Creamed Potatoes

Creamed Potatoes

A Southern style alternative to mashed potatoes. Yummy!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Creamed Potatoes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 4 Potatoes
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 tbsp All-purpose Flour
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Parsley

Instructions

  1. Peel and cut potatoes into 3/4″ cubes. Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

  2. White Sauce: In another pot, melt butter. Add flour, salt, and pepper and stir until coated. Add milk, stirring with whisk until smooth.  Cook on medium heat until bubbles start to surface. Lower heat and continue stirring until thickened. 

  3. Drain potatoes, then place them in a serving bowl. Add white sauce and toss gently. Sprinkle with parsley on top. The creamed potatoes are now ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

I use skim milk in my white sauce and it thickens as if I had used cream. Using skim milk, I estimate 4 WW points per serving.

Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers

Tasty and Easy to Prepare.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Stuffed Peppers
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 2 Bell Peppers
  • 1/2 lb Ground Beef
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Onion
  • 15 oz Tomato Sauce 1 can/divided
  • 1 cup Cooked Rice
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut tops off peppers and remove seeds. Rinse and drain. Place peppers in a pot and cover with water. Cook for 3 minutes after water comes to a boil. Remove peppers to drain on a paper towel.

  2. Filling: Place ground beef and onion in a skillet on medium heat. Cook until the meat is no longer pink. Remove from heat and drain on paper towel. Wipe skillet of excess fat, then return meat to the pan. Add 1/2 can tomato sauce, cooked rice, salt, and pepper. Stir on low heat until ingredients are well mixed. Remove from heat.

  3. Place the cooked/drained peppers in an ungreased 2-qt baking dish. Spoon the meat filling into the two peppers. Pour remaining tomato sauce over the filled peppers.

  4. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until peppers are tender. 

Recipe Notes

Works well with leftover rice. Otherwise you can use instant or boil-in-a-bag rice. 

Instant Pot Pork Shoulder

Instant Pot Pork Shoulder

Perfect for Pulled Pork

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Pulled Pork
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 3 lb Pork Shoulder
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut boneless pork shoulder in 3 pieces, for even cooking. Trim visible fat. Add to Instant Pot insert and select SAUTE for 5 minutes. Select CANCEL. Open lid and turn meat. Select SAUTE for another 5 minutes. Select CANCEL and open lid.

  2. Add chicken broth, salt, pepper, brown sugar, and worcestershire sauce to the pork in the pot insert. Make sure the ingredients aren’t above the marker on the insert. Secure lid and set to pressure cook meat. Cook on high pressure for 90 minutes. Allow natural release for 35 minutes.

  3. Release any remaining pressure, then open lid. Remove meat to cutting board and shred with fork. Cooking liquid may be used as au jus gravy.

Recipe Notes

Serve, as is, with side dish such as mashed potatoes or rice. To make barbecue pulled pork sandwiches, add additional barbecue sauce. For pork tacos, add taco sauce.  I estimate 1 serving as 5 WW points.

Easy Yule Log

Easy Yule Log

Make it easy on yourself by using pre-packaged items to build this holiday treat.

Course Dessert
Cuisine English
Keyword Yule Log
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 20

Ingredients

  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tbsp Powdered Sugar
  • 1 container Chocolate Frosting
  • 1 container Whipped Vanilla Frosting

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Line bottom only of 15x10x1-inch pan with waxed paper; spray with baking spray and sprinkle with flour. (For the extra batter, place paper baking cups in 8 regular-size muffin cups.)

  2. In large bowl, beat eggs with electric mixer on high speed about 5 minutes or until thick and lemon colored. Add cake mix, water and oil; beat on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 1 minute, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour 3 1/2 cups batter into pan. Divide remaining batter among muffin cups.

  3. Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched in center and cupcakes test done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. If necessary, run knife around edges of pan to loosen cake. Turn cake upside down onto clean kitchen towel sprinkled with 1 tablespoon powdered sugar; carefully remove pan liner. While hot, carefully roll up cake and towel from narrow end. 

  4. Cool rolled cake completely on cooling rack, about 1 hour.  [Cool cupcakes and save for another use.]

  5. When cool, unroll the cake carefully, and remove towel. Spread vanilla frosting evenly over inside of cake. Carefully roll up cake without the towel. Place cake roll on serving plate. Frost the outside of cake with chocolate frosting. Using fork, drag tines through frosting to look like log. 

  6. Store loosely covered in refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

You can use your favorite frosting recipes or even Cool Whip or ice cream for the inside of the Yule Log. This Pillsbury recipe is available at https://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/yule-log/b7cf1df3-33b5-429c-9f08-edc30a1c9dba

Spinach Stuffed Shells

Spinach Stuffed Shells

Looks festive for the holiday season and tastes delicious.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Stuffed Shells
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 24 Jumbo Pasta Shells 8 ounces
  • 10 oz. Spinach Defrosted and drained
  • 2 cups Cottage Cheese
  • 4 tbsp. Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1 Egg
  • 8 oz. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 24 oz. Prepared Marinara Sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Cook shells on the stovetop, following the package directions. Drain well.

  2. In a mixing bowl, combine cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, spinach, and pepper. Mix well.

  3. Spread a layer of Marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Stuff each of the cooked shells with the cottage cheese and spinach mixture. Place them in a single layer on the sauce in the baking dish. Top with the remaining Marinara sauce and the shredded Mozzarella cheese.

  4. Bake until the cheese is melted and the shells are heated through, about 30 minutes.

Recipe Notes

This recipe may be made with Ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese for a more authentic Italian flavor, but I like using the low fat cottage cheese and, more often, have it on hand.

Fresh spinach can be used instead of frozen. It’s your choice.

Springerle Cookies

Springerle Cookies

Traditional German cookie with an anise flavor. A favorite in our house.

Course Dessert
Cuisine German
Keyword Springerle
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting Time 12 hours
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 60

Ingredients

  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 lb Confectioner’s Sugar 4-1/4 cups
  • 2 tsp Anise Extract
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 3 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tbsp Anise Seed

Instructions

  1. Beat eggs at high speed until thick and lemony yellow. About 10 minutes. 

  2. Continue beating while slowly adding the confectioner’s sugar, 1/2 cup at a time until fully incorporated. Add anise extract.

  3. Add baking powder. Continue beating while slowly adding the flour, 1/2 cup at a time until fully incorporated.

  4. On floured wax paper, roll out the dough to 1/2 inch thickness. (You can do this in batches). If you have a springerle rolling pin with the embedded designs, lightly roll across the rolled out dough to stamp the designs. If not, cut the rolled dough in squares.

  5. Sprinkle a light amount of anise seeds on lightly greased cookie sheets. Place the dough squares on top of the seeds, about a 1/2 inch apart. Let dry, uncovered, overnight (about 12 hours).

  6. The next day, preheat oven to 250 degrees F.  Bake springerles 25-30 minutes until firm but still white. Remove to wire racks or wax paper to cool.

  7. Any anise seeds that don’t stick to the bottom of the cookies can be brushed into the airtight containers with the cooled cookies. Flavors develop as the cookies are stored.

Recipe Notes

I have a springerle rolling pin, but it never works right. I just skip the designs. My springerles look rustic, not even in perfect squares, but they are mighty tasty.

Raisin Spice Cookies

Raisin Spice Cookies

This is an updated old family recipe. Always a favorite at Christmas.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Raisin Spice Cookies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Servings 36

Ingredients

  • 1 Egg
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 stick Butter Melted
  • 2 tbsp Non-fat Greek Yogurt Unsweetend
  • 1 cup Raisins
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Allspice
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/8 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1-3/4 cups All-Purpose Flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease baking sheets or spray with cooking oil.

  2. Beat egg and brown sugar until creamy. Add melted butter and Greek yogurt. When combined well, add the spices, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix well. 

  3. Add the flour in segments, beating with each submission. The dough gets thick, so you may need to switch to incorporating the flour with a spoon.  Add raisins, thoroughly mixing.

  4. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets, about an inch apart. These cookies don’t spread, but give them room to breathe. Bake 12 minutes. Remove to cool on wire rack or waxed paper.

Recipe Notes

The original recipe called for sour milk. The recipe worked well with non-fat Greek Yogurt. I would imagine sour cream would work as well.

Turkey Noodle Soup

Turkey Noodle Soup

Easy to make. Good use of leftover turkey or chicken.

Course Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword Turkey Noodle Soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 quart Chicken Broth
  • 2 stalks Celery Chopped
  • 1 cup Turkey Chopped
  • 1/2 cup Dry Noodles
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Parsley Flakes

Instructions

  1. Pour entire carton of chicken broth into saucepan. Add chopped celery and cook on medium heat.

  2. Add chopped turkey to the pot. Season with pepper and dried parsley. Stir and let simmer for about 10 minutes to incorporate flavors.

  3. Stir in noodles. Turn up heat so noodles come to a boil, then turn heat to low until ready to serve. 

Recipe Notes

I use Barilla Fideo Cut Spaghetti for the noodles. 

 

Use leftover turkey or leftover chicken, whatever amount suits your fancy.

 

Ham Croquettes

Ham Croquettes

A great use of leftover ham. Yum!

Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Keyword Ham Croquettes
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 56 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 3 tbsp All-purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 2 cups Ham
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Egg Slightly Beaten
  • 4 tbsp Bread Crumbs

Instructions

  1. Make the Thick White Sauce with the first five ingredients. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour, and stir until all of the flour is incorporated. Add the milk and stir over medium heat until the sauce is thickened. Remove from heat.

  2. Chop the ham and onion together in the food processor. Add the chopped meat to the cooled cream sauce and mix well. Season to taste.

  3. Form the ham/sauce mixture into balls, cones, or cylinders. Roll in bread crumbs, then coat with beaten egg, and roll in bread crumbs again. Deep fry in oil (385 degrees F.) until brown. Drain on paper towels.

Recipe Notes

I chop the ham/onions in batches. You can omit the onion if you prefer, though I think it adds to the flavor.

I do this recipe in stages. I might chop up the ham and onions after a ham dinner and store in the refrigerator. (If you have a lot of the chopped mixture, you can also make a nice deviled ham with the leftover.) Then, I might form into cylinders and do the coating earlier in the day that the croquettes will be served. All that's left is the frying.

I tried baking these instead of frying, but they tend to fall apart. I also tried pan frying with just a little oil. Same thing happened. Still tasty but not pretty. Deep fat frying works best.

Almond Flavored Nuggets

Almond Flavored Nuggets

A tasty morsel, easy to make

Course Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword Almond Flavored Nuggets
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Servings 30

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Butter Softened
  • 1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tsp Almond Extract
  • 2 tsp Water
  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

  2. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

  3. Add almond flavoring and water, continuing to beat. Add the flour in 1/2 cup increments until smooth.

  4. Divide the mixture into two rolled logs, about an inch in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Cut the logs into 1/2 inch slices and place them an inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle with colored sugar.

  5. Bake until pale golden, about 18 minutes. Transfer cookies to waxed paper or a wire rack to cool.

Recipe Notes

If you prefer not to wait before baking, you can roll the cookie dough to 1/2" thickness and use a shot glass to cut into small circles.

You can omit the colored sugar before baking. Instead, dust the cookies with powdered sugar or finely ground almonds when they are still warm after baking.