Using instant mashed potatoes, make 3-4 servings according to package directions. Add 4-5 ounces of grated sharp cheddar cheese. If mixture seems to runny, add more instant mashed potatoes. Cool. Form into about 1-1/2 dozen one-inch balls. Set aside and make dough.

2 cups flour
1 beaten egg
1 teaspoon salt
1 juice glass of warm water, 3/4 full (enough to make a soft dough)

Mix all ingredients until soft dough forms. Roll out on a floured surface and cut into 1-1/2 dozen circles with a glass.

(While you rolling the dough out and cutting circles, start boiling water in a medium-size pot.)

Place potato/cheese ball in center of dough circle. Fold edges over and crimp tightly with fingers or fork tines.

Drop 2-3 peroghies into boiling water and boil about 4-5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and either transfer to a large frying pan coated with melted butter and saute


coat with a light film of vegetable oil and drop into a 1-gallon freezer bag and freeze until ready to saute.

This is a good project for two or three people to work on forming an assembly line!

chinese barbequed pork

1 Tablespoon Hoison Sauce
1 Tablespoon Ketchup
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
2 Teaspoons Minced Garlic
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
3/4 Pound Pork Tenderloin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a shallow pan with foil. In a small bowl whisk together sauce ingredients. Put the pork in the pan and coat with the Hoison mixture. Roast for 35-40 minutes or until thermometer registers 160 degrees.

This recipe came from a cooking show on the food network. I have made it several times and everyone really likes it.

(From my sister Nancy.)

avocado-vegetable pitas

A spicy filling of avocados, jalapenos, lemon juice, shredded carrot, and olives can be made-ahead and spooned into pita rounds just before serving.
Source: Better Homes and Gardens

2 medium avocados, halved, seeded, peeled, and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped jalapeno pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 cup finely shredded carrot
1/4 cup chopped pitted ripe olives
1/4 cup chopped red sweet pepper
4 pita rounds or bread slices
Lettuce leaves
Tomato slices

1. Stir together the avocados, jalapeno pepper, lemon juice, garlic salt, carrot, chives, and red sweet pepper in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; chill for up to 2 hours.
2. Fill four pitas or top four slices of sandwich bread with lettuce and tomato and avocado mixture. Makes 4 servings.

From Laura Albert


From Food Network Kitchens

1 pound fresh spinach, stems trimmed and well washed or a 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed
Kosher salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
12 manicotti shells
3 cups marinara sauce, recipe follows
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese (about 1 pound)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (about 4 ounces)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese or a mixture of half Pecorino and Parmesan
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons unsalted butter, diced
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat, and season generously with salt. Fill a medium bowl with ice water and season with salt, as well. Boil the spinach, uncovered, until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, (do not drain), and immediately plunge the spinach into the ice water. Drain and squeeze the excess water from the spinach, and finely chop. Alternatively, if using thawed spinach, simply squeeze, and finely chop.

In the same large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta shells until al dente, tender but still slightly firm. Drain and pat dry.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cover the bottom of a 9- x 13-inch ovenproof baking dish with 1 cup of the marinara sauce. In a medium mixing bowl, evenly combine the ricotta, mozzarella, and 1/3 cup of the Parmesan, the eggs, and the spinach. Season with the 1/2 teaspoon salt, nutmeg, and pepper to taste. Spoon the cheese mixture into the manicotti shell and line them up in the baking dish. Cover with the remaining sauce. Scatter the remaining cheese on top and dot with the butter. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve immediately.


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 medium onion, diced (about 3 tablespoons)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 1/2 cups whole, peeled, canned tomatoes in puree, (one 28-ounce can), roughly chopped
Sprig of fresh thyme
Sprig of fresh basil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and garlic, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the herb sprigs and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

Remove and discard the herb sprigs. Stir in the salt and season with pepper to taste. Use now, or store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Yield: 3 1/2 cups

Copyright 2001 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

Notes: This dish is very very easy- I've also used the filling for lasagna rolls- you just spread the filling over a cooked lasagna noodle then roll it up- put a bunch of them in a pan and cover with the sauce and cheese and cook the same as the manicotti

From Carolyn Sweterlitsch

chicken breasts with balsamic vinegar and garlic

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon butter

1 Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Rinse the mushrooms and pat dry. Season the flour with salt and pepper and dredge the chicken breasts in the flour mixture. Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat and saute the chicken until it is nicely browned on one side (about 3 minutes).
2 Add the garlic. Turn the chicken breasts and scatter the mushrooms over them. Continue frying, shaking the skillet and stirring the mushrooms. Cook for about 3 minutes, then add the vinegar, broth, bay leaf and thyme. Cover tightly and simmer over medium low heat for 10 minutes, turning occasionally.
3 Transfer the chicken to a warm serving platter and cover with foil. Set aside. Continue simmering the sauce, uncovered, over medium high heat for about 7 minutes. Swirl in the butter or margarine and discard the bay leaf. Pour this mushroom sauce mixture over the chicken and serve.

From Cooking Light

Austin’s Chili

1lb ground beef
1 can diced tomatos
1 Green Pepper
1 Onion
1 Big (huge) can of red kidney beans
1 regular can tomato sauce

spices to taste:
Chili powder (a lot)
Hot sauce (Taco Bell 'Fire' – no kidding)
Katsup to taste

Brown the meat, chop up the veggies, throw everything into a pot and cook.

mom’s meat sauce

3/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, mashed
3 tbs. olive oil
2 28 oz. cans chrushed tomatoes with puree
1 cup water
1tbs. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. oregano leaves
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 lb. ground beef

1. In a large pan cook onion and garlic in oil until tender but not brown

2. Add meat to pan and brown

3. Add remaining ingredients and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for one hour

4. Remove bay leaf and serve over pasta

Note: Use 1 lb. ground beef for a meater sauce.

from Rose Sweterlitsch

roast stuffed turkey

This may seem like a lot of extra work and time to prepare a turkey, but it’s worth it. The turkey is very tender and juicy and browns very nicely.

A 12- to 15-pound turkey will accommodate approximately half of the stuffing. Bake the remainder in a casserole dish while the turkey rests before carving.

2 cups table salt
1 turkey (12 to 15 pounds gross weight), rinsed thoroughly; giblets, neck and tailpiece removed and reserved to make gravy
2 medium onions, chopped coarse
1 medium carrot, chopped coarse
4 thyme sprigs
12 cups prepared stuffing
3 tablespoons butter, plus extra to grease casserole disk and foil
1/4 cup turkey or chicken stock or low-sodium canned broth

1. Dissolve salt in 2 gallons of cold water in a large stockpot or clean bucket that will fit in your refrigerator. Add turkey and refrigerate or set in a very cool (40 degrees or less) spot for 4-6 hours.

2. Remove turkey from salt water and rinse skin and both cavities under cool water for several minutes until all traces of salt are gone. Pat dry inside and out with paper towels; set aside. Place turkey on meat rack set over rimmed sheet pan. Place turkey in refrigerator, uncovered, and air-dry for at least 8 hours or overnight.

3. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat to 400 degrees. Scatter onions, carrot, celery, and thyme over shallow roasting pan. Pour 1 cup water over vegetables. Set V-rack in pan.

4. Place half of stuffing in buttered medium casserole dish, dot surface with 1 tablespoon butter, cover with buttered foil, and refrigerate until ready to use. Microwave remaining stuffing on full power, stirring two or three times, until very hot (120-130 degrees), 6-8 minutes. If you can handle the stuffing with your hands, it’s not hot enough. Spoon 4 or 5 cups stuffing into the turkey cavity very loosely. Secure skin flap over cavity opening with turkey lacers or skewers. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Tuck wings behind back, brush entire breast side with butter, and then place turkey breast side down. Fill neck cavity with remaining heated stuffing and secure skin flap over opening. Place on V-rack and brush back with remaining butter.

5. Roast 1 hour, then reduce temperature to 250 degrees and roast two more hours, adding additional water if pan becomes dry. Remove pan from oven (close oven door) and with wad of paper towels in each hand, turn bird breast side up and baste (temperature of breast should be 145-150 degrees). Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees; continue roasting until breast registers about 165 degrees, thigh registers 170-175 degrees and stuffing registers 165 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 1 to 1-1/2 hours longer. Remove turkey from oven and let rest until ready to carve.

6. Add 1/4-cup stock to dish of reserved stuffing, replace foil, and bake until hot throughout, about 20 minutes. Remove foil; continue to bake until stuffing forms golden brown crust, about 15 minutes longer.

7. Carve turkey; serve with stuffing and gravy.

America’s Test Kitchens.

roast lamb

1 leg of lamb, about 3-1/2 to 4 pounds
1 fat clove of garlic, or two small cloves
1/3 cup softened butter
1 teaspoon crushed rosemary
Juice of 1 lemon

1-1/2 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Check weight of roast and calculate roasting time, allowing 23 minutes per pound for very pink, 27 minutes per pound for rose and 31 minutes per pound for well done. Wipe meat clean with a damp paper towel.

Peel garlic and cut lengthwise into about 20 slivers. Using a small sharp knife, make slits in the lamb and insert the garlic. In a small bowl beat butter and rosemary with a wooden spoon. Gradually add lemon juice and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Spread this butter evenly over meat. Lay lamb on rack over roasting pan (or directly in the pan if the meat will support itself) fat sides up. Roast lamb, basting occasionally (not frequently).

When roast is cooked to your liking, transfer it to a hot serving platter and leave it to set for 15-20 minutes before carving. Meanwhile, skim most of the fat from the roasting pan. Place pan directly over heat, add stock and bring to a boil stirring and scraping bottom and slides of pan vigorously with a wooden spoon to dislodge the crusty morsels.

Mash butter and flour into a smooth paste. Add to the pan in tiny pieces, stirring until they have dissolved in the gravy. Season, then bring to a boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes until gravy is thick. Strain. Pour into a heated gravy boat and serve with the lamb. This is good with couscous.

From Robert Carrier, Cooking for You.

ravioli with a twist

1 recipe ravioli filling (recipes follow)
12-ounce package wonton wrappers
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons melted butter or warm extra virgin olive oil
Grated Parmesan cheese and ground black pepper for topping

With a large wire rack and a small bowl of water close by, lay 6 wonton wrappers on a clean, dry countertop. Drop 1 tablespoon filling onto each wonton wrapper. Moisten the perimeter of each wonton wrapper with your index finger that has been dipped in the water bowl. Working one at a time, top each wrapper with another wrapper, pressing out as much air as possible to seal completely but leaving the mound of filling in the center. Transfer to wire rack; repeat filling and sealing process with remaining wonton wrappers and filling. They can be covered loosely with plastic wrap and left at room temperature for up to 1 hour or refrigerated for up to 4 hours.

Bring at least 2 quarts of water to a simmer in a large, deep skillet. When water starts to simmer, add salt and oil.

Drop 8 ravioli into the simmering water. Cook until the wrappers over the fillings start to wrinkle and ravioli turn from opaque to translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. With a large slotted spoon, transfer the cooked ravioli to shallow warm soup plates. You may add a little of the cooking liquid to keep the ravioli warm and to serve as a basis for your sauce. Repeat cooking with remaining ravioli. Drizzle with a portion of butter or oil, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and pepper, and serve immediately.

Herbed Ricotta Filling
Makes enough for 24 ravioli. This filling can be made very quickly and is perfect for weeknight ravioli.

1-1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoons minced fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves (or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 large egg
Salt and pepper to taste.

Mix all ingredients together. Use as a filling with the preceding ravioli recipe. Per ravioli based on 24: 31 calories; 2 grams protein; 1 gram carbohydrates; 2 grams fat; 16 mg cholesterol; 1 gm saturated fat; 43 mg sodium; trace dietary fiber.

Spinach-Ricotta Filling
Makes enough for 24 ravioli.

2 cloves garlic
10-ounce package frozen whole leaf spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 large egg

In a food processor, mince the garlic cloves. Add spinach and pulse until finely chopped. Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat until simmering. Add the spinach mixture, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste and sauté until any excess liquid evaporates, 1-2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and stir in the ricotta and Parmesan cheeses. Taste, add salt and pepper, if needed. Stir in the egg. Proceed with the quick ravioli recipe above.

Quick Tomato Sauce
(Makes 2 cups)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil and garlic in sauté pan. When garlic starts to sizzle, add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered, until sauce thickens. Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed. Serve over ravioli.

From The Washington Post, May 12, 1999