Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lenten Season--- Tuna Artichoke Casserole

So, Lenten season also usually means no eating meat on Ash Wednesday or Fridays. So seafood and pizzas are very popular here those days!

I am sick to death of the typical tuna noodle casserole, so went looking for ideas on noodleless ones. I found some ideas but none really hit the mark so this is my own concoction. I am pleased to say it turned out pretty darn well!

Tuna artichoke casserole

3 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup green onions

3 tablespoons flour

2 cups milk

1/2 teaspoon garlic herb seasoning, or similar seasoning

1/8 teaspoon black ground pepper

1 jar or can (12 to 15 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained, sliced or chopped

2 C peas

1 jar (4 to 6 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained

1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup cheddar cheese

1 large can (12 to 14 ounces) tuna, drained and flaked (or use 2 standard cans)

2 cups panko bread crumbs


Heat oven to 350°. Lightly butter a 2-quart baking dish.

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add green onions and saute for 1 

minute. Stir in flour until smooth and bubbly. Gradually add milk; cook, stirring, until

 thickened. Add seasonings, artichoke hearts, peas, mushrooms, and 1/2 cup Parmesan 

cheese and cheddar cheese. Cook stirring, until cheese is melted. Add flaked tuna; taste and 

add salt, as needed. Spoon the mixture into the baking dish and top with about 1/4 cup of 

Parmesan cheese and panko bread crumbs and then parsley sprinkled over top. Bake for 20

 to 30 minutes, until hot and bubbly.

Snack Attack

 Mini sausage and cheese stuffed peppers. Great snack, game food or appetizer for a party

 for picky food.

Mini Stuffed Peppers

1 12oz bag of sweeties mini peppers, washed, topped and sliced length wise.


1 package of softened cream cheese

1/2 c sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 c monteray jack cheese

6 oz hot cooked and crumbled pork sausage with a dash of hot sauce cooked in

dash salt

1/4 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/2 c panko bread crumbs

Mix stuffing up and stuff misture in sliced peppers. Roll in pank bread crumbs and place on

 a greased baking sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.



  While Fat Tuesday or the advent of Mardi Gras is originally associated with New Orleans, the truth is that Fat or Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday and the Lenton season, is observed by many people all over, of both the Catholic and some Protestant denominations. This day encourages everyone to eat all the goodies they can because tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, a day of atonement for Christians. Then the Lenten season starts where Christians try to give up worldly goods or bad behaviors. (too bad this isn't observed every day all year round!)

OK, enough of the history lesson! In my area of northeastern PA, there are a lot of Catholics and Protestants that observe this. So today around here is also known as Donut Day, with many churches doing homemade potato donuts as a fundraiser. They are awesome, although I make my own and they are a good way to use up leftover mashed potatoes.



  • 2-1/2 cups mashed potatoes or riced potatoes 
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • lard for deep-fat frying  (you can use oil or fat, but lard gives the best flavor)
  • 2 cups sugar mixed with 1 tbs cinnamon ( after the donuts are out and cooled a little, roll in this mix)


  • In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, milk, eggs and butter. Combine the sugar, baking powder and 2 cups flour; stir into potato mixture. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Divide dough in half.
  • Turn onto a lightly floured surface; roll each half to 1/2-in. thickness. Cut with a 2-3/4-in. doughnut cutter.
  • In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat lard to 375°. Fry doughnuts, a few at a time, until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels.

Monday, February 13, 2012


                             HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

So today is the day universally accepted to show you love someone. I think it has gone overboard commercially. After all, if you love someone, you should do that through your actions every day, as we all know actions speak louder than words. That being said, if you want to do a nice dessert, here's old fashioned red velvet cake with cooked icing. This is My other half's favorite cake and since his birthday is day after tomorrow, this cake kills two birds with one stone, so to speak.



  • Vegetable oil for the pans
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring (1 ounce)
  • 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows
  • Crushed pecans, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil and flour 3 (9 by 1 1/2-inch round) cake pans.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In another large bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla.
Using a standing mixer, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined and a smoothbatter is formed.
Divide the cake batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Place the pans in the oven evenly spaced apart. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking, until the cake pulls away from the side of the pans, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
Remove the cakes from the oven and run a knife around the edges to loosen them from the sides of the pans. One at a time, invert the cakes onto a plate and then re-invert them onto a cooling rack, rounded-sides up. Let cool completely.
Frost the cake. Place 1 layer, rounded-side down, in the middle of a rotating cake stand. Using a palette knife or offset spatula spread some of the cream cheese frosting over the top of the cake. (Spread enough frosting to make a 1/4 to 1/2-inch layer.) Carefully set another layer on top, rounded-side down, and repeat. Top with the remaining layer and cover the entire cake with the remaining frosting

1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. flour
In small saucepan cook until thick and smooth: milk, flour. Stir with wooden spoon constantly. Set aside to cool. In a bowl cream butter and shortening together using electric mixer. Add sugar gradually. Beat well until no longer grainy. Add cooked flour mixture. Beat until consistency of whipped cream. Add vanilla and stir. 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
1 Cor. 13:4

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  John 3:16