Delicious Chilled Watercress and Orange Soup: Easy Vegetarian Recipe for A Healthy Lunch Party Dish

Vegetarian party food for a summer lunch need not be hard work. This easy recipe for tangy chilled watercress and orange soup will only take about half an hour to make.

Chilled summer soups are so quick to make and deliciously refreshing to serve for a lunch party. Even beginner chefs will be heaped with praise when they try this easy vegetarian recipe for watercress and orange soup with its tangy flavour. Give it a decorative swirl of natural yogurt. for that final flourish just before serving.

Watercress for a Healthy Immune System

One of the original superfoods, watercress contains high concentrates of vitamin B6, vitamin C, and vitamin A, all of which are important nutrients for a healthy immune system. Watercress is also a good source of folic acid, calcium and iron, making it an ideal ingredient for a vegetarian recipe. Iron and vitamin A are also essential for healthy skin and nails.

Watercress an Aphrodisiac?

Although related to the cabbage family, it is so much tastier. Watercress gained popularity as a soup in the 17th century in Britain. Many believed it to have aphrodisiac properties. This may or may not be true, alongside the idea that eating a good bunch of watercress is a cure for hangovers.

Now a favorite ingredient in the diets of many British people there is even a World Watercress Eating Championship which takes place annually as part of National Watercress Week in May. Leading up to the festival, amateur chefs around the country create new and unusual dishes to enter into a competition.

Healthy Vegetarian Watercress and Orange Soup

Serves 4


  • 2 large bunches or bags of watercress, rinsed and trimmed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • Olive oil for frying
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 3 cups good vegetable stock (use a stock cube if necessary)
  • Juice and finely grated rind of 1 medium orange
  • Freshly ground black pepper and salt
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • Half cup natural yogurt for swirling


  1. Roughly chop the watercress.
  2. In a large saucepan fry the chopped onion until soft and transparent.
  3. Add the watercress, cover and cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes or until the watercress is soft.
  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the flour and ginger.
  5. Add the vegetable stock, orange juice and orange rind and bring to the boil, stirring all the time.
  6. Add salt and pepper, cover and allow to simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool and then liquidize in blender or food processor.(For a very smooth soup, strain through a sieve.)
  8. Chill in fridge until really cold.
  9. Pour into individual bowls and add a swirl of natural yogurt.

An Easy Recipe for Chinese Noodle Soup: How to Make This Comforting Soup in Minutes

As temperatures cool, and we approach cold and flu season, there is no food quite so comforting than a hot bowl of noodle soup. Quick, nutritious and easy to make.

The question of which culture invented pasta has been hotly contested, with Italy and China competing recently for the top spot. The discovery, however of a 4,000 year-old bowl of preserved noodles in China in 2005 tips the balance in China’s favour (reported in New Scientist 15/10/05). China has been eating noodles for thousands of years, and even brought them to Japan, where it remains a staple food today.

Noodles are satisfying without the need for heavy sauces used frequently in pasta. Instead they are eaten when we need nourishment, whether in need of physical or emotional comfort. Sipping and spooning from a deep bowl of hot spiced liquid also serves one of these purposes.

The noodles are filling, undulating and soft, the vegetables slightly crunchy and very nutritious. The soup itself, is aromatic and comforting.

This noodle soup can be on the table in under ten minutes and makes an excellent “emergency” dinner. The meat and vegetables can be altered to suit anything that is to hand, from cupboard, fridge or freezer. Tinned or frozen sweetcorn, peas, cabbage, mushrooms – all can be used here. As long as the basics are to hand (noodles, broth, Chinese Five Spice and spring onions) everything else can be switched to suit either mood or cupboard contents.

Because it is a good means to use up leftovers this soup is very cheap and with a high vegetable content it can be counted towards our daily vegetable intake. And it is important not to underestimate the tastes of children here – they seem to love the tastes of Chinese food.

How To Make Chinese Noodle Soup

Serves 4


  • approximately 2 pints of chicken broth
  • 3 sheets dried medium egg noodles
  • 1 courgette, halved lengthways and sliced finely
  • 1 carrot, diced finely
  • 2 large savoy cabbage leaves, finely shredded
  • 6 chestnut mushrooms, stalks removed and sliced
  • shredded cooked chicken or around 15-20 raw king prawns
  • 3 spring onions, washed thoroughly and chopped, including the green parts
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 2cm piece ginger, grated
  • half teaspoon Chinese Five Spice powder
  • soy sauce
  • teaspoon brown sugar


  1. Heat the broth in a large saucepan. As it is coming up to the boil, add the Five Spice Powder, ginger, soy, sugar and garlic and stir to mix well.
  2. Add the remaining vegetables and shredded cooked chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes.
  3. Break the sheets of dried egg noodles each into 2-3 pieces and add to the mixture, stirring to ensure they do not stick together. The noodles will take around 4 minutes to cook.
  4. If using prawns, add these after around 2 minutes.
  5. When the noodles are fully cooked and soft, and the prawns (if using) are pink all over, serve by putting the noodles into a bowl and ladling the hot liquid over them, with the vegetables, chicken and prawns. Greedy slurping optional.


  • Add de-seeded red sliced chillies along with the vegetables for heat.
  • The recipe works well with chicken or prawns, but equally well with beef or tofu. If beansprouts are available, a handful or two of these towards the end of cooking time will be delicious.
  • This recipe is incredibly versatile and will accomodate almost anything. Use it as an excuse to use up odd vegetables for a cheap and easy dinner or lunch.

Chinese Noodle Soup – Filling, Nutritious and Easy to Make

Noodles have been eaten for at least 4,000 years which makes them one of the world’s oldest foods. When cooked as a soup it makes them cheap, nutritious and filling. As the weather changes into autumn Chinese Noodle Soup makes a perfect quick dinner suitable for physical or emotional sustenance.

Watermelon Sorbet and Chilled Blueberries: A Nutritious, Delicious, Frozen Delight

Naturally sweet and juicy, frozen watermelon with chilled blueberries is a refreshing nutrient and antioxidant rich dessert, perfect for summer’s hot days or evenings.

If you’re not a fan of watermelon because it is “messy” to eat (leaves you with a juice-drenched chin), this final course offers the same “natural” flavour and goodness of the fruit, proffered in a refined manner. Without alcoholic beverages, added fat, and excess sugar, it can be enjoyed by everyone. Why not prepare this dessert next time you have a party? Your guests will love it!

Watermelon Sorbet with Chilled Bluerries and Mint

Serves 8


  • One small watermelon about 4 pounds or 1/2 large watermelon about 7-8 pounds
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries (chilled)
  • 1-2 sprigs of fresh mint leaves


  1. Cut watermelon in half. Scoop out the flesh. Remove and discard seeds.
  2. Puree watermelon flesh in a blender or food processor.
  3. Measure pureed fruit. You should have about 31/2 – 4 cups
  4. Stir in the sugar and lemon juice into the pureed fruit.
  5. Freeze the mixture. Whisk and aerate the mixture by: hand-whisking, food-processing or churning the dessert in an ice cream maker. See below.
  6. Scoop sorbet into pre-chilled dessert bowls/containers. Garnish with chilled blueberries and a few mint leaves on the side. Serve at once.

Hand-Whisking Method

  • Turn your freezer into the coldest possible setting.
  • Choose a non-reactive metal bowl that will fit in the freezer. Do not use glass bowls. The sorbet won’t freeze.
  • Put the dessert mixture in the freezer. When it has solidified completely, break the ice crystals with a whisk and beat it to aerate the mixture. Put dessert back in the freezer.
  • After the final whisking, freeze it for another 15 minutes then serve at once as described above.

Food Processor Method

  • Freeze the mixture in a non-reactive metal bowl.
  • When the dessert has completely solidified, put the mixture in the food processor to break the chunks and aerate the sorbet until it is smooth. Do not overprocess. The sorbet will melt.
  • Return it to the freezer for another 15 minutes until the mixture firms up.
  • Scoop in containers, garnish with chilled blueberries and a leaf or two of fresh mint.

Churning Method

This method uses an old-fashioned ice-cream maker or an electric model. If you’re using an electric model, follow the manufacturer’s directions very carefully.

Nutritional Content Per Serving Portion

  • Calories: 110
  • Carbohydrates: 28 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.1 gram
  • Protein: 1.5 gram
  • Fat: 0.35 grams
  • Vitamin A: 1,291 International Units (IUs)
  • Lycopene: 1,024 micrograms
  • Vitamin C: 20 milligrams
  • Vitamin E: 0.17 milligrams
  • Vitamin K: 2.6 micrograms
  • Vitamin B1/Thiamin: 0.076 milligrams
  • Vitamin B2/Riboflavin: 0.049 milligrams
  • Vitamin B3/Niacin: 0.423 milligrams
  • Vitamin B6: 0.104 milligrams
  • Folate: 7.4 micrograms
  • Pantothenic Acid: 0.51 micrograms
  • Calcium: 16.2 milligrams
  • Iron: 5.6 milligrams
  • Magnesium: 23 milligrams
  • Manganese: 0.107 milligrams
  • Phosphorus: 26 milligrams
  • Potassium: 257 milligrams
  • Sodium: 2.34 milligrams
  • Copper: 0.10 milligrams
  • Zinc: 0.24 milligrams
  • Selenium: 1.02 micrograms
  • Total Fat: 0.34 milligrams
  • Antioxidant Radical Oxygen Capacity (ORAC) Value: 4,510 micromoles. The antioxidant value of this dessert.

Creamed Corn Casserole: An Easy Holiday Dish

Creamed Corn Casserole is easy to make and a delicious addition to any holiday meal.

Corn is an important staple of the western diet. Whether eaten on the cob, added to soups and stews, or ground to make cornbread, it is a perfect meal accompaniment. Corn is also a good source of magnesium as well as B vitamins.

Adding Vegetable Casseroles to Meals

This easy corn casserole is perfect with any holiday meal. Fast and easy to prepare, it allows valuable time to be spent on other projects. This casserole is also a good pick for pot luck dinners, office parties, and family dinners. It will soon become a favorite family recipe.

Ingredients for the Casserole

  • Two cans of creamed corn
  • One third cup of milk or one third cup of canned milk
  • Two tablespoons of white sugar
  • Four tablespoons of white cornbread mix, such as Martha White
  • Two eggs, beaten well
  • One quarter cup of softened butter (not butter or margarine spread)
  • One teaspoon of vanilla
  • One half cup of sharp cheddar cheese, grated.
  • Eight by eight glass baking dish

Mixing and Baking the Casserole

  1. Open the two cans of creamed corn and pour into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the third cup of milk, two tablespoons of sugar, four tablespoons of cornmeal, and two beaten eggs. Mix together with hand mixer or with a wooden spoon, just until combined. Add the quarter cup of butter and teaspoon of vanilla. Beat well, but do not let mixture become frothy.
  2. Grease the eight by eight glass baking dish and pour the casserole ingredients into it. The mixture should be slightly soupy. If it is too thick, add another tablespoon of milk to the mix.
  3. Bake in a three hundred and fifty degree oven for one hour, until browned around the edges and slightly browned in the middle. Check on the casserole the last fifteen minutes and cover with foil if casserole seems to be getting too brown. When sufficiently done, remove casserole from the oven.

Adding the Cheese

Sprinkle the top of the casserole with the grated sharp cheddar cheese. Allow the casserole to cool approximately fifteen minutes before serving.

Serving the Casserole

Creamed Corn Casserole is wonderful served with any meal. It is a great accompaniment to a pork chop meal, and goes well with ham, beef roast, ribs or turkey. It makes a wonderful addition to Thanksgiving and Christmas buffets, also.

Easy Breakfast Meal

Creamed Corn Casserole can easily convert to a delicious breakfast meal by omitting the cheese and adding additional sugar to the mixture. One half cup of sugar will give the casserole the perfect sweetness for a true breakfast treat.

Orangeade, Lemonade, Honey & Apple Water: Recipes for Orange, Lemon and Apple Fruit Drinks for Summer

Easy to make recipes for fruit drinks, including orangeade, lemonade and honey & apple water, ‘receipt book’ finds, for drinking cool or chilled in summer.

Infusions of citrus flavours and sharp apples can all be added to plain cold drinking water with other ingredients in these summery fruit drinks for serving over ice in summer.

Orangeade and lemonade are classic summer drinks to enjoy outdoors at a picnic, on an apartment terrace or decking or in a smaller drinks bottle on the move.



  • 4 large oranges
  • 1 pint cold water
  • 2 tablespoonfuls sugar


  1. Squeeze the juice from the oranges into a bowl.
  2. Add the sugar and water into a bowl.
  3. Allow the liquid to stand in bowl at room temperature for 1 hour.
  4. Strain into a serving jug and serve chilled very cold.



  • 1 lemon
  • ½ pint cold water
  • 1 tablespoonful sugar


  1. Peel the lemon very thinly and place the rind into a saucepan.
  2. Add sugar and water to the pan and bring to the boil.
  3. Strain into a jug.
  4. Add the lemon juice to the jug
  5. Allow to cool in jug.
  6. Serve lemonade drink chilled or over ice.

Honey and Apple Water

Blending sweet and sour is a classic food combination – “part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside” (Mark Twain).

In the following drinks recipe, the apples should be know to taste very sharp which will cut through the honeyed water infused with lemon when they are mixed together at the end.


  • 4 apples
  • 1 tablespoonful honey
  • 2 strips of lemon rind
  • 1 pint water


  1. Peel and core the apples. Put the apple peel into a saucepan
  2. Add honey, lemon rind and water to the peel in the pan and bring slowly to boil.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour.
  4. Add the sliced apple into a jug and pour over the gently simmered apple liquid.
  5. Still fruit drink is ready to serve when cooled.

About the Fruit Drink Recipes

The original recipe authors are unknown as these fruit sparkling drinks recipes were noted in a ‘receipt book’ without attributed sources. The Fruit Sparkling Drinks recipes are known to have been served at an alfresco summer party in the early 1970s.

Orangeade, Lemonade and Soda Floats

In  Ainsley Harriott’s Gourmet Express 1: Over 100 Mouth-Watering Recipes  (BBC Worldwide, 2000), orangeade and lemonade contribute to two of the ‘supercallifabulistic soda floats’. Ainsley Harriott writes “Here’s an old fashioned Mary Poppins are a few tried-and-tasted floats…Orange soda – 1 scoop vanilla ice-cream, 250 ml (8 fl oz) orangeade. Chocolate soda – 1 scoop chocolate/chocolate chip ice-cream, 250 ml (8 fl oz) lemonade”.

Soda floats – orange soda or chocolate soda – could be made with commercially available orangeade and lemonade or with home-made alternatives using the orangeade and lemonade drinks recipes set out above in this article.

Peanut Butter Cookies: Christmas and Holiday Cookie Recipe

Peanut butter lovers unite! Learn how to make peanut butter cookies for a wonder Christmas or holiday snack.

In the similar fashion that oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies are traditional favorites, peanut butter most certainly ranks in the same class of popularity. When it comes to any sort of dessert or candy, chocolate and/or peanut butter are near the top of the charts in respect to personal preference and traditional dessert recipes.

With the Christmas and holiday season fast approaching, everyone is looking for a fun, delicious, and time efficient dessert recipe for the ideal holiday occasion. If peanut butter is the choice for a wonderful dessert recipe, then peanut butter cookies could be the perfect holiday snack this season.

Peanut butter cookies are easy to make, take very little preparation, and very little cooking time. Perfect for parties or simple family treats, peanut butter cookies are not only quick and easy, but can serve every mouth in the crowd!

With the ability to serve up to 40 people, the recipe for peanut butter cookies will not only be a time saver, but also a crowd pleaser. For the individual who is looking for the prefect dessert snack for an office Christmas party, a neighborhood holiday function, or just simply wants a fun snack for the entire family, peanut butter cookies will certainly meet the task this holiday season.



Serves: 36-40 people


  • ¾ cup of peanut butter (preferably creamy)
  • ½ cup of shortening
  • 1 ¼ cup of packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ¾ cup of plain flour
  • ¾ teaspoon of salt
  • ¾ teaspoon of baking soda


  1. Preheat oven to a temperature of 375 degrees.
  2. Combine peanut butter, shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Beat ingredients until well mixed and thoroughly blended.
  4. Add the necessary single egg, and once again beat until blended.
  5. Combine flour, salt, and baking soda to the now creamy mixture. Once again beat until thoroughly blended.
  6. Drop mixture, by teaspoonfuls, two inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
  7. Flatten with the top of a fork in order to make an interlacing or crisscross pattern across the surface.
  8. Place cookies in the oven (which has been preheated to 375 degrees) and promptly bake for seven or eight minutes.
  9. Carefully monitor the baking process to make sure the cookies do not burn.
  10. Once cookies have baked for the allotted time period and are fully cooked, remove cookies from the oven and allow for a two minute cooling period.
  11. Serve cookies once properly cooled.

How to Decorate a Kitchen on a Budget

Keep it Practical

Oh no, the economy has wrecked your kitchen remodeling plans and you feel helpless and hopeless. Don’t despair because you can decorate a kitchen on a budget, and be extremely happy with the end results. Sometimes, home improvement projects are avoided all together because the expense can seem overwhelming. The good news is that there are practical ways to decorate a kitchen on a budget. A crisp and fresh kitchen design is only a few hundred dollars away; so don’t let the economy get you down. A dream kitchen doesn’t have to be a fantasy; it can be a reality. A few simple suggestions will help you decorate a kitchen on a budget.

Choose Laminate Flooring for Decorating a Kitchen on a Budget

Laminate flooring is such a practical and affordable kitchen design option. Laminate floors are fantastic in a kitchen because they can incorporate the other elements of the room design. Laminate flooring comes in a variety of colors and patterns, so your options are limitless. In addition, laminate flooring is so much more affordable than real wood flooring. So, choose this cost saving solution because it gives a great kitchen look for less.

Select Butcher Block Countertops

Natural wood butcher block is a good way to save money when it comes to countertop design in a kitchen. Butcher block is natural and authentic, so it makes for a warm and inviting kitchen theme. Decorating a kitchen on a budget is all about choosing less expensive materials that are sturdy, reliable, and good quality. Butcher block is a timeless material like marble.’

Paint Unsightly Kitchen Cabinets

The expensive part about decorating kitchen cabinets is the effort that is required to build a custom kitchen frame for your cabinets. Since you already have solid cabinets and cabinet frames, all you need is a new paint color. In order to decorate a kitchen on a budget, you can keep the current frames and don’t mess with the piping. Simply, remove the front door of the cabinets and paint the frame and panels a fresh new color. For a crisp and fresh new look, you can paint all of the cabinetry white. With the addition of some new modern hardware on the cabinets, you will be surprised how much the pulls and knobs take the kitchen from one era to another. Decorating a kitchen on a budget is simple and affordable.

Add Sheet Metal for an Inexpensive Backsplash Design

Your local hardware store will have sheet metal that can be used for an attractive backsplash. Sheet metal that has been punched or patterned is even more innovative as a kitchen backsplash design element. An old kitchen design can be transformed to create a room that is the heart of the home. Decorating on a budget is easy when sheet metal is used as a backsplash masterpiece.

Scratch and Dent Appliances are Quality Options

Scratch and dent appliances are a great way to save money when you are decorating a kitchen on a budget. These appliances often have minor flaws that are not even visible with the naked eye or they can be retouched with just a simple dab of appliance paint. Scratch and dent appliances are available for a whole lot less money than a full priced retail appliance

Decorating a kitchen on a budget is a worthwhile home improvement project.

2 Austrian Dumpling Recipes: Cheese Dumplings and Apricot Dumplings

Austrian Cuisine has many forms of dumplings. These examples show the versatility of an idea. One is salty and made of cheese, the other sweet and holds a whole apricot

Austrians have a gift when it comes to dumplings; food hidden inside balls of dough. The styles and tastes vary from appetizers to dessert, but each dumpling has its own merit. The Apricot Dumpling especially has been enjoyed by Austrian kings and farmers for hundreds of years. Here are two examples

Cheese Dumplings (Topfenknödel) – Appetizer

  • 18 oz Cheese curd or Cottage Cheese
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Breadcrumbs
  • 2/3 cup Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract


  • ½ cup Breadcrumbs
  • 3 T Butter

Plum Accompaniment (optional)

  • 1 lb fresh or canned Plums
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • Pinch of Cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon Rum
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
  1. Drain Cottage Cheese and press through a sieve.
  2. Mix chees with eggs, bread crumbs, sugar, salt and Vanilla until smooth
  3. Let stand 45 minutes
  4. With wet hands, form dumplings, about 2″ in diameter
  5. Drop dumplings into salted boiling water
  6. Reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes
  7. Topping: Brown breadcrumbs and butter in a skillet while dumplings cook
  8. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the dumplings to the skillet and roll them in the crumbs.

Plum Accompaniment:

  1. Wash plums and cut them in half; remove the pits
  2. In a small skillet, combine the plums, sugar, cinnamon, rum and lemon juice.
  3. Simmer until slightly thickened, and serve separately from Dumplings

Austrian Apricot Dumplings (Wachauer Marillenknödeln) – Dessert

  • 1 lb Salad Potatoes (author does not endorse one potato over another)
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 cup to 1/3 cup Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Semolina (a course grain similar to cornmeal, made from semolina. This can often be found near the pasta or in the baking aisle)
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 1 teaspoon Grated Lemon Rind


  • 1 lb fresh Apricots
  • 5-6 Sugar Cubes


  • 1/2 cup Butter, browned with 1 Tablespoon Sugar and
  • 1/2 cup Breadcrumbs
  1. Boil, peel and rice the potatoes, let cool
  2. Combine salt, flour, semolina, butter, egg yolks and grated lemon rind; let stand 30 minutes
  3. Wash apricots and press the pits out (try to keep the integrity of the apricot, so it fits nicely in the dumpling)
  4. Replace each pit with one sugar cube
  5. Roll dumpling dough until it looks like a sausage, about 2 1/2″ thick.
  6. Cut dough into 3/4″ slices
  7. Flatten each slice a bit and place the apricot in the center
  8. Lightly dust hands with flour and form the dough over the fruit
  9. Roll the ball on the counter until the entire fruit is hidden
  10. Softly drop the dumplings into salted simmering water.
  11. Bring to a boil and reduce heat for 2-5 minutes
  12. Make the topping by browning the butter, sugar and breadcrumbs in a skillet
  13. Remove the skillet from heat and remove the dumplings with a slotted spoon
  14. Rinse the dumplings quickly under cold water
  15. Roll Dumplings in the topping
  16. Place dumplings on a plate and dust them with powdered sugar.
  17. Serve Immediately

Common Kitchen Helps for Recipe Substitutions

Don’t Panic If You’re Out of a Recipe Ingredient

Most kitchens have common kitchen helpers available for recipe substitutions. Don’t go into panic mode if you’re making dinner and you are missing a certain item. You may have a quick substitute right in front of you.

1. Sour cream
Sour cream is often added to casseroles or baking..
Substitute: 7/8 cup sour milk and 3 Tbsp butter or margarine
8-oz.carton plain yogurt

2. Light Cream
Light cream is often used for a white sauce, cheese sauce, casseroles or baking.
Substitute 1 cup undiluted evaporated milk for cup light cream.

3. Buttermilk or sour milk
Buttermilk or sour milk is often used in baking cakes or cookies.
Substitute 1 Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice and enough sweet milk to make 1 cup for cup of sour or butter. Let stand 5 minutes.

4. Lemon juice
Lemon juice is often added to barbeque sauces or other sauces.
Substitute 1/2 tsp. vinegar for 1 tsp. lemon juice.

5. 1 cup sugar
Sugar, as you know, is a main staple in most kitchens.
Substitute 1 cup powdered sugar, firmly packed brown sugar or 1/2 cup honey. If honey is substituted, reduce liquid by 1/2 cup.

6. 1 square unsweetened chocolate
Unsweetened chocolate is often used in frosting and baking.
Substitute 3 Tbsp. of cocoa and 1 Tbsp. margarine.

7. Onion powder
Onion powder is often used in casseroles, making meat dishes, pasta and veggies.
Substitute one small onion for 3/4 tsp. onion powder.

8. Corn syrup
Corn syrup is a sweetener that can be a regular syrup on pancakes or used when making things such as hot fudge or a chocolate sauce for ice cream/other desserts.
Substitute 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water. Boil together and stir.

9. Baking powder
Baking powder is used in making bread, cookies, cakes etc.
Substitute 1/4 tsp. baking soda and 5/8 tsp. cream of tarter.

10. Fresh herbs
Herbs are used to enhance flavors in most all cooking.
Substitute 1 tsp. dried herbs, crushed.

11. Bread crumbs
Bread crumbs are added when making meat loaf, ham balls, scalloped dishes and as a topping.
Substitute 1 cup crushed cereal or cracker crumbs. Oatmeal can be substituted when making meat dishes.

12. Pumpkin pie spice
Pumpkin pie spice makes adding spices to pumpkin dishes quick and easy.
Substitute 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ginger, 1/8 tsp. ground cloves and 1/8 tsp. nutmeg for 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice. Cinnamon is needed, but you could probably go without the other spices. Your finished product will be more bland.

Hopefully these quick and easy subsitutions may save your day.

It’s best to check ingredients before we begin, but time and surprise conditions sometime prevent our having everything we need to complete a recipe.

Savory “LBJ” Pie: Leeks, Bacon and Jalapenos Create a Tasty Tart with Bite!

Originally, savory pies were small desserts used to cleanse the palates at the end of a meal. Today the term applies to a wide variety of dishes.

A savory (savoury) pie, is not to be confused with the herb savory, but is a British term that covers a wide array of baked pies that are served hot or warm, rather than a chilled fruit pie. A quiche, which is a French dish consisting mainly of eggs, often falls under the category of a “savory pie” as can the hearty Shepherd’s pie.

The pie as we know it today is actually thought to have originated in the 14th or 15th century, in England. Today, savory pies are generally served as a main course rather than an afterdinner snack and can consist of all sorts of delicious combinations of meats, poultry or vegetables, with added cream and eggs. Savory pies are also a terrific way to revive leftover meat dishes.

The term savoury is no longer exclusive to the palate-cleansing bites of yesteryear. Just try this inexpensive and easy to make dish!


  • 1 frozen pie crust (thawed, 9-inch wide)
  • 3 large leeks, rinsed well, slicing only the white portions
  • 4-5 slices of good-quality bacon
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced and seeds removed
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup of light sour cream
  • ½ cup of heavy cream
  • ½ cup of low fat milk
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Prick the pie crust with a fork, then put into the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Make sure to use pie weights or a heavy cooking pan to ensure the crust does not bubble. Cover with foil while baking.
  2. Remove the pie crust from the oven and set-aside the foil and pie weights. Using one egg, separate the yolk and brush the crust with the beaten egg white. Keep the remaining egg white.
  3. Put the crust back into the oven for another 10 minutes, then let cool.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the bacon until crispy. Drain, and crumble into bite-sized bits. Retain some of the bacon grease in the pan.
  5. Add the sliced leeks and sliced jalapenos to the pan and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and let cool.
  7. In a large bowl, mix together the other egg, remaining egg white and remaining egg yolk with the sour cream. Beat well.
  8. Stir in the milk and heavy cream, mixing well.
  9. Mix in the salt and pepper.
  10. Layer the pie crust with the leek, jalapeno and bacon mixture. Then pour the egg and milk mixture on top.
  11. Bake the pie for another 30 minutes until set.
  12. Let sit for about 15 minutes before serving.

Serve with a crispy salad for a main course, or eat alone for a light snack. Enjoy!


Pork and Ground Beef Casserole: Hearty Casserole Makes the Most of Leftovers and Pantry Staples

Leftover pork chops? Ground beef you have to use up? Combine the two into this delicious and easy casserole and never waste leftovers again.

Everyone runs into nights with too many leftovers to throw away, but not enough to make a meal. The same thing often happens with ground beef. This casserole is an excellent way to use up all the leftover meat in your refrigerator while making a creamy and nutritious one-dish meal for your family.

Pork and Ground Beef Casserole

  • 2 or 3 grilled pork chops, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 or 3 large red potatoes, diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 can green beans, drained
  • ½ large red onion
  • 1 pound ground beef, browned, not drained
  • ¾ cup red wine
  • ½ cup mayo
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 3-4 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups shredded cheese


  1. Butter a 9×13 inch casserole dish.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Remove any bones from 2-3 leftover pork chops and cut into 1 ½ inch pieces. Place in casserole dish.
  4. Wash red potatoes and cut into 1 ½ inch pieces. Add to casserole dish, spreading evenly.
  5. Drain can of green beans and add to casserole dish.
  6. Wash and cut yellow pepper into 1 inch pieces.
  7. Dice ½ large red onion.
  8. Crumble ground beef into a large skillet. Add onion and yellow pepper, and cook until burger is browned and onion and pepper are soft. Add to casserole dish.
  9. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour over meat and vegetables. Stir to coat and then spread out in casserole dish.
  10. Deglaze skillet with ¾ cup red wine, and add to casserole.
  11. In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, and mustard. Mix well and pour over casserole.
  12. Sprinkle casserole with salt, pepper, paprika.
  13. Top casserole with shredded cheddar cheese.
  14. Bake, covered, on 350 degrees F for 1 hour.
  15. Lower oven temperature to 300 degrees F and bake for another 2-3 hours.
  16. Remove from oven, and stir in remaining flour, one tbsp at a time.
  17. Let set up for 15 mins, uncovered, before serving.

Recipe Variations

There are many ways to make this casserole even more nutritious. You can add a drained can of corn or carrots to the casserole. You can also add fresh mushrooms, diced and sauteed zucchini, and/or yellow summer squash to the mix. If you are concerned about fat and cholesterol, make sure you trim off any excess fat off the pork chops and drain the ground beef mixture before adding to the casserole. You should also use low-fat sour cream, substitute low-fat cream of mushroom soup instead of the mayonnaise, and use either low-fat cheddar cheese or substitute low-fat mozzarella cheese instead.