Posted in Recipes

Broccoli Soup and Jalapeno Cornbread

When your freezer dies a slow cruel death and you have to throw away two garbage bags full of food, you get creative on what you are able to salvage. The frozen vegetables at the bottom of the freezer, the extra blocks of cheese and the packages of Jiffy Corn Bread mix. I found jalapenos in the cabinet and sour cream in the fridge. Hmm, sounds like a meal to me.

Broccoli Soup

2 packages of frozen broccoli (I used one of broccoli and one of mixed broccoli, carrots & cauliflower)

2-Tablespoons of butter

2-Tablespoons of flour

¼ cup milk

1-teaspoon of corn starch

¾ cup of shredded cheddar cheese

¾ cup of half-and-half

1 can chicken broth with ½ can of water



2-quart sauce pan

In a 2-quart sauce pan, melt butter, stir in flour. Stir flour until it turns a pale beige, SLOWLY add in milk, stirring so it doesn’t clump. Add cheese and stir. Mix corn starch to chicken broth and water, add to cheese mixture. Add in broccoli. (If you use fresh cook first in chicken broth until bright green and softened, then add to milk mixture.)

Cook on low heat until begins to thicken and vegetables start to break down. Add garlic and salt, loosen with half-and-half, cook until desired thickness.

Jalapeno Corn Bread

¼ to ½ cup finely chopped jalapenos (I use jarred pickled jalapenos, if you are using fresh, it’s best to roast them first.)

¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

½ cup sour cream

2 eggs

2 packages corn bread mix (I use Jiffy or similar brand)

½ stick of butter

Parchment paper

9×13 pan

Large mixing bowl

Line pan with parchment paper, I leave a little to over lap the sides. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Put stick of butter in pan, set in oven to melt.

Add corn bread mix into large mixing bowl, with a fork, get out lumps. Mix eggs, sour cream with corn bread mix, add in jalapenos and cheese.

Using oven mitt, pull out pan, dump contents of bowl into pan and smooth. Bake at 400 until golden about 25-30 minutes.

Let cool.

I heat mine up on a panini press with a little melted butter.

Posted in Recipes

Spinach Basil Pasta


2 rolls of ground turkey (Italian seasoned or season your own with Italian blend seasons)

1-2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil

1 Tablespoon corn starch diluted in 1/4 cup water (I use pasta water)

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1 cup Italian Blend cheese

1 cup mozzarella cheese

fresh or frozen spinach 8 ounces

Fresh basil

Roasted red pepper


mushrooms (I didn’t add mushrooms because my husband doesn’t like them but I do, and often add them when he’s not looking).

1 pound elbow macaroni boil according to directions stop when the pasta is still firm.

Bring water to boil in large pot (approximately 6 quart pot 3/4 way filled with water). Salt liberally, add pasta.

In separate pot or electric frying pan, heat oil, add ground turkey, cook until nearly done. Add corn starch. Stir well. Add water from pasta and cooked pasta.

Add chopped spinach, basil, roasted red pepper and garlic. Stir in cheeses.

I like this recipe because I can add tomatoes or tomato sauce, chop up pepperoni, add Romano cheese or other vegetables for a change. Pasta is blank canvas.

Posted in Recipes

Lemon Berry Smash Cake

That will make you pucker.

Sometimes called a dump cake but I don’t like that name.

I was given frozen blueberries.

2 cups of fresh or froze blueberries

2 packages softened cream cheese

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup sugar

2 packages lemon gelatin

1 Lemon cake mix

1 Table spoon corn starch

Oil or non-stick spray

8 x 13 pan/dish

Put blueberries and lemon juice in sauce pan and bring to boil. Lower heat and add sugar, dilute corn starch in lemon juice and stir. Stir juice into berries and stir to thicken. Simmer on low heat. Add in lemon gelatin turn off heat and let cool.

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.

Put oil or non-stick spray on pan. Cover the whole pan but not heavily. If I use oil, I take a clean paper towel and rub the oil all over the inside of the pan. If you put it on the outside, it makes the pan too slippery to pick up.

Layer 3/4 of the berries in the pan.

Add cake mix. Take time to get lumps out of cake mix before opening the plastic and pouring it into the pan.

Add cream cheese to left over berries and second package of lemon gelatin. Stir well. Add to top of cake mix, cover well.

Bake for 30 minutes or until firm. I look to see if berries are bubbling.

Tart and sweet.

Posted in Recipes

Ham and Cheese Casserole Recipe

I haven’t shared a recipe in a while. I love to cook but between work, writing and my writers’ groups, I don’t have a lot of time to get creative.

I’m not a recipe follower. I will use a recipe the first time I try something and then I have to tweak it and make it my own. I’m also an opportunistic cook, I look at what I have in the pantry and fridge and come up with a recipe to match. I seldom make the same thing, the same way.

My ham and cheese casserole is a combination of one my mother-in-law taught me and the mac and cheese my daughter-in-law makes, with a little tweaking.


3 cups cooked, chopped Ham

3 cups chopped cheese (I use a combination of mild and sharp cheddar)

1 cup of milk

1/2 stick of butter

1/4 cup flour

1 tbs. corn starch

1 cup Duke’s Mayonnaise

1 tbs. sriracha sauce

1 pound box of elbow macaroni

seasoned croutons

Cook macaroni according to package and drain. Set aside.

In large pot, make a rue. Melt butter, brown flour, whisk in corn starch and slowly whisk in milk until thickens. Add chopped or shredded cheese. Melt and stir. Add sriracha sauce and mayonnaise. Mix well.

Add macaroni to cheese sauce covering pasta well.

Pour into large glass casserole dish or two smaller ones.

Crumble croutons and top casserole, bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, let cool and serve.

This is very rich and is best paired with a dark green vegetable like spinach or broccoli and a citrus salad.

You can freeze leftovers but it is best to leave off topping.