Category: Recipes/Cooking

Kris was in Kansas City visiting her favorite sister (Ha Ha). We took her to Cascone’s and let her try Italian Nachos. She loved them!


Found this on line- not sure if this is how they make them but it is worth a try…

Italian Nachos


1 package won tons (found in the produce section) cut on the diagonal, to make triangles. (Deep fry till crisp)

1 lb. ground Italian sausage (browned and drained)

1/4 cup banana peppers

Parmesan cheese (for garnish)

2 roma tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup sliced black olives

grated Mozzarella cheese for garnish

Alfredo Cheese Sauce

4 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

3 tablespoons flour

2 1/2 cups half and half

2 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese


In a medium saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add garlic and then whisk in flour. Cook, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and whisk in the half and half a little at a time. Cook until thickened, for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add 2 cups of Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Stir until cheese melts and the sauce is smooth. Cover. Set aside. (If sauce gets too thick, blend in a little milk, or more half and half.)

Heat a heavy saucepan or deep fryer filled with oil to medium. (It should take about 20 minutes for oil to heat) Cook won tons until light brown. It only takes a few seconds, per side. Drain on paper towels.

Pile the won ton chips on a large serving platter. Drizzle with warm cheese sauce. Add sausage, tomatoes, olives and peppers. Top with Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese , melt cheese in oven.



Found a new recipe- will have to try since these are mom’s favorites!



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Have been so bored with eating the same things- I decided to scope out my cookbooks and adventure into some new recipes. So far they have all been wonderful.


First night we has cabbage rolls and mashed potatoes- very good.

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Second night I made an Ann Lund recipe- Herb and mushroom stuffed flank steak. We served it with quinoa & rice. Took less than 15 minutes to make and Linda licked the plate. Rice takes 90 seconds to steam in microwave- Kris loves this. We did make the horseradish sauce to go with it.

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Today I made beef stroganoff… this would be good without the meat too unless you don’t eat dairy- the sour cream makes this dish! This comes from the “BlueBloods” cookbook.


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Time 10 minutes Serves 8

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 and 1/2 tsp.)
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 pound penne pasta
2 cups packed baby spinach, washed and stemmed
2 small jarred roasted red pepper, diced
1/2 pound smoked mozzarella cheese, diced
How to make it

Combine the Parmesan cheese, parsley, mayonnaise, vinegar, garlic, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper with a hand mixer or in the bowl of food processor or in a blender until the dressing is smooth.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until it is al dente. Drain the pasta into a colander, run cold water over it or submerge it in ice water until chilled through, and drain well. IN a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, spinach, roasted red peppers, and smoked mozzarella.



I was talking with my sister and she mentioned how much she missed pizza. But guess what? There are still some healthier ways to eat them. Let me introduce you to Flatout Pizzas (you can also use tortillas or pitas). These are in my health/fitness program. When baked in the oven, they are like thin crust pizzas and make a perfect serving size. Cravings averted!

Family Fitness/Health Recipes/Cooking



Unsalted butter, for greasing the pie plate
2 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Two 15.25-ounce cans apricots, drained and gently rinsed
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Lemon-Vanilla Whipped Cream, for topping, optional
Lemon-Vanilla Whipped Cream:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9- to 10-inch shallow pie plate.

Combine the egg yolks and 1/3 cup of the sugar in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed until ribbons form when you lift the beater just slightly out of the batter, about 3 minutes. Add the flour, heavy cream and vanilla extract. Reduce the speed to low and beat until thoroughly blended, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Slide the prepared pie plate into the oven to preheat for 4 to 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg whites and salt in a small bowl for 30 seconds; add to the batter and beat with the mixer on low speed until just incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Combine the apricots, lemon zest and the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl, and gently stir until the apricots are thoroughly coated. Remove the pie plate from the oven, pour in the apricots in a decorative pattern, and top with the batter.

Bake until set in the middle, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve warm with a small dollop of the whipped cream, if using.

Lemon-Vanilla Whipped Cream:
Add the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip just until soft peaks form.

Yield: 6 servings

We are not apricot people so I did blueberries, we also did not use whip cream or powdered sugar- put a few to many but it was very light and satisfying-YUM! And super easy to make.



Made this soup tonight and it was INCREDIBLE! I added mushrooms to it also. The broth (from the parmesan rinds) is amazing! Very simple, but very delicious!



Today we made Huevos Rancheros…they were really goodeggs

Made some black beans with green and red salsa, put on a slightly fried corn shell, topped with 1 TBS of chess and a sunny side up egg, then topped with avocado and fresh salsa- lots of flavor, protein and kept me filled all day.


Then I took left over black beans, corn and put with diced tomatoes & chicken stock- yummy soup for dinner. Good to warm the tummy while it gets to -6 in Kansas City.


A co-worker brought this in to work this past week. It was so good that it was the first thing gone! I had to get the recipe and share it. We are making this as part of our appetizer spread for Christmas Eve… and I may submit this to the cookbook next year.

Scott’s Spinach Dip:

1 packet of Knorr’s Vegetable Soup/Dip Mix
16 ounces of Sour Cream
1 10-12 ounce package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 small can of water chestnuts, diced (or whole and you can chop them)
1 cup mayonnaise (I used Plain Greek Yogurt instead)
1 tablespoon hot sauce (Frank’s or Texas Pete)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 chopped green onion (optional)
2 sourdough bread loves (whole not sliced)

–          Take the thawed spinach and press in between paper towels to remove water

–          Add all the ingredients in a bowl and stir thoroughly

–          Let stand overnight in the refrigerator

–          Before serving, take one loaf of bread and cut an oval out of the top

–          Fill with dip

–          Cut other loaf up in cubes and serve



This was an experiment- didn’t care for the “pie” part so I added evaporated milk and baked it- not sweet at all, not really a pumpkin pie taste but not bad. I liked the texture but not the taste. Loved the topping and pecans!

1 Recipe Pastry for Single-Crust Pie
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 15 ounce can pumpkin
¾ cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
½ teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup whipping cream
¼ cup mascarpone cheese
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Recipe Candied Pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare Pastry for Single-Crust Pie. On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten pastry. Roll pastry from center to edges into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Wrap pastry circle around the rolling pin. Unroll into a 9-inch pie plate. Ease pastry into pie plate without stretching it. Trim pastry to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold under extra pastry even with the edge of the plate. Crimp edge as desired. Do not prick pastry.
Using the tip of a small sharp knife, scrape seeds from vanilla bean. Set seeds aside. In a large mixing bowl beat pumpkin and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Add eggs, egg yolk, cinnamon, salt, ginger, lemon peel, orange peel, nutmeg, cloves, and vanilla seeds. Beat until smooth. Pour pumpkin mixture into pastry-lined pie plate.
Bake about 1 hour or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. If necessary to prevent overbrowning, cover edge of pie loosely with foil for the last 10 to 15 minutes of baking. Cool on a wire rack. Cover and chill within 2 hours.
In a medium mixing bowl combine whipping cream, mascarpone cheese, granulated sugar, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Spread mascarpone mixture over top of pie. Sprinkle with Candied Pecans.

Candied Pecans
½ cup coarsely chopped pecans
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
Line a baking sheet with foil. Butter the foil; set baking sheet aside. In a small heavy skillet combine pecans, sugar, and butter. Cook over medium-high heat, shaking the skillet occasionally, until sugar begins to melt. Do not stir. Reduce heat to low; continue to cook until sugar is golden, stirring occasionally.
Pour mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, spreading evenly. Cool completely. Break into pieces.

Pastry for a Single-Crust Pie
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup shortening
¼ cup butter, cut up, or shortening
¼ cup cold water
In a medium bowl stir together flour and salt. Using pastry blender, cut in shortening and butter until pieces are pea size.
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the water over part of the flour mixture; toss with a fork. Push moistened pastry to side of bowl. Repeat moistening flour mixture, using 1 tablespoon of the water at a time, until flour mixture is moistened. Gather flour mixture into a ball, kneading gently until it holds together.
On a lightly floured surface use your hands to slightly flatten pastry. Roll pastry from center to edges into a circle about 12 inches in diameter.
Wrap pastry circle around the rolling pin. Unroll into a 9-inch pie plate. Ease pastry into pie plate without stretching it.
Trim pastry to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold under extra pastry even with the plate’s edge. Crimp edge as desired. Do not prick pastry. Fill and bake as directed in recipes.



5⅓ cups shredded sweetened coconut
¾ cup sugar
6 Tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon salt
5 egg whites
1 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
Chocolate Topping
Melt 4 ounces sweet chocolate
1 Tablespoon shortening
Sweetened Condensed milk topping
6 ounces sweetened condensed milk
Place sweetened condensed milk in a double boiler until slightly thickened (About 45 minutes). Keep warm.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or grease and lightly flour the cookie sheet.
In a large mixing bowl combine coconut, sugar, flour and salt. Toss and mix well. Add egg whites and nuts and mix well.
Using a round tablespoon drop macaroons onto prepared cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 23 minutes or until golden brown on top. Place on cooling rack.
Melt chocolate with shortening in microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between each increment until chocolate is melted. Drizzle chocolate over macaroons.
Then Drizzle thickened sweetened condensed milk over the chocolate.



Ingredients and directions for this recipe

1 16 ounce can whole-cranberries
1/4 c Sugar
1/2 c Crushed pineapple
1/2 c Seedless red grapes; split
1/4 c Chopped walnuts
1/4 c Pineapple juice
1 tb Knox gelatin

In a medium saucepan, add cranberry sauce and sugar and stir over low heat
until sugar is dissolved, remove from heat, add crushed pineapple, split
grapes, walnuts and pineapple juices. Then add gelatin to 1 tablespoon of
warm water to disolve, add gelatin to cranberry sauce. Poor cranberry sauce
into container and refrigerate for 45 minutes to set the sauce firm.

This is my favorite!




1 -ounce cranberry juice (sweetened)
1 wedge lime
Champagne or sparkling wine
Cranberries (frozen)


In a chilled Champagne flute add cranberry juice and a squeeze of lime. Top off the glass with Champagne. Garnish with 3 or 4 cranberries.