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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Baked Reuben Hot Dish

 Author Jeanne Cooney is always scouting out fresh story ideas and recipes for her books. Her next book has a spring publication date. There were at least a dozen casseroles donated for the recent lunch. One recipe caught her attention,Baked  Reuben HotDish submitted by a NAC member. Cooney plans to incorporate this recipe in her upcoming new book.  

Cook's Notes: A creative way to reimagine one of your favorite sandwiches. 
  • 6 slices pumpernickel rye bread, divided
  • 1 pound corned beef, thinly sliced
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can sauerkraut, drained but not pressed too dry
  • 4 cups shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup dill pickles, chopped
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup Thousand Island dressing
  • ¼ cup mustard
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9 x 11-inch baking dish with butter.
  • Take 4 pieces of bread and cut or tear them into cubes. Place remaining bread in food processor and pulse until fine breadcrumbs. Set aside.
  • Spread cubed bread out along the bottom of the baking dish. Tear ½ of the corned beef into pieces and layer over bread. Layer sauerkraut, pickles, 1 teaspoon caraway seeds and 2 cups cheese over beef.
  • Cover with remaining beef, caraway seeds, and cheese.
  • Whisk together milk, salad dressing, and mustard; beat in eggs until combined. Pour evenly over the casserole, then top with breadcrumbs.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until mixture is bubbly and center is set.
Starting tomorrow (official fall start) please send me one of your favorite fall snapshots to my email box. I will include date and photo location on my blog posting. Your photo does not need to be a Minnesota location. In fact, how fun to see fall unfolding in many places other than Minnesota. I will only include your name if I have prior permission.

Up North Minnesota September 2017


Sunday, September 19, 2021

Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup


Each time I make chicken soup it makes me think of Maurice Sendak's little book "Chicken Soup with Rice". The tiny volume series was first published in 1962. The book has 12 rhymes and illustrations for 12 months of the year all with chicken soup as the universal theme. The rhythmic verses and repetition make the book perfect for ages 4-6. Each page ends...Happy once, happy twice, happy chicken soup with rice.
Taste of Home's magazine Heartwarming Soups was my inspiration for Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup this weekend. Several adaptations were made to the original recipe in the magazine publication. I used noodles instead of rice.
I've been saving this mug as a get-well gift for someone and decided why not and used it as a moment of good cheer for myself. 
A rotisserie chicken is a real-time saver as well as dicing the veggies the day before.  
Today begins my husband's formal training as a sous chef since I am looking at a recovery of 6 weeks dragging around a leg in a brace and being on a variety of meds, He's already aced the grocery shopping run and has had some previous sous chef experience which has included planning and directing food preparation, menu planning, inventory and managing supplies. I picked an easy recipe and one that would last the week. 
Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup
Cooking tips: Use a rotisserie chicken as a time saver and add in egg noodles the last 10 minutes of cooking time.
  • 3 cups cooked chicken, shredded
  • 2-1/2 cups wide egg noodles (crush dry noodles)
  • 1-1/2 cups each diced carrots, celery, onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter 
  • 2 cartons each 32. 0z low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup each water and apple cider
  • 1/2 teaspoon each dried thyme and rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 bay leaves
  • In a soup pot saute in olive oil celery, carrots, onions, and minced garlic for 8 minutes on medium-low heat, covered.
  • Add in chicken broth, water, cider, spices, and chicken.
  • Simmer for an hour on medium-low not covered. Add in wide egg noodles the last  10 minutes of cooking time. 
  • And don't forget to remove the bay leaves right before serving.

    Friday, September 17, 2021

    Hot Dish Heaven Part Two Luncheon


    Meet the Author, Jeanne Cooney Hot Dish Heaven Cozy Mystery Series

    Jeanne Cooney, the author of the Hot Dish Cozy Mystery Series, was a featured speaker recently at the Hub in collaboration with Northwoods Arts Council in Hackensack. Jeanne entertained the audience with her Scandanavian humor and up north folksy style.

    She had on hand her three books from the series and cookbooks to sell.
    Hotdishes and bars were donated and enjoyed by all. The placemats that defined Minnes
    ota by hotdish regions were a hit.

    At the end of the luncheon, Sue Larson president of Hackensack Lions, presented Northwoods Arts Council with a check for $1,888.00 proceeds from the July pancake breakfast.
    What an exciting day for all.

    Wednesday, September 15, 2021

    Hot Dish Heaven Cozy Mystery Series Wrap Up Part One

     A sneak peek at one of the casserole dishes planned for tomorrow's luncheon.
     Hope to see you there. 

    Spinach Ravioli with Cheese, M&M Bars and a Roll 


    • 1 package frozen ravioli. thawed (19 oz.) 
    • 1/2 package fresh spinach, stems removed 
    • 1 large jar of marinara sauce
    • 2 cans each 14.5 oz diced tomatoes crushed basil and garlic
    • 1 tablespoon of parsley flakes 
    • 1/2 teaspoon sugar 


    • For maximum flavor make the sauce the day before. Cook on low for several hours marinara sauce, diced tomatoes, parsley flakes, sugar, and spinach, 
    • In a separate pan bring water to boil and cook ravioli according to the manufacturer's directions.  Drain and add ravioli to the sauce. 
    Serve with a bar and a roll. 

    Monday, September 13, 2021

    Mexican Casserole

    Mexican Casserole is packed with bold, cheesy taco flavor and plenty of melty cheese, but that's not even the best part. Not only is it simple to make and it's also ready to put on the table in 30 minutes. The ultimate comfort food-prepare to have no leftovers. Recipe adapted from Pillsbury and serves 6.
    Thanks to Cathy for the recipe and for making it.  What a treat!

    • 1 lb ground beef, cooked, drained
    • 1/2 onion, chopped
    • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
    • 1 package (1 oz) taco seasoning mix
    • 1 can (11 oz.) whole kernel corn with red and green peppers
    • 1/2 can black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 small can chopped green chilies, drained
    • 1- 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar-Jack cheese blend (6 oz) of Pepper Jack cheese,divided
    • 1 can (8 oz) refrigerated Pillsbury™ Original Crescent Rolls (8 Count) or 1 can (8 oz) refrigerated Pillsbury™ Original Crescent Dough Sheet
    • In 10-inch skillet, brown ground beef with onions and red pepper. Add taco seasoning mix, beans, chilies, and corn. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Spoon into an ungreased 12x8-inch (2-quart) baking dish; sprinkle with 1 cup of cheese.
    • Separate or cut dough into 2 long rectangles (if using crescent rolls, cut to fit but it’s not necessary to seal pieces). Place on top of the meat mixture.
    • Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.
    • When the crescent roll top is done, sprinkle with remaining cheese and return to the oven for a few minutes to melt.
    Serve with salsa, chips, guacamole, and/or sour cream. Enjoy.
    Frozen Margarita Pie
    Cook's notes: This refreshing pie is tart and tangy with all the great flavors of a margarita drink. It's the perfect finish for a Mexican casserole. The savory crunchy pretzel crust is a nice contrast to the margarita-flavored creamy filling. Garnish the pie with toasted coconut or lime slice twists. It's the perfect dessert for an outdoor barbecue or midday break out on the deck or porch.
    A graham cracker crust can be substituted for a pretzel crust.
    Ingredients Filling:
    • 1 quart of vanilla ice cream, softened
    • 1/3 cup frozen limeade concentrate, thawed (no water)
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    • 2 tablespoons triple sec or orange liqueur
    • 2 tablespoons tequila
    • 2 drops green food coloring 
    Ingredients Pretzel Crust:
    • 4 tablespoons melted butter
    • 1/4 cup white sugar
    • 2 cups crushed pretzels
    • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    • Use a food processor to crush pretzels, add in sugar and butter, mix well.
    • Press pretzel mixture into a pie pan and bake for 5 minutes, set aside to cool. To harden crust place in a freezer for 10 minutes just before adding ice cream filling.
    • In a large bowl add softened ice cream, liqueurs, limeade concentrate, lime juice, and a drop of green food coloring.
    • Mix well and spread evenly in prepared cooled crust.
    • Cover pie with foil and store in the freezer at least 4 hours before serving.
    Another similar recipe Mexican Taco Casserole

    Sunday, September 12, 2021

    Cheesy Potato Bake with Scrambled Eggs



    COOK'S NOTES: The ultimate comfort brunch food for a crowd. Love your cheesy potatoes? Love your scrambled eggs?  Toss in some chopped broccoli, onions, tomatoes, and spices for added flavor and you've got a winning combination from BHG Brunch and Breakfast Publication. Skip the bacon and it's a vegetarian dish. 

    • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 5 teaspoons all-purpose flour
    • 1 ½ cups milk
    • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese or Mexican 4 Cheese, shredded (2 cups)
    • 5 cups shredded hash browns, thawed on a baking sheet and patted dry 
    • 2 cups chopped fresh broccoli
    • 8 large eggs
    • 1/3 cup half and half
    • 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
    • 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
    • 1-2 large tomatoes diced and drained on a paper towel
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Optional dash hot sauce
    • Optional 6 bacon slices, crisp-cooked, drained and crumbled
    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large frypan cook onion in butter over medium heat for 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper. Stir in milk; whisk cook and until slightly thickened and bubbly. Stir in cheese until melted. Add in hash browns and chopped broccoli to the cheese mixture.
    • In a 2-3 quart baking dish, grease and add in cheesy potato mixture. Cover lightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover stir and heat 10 minutes more uncovered.
    • Remove from oven and recover with foil.
    • In a blender place eggs, parsley, dry mustard, and salt and pepper.
    • Mix well and return to the same skillet cheesy potato mixture was in. No need to wipe the pan clean, scramble eggs to your personal preference. Add in hot sauce if using. Place scrambled egg mixture over cheesy potato mixture. More chopped tomatoes can be added at this time. Serve immediately, top with bacon if using. 
      except when you have to have knee surgery. Unfortunately, Ever Ready may have to put a pause on some activities that include leaf jumping. On Wednesday my tendon detached from my kneecap and I have surgery scheduled for Monday. My biggest frustration is the 5 lb. leg brace that I am wearing now and will wear for 6 weeks! This certainly will slow me down. Keep me in your thoughts as not sure what to expect down the road.    

    Friday, September 10, 2021

    Apple Walnut Cake with Caramel Sauce

    The fall season offers a wide variety of apples to choose from. For me, Honeycrisp has met its match with a variety called SweeTango. This apple has a satisfying crunch and a juicy blast of sweet-tart flavor. It's quite delicious!
    There're so many varieties of apples available in stores and at farmers' markets these days, that it can be challenging to choose apples for baking. In the past, a baker might have reached for sweet-tart Granny Smith apples without a second thought, but there are many different kinds of apples that will work just as well, if not better, in baking pies, crisp, and other apple desserts.

    Texture and taste are the two most important qualities to consider in a baking apple, and the apple that you like best for everyday snacking might not hold up when put into a pie. Apples need to retain their shape and not turn into applesauce during baking. The best apples will be able to offer a little bit of resistance (keep a little hint of crunch) even after a long time in the oven. Baking apples should also not be too sweet, since most pie recipes call for a fair amount of sugar. The sugar serves as a flavoring and helps thicken the juices of the apples as they cook, and cutting it down to compensate for super-sweet apples can sometimes change the outcome of the final pie.

    Granny Smiths are always a decent choice for pie, as they are easy to find, will hold up during baking, and can take a lot of extra flavor from sugar and spices. Jonathan, Jonagold and Pippin apples are other excellent sweet-tart choices. Gravenstein, Braeburn, Fuji, and Pink Lady Apples are all crisp and sturdy, as well. Red Delicious and Golden Delicious, despite their promising names, are not good choices for baking, and neither are Gala and Cortland since they tend to become mealy in pie fillings.
    Apple Walnut Cake 
    Cook's Notes: 
    Choose a tart apple for baking this apple walnut cake. When served with a drizzle of warm caramel sauce or whipped cream it's one serious bliss!

    • 2 cups flour
    • 3/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons Saigon cinnamon or 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon each allspice and nutmeg
    • Dash of ground cloves
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces 
    • 2 large tart apples (about 2-1/2 cups) peeled and chopped
    • 1 cup chopped walnuts
    • 2 large eggs beaten
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    • Prepared jar of caramel sauce with sea salt
    Cake Directions:
    • Grease a 9-inch square pan with cooking spray. Preheat oven at 350 degrees.  
    • In a large bowl mix flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, spices, and baking soda.
    • With a pastry cutter cut in butter or pulse butter into the flour mixture a few times using a food processor.
    • Stir in beaten eggs, vanilla, and chopped apples. Mix well. The batter will dry but press into the pan (it will be thick). Use a sheet of wax paper to press the batter down to spread out evenly in the pan.
    • Bake for 28 minutes or until apples are cooked. 
    • Optional: Drizzle with warm caramel sauce.
    P.S. A glass of cold milk really hits the spot with this cake!

    Apple Cake presentation with  Caramel Sauce

    Baked Reuben Hot Dish

     Author Jeanne Cooney is always scouting out fresh story ideas and recipes for her books. Her next book has a spring publication date. There...