Monthly Archives: June 2014

Blackberry pie !


My husband’s favorite pie is black raspberry. If you like black raspberries you know it is nearly impossible to find these gems unless you yourself grow them and protect from the birds with netting. We went to the strip district last weekend and picked up 4 cups of blackberries next best thing. They were such a good deal! Only a dollar per 8 ounces. I promised him I would bake him a pie with the vibrant berries.

Ingredients for dough for crust:

2/3 cup crisco
2 cup ap flour
1 tsp kosher salt
4 to 6 TB ice cold water
Skim Milk to brush the top of the top

Ingredients for filling (Grammy Ulam’s recipe)
4 cups of Blackberries (or black raspberries)
3/4 cup but up 1 cup of sugar if very tart
3-4 TB corn starch


To start the dough for the crust. Mix flour and salt.


Cut shortening into flour with your hands (the key here is to get the flour mixture to look like pea size particles resembling wet sand.


Sprinkle the water slowly and not all at one time. Contine mixing with bare hands

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Mix until all moisture has been incorporated into the dough and pastry cleans side of bowl.

Divide the dough into two balls, place in plastic wrap and refrigerator for 30 minutes.


While the dough colds off start the fruit filling.

Place first three ingredients for the filling in a sauce pan on medium low heat.

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Chipotle Cheese Egg Sausage Casserole


My husband loves sausage and chipotle cheese! I was going through my freezer and came across a frozen block of chipotle cheese from Amish Country, which lead me to review my Amish cookbook. I stumbled across a recipe for sausage egg casserole and tried to lighten it up for this Sunday morning’s brunch.

Yields 4 servings

1/4 lb sausage ((browned up) and blotted to remove extra grease)
1/2 cup egg substitute
1 TB Chives chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup skim milk
1/2 dry mustard
2 1/2 slices of light whole wheat bread heels
4 oz shredded chipotle cheese or reduced fat cheddar
Fresh cracked Pepper to taste
1/4 tsp Ruth Ann’s Muskego Ave Chicken and dish seasoning (penzeys)

Preheat oven to 350

Season meat with Ruth Ann’s seasoning and brown sausage on medium heat in a nonstick pan.



Remove from heat and blot with paper towel to remove excess grease.

Set aside.

In a medium bowl mix with whisk milk, egg substitute, chives, salt, pepper, & mustard.


Set aside.

Toast heals of bread.


I don’t like to waste food so I always freeze my heels of the bread and save for bread crumbs, croutons or casseroles.

Cut bread into 1 inch cubes.


Add bread cubes into milk mix.


Add cheese and sausage and coat with milk.



Place in cooking sprayed bread dish.


Bake for 45 minutes.


Let cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes before serving.


Rhubarb Spice Coffee Cake


I am starting to have oodles of rhubarb in the garden but nothing like my grandpa’s garden. He has 50 plants this year and I only have two.

This morning I was contemplating what can I make that I haven’t made yet with this beautiful vegetable? …Coffee cake…I love baking with rhubarb! There are just so many endless possibilities.

I’m not really sure where the concept of coffee cake originated. Honestly I think it must of initiated from someone who wanted to eat cake for breakfast with their coffee. Those of you that have ate it before know there is no coffee in the cake. I wanted to make a healthier version of this classic cake. I decreased the butter content and used only whole wheat flour to add additional fiber.

I can remember my mom making coffee cake for our family growing up on the weekends. It was always a special treat!

Yields 6 servings

Batter Ingredients:
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice
2 TB canola oil
2 TB egg substitute
1/2 cup raw sugar
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 & 3/4 cup fresh rhubarb chopped ( if using frozen measure frozen not thawed)
1/2 cup skim milk or vanilla almond milk
1 tsp Mexican vanilla extract

Topping ingredients:
1/8 & 1/4 cup of raw sugar
2 TB Unsalted butter
1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spice

Preheat oven to 350

1. Chop up your rhubarb (it will take 4-5 stalks depending on the size)


Set aside.

In a large bowl beat canola oil and sugar.


Whisk until combined.


Add vanilla and egg substitute, whisk until incorporated.


Set aside.

In a separate bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt, and Chinese 5 spice until all ingredients mixed thoroughly.


Add 1/3 of the dry ingredient blend to the wet batter and 1/3 of milk. Alternate between both (milk & dry ingredients whisk after every addition) and mix until combined.


Fold in rhubarb.


Make sure to spread rhubarb throughout batter evenly.


Pour wet batter into an 8 by 8 glass cooking sprayed dish or equivalent.


Use a spatula to get all the batter into the baking dish.


Set aside.

In a small bowl place butter, sugar, and Chinese 5 spice all together.


Crumble the topping between fingers until resembles wet sand.


Sprinkle the topping evenly on-top the wet batter.

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Bake for 45 minutes in preheated oven on 350.


Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes on wire rack.


Hometown Hot Dog Shoppe Chili

Everyone raves about our hometown hot dog shoppe’s chili sauce. For Father’s Day we were having a cookout for the dads and wondered what goes best with hot dogs??? CHILI!

I started searching to see if there was already a “copy that” recipe for our favorite restaurant. We found a few but my mom helped us doctored up a generic recipe.

Now for all you meat lovers out there this is not a meaty sauce. The owners of the shoppe discourage the use of the name meat sauce because there is so little meat for per batch of chili.

I can remember going to the restaurant as child with my family. There are a lot of fun memories we shared while we enjoyed these hot dogs, whether it be at the booth or in the local park during the annual chalk on a walk event. Hopefully if you are trying this recipe it takes you back and may I suggest drinking a strawberry shake to help further reminisce.

1 lb lean 97/3 ground beef
3 cans of no added salt tomato sauce
3 cans of tomato paste
3 TB chili powder (high quality I recommend penzeys)
1 TB ground black pepper
3 tsp Salt
1 TB Garlic powder
1 TB onion powder
2 TB Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Corn starch
2 quarts of water

1. In a 5 qt pan brown meat on medium high until no pink meat remains. Drain excess liquid from pan to discard.

2. Add remaining ingredients except for corn starch to the same pot you cooked the meat.


3. Cook sauce uncovered on medium high heat until it boils and turn down stove to simmer for and hour.

4. Now take 1/4 cup of the liquid out of the sauce (try and avoid getting any meat) and place in a small bowl add the corn starch. Mix until corn starch liquifies. Then add the corn starch slurry back into the chili.

5. Now place the chili sauce in your favorite crock pot or slow cooker set on low and cook for 16 to 18 hours.

6. Enjoy on hot dogs or a hamburger!

Jenna’s favorite blackeyed pea salad



My husband and I love to take cooking classes in different cities. We learned how to make this classic salad in Savannah. Oh of course I cannot leave well enough alone so I did cut the fat and added a few more veggies! This beautiful flavorful salad is simple and perfect for a picnic! And just happens to be my sister’s favorite salad.

Recipe yields 8 cups & 4 weight watchers plus points per 1 cup

Dressing Ingredients:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard ( with the seeds)
1 tsp fresh oregano
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup olive oil Extra virgin

Salad ingredients:
3 cups of black eyed beans ( if using caned this is 2 15 oz cans rinsed & drained.
2 celery stalks chopped (1/4 cup)
1/4 cup diced green pepper
1/2 cup red diced pepper
1/2 cup yellow diced pepper
2 TB fresh Basil
2 cups of grape tomatoes cut in half
1 medium red onion diced (1 cup)

Whisk the first 5 ingredients together and gently pour in oil.


Set a set.

Start chopping the veggies.


Place all the chopped veggies and
peppers in a 3 qt. bowl. Gently fold with spatula until mixed together.


Pour dressing over and fold to spread evenly.


Cover and let marinate over night in refrigerator.



Dark Chocolate Brownies


I pack my husband’s lunch daily and I always like to add a sweet treat. I had brownies on my mind this afternoon. I popped them in the oven afterwork for a nice dessert after dinner. Plus the oven was already warm from supper.

1 tsp vanilla pure
1 tsp instant coffee (100% Colombian trader joe’s brand is what I used)
1/4 cup almond meal
1.5 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch Processed cocoa (there is no comparison to penzeys)
6 oz of chopped dark chocolate (I had some left over from Easter Malley’s from Cleveland Area)
1 cup raw sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup canola oil
5 farm fresh eggs or 1 1/4 cup egg substitute


Preheat oven to 350.

Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowel except the chopped chocolate and whisk to fully incorporate.


Now add lightly beaten eggs, vanilla, applesauce, & canola oil. Mix to combine.


Pour batter into a cooking sprayed 9 by 13 and spread evenly.


Sprinkle dark chocolate over batter.


Place in preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.


Let pan cool for at least 5 minutes on wire rack.

Cut into squares as you see fit. Makes about 3 dozen brownies.