ cup flour, ¾ cup oats, ½ cup brown sugar, 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients. Stir in blueberries. Spoon into 2 greased 8” cake pans. Combine streusel ingredients and sprinkle on top. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes. (Can also be baked as muffins.)

8/31/2017: Today I added a mashed banana to the batter and baked them as muffins. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, then turn down to 350 degrees once you place the muffins inside. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Note also that the above amount of streusel topping will overflow your muffin tin; you can decide if you want to cut it back a bit or not.


This is our standard muffin recipe. In one of our favorite combinations I used pumpkin pureé with a dash of cinnamon.

(from The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacysyn)

2 to 2 1/2 cups grain (white flour, substitute up to 1 cup with oatmeal, cornmeal, or wheat flour)
1 cup milk (dry – add water, or buttermilk)
1/4 cup fat (oil or melted butter, may be reduced if using a “wet” addition)
1 egg (or egg substitute)
Up to 1/2 cup sweetener (sugar, brown sugar, or honey – decrease milk)
2 tsp. baking powder (if using butter milk, add ½ tsp. baking soda)
1/2 tsp. salt
Up to 1 1/2 cups additions (dry: nuts, raisins, coconut, bacon, cheese, etc.; moist: blueberries, chopped apple, shredded zucchini or carrot, etc.; wet: applesauce, mashed banana, pumpkin pureé, canned fruit – drained, etc.; spices: any that will complement the additions such as cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel, etc.)
Optional topping (cinnamon sugar, chopped nuts, oatmeal, etc.)

Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients. Mix together and put in greased muffin pan. Bake at 400° for 17-20 minutes. Makes 12. (Doubles and freezes nicely.)

The beauty of this particular recipe is its flexibility. It's a great way to use up bits and pieces of things hiding in your refrigerator. You can find it in a more readable format at this website.

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

This muffin recipe is a family favorite!Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 cup flour
½ cup wheat flour
¼ cup wheat germ
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
2 large eggs, beaten
½ cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup low-fat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup mini chocolate chips

Combine first five ingredients. Combine next six ingredients in a separate bowl. Mix the two and stir in the chocolate chips. Spoon into greased muffin cups and bake for about 20 minutes at 350°. Makes 12 muffins.

Mustard Chicken with Pasta

Here's another recipe that's not necessarily a current family favorite, but with our New Year's Resolution of eating healthier, it has possibilities of becoming a favorite! Mustard Chicken with Pasta

1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt or sour cream
2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon, crushed
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup julienned carrot
2 cups julienned zuchini
9-12 ounces boneless chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
2 cups hot cooked rotini (or other pasta)

Combine yogurt, mustard and tarragon; set aside. Sauté garlic, carrot and zucchini in a non-stick pan until crisp-tender; set aside. Sauté chicken in pan, using a small bit of oil if necessary. Stir in vegetables and sauce and heat through. Toss with pasta and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Note: this was a little on the dry side, particularly once it was mixed with the pasta. Next time I might try adding a little skim milk to stretch the sauce while still keeping the calories and fat content down.

Like the previous post, this original recipe came from this book.

Blueberry Muffins #1

Maybe I shouldn't post this, because technically it's not a "family favorite," but it wasn't bad - actually it was pretty good - and I'm trying to encourage all of my children to eat more healthily. We tried a lower-calorie blueberry muffin this morning (from this recipe book). The original recipe called for 2 egg whites, but I'm not psychologically ready to "waste" egg yolks yet, so I made it with one whole egg. Michelle sprinkled hers with sugar because it wasn't sweet enough - which means Jeff would have also but he wasn't home to try one. Blueberry-Orange Muffins

1 ½ cups flour
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 egg
2/3 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Combine dry ingredients. Stir in liquid ingredients. Gently add blueberries. Spoon into muffins cups and bake at 400° for 17-20 minutes. Makes 12.

Because there were blueberries in the fridge that needed to be eaten, I promised Michelle blueberry muffins for breakfast. However, my way of fixing them was just as delicious, and much better for me, than hers: good old-fashioned oatmeal with fresh blueberries!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Beef or Chicken Stir Fry

Stir Fry Sauce

2 Tbls brown sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1 Tbls sesame seeds
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp fresh garlic, minced
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
2 Tbls rice vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup sherry
(optional – I often use the liquid drained from canned mushrooms as a substitute)
1 ¼ cup beef or chicken stock

Combine all ingredients and add to stir-fried meat (beef, pork, chicken, shrimp, etc.) and vegetables (mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, onions, celery, sugar snap pea pods, baby corn, water chestnuts, green beans, etc.). Bring to a boil to thicken. Serve over rice.

Note: This is enough sauce for about 1 pound of meat and 4-5 cups vegetables, approx. 4-6 servings.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Taco Soup

Taco Soup

1 pound ground beef, browned with
1 onion, chopped
1 quart tomatoes
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 15-oz can kidney beans
1 17-oz can corn
1 package taco seasoning
4 cups water

Combine all ingredients and simmer one hour. Makes about 6 servings. Serve with grated cheese, sour cream, avocado, tortilla chips and/or corn bread if desired.
Made with wheat/meat*, a 2-cup serving is 225 calories for the soup.
*Someday I'll post the recipe for wheat/meat, but it's basically equal parts cooked cracked wheat mixed with browned ground beef. Somday has come! Here are the directions for wheat/meat.

Taco Seasoning

Taco Seasoning Mix

1 tablespoon dried onion
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon oregano

Combine all ingredients. Use in place of one package of taco seasoning.

To make tacos, combine above mix with 1/2 cup water and 1 pound browned ground beef. Simmer until thick enough.
Recipe from Make-a-Mix Cookbook.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Cheesy Chicken Rolls

Cheesy Chicken Rolls

½ cup shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
1 2 ½ ounce jar sliced mushrooms, drained
¼ cup plain low-far yogurt
1 tablespoon snipped chives
1 tablespoon snipped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped pimiento
4 medium (12 ounces total) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon fine dry bread crumbs
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon plain low-fat yogurt

For filling, combine cheese, mushrooms, the ¼ cup yogurt, chives, parsley, and pimiento in a small bowl. Pound each chicken breast to 1/8” thick. Spread some of the filling on each chicken piece. Fold in the sides and roll up. Arrange seam side down in a baking dish. Brush chicken with the 1 tablespoon yogurt; sprinkle with bread crumbs and paprika. Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes. Makes 4 servings at 205 calories per serving.

That's the original recipe, from Better Homes and Gardens New Dieter's Cook Book. I didn't have any yogurt so I substituted sour cream (which we prefer anyway), used larger pieces of chicken - 5 ounces each, substituted diced red pepper for the pimiento, and brushed them with milk to make the bread crumbs stick. Since our New Year's resolution is to count calories I can tell you that our variation increases the count to 250 calories per serving. However, it was a very delicious, and surprisingly filling, low-calorie entree, which we'll have again!

Chocolate Mousse

I'm not sure where I found this recipe - in my recipe binder it's just a scribbled note from 1994 - and it took a few tries to get it to turn out properly. However, now it's another delicious family favorite!

Chocolate Mousse

1 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar

Melt the chocolate chips in the milk. Cool thoroughly (very important). Whip the cream until it holds soft peaks. Fold into the chocolate mixture. Over a double boiler (or very low heat) beat the egg whites and sugar together until they form stiff peaks. This should take 5-7 minutes. Cool slightly and add to the chocolate mixture. Spoon into serving dishes and chill until ready to serve. Makes 8 servings at 275 calories per serving.

This dessert makes a lot of dirty dishes. But it's important to beat each ingredient separately and then combine in the order given. Otherwise it's grainy and not smooth. You also have to watch that the eggs don't cook too quickly. In fact, it's probably not even necessary to cook them - we didn't in the "olden days" - but it's probably safer. However, the end result is worth the tediousness. And it really doesn't take too long - I started the process this morning after waking up the kids and it was chilling in the fridge when we walked out the door less than an hour later.

Chocolate "Milkshake"

Lowfat Milkshake

1 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup dry milk powder
1 tsp vanilla
16 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in blender. Process until smooth. Serves 2. 125 calories each.
Many, many years ago I discovered this recipe and it has become a definite family favorite. We normally don't make it exactly as written. For example, I usually use about one tablespoon of cocoa powder and 2-4 tablespoons of sugar. The boys like adding some peanut butter to it and I discovered that a banana swirled into the mixture makes it creamier.
Steven would have one every day if he could. And since today I taught him how to make it himself, now he can!

Friday, January 2, 2009


Golden Butter Waffles

2 eggs
1 ¾ cups milk
½ cup butter, melted
2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 Tbls sugar

Heat waffle iron. Combine ingredients and beat until smooth. Pour into waffle iron and bake until done. Serve with Maple-Apricot Syrup if desired (Combine ¾ cup maple syrup, ¼ cup apricot nectar and 1 Tbls butter and heat to boiling.)

Wayne made 7/28/84 - from Betty Crocker’s All Time Favorites

It's not the prettiest picture, but this is our favorite waffle recipe and it took us over a year to find a replacement waffle maker. Here is the first one in the new appliance!