Monthly Archives: November 2012

Spicy Beef and Bean Enchiladas


Spicy Beef and Bean Enchiladas

I had some Swiss Steak left over from another meal, so I decided to use it up in this recipe.  Feel free to use whatever beef or pork you have left over.  And for the tomato gravy, just use all tomato sauce.  I also used flour tortillas because I like them better, but you can use corn tortillas if you prefer them.

  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 cup leftover Tomato Gravy, plus 3 leftover Swiss Steaks, shredded into bite-sized pieces (2 to 2 1/2 cups beef)
  • 1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 (16-oz.) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 (8-inch flour tortillas or 8 (6-inch corn tortillas)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering.  Cook chili powder and cumin until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Stir in Tomato Gravy and tomato sauce and simmer until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes.

Combine Swiss Steaks, 2 tablespoons sauce, 1 cup cheese, cilantro, and beans in large bowl.  Spread additional 1/2 cup sauce in 8-inch square baking dish.  Stack tortillas on plate and microwave, covered, until softened, about 1 minute.  Divide mixture equally among tortillas, roll tightly, and arrange seam side down in prepared baking dish.

Pour remaining sauce evenly over enchiladas, top with remaining cheese, and cover with foil.  Bake until enchiladas are heated through, about 15 minutes.  Remove foil and bake until cheese is lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes.  Serve.

Makes 4 servings.

“A clear conscience is a soft pillow.”


Easy Swiss Steak


Easy Swiss Steak

This is a very simple recipe to make.

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 lbs. round steak, 1-inch thick
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 envelope dry onion soup mix (I make my own, see recipe under misc.)
  • 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water

Pour oil in a 7 1/2 x 12 x 1 1/2-inch baking dish.  Place in oven at 400 degrees.  While dish and oil heat, trim steak and pound 2 tablespoons flour into each side.  Place in heated baking dish; turn to coat both sides.  Sprinkle on soup mix.  Pour tomato sauce mixed with water over all.  Cover tightly.  Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.  Bake 2 hours until fok tender.  Skim excess fat from gravy.

Makes 6 servings.

“The Bible is a mirror that reflects how God sees us.”

Banana Crumb Muffins


bananacrumbmuffinsBanana Crumb Muffins

These are the “best” banana muffins ever.

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled


  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease 12 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.

In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter.  Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened.  Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.

In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon.  Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.  Sprinkle topping over muffins.  (To keep topping from falling off, put a cookie cutter the size of the muffin cup on top and then fill with topping.)

Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Serves 12.

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.”

Old-Fashioned Pecan Pie (no corn syrup)


Old-Fashioned Pecan Pie (no corn syrup)

Truly a 19th-century pie!  We could hardly wait for our meal to get over so we could eat this.  Yum!!

  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted and chopped pecans
  • 1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell, chilled in pie plate for 30 minutes

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 450 degrees.  Heat sugar, syrup, cream, and molasses in saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes.  Whisk butter and salt into syrup mixture until combined.  Whisk in egg yolks until incorporated.

Scatter pecans in pie shell.  Carefully pour filling over.  Place pie in hot oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.  Bake until filling is set and center jiggles slightly when pie is gently shaken, 45 to 60 minutes.  Cool pie on rack for 1 hour, then refrigerate until set, about 3 hours and up to 1 day.  Bring to room temperature before serving.

“Teach us, O Lord, the disciplines of patience, for to wait is often harder than to work.”

Green Olive Stuffed Celery


Green Olive Stuffed Celery

Simple, old-fashioned and tasty.

  • 2 bunches celery, washed, trimmed, and cut into 2 to 3 sections
  • 2 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup finely chopped pimiento stuffed green olives
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced

Thoroughly dry each piece of celery with paper towels.  Mix the cream cheese, olives, and garlic in a bowl.  I used a large star decorating tip to fill the celery, but if you don’t have one, just use a knife to spread filling down center of each piece of celery.  Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Caramelized Butternut Squash



Caramelized Butternut Squash

My friends, Ed and Sue, gave me a couple of butternut squash from of their garden this year.  I had never cooked or eaten butternut squash before so I was excited to try them.  Everyone said that this was definitely a “keeper”.  I probably will be making this every year now at Thanksgiving.

  • 2 medium butternut squash (4 lbs), peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1 1/4 to 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, optional

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Toss squash, sugar, butter, and salt in large bowl until well coated.  Transfer squash to baking sheet.  Roast, stirring every 15 minutes, until squash is well browned and completely tender, 45  to 55 minutes.

Serves 6 to 8.

“We are Christ’s “letters of recommendation” to all who read our lives.”

Classic Green Bean Casserole



Classic Green Bean Casserole

This seems to always be requested for Thanksgiving.

  • 2 cans (10 3/4-oz. each) Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 8 cups cooked cut green beans
  • 1 can (6-oz.) French Fried Onions (2 2/3 cups)

Stir soup, milk, soy sauce, beans and half of the onions in a 3-qt. casserole.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes or until hot.  Stir.

Top with remaining onions.  Bake for 3 to 5 minutes more.

Makes 12 servings.

“Well-timed silence can be more eloquent than words.”

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes



Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

I was making several side dishes for Thanksgiving so anything that I could make ahead, I did.  You don’t need to though.  So creamy and delicious!

  • 5 pounds potatoes (I used Yukon Gold)
  • 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup half-and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Peel and cut the potatoes into the same size chunks.  Put the potatoes into a large pot and cover with water.  Bring to boil and cook 30 to 35 minutes or until a fork slides into the potatoes easily.

Drain the potatoes well and then put into a mixer bowl.  Using whisk attachment, mix potatoes.  Add the butter and mix, then add the cream cheese and mix and then add the half and half and mix.  It will be quite running, but don’t worry, it will firm up later and be perfect.  Then mix in the salt.

Put mixture into a medium-sized baking dish.  Put a couple of pats of butter over the top and bake in a 350 degree oven until butter is melted and potatoes are warmed through.

Note:  When making this dish a day or two in advance, take it out of the fridge about 2 to 3 hours before serving time.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 to 30 minutes or until warmed through.

Serves 10.

“A clear conscience is a soft pillow.”

Copycat Capellini Pomodoro



Copycat Capellini Pomodoro

This is a copy cat recipe from Olive Garden.  I fixed this today for my family.  What a quick and easy meal to fix at the last minute.  Everyone thought it was delicious.  I served this with Cheese Bread.

  • 16 ounces capellini pasta (angel hair)
  • 8 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 11 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cook capellini pasta according to package directions.

Mix diced tomatoes, chopped basil, garlic and oil.  Season with salt and pepper.

Drain pasta.  Toss pasta with tomato mixture in a saute pan and heat throughout.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6.

This meal can be made in less than a half hour.

“No evil can penetrate the armor of God.”


Strawberry Cream Loaf



  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 (10-oz.) package frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

You will not need all the strawberries.  Puree defrosted berries in blender.  Measure 1 cup for recipe and save the rest for another use.  Grease and flour a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan.

Blend cream cheese in a mixer bowl.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each egg.  Add the 1 cup pureed strawberries and blend.  Gradually add cake mix,  flour and extract.  Blend well.  Turn into prepared pan and bake for 60 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes then remove from pan to cool on wire rack.

“Christ’s forgiveness is the door to a new beginning.”