We use wild mushrooms - grays or stump.



Kielbasa soupy stew

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French Market Bean Soup

Simmer  -

32 - 48 oz can chicken broth
Fill the broth can with water twice
Large piece of smoked ham or smoked ham hock

Cook above covered for 1 hour, remove ham, skim off fat from broth
Cut ham into small pieces and return to kettle

Add -
4 stalks of celery chopped fine
1 large onion chopped fine (or more)
3 cloves of crushed garlic
1  14 oz can diced tomatoes in juice
1  28 oz. can crushed tomatoes (add 1/2 tsp basil and 1/2 tsp oregano)

Add dried beans -
1/4 cup each -
yellow split peas, green split peas, barley
1/3 cup each -
baby lima, great northern, pinto, black eyed peas, cranberry beans, black beans

Rinse beans with cold water until water runs clear and check for small pebbles
When all is added to stock, cover and simmer for almost 3 hours.  We change to half cover for the last hour.  Lima beans seem to take longer to cook so we add them to the broth and cook 15 minutes before adding the other ingredients.  You can change amounts and substitute your favorite beans.  Start checking for doneness after 2 1/2 hours to your preference.  Freezes well.


Chocolate Zucchini bundt cake

Extra moist intense chocolate! Don't leave out the cinnamon!  You really don't taste it but it gives the cake an irresistible flavor.

1 Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix
    or another brand of double/dark chocolate
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups coffee
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup (no more) shredded zucchini
1/4 - 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/4 cups nuts - optional

Preheat oven to 350.
Combine cake mix and cinnamon, add eggs, coffee, and oil until blended, then beat for 2 minutes at medium speed.
You can shred the zucchini and let it sit for a while to release moisture, or squeeze to remove excess water after measuring.
Fold in and evenly distribute zucchini and chocolate chips (and nuts if adding). 
Pour into greased/floured or sprayed bundt pan or tube pan.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until cake springs back and has pulled away from pan sides.
I've never tried this recipe in a 9x13 or other cake pan and don't know if it would bake the same.


Strawberry punch

2 Pkg. frozen strawberries with juice
1  3 oz. strawberry jello
1 Cup boiling water
1  6 oz. frozen lemonade
3 Cups cold water
1 quart cranberry juice
1 quart ginger ale
10 orange juice ice cubes

Partially thaw berries and then puree in blender. 
Dissolve jello in boiling water, stir in lemonade.
Add cold water, cranberry juice, and strawberries.
Pour over orange juice ice cubes in punch bowl.
Add ginger ale and stir right before serving.
Serves 30

Orange Julius

6 oz. can frozen orange juice
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
10 or 12 ice cubes

Combine in a blender, half at a time, until smooth. 
Serve immediately.
Makes 6 cups



Cranberry pork roast

Lean cut of pork loin in any size.  Roast pork at 325 for 45 minutes to 1 hour, drain excess liquid.   
Mix together and heat in a saucepan for 15 minutes
1 can of Ocean Spray whole berry cranberry sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
Pour it over the roast and continue cooking, very loosely covered, for another hour or longer if a large roast.  If using tenderloins that cook quickly, shorten cooking time and add berries at start.
If you want to use a crock pot, make sure it's a lean piece of meat and add everything at the start, or drain liquid after a few hours and then add hot berry mix.  Meat can be sliced (whether oven or crock) and added back to the juices to saturate each slice for the last half hour for more flavor but not necessary.
Sauce can be spooned over rice, or thickened over mashed potatoes.


Zucchini Casserole

Shred a large zucchini (about 4 cups), salt, and put in colander.
You will be using 3 cups drained  for the recipe.

In a large bowl mix the following -

4 beaten eggs
1 cup Bisquick (light is fine)
3/4 to 1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup (I use 1/4) vegetable oil
1 tsp. Oregano

After a half hour, squeeze the liquid from the shredded zucchini and measure 3 cups, add to bowl and stir to blend. Pour into a sprayed 9 x 13 glass dish and bake at 350 for about 40 minutes. It can be cut into squares or sticks and is also good cold. I'm not a fan of Oregano but it is fabulous with these ingredients and makes this dish.
**This recipe can be adapted by changing the cheese or adding a meat. I added shredded cheddar and a cup of diced ham.  Crumbled sausage is another good add.  Parsley can be substituted for oregano.



Cook 8 oz extra wide noodles, drain, and put into sprayed 13 x 9 casserole. The left side is my less fat version and the right is the original.
Blend -

My lighter version                                      Original version

4 large eggs                                                  6 eggs
1/2 cup sugar (more!)                                  1/2 cup sugar
4 Tbsp sour cream                                       4 Tbsp sour cream
24 oz. cottage cheese                                  24 oz. cottage cheese
4 oz. cream cheese                                       8 oz. cream cheese

Pour over noodles and stir to blend. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 35 - 45 minutes at 350.

Topping -  (I usually leave off but it is really good)
4 Tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs


Calico Beans

A great one dish meal or pot luck

Brown 1 - 1 1/2# Italian sausage of your choice (sweet or hot)
Cut into small pieces.

In a large heavy casserole bowl or bean pot, mix together
1 cup ketchup (I add another big squirt)
3 tsp. yellow mustard
2/3 cup honey
4 tsp. vinegar
2/3 cup finely chopped onion

Add to that
1  28oz can Pork & Beans ( or 2  1# cans)
1  15 oz. Black beans-drained and rinsed
1  15 oz. Garbanzo beans  (chick peas) - drained
1  15 oz. Bush's chili beans (mild or hot)
1  15 oz. Lima beans - drained

Toss in the sausage and stir to combine.  Cover and bake at 375 for an hour covered.  If using a glass or lightweight dish, 350.  Stir once during baking time.  If you leave it in the oven for longer than an hour, reduce the heat after the hour to 300. 
Kidney, Great Northern, or Navy beans can be substituted for the Black or Lima beans.


Corned beef & peaches

Now that doesn't even sound good.  But OMG it is.  Especially if you like peaches.   You won't be sorry!

You can cook your corned beef any way you wish, crock pot, simmering on the stove, or slowly in the oven, but always covered with water until tender.  When it's cooled and sliced thinly, top with a can of drained peaches (save the juice) in heavy syrup, NOT the natural juice.  Size of the can depends on how many peaches you want, but the standard 15 oz size is fine for two to four servings.  Unless you're a piglet like me. 

Blend well and pour over the sliced brisket -
1/3 cup of the peach syrup from a can of peach halves or slices in heavy syrup
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp vinegar
2 tsp yellow mustard
1/3 cup ketchup

Pop in the oven for at least 30 minutes at 350, or longer at a lower temperature.  Serve with white rice, topped with the sweet & sour peach sauce.  The brisket can be made a day or two before, and it is sometimes even better reheated.

A better green bean casserole

This is such a wonderful rich casserole and if I could find the picture of it, you could see how good looking it is.   
Blend in  medium casserole dish -
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1  4 oz can mushroom pieces, drained/squeezed
1  4 oz jar diced pimentos, drained well
Stir in until blended -
2  15 oz. cans French style green beans drained/squeezed
Top with
3/4 cup bread crumbs (seasoned or not)
mixed with 3 Tbsp melted butter
Bake at 350 for 40 - 45 minutes
Can be made ahead and kept in fridge until ready to bake.
Serves 6 , can be doubled.

Sweet potato pie casserole

This is so good.  I could eat the whole thing myself.
Use a 9" pie dish or an 8"x8" glass casserole.

Mix the following well, and put in the pie dish.
1  29 oz can sweet potatoes, drained of liquid and mashed well
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted margarine or butter (I use less)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 egg
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 stick melted margarine or butter (I use 3/4)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Mix the topping ingredients well - I use my hands.
Spread over top of pie - try not to taste because if you're like me, there won't be enough left for the pie.
Bake for 30 minutes at 325-350.
Can also be made beforehand, kept in fridge for a day or two, and reheats well.  Bake a little longer if put in oven cold.


Rootin' Tootin' Bean Salad

This is one of the best bean salads!  Make it the day before and toss it a few times to marinate.
Chop -
You can increase these to your taste-
I usually use more than 1 cup

1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup diced red bell pepper - must be red - no green

Rinse in colander and drain well -
1 can black beans
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can navy beans
1 can black eyed peas
1 can lima beans

To make sure the dressing doesn't watered down, I usually lay the ingredients on a large cotton or linen towel to dry a bit, then fold the towel and drop them all in the bowl.

Dressing -
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup red wine vinegar (I use all red wine instead of cider)
1/3  - 1/2 cup sugar  (I use 1/2 cup)
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup canola oil

Blend above with a stick blender or whisk until oil is incorporated, and pour over beans/veggies.  Toss gently, cover, refrigerate.  Toss or stir several times during marinating.  Best after at least 12 hours so make the night before.


cwikla! Polish beet relish

This is so simple to make but what a mess!  Originally, we made mom's old recipe from canned (not pickled) beets and added vinegar and the rest to grated beets.   I bought the wrong beets one year and ended up never going back.  You'll need

1 jar 12 -15 oz. Pickled whole beets
Bottled grated horseradish in the cold dairy section

You should wear a latex glove to prevent staining but it's not important.  Drain the beets, (save the liquid and throw in a few shelled hard boiled eggs for a few days), shred them into a bowl with a small holed shredder.
The box grater holes are a little big if you want a fine relish but you can use them if you want.

The small one is what I prefer.  Grating the beets instead of shredding makes a real mess so we switched to this method.  Once they're shredded, drain any extra liquid from the bowl, and add anywhere from 1 - 3 tablespoons of the horseradish, squeezing out the liquid.  Start with one since all brands are different as is our tolerance of horseradish!  Add 1 - 2 teaspoons of sugar.  Stir to blend - that's it!!  Great with ham, as a side dish, spread on bread, or with cheese.  I found a brand from Poland named Agrosik and it is wonderful.  Our Ethnic section quit carrying it so I'm back to making it again.


Fried Glazed Donuts

When my Nona came to this country, she had very little, but giving her family treats was important to her.   One "dessert" was stale dry bread torn into pieces and put in bowls along with handfuls of walnuts from their tree.  Warm milk sweetened with sugar was poured over and tossed.  She couldn't afford the fresh pastries that were so different from her Italian goodies, so she bought day old donuts for special occasions and fried them.  Our local hospital coffee shop (now long gone) would throw the stale glazed donuts on their griddle and they were a big seller. It's the only way my family eats glazed donuts.  Unless of course it's the one I consume on the ride home from the store because I'm a pig.

Heat a non-stick pan med-high to high, then smear with the butter stick, or add more if you'd like.  Throw in the glazed donut. 

It will sizzle and the glaze will bubble and start to melt.

Smash that baby down a little with the spatula so it's all touching the pan.
Check the bottom and as soon as it starts to brown, flip it over.  Swirl it in the melting glaze so you don't lose any. 
Let it cool.  We always use a knife to cut it - I get it really crispy.  But if not, it makes it back to the pan for a little more high heat.
Just make sure to pick donuts that have a lot of glaze.  If there is only a little on the bottom side, fry the top side first.


Meat stuffed manicotti

1# lean ground beef
1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach
4 eggs
3/4 cup grated parmesan
1 1/2 cup shredded mozarella
2 Tbsp. butter
1 box manicotti shells (usually 14 shells)
Spaghetti sauce

Cook the shells until center of pasta is a little firm, not hard. Drain. I rinse in cool water and then lay out on a linen towel to dry.

Cook spinach as directed, save liquid. Brown ground beef, drain, add 2 Tbsp. butter (I omit), 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. When spinach is cool, squeeze out liquid and add to meat, continue cooking for 3 minutes.

Turn off heat. Beat 4 eggs in a bowl and add the parmesan. Blend into meat well, and then fold in the mozarella.  Stuff the manicotti.  Spread your favorite tomato sauce into glass casserole. 
Lay in dish, spoon 1 tsp. spinach liquid over each one (or not).  Pour your favorite spaghetti sauce over shells, but not more than halfway up sides.  Save some sauce to pass around at meal.

Lay a sheet of foil loosely over dish. Remove for last 15 minutes, but check during baking for too much liquid or too thick sauce.  To cover or not depends on the consistency of your sauce.
Bake at 325 - 350 about 40 - 45 minutes.
You can make this filling for stuffing shells instead of manicotti, and also use as a layer in lasagna. Filling can be made ahead, or assemble (but do not add sauce until ready to bake) and cover a day before serving. If assembled, take out of fridge an hour before baking.