Gluten-Free Bacon Bread (Mastered!), Coconut Pecan Cinnamon Buns, and Cast-Iron Fry Biscuits!

Cast-Iron Fry Bread

This recipe is one of my all-time favorites. Only five ingredients, less than 5 minutes of prep and 12 minutes of baking time, its perfect for last minute company and simple enough to make every day, if desired. I often have a couple of these with coffee in the morning for breakfast. Or if I want to get fancier, I make scrambled eggs and fried potatoes. I also like these way better than dinner rolls to accompany soup.

  • Butter
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Place 3 Tbsp of butter in a cast iron pan and place in oven for 2 minutes.
  3. In a measuring cup, place  1 1/2 tsp of baking powder and 1/2 tsp of salt and then fill the rest with all-purpose flour until it equals one cup altogether. Or, you can put 1 cup of all-purpose flour in a bowl and then take out 2 tsp of flour and then add the 1/2 tsp of salt and 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder. Or, you can use 1 cup of self-rising flour (which is exactly what I just described but prepared for you to buy in the store). I make this recipe often enough that I feel the extra cupboard space the little bag of flour takes up is worth the few minutes I save every time I make this recipe.
  4. In a bowl, combine flour (and salt and baking powder) and 1/2 cup of buttermilk. Dust clean and dry counter-top with more all-purpose flour. Turn dough onto flour and knead 4-5 times.
  5. I do this next part with my hands, but I’ll also tell you how you can do this “properly”. I rip off pieces that are relatively the same size and then pat them into little 2″ patties. I call them “rustic-looking”. Or, you can pat the dough out to 1/4″ thickness and cut a biscuit cutter.
  6. Place in the cast-iron in a single layer. Use a fork to turn biscuits over to coat in butter. Bake for 12 minutes.

Coconut Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

I really want to love cinnamon buns. I love cinnamon and I love the icing, but the sugar-addict in me never wanted to eat beyond the top. I find most cinnamon buns are dry and doughy. So I came up with this recipe. This recipe should make a LOT of icing. My logic behind it is this: If we saturate and bake the rolls in a soup of icing, they can’t possibly be dry, right? When you take the rolls out of the pan, there will be a sea of icing left behind. These rolls are gooey and messy, but SO good. Because they are so sweet, I only eat half or a quarter of one at a time, so I swear I’m probably eating less sugar overall than one whole, huge store-bought or bakery roll. Well, except for the fact that I usually eat the leftover icing out of the pan with a spoon…

  • Sugar – Both regular and icing/confectioners
  • Cinnamon
  • Tube of refrigerated breadsticks or cinnamon rolls
  • Butter
  • Vanilla
  • Whipping Cream
  • Milk or orange juice
  • Pecans
  • Can of evaporated milk
  • Egg yolks
  • Sweetened flaked coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Chop 1 cup of pecans. Bake 2/3 cups of chopped pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan for 8 minutes, stirring halfway through. Cool completely.
  2. Combine 1 Tbsp of sugar and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon in a small bowl. Remove breadstick or cinnamon roll dough from tube. Do not unroll it or take it apart. With a serrated knife, cut into 8 slices if using breadsticks or 10 slices if using cinnamon rolls. [The cinnamon rolls usually come in tubes of five, so cut each in half as if you were cutting open a dinner roll to spread butter.] Dip both sides of each slice in cinnamon-sugar.
  3. Place in a greased baking dish, NOT a baking sheet or else the icing will make a huge mess.
  4. Cook 1/3 can of evaporated milk, 1/2 cup of sugar, 2 lightly beaten egg yolks, and 1/3 cup of butter in pot over medium heat. Stir constantly for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat. Stir in 2/3 cup of coconut, the toasted pecans, and 1 tsp of vanilla. Transfer mixture to bowl. Let stand, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes.
  6. This can be done by hand or with electric mixer. Combine 1 2/3 cup of icing sugar and 2/3 cup of butter. Mix slowly or on low until well blended and then increase spreed and mix for 3 minutes. Add 1/4 tsp of vanilla and 2 tsp of whipping cream and beat for 1 minute more. Add 1/2 tsp of milk (or orange juice) and mix slowly. If needed, add 1/2 tsp more.
  7. Carefully fold the two icing mixes together.
  8. Bake rolls without icing for 15 minutes. Take out of oven, pour icing on top, and sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup of chopped pecans. Place back in oven to bake for 5 more minutes and then turn off the oven, but leave the rolls in there for the final 5 minutes. This allows the heat to continue baking the rolls without drying out the icing too much.

Gluten-Free Bacon Bread

If you follow me on Facebook, you may have read a status a while back about my failed attempt at this recipe. I was wrong, actually. The bread, though it looked like a pile of mush, tasted delicious. My mistake was not in the ingredients or even in the technique, but in the baking formation. When I make this bread avec gluten, I roll the dough into balls, assemble it in a sort of dome on a baking sheet, and bake it that way. The result is this mound of amazing that is easy to pull apart with ones fingers, which makes it ideal for parties. I tried to do the same thing sans gluten, but since garbanzo flour absorbs liquid differently than wheat flour, it kind of just looked like a pile of barf on my baking sheet. I tried again, but put it in a square baking dish, the one I usually use for Nanaimo bars, and it cooked more evenly resulting in better consistency.

  • Garbanzo Fava Bean Flour
  • Potato Starch
  • Tapioca Starch
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Coconut Palm Sugar
  • Dry Instant Yeast
  • Eggs
  • Canola Oil
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Sea Salt
  • Bacon
  • Olive Oil
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Envelope of Ranch Salad Dressing Mix*
  1. Prepare a square baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. I used a 9″ x 9″.
  2. Whisk together 2 1/4 cups of garbanzo-fava flour, 1/2 cup of potato starch, 1/3 cup of tapioca starch, 2 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum, 1 Tbsp of palm sugar, and a packet of dry instant yeast. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together 1 1/4 cups of warm water, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup of canola oil, and 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar. Mix well. Add dry ingredients (except salt). Stir for about a minute, add 1 1/4 tsp of sea salt, and then mix for a couple minutes more. I use a wooden spoon to stir for this recipe as I feel like its the only thing I have strong enough to handle the thickness of the dough and still mix adequately.
  4. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, dice up 12 strips of bacon. Cook them over medium heat in a skillet for 5 minutes. They will seem a little uncooked, but that’s okay because they are going to be finished off while the bread is baking in the oven. Drain on paper towels.
  6. Shred 1 cup worth of mozzarella cheese.
  7. After the 30 minutes has passed for the dough, add 2 Tbsp of olive oil, bacon pieces, cheese, and envelope of ranch salad dressing mix and mix lightly.
  8. Turn batter into prepared baking pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place for another 30 minutes.
  9. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Cover with foil. Bake 10 minutes longer. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Then turn the pan to the side and scoot bread out a little so the steam can escape, but leave it in the pan. Let cool for another 10 minutes before removing from pan to cool completely. Eat within 3 days. Wrap in plastic and store on counter or in cupboard. Freeze leftovers (if there are any!) to use as yummy gluten-free croutons for future salads.

*Instead of buying an envelope of ranch salad dressing mix, mix together 1 tsp of dried parsley, 3/4 tsp of pepper, 1 tsp of seasoning salt, 1/2 tsp of garlic powder, 1/4 tsp of onion powder, and 1/8 tsp of dried thyme, and use that instead.

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Cucumber Shell Salad

16 oz pkg of medium shell pastaphoto (9)

16 oz pkg of frozen peas

Cucumber

Red onion

Ranch salad dressing

  1. Thaw peas
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  3. Meanwhile, halve and slice cucumber and chop red onion.
  4. Drain and rinse pasta in cold water. In a large bowl, combine pasta, peas, cucumber, and onion. Add 1 cup of ranch salad dressing. Toss to coast. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

http://youtu.be/0URAQo7KnzU

Green Eggs and Ham (Dinner for Two Week 22)

Breakfast: Green ‘n’ Gold Egg Bake, Yogurt with Toasted Quinoa, Almonds and Apricots

Lunch: Leftovers + banana, pear, orange, cherries

Dinner: Breaded Pork Chops, Spaghetti Carbonara, Easy and Elegant Ham, red potatoes, sauteed red peppers and red onion

Dessert: Yogurt Tartlet

Breaded Pork Chops

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine 1 cup of Italian-seasoned bread crumbs and 2 Tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese in a shallow dish (like a pie plate). Place 1/3 cup of ranch salad dressing in another shallow dish. Dip 6 pork chops in ranch dressing, then coat in the crumb mixture.

Place in an ungreased baking pan. Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a jar of red sauce in a small pot. Pour over pork chops and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese to serve.

Green ‘n’ Gold Egg Bake

Thaw 2 packages of frozen spinach and squeeze dry. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of seasoned bread crumbs into a greased baking dish. Bake for 3-5 minutes. Combine spinach, 3 cups of cottage cheese, 1/4 cup of grated Romano cheese, 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, 3 eggs, and 3/4 cup of seasoned bread crumbs in a bowl. Spread over the baked crumbs. Beat 2 more eggs. Pour over spinach mixture.

Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Yogurt Tartlets

I’ve featured this recipe before on Week 21 in my Year as a Single College Student Series. You can view the recipe here:

https://theshortchef.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/week-21-special-week-5-recipes-for-50/

 I decorated mine with dates, nectarine, and peach slices this time.

Yogurt with Toasted Quinoa, Almonds, and Apricots

To toast the red quinoa, add 1 Tbsp to a medium saute pan and cook over medium/low heat about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl to cool.

Add 1 Tbsp of sliced almonds to the saute pan, and toast over low heat, moving around the pan constantly. Almonds will toast in 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

Add 1 Tbsp of coconut chips to the saute pan, and toast over low heat, moving around the pan constantly. When coconut is toasted, transfer to a bowl to cool.

Add 6 oz of Greek yogurt to a small bowl. Top with toasted quinoa, almonds, 3 roughly chopped dried apricots and coconut chips. Drizzle with honey and a small sprinkle of sea salt. Flaky sea salt, like fleur de sel works best.

Spaghetti Carbonara

Cook a package of thin spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, dice 10 strips of bacon, and cook over medium heat in a skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Add 1/3 cup of butter to the drippings. Heat until melted.

Drain spaghetti. Toss with 2 lightly beaten eggs and 3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Add to the skillet. Cook and stir over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle with bacon.

Easy and Elegant Ham

Drain 2 cans of sliced pineapple, reserving the juice and setting aside. Place half of the pineapple in an ungreased slow cooker. Top with a 6 lb fully cooked boneless ham. Drain a jar of maraschino cherries well. Add cherries, remaining pineapple, and reserved pineapple juice on top of the ham. Spoon a jar of orange marmalade on top as well. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours.

Remove to a warm serving platter. Let stand for 10-15 minutes before slicing. Serve pineapple and cherries with sliced ham.

SHOPPING LIST:

Parmesan cheese (at least 2.5 cups worth grated)

Romano cheese (1/4 cup worth)

Cottage cheese (24 oz)

Greek yogurt

Plain lowfat vanilla yogurt

Eggs

Italian-seasoned dry bread crumbs

Red chili pepper

Red onion

Bag of red potatoes

3 red peppers

Bananas

6 pears

Dates

Nectarine

Peach

6 oranges

Cherries

6 lb fully cooked boneless ham

6 pork chops

Bacon

2 pkgs of frozen chopped spinach

Jar of maraschino cherries (6 oz)

Jar of orange marmalade (12 oz)

Jar of red pasta sauce

Pkg of thin spaghetti (7 oz)

Red quinoa

Dried apricots

Coconut chips

Natural cane sugar

[Also needed: butter, sliced almonds, honey, sea salt, all-purpose flour, oats, salt, maple syrup, lemon juice, seasoned bread crumbs, ranch salad dressing]

Cinnamon, Spice, and Everything Nice Fruit Dip (Dinner for Two Week 13)

Breakfast: Coconut granola and strawberries

Lunch: Pasta bean or French bean salad, Fruit dip with apples, pears, strawberries, pineapple slices, apricots, and watermelon

Dinner: Ravioli casserole or Oven-roasted potatoes, Chayote squash or Chinese cabbage

Dessert: Cake

 

Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake

  1. Place 10 egg whites in a large bowl. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup of cornstarch, 1/4 cup of white rice flour, 1/4 cup of tapioca flour, and 1/4 cup of potato starch together twice. Set aside.
  2. Add 1 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar, 3/4 tsp of salt and 3/4 tsp of vanilla to egg whites. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/2 cup of sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold in flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time.
  3. Gently spoon into an ungreased tube pan. Cut through the batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake on the lowest oven rack for 45-50 minutes. Immediately invert pan; cool completely, about 1 hour.
  4. Run a knife around side and center tube of pan. Remove cake to a serving plate. Top with fresh fruit. I recommend balls of cantaloupe, cape gooseberries, and kiwi as it makes the cake look more interesting that your typical berry mix. 

 

Coconut Granola

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine 3 cups of whole-rolled oats, 1/4 cup of chia seeds, 1/2 cup of raw sliced almonds, 1/2 cup of unsalted sunflower seeds, and 1/4 tsp of salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup of coconut oil, 1/4 cup of maple syrup, and 1/4 cup of honey.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry , and mix well so the oat mixture is fully coated.
  5. Spread mixture in an even, single layer on the prepared baking sheet. (Work in batches or on multiple sheets if necessary!)
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  7. After removing the granola from the oven, stir in 1/2 cup of coconut flakes. Store in an airtight container and enjoy!

 

Pasta Bean Salad

Cook a package of tricolor spiral pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, place a package of frozen California-blend vegetables in a glass dish. Cover and microwave for 7-8 minutes. Drain. Drain pasta and rinse in cold water.

Drain a can of sliced ripe olives and drain and rinse a can of your favorite beans. Combine pasta, vegetables, olives, and beans in a bowl. Combine 1 1/3 cups of Italian salad dressing and 1/2 tsp of garlic salt. Pour over salt and toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving.

 

Ravioli Casserole                              I usually double the recipe using a second kind of ravioli for variety throughout the week

Preheat oven to to 350 degrees. Cook and drain a package of cheese ravioli. Spread 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce in an ungreased baking dish. Layer with half of the ravioli, 1 1/4 cups of spaghetti sauce, 1 cup of cottage cheese, and 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

[8-10 cups of cooked ravioli may be used instead]

 

Oven-Roasted Potatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice 2 lbs of red potatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Combine potatoes, 1/3 cup of vegetable oil, and an envelope of dry onion soup mix in a large Ziplock bag. Shake until well coated. Empty bag into an ungreased baking pan.

Cover and bake for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes longer.

 

Cinnamon ‘n’ Spice Fruit Dip

Combine 2 cups of whipped topping, 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar, 1/4 tsp of cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg in a small bowl. Store in the fridge. Serve with fresh fruit – apples, pears, pineapple slices, and strawberries are best.

 

French Bean Salad

Cook and crumble 3 bacon strips. Combine 2 cups of thawed French-style green beans, 2 Tbsp of chopped onion, and bacon in a serving bowl. Stir in 1/4 cup of ranch salad dressing. Refrigerate until serving.

 

SHOPPING LIST:

Cottage cheese (16 oz)

Mozzarella cheese (16 oz)

Parmesan cheese

2 apples

2 pears

6 apricots

5 cape gooseberries

Kiwi

Pineapple

Watermelon

Cantaloupe

Chinese cabbage

3 chayote squash

2 pkgs of strawberries

2 lbs red potatoes

Onion

Bacon

Whipped topping

Frozen French-style green beans

Pkg of frozen cheese ravioli and pkg your favorite frozen ravioli other than cheese (28 oz ea)

Pkg of frozen California-blend vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)

Can of sliced ripe olives (2 oz)

Can of your favorite kind of beans

Can of whole kernel corn (15 oz)

Can of condensed cream of chicken soup (11 oz)

Ranch salad dressing

Spaghetti sauce (28 oz)

Coconut oil

Dry onion soup mix

Pkg of tricolor spiral pasta

[Also needed: brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vegetable oil, Italian salad dressing, garlic salt, salt, maple syrup, honey, coconut flakes, vanilla extract]

Don’t be Corn-fused (Dinner for Two Week 9)

Lunch: Chicken salad, Cherry salad, Cheerio’ square, Amazeing mix, Grapefruit

Dinner: Breaded ranch chicken or Tuna delight, Rice or Noodles, Arugula or Asparagus

After Thanksgiving Salad 

Note: It’s called After Thanksgiving Salad because the original recipe calls for leftover turkey. If you have some, or would prefer to buy turkey breasts instead, go for it, but since chicken is an easy, cheap substitute, I used it instead.

Cook and shred 4 chicken breasts. Meanwhile, hard boil an egg. When finished, peel and mash the egg with a fork in a bowl. Add shredded chicken, 3/4 cup of mayonnaise, and 1 Tbsp of sweet pickle relish. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Stir in 1/2 cup of chopped pecans just before serving.

Frozen Cherry Salad

Combine a softened package of cream cheese and a thawed carton of whipped topping in a mixing bowl. Stir in a can of cherry pie filling. Drain 2 cans of mandarin oranges. Set aside 1/4 cup for garnish. Fold remaining oranges into cream cheese mixture. Transfer to a loaf pan. Cover and freeze overnight.

Remove from the freezer 15 minutes before cutting. Garnish with reserved mandarin oranges, maraschino cherries, and orange wedges.

Tuna Delight

Combine 1 3/4 cups of thawed mixed vegetables, a can of drained and flaked tuna, and a can of cream of chicken or celery soup in a large pot. Cook and stir until heated through. Serve over rice or noodles.

Breaded Ranch Chicken

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 3/4 cup of crushed Cornflakes, 3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, and an envelope of ranch salad dressing mix in a shallow bowl. Dip 8 chicken breasts in 1/2 cup of melted butter, then roll in cornflake mixture to coat.

Place in a greased baking dish. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes.

A-maze-ing Mix

Combine 3 bags of popped popcorn, a box of Corn Pops, and a package of corn chips in several large bowls. Melt 2 packages of vanilla or white chocolate chips in a pot over medium-low heat. Stir until smooth. Pour over popcorn mixture and toss to coat. Spread in two pans. Cool. Store in airtight containers.

Cheerio’ Squares

Place 3 Tbsp of butter and a package of mini marshmallows in a large glass bowl. Microwave, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of peanut butter until blended. Add 5 cups of Cheerios and 1 cup of plain M&Ms. Mix well. Spoon into a greased pan. Press down gently. Cool slightly before cutting.

SHOPPING LIST:

Cream cheese

Parmesan cheese

Eggs

Orange

Arugula

Asparagus

14 grapefruits

12 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Frozen whipped topping

Frozen mixed vegetables

Can of tuna (12 oz)

Can of condensed cream of chicken or celery soup

Can of cherry pie filling (21 oz)

2 cans of mandarin oranges

Jar of maraschino cherries

Sweet pickle relish

Peanut butter

Pkg of mini marshmallows (10.5 oz)

2 pkgs of vanilla or white chips (10-12 oz each)

Ranch salad dressing mix

Crushed cornflakes

Cheerios

Corn pops

Popcorn

Corn chips

Pecans

Rice

Noodles

Baking soda

Canola oil

[Also needed: butter, M&Ms, mayonnaise]

Fruit Galore! (Dinner for 2 Week 6)

Lunch: Sunshine Salad or Fruit Salad with Maple Cream Fruit Topping; Pear or Date; Roasted Mixed Nuts

Dinner: Turkey Broccoli Hollandaise or Fisherman’s Specialty; Black Salsify or Eggplant; Mock Champagne Punch

Maple Cream Fruit Topping

Combine 1 Tbsp of all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup of maple syrup, and 1 egg in a pot until smooth. Ad 1 Tbsp of butter. Bring to a boil. Boil and stir for 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until completely cooled. Whip 1 cup of heavy whipping cream. Fold whipped cream into flour-maple syrup-egg-butter mixture.

Spoon on top of fruit salad or sliced melons.

Fruit Salad Suggestion: Sliced strawberries, bananas, kiwis, cubed honeydew melon, and squeeze a lime on top of everything to keep fruit tasting fresh and to prevent browning in the fridge.

Sunshine Salad

Drain a can of pineapple tidbits and a can of mandarin oranges, but reserve the liquid. Combine a package of instant lemon pudding with reserved fruit juices in a large bowl. Fold in pineapple, oranges, and 1 cup of quartered strawberries. Chill for at least 2 hours. Add a few slices of banana to each serving just before eating.

Turkey Broccoli Hollandaise

Cook and cube two turkey or chicken breasts or use leftover cooked chicken or turkey from a previous dinner. You will need approximately two cups worth.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place 1 inch of water and 1 cup of fresh broccoli florets in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 5-8 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare a package of stuffing mix and an envelope of hollandaise sauce mix according to package directions.

Spoon stuffing into a greased baking dish. Top with 2 cups of cooked chicken or turkey. Drain broccoli. Arrange over turkey/chicken. Spoon sauce over the top. Sprinkle with a can of french-fried onions. Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes.

Fisherman’s Specialty

Crush 30 crackers into a pie dish or shallow bowl. Beat 2 eggs and a tsp of lemon-pepper seasoning in another shallow bowl. Dip 6 bluegill, crappie, or perch fillets in egg mixture, then coat with cracker crumbs. Sprinkle with another tsp of lemon-pepper seasoning.

Heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil in a skillet. Fry fillets for 3-4 minutes on each side.

Roasted Mixed Nuts

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine 1 lb of mixed nuts 1/4 cup of maple syrup in a bowl. Mix well. Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp of brown sugar and an envelope of ranch salad dressing mix. Stir gently to coat.

Spread in a greased baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool. Store in an airtight container.

Mock Champagne Punch

Combine equal parts of white grape juice and ginger ale in a punch bowl or individual glasses. Garnish with strawberries and raspberries.

SHOPPING LIST:

Heavy whipping cream

Eggs

Broccoli florets

6 black salsify roots

Eggplant

2 bunches of bananas

2-3 flats of strawberries

2 flats of raspberries

Honeydew melon

Lime

3 kiwis

6 pears

6 dates (If you don’t like to eat them on their own, chop them up and add to green salads)

6 bluegill, perch, or crappie fillets (2-3 oz each)

Chicken or turkey (use leftovers, breasts, deli, whatever works, but you will need roughly 2 cups worth)

1 lb mixed nuts

Saltine crackers

Can of french-fried onions

Can of pineapple tidbits (20 oz)

Can of mandarin oranges (11 oz)

Package of instant lemon pudding

Package of stuffing mix (6 oz)

Hollandaise sauce mix

Ranch salad dressing mix

Lemon-pepper seasoning

Ground cloves

White grape juice

Ginger ale

Maple syrup

All-purpose flour

[Also needed: brown sugar, vegetable oil, butter]

Vegetables Galore! (Dinner for Two Week 5)

Lunch: Potato Salad or Green Salad with Buttermilk Dressing; Pear; Trail Mix

Dinner: Meat Loaf, Ham, or Chicken Strips with Hot Mustard Dip; Roasted Squash; Potatoes

Buttermilk Salad Dressing

Combine 3/4 cup of 1% buttermilk, 2 cups of cottage cheese, and an envelope of ranch salad dressing mix in a blender or food processor. Cover and process for 20 seconds. Pour into a small pitcher or bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Stir before serving with salad/veggies.

Salad Suggestion: Mixed greens (or your favorite kind of lettuce), cubed squash, tomato, grapes, raisins, apple, celery, green onions and leftover dried fruit, nuts, cheese

Pimiento Potato Salad

Cook 2 lbs of small red potatoes (about 12). Thinly slice 4 green onions and 3 celery ribs. Cut potatoes into 1/4 inch slices. In an ungreased dish, layer half of the potatoes, onions, celery, and a drained jar of pimientos. Repeat layers. Pour an 8 oz bottle of Italian salad dressing over all. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Stir before serving.

Easy Meat Loaf

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly beat 1 egg. Crush 33 butter-flavored crackers. Combine the egg, a can of French onion soup, and the cracker crumbs. Crumble 1 lb of lean ground beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into a loaf. Place in a greased baking dish. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Pour a can of golden mushroom soup over loaf. Bake 1 hour longer. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

Honey-Dijon Ham

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place a 3 lb boneless fully cooked ham on a greased rack in a shallow roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, for 50-60 minutes. Combine 1/3 cup of honey, 2 Tbsp of Dijon mustard, and 2 Tbsp of brown sugar. Brush about 3 Tbsp over ham.

Bake 10-15 minutes longer. Stir 1 Tbsp of water into remaining glaze. Heat through and serve with the ham.

Trail Mix

Combine 2 lbs of roasted peanuts, 2 lbs of cashews, 1 lb of M&Ms, 1 lb of raisins, and 1/2 lb of flaked coconut in a large bowl. Store in an airtight container.

Hot Mustard Dip

Combine 1/4 cup of ground mustard and 1/4 cup of vinegar in a small pot. Let stand for 30 minutes. Whisk in 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 egg yolk until smooth.

Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture just begins to simmer and is thickened, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat. Whisk in 2 Tbsp of honey. Store in the fridge. Serve with pretzels, chicken strips, or anything else you like to eat with hot-and-spicy sauce.

SHOPPING LIST:

1% buttermilk

Cottage cheese

Eggs

Potatoes (12 small red and 6 medium-large yellow)

Green onions

Celery

Lettuce or mixed greens

2 yellow squashes (one spaghetti for roasting, one of something else for salad)

Tomato

2 small bunches of grapes (green and red)

Apple

10 pears

1 lb lean ground beef

3 lb boneless fully cooked ham

Frozen chicken strips

Can of condensed French onion soup

Can of condensed golden mushroom soup

Jar of diced pimientos (2 oz)

Italian salad dressing

Butter-flavored crackers

Ranch salad dressing mix

Ground mustard

Pretzels

Dry roasted peanuts (at least 2 lbs)

Cashews (at least 2 lbs)

Raisins (at least 1.5 lbs)

M&Ms (at least 1 lb)

Flaked coconut (at least 1/2 lb)

Vinegar

Brown sugar

[Also needed: sugar, honey, Dijon mustard]

Week 37

Shopping List:

Cream cheese

Garlic powder

Pkg of frozen creamed spinach

Swiss cheese (enough for 2 cups diced)

2 unsliced loaves of Italian or French bread (1 lb each) – I prefer French

2 bags of Tortilla chips – 1 regular and 1 ranch-flavored

Can of chili with beans (40 oz)

Can of chopped green chilies (4 oz)

Can of sliced ripe olives (2 oz)

8 oz of cheddar cheese

Pkg of refrigerated breadstick dough

Hot dogs

5 peaches

Bag of potatoes

Large zucchini

Popsicle sticks (optional)

[Also needed: ketchup, mustard, ranch salad dressing]

 

Lunch: Dog in a sweater, spinach dip with bread and tortilla chips, and a peach

Dinner: Casserole and potatoes (I like to spoon the casserole right on top of a diced roasted potato)

 

Dogs in a Sweater

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Separate an 11 oz package of refrigerated breadstick dough. Roll each piece into a 15 inch rope. Insert Popsicle sticks into hot dogs lengthwise, if you want, for easier eating. Starting at one end, wrap dough in a spiral around hot dog. Pinch ends to seal.

Place 1 inch apart on a baking sheet that has been coated with non stick cooking spray. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Serve with ketchup, mustard, and/or ranch salad dressing for dipping.

 

Chili Casserole

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine a can of chili with beans, a can of chopped green chilies, a drained can of sliced ripe olives, 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, and 2 cups of crushed ranch-flavored tortilla chips in a bowl. Transfer to a greased baking dish. Bake, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes.

 

 

Creamy Swiss Spinach Dip

Beat a softened package of cream cheese and 1 tsp of garlic powder in a small glass mixing bowl until smooth. Stir in a thawed packaged of creamed spinach and 2 cups of diced Swiss cheese. Cover and microwave for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, if you are serving this for company, cut a 4 inch circle in the center of one loaf of Italian or French bread. Remove bread, leaving 1 inch at the bottom of loaf. If you are not sharing this dish, or don’t care about presentation, skip this step. It looks awesome but if you don’t finish all the dip on the first day you make it, the bread dish gets soggy, gross, and inedible. I just dipped out of the bowl and it tastes the same.

I cubed one loaf of French bread and sliced another for variety. If you made the bread bowl, it will probably be easier if you cube the bread that came out of the middle. Then spoon the hot spinach dip into the shell, or don’t. Eat dip with bread cubes or slices or tortilla chips.

Week 27

Shopping List:

30 caramels

Creamy peanut butter

Peanuts

5 apples

Envelope of brown gravy mix

Jar of sliced mushrooms

Horseradish

4 beef tenderloin fillets (5 oz each)

2 bagels

1 or 2 tomatoes, depending on size

Bacon

4 oz mozzarella cheese

Ranch salad dressing

Spinach

Strawberries

[Also needed: pepper]

 

Lunch: Bacon-tomato bagel, peanut-caramel dip with slices of apple, and a couple strawberries

Dinner: Beef fillets, potatoes, and spinach/strawberry salad

 

Bacon-Tomato Bagel Melts

Split bagel in half and toast half of it. Place cut side up on a baking sheet. Top with 2 slices of tomato and two stips of cooked bacon. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese. Broil 5″ from the heat for 1-2 minutes. Serve with ranch dressing.

 

Festive Fillets

Prepare an envelope of brown gravy mix according to package directions. Add a jar of drained sliced mushrooms and 2 tsp of horseradish. Set aside and keep warm. Cook fillets over medium-high heat in a nonstick skillet, turning once. Season with 1/8 tsp of pepper. Serve with the gravy.

 

Caramel Peanut Butter Dip

Unwrap 30 caramels. Microwave caramels and 3 Tbsp of water in a glass bowl for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave one more minute. Add 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp of peanut butter and mix well. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir in 1/4 cup of finely crushed peanuts. Eat warm with sliced apples.

Week 1

Shopping List:

2 packages of cream cheese

1 can of chopped ripe olives, drained

Bundle of green onions

10 slices of sliced deli ham

4 salmon fillets

Creole Seasoning

Garlic Bulbs or Jar of Chopped Garlic (the jar will be more expensive, but is faster if you are pressed for time, and the whole jar will last you over a year so is worth the little splurge)

Bundle of fresh parsley

Ranch salad dressing mix

Loaf of pumpernickel rye bread

3 cucumbers

Artichoke

5 of your favorite apples

Flavored oatmeal packets

Almond meal

[Salt and pepper also needed]

 

Breakfast: Oatmeal and/or toast with butter

Lunch: Cucumber sandwich, ham roll ups, and an apple

Dinner: Salmon, rice, and artichoke and/or cucumbers

 

Cucumber Sandwiches

Leave cream cheese out until it reaches room temperature and then mix with 2 Tbsp of the ranch dressing mix. Spread on rye bread. Top with sliced cucumbers. Salt and pepper.

 

Salmon

Add 4 tsp of Creole seasoning, the equivalent of 2 garlic cloves, and 2 tsp of pepper in a large Ziplock bag. Add salmon fillets and shake to coat. Place salmon on baking sheet. Broil 6 in from heat for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley.

 

How to Steam Artichoke

Cut little thorn tips off with scissors. Slice the top inch off. Cut off excess stem – leave an inch. Rinse in cold water. Put in microwave-proof dish with 1/4 in of water. Cover with lid. Microwave for 4 mins. The leaves should come off easily. pull off as close to the stem as possible. Dip in melted butter and use teeth to scrape off meat. Eat heart at the end.

 

Ham Roll Ups

Leave cream cheese out til it reaches room temperature. Beat in a bowl until smooth. Stir in drained olives and 1/3 cup of green onions. Spread over ham slices. Roll up, jelly-roll style, starting with the short side. Chill for at least 1 hour. Just before eating, cut into 1 in pieces.

 

Keep the remaining salad dressing mix on hand for next week.