All posts by Amy Jajliardo

Rhubarb Crunch

1 c quick oats
1/2 c flour (I used almond flour)
1 c brown sugar (I used coconut sugar)
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/3 c butter
4 c diced rhubarb (could also use apples or mix fruits)

Preheat oven to 375° and grease a 9″ square baking pan.

Blend first 5 ingredients in food processor or using a pastry blender.  Spread half of this mix in baking pan.  Spread all the rhubarb out over this. Cover rhubarb with remaining dry mix.

Bake for 40 min.

Crisp Pastel Cookies AKA Jello Cookies

This is a recipe from my childhood. And it was my Auntie Jeanne, not my Mom, who made these. I had actually forgotten about them (and how much i love them) until my cousin, Judy, posted a party picture that included these lovelies. I immediayela asked for the recipe. In the note that came with this recipe, Auntie Jeanne said this was a favorite cookie to make and take when they went camping. Whatever excuse you need for making them, just do it! I made them in both strawberry and lime jello for a cute Christmas cookie.

Crisp Pastel Cookies

Makes 3-4 dozen cookies

3/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 (3 oz.) pkg flavored gelatin
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400°.
Mix shortening, sugar, gelatin, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Blend in remaining ingredients and mix well.
Roll dough into 3/4″ balls and place 2″ apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Press cookies flat with bottom of glass dipped in sugar (Auntie Jeanne used a stemware pudding dish with a fancy bottom to make designs on the cookies.)  Bake 6-8 min. Tops should not brown.

Karinna’s Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole.

Several times a year I help my good friend, Karinna, to cook a luncheon at her church. We usually plan for 75-100 people. Karinna has a good selection of meals she chooses from; all made from scratch and absolutely delicious! Karinna has celiac disease so many of these meals are gluten free. This is one of those meals. When I make it for my family I dont always go with the gluten free option, depending on what I have on hand. I’ll note those changes in italics.

    Karinna’s Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

1 whole cooked chicken, bones removed, meat diced or shredded (rotisserie chicken is excellent, should have 5-6 cups)
1/2 pound very thinly sliced deli-style ham, rough chopped
1/4 pound thin sliced baby Swiss cheese

[For the sauce:]
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons gluten free or all purpose flour
3 1/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper

[For the topping:]
6 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs or regular bread crumbs
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9- x 13-inch baking dish. Set aside.
Put cooked shredded or diced chicken on the bottom of the baking dish. Rough chop the ham and scatter it over the top of the chicken. Lay the Swiss cheese on top of the ham.
To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a large sauce pot over medium heat. When butter is melted, quickly stir in the flour to form a smooth roux. Do not brown! Once the roux is smooth and bubbly, slowly pour in the cold milk while stirring briskly to make a smooth sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Stir in the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, smoked paprika and white pepper. Bring sauce just back to a low boil and turn off heat. Pour sauce evenly over the casserole, being certain to get some of the sauce around the edges of the pan.
To make the topping: Melt the butter in the microwave in a medium sized microwaveable bowl. Heat it for 30 seconds at a time and stop once it’s melted. Take the bowl out of the microwave and stir in the panko bread crumbs, seasoning salt and crushed dried parsley. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
Bake casserole uncovered for 45 minutes until hot and bubbly throughout and topping has turned a light golden brown.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes prior to serving.

Instant Pot Beef Stew

1 1/2 – 2 lbs beef stew meat (I usually cut the pieces into smaller, 3/4″ pieces)
Salt and pepper
3 Tbs olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2″ pieces
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 Tbs tomato paste
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 3/4 C. beef broth
1 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 tsp thyme
1 C. water
Cornstarch
Optional:
1 can peas, drained

Push ‘saute’ button on Instant Pot. While pot is heating up, season beef with salt and pepper. Once pot says ‘HOT’ add olive oil and a portion of the beef and brown on all sides. You will need to cook remaining beef in batches, transferring cooked beef to a bowl. Once all the beef is cooked, put onions into pot and saute a bit to loosten any browned bits left from cooking meat. Turn off saute. Add carrots, potatoes, tomato paste, garlic, beef broth, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, thyme and water.

Cover Instant Pot (checking to ensure gasket is in place and pot is set to seal). Push either the ‘Meat/Stew’ button or ‘manual’ button and set time for 20 min.

Once pot is finished cooking, do a quick release and remove lid. Set pot to ‘saute’. At this point you may add the drained peas. To thicken stew, make a slurry of 1 Tbs cornstarch and 1 Tbs cool water. Pour into pot while stirring. Stir until mixed and thickened. Serve immediately.

Buddy’s Apple Snacking Cake

Years ago, when the kids were much younger(and we still had cable TV), my kids LOVED watching Cake Boss with Buddy Valastro. Even as young as they were, they’d tell me how to decorate cakes. Well. somewhere along the line Buddy shared a recipe for an apple snacking cake. Thankfully, this is not one of Buddy’s fancy cakes, just a simple snack cake. But Buddy made it so the kids KNEW it was good. And they’re right, it is! You can probably find the recipe online with better directions than what I wrote down as I was watching Buddy cook. But really it’s basically throwing everything together.

Buddy’s Apple Snacking Cake

2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 c. Oil
scant 1/2 C. unsweet applesauce
2 eggs
1 ea. medium granny smith and gala apples, peeled, cored, and diced (yeah, um, you can use whatever applesyou want. I needed to use up some cortlands, so they got the chop)
1/2 C. chopped nuts Continue reading Buddy’s Apple Snacking Cake

Beef Pot Pie Cupcakes (Instant Pot and Oven)

 

So, yes, I’m rather addicted to my Instant Pot.  One of my dear friends gifted it to me at just the right time so that I had to use it often, and now I love it!  And I’m getting braver about making up my own recipes for it (or adapting recipes).  This recipe uses both the Instant Pot and then the oven.  If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you could probably cook the beef mix in the oven for about an hour or so.  You might need a bit more liquid too as it will cook off in the oven.

Beef Filling

1 1/2-2 lbs sirloin, cut into small cubes
salt and pepper
3 Tbs olive oil
1 onion chopped fine
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables
1 cup beef broth (or you can use 1/4 cup red wine and 3/4 cup water with 1 tsp beef bouillon)
1 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
3 Tbs flour

Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper.  Put Instant Pot on saute, add olive oil to pot and let it heat.  Cook meat cubes until browned, but they do not have to cook all the way through. I cooked the meat in 2 batches.  Once meat is cooked,turn off Instant Pot and add all remaining ingredients except flour! Place lid on pot and push manual button and set time to 20 minutes.

While this is cooking, make biscuits (recipe below) and place in oven safe custard dishes.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Once time is up, do a quick release of pressure.  Turn pot on to saute to bring it back to a boil.  In a small bowl combine some of the broth with the flour, mix well to combine and pour this flour mixture into the pot with the boiling beef mixture.  Stir until mixture has thickened, turn off Instant pot.

Biscuits (recipe from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook, 1986)

1/2 cup shortening
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk

In food processor (or by hand), mix shortening and dry ingredients until mixture resembles fine crumbs.  Add milk and mix until dough leaves sides of bowl.

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead 10 times.

Divide dough into 8 balls.  Roll each ball out on a lightly floured surface to about 6 inches across (or to fit custard dish with a bit sticking above the edge).  Fill 8 custard dishes with flattened dough and place on cookie sheet.

To assemble pot pie cupcakes

Fill each cup with beef mixture, pull any extra dough (that is sticking above rim of cup) in over beef mixture.
Place filled cups into the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until biscuit is golden brown.
Let cool for 10 minutes and serve.

Luanne Patterson’s Bean Salad

Growing up, this was a staple in our house and at church suppers.  How glad I am that Luanne attended our church.  This salad always make me think of summer, although it can be made any time of year.  I make it in a gallon jar and store it in the fridge.  If anyone is wanting a cool, tangy snack, this is what they grab!  And with the beans, it’s got long-lasting protien energy.

Luanne Patterson’s Bean Salad
1 can chick peas (aka garbanzo beans)
1 can yellow wax beans (yellow string beans)
1 can green beans
1 can kidney beans
1 pkg frozen Lima beans, thawed
1 bell pepper, quartered and thinly sliced
1 onion, quartered and thinly sliced

Dressing:
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbs soy sauce

Drain and rinse all beans. Combine all beans and vegetables and mix well.
In a separate bowl whisk together dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over bean mix and stir well. Place in glass jar and refrigerate at least one hour before serving. Flavor improves over time (but it’s tasty from the start!!)

Betsy’s Casserole

One of my favorite meals when I was growing up.   I have no idea who Betsy actually is.  Perhaps Mom knows.  So I guess this would count as a comfort food.

1 pound ground beef
2 Tbs oil
2 onions
1 glove garlic
1 28oz crushed tomatoes
1 6oz can tomato paste
3/4 – 1 cup water
1/8 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp bay leaf (can sub in 1 whole leaf)
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp tabasco
Salt and pepper to taste
1 12oz pkg uncooked egg noodles

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish and set aside. In large skillet, brown ground beef. Dice onions and mince garlic. Add to ground beef. Add all remaining ingredients except the egg noodles. Bring to a boil. In casserole dish, place uncooked noodles in a layer. Cover noodles with ground beef mixture, making sure all noodles are covered so they’ll cook and not burn. Bake for 45 minutes.

New link

Okay, not totally sure how this all actually works but my blog has a new address.  All this info has been transferred over to the new site which is (somehow) being hosted by my oldest son’s business, TheTechShpere.  So, that address (hopefully easier to remember except DO also remember it’s .org!!  http://www.playinginthekitchen.org   go check it out, its all there!  And you can now share recipes you like on social media!

See you there!!!

I’m baa-a-ack!!

Well, after having a near panic attack at my continued inability to post on this blog (and I’ve got recipe requests piling up!) I FINALLY am able to be back on here posting.  Why?  Because thankfully the world is full of all kinds of people who enjoy all kinds of different things.  My oldest son, Daniel, doesn’t enjoy knitting or gardening or drawing (all things I love) HOWEVER he does love computers, and anything to do with them.  Yeah, he said he could fix it, I scoffed, and yet, here I am and there he is (quite pleased with himself).  I’m back, issue fixed!  So, in the midst of a recipe blog, a quick little shout out to my computer geekoid boy, thank you!!!!