Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Onion Soup Mix

Dry Onion Soup Mix


2/3 c. minced onion, dried
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. sugar or sweetener
4 tsp. parsley flakes
2 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper


Combine all ingredients and mix well. Store in air tight container. Mix well before each use.
4 Tbsp. of dry onion soup mix will equal 1 package of store product mix.
To make Onion Dip:
Add 2-4 Tbsp. dry mix to 1 pint of sour cream. Refrigerate overnight for best results, as the minced onion needs to re-hydrate into the moisture.
This is also a great addition to meatloaf, pot roast, pork chops, etc. Be creative and let your imagination run wild!
Use within 6 months. Put label and date on container.
Servings: 16 Tablespoons

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Crazy Cake

When I have a craving for a homemade chocolate cake; this is my "go to" recipe.  This recipe has been around for many decades and has a "history" there are several variations, but this is the only way I have made it.  It may actually be the first "Vegan" recipe.  During World War I when rations were scarce an ingenious mom devised this recipe for her child's birthday cake.  It is one of the most moist and simplest cakes I know of.  I hope you enjoy it and share the recipe and making it with your children.  Enjoy  : )   -Noni

2      cups sugar
3      cups flour
2      teaspoons baking soda
1/2   cup cocoa
1      teaspoon salt
2      cups cold water (I use 1 cup cold water and 1 cup cold strong instant coffee)
2      tablespoons vinegar
2      teaspoons vanilla
3/4   cup oil

Preheat the oven to 350.
In a large mixing bowl, sift the dry ingredients together.  In a medium bowl; mix the remaining ingredients and add to the dry ingredients, stir with a wooden spoon until all lumps are gone, pour batter into a 9 X 13 baking dish and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the toothpick test comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.

This cake is good served with a dollop of whipped cream, ice cream, frosting, or just plain.  It's still moist the following day (if it lasts that long).  Using coffee enhances the chocolate flavor.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Roasted Acorn Squash Rings

Last night was Wednesday night, usually dinner at my house with my son and his girl friend.  It's a wonderful time for me because they are my "testers" and are ardent fans of my cooking and baking.  Moving forward into my Autumn squash phase; I decided to make something venturesome with acorn squash.  I hadn't really planned a "dinner" so I asked them if they would like to have breakfast for dinner, they agreed with the plan. I had purchased bacon from the butcher for the first time in more years than I can remember and we planned on having bacon, the big apple pancake, and this recipe.  We all got excited as we began to discuss the dinner; or maybe it was just me who got excited, not sure about that (?)  Well, anyway we all participated in the preparation of dinner and fun was had by all.......So, for the recipe:

1         medium acorn squash
1/2      cup quinoa, cooked in 1 cup vegetable broth
1         tablespoon olive oil
1/2      large onion, diced
1         medium apple, diced
1/4      cup dried cranberries, chopped
2         tablespoons walnuts, chopped
1/3      cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1-2      teaspoons fresh sage, minced
1         egg, whisked
2         teaspoon butter, melted
2         teaspoons maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375.  Using olive oil mister; spray baking sheet.

Cut acorn squash in 2 inch rounds, remove seeds, and place on baking sheet.  Melt butter; mix with maple syrup and brush the top and sides of the squash, set aside.
Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat, add onion, cook for about 10 minutes or until it begins to brown, add apple, cook for about 5 minutes or until soft.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Combine quinoa, onion and apple mixture, cheese, walnuts, cranberries, egg, sage, and salt and pepper; mix well.  Fill each squash ring with as much mixture without overflowing.  Spray centers with cooking spray.  Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until tops are golden brown and squash is tender.  Enjoy   : )  -Noni

Monday, November 12, 2012

Quinoa Vegetable Mini Cups

I'm always on the look out for something to make that I can grab out of the freezer and quickly heat up when I run out of time and energy.  Since I rarely eat fast food and sometimes don't feel like eating what I had for dinner last night, it's good to have something in "reserve".  This recipe can have so many different variations; depending on what you have in your refrigerator and what type of grain,vegetables, spices, and cheeses you prefer.  So this is what I made today based on what I had.

2      cups Quinoa, cooked
2      eggs
2      egg whites
1      cup sweet potato, cooked (you could use any squash variety; uncooked)
2      green onions (you could use regular onions, shallots, garlic, or none)
1/4   cup parsley
1      tablespoon fresh basil
1/4   teaspoon sage
1/2   cup chicken sausage, cooked (any cooked meat can be used)
1/2   cup cheddar/mozzarella, shredded (any cheese can be used)
1/4   cup ricotta
2      tablespoons fresh Romano, grated
A dash of Cayenne and garlic salt.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 350.  Generously See how I made the font bold and underlined there?  It's because what I'm about to type next is very important to follow.  Generously grease mini muffin tins with cooking spray.  Okay, the truth is......I wasn't generous enough and some of my cute little mini's stuck to the bottom of the tin, so be generous, okay?!!!

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Season to your liking.  Spoon into each cup of the muffin tin and bake 15 to 20 minutes.  If you use larger muffin tins; adjust the time accordingly.  Cool on a wire rack at least 5 minutes before removing from the muffin tin.  Enjoy!  : )  -Noni

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Persimmon Cookies

My mother liked lots of fruits that I really didn't care for, like persimmons, papayas, guavas, mangoes, I really thought they were "yucky" and I think a lot of it had to do with the texture of the fruit and maybe the "muskiness" as well.  When I went to the farmer's market last Sunday; many of the booths has persimmons, one of them was passing out samples; so I asked the woman for a taste, to my surprise, it was delightful!  I asked her to choose two that were ripe and purchased them to take home and eat.  Once I got them home; fear set in, what was I going to do with them?  When my son came over for dinner on Wednesday night, I asked him if he would like me to cut one open to have for dinner; he hesitated and then declared that he wasn't sure that he liked them.  lol!  This morning I got up and after researching on the internet; still feeling reluctant; I cut open the softest one, it was a beautiful color, and very soft, gooey, and slimy on the inside.  I freaked out!!!  I cut open the other one and it was firm and a different color; it tasted good and the soft one tasted sweet and good as well.  I went on line to search for a recipe to try; most recipes were for persimmon pudding, which is really like a bread, after some searching, I found a cookie recipe to try.  And if you have been reading this blog, you know that I'm going to "tweak" it and change it up to suit my dietary style; which I did.  I substituted honey for the sugar; using 1/2 the amount and used 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour and 1 cup Oat Flour for the 2 cups AP Flour (you can use any combination of flours that you wish), other than that, I followed the recipe.  I loved the outcome, the cookies remind me of the islands because of the spices they are very nice with tea in the afternoon to satisfy your sweet tooth!  Enjoy!  : )    -Noni

2      ripe persimmons, pureed
1      teaspoon baking soda
1     cup whole wheat flour
1     cup oat flour
1/2   teaspoon cinnamon
1/2   teaspoon cloves
1/2   teaspoon nutmeg
1/2   teaspoon salt
1      egg
1/2   cup butter
1/2   cup honey
1      cup raisins
1      cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350

Dissolve baking soda in pureed persimmons and set aside.
Sift flours, spices, and salt together, set aside.
Cream honey and butter together, beat in egg, add persimmon.  Stir in dry ingredients.  Stir in nuts and raisins.
Drop by teaspoon onto greased baking pan.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Banana Nut Bread (My Way)

Banana Nut Bread is probably a recipe in almost every American's recipe box.  My mother thought hers was the best ( and I did too until I began making my own), I had a friend who cooked and baked on her country home wood stove and she could make some pretty mean banana nut bread.  I went through a phase of my bread machine banana nut bread recipe (not because it was good, but because it was easy!), and now I have found one that I think to date is probably the best.  I roll my eyes when I read a recipe where "puffy" chested  cooks declare that they add chocolate chips to their batter.  What????  It's banana nut bread, do people really believe that chocolate chips need to be added to EVERY recipe????  Really????  Anyway......Here's what I do:

I gather all my ingredients and set them on the counter for about an hour so that they are at room temperature (someone told me to, I have no idea why, I just do it, it seems to work).

1/2       cup butter, softened
1/4       cup molasses
1/4       cup pure maple syrup
2          tablespoons honey
2          large eggs
2          medium bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1/4       cup milk
2          teaspoons vanilla
2          cups flour (I use a combination of whole wheat, kamut, spelt, and oat)
1          teaspoon baking soda
1/2       teaspoon kosher salt
1/2       cup nuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350, grease your pan of choice ( I use a loaf pan), you can use muffin tins as well.

Cream together butter, molasses, syrup, and honey on low speed of a mixer until well combined, increase speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time until fully incorporated.  Add the bananas and blend on low until combined.  Add the milk and vanilla and mix just until combined.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together and add to the banana mixture, mix on medium speed until the mixture has come together and is thick and creamy, scraping the bowl to make sure all the flour mixture is incorporated into the banana mixture.  Add the nuts and pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 50 to 60 minutes if using a loaf pan.  If using muffin tins; check your time at 20 minutes and at 10 minute intervals thereafter.

Remove the pan from the oven and place the pan on wire rack to cool.  After 20 minutes, lay pan on it's side to cool for another 10 to 20 minutes before attempting to remove it from the pan.  I know, I know, your home is filled with the aroma of the delicious banana nut bread and you have already waited almost 2 hours, however, it will be worth it to allow the bread to cool enough to come out of the pan as a whole loaf!!!

Sauteed Fillet of Sole

This is a fast and easy fish recipe to fix when you are having guests for dinner.  Serve with a grain and a green vegetable and or a fresh green salad.

11/2      pounds fresh sole fillets
2          tablespoons olive oil
3          tablespoons shallots, minced
1/4       cup white wine
2          tablespoons butter
Fresh herbs (lime-thyme, mint, oregano or any fresh herb to your liking)
Minced fresh chives
Lemon wedges
Salt to taste

Pat the fillets dry with paper towels, let sit for a while and repeat.  Lightly salt the fillets on both sides.  Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, when the oil is hot, carefully add the fillets to the pan and gently brown on each side.  This should take only a few minutes; the fish is done when it's flaky and is no longer translucent. Remove the fillets from the pan and place on a warm plate.  Add the shallots to the pan, saute` until soft, deglaze the pan with the white wine and scrape up the brown bits at the bottom of the pan.  Add the butter, gently swirl to make a sauce, add the herbs and squeeze a little lemon juice into the sauce.  Spoon over the fillets and garnish with the fresh chives and a lemon wedge and serve.  Enjoy   : ) Noni