Mandarin Orange Coleslaw (Serves 4-6)
¼ cup light mayonnaise
¼ cup light sour cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 can Mandarin oranges drained (or crushed pineapple)
4 cups grated cabbage and carrot coleslaw mix (8 ounce package)
1/3 cup chopped red pepper
1. Combine first five ingredients, stir with a whisk
2. Combine slaw and red pepper and toss with dressing.
This is a great tasting and down-right simple dish to make. With its Mexican flavors, the lasagna is comforting during those cold winter days. The only trick is to find corn tortillas the same size as your glass pie pan. When I can’t find the right size, I just buy the smaller ones and cut them to fit the 10” pie pan.
Pam for misting the skillet
1 pound lean ground beef
1 jar (12 ounces) chunky salsa
6 corn tortillas (10 inches each)
1 can (16 ounces) fat-free refried beans
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 cups pre-shredded Mexican-style four-cheese blend
Chopped fresh tomato and chopped scallions for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Mist a large skillet with Pam and place over medium-high heat. Crumble in the ground beef and cook, stirring and breaking up the lumps with a wooden spoon, until the beef browns all over and is cooked through – about 4-5 minutes. Stir in ½ cup of the salsa. Set the beef mixture aside.
Spread the remaining salsa in the bottom of a 10-inch glass pie pan. Top it with three of the tortillas. Spread half of the beans over the tortillas, then half of the meat mixture, then ½ cup of the sour cream, then 1 cup of the cheese. Top with the remaining three tortillas and repeat the layers, ending with all but ¼ cup of the remaining cheese. Cover the pie pan loosely with aluminum foil. Make sure it is loose, or the lasagna won’t heat up in the time allotted.
Bake the “lasagna” until it is hot throughout and the cheese has melted – about 20-25 minutes. Remove the lasagna from the oven, let it rest for 5 minutes, then cut it into wedges or spoon servings onto plates.
Garnish with the remaining ¼ cup cheese and the chopped tomato and scallions, if desired.
Mississippi Mud Cake (Serves LOTS)
If you judged a recipe solely on its title, you wouldn’t go much farther here. Nothing seems too appetizing about a cake full of messy mud from the mighty Mississippi River. But step back and think about a precocious Southern cook who has just concocted a deep dark, and moist chocolate cake. The cake is topped with marshmallows and a heavy, almost candy-like chocolate frosting. She takes one look and says in her best drawl, “Why mercy me, that looks just like Mississippi mud.” And so the name sticks.
Vegetable oil spray for misting the pan
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain devil’s food cake mix (no pudding in the mix)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1 ½ cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow crème
Chocolate pan frosting (see other recipes)
1 cup chopped toasted pecans (toast chopped nuts in an oven heated to 350 for 4-5 minutes. Watch carefully as they can burn quickly.)
Preheat over to 350. Lightly spray 13 x 9 baking pan with vegetable oil spray.
Place cake mix, melted butter, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed with your finger – about 40-42 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
Immediate spread the warm cake with the marshmallow cream
Prepare the chocolate pan frosting.
Pour the hot frosting on top of the marshmallow crème and spread it out with a spatula so that the frosting reaches the edges of the case. Scatter the top with the toasted pecans. Cool the cake for 20 minutes before serving.
Mixed Berry Cobbler (Serves 9)
Looking for something to do with all those berries you picked during berry-picking season? Well, here’s just the thing. Quick and easy to throw together, and it just oozes with summertime.
4 cups assorted berries, such as blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries
¾ cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
3 tablespoons minute tapioca
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1½ cups all-purpose baking mix (like Bisquick)
1/3 cup cold milk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spoon berries into a lightly-greased 9-inch square baking dish. (I used an 8-inch square because that’s what I had and it worked fine.)
Mix ¾ cup of the sugar, the tapioca, and the cinnamon in a large saucepan; stir in water and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Pour over berries in baking dish. Set aside.
Stir baking mix, remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar, and the milk in a medium bowl until mixture forms soft dough. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto fruit mixture.
Bake 28-30 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Cool slightly and serve.
If you are really into decadence, top with whipped topping or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Nieman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies (Serves Lots)
Have you heard the story about the Nieman Marcus cookies? It’s actually a myth, but the story goes something like this: a woman and her daughter went to lunch at Nieman Marcus and had a cookie for dessert. They liked the cookie so well they wanted the recipe. Well, it was for sale for 250. The woman, thinking $2.50, said ok only to get her bill and see it was $250. So, with spite, she had posted the recipe to everyone on her mailing list and said to forward to all your friends. The recipe is online in several different versions. I chose the version that I liked best. There is also the version from Nieman Marcus website. So, I made these legendary cookies, and they are delicious.
(Recipe may be halved):
2 cups butter
4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups brown sugar
5 cups blended oatmeal (measure oatmeal and blend in blender to a fine powder)
24 oz. chocolate chips
1 tsp. salt
1 8 oz. Hershey bar (grated)
2 tsp. baking powder
3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)
2 tsp. vanilla
Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey bar and nuts. Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet..Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies.
No Bake Summer Pie -- (Serves 8-10)
A great no-bake berry pie that offers great texture and flavor. And it just looks too pretty to eat!
Graham Cracker Crust:
9 graham crackers, broken into rough pieces
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and warm
2 cups (about 9 ounces) raspberries
2 cups (about 11 ounces) blackberries
2 cups (about 10 ounces) blueberries
½ cup (3 ½ ounces) granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons red currant jelly
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the crust:
Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees.
In food processor, process graham crackers until evenly fine, about 30 seconds (you should have about 1 cup crumbs). Add sugar and pulse to combine. Continue to pulse while adding warm melted butter in a steady stream; pulse until mixture resembles wet sand. Transfer crumbs to 9-inch glass pie plate. Form crust using outside of ½ cup dry measuring cup to push crust into shape. Bake crust until fragrant and beginning to brown – about 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely while making filing.
For the filling:
Combine berries in large colander and gently rinse (take care not to bruise them); spread berries on paper towel-lined rimmed baking sheet and gently pat dry with additional paper towels.
In the food processor, puree 2 ½ cups mixed berries until smooth and fully pureed (about 1 minute). Strain puree through mesh strainer into small nonreactive saucepan, scraping and pressing on seeds to extract as much puree as possible (you should have 1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups). Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt in small bowl to combine, then whisk mixture into puree. Bring puree to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly with wooden spoon. When mixture reaches a boil and is thickened to consistency of pudding, remove from heat, stir in lemon juice, and set aside to cool slightly.
While puree is cooling, place remaining berries in a medium blow. Heat jelly in second small saucepan over low heat until fully melted; drizzle melted jelly over berries and toss gently to coat. Pour slightly cooled puree into cooled pie shell; top with fresh ferries. Loosely cover pie with plastic wrap; refrigerate until chilled and puree has set, about 3 hours (or up to 1 day).
For the whipped cream:
Just before serving, beat cream, sugar, and vanilla with electric mixer on low speed until small bubbles form, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium; continue beating until beaters leave trail, about 30 seconds longer. Increase speed to high; continue beating until cream is smooth, thick, nearly doubled in volume, and forms soft peaks, about 30 to 60 seconds.
Cut pie into wedges and serve with whipped cream.
Oatmeal With Apples And Raisins (Serves 4-6)
I’m a big oatmeal fan; eat it every morning for breakfast. Now that the cooler weather is coming, this is a nice treat for those mornings when you are looking for something to warm your stomach. Prepare the night before, and wake up to the delicious smell of brown sugar and cinnamon.
2 apples, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
4 cups water
2 cups old fashioned oatmeal, uncooked
1 tsp salt
Mix brown sugar and cinnamon with apples and raisins, coating well.
Mix oatmeal and salt into water.
Put apple/raisin mix in bottom of crock pot. Pour oatmeal mix on top. Do not stir. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours. Stir thoroughly and serve with milk.
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
Nothing tops an orange for delivering intense flavor and outstanding color, especially when you add the juice and zest from an orange to a basic cream cheese frosting. For an interesting change, substitute the same amount of lemon juice and zest for the orange. Great on carrot or spice cake.
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange zest (from 1 medium orange)
1. Place the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed until combined – about 30 seconds.
2. Stop the blender. Add the confectioners’ sugar, a bit at a time, blending with the mixer on low speed until the sugar is well-combined – about 1 minute.
3. Add the orange juice and zest to the mixture. Increase speed to medium and beat until the frosting lightens and is fluffy – about 1 minute.
4. Use at once to frost the top and sides of the carrot cake. Make sure your cakes are completely cooled or it will melt the frosting – speaking from personal experience!
Orange Dreamsicle Cake (Serves lots)
This is a gorgeous cake! It truly bakes like a dream and looks stunning on a serving platter glazed with a simple sugar and orange juice mixture. This is a classic recipe, made with salad dressing (the mayonnaise type) and whipped topping mix (found next to the gelatins in the supermarket). Take a bite; savor the tang of the orange zest, and you’ll imagine you’re eating one of those creamy ice-cream pops!
1 package plain yellow cake mix, without pudding
¾ cup Miracle Whip salad dressing
1 package (1.3 ounces) whipped topping mix such as Dream Whip
¾ cup fresh orange juice from 2 medium oranges (I supplemented with store-bought OJ)
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
1.5 cups confectioners’ sugar; sifted
2-3 tablespoons orange juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 10” tube pan with vegetable oil spray and dust with flour.
Combine cake mix, salad dressing, whipped topping mix, orange juice, eggs, and orange zest in a large mixing bowl. Blend for 1 minute on a low speed. Scrape down sides of bowl and then increase speed to medium for another 2 minutes. Batter will be thick. Pour batter into tube pan, smoothing it out with a rubber spatula.
Bake until cake springs back when lightly pressed with your finger and starts to pull away from sides of the pan – approximately 40-45 minutes.
Cool cake on a rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge and bottom of the cake and invert it onto a rack. Invert again onto a serving platter so that it is right side up. Cool completely
After cake has cooled, combine the confectioners’ sugar and orange juice in a small bowl and mix with a spoon until smooth.
Spoon the glaze over the top of the cooled cake and let it drizzle into the center and down the sides. Let rest for 20 minutes for glaze to set and then serve.