Recipe for Homemade Chocolate Syrup

You've scooped yourself a bowl of vanilla ice cream and you discover you have no chocolate syrup or hot fudge to pour on top of it. What do you do? Well, don't distress! I have a recipe for homemade chocolate syrup.

Here is what you need to make chocolate syrup:
2 and 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
5 tablespoons of sugar or Splenda if you want syrup to be sugar free
3 tablespoons of corn starch
1 and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 cups of milk
2 and 1/4 tablespoons of butter

Here is what you do:

Put all the ingredients into a sauce pan and cook on low heat. Make sure you stir all the time. Bring the mixture to a boil. The chocolate will thicken to a nice syrupy consistency. Pour hot over ice cream if you wish or wait until it cools. Store the remaining chocolate syrup in an air tight container and store in the refrigerator.


Recipe for Apple Brown Betty

This evening I wanted something sweet, but I didn't have anything. I started looking around to see what I had and whalaa! A light went off in my head and I decided to make Apple Brown Betty.

Here is what you need to make this apple brown Betty:

1 yellow cake mix
5 teaspoons of cinnamon
3 apples sliced thin
3 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons of honey
1 stick of butter or margarine melted
1/2 stick butter unmelted
1 tablespoon of water

Here is what you do to make apple brown Betty:

Add cake mix in a large mixing bowl, and melt butter and honey together. Combine the butter and honey with the cake mix as well as you can. Add the water. It will come out crumbly. In a baking pan put a layer of cake mix.

In a separate bowl add the sliced apples, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Mix it up well. Add a layer of the apple mixture on top of the cake layer, then put another cake layer on and then follow with another apple layer. Be sure you have a layer of cake mix crumbles on top. Dot the top of the cake mix with the unmelted butter.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes. The top should be brown and fairly crusty. Serve hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you wish.


Recipe for Western Omelet

Do you like western eggs? If you do you will love the western omelet. It's very easy to prepare, and so delicious.

Here is what you need to make my western omelet recipe:

1/2 green pepper
1/4 onion
3 eggs for one omelet
Splash of milk
Splash of olive oil
2 slices American cheese
Slice of sandwich ham

Here is what you do:

Pour a splash of olive oil into an omelet pan. While the oil is getting hot cut up half a pepper and dice it. Chop up the onion. Add the veggies to the oil and saute them slightly. Now transfer the partially cooked veggies into the eggs and add the milk. Whisk it up good and frothy and pour into the pan. Let the egg cook on one side. When you see it starting to solidify on top flip it and fry it on the other side. Add the ham and cheese and fold the egg over and serve.


My 10 Most Favorite Foods

I love to cook, and it is a good thing, because I am the only one in the family that is good at it. Any time my daughter is ready to eat she asks me to cook it for her. There are some foods I like more than others, and the ones I like are the ones that I cook the most. Some of my favorite foods are not homemade, but I sort of make them my own, in an almost homemade kind of way.

Here are a list of my most favorite foods:

1. French Fries - I like to oven fry my fries by spraying them with a little olive oil cooking spray. I bake them until they are good and crispy. I don't like a soggy French fry. Once the fries are done I like to top them with some canned chili and cheddar cheese. These are yummy.

2. Pancakes - I make my pancakes with Bisquick only. I don't bother using regular flour or self-rising flour, because Bisquick has them all beat. These pancakes are light and fluffy. I sometimes use them for bread when I am out. I've made sandwiches with the. Just a couple of days ago I used small pancakes for hamburger buns. They are so good!

3. Hot dogs - I like hot dogs any way you want to cook them. I like them in a bun, of course, piled up with relish, onions and mustard. I also like hot dogs fried and cut up on a plate. I dip them in mustard. I've also used hot dogs in scrambled eggs. I kind of make the eggs like a Western egg, but I add hot dog to it. This is really good if you love hot dogs.

4. Grilled cheese sandwich - I use my pancake griddle to make my grilled cheese sandwiches. I butter one side of two slices of bread. I stick one slice butter side down onto the hot grill. It will start sizzling right away. While that is sizzling I cut off 2 slices of white extra sharp Vermont cheese. I buy the Cabot brand of Vermont cheese, because that is the sharpest cheese I can find. I love really strong sharp cheese. One I put the slices of cheese on the sandwich I put the other slice of bread on top of the cheese butter side up. Then I just flip the sandwich and let it brown on the other side and serve. This is to die for!

5. Stuffed cheese burger - For this kind of burger I make a meatloaf kind of mixture by using bread crumbs, an egg, and steak sauce. Then I take a about 2 ounces of this hamburg mixture and flatten it out to make a thin hamburger. I place it down on my baking pan and put a chunk of blue cheese in the middle and then cover the top with another really thin hamburger and seal the top. I bake them until they are done and these are so very good!

6. Baked macaroni and cheese - I'm not talking about any of this boxed stuff with the fake powder cheese. No, I have to have the real thing. I boil the macaroni, and then shred a bunch of that sharp Vermont cheddar cheese I mentioned above and add that to the cooked macaroni. I add a little bit of salt and pepper and a bit of milk and put it in the oven to bake until it has a good firm crust on the top. You haven't had anything until you have had mac and cheese done this way.

7. Freshetta Pepperoni Pizza - This is a store bought pizza, and it is so good. I buy the kind that is made of whole wheat. I don't doctor this up at all, because it is perfect the way it is. This is really good dipped in ranch dressing.

8. Almost homemade chili - This is a chili that comes in a kit. I don't know the name of the kit, but it comes in a brown paper bag. In the bag is chili powder, salt, and cayenne pepper, and a little corn meal thickening agent. I make my chili by browning my ground beef and draining it. Then I put the meat into a pot with 2 cans of diced tomatoes, 2 cans of tomato sauce, 3 cans of chili beans, and a small jar of Prego sauce. I add a chopped onion and a chopped bell pepper to the mix and let it simmer for 35 to 40 minutes and then serve with crackers. This is yummy with a dollop of sour cream and yellow cheddar cheese.

9. Brussels Sprouts - I love these things. I have always called them 'baby cabbages'. They are awesome steamed, boiled or even sauteed in butter. They are also scrumptious with Velveeta cheese melted into them.

10. Green beans and red potatoes - These are good cooked together. I like the really little red potatoes, but if you can't find them really small the bigger ones cut up in chunks will do just fine. I cook these until they are done and then at the end I add milk to them and heat them a bit more but I don't let them boil. I serve this dish in a bowl and it's good all by itself or with corn bread.


Recipe for Pancake Sandwich

What do you do when you are out of bread, but you want a sandwich? Do you put your sandwich off until you can get to the store to get more bread? When I don't have bread I improvise. The quickest way for me to make bread is to whip up a couple of pancakes. Pancakes make the perfect sandwich material.

Last night I made hamburgers and we had no bread, and neither did we have any hamburger buns. I make up a batch of small pancakes just large enough to make a cheeseburger nice and cozy. This morning I made pancakes to make a sausage and egg sandwich. For supper I made pancakes to make a grilled cheese sandwich. Pancakes are very versatile.

For 2 pancakes I just use about a half cup of Bisquick and enough milk to make it into a nice pancake batter. I cook the pancakes on my electric pancake griddle.I don't even measure it myself. I know how much I will need for the amount of people I am making pancake sandwiches for.

Then you just put your favorite filler on one pancake and cover it with the other and make a sandwich out of it. If you are ever out of bread, don't fret, just make a small batch of pancakes small enough to make sandwiches.

Recipe for Almost Homemade Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

I am one of those almost homemade kind of cooks. I like to cook, but I don't want to be all day doing it, if I don't have to. There are some very good products on the market that make cooking a lot easier than it used to be, and still have a great tasting meal. I make spaghetti and meat sauce once a month, and my family loves it.

This is all you need to do to make my spaghetti and meat sauce. You will need a large boiling pot and fill it about 3/4 full of water. Add a teaspoon of salt to the water and a small splash of olive oil. Bring the water to a boil and place your pasta in the water. It's okay if the pasta is partially outside of the boiling water, because as the pasta softens it will submerge into the water. It is necessary to put the oil in the water so that the pasta does not stick to each other.

Here is what you need to make the meat sauce:

2 jars of Prego spaghetti sauce
1 onion
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 jar of sliced button mushrooms drained
1 pound of hamburger
1 teaspoon of garlic

Cut up the onion, peppers, and mushrooms and set aside until you get ready to fry them. While you have the pasta cooking put some olive oil into a skillet and turn the heat on to medium low to heat up the oil. When the oil is hot put in the veggies to cook them until the onions are clarified. When the veggies are done take them out of the skillet and crumble up the hamburger. Add the garlic powder and fry up the meat. Drain the meat when it is done and place into a pot with the Prego sauce. Add the fried veggies to it and bring to a boil. Turn on low heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Drain your pasta when it is done. Serve up some pasta on your plate and cover it with as much meat sauce as you want. Sprinkle the dish with Parmesan cheese. This recipe is also good for diabetics.



Recipe for Toasted Tuna Sandwich

I am one that tries to have fish at least twice a week. I do love seafood, but I don't always have the funds to purchase my favorite kinds of fish, so I do the next best thing and buy several cans of tuna packed in water. I don't buy tuna in oil, because I don't like the taste, and I don't want the extra fat in my tuna sandwich. If you are diabetic, this recipe is a good one for you.

Here is what you need to make my toasted tuna sandwich recipe:

Your favorite kind of bread toasted: I use 100% whole wheat
1 can of tuna drained well
1/2 cup of chopped onion
1 hard boiled egg finely chopped
5 to 10 olives sliced or chopped
1 small dill pickle chopped
2 heaping tablespoons of mayonnaise
Salt and Pepper to taste

Here is what you do to prepare the recipe:

This is what I do when I make this recipe. I put the onion, boiled egg, onion, and pickle into the food processor and transfer mixture into a bowl. You can chop all the ingredients if you like. Then add the drained tuna. Add the mayonnaise, salt and pepper to your liking. Spread the tuna mixture on toast.



Recipe to make Poutine: The Meal to Die For

The following is an article was written by my dear writer friend, Carol Roach. I have never heard the name poutine, but I have had fries made this way. I've just called them cheese fries, but I am sure these are so much better. Please take a minute to read this well written article about how to make poutine.

Poutine: The Meal to Die For

Is it really possible, could it be true, is the last standing tradition in Quebec coming to an end? If you are wondering what the heck I am talking about I am talking about that wonderful gooey mess of food called poutine. Poutine is a traditional French Canadian dish originating in Quebec Though there are several stories about just where in Quebec this tasty dish comes from. Poutine has now become a national treat. Poutine pronounced by the rest of Canada as pooh teen, is actually pronounced, "puts in" here in Quebec.

If you ask Mr. Fernand Lachance of Warwick, Quebec, he will say that the dish originated in his restaurant, in 1957, when a customer came in to ask for a bag of deep fries and curd cheese. " Ça va faire une maudite poutine! 'That's going to make a terrible mess!" Lachance responded to his customer,

Mess or not, poutine became an instant success and customers began to ask for it on a regular basis. Lachance claims the popular dish we have today with the French fries cheese curds and brown gravy is again a family variation. He says he started serving the brown gravy because his wife made it and today we have the three-ingredient combination that we Queberers just love.

The story I heard was that poutine is a dish from Lac St. Jean, Quebec. Where ever it is from, I tell you that it is good.

How Do Make A Good Poutine

You start with fresh potatoes, cut your own, I don't use frozen potatoes
Fry them in vegetable oil, now some people say frying them in lard is better I don't know I never tried that.
Pour brown gravy on top of the French fries
Then add curds of cheese, the original recipe calls for Gouda, or white cheddar, but you can use mozzarella, which is what I use.

Heat in the oven until the cheese is melted or nuke it in the microwave if you wish.

It is a simple recipe that is eaten alone as a meal, or can be eaten with hamburgers or hotdogs, or anything really that you would normally have with French fries.

Cautionary note: don't over do it, poutine is very filling.

Link to Carol's content producer page


Recipe for Steak, Peppers and onions

My recipe for tender round steak is really easy. Round steak is a tough cut of meat, but it is one of the most economical cuts also when you count up the price per pound. In 45 minutes you can have a really tasty steak.

In a skillet pour about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cut up some onions and peppers, and carrots and leave them on the side until you prepare your steak. To prepare your steak all you need to do is sprinkle Mrs Dash and garlic on both sides of the steak and drop it into the hot olive oil. Let the steak sear on both sides to seal in the juices. Next just toss in your onions and peppers and then add a good drizzle of Worcestershire sauce, about a half cup, and simmer for 45 minutes. The meat will be tender and juicy.


Recipe for Carrot Cake

If you like homemade carrot cake as well as my family does, you will like this recipe that I am going to share with you. You can buy a decent carrot cake mix, but it just isn't the same as making it from scratch. There is really no comparison once you have tried the real thing.

Here is what you need to make Carrot Cake:

1 cup of self-rising whole wheat flour
1 cup of plain self-rising flour
2 teaspoons of baking soda
3/4 cup of chopped walnuts
3 teaspoons of cinnamon
4 eggs
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of olive oil
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 cup of buttermilk
2 cups of grated carrots
1 cup of drained pineapple
1/2 cup of coconut

This is what you do:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray an oblong pan with PAM spray or Baker's Joy so your cake won't stick to the sides of your pan. Put your dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Then put your eggs and other wet ingredients in and mix well with a mixer or wire whisk. Pour the cake batter into the oblong baking pan and bake 45 to 50 minutes or until the cake springs back when pressed slightly with your fingertips.

Recipe for frosting:

3/4 cup of confectioner's sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla
12 ounces of cream cheese

How to make the frosting:

In a medium bowl, empty the cream cheese. Add the vanilla and confectioner's sugar. Mix well with a spatula. Spread over cake when it cools.



Recipes for Hodgepodge Meals

When it is nearing the end of the month, my pantry is usually pretty close to empty. I know there are many others who are in the same boat. You have more month than you have money, but you still have a family to feed. Many times I think I have nothing to make a meal with, and I go to searching. Some foods you might not even think would go well together to make a meal, but when you try it, you find out that the concoction you made is really very good. Maybe you can identify with some of my recipes for hodgepodge meals.

I made something the other night that was really more of a science experiment. I had 6 eggs, and 2 red tomatoes and 2 green tomatoes and some scallions. I had some left over rice in the refrigerator, so I just put that in the microwave to warm it up. In a frying pan I sauteed the scallions, and the tomatoes with a tad of salt.

In a medium sized bowl whisk the eggs until they were nice and frothy. When the onions and tomatoes start cooking down, add the eggs and scramble them all together until they are soft and frothy. You will want the eggs to be moist and not really dry so don't over cook them. When the tomato egg mixture is done, you just put it over rice. It would be good with oven broiled garlic toast also.

Another thing that I have done with eggs is add cream of mushroom soup to it and scramble the eggs until they are soft but not hard. We have eaten this with garlic toast. There are so many ways you can make eggs where you don't only think of them as a breakfast food. When you have to make your food stretch, you add filler ingredients to make enough to feed everyone.

A few months ago it was really tight here until payday, and I had almost nothing in the house. I did have corn meal, and I had milk and bread. I could have made cornbread, but I didn't want to. I really wanted something else. I remembered what my dad made us kids when we were small, and money was short. He made a cooked cereal out of corn meal. We called it corn meal mush, but I don't know if that is the real name for it.

All you do is put some water and butter in a pot and bring it to a boil. Start adding corn meal slowly and stir it. It will swell up just like cream of wheat. Add enough corn meal until the texture is like cream of wheat. I use yellow corn meal, but you can make it with white corn meal also. When it is done, pour it into cereal bowls, add sugar or sweetener and add milk. You eat it just like you would oatmeal or cream of wheat. I like to eat it with strawberry jam and toast on the side. This country breakfast is really very good.

So if you think you have nothing in your pantry or your refrigerator, look again. You just might find something there in which to make another meal. I am always thankful for the way I was raised. My dad was able to always put together meals to feed our family, when it seemed we didn't have anything.


Recipe for Caesar Salad

When I make a salad, I like it to be a complete meal in itself. I never have room for a salad and a meal because I like to put so much stuff on my salads that they fill me up without having a main course. This recipe for Caesar salad is one of my dads. I grew up with a great cook in the family, and almost everything I know about cooking I learned from him.

Here is what you need to make Caesar salad:

3 heads of romaine lettuce
1/3 cup of olive oil
1 crushed clove of garlic
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon of pepper
4 tablespoons of lemon juice (fresh not bottled)
1 tablespoon of Worchestershire sauce
1 and 1/2 tablespoons of wine vinegar
2/3 cup of Parmesan cheese
1 and 1/2 cups of croutons

Here is what you do to make Caesar salad:

Several hours before making the salad you will need to prepare the garlic and the olive oil. Add the crushed garlic to the olive oil and let it sit out for several hours. After several hours you may then remove the garlic from the oil and throw it away. Tear up the lettuce and place it into a large salad bowl. Hard boil the egg, and when it is cool mash it up pour over the salad. Combine the Worchestershire sauce, the wine vinegar, the lemon juice and the garlic flavored oil. Pour it over the salad and toss. Pour on the cheese and add the croutons and toss again.



Recipe for Blueberry Cake

The sugar in this recipe can be substituted with Splenda sweetener so that diabetics can enjoy this cake. Blueberries are packed full of antioxidants, so I dare say that this cake is a good healthy treat.

Here is what you need to make my blueberry cake recipe:

1 box of yellow cake mix
1 cup of self rising flour
1 cup of sugar or Splenda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 stick of butter or margarine
3 eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla flavoring
1 and 1/3 cups of water

Here is what you do:

Pour all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth. You can use a mixer or a wire whisk if you prefer. Pour into a greased oblong cake pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until done. Let cake cool and frost it.

Here is what you need to make the frosting:

8 ounces of Cool Whip
8 ounces of soft cream cheese
1 cup of confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla.
1 can of sugar free blueberry pie filling

Add the Cool Whip, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together in a mixing bowl. When the ingredients are all incorporated frost the cake with it. When you are done frosting the cake spread the layer of sugar free blueberry pie filling.



Recipe for Spicy Chicken nuggets

Do you like chicken nuggets? Would you love to make them yourself and have them just the way you like them? I do just that with my recipe for spicy chicken nuggets. My mom was a diabetic and she couldn't eat a lot of processed foods because of the hidden sugar or other chemicals that would make her terribly sick. I got this recipe from my dad. He always seemed to have her best interest at heart when he cooked.

Dad always bought chicken with the skin on it, because it was cheaper, but I usually buy chicken without the skin. It's just less work for me. I like to cut the chicken when it is about half frozen, because the knife glides through the flesh so much easier.

Here is what you need to make my recipe for spicy chicken nuggets:

White meat chicken pieces
Spice rub (I use McCormick's chicken rub)
1 egg with a dash of milk (whisked)
shake and bake Chicken flavor

Use as much chicken as you want for your meal. Rinse off the chicken to make sure it is clean before you start to cut it. Once the chicken is cut into bite-sized pieces place the pieces of chicken into a Ziploc bag and pour in 3 tablespoons of spicy chicken rub. Work the spice rub into the chicken and place in the refrigerator for an hour.

After the chicken has chilled for an hour in the spicy rub you will want to put a coating on the chicken nuggets. Beat 1 egg with a dash of milk in a large bowl. Now add the chicken nuggets to the egg wash. Then just shake up your chicken pieces in shake and bake and bake them for 18 to 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven.



Recipe for Boston Cream Pie with a Twist

The other day my daughter got a hankering for a Boston Cream Pie, and she didn't have the ingredients for it. We had on hand a yellow
cake mix and a cheese cake mix, and chocolate frosting, and other ingredients. Well you guessed it. She put it all together. Here are the directions for how she did it.

Make and bake the yellow cake mix in an oblong cake pan according to box directions. Let it cool to just warm. Frost the cake. (my daughter nuked the canned cake frosting in the microwave for about 20 seconds to make it softer).

Next make the cheese cake mix according to the directions, but hold the graham cracker crumbs for later. When the cheese cake mixture is whipped up, add a half-cup of Cool Whip to it and then pour it over the cake.

Next add a can of cherry pie filling on top of the cheese cake mixture, and add the graham cracker crumbs on top. Serve with cool whip on top if desired.

This is so yummy!


Recipe for Philadelphia Steak Bagel Sandwich

I don't know about you, but I love making portable fun foods that taste great. You can buy these sandwich steaks at the grocery store. They are very thin and cook really fast. If you don't want to get the sandwich steaks, you can use left over roast beef. Or you can buy roast beef slices at the deli and they will work just lie the sandwich steaks.

Here is what you do to make my version of Philadelphia cheese steak bagel sandwich recipe:

Pour about an ounce of olive oil in a skillet. Cut up an onion and a green pepper and saute them in the olive oil. Let them start to get tender and then place the very thin steak or roast beef slices in there to cook. It will only take a few minutes, because the slices are paper thin.

Now open however many bagels you want, and place a slice of Swiss cheese on each half. Add the cooked steak, onions and peppers onto the all of the bagel slices and top again with Swiss cheese. Now pop the bagels into the broiler until the cheese is melted. Now put the two slices of bagel together and you have a nice thick Philly cheese steak bagel sandwich. My mom was diabetic. She ate these whenever dad would make them.

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