• adapted from Bon Appetit

    2 cups milk
    1 cup water
    3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    2 4-ounce cans chopped green chilies, drained
    1 cup drained canned corn, divided
    2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
    2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
    1/4 cup milk
    1/4 cup sour cream

    Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter 8 x 8 x 2-inch glass baking dish.

    Mix first 5 ingredients (2 cups milk through salt) in a heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly. Cook until polenta is tender and thickens, stirring often, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in Parmesan.

    Pour half of polenta into prepared dish, spread evenly to the edges. sprinkle with one can of the chilies and half of corn. Top that with half of the cilantro followed by 1 cup of Jack cheese.

    Combine the 1/4 cup milk and 1/4 cup of sour cream, whisk together to completely incorporate.  Drizzle half of the sour cream mixture over the shredded cheese.  Spoon remaining polenta over, again, spreading to the edges evenly. Cover with remaining chilies, corn, cilantro and cheese. Pour the last 1/4 cup sour cream mixture over. (Can be made 1 day ahead to this point. Chill.)

    Bake until polenta puffs and cheese begins to brown, about 25 minutes if not chilled or 30 minutes if chilled. Cut into squares and serve.


  • Serving Size : 6

    4 quarts water
    2 cups rotini — about 8 ozs. pasta
    1 package frozen chopped broccoli — (10-ounce)
    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    2 cups skim milk
    1 1/2 cups Velveeta Light — (6 ounces) cubed
    2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    1 cup ham — reduced fat, chopped

    Bring water to a boil in a large stockpot. Add pasta; cook 5 minutes. Add broccoli; cook an additional 5 minutes or until pasta is done; drain.
    While pasta cooks, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour in a medium saucepan; gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat 8 minutes or until mixture is thick, stirring frequently.

    Remove from heat; stir in cheese and next 4 ingredients (cheese through pepper). Combine pasta mixture, cheese sauce, and ham.

  • Casseroles 13.02.2008 3 Comments

    adapted from Taste Of Home Feb/Mar 08

    4 cups fresh broccoli, or frozen, thawed
    2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
    1 tablespoon butter
    4 cups cubed, cooked chicken
    2 (8 oz) cans sliced water chestnuts, drained
    Sauce:
    4 TBS butter, cubed
    1/4 cup plus 1 TBS flour
    1 tsp seasoned salt
    1/8 teaspoon black pepper
    2 cups chicken broth
    2/3 cup half & half (I suspect milk or evap. milk will work well here)
    4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
    1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
    dash ground nutmeg
    1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

    Steam fresh broccoli for 5 to 7 minutes, or until crisp tender. Thaw frozen broccoli by running under cook water in a colander.

    Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the mushrooms in the butter until tender.

    In a greased 13 x 9 x 2 pan, layer the chicken, mushrooms, water chestnuts, and broccoli.

    For Sauce:
    In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the flour, seasoned salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually add the broth and half & half. Bring to a boill cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Remove from the heat.

    Stir a small amount of the hot mixture into the egg yolkls. Return all to the saucepan, cook and stir until the mixture reaches 160º and coats the back of a metal spoon. Remove from the heat, stir in lemon juice and nutmeg.

    Pour the sauce over the layered ingredients in the casserole; sprinkle with almonds. Bake, uncovered at 375º for 20-25 minutes, or until bubbly and heated through.

    Yield: 8 servings


  • a Cooking Light recipe

    This can certainly be made into a vegetarian version by omitting the chicken breast and using veggie or mushroom broth instead of the chicken broth. I always use more veggies than what is called for, and don’t forget to remove the stems from your shiitakes. These are really woody and tough to chew- but they do make an excellent addition to a stock, so save them for future stocks.

    8
    ounces uncooked spaghetti or linguine, broken in half
    1
    tablespoon dark sesame oil
    1 cup red bell pepper strips
    8 ounces shiitake mushroom caps, sliced
    2 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
    1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
    1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    2 tablespoons cream sherry
    1 tablespoon rice vinegar
    1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    2 cups thinly sliced bok choy
    3/4 cup sliced green onions
    1 tablespoon sesame seeds, divided
    Cooking spray
    1 cup panko (coarse, dry) breadcrumbs
    2 tablespoons butter, melted

    Preheat oven to 400°.

    Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well.

    Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add red bell pepper strips and mushrooms; sauté 2 minutes. Add chicken, ginger, and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in soy sauce; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

    Combine broth and cornstarch, stirring well with a whisk. Add broth mixture to pan, and cook 2 minutes or until mixture is slightly thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in sherry, vinegar, and crushed red pepper. Add pasta, bok choy, green onions, and 2 teaspoons sesame seeds to pan, tossing well to combine. Spoon pasta mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray.

    Combine breadcrumbs, butter, and remaining sesame seeds; sprinkle evenly over pasta mixture. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until breadcrumbs begin to brown.

    **This is also an excellent make-ahead dish. Assemble it early in the day and refrigerate it until you are ready for it to be cooked. Allow a few extra minutes to heat through.

  • 8 oz. uncooked macaroni
    2 eggs
    1 1/4 cup milk
    1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
    4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese-divided
    salt and pepper to taste

    In a large bowl, beat the eggs and milks together until well combined. Add the macaroni, salt and pepper, and 3 1/2 cups of the cheese. Mix well and pour into crock pot. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top, cover and cook on low for about 5 hours*. Do not open the lid at all during cooking time.

    *You’ll want to keep an eye on this the first time you make it. I cooked it for 5 hours, and it was pretty browned around the edges- so next time it will be more like 4 1/2 in my crock pot. Adjust accordingly for your personal slow cooker.


  • recipe from Carolyn

    1 pound extra lean ground meat
    2 medium onions, thinly sliced
    1 1/2 cups cabbage, thinly sliced or shredded
    1/2 cup celery, diced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 cups kidney beans, undrained
    2 cups canned tomatoes, undrained (I used 1 28 oz can whole tomatoes)
    2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
    2 tsp chili powder, or more to taste
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
    1/4 cup chicken broth
    1 tsp beef broth concentrate, diluted in water
    1 1/2 cups water
    salt and pepper to taste
    10 medium potatoes
    1/2 cup buttermilk
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 Tbsp butter

    Brown ground beef over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, cabbage, and celery; cook until vegetables have lost their raw color- about 5 minutes. Add beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, broths, and seasonings (and some water if it appears to be too thick) and continue to simmer for 15-25 minutes. Add more or less water as needed to the consistency you like.

    Meanwhile, boil potatoes until fork tender and mash them using the butter, buttermilk, salt and pepper.

    Serve about 1 to 1 1/2 cups stew per person in large bowls, then add scoops of hot potatoes on top and enjoy.

    ** This recipe is highly adaptable. Use your choice of meat- ground turkey, ground chicken, even pork would be good. TVP or soy crumbles would work as well. It could also be made with no meat at all if that is your choice. I happened to add a 1/2 teaspoon of sweet curry powder and really enjoyed it that way. I also swapped out the canned beans for dried cranberry beans. Substitutions are easily made, just use what you would like.

  • 1 2 pound package frozen hash browns, thawed
    1 can reduced fat cream of chicken soup*
    1 pint reduced fat sour cream
    1/2 cup chopped onion
    2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    3/4 cup melted butter, divided
    2 cups crushed corn flakes

    Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl, combine hash browns, soup, sour cream, onion, cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup of melted butter. Mix well. Pour mixture into a 9 x 13 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

    In a small bowl, combine corn flakes and remaining melted butter. Mix well and sprinkle over the top of the hash brown mixture.

    Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake in a 350 oven for 1 1/2 hours.

    Makes about 12 good size servings.

    * You can use other “cream of” soups if you desire. Celery and mushroom work particularly well.

  • Casseroles 13.02.2007 No Comments


    1 pound ground beef
    1/2 cup chopped onion
    1/4 teaspoon dried basil
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    1 can 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup
    8 ounces pizza sauce
    2 ounces turkey pepperoni
    1/2 cup chopped green peppers
    1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese — shredded
    12 ounces frozen tater tots

    Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

    Spray a casserole dish (any size, just be prepared to modify cooking times) with nonstick cooking spray.

    In large skillet, over medium high heat, cook ground beef, seasonings, and onion until beef is cooked, stirring often.

    Drain well.

    Reduce heat to medium; stir in soup.

    Cook mixture until it comes to a boil, stirring occasionally.

    Spoon beef and soup mixture into prepared dish.

    Spoon pizza sauce evenly over the top.

    Arrange pepperoni and green pepper over sauce.

    Sprinkle with cheese.

    Arrange tater tots over mixture and cover with foil.

    Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.

    Remove foil and bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until heated through.

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