Friday, January 30, 2009

Recipe: Fruited Spareribs

I first tasted this at a friend's 34 years ago, where I'd been invited for dinner. It's delicious, and quite different from normal dinner fare. Men seem to really like it a lot, and there are seldom leftovers. The bananas and pineapple really make this a tasty dish.


4 lbs. spareribs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup catsup
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ginger
2 green onions, chopped
1 13 1/4-oz can pineapple chunks, drained
2 bananas, chunked

Cut ribs into serving-size pieces. In shallow open roasting pan, mix brown sugar, soy sauce, catsup, salt, pepper, green onion, and ginger. Add ribs & coat with sauce. Bake at 325 for 1 hr and 50 minutes, occasionally basting ribs while baking. (Cover with foil last 1/2 hour if ribs get too dark)

Remove from oven and carefully spoon fat from pan and push ribs to one side. Add pineapple and bananas, brush with sauce, and bake 10 minutes longer.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fooling Turkeys

I'm taking a break from recipes to post something hilarious I just heard on the radio. I'm listing to NPR, and they reported on a mail carrier who was unable to deliver mail in one of his delivery areas because of serious attacks from a flock of wild turkeys.

The solution: carry an umbrella. His bosses told him (rather wisely, I think) to carry an umbrella, and as the turkeys are flying at him, he should open the umbrella. This will make the turkeys think he is a dominant male spreading his plummage. I love it. How smart is that?!! A win-win situation.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Recipe: Karen Johnson's Award Winning Tuna Casserole

This is a sinfully rich tuna noodle casserole. I first tasted it at an office potluck about 30 years ago and have made it many times since then. It is named after the employee who made it for the potluck. When I asked for the recipe, Karen told me that if I passed the recipe on, I had to substitute her name for mine, and each person passing it on adds their name to it. She said it was a "tradition." I don't know if she was pulling my leg or not. Regardless, since I got the recipe from her, I preferred to leave her name on it, as a way to remember her. If you wish to put my name on it, that's your decision.

There are two unusual ingredients--Velveeta cheese and dried parsley flakes--that "make" this casserole. Try it, you'll like it!


16-oz. (or slightly less) Velveeta, cubed
1 small tub margarine
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can milk
4-6 Tbs. dried parsely flakes
1 large can tuna fish
12-oz. package cooked noodles

--In large saucepan mix first 5 ingredients & heat till cheese melts (reserve some cheese and parsley for topping)

--Stir in noodles, then add tuna

--Turn into casserole and top with reserved cheese and parsley

--Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 mins or so

Friday, January 23, 2009

Recipe: Salmon-Cheese Bake

This is another recipe from Better Homes and Gardens. It came from the January 1972 issue, and is fast and easy. It's surprisingly elegant and is marvelous as brunch. I like to serve it with a tossed green salad or Waldorf salad. The Waldorf salad makes an especially nice contrast with the salmon.

1 16-oz. can salmon, drained and flaked
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cups packaged biscuit mix
1/2 cup water
2 slices mozzarella cheese
2 Tbs. grated parmesan cheese
1 can condensed cream of celery soup
1/4 cup milk
1/4 Tsp. dried dillweed

Combine salmon and onion; set aside. Combine biscuit mix and water; divide in half. Roll half the dough to an 8" square. Fit into bottom of greased 8x8x2" baking pan. Top with salmon mixture, then mozzarella cheese slices. Roll remaining dough to 8" square; place over cheese layer. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake in 450 oven for 15-18 minutes. In small saucepan, combine soup, milk and dillweed. Heat mixture through. Serve some dill sauce over squares of casserole; pass remaining. Makes 6 servings.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Recipe: Barbecups

Here's an incredibly fast and easy recipe that is tons of fun to serve and eat. It's basically mini-sloppy Joes in a muffin tin. Kids really like it because it's unique and you can eat it with your fingers. This is a 1968 Pillsbury Bake-off winner and I found the recipe in my favorite magazine for recipes: Better Homes and Gardens. (Where else?!!)


--Brown 3/4 lb. ground beef. Drain.

--1/2 cup Kraft Barbecue Sauce
--1 Tbs. instant minced onion
--2 Tbs. brown sugar

--open 8-oz. can Pillsbury Refrigerated Tenderflake Biscuits

--press each biscuit into an ungreased muffin cup, making sure dough goes up to edge of cup

--spoon meat mixture into cups

--top with 3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese

--Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Makes 12.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Recipe: Creamy Ham Casserole

This is another potluck favorite. I got this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens in the 1970s. I have more recipes collected from BH&G than any other source. While I loved the old BH&G, and deplored the day they went all glitzy and modern (and, in my opinion, much harder to read because of the layout and clutter), they are still one of the best sources for kitchen-tested recipes.

One day, I'm going to blog about my favorite pet peeve: if it ain't broke, don't fix it. But that's for another day. For now, today is devoted to recipes.


1 med. head cauliflower (2 pounds)
2 cups cubed cooked ham (I use turkey ham)
1 3-oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained
4 Tbs. butter or margarine
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 cup (4 oz.) cubed sharp process American cheese
1/2 cup dairy sour cream
1 cup soft bread crumbs (1 1/2 slices)
1 Tbs. butter or margarine, melted

Break cauliflower into buds (about 4 cups). Cook, covered, in boiling salted water till tender, 10-12 mins. Drain. Combine ham and mushrooms. In medium saucepan melt the 4 Tbs. butter and stir in flour. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir till mixture thickens and bubbles. Add cheese and sour cream to sauce. Stir till cheese melts.

Combine with cauliflower and ham mixture. Turn into 2 quart casserole. Combine crumbs and the remaining butter. sprinkle over top. Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes or till hot. Makes 6 servings.

If you don't love this casserole, then you aren't normal. :-)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Recipe: Calico Beans

I've had numerous requests for my recipes on Twitter, but trying to do recipes on Twitter is difficult due to limited space. So I decided to post the recipes on my blog instead. I will do so periodically.

The following recipe is a potluck favorite. In fact, I got it at an office potluck about 30 years ago. It's hearty and filling, and keeps a long while in the fridge.


Saute together:
1 lb. hamburger
1/2 large chopped onion
1 lb. bacon (I usually cook bacon first, then remove from pan, drain most of the fat, then cook hamburger and onion. When hamburger done, I crumble bacon and add back into pan.)

Then add:
1 c. brown sugar (I use 3/4 cup, as I think 1 c. too sweet)
1/2 c. catsup
2 TBS vinegar
1 TBS prepared mustard
1 tsp. salt
1 15 1/2 oz. can baby lima beans, including liquid
1 15 1/2 oz. can kidney beans, including liquid
1 medium-large can pork and beans.

Turn into casserole and bake at 350 for about 1 1/4 hours.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Tap-tap-tap. Hello? Can you hear me?

I've been unable to get into Blogger to update my blog, but today the powers-that-be finally allowed me in. Praise be. Now, what to talk about? New Year's resolutions? I do 'em. Cooking/baking/recipes? I do 'em. Photography? Bingo!

I live in rural Western Washington, and in case you hadn't heard, we've been having perfectly awful weather: 4 snowstorms in December, one right after the other, and another snowstorm and record-setting rains in January. Weatherwise, it's been pretty spectacular.

The child in me still loves the beauty and novelty of snow, so I grabbed my trusty camera and headed outdoors. I ended up with some of the prettiest pictures I have ever taken, and I share a few of them here with you. These pictures were taken on my property, mostly in my paddock and wooded pasture. All pictures are copyrighted, so be forewarned. :-) If you lift them without permission, the embedded tracking device will allow the boogy man to show up on your doorstep demanding a Large Fee.

#1 - My mailbox stand
#2 - Paddock (foreground) & pasture (beyond fence)
#3 - My back yard
#4 - Tree in paddock