Friday, November 18, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016 Meal Plan, Turkey in the Crock Pot for 2 or More

Today and every day I am thankful for my family, friends, having food on my table and for all we have. What are you thankful for? 

Here's my Thanksgiving 2016 update which includes; ideas for a traveiling feast, cooking at home or great recipes for any time of year. 

Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your day and every day! 

Just cook something! Cheers! Kary~

New 2016 

Green Beans with Sausage
Stuffing with Cibatta Bread
Sweet Potato Oven Roasted
Baked Beans
Mac and Cheese with Onionm Bacon and Panko
Carrot raisin and apple-salad no mayo

Non-traditional desert ~ Something Sweet New 2016

Glutten Free Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies
Oatmeal Cookies



Bluebear, Denali and yes the Turkey!
Updated 2015

Turkey Sliders
Turkey Breast in the Crock Pot
Turkey Roulade
Grilled Turkey Sandwich with Cheddar Cheese
Traveling and PlanningThanksgiving Dinner
Simple Thanksgiving Dinner
Kary's Cobb Salad with Turkey
Ground Turkey Meal Options


Friday, November 11, 2016

Veterans Day and Happy Birthday to our Granddaughter~

Veterans Day 2016~ Thankful to be an American and Happy Birthday to our Granddaughter!

What a long crazy year and no matter who you voted for or against, today and every day we should be grateful for those who have defended our rights and continue to defend and protect.

We would not be a free nation without our Veterans and Armed forces. I don’t think we can ever thank our Veterans or Armed Forces enough for serving our country. Special thought’s today for all of you who have served and still serve, our son Brad, my father Doug, brother-in law Mike who we lost too soon and his daughter Michelle Reynolds, Uncle Jimmy, to all the families and friends who’s support allows them do their job and all of you that “stand on the wall” to keep us safe and free to live our lives the American way. 

We must continue to have hope, listen to one another and work towards a peaceful future, this is what sets us apart and nobody can take that from us.

Today our family will also celebrate our Granddaughters 5th Birthday, Happy Happy Birthday to our own Tinkerbell, Miss A. Her favorite chocolate cookies are made, check back for that recipe and I can ‘t wait to make spaghetti and meatballs with her!


Just Cook Something, it always makes me feel better. Cheers, Kary~

Monday, October 24, 2016

Comfort and Joy, Kristin Hannah~Book Club with a side of Baked Potato and Salad


As you know the "Have you read the book" book club are big fans of Kristin Hannah, not sure how we missed this one when it was first published but thank you Jan for recomending Comfort and Joy, By Kristin Hannah

This month we had to do a bit of re-juggling of hosts and the day for our book club gathering, but we are a flexible group and after a long summer vacation we were back together again. Thank you, Ann, for stepping in and hosting, we know you will be on grand baby watch this November so thanks for switching months. Ann, we are right there with you waiting for the wee one!  

We all have signature dishes that we make for book club, tried and true recipes that always taste yummy that we whip up for gatherings and one of Ann’s is her lasagna.When I stepped into Ann’s home the other night I was wondering if that was her lasagna I smelled, hmmm I was not sure what was in her oven but it smelled so yummy.

With fall in the air and as the leaves on the Sugar Maples start to turn a brilliant orange and red, Ann said she was trying to think of comfort food for tonight and what she came up with was a baked potato and a tossed salad bar, as Ann said, hey you can use many of the same ingredients: diced tomatoes, avocado, shredded cheddar cheese, scallions, home cooked bacon bites, red onion, sour cream, home-made ranch dressing and balsamic dressing.

Oh, yea who doesn’t love a baked potato! I don’t think I have ever turned down a baked potato…Usually hubby and I split one so I can get my carbo fix adding just a dash of butter, salt and pepper oh so good. Tonight, however we all loaded up our potatoes and tossed our salad while we chatted.

As we caught up on summer vacations and Rosemary’s fifty-year wedding anniversary, she went on a truly fantastic holiday in the Bahamas where Ro was treated like a queen as she should be treated!  We then moved on to discuss the book and as always shared lots of giggles.

Comfort and Joy was Jan’s selection and it truly is a joy to read. We all agreed that it was a sweet, spiritual story, a bit fantastical with a touch of whimsy. The main character loved Christmas, however in the story this year she was coping with a family betrayal and trying to find her way back to herself and happiness. During the Christmas holiday Joy makes a last-minute decision to board a plane, maybe an adventure would help her change her life.

A series of events that are tragic and magical lead Joy to a friendship with young Bobby and a not so friendly relationship with his Father. We all agreed that this was a great story not just during Christmas but any time.

Snuggle into your favorite chair, make a cup of hot chocolate and enjoy this wonderful book,Comfort and Joy.

Baked Potato, so easy!

Russet potatoes are best for a potato bar. Ann had large potatoes so some of us split them. It is always best to bake one per person, if you have left-over reheat the next day, make home fries, potato soup or use as a thickener for mushroom soup.

Heat oven to 400 decrees~ Bake 60 minutes, I usually check on them after 30 minutes and flip ~ on the racks in the oven or on a foil covered baking sheet. Great information on idahopotato.com

Rinse, scrub and dry the potatoes, I use a vegetable scrubber to clean the potatoes.
Prick the potatoes with a fork, yes they can explode and what a mess that can be! I usually prick each end of the potato and depending on the size of the potato if they are really large maybe each side as well.

Use a small amount of olive oil to rub all over the potato, I have a baking dish I put them in or you can lay them on the racks in your oven.

Bake for 30 minutes, turn over using tongs, be careful not to burn yourself! Bake another 30 minutes and then you have the perfect baked potato, of course depending on the size they could cook faster, to be safe just check them as they bake.

Potato and salad toppers:

Dice tomatoes, you can use cherry or regular
Avocado, peeled and diced
Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Scallions, diced
Bacon cut into bite size pieces, only fresh bacon for me not a fan of bacon bites
Sour Cream
One Red onion, diced
Ranch and or blue cheese dressing
Balsamic dressing for the Field Greens Salad
Field Greens for the Salad, rinse, dry and place in a large bowl

Now you are ready and wasn’t that easy…

Oh, and since the name of our book was “Comfort and Joy” comfort food seemed like an appropriate choice. What are your favorite comfort foods?

Just Cook Something! Cheers~ Kary 

Friday, September 30, 2016

Pesto Vegi Chicken Lasagna

Our daughter Brenda and I love to make this Pesto Lasagna dish and every time we make it we are determined to write down the recipe. So Bren this one's for you and as you know we make it a little different every time depending on what ingredients we decide to use. 

You can make this with just vegetables, but this is our favorite...And remember to make it your own! 



Preheat the oven to 375 decrees

      1 box of Oven Ready No boil lasagna
      2 cooked chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
       Or 1/2 lb cooked ground sausage, ground chicken or ground turkey
      8 ounces cleaned and sliced mushrooms
       I like cremini mushrooms full of flavor and texture, you can use any kind
      1/2 lb fresh spinach cleaned and dried, ½ of a bag
      1 large or 2 medium zucchini/summer squash
       Rinse, dry and sliced about ¼ inch thick or less
      1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
      1  15 ounce container of ricotta cheese
      4 cups of mozzarella cheese
       Or 4 cups pre-shredded Italian cheeses
      ¼ cup Parmigianino Reggiano cheese, grated
      1 egg
      Salt and pepper
      1/2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning, you can always add more

Pesto ~ You can use pre-made as well
2 handfuls of fresh basil, about 1 loose cup
1 cup olive oil
4 fresh garlic cloves peeled
¼ cup of walnuts
          I like to toast my walnuts or you can use pine nuts
¼ cup parmesan cheese
~Sometimes I add a pinch of sugar if the pesto is too tart

Place in the blender and pulse until smooth

In a large mixing bowl crack the egg and whisk. Fold in Ricotta and 3 cups mozzarella. Add 1/3 of the pesto and blend together

In another bowl add the zucchini and toss with 1/3 of the pesto

Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray

Layer 1 ~ Cover the bottom of the prepared baking dish with 1/3 of the diced tomatoes

Top with 3 sheets of the lasagna and using a third of the cheese mixture spread over 3 of the lasagna sheets, they will expand as they cook
I hold the sheets in my hand and spread the cheese very carefully so you don’t break the lasagna sheets

In a bowl mix the chopped chicken with 1/3 of the pesto and  1/3 of the diced tomatoes. Spread over the lasagna sheets

Layer 2 ~ Top with 3 sheets of the lasagna and using a third of the cheese mixture spread over 3 of the lasagna sheets

Add the fresh spinach and top with mushrooms 

Cover with 1/3 of the tomatoes and 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Layer 3  ~ Top with 3 sheets of the lasagna and using a third of the cheese mixture spread over 3 of the lasagna sheets

Add 1/3 of the tomatoes and 1/4 teaspoon of Italian seasoning to the zucchini, salt and pepper,  mix then place over the lasagna sheets

Cover with the remaining cup of mozzarella cheese

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, remove the foil and continue to back for 15 minutes. I check with a knife to make sure the Lasagna sheets are soft and done

Remove from oven, let sit for few minutes, slice and serve

Crusty sour dough or French bread are perfect with this dish

Just Cook Something!  Enjoy, Cheers! Kary ~  

What is your favorite lasgana recipe?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Apple, Celery & Pecan Salad Lite Waldorf Salad

If you love Waldorf Salad I posted my version last year Kary's Waldorf Salad on my blog. You know I am always searching for ways to change up a recipe and I decided to make Waldorf Salad without the mayonnaise or Greek yogurt, just a dash of lemon juice and some honey. All the fresh ingredients compliment each other, so you really don't need to dress the salad. I use the lemon to help keep the apples from turning brown and a dash of honey to add a little extra sweetness. 


Here’s what you need for this version of Waldorf Salad:
3 medium sized red apples
3 Stalks of celery (you can use less, I just love the crunchiness of the celery)
1/3 cup shelled chopped pecans or walnuts. Your choice
¼ cup raisins – Optional or add more
Juice squeezed from 2 small fresh lemons or about 1 Tbls
1 tsp of honey
Medium serving bowl and small mixing bowl

Peel, core and cut the apples into bite size pieces, rinse, dry and chop the celery into bite size pieces and toss in the bowl.
Mix together the lemon juice and honey then toss with the apples and celery until coated, add the raisins and nuts, mix and serve. 

Simple, sweet and crunchy! Enough for four or two hungry people…

Just cook something! Cheers! Kary~

Monday, August 22, 2016

Glutten Free Oatmeal, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Kary’s version of Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookies with Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chips


Last week we were preparing to head over to Myrtle Beach to visit Doug’s parents and celebrate my birthday. Of course I cannot show up at Duano and Nan’s casa without some special treat. So I pulled out a bag of Trader Joe’s Rolled Oats, 100% Whole Grain Oats, Gluten Free and noticed there was a recipe for Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookies. After I read the recipe I thought I would give it a go and in my usual way made a few changes to the recipe. I had never made a gluten free desert, fortunately none of us has a gluten allergy.
Duano said this was my best cookie yet! And I have heard that so many gluten free cookies are not really that tasty, so I thought I would share it with you since we all know someone with a gluten allergy.
I have found that I can reduce the amount of sugar in baking and not affect the consistency and I like a little less sweetness, also reduced the amount of chocolate chips. And my best bud Karin suggested I use miniature chocolate chips next time. Stay tuned for the next batch.
Here’s my take and the original recipe.
Here’s Kary’s take:                        Trader Joes Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookies Recipe
¼ cup of butter                             ¼ cup of butter
½ cup of Brown Sugar                    ¾ cup of Brown Sugar
½ cup of Sugar                              ¾ cup of sugar
2 eggs                                          2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla                                  1 tsp vanilla
1 ¼ tsp baking soda                       1/ ¼ tsp baking soda
1 cup peanut butter                       1 cup peanut butter
3 cups of Rolled Oats                    3 cups Rolled Oats
4 oz. chocolate chips                      6 oz. chocolate chips
No nuts                                        ½ cup sunflower seeds or chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 305 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure the butter is at room temperature, soft enough to mix with the brown sugar and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat u
ntil creamy. Mix in peanut butter. Stir in the oats, chocolate chips and nuts, if adding.

I place a Silpat on a cookie sheet or you can lightly grease the cookie sheet or use parchment paper to line the cookie sheet to bake the cookies on.

Place each teaspoon of cookie dough on the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 9 to 12 minutes. I have a Kenmore Pro with a Confection Bake setting and it takes 9 to 10 minutes to bake the perfect cookie.

Depending on the size of your cookie the recipe can make approximately 48 cookies.
Everyone loved these! Next time I might add sunflower seeds to some of the cookies just to see if we like them.

Do you have a tasty Gluten Free cookie recipe that is yummy?
Just Cook Something! Cheers! Kary~

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Carrot, Raisin and Apple Salad No Mayo

Just the thought of carrot and raisin salad can transport me back to sitting in our
Carrot Raisin and Apple Salad
kitchen, seeing Mom with the peeler and shredder in hand trying to get us to help.  I don’t remember my sissies, brother or me ever fighting over who was going to help Mom peel and shred the carrots. Now I find the process of dicing, chopping and shredding kind of therapeutic and I usually have a yummy home made meal for us to enjoy, oh and free therapy, sort of…
As you know I am not a big kitchen gadget type, I love to use a good knife to chop and dice when cooking. Also easier to clean than a food processor, although I do have a Osterizerblender that comes in handy when needed. Hmm and my old fashioned stainlesssteel shredder is not always easy to clean, oh well it’s what I use when I am making carrot cake or carrot salad it just makes any recipe better, in my mind.
So with shredder in hand and a bunch of organic carrots I thought I would shred up a salad.
If you have ever been to a buffet carrot salad is usually right, there front and center on salad table. Usually Carrot Raisin Salad is dressed with mayonnaise and I was trying to think of a lighter healthier alternative. I also had a medium sized apple that needed to be eaten soon.

Here’s what I had:
8 medium organic carrots, peeled and shredded
1 medium apple, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
¼ cup of raisins
1 Tablespoon Organic Vinaigrette Dressing- Or you can use a little balsamic & olive oil blend. The apples add a little extra sweetness.

 In a large bowl I mix together the shredded carrots, diced apple, raisins and dressing.


Yes, it is that easy! Just Cook Something! Cheers! Kary~