Spiced Couscous

3 August 2010


  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1.5 tsp parsley
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1.25 cups water
  • 1 cup couscous (should be a type that typically cooks quickly, <= 10 minutes in boiling water)

Bring the water to boiling, then take off the heat and add the couscous, butter, 1/2 tsp pepper, and parsley. Stir the couscous so that it is all submerged, then cover and allow to steam for 10 minutes.

In a pan, saute the remaining spices in the olive oil. Once the couscous has finished steaming, mix the sauteed spices into it.

Tunisian Lamb Chops

3 August 2010

I find this works well with pork also, if you use enough of the rub. The spiced couscous side is excellent with this!


  • 1.5 Tb olive oil
  • 2 Tb fresh chopped mint
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 lb lamb or pork chops


Mix all the rub ingredients together and then apply to both sides of the chops. Broil or grill the chops to perfection and enjoy!

Better Than Sex Cake

3 August 2010

Well, not really. It is still very delicious though!


  • 1 german chocolate cake mix
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  • caramel topping
  • 12 ounces Cool Whip
  • 3 Heath bars, crushed (alternatively pick up the nifty pre-crushed Heath bar bag in the baking section and only use a portion of it)


Heat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour 9 x 13 inch pan. Prepare cake mix as directed on package; pour into prepared pan. After 10 minutes of baking, sprinkle with chocolate chips. Continue baking until cake is done.

While cake is still hot, poke holes in it with handle of wooden spoon. Pour sweetened condensed milk over cake; let cool. Top with caramel sauce, then whipped topping. Sprinkle with candy bars.

Chili Con Carne

3 August 2010


  • 3/4 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 Tbs (large!) garlic powder
  • 1 Tbs (large!) chili powder
  • 1 ts cumin
  • 1/2 ts salt
  • 1/2 ts cayenne
  • 1/4 ts dried oregano
  • 1/4 ts ground coriander
  • 1/4 ts ground pepper
  • 1/4 ts paprika
  • 1 15 oz can dark red kidney beans
  • 1 10 oz can diced tomatoes and chilies
  • 1/5 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1/2 ts sugar
  • 1 cup dark beer
  • 6 oz plain greek yogurt for topping

Brown the meat. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, oregano, coriander, salt, pepper, and paprika. Cook, stirring, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, chilies, and their juices, along with the kidney beans, tomato paste, sugar, and beer to the pot. Stir well and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

I’ve been informed that this recipe works well in a crock pot also, just put everything in the crock pot after cooking the meat. Choose your own adventure for temperature setting and duration, then post the results here!

These measurements are almost completely irrelevant. Just play with them until you find ratios you like!


  • 1.5 cup rotini or medium shell pasta
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese or gorgonzola
  • 4 Tbs mayonnaise (light works fine)
  • 1 cup red grapes
  • 4 Tbs chopped green onions (I found red onion works reasonably well also)


  • Boil pasta according to instructions (should take ~9 minutes) and drain.
  • Add mayonnaise while the pasta is still hot and mix until the pasta is lightly coated.
  • Add the blue/gorgonzola while the pasta is still hot and mix so that it melts slightly.
  • Mix in the grapes and onion.

This can be served immediately or refrigerate and serve later.

Zucchini Bread

3 August 2010

This recipe is blatantly stolen from allrecipies.com, with a few notes of my own added in.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. If the dough becomes too thick to stir well, add the zucchini and wait for the moisture to seep into the dough to loosen it a bit. Scoop batter into prepared pans.
  4. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

This is one I adapted from Smitten Kitchen after I saw it the other day. The original recipe uses canned black beans, but I’ve got dry on hand, so I had to cook those first.* As a warning, I didn’t really measure anything in this recipe, so amounts are estimates.

black beans (8 oz. dry)
1-2 Tbsps. olive oil
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. diced jalapenos
handful of cherry tomatoes
flour tortillas
crumbled feta cheese

Put black beans and oil in a medium-sized sauce pan and cover with several inches of water. Bring to a rolling boil and keep it going until the beans are softened (roughly 1 hour). Stir occasionally and add water if necessary. By the time the beans are cooked, they will also have a sauce with them.

Salt and pepper the beans to taste, add cumin and lemon juice. Mix in diced jalapenos. Cut the tomatoes up and stir them in, too. Put a few tablespoons of filling in a tortilla along with a teaspoon or so of crumbled feta.

I chose to toast the tacos a couple at a time on my countertop grill until the feta melted, and I ate them with a spinach side salad. Very tasty.

* Cooking the beans myself gave me a nice sauce with them, but as a possible time-saving measure, I might recommend mixing 1 15-oz. can of black beans with a 10-oz. can of diced tomatoes and green chiles (a.k.a. Rotel) as a substitution for the jalapenos and tomatoes.

Apple Harvest Pancakes

24 October 2009

Apple Harvest Pancakes This tasty breakfast treat came about when I decided to modify the Bisquick pancake recipe my mom had traditionally used when I was growing up with a few special additions.

2 cups Bisquick mix
1/3 cup brown sugar*
2 eggs
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup milk**
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1 apple, diced

Mix all ingredients except the apple in a bowl and stir until blended. Stir in the apple.

A couple of pancake-making tips for anyone unfamiliar with the procedure: Heat a griddle on medium-high; it’ll be ready to use when water sizzles when you splatter it on the surface. Use ~1/4 cup of batter per pancake and don’t try to flip the pancakes until the edges have curled up. Bubbles may or may not form at the edges; they’re also a good signal that it’s getting close to time to flip.

These pancakes are tasty by themselves or served with applesauce or maple syrup.

* You may want more or less brown sugar depending upon the sweetness of your applesauce.
** I grew up with thick pancakes like those in the photo, but if you like your pancakes thinner, feel free to add up to 1/2 cup milk more.

Butterscotch Cookies

12 November 2007

Butterscotch Cookies On Their Way To The Oven We call these butterscotch cookies in my family, but they don’t really involve butterscotch per se. They are a holiday tradition–great right out of the oven or later with the hot beverage of your choice.

2 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs, well beaten
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup nuts (I prefer walnuts)
4 cups (all-purpose) flour

Cream butter and sugar, add beaten eggs. Sift cream of tartar and soda with 1 cup flour. Mix well. Add vanillia, nuts, and rest of flour. Form dough into a roll–be sure to put flour on your hands first, or you’ll get cookie dough all over your hands! Wrap roll in wax paper; place in the refrigerator until the dough is stiff enough to hold its shape while cutting. Slice the dough into 1/4-inch thick cookies and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

This recipe dates back at least five generations to my maternal great-great-grandmother who was a German Mennonite living in Nebraska. Today we’d call it a refrigerator cookie, but back then you formed the roll, left it covered on the back porch overnight, and baked in the morning!

Blueberry Dump Cake

26 July 2007

Blueberry season is in full-swing, and, having made this a couple of times recently, I’ve been reminded of how yummy, easy, and popular the recipe is. So, for your enjoyment:

2-½ cups crushed canned pineapple, undrained (I typically substitute one large can of crushed pineapple)
3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed
¾ cup sugar
1 (18-½ oz.) yellow cake mix, dry
½ cup butter, melted
1 cup pecans, chopped

Butter 13×9 in baking pan. Add in layers undrained pineapple, blueberries, sugar and dry cake mix. DO NOT STIR. Drizzle melted butter over cake mix; sprinkle with pecans. Bake at 350º for about 45 minutes.

The original recipe claims this makes 20 servings, but good luck getting anyone to abide by that portion!