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January 15, 2002

That's My Home Newsletter
Edition 5, Jan. 15, 2002

**Overview of this Issue**

From the Editor
Cooking Tip
Newsletter Theme....Quick Meals
Shared Recipes from Home Cooking
Actual Restaurant Recipes
Quick and Easy Recipe
For the Kids in All of Us!
Recipe Request
Cook's Corner


Today's theme is Easy Meals, something I have been doing a lot of for the last 2 weeks. That's My Home has been getting redesigned as we have had to move to a new server.  It still looks the same, I'm moving things around hoping to make it easier to find the recipe you're looking for. Holidays will be offline for another 10 days as it is getting a whole new look. I received some wonderful e-mails regarding the Keepsake Cookbooks. I'll share some of them with you in the Cook's Corner below. I will also be adding some new pages on how to make one for your family as soon as I can. So send me your ideas!

I will be sending out some Special Super Bowl Recipes next week. Just recipes!


Got a stray ripe banana perfect for banana bread? Place it unpeeled in a zipper-lock bag and freeze, adding more bananas to it until you have enough. When ready to use, thaw on the counter until soft.

Keep your food processor lid clean by stretching a piece of plastic wrap over the work bowl after adding the food. Process as directed and simply discard the plastic.

Want a silky sheen on your chocolate frosted cake? Get out the blow dryer. The slight melting of the frosting will give the surface that lustrous appearance.

Tired of the messy film on your counter when using vegetable oil spray? Open your dishwasher door flat and place the pan to be sprayed directly on the door. Spray away. Any overspray will be cleaned off the door next time you run the dishwasher.




1 C. tomato sauce
1 lb. ground beef
1 can mushrooms
1/4 C. green pepper, chopped
1/2 C. cracker crumbs
1/2 C. onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. oregano
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine these ingredients and mix well. Pat meat mixture into pie pan and set aside.

1 3/4 C. Minute Rice
1 1/2 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 C. water
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. grated cheddar cheese

Combine filling ingredients and 1 cup cheese. Pour rice into meat shell. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Return uncovered to the oven and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes.

1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed and allowed to rise according to package directions
1 pound Italian sausage
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 to 1 pound mozzarella cheese slices, to taste
1 cup sliced pepperoni

Remove sausage from casing. Saute with onion and garlic until well done, about 12 minutes, crumbling meat as it cooks. Add Parmesan or Romano cheese, basil, oregano and pepper and simmer about 5 minutes longer. Drain mixture well and set aside. Punch dough down and pat into a 12-inch oval. Brush with olive oil, then egg. Sprinkle the sausage mixture evenly over the dough. Layer the remaining Parmesan, mushrooms, mozzarella and pepperoni on top. Roll the dough in jelly-roll fashion into a loaf, sealing edges with beaten egg. Place seam side down on bread pan and let it rise about 30 minutes. Bake in preheated 350F. oven about 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Makes about 12 1-inch slices.


9 chicken pieces (3 thighs, 3 legs, 3 breasts)
1 C. dry breadcrumbs
1/2 C. melted butter
1/2 C. parmesan cheese
1 t. basil
1/2 t. oregano
1/4 t. seasoned salt
1/2 t. pepper

Preheat oven to 375F. Coat the bottom of a baking pan with oil spray.

In a shallow bowl, mix together the crumbs, cheese, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.
Coat the chicken with the melted butter. Roll the chicken pieces in the crumb mixture. Place skin side down on the baking sheet.

Spray the chicken with the oil spray lightly. Bake for 20 minutes and then turn over the chicken. Bake another 20 - 30 minutes until chicken is done and the juices run clear.


1 lb. ground beef
1/2 C. onion chopped
1/2 C. green pepper chopped
1 can (15.5oz.) mild chili beans  with sauce
3/4 C. barbecue sauce
1/2 t. salt
1 package (8.5) oz.) corn muffin mix
1 can Mexicali corn drained

Preheat oven to 400F. Saute beef, onions and green pepper until the beef is browned. Drain. Stir in chili beans, barbecue sauce and salt. Spoon into a 9 inch square pan.
Prepare corn muffin mix according to package directions, stir in corn. Spoon over meat mixture. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown.

6 servings


1 cup sour cream
1 (10 3/4-oz.) can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 (4-oz.) can green chilies, diced and peeled
1 chopped onion
2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, diced
2 (6-oz.) pkgs.  Yellow Cornbread Mix
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
2 cups corn tortilla chips, slightly broken
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeos

Heat oven to 400F. Grease large cast-iron skillet.
Combine sour cream, soup, chilies, onions and chicken.

Make cornbread batter (with milk) following the instructions on the packages. Add grated Cheddar cheese to the batter.

Cover the bottom of the skillet with the broken tortilla chips. Sprinkle the grated Monterey Jack Cheese over the chips. Spread your sour cream and chicken mixture over the cheese and chips.

Carefully spread your cornbread batter over the chicken layer.

Bake at 400F. for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 6-8 servings.




At serving time, divide the topped potato wedges into two batches and heat them one at a time. The second batch will be ready to eat just as your guests finish up the first round.
6 large baking potatoes 
2 teaspoons cooking oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
Several dashes bottled hot pepper sauce
2/3 cup chopped Canadian-style bacon or chopped, cooked turkey bacon
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
4 ounces cheddar cheese or reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)
1/2 cup dairy sour cream (optional)

Scrub potatoes thoroughly and prick with a fork. Arrange on a microwave-safe plate. Micro-cook, uncovered, on 100% power (high) for 17 to 22 minutes or till almost tender, rearranging once. (Or, bake potatoes in a 425F. oven for 40 to 45 minutes or till tender.) Cool.

Halve each potato lengthwise. Scoop out the inside of each potato half, leaving about a 1/4-inch-thick shell. Cover and chill the leftover fluffy white part of potatoes for another use.

Combine the cooking oil, chili powder, and hot pepper sauce. With a pastry brush, brush the insides of the potato halves with the oil mixture. Cut the potato halves in half lengthwise.
Return to the baking sheet. Sprinkle potato quarters with bacon, tomato, and green onion. Top with cheese. To make ahead, cover and chill for up to 24 hours. Bake in 450F. oven for 10 to 12 minutes or till cheese is melted and potato quarters are heated through.
Serve with sour cream, if desired.

Serves: 6


1 3/4 lb ground beef
3/4 cup minced yellow onion
3/4 cup combination of minced red and green bell pepper
1/2 cup plain taco chips, not Nacho cheese flavored, broken into 1/4"-1/2" pieces - not ground
1 large egg lightly beaten
2 cans - 4 oz each chopped green chilies
1 TB chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup beef broth
1/3 cup hot red pepper or green jalapeno diced and chopped
1 package, 8 ozs. each, of cheddar cheese in cubes if possible
1/2 cup mild salsa ie. Taco Bell's Mild Thick N Chunky Salsa

In a frypan saute all the bell pepper plus all the onion in a little butter till soft. Then mix all the ingredients together including the sauteed items except the salsa and cheese cubes, in a large bowl. Mixture will be somewhat wet but most will cook off in the oven. Divide mixture into 2 equal parts. Assemble in a flat fashion in a 9" by 9" square pan. (You can instead make a 12 x 7 inch shape on a lasagna pan or large baking sheet with edge for grease runoff but because it is loose it's shape will not be neat.

Layer cheddar cheese cubes on top of this layer. Then smear the salsa over the cubes to cover the surface. Take remaining other 1/2 of meat mixture and cover the first layer. Smooth over top and shape as neatly as possible. Bake in 350F. oven for 1 1/2 hours. Tasty grease will reabsorb after sitting a while. Cut into serving portions when loaf has cooled a bit and solidified.

1 1/2 C. walnuts finely chopped
1 1/2 C. vanilla wafer crumbs
1 1/4 C.  light brown sugar packed
1 1/2 sticks butter melted
1 package devils food cake mix for a 2 layer cake
2 cups heavy or whipping cream whipped
Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl with spoon mix walnuts, crumbs, sugar and butter. Divide crumb mixture in to 4 - 9 inch round cake pans. With hand pat evenly to cover bottoms of pans.

Prepare cake mix as label directs. Pour batter over crumb mixture in pans. Place pans on 2 oven racks so that know pan is directly above another. Bake 30 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in center of each cake layer comes out clean. Cool cake layers 10 minutes. Loosen layers from pans.

Cool completely. Place 1 cake layer on a plate crumb side up. Top with 1 fourth of whipped cream. Repeat with two more cake layers and whipped cream. Place remaining cake layer on top crumb side up. Garnish cake top with remaining whipped cream. Chill if not serving right away.

Note from the editor: I'd start checking the cakes at 20 minutes to see if they are done.




3/4 cup raisins
1/3 cup water (for raisins)
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (softened)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 pinch salt
1 egg
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 cup unbleached flour
3 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup pecan pieces
Soak the raisins in the water (preferably overnight).

In a stainless-steel mixing bowl, using the "paddle" attachment, mix the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and salt at slow speed. Scrape the bowl occasionally; mix until well combined (approximately 5 minutes). Add the egg and continue mixing.

Mix the baking soda and flour with the rolled oats. Add the flour mixture, soaked raisins and pecans. Mix for approximately 2 minutes, until combined. Do not overmix.

Refrigerate the dough for approximately 3 hours.

Using an ice cream scoop, place the approximately 3-ounce-size cookie-dough balls on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Lightly press the cookie-dough balls with a fork dipped in water to the desired size.
Bake in preheated oven at 325F. for approximately 20 minutes.

Yields 16 very large cookies 

Concord, Mass.

Pecan Mixture:
1 large egg
4 T. light brown sugar
2 T. + 2 t. light corn syrup
pinch of salt
1/4 t. vanilla
1 T. melted butter
3/4 C. chopped pecans
1/4 C. chocolate chips

1 C. flour
2 T. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 egg yolk
1/2 t. vanilla
1 T. lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Add egg yolk, vanilla and lemon juice. Mix until combined. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Roll to 1/8 inch thick and line tart pan.

Combine eggs, brown sugar and corn syrup. Mix until smooth. Add salt, vanilla and butter and stir. Add pecans and chocolate chips. Pour over crust.

Bake for 30 minutes or until set.

Serves 6 - 8.

The Galley Hatch Restaurant in Hampton, NH

20 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast (cut in strips)
l  C. olive oil
32 oz. can - Italian plum tomatoes
2 shallots (sliced)
2 C. mushrooms (sliced)
l red pepper (sliced)
1/2 C. pitted Spanish olives (sliced in half)
3 T. chopped fresh basil
2 T. chopped fresh rosemary
2 t. ground black pepper
1 t. celery salt
2 T. sugar
1/2 C. heavy cream
1/2 C. grated cheese

In saucepan over medium heat, place 1/2 cup olive oil. When hot, add mushrooms, shallots and red peppers. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until mushrooms start to soften. Turn to low heat.

Crush plum tomatoes by hand and add. Stir thoroughly. Add basil, rosemary, black pepper, celery salt and sugar, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add Spanish olives. This sauce can be made ahead of time if desired. When ready to eat, cut chicken in thin strips, approximately l ounce. Lightly coat with flour and place in hot frying pan, over medium heat, containing 1/2 cup olive oil. When chicken is golden brown, turn it over. Add prepared sauce to chicken and add 1/2 cup heavy cream. Stir thoroughly.

Serve Chicken Genovese over pasta or white rice. Top with grated cheese and fresh parsley, if desired.
Serves 8.

Orlando, FL.

5 eggs
2 1/2 C. heavy cream
6 T. chopped red bell pepper
4 T. minced shallots
1/2 pound corn kernels
1 T. fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 lb. corn muffin mix
Cooking spray to coat pans
Granulated sugar for dusting pans
Fresh cilantro

Heat oven to 300F. In a bowl, combine eggs, heavy cream, red pepper, shallots, corn and rosemary. Add muffin mix to bind ingredients.

Coat small cast-iron pans with cooking spray. Dust pans with sugar. Using an ice cream scoop, plop three scoops of batter into each pan. Place a sprig of cilantro on top of each pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Serve.

Note from editor: You could also use small pie tins to bake this in.
Serves 10.



1 chicken from the deli or 2-3 Cups cut up chicken
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 package herb-seasoned stuffing mix, (8 oz)
1 cup shredded cheese

Cut chicken into bite-size pieces. Mix soups and broth; add chicken to the mixture. Add butter or margarine to dressing mix. Combine chicken mixture with the dressing mixture. Place in a 2 to 2 1/2-quart casserole and bake at 350F. for 30 minutes. Top with shredded cheese during the last 5 minutes if desired.

Serves 6.


1/4 C. butter or margarine
1/4 C. all-purpose flour
2 C. milk
1/4 t. salt, or to taste
pepper, to taste
2 T. dry white wine or sherry, optional
2 egg yolks, beaten
2 C. turkey, cooked, diced
1 C. frozen peas, thawed
1/4 C. slivered almonds
2 T.  chopped pimiento, optional
3 T. bread crumbs
1 T. butter
2 T. Parmesan cheese, grated

In a 2 quart saucepan, melt butter; add flour and stir until smooth. Add milk slowly, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened and smooth. Add salt, pepper, and wine or sherry, if used.

In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks together; add a little of the hot sauce to the yolks. Stirring constantly, add the yolk mixture back into the hot sauce mixture. Stir in turkey, peas, and half of the almonds.

Pour into a 1 1/2 to 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining almonds and crumbs; dot with butter and sprinkle with cheese. Brown under the broiler until cheese is melted.

Serves 4.

2 boneless chicken breast halves
2 T. vegetable oil
2 large red-skinned or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced
2 medium-sized Vidalia sweet onions, peeled and sliced
1 can (10 3/4-oz) cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

Wash chicken and pat dry. Brown chicken breasts in oil and drain on paper towel. Grease a 1 1/2-quart casserole. Layer sliced potatoes on bottom; follow with a layer of onions and top with a layer of mushroom soup. Gently, place chicken breast over soup and sprinkle with paprika. Cover tightly and bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Serves 2.


2 t. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 C. chili powder or to taste
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed, drained
2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can hot chili beans
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 C. frozen corn
2 green bell peppers, chopped
1/2 C. loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion; cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Add chicken, chili powder and garlic; cook, stirring, until chicken is slightly browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in black beans, tomatoes, chili beans and tomato sauce. Heat to simmer; cover and cook 20 minutes.

Add corn, bell pepper and cilantro; cook until heated through and vegetables are tender-crisp, 7 minutes. Taste; adjust seasonings.

Serve over rice or scoop up with Taco Chips.


1 cup butter
6 ounces cream cheese
2 cups all-purpose flour
Cream butter and cream cheese together until well blended. Add flour just until mixed in. Press into desired size tart pan.

2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Melt chocolate chips and butter in double boiler. Stir in sugar, corn syrup, eggs and vanilla until well blended. Stir in pecans. Pour into unbaked tart shell. Bake 20 to 25 minutes at 350F. or until filling is firm.


Cupcakes Ingredients:
2 C.  sugar
1 C.  sour cream
1/4 C. butter
2 eggs
1 3/4 C.  all-purpose flour
2/3 C.  water
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
1 C.  semi-sweet real chocolate chips
1 C.  chopped peanuts
4 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate, melted

Topping Ingredients:
1 C. caramel ice cream topping
1/2 C. chopped peanuts

Heat oven to 350F. Combine sugar, sour cream, butter and eggs in large mixer bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until smooth (2 to 3 minutes). Continue beating, gradually adding flour, water, baking soda, baking powder, salt and vanilla until smooth (2 to 3 minutes). Stir in chocolate chips, peanuts and unsweetened chocolate by hand until well mixed.

Spoon 2 tablespoons batter into paper-lined muffin cups. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly. Remove cupcakes from pan; cool 10 to 15 minutes. Drizzle 1 teaspoon caramel topping onto each cupcake; sprinkle with chopped peanuts.



Dorothy would love to have the recipe for Oatmeal Cookies like they make at Home Buffet (California and Arizona)

We did get the Black Walnut Taffy Rebecca was looking for. Here's the recipe from Ms. Weissert.

I had just pulled out some of my mother's and grandmother's old recipes (to put in my online recipe file) and one of them was for my grandmother's (or maybe back farther than that) recipe for Black Walnut Taffy. I'll give you the recipe just as my mother had written it:


1 C. molasses
2 C. Karo syrup
1 C. light brown sugar

Cook to stiff ball just before a light crack. Take off fire and add nuts & enough baking soda to made a nice color. Keep stirring while adding nuts & baking soda. You can mix English walnuts & black walnuts together.

This makes it less expensive.

Put in greased pan & spread out & cut into pieces when

That's the recipe as it is written. Sorry, I don't know how much baking soda or what amount of nuts. From experience with other candies, however, I'd guess maybe a teaspoon of baking soda. You might start with 1/2 a
teaspoon and work up from there. Also, I'm sure the stirring is to keep the foam under control when you add the baking soda. Be sure to use a large pot so it doesn't foam over the top. As far as the nuts go, what
the heck, go for broke. More of almost anything is always better!

Wish I could ask for more specific directions, but unfortunately my mom and grandmom passed away many years ago. What a great way for them to live on when others enjoy this very old recipe. Thanks for giving me an opportunity to share my family's recipe. And, for the record, I have LOADS of old, treasured recipes! Some of my favorites are depression era that are unbelievably thrifty and delicious.


More on Keepsake Cookbooks!

I received a lot of e-mails and they all offered some wonderful information into creating a family cookbook.

I have made them each a cook book when they got married with all of ours, my mom's and their favorite recipes. I put the recipes in a mini album also with some pictures added. A snowy scene for when we baked cookies, a pic of our house at Christmas. A graduation pic of their party, etc.. I too have "hand written" notes for each of them. For example on one recipe I said, this is the one you & I had so much fun doctoring up our way. My own mom sent me recipes with notes saying, Pat this is the one you love so much, or this is an easy one. I have "love notes" all through their books nothing gives me more pleasure then to see my own Mom's "handwriting."
From Pat

We put our cookbook into a 3 ring binder book so that we could easily add pages when we find recipes the whole family enjoys. We also give them as gifts to the new brides coming into our family.
From Sarah

When we did our cookbook we sent out preformatted pages  will fill in spaces for recipes or memories. Just make sure to provide a date to return by, but give them plenty of time. Then we copied all the returned pages and had them bound into our book. We did our by sections, such as appetizer, main dishes, sides, desserts and holiday recipes. We gave them out at Christmas and everybody loved their new book.
From Angie


Any questions or comments? I'd love to hear from you. E-mail me at:

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