Dessert Delight

Dessert Delight

Butternut Squash Pie with Gingersnap Crust

1 2-pound butternut squash (if you prefer, you can substitute 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin for the squash
1 1/4 cups finely crushed gingersnap cookies
1/3 cup butter, melted
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Dash of salt

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 15x10x1 inch baking pan with foil; set aside. Cut squash in half lengthwise; remove and discard seeds.  Place squash halves, cut sides down, in the prepared baking pan. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until tender.  Remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 375.
  2. Scoop squash pulp from shells and mash with a potato masher; measure 1 1/2 cups. Set aside. (Save remaining pulp for another use.)
  3. For crust, in a medium bowl toss together crushed gingersnaps and the 1/3 cup melted butter.  Press mixture into 9 inch pie plate.  Bake for 4 to 5 minutes or until edges are light brown.   Remove from oven.  Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
  4. In a large bowl combine eggs, condensed milk, sugar, and the 3 tablespoons melted butter.  Stir in squash.  In a small bowl stir together flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt.  Stir flour mixture into squash mixture just until combined.
  5. Place crust lined pie plate in a 15x10x1 inch baking pan. Pour squash mixture into crust.  Bake about 45 minutes or just until filling is set. Cool on a wire rack. Cover and chill pie for 2 hours.
To make the leaf pattern: Place a leaf shape cookie cutter on the center of the pie.  Sprinkle crushed gingersnaps inside the cutter; remove cutter and pull a wooden skewer through crumbs to make veins.

Shopping for Affordable Wines

It's getting close to the season for festivities and family gatherings. Often when attending family gatherings you want to take something refreshing so here are some tips for shopping for affordable wines.

Use these five tips to save money without sacrificing flavor the next time you need wine for a large crowd.

  • Buy in Bulk
    • Many wine shops will offer a discount if you buy a particular wine by the case. Ask your local store for their policies before making your purchase.
  • Shop Sales
    • Frequent local wine shops to get a sense of how their sales work - which means you'll be ready to purchase perfect party wines when you see them hit the sale display.
  • Go Global
    • Look for wines from less-trendy wine-producing areas, such as white wines from Paso Robles or Santa Barbara rather than Napa Valley, or red wines from Argentina rather than France.
  • Think Bubbly
    • Sparkling wines are festive, fun, and a pleasant change of pace. Bonus: Many sparkling wines are less expensive than Champagne but are just as flavorful. Look for Cava, Prosecco, sparkling Pinot Noir, and Brut Rose.
  • Trust your taste buds.
    • Ask for staff recommendations for inexpensive wines based on what you're serving. Buy a few, taste, and go with what you like. Just because a bottle is more expensive doesn't mean you'll like it more.

Bacon cheddar cheese Quiche (Mom's)

Here is the breakfast quiche that I made this morning.  Easy to make and you can put any of your favorite veggies etc that you like. However this is so simply. It's just eggs, pie crust, bacon and mix cheese (mexi cheese).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1 pie crust (deep dish)
12 slices bacon
8 eggs
1 cup mexi mix cheese (three cheeses)
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

Place your pie crust on a backing sheet to prevent any spillage.

When oven is pre-heated place your pie crust in the oven for about 3 to 4 minutes.  Next brown bacon and drain on a paper towel then crumble up (set aside)  Mix together eggs, milk salt and pepper. Make sure the egg mixture is well mixed.

Break up the bacon and sprinkle over the bottom of the pie crust. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the cheese and pour 1/2 of the egg mixture on top.  Next crumble more bacon over the mixture; then the cheese and the remaining egg mixture.  Do this until all ingredients are used.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the center is done. Insert knife in the middle and if comes out clean then it's done.  Set aside and allow for quiche to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.  Top with salsa or any of your favorite toppings.

NOTE: if you like you can use any of your favorite cheese instead of what I used and add chives, green or red bell peppers is also yummy. Be creative.

Bacon Mushroom Quiche with Gruyere and Thyme

I have to admit this from my Holiday (make ahead) meal magazine and not my picture.  However, I made this without the mushrooms this morning and will share that pic and recipe with you after this one.

1/2 of a 15 ounce package rolled refrigerated unbaked pie crust (1crust)
4 slices of bacon
1 1/3 cups chopped fresh mushrooms (4 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped green onions (2)
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (chopped)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 8 ounce carton sour cream
3/4 cups shredded Gruyere cheese (3 ounces)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Let pie crust stand according to package directions.  Ease pie crust into a 9 inch tart pan that has a removable bottom.  Press pastry into fluted sides of pan; trip edges.  Do not prick pastry. Line pastry with a double thickness of foil.  Bake for 8 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for 4 to 5 minutes or until pastry is set and dry.  Remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.

In a large skillet cook bacon over medium heat until crisp.  Remove bacon and drain on a paper towel, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in skillet.  Crumble bacon; set aside. Add mushrooms to the reserved drippings; cook until mushrooms are tender and liquid is evaporated.

Stir in crumbled bacon, green onions, and thyme.  In a medium bowl combine eggs and sour cream.  Stir in bacon/mushroom mixture and cheese. Pour into crust.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until light brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for about 10 to 20 minutes to cool.  Top with salsa or a topping of your choice.

Ginger and Garlic Roasted Turkey

2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup soy sauce (chicken broth can be used instead)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 10 to 12 pound fresh or frozen turkey, thawed if frozen
1 medium onion, cut into quarters
1 3 inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
8 cloves garlic
Vegetable oil

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degree. In a small bowl stir together onion powder, garlic powder, ground ginger, pepper and salt. Divide spice mixture in half; set one half aside.  Stir soy sauce and the 2 tablespoons oil into the remaining spice mixture to make a smooth paste (it will thicken as it stands).
  2. Remove neck and giblets from turkey; discard. Rinse turkey; pat dry with paper towels. Starting at the neck end of the turkey; loosen the skin by sliding your fingers underneath it, being careful not to tear it. Slide your hand as far as you can towards the opposite end of the turkey; separating the skin from the meat. Rub about three-fourths of the soy paste underneath the skin over the entire breast, working toward the thighs as much as possible.  Season body cavity with the remaining soy paste. Place onion, fresh ginger, and garlic in the body cavity. Pull neck skin to back and fasten with a small skewer.
  3. Tuck drumstick ends under band of skin across tail, if available. If there is no band of skin, tie drumsticks securely to the tail using 100 percent cotton kitchen string. Twist wing tips under back. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Rub additional oil and the reserved spice mixture over the entire bird.  Insert an oven going meat thermometer into the center of an inside thigh muscle.  The thermometer should not touch bone. Cover Turkey loosely with foil.
  4. Roast for 2 1/2 hours.  Remove foil; cut band of skin or string between drumsticks so thighs will cook evenly. Roast for 15 to 30 minutes more or until the thermometer registers 175 degrees.  The juices should run clear and drumsticks should move easily in their sockets. Remove from oven.
  5. Cover turkey with foil; let stand for 15 to 20 minutes before carving. Transfer turkey to cutting board. Carve turkey, discarding vegetables inside cavity. Makes 12 to 14 servings.

Secrets of a Juicy Turkey


  • If your turkey is frozen allow 24 hrs in the refrigerator for each 5 pounds of turkey weight.
  • Butter 'em Up.   Brush the turkey with butter or oil to keep the skin moist. (do this often)
  • Check the temp - according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture turkey is safe to eat at 165 degrees.
  • Make sure you cover the turkey with foil during the first portion of roasting so the breast does not get done too quickly.
  • REST WELL - Let the turkey stand 15 to 20 minutes before carving to let the juices settle.

Louisiana Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
1/2 cup chopped green or red sweet pepper (1 small)
1/2 cup sliced celery (1 stalk)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1 14.5 ounce can beef broth
3/4 cup water
1 10 ounce package frozen cut okra or cut green beans
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken (white or dark meat)
8 ounces cooked smoked sausage links, sliced
3 cups hot cooked long grain white or brown rice
Sliced green onion (optional)
Bottled hot pepper sauce (optional)

1. For roux, in a 3 quart heavy saucepan combine flour and oil until smooth.  Cook over medium high heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring constantly, for 8 to 10 minutes more or until roux is dark reddish brown in color.

2. Stir in 1/2 cup onion, sweet pepper, celery and garlic. Cook about 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring frequently. Stir in Cajun seasoning. Add broth and the water; stir in okra. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered for 15 minutes. Stir in chicken and sausage; heat through.

3. Serve gumbo in bowls with hot cooked rice if desired, Top with green onions and serve with hot pepper sauce.

Tip: If you can't find cut okra, buy frozen whole okra; thaw slightly and slice.

Beef and Barley Stew with Roasted Vegetables

Roasting vegetable's before adding them to the soup gives them a major flavor boost.

1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 to 2 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1 14-5 ounces can beef broth
2 cups water
1 cup dry red wine (optional)
4 medium red or yellow potatoes and or sweet potatoes,(optional) cut into 1 inch chunk's
4 medium carrots and/or parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1/2 cup regular barley
2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley

1. In a large bowl combine flour, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper.  Add meat; toss to coat. In a dutch oven heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat and half of the meat; cook until browned, stirring occasionally.  Removing meat from dutch oven; set aside. Repeat with another 1 tablespoon of the oil and the remaining meat.

2. Add onion, garlic and thyme to dutch oven. Cook and stir for 3 minutes.  Add the broth, stirring to crape up any browned bits from the bottom of the dutch oven.  Add the water and wine. Bring to boiling; reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered for 1 hour.

3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375. In a shallow roasting pan combine potatoes and carrots and/or parsnips.  Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil; sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon sand and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Toss to coat.  Roast, uncovered for 35 to 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender and lightly browned, stirring once or twice.

4. Stir barley into the beef mixture. Cook about 35 minutes more or until barley is tender. Stir in roasted vegetables.

5. If desired, stir in fresh parsley.

NOTE: If you don't have a dutch oven you can use a big stock pot.

Three Cheese Beer Soup

This cheese beer soup has game day grub written all over it. Keep it warm in the slow cooker for up to 3 hrs.

1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (6 ounces)
1 1/4 cups shredded white cheddar cheese (5 ounces)
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion (1 medium)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (2)
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot (1 medium)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
5 cups chicken broth
1 12 ounce bottle beer (1 1/2 cups)
1 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 cups small broccoli clorets
10 slices bacon, crisp-cooked, drained and chopped
1 1/2 cup frozen diced hash brown potatoes
1/3 cup grated parmesan or romano cheese
1/2 teaspoon bottled hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1. Allow cheddar cheeses to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a 4 quart dutch oven heat butter over medium heat until melted. Add 1/2 cup onion, carrot, green onions and garlic.  Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

2. Stir in flour and dry mustard (mixture will be thick). Gradually stir in broth.  Cook and stir until bubbly.  Add beer and cream; stir in hash brown potatoes and broccoli.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Gradually stir in cheddar cheeses, stirring after each addition until well melted. Stir in bacon, parmesan cheese, hot pepper sauce and Worcestershire sauce.

Tip: Hand shredded cheese tends to melt better than preshredded varieties.

Citrus Tilapia with Fruit Salsa

Another recipe from Diabetic living magazine.

2 Fresh or Frozen Tilapia fillets (8 oz total)
1 medium orange, peeled, sectioned and cut into pieces
1/2 cup diced mango
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons chopped red sweet pepper
1 tablespoon snipped fresh cilantro
1 fresh jalapeno chile pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1. Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish; pat dry with paper towels. Set aside. For salsa, in a bowl combine orange, mango, the 3 tablespoons orange juice, the sweet pepper, cilantro and jalapeno. Cover and chill until ready to serve over fish.

2. In a medium non-metal bowl stir together the 1/2 cup orange  juice, the oil and cayenne pepper. Place fish in the bowl; turn to coat well.  Marinate fish in the refrigerator 30 minutes. Drain fish, discarding marinade.

3. Preheat over to 350. Place fish in a small baking dish (spray with pam).  Sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Bake for 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.  Spoon salsa over fish. If desired, garnish with additional fresh cilantro sprigs.

Total calories: 178
Total fat 2 grams

Another great healthy recipe from diabetic living.

1 12 to 13 ounces sugar free brownie mix
2 egg whites
1/3 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons water
2 chocolate or vanilla no sugar added ice cream
4 teaspoon instant coffee crystals
1 1/2 cups frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2teaspoon sugar free chocolate flavor syrup
12 fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 325. Coat a 9 inch spring form pan with non stick cooking spray; set aside. In a medium bowl combine brownie mix, egg whites, oil and the water. Mix according to package directions. Spoon batter into the prepared pan. Bake 26 minutes or until a wood pick inserted 2 inches from the edge comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Place pan in freezer freeze brownie layer 2 hours.

Place ice cream in a chilled medium bowl. Working quickly, stir ice cream to soften; fold in coffee crystals. Spread ice cream evenly over brownie layer. Cover with plastic wrap. Freeze at least 8 hrs or until firm.

For raspberry sauce; in a small saucepan combine thawed berries sugar and heating and cornstarch.  Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly; cook and stir until bubbly about 1 more minute. Transfer to a small bowl.  Cover and chill until ready to use.

To serve, remove sides of spring form pan. Cut brownie cake into 12 wedges.   Top each wedge with raspberry sauce. Drizzle with chocolate syrup and garnish with fresh raspberries.

Spinach and Feta Turkey Burgers with Cucumber Relish

This is another recipe from Diabetic Living magazine.

Spinach and Feta Turkey Burgers with Cucumber Relish

1/2 cup shredded, seeded cucumber
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
7 whole wheat reduced-calorie hamburger buns
1/2 of a 10 ounce packed frozen chopped spinach thawed and well drained
1/2 cup crumbled basil and tomato flavored feta cheese
2 tablespoons refrigerated egg product
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 19.2 ounce package uncooked ground turkey breast
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium tomato, cut into slices

1. For cucumber relish, in a small bowl combine cucumber, onion, sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and a dash of black pepper.  Cover and chill at least 30 minutes.

2. Place one of the hamburger buns in a food processor or blender. Cover and process or blend with several on/off pulses until crumbs form.  Measure 1/2 cup of the crumbs set aside the remaining crumbs for another use.  Toast remaining six buns.

3. In a large bowl combine the 1/2 cup bread crumbs, the spinach, feta, egg 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and cayenne pepper.  Add turkey; mix well.  Shape turkey mixture into six 4 inch patties.

4. In a very large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat.   Add turkey patties.  Reduce heat to medium.  Cook 12 to 14 minutes or until patties are no longer pink turning once halfway through cooking time.

5. Serve patties in toasted buns. Top with tomato slices and serve with the cucumber relish.

Grilled Chicken with Herbs

This recipe if from my diabetic living magazine.

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried sage, crushed
6 cloves garlic, minced
6 4-to-6 ounces skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. In a small bowl whisk together vinegar, oil parsley, rosemary, thyme, sage, garlic 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

2. Place chicken in a large reseable plastic bag set in a shallow dish. Pour vinegar mixture over chicken. Seal bag; turn to coat chicken. Marinate in the refrigerator 2 to 8 hours.

3. Drain chicken, discarding marinade. For a gas or charcoal drill, grill chicken on the rack of a covered grill directly over medium heat 12 ro 14 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.; turning oncehalfway through grilling time. (Or preheat broiler, place chicken on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat 12 to 14 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, turning once halfway throughbroiling time.

Serve with salad or cole slaw.