Saturday, January 31, 2009

Dear, Dear Marie

Cathy has sent me recipes for her blog a batch at a time. Since our blog entries were ahead I had not looked at her message which I assumed was full of recipes to carry us way into February. I was wrong. -- ml

What was for dinner. . . LAST NIGHT.

I grew up in the big metropolis area of Minneapolis/St. Paul, specifically Bloomington. Living in a big city area provides a plethora of eating establishments. One of my favorites was the Marie Callender restaurant in Burnsville. Yum. Order pretty much anything and it was delicious. is so comforting to find Marie Callender's in my own grocer's frozen food section. Her pot pies are scrumptious, but last night, we had one of our other family favorites: Lasagna. So, very simply my "recipe" for today is Marie Callender's Lasagna. Again, her lasagna can be found in the frozen food section. Read the back of the box, follow the instructions, and you will be delighted. We get the box that says "serves 5," although it serves our family of 4 quite nicely. Serve this up with some garlic bread, a salad, and you're good to go. Dessert last night: Cherry turnovers (also found in the frozen food section). :-)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Aunt Rayna's Cherry Coke Jell-O

I was inspired the other day by Shirley's salad to share with you a Jell-O recipe from my Aunt Rayna. I have given this recipe out many times and I always label the card "Lisa's Aunt Rayna's Cherry Coke Jell-O." I'm sure there are people out there eating this tasty Jell-O saying, "I don't know Lisa or her Aunt Rayna, but mmmm this Jell-O is good!" -- ML

P.S. This is NOT a low cal Jell-O.

Lisa's Aunt Rayna's Cherry Coke Jell-O

1 6 oz. pkg cherry Jell-O
1 1/2 cu. boiling water
1 can cherry pie filling
1/4 cu. sugar
1 12 oz. can Coke (Don't be tempted to use cherry Coke even though it seems like the logical choice. It's too much. I know.)

Add Jell-O to boiling water, stir. Add pie filling and sugar. Bring to boil. Put in a bowl to cool. Add Coke before it begins to congeal.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Turkey Tetrazzini

Anything with the word "tetrazzini" in it is sure to be a hit at our house! -- ML

Tasty recipe that I honestly do not make enough.


1 pkg (7 oz) thin spaghetti, boken in half
2 cups cubed cooked turkey
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 small onion, chopped
3 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup, undiluted
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/8 tsp ground mustard
1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup (4 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 Tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
Minced fresh parsley

Cook spaghetti according to pkg directions. Drain and place in a greased 11 x 7 x 2 baking dish. Top with turkey; set aside.

In a skillet, saute the mushrooms and onion in butter until tender. Whisk in the soup, milk, poultry seasoning and mustard until blended. Stir in the cheddar cheese; cook and stir over medium heat until cheese is melted. Pour over turkey.

Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses (dish will be full). Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with parsley. Yield: 4-6 servings

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Frozen Fruit Cups

The day I am posting this recipethe high will be -5. I am having a hard time getting excited about anything frozen, but I'm not going to let that stop me from sampling this yummy recipe sometime in the warm future! -- ML

Okay this is a household FAVE!!!! It makes a great lil' refreshing snack for the kids (and adults). I have also served this at different kinds of gatherings. Yummo and delightfully refreshing.


3 cups sugar
3 cups water
3 pkgs frozen strawberries or raspberries (I've been using 2-24oz containers of frozen strawberries from Wal-Mart -- Great Value brand)
1 can of 5-Alive Citrus (frozen concentrate - the large can)
1/3 cup Real Lemon reconstituted lemon juice
2 cans pineapple tidbits and juice
6 medium bananas

Combine sugar and water in large stockpot. Bring to boil. Add frozen berries, stirring carefully to thaw, then add remaining ingredients. Put in 4 oz or 5 oz plastic cups and freeze.

Remove from freezer about 30 minutes before serving OR eat straight from the freezer if you can't wait :-)

TIP: I use the 4 oz or 5 oz plastic Dart cups with lids. I place the cups on cookie sheets when I place in freezer.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Tangy Broccoli Salad

Today Cathy shares another great vegetable salad! -- ML

This is a recipe that I sampled at County Market last year and have since brought it to a couple family functions.


3/4 cup Miracle Whip dressing
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp vinegar
1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets (6 cups)
1 jar of Hormel Real Bacon Bits (or pieces)
1 small red onion, chopped
1 bag of iceberg lettuce

MIX dressing, sugar and vinegar in large bowl.

ADD remaining ingredients EXCEPT lettuce; mix lightly.

REFRIGERATE at least 1 hour before serving. (NOTE: This salad is actually best when made the night before.)

ADD the bag of lettuce JUST before serving.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Shirley's Wonderful Salad

Here's an easy and interesting side dish salad with a salute to Shirley . . . wherever you are. -- ML

THIS is perhaps my family's favorite salad. It has been a HUGE hit at family gatherings. I got the recipe from my husband's aunt who brought this years ago to one of their family get togethers. PS: No one knows WHO Shirley is.


1 head of red leaf lettuce
1 head of iceberg lettuce
1 head of cauliflower
2 jars Hormel Real Bacon Bits

1-1/2 cups salad dressing (or mayo....I use Miracle Whip)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 c. chopped green onion

Break up lettuces and cut cauliflower into small pieces. Mix with bacon bits, dressing and seasoned croutons JUST before serving. Mmm Mmm good!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Coke Beans

Today we continue with the theme of hearty food for cold people with this interesting recipe which combines a protein and caffeine. How bad could that be? -- ML

Gotta love these baked beans. This is a crockpot recipe.


Use as many cans of baked beans as you want. (6 or 8 people: 2 tall cans of the Bush's Original baked beans).

Drain 3/4 liquid from canned beans.

Put 1/2 of the beans in the crockpot - cover with cooked bacon (optional).

Add other 1/2 of the beans. Barely cover with Coke (probably 1 can).

Cover with a 3/4 cup to 1 cup of brown sugar.

Bake uncovered at 250 to 300 degrees for 6 hours.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cream of Broccoli Soup

It's extremely cold here. I mean cold for even the heartiest Minnesotan. We need solid warm food just to stay alive. Today Cathy is making soup. -- ML

A recipe I had at a friend's house in the summertime. It's a delightful soup that is light, yet satisfying. :-)


3-1/2 cups milk
1 (10 oz) pkg frozen broccoli or fresh cooked
1 envelope Lipton's Chicken Noodle Soup
1 Tbs flour

Combine broccoli and milk. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add dry soup and flour. Simmer 10 minutes until soup is slightly thickened. YUMMY!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fish Tacos

Today's recipe is stolen off my friend Molly's Facebook page. It was posted there by my friend Jeremy J and I think he stole it from Tyler Florence, another of our Food TV idols. Pete Seegar said, "plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery." Pete might have been quoting someone else. I actually really enjoy a fish taco as long as it's not too slimy. -- ML

Fish tacos are all about the mayo and the salsa. Here are the details from my newly found recipe:

Pink Chile Mayonnaise:
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
3 chipotles in adobo, plus 2 tablespoons of adobo sauce
1/2 lemon, juiced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mango-Radish Salsa:
2 limes - cut into "supremes"
2 mangoes, diced
4 to 5 ... Read Morered radishes, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Add in some corn tortillas, shredded cabbage, and some penko-coated fried fish and you've got a great meal.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Wacky Sue Cake

Today Cathy is making dessert. Hooray!! This particular dessert was very popular at our house before one of us grew out of an egg allergy. -- ML

How 'bout some dessert?!

A household favorite. It came from a friend, Sue. It was called "Wacky Cake," but since our friend, Sue, was kinda wacky, our family has renamed it "Wacky Sue Cake." (It's "wacky" because it has no eggs)

Wacky Sue Cake

Mix in large bowl:
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp soda
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
3/4 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp vinegar
2 cups cold water

Bake 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes in UNgreased 9 x 13 pan.

Bring to a boil for 1 minute:
1 stick of butter
1/3 cup milk
1-1/2 cups sugar
Remove from heat and add 1/2 to 1 cup chocolate chips. Beat/mix by hand (for quite awhile). Pour/spread on cake and enjoy.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cheesy Tuna Macaroni

Last week while you were innocently making Barbecue Beef Cups, Cathy was in the hospital. (If you're really paying attention, that is why she was cooking and freezing. ) She is absolutely fine and has returned to work this week. -- ML

This next recipe is one I just received from friend, Jody Dahlseid. I put this hot dish together before going into the hospital for my surgery, so Dean just had to throw it into the oven. This one is funny because my boys are SURE they do not like tuna. I don't know why this is, they used to eat tuna fish sandwiches when they were tots and liked them. Anyway, I asked them if they liked this hot dish and they had a unanimous "YES!" My first night back from the hospital we had the leftovers of this hot dish for supper. I asked them what they thought the "meat" was in the dish, they thought chicken. I chuckled and told them it was tuna. They didn't respond. :-)

Cheesy Tuna Macaroni

1/2 pound elbow macaroni -- cooked and drained
1 can cheddar cheese soup, condensed
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup Swiss cheese -- shredded
1 can tuna in water (I used the 5 oz can, but will use the 12 oz can next time)
1-1/2 cups french fried onions
1 cup celery -- chopped
1 tablespoon green olives -- chopped

Combine soup, milk, seasonings, 1/2 cup Swiss cheese, tuna, 1 cup fried onions, celery and olives. Stir in macaroni and mix well. Pour into 2 qt baking dish and bake covered for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Top with remaining cheese and french fried onions, bake uncovered 5 minutes.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Chili can be a controversial thing. Too hot, too spicy, too bean-y. Here Cathy shares with us a recipe for simple, non-threatening chili. -- ML

Simple, simple, simple recipe for supper tonight. Chili. This is pretty basic chili. It's the chili I grew up on, and being majority Swede, it's pretty M-I-L-D. The husband carries his bottle of Tabasco to the table with him.


Brown and drain:
1 pound of ground beef
1 large onion (sliced/chopped)

1 can stewed tomatoes (16 oz)
1 can kidney beans (16 oz)
2 cans tomatoes (16 oz each)
Some diced green peppers to your taste buds' pleasure.

Simmer about 1-1/2 hours for good flavor.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Garlic Roast Chicken

It will pain my stepdaughter to read this but my great Food TV love is Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. Sure she lives in the Hamptons and says things like, "use a teaspoon good vanilla" as though we would try to sneak in that woodpulp when she wasn't looking. Many of her recipes are straight forward and just plain tasty like this one for a garlic roast chicken. It's a favorite at our house, and I've stolen it straight off the website. -- ML

1 (5 to 6-pound) roasting chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 heads garlic, cut in 1/2 crosswise
1 lemon, halved
1/2 large Spanish onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots cut diagonally into 2-inch chunks
2 large Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 6 pieces
4 tablespoons butter, melted

As soon as you get the chicken home, salt it inside and out, wrap it and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. (Oh, please, Ina, apparently you aren't trying to keep a toddler out of the yogurt as you put the groceries away.)

When you are ready to cook the chicken, first preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Pat the outside of the chicken dry with paper towels. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken and stuff the cavity with the all the garlic and lemon. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place it in a roasting pan just large enough to hold it and the vegetables. Scatter the onion slices, carrots and potatoes around the chicken. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken to a platter and cover with aluminum foil. Place the vegetables back in the oven and continue cooking for an additional 15minutes.

When the vegetables are cooked, carve the chicken and place the slices on the platter surrounded by the vegetables. (Or slap it on plates and yell, "Get your butt to the table now!! I'm not going to yell again!!) Drizzle some pan juices over the chicken and vegetables.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Barbecue Beef Cups

I was just reading that one of the big predictions for 2009 is that we will be eating out less. No kidding. Thank you, big time economist. You and I both know we are addicted to Food TV and cooking shows in general and that we have been searching our local markets for things like anchovy paste. Good for us! Today, Cathy shares a recipe from her favorite little cooking diva! -- ML

Here is a yummy recipe from my good friend (HA!!), Rachael Ray.


3/4 pound ground beef (I just use an even pound)
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 - 16.3 oz can refrigerated biscuits (I use Pillsbury Grands)
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a skillet, brown the beef over medium heat; drain off excess fat. Remove from the heat and stir in the barbecue sauce and brown sugar. Grease a 6-cup jumbo muffin pan and place a piece of biscuit dough* in each cup, stretching the dough up the sides. Divide the beef mixture among the biscuit cups, sprinkle each with cheese and bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.

*The biscuits come 8 to a container; therefore, I lay out 6 biscuit doughs on a cutting board (or you can use clean counter top). I cut the remaining 2 biscuit doughs in thirds and put one-third on each of the 6 biscuit doughs. I then smash each of the 6 biscuit doughs to blend that added one-third dough, plus getting it kind of flattened BEFORE putting it into the muffin pan is a bit easier.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Chicken Deluxe

Well, Happy New Year from Dinner at Cathy's!! Cathy and I both wish you a very healthy and blessed new year! In the kitchen, Cathy is STILL cooking and feezing. Hooray -- ML

This is one of my fam's favs. It reminds us of a pot pie. AND you can make it healthier by substituting healthy versions of the soup and evaporated milk! :-)


MIX: 4 cups Pepperidge Farm Herb Stuffing (not the cubes) - mix with 1/2 cup melted butter.

Press 1/2 mixture on bottom of 9 x 13 pan.

2 cans Cream of Chicken soup (or Cream of Chicken & Mushroom)
1 large can of evaporated milk (NOT condensed)
3 cups cooked chicken or turkey
1 - 10 oz pkg frozen baby peas
2 Tbsp. onion - cut fine
1 (or 2) large jar pimento.

Pour over stuffing mixture top with remaining stuffing.

Bake at 350 degrees for an hour.

May freeze before cooking then bake about 2 hours. You can also divide the recipe into 2 pans and bake one, freeze one; bake both; freeze both. So many options :-)