Mock Drumsticks


Drumsticks of ground beef, hmm

I can remember as a teen, wanting a hotdog but we only had ground beef, so I formed a hotdog shape of hamburger, cooked it and at it in a hotdog bun. It fell apart but it tasted good. This particular recipe reminded me of that funny experience because it calls for the cook to make up a meatloaf type mix and shape it into chicken drumstick facsimiles. I wonder if the person who originally created this was just tired of meatloaf or didn’t like chicken with a bone, or what in the world s/he was thinking. Maybe it was a way to coax finicky eaters into finishing their dinners? Who knows. I also wonder if this is anything like a Swiss steak or chicken fried steak…

Mock Drumsticks

1 lb ground beef (chuck)

1/2 c rolled oats

1/4 c chopped onions

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2/3 c tomato juice

Shape into drumsticks. Chill. roll in bread crumbs or corn flakes. Keep in refrigerator until ready to fry.

Mexican Lasagna


From the kitchen of Jeanne


Detailed instructions

I have enjoyed a Tex Mex style lasagna in the past, but this sounds slightly different. But yummy. It has a lot of ingredients! Also, I would not be serving fresh fruit with this. Maybe a salad.

Mexican Lasagna

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 large onion chopped

1 pound ground meat

1 Tbsp ground cumin

2 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 cup cilantro (optional)

1 can (15 oz) black beans rinsed & drained

1 can (15 oz) pinto beans rinsed & drained

1 can (15 oz) corn drained

1 can (3.8 oz) sliced olives drained

1 can (19 oz) enchilada sauce or 3 cups chunky taco sauce

6 burrito sized flour tortillas

1 lb lo fat grated cheese Monterey Jack & cheddar

2 cups sour cream (optional)

1) heat oil in skillet over med high heat, add onion, cook 4-5 minutes. Add ground meat cook till done & drain well. Add cumin, salt, pepper & cilantro; set aside. Mix together beans, corn & olives, set aside.

2) pour 1/2 cup sauce into bottom of 9×13 baking pan. Place 2 tortillas in pan and top with 1/3 meat, 1/3 bean mixture, 1/3 sauce & 1/3 cheese (do not put cheese on the top layer). Repeat layers until all ingredients are used.

3) Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Then uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake additional 10 minutes, let stand for 10 minutes. Cut into squares. Serve with sour cream. (fresh fruit salad goes well with this dish)

Italian Steak Pie


An updated version of hamburger pie

We recently saw a recipe I called Hamburger Pie because it reminded me of a recipe in my mother’s cookbook. Today we will look at another type of hamburger pie with an Italian slant. The recipe lists salt twice but I can’t see any reason why you couldn’t omit one measurement of it. I use very little salt in my cooking, so if I were to make this, I’d go with the lesser amount of salt.

Italian Steak Pie

1/2 tsp salt

1 lb ground steak

1 tsp thyme

1/4 tsp pepper

1 tsp salt (looks like a duplicate?)

1/2 c swiss cheese (diced)

1/4 tsp oregano

1 8 oz tomato sauce

2 fresh small diced tomatoes

1 green pepper diced

1 onion diced

1/2 tsp sweet basil

Pat out meat to form shell and press well. Combine vegetables and fill shell. Add diced cheese on top.

350º – 45 minutes


Col. Sander’s Fried Chicken


Eleven herbs and spices?



Similar to buttermilk chicken

Have you seen the new KFC commercials with the creepy “Colonel Sanders” guy? I don’t know what they were thinking. The recipe with eleven herbs and spices is a closely guarded secret, much like the Coca Cola recipe, but there are many copies and similar versions available on the internet. This one uses milk and pancake mix. I have seen others that use buttermilk. They all claim to replicate the famous “original recipe” that the Colonel popularized many years ago.

While Harlan Sanders is well known as the Colonel, he was not a colonel in the army. His title was an honorary one awarded to him by the state of Kentucky in recognition for his entrepreneurial spirit during the Great Depression. While others struggled, in the 1930s Sanders thrived. One of the secrets to his popular chicken was not deep frying it (although I don’t know if that is still the method today). He used a modified pressure cooker to cut down on the time to cook the fried chicken, while retaining the moistness and crispy coating of pan frying.

This particular recipe calls for frying, then baking the chicken, but perhaps pan frying or pressure frying might be interesting.

Col. Sanders Fried Chicken

3 lbs fryer parts

2 packages Italian salad dressing (Good Seasons)

3 T flour

2 tsp salt

1/4 c lemon juice

2 T butter softened

1 pt (8 oz) salad oil

1 c milk

1 1/2 c pancake mix

Combine well:

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp sage

1/4 tsp pepper

Wipe chicken. Make paste of first five ingredients (salad dressing mix, flour, salt, lemon juice, butter). Brush on evenly. Stack pieces in bowl. Cover and refrigerate several hours.

1 1/2 hours before serving heat 1/2″ oil in 2 large skillets so the chicken won’t be crowded.

Dip pieces in milk, then pancake mix, coat well. Dust off excess. Lightly brown about 4 min each side. Place in 1 layer shallow pan. Spoon remaining milk over pieces. Seal with foil. Bake 1 hr at 350º, uncover, bake 10 min at 400º to crisp. Baste with milk again.

Gumpasting, wow wow wow!

My good friend has developed a hobby and website to satisfy her artistic desire to create, and that hobby is gum paste creations at Gum paste or sugar paste is an edible medium that can be shaped and molded into intricate designs before it hardens, and then used to decorate cakes and confections. Gum paste should not be confused with fondant, as fondant will stay soft and pliable. Although popular due to its smooth surface, fondant can have a rubbery texture and therefore may not always be palatable for people consuming the cake.

Gumpaste Foxgloves (c)

Both gum paste and fondant are available through commercial sources, but they are not difficult to make from simple ingredients in most home kitchens. Commercial products contain hydrogenated oils which might not be as desirable for some consumers. While I have seen many “cute” fondant creations on various cake websites, gum paste is best described as intricate, delicate and detailed. Many wedding cakes feature gum paste flowers because they can be made to look lifelike and real, whereas fondant will look like fondant shaped like a flower. Fondant is also subject to temperature problems because it gets softer as the temps get higher. If your wedding cake looks a bit droopy, it’s likely because the fondant is soft. Gum paste does not have this problem and always looks crisp and fresh.

Sugar crafted shoe with peony (c)

I am not artistic in any real sense of the word. I can create cute scrapbook pages or draw simple cartoon characters, but my friend has a true talent for bringing a two dimensional image to life. Her long history of horticultural expertise combined with a passion for beautiful creations produce these gum paste delicacies. You could eat them, but why would you? Should you find a gum paste flower atop a buttercream iced cake, take a picture before taking a bite! :-) The next image might be my favorite. It is simply over the top gorgeous.

Underwater beauties (c)

The meticulous detail work is just insane. My eyes hurt thinking of how many hours were spent painting the tiny sea creatures and corals. This is just one side of the piece – there is another part of it with another mermaid and a merbaby lying in a clamshell cradle. So precious!! I hope you will visit to browse around some of the gorgeous creations. Plus, she offers tips and tricks from her experiences, product reviews and some tutorials on her creations.

Baked Stuffed Pork Chops


Sounds yummy


Details on how to stuff and cook

Not everyone eats pork these days, but we do in my house. Pork loin and pork chops are a favorite, but these sound good enough to try, although I wouldn’t likely fry them in fat, but instead use olive oil.

Baked Stuffed Pork Chops – 8

8 lean pork chops, cut 1 1/4″ thick

1 tsp each sage & salt

1 tsp ground pepper

5 T margarine

1 onion chopped fine


2 c coarse soft bread crumbs


Egg wash

Fine  dry crumbs


Slit chops for stuffing. Cook onions until soft, add to stuffing, mix as usual. Roll each chop in flour and wash with (egg + milk or water). Heat fat in heavy skillet. Brown both sides. Stand them in roasting pan pocket side up. Add water & bake 325º – 1 hr

My thoughts – make up a stuffing of the sage, salt, pepper, margarine, cooked onion and soft bread crumbs. Stuff the chops. Heat olive oil. Roll the stuffed chops in flour, then egg wash, then fine bread crumbs. Not sure about the parsley, maybe mix that with the fine bread crumbs. Brown on both sides, then bake.

Stuffed Shells


There’s not much wrong with pasta, cheese and sauce



Don’t forget the back!

Here’s another recipe for stuffed shells. It’s not terribly vintage because it uses name brand items, but the handwriting is appealing all the same. Recipes often times are written by train of thought and don’t always follow exact steps. This is one of those. After you stuff the shells but before you lay them in the pan, put in 1/3 of your marinara sauce. Then, lay the stuffed shells open side down in a single layer. I always read a full recipe and it’s method before making it, so as to get the process straight in my head. Thanks Mom for teaching me that!!

Stuffed Shells – 350º 30-35 minutes

1 12 oz package jumbo shells

4 c Ricotta cheese

3/4 c grated parmesan

2 c (8 oz) shredded mozzarella

3 eggs

3/4 tsp oregano

1/4 tsp pepper

1 T chopped parsley

1/2 tsp salt

32 oz jar Progresso marinara sauce

Cook shells as directed on package. In a large bowl combine all ingredients except sauce. Mix well. Cool noodles and stuff. In 13x9x2 pan place filled shells open face down in single layer with 1/3 sauce on bottom of pan. Cover with remaining sauce. Add parmesan cheese on top. Cover with aluminum foil. Serves about 10-12.