American Spaghetti Pie

If you can make spaghetti, you can make spaghetti pie.  It’s a really neat dish and one that the whole family will enjoy–a mixture of spaghetti and cheese and Italian sausage, similar to lasagna.  It’s firm enough that you can cut it into slices and serve it like a cake. Making Spaghetti Pie in a Springform Pan We made ours in a 9-inch springform pan, a Candy Apple Red Springform Pan but you can use a large, 3 1/2 to 4 quart, baking pan if your prefer. About Springform Pans Springform pans are essential for cheesecakes but we use springform …

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Spaghetti Aglio E Olio

This is a simple spaghetti dish made with garlic, oil, and broccoli added.  This is a great white spaghetti recipe, one of our favorites. Ingredients 1 pound spaghetti 1/2 onion 2 small broccoli crowns cut into pieces 1 cup olive oil, divided 2 cloves garlic, minced salt and pepper 1/3 cup grated Romano cheese 1/4 cup gated parmesan cheese Directions Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water with the one-half onion until the spaghetti is nearly tender (al dente). In another pan, steam the broccoli until it is nearly tender. In a frying pan, heat 1/4 cup of the olive …

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A Lunch for a Mountain Hike

(Includes how to make a sandwich wrap) Last weekend Merri Ann and I went hiking with our 9-year old granddaughter, Anna. It was delightful. Anna and Merri Ann took pictures of flowers and landscapes. We explored seldom used trails and climbed a rocky outcropping to overlook the canyon. We think we’d like togo again this Saturday. Super! We’ll pack a lunch and throw in some marshmallows for roasting. We’ll keep the perishables cool in insulted lunch bags packed with ice packs. This is what I’m thinking for a menu: Crackers and cheese. I’ll choose a wax enclosed Gouda. The wax …

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How to Use the New Sea Salts in Your Cooking

One of the hottest trends in food right now is the new sea salts. Salts bring flavors alive.  The new salts are purer but have trace minerals that our bodies need. Mostly, they make foods taste better from sweet to savory. Salts are great carriers for other flavors. For years we used seasoned salts like garlic and celery salt. But it’s a whole new world of cooking with smoked salt and salts with intense flavors like chipotle and maple. Sea salts may be used in cooking, baking, and grilling. Categories of Sea Salts You can categorize sea salts into four …

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Mason Jar Salads

New Twists on a Familiar Theme -Alice Osborne The familiar theme? Salads served up in a salad bowl. The new twist? Layered, sog-free salad in a canning jar! This isn’t just a cute idea—it’s actually a very practical and a healthy, on-the-go lunch option, and you can use the same jar every day until the end of time (or until it gets dropped and breaks). So if you or a member of your family pack a lunch, you’ll love this new twist! Necessity was the mother of my invention. I learned the hard way that pre-dressed greens quickly turn soggy. …

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How to Pack for the First Road Trip of the Spring

Image by VisitIdaho.org Last weekend we took our first trip into the mountains of the spring.  It wasn’t long, a three hour loop up to Mesa Falls, through Island Park, and back.  The weather was gorgeous, the snow nearly gone, the hills green with new spring, and hardly anyone on the road. The overlook from where this picture of Mesa Falls was taken only had two or three cars in the parking lot. Without the crowds it was easy to strike up a conversation, one with a young couple from Rexburg with a cute little baby girl and another with …

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How to Make Homemade Noodles

Easy Homemade Egg Noodles Recipe “I really love these noodles.”–Katie Ingredients 2 cups all purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon vegetable oil 1/3 cup water Directions 1. In a medium bowl, mix the flour and salt together. 2. In a small bowl or large cup, whisk the eggs, oil, and water together. Form a depression in the flour mixture and add the egg mixture. Mix well. 3. Turn the dough out onto a floured counter top. Knead for eight to ten minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. 4. Divide the dough in half …

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A Margarita Flatbread and a Chocolate Turtle Cake

We lived in Stillwater, a bedroom community east of Saint Paul, Minnesota. We have a son and his family there and we go back often. I love St. Paul.  It’s a very ethnic town, much more so than across the river in Minneapolis. There is a Hmong neighborhood here, a German there, and an Italian over there. I went to school at The University of Minnesota.  Not far away was a row of ethnic restaurants where you could sample Somalian food or Caribbean. Now when we visit, we hop from bakery to bakery and then look for an interesting place to …

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How To Make Breakfast Calzones

We love to feed people in our store!  We love food and we love people. A while back we served breakfast calzones in the store.  We bought five dozen eggs, ten pounds of sausage, and about twelve pounds of bacon and started making calzones early in the morning.  We would reheat them when the customers started in. I headed home and left Aly to baking.  Two hours later, she texted and said, “I’m just about out of eggs.” Five dozen eggs!  How can you make that many calzones that quickly?  I went and bought another six dozen eggs. How do …

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Psychology of Choice

Do your sales go up or down when you offer more products? Amazon thinks they go up.  In their internal studies, they found a 70% correlation between the number of products offered and sales.   If you extend your product lines by 10%, expect sales to climb 7%. But there are researchers that disagree finding that sales can go down, not up, as a customer is offered more products.  That premise is a darling sales psychology right now. So what’s retailer to do? We’ve bought into the Amazon premise and have added new products at every opportunity. Then we read of …

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How to Make Fresh Veggie Flatbread Pizzas

Veggie Flatbreads from http://PreparedPantry.com

Discovering the Foods of the Twin Cities: Margherita Flatbread I’m writing this from Minnesota. It’s a beautiful day, not too hot, plenty of sun, and a mere rustle of a breeze. I love St. Paul.  It’s a very ethnic town, much more so than across the river in Minneapolis. There is a Hmong neighborhood here, a German there, and an Italian over there. I went to school at The University of Minnesota.  Not far away was a row of ethnic restaurants where you could sample Somalian food or Caribbean. Now when we visit, we hop from bakery to bakery and then …

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Chicken Spaghetti Bolognese

This is a meat lover’s spaghetti dish.  Chicken breast cutlets are placed on beds of spaghetti and then topped with the meat-rich Bolognese sauce.  The Bolognese sauce is made with bacon, sausage, and cheese.  Though rich, it makes a very good dish. Ingredients 2 boneless chicken breasts 1 pound spaghetti 6 slices of bacon 1 small onion, minced 1 carrot, minced 1 stalk of celery, minced 1 pound mild Italian ground sausage 1/2 cup red cooking wine 8 medium Roma tomatoes 1 cup beef broth or 2 boullion cubes and 1 cup hot water 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese Directions …

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Chicken Primavera with Summer Squash

This is a simple pasta dish made with summer squash, basil, and mushrooms.  The sauce is made easy with a can of chicken soup—though no one would ever guess that that is the secret ingredient. We took this dish to a block party.  It was a cool day and we had no way to keep it warm.  But that didn’t matter.  Folks kept coming up and asking for our pasta salad recipe. Ingredients 1 pound uncooked spaghetti 1 small onion, diced 1 cup sliced mushrooms 1 can (10-3/4 ounce size) cream of chicken soup, undiluted 3/4 cup milk 1 tablespoon …

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Oriental Chicken Pasta Salad

This is our favorite pasta salad. With chicken and vermicelli, it is substantial enough for a main dish and has a very nice mixture of subtle flavors with a little kick from the ginger. We’re not sure of the origin of this recipe. It’s definitely oriental and reminds us of Thai cooking—though it really should be made with authentic Thai noodles. We think you will enjoy this recipe. Ingredients 8 to 10 ounces of uncooked vermicelli 1/3 cup mayonnaise 1/3 cup plain yogurt 1 tablespoon sugar 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground ginger 2 chicken breasts, grilled or …

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Make a Mandarin Orange Chinese Chicken Salad

Gourmet Asian Sauces Salad Dressing Genie Enjoy this great Chinese salad. You will need our Mandarin Orange Sauce or another Asian sauce from your grocery store. Chinese Noodles can usually be found in the Oriental food section of your store. You may want to make the dressing beforehand so that it’s well-chilled. Ingredients 1 lb boneless and skinless chicken breasts cut into strips 2/3 cup Elki Mandarin Orange Sauce or other Asian sauce of your choice about 1/2 pound leaf lettuce of your choosing 2 fresh mandarin oranges, peeled and sectioned 3/4 cup chow mein noodles 1/3 cup slivered almonds …

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Garlic Chicken Stir Fry

We love stir fries.  They are quick, tasty, and healthy.  This one is flavored with a combination of roast garlic and fresh ginger. Ingredients 3 cloves roasted garlic 1-inch piece ginger 5 green onions 1/2 small head Napa cabbage 2 large, boneless chicken breasts 1/2 of an 8-ounce package of sliced mushrooms 1/8 teaspoon coarse black pepper 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 to 3 tablespoons of soy sauce 1/4 cup roasted peanuts steamed rice or cooked spaghetti Directions To stage the ingredients:  Squeeze the garlic from cloves into a small bowl and mash into a paste with the flat of a …

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Turkey Soup

If you have leftover chicken or turkey this is a very quick and easy way to enjoy chicken soup. If you don’t have leftover chicken, sauté a breast and you’re in business almost as quickly. Ingredients 1 large onion, chopped 2 stalks celery, sliced 2 tablespoons flour 4 cups water 1 cup pasta 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 1/2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules 1 teaspoon thyme leaves (not ground) 1/2 teaspoon crushed sage 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables 2 cups cubed cooked chicken or turkey meat (about two medium boneless chicken breasts) Directions 1. Sautee the onion and celery …

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Hungarian Paprika Chicken

We absolutely love Sweet Hungarian Paprika so this recipe was an easy choice for dinner.  It makes a fabulous chicken dish. Hungarian paprika chicken is a classic dish usually made with a sour cream sauce and served with pasta.  We matched it up with black orzo and it made a terrific accompaniment. 4 large chicken breasts salt and pepper 2 tablespoon butter 1 large sweet onion, diced 1 red bell pepper, diced 1 green bell pepper, diced 1/2 cup Tuscan Sun Dried Tomato Pieces or other sun dried tomatoes 2 tablespoons Sweet Hungarian Paprika 1 teaspoon alt 1/4 teaspoon pepper …

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Lemon Chicken with Lemon Garlic Orzo Soup

This is a very good soup.  It will remind you of a chicken and rice soup but with bright orzo and a distinct lemon flavor.  If you would like a less intense lemon flavor, add only half of the lemon that we used. Ingredients 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed 1/4 cup flour 3 tablespoons butter 2 14.5 ounce cans of chicken broth 1/3 cup lemon juice zest from one lemon 1/2 cup lemon garlic orzo pasta 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon onion powder salt and pepper Directions In a large pan, fry the chicken in olive oil …

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Make your Own Pizza or Pasta Sauce

  Again homemade is better. This takes a little time but it’s worth it. This sauce works on pizza or pasta and with a little change in seasonings and by omitting the olive oil, you can make a salsa from this recipe. Tomato Sauce for Pizza or Pasta 2 to 3 cups peeled and seeded Roma tomatoes 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar 1 large garlic clove, crushed 1 teaspoon crushed, dried oregano or a tablespoon of fresh 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves or two teaspoons fresh 2 tablespoons olive …

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