Thursday, August 26, 2010

Endless Summer Minestrone

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Minestrone El RinconinImage via WikipediaWhen I came accross this recipe, it reminded me of my new friend and follower of this blog, Merut.  He had a Minestrone recipe on his blog site, so I thought you, and he would enjoy this one from the Rachael Ray Everyday Cooking website.  Thanks Rachael, and thanks Merut.  I used to live in a neighborhood where everyone had a garden.  During "Zucchini season" at night, if you did not lock your car, you would find the front seat filled with Zucchini in the morning. (Lol)
The Old Guy

Endless Summer Minestrone
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup orzo
2 small or 1 medium zucchini, finely chopped
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes. halved
1/3 pound green beans, cut into thirds (a generous handful)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup white wine
1 32-ounce container (4 cups) chicken broth
4 scallions, chopped
1 cup fresh basil leaves
2/3 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese (could sub. a different brand)
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves
3 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
1 garlic clove, halved
2 teaspoons grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
Crusty bread for passing and dunking

In a deep skillet or soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat.  Add the orzo and toast for about 2minutes.  Add the zucchini,tomatoes and green beans; season with salt and pepper.  Cook until the tomatoes are softened, 8-10 minutes.  Add the wine and boil for 1 minute.  Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Stir in the scallions and cook until the orzo is al dente, about 3 minutes.
While soup is working, in a food processor, puree the basil, cheese, parsley, tarragon, pine nuts, garlic, lemon peel and lemon juice.  Scrape down sides and then, with the motorrunning, pour in theremaining 1/3 cup olive oil.  Season with salt andpepper and transfer toa small bowl.
Divide the soup among 4 bowls and stir in somepesto.  Serve with the bread.
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Baked Beef Brisket

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A pan of beef brisket, just out of the oven.Image via WikipediaRosh Hashanah begins at sundown September 8th this year.  First day services are on the 9th.
I am sorry to admit that I am a High Holiday Jew, just as some Christians are Easter or Chistmas Christians. I go when I can. But I go on the high holy days.  I don't risk not being included in the "Book of Life" on Yom Kippur which follows on the 8th of September..  I do oberserve the anniversary of both my parents dealth by lighting a yahrzeit light or candle.  They burn for 24 hours to honor the deseased person. This is a special year for me as I have purchased for them in their honor. 2 bronze plates with their names on them to go on the Yahrzeit Board on the wall of the Temple,  along side some of our other family members. Thus accomplishing for me a promise I made to my dad.  That I would be his Yahrzeit.  I did it Dad!

And I beleive that being in a synagogue doesn't make you jewish any more then standing in a garage makes you a car.  It's what's in your heart! That said, here's my sister-in-law Linda's (she should rest in peace) recipe for beef brisket as taught to her and me by my mom. My Hungarian mom.
The best cook in the family as attested to by her sister-in-laws.
The OldGuy (I'm only 70)

Baked Breef Brisket
1 4-5 pound fresh beef brisket (not a corned beef Brisket0
4 or 5 roughly diced potatoes, peeled
Lawry;s Seasoning Salt
Garlic powder or granuals
Sweet Hungarian Paprika
1-envelope Lipton dry onion soup mix
2 cup beef broth (I like Swanson's)
4 or 5 peeled and chucked up carrots
3 or 4 stalks of celery
1 fresh sliced onion

Rub the brisket with a well sprinkled amount of the Lawry's, garlic salt or granulas, paprika on both sides and rub it in.  Place the brisket in the pan, resting on the celery ribs, onion and carrots fat side up.  Sprinkle with dry onion soup mix. surround with beef broth to cover half of the brisket.  Cover with foil and bake about 2 hours at 300 degrees. Then add potatoes chunks and some sliced carrot.  Cook 1 or more hours until potatoes, carrots and brisket is tender.  Let cool. Slice ACROSS the grain. after disguarding "fat cap".

Stain the juices and thicken if desired using a four slurrey.

If you don't want to use potatoes, use falfal ( roasted barley)

Happy 5771

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Italian Chili

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Bowl of Chili con Carne, made of ground pork, ...Image via WikipediaI love Chili anytime, Spring, Summer,Fall, and Winter. I learned to cook Italian food from our family friend, Rose Provanzano. This Italian variation is one of my favorites.  I serve the leftovers over pasta.  Have a salad and some crusty Italian or French bread and you have a complete meal to die for.
The OldGuy

Italian Chili

1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage (could use hot if desired)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper chopped (could leave out if ya don't have any)
2 or 3 cloves minced fresh garlic ) could use garlic granules if no fresh garlic)
1 (28-32 ounce) jar of your favorite brand spaghetti sauce (I like Prego)
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce ) can chili beans, drained
1 (14-1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (4 ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained (sliced fresh Portabella mushrooms would be killer)
1 cup water
1/3 cup sliced pepperoni, cut into 1/4's
3 tablespoons chili powder (more or less to taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
A little crushed red pepper flakes to taste

In a large pot, brown ground beef, sausage, onion, green pepper and garlic until meats are brown and crumbly, and vegetables are translucent; drain well.
Add remaining ingredients; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. (If you cover the pot, condensation will form, drop in to the pot, and make your chili watery.)
This recipe could also be make in the Crock Pot set on low and cooked all day.

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Cheesy Crock Pot Chicken

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a slow cooker Oval Crock PotImage via WikipediaRecipes don't get much easier the this.  Some years ago, it was one of the most popular recipes for crockpots.
The Old Guy
Cheesy Chicken~ (Crock pot)

More like comfort food and SO good!


1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

2 cans cream of chicken soup

1 can cheddar cheese soup

3 cups prepared rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes

Place chicken in a slow cooker and sprinkle with seasonings. Pour soups over the top.

Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours, until chicken falls apart. Spoon over rice, noodles, or potatoes.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cabbage and Noodles

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Wide, uncooked egg noodles.Image via WikipediaCabbage and Noodles is one of my favorites.  It is a Hungarian/Polish dish called "Kapuska". A quick dish and easy.  If you don't have time to bake it, mix all ingredients in a frying pan and do it on your stove top.  I like to "burn" the bottom so it is really crisp and even a little black in color.

The Old Guy


1 sm. head of cabbage (shredded)

1 sm. onion, chopped

1/4 c. butter

2 tbsp. water

8 oz. pkg. med. egg noodles, cooked

1 c. sour cream

1/2 tsp. salt

Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large pan, sauté cabbage and onion in butter for 10 minutes or until brown. Add water, cover, and cook over high heat two minutes until water evaporates. Add noodles, sour cream, salt and pepper. Turn into buttered 2-quart casserole. Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Serves 8. Good hot or cold.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Rice Krispie Sweet Potato Casserole

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Sweet potatoesImage via Wikipedia
Whenever we had a potluck at work for a Holiday, this is the recipe everyone always asked me to make.
It is not "gloopie" like the usual marshmallow topped sweet potatoes usually are.  It could almost be eaten as a dessert.  I don't like sweet potatoes,but I like this!
The Old Guy

Rice Krispie Sweet Potato Casserole

3 cups mashed, cooked sweet potatoes, or 1 large can and 1 small can store bought sweet potatoes, drained, to equal 3 cups.

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup melted butter

2 eggs, well beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine all ingredients and spoon into a greased casserole dish.


2 cups Rice Krispies

1 cup chopped pecans

1-cup brown sugar

1 stick butter, melted

Combine all ingredients and spoon over casserole, and pack down slightly.

Bake for 20 minutes in a preheated 400-degree oven. Topping will be browned.

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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Mexican Style Meatloaf

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A meatloaf with a tomato sauce topping.Image via Wikipedia
I love this ethnic meatloaf receipe.  It has the flavor and taste of Mexico.Serve it with some salsa on top and some warm, buttered tortillas.
The Old Guy
Mexican Style Meatloaf

3 tablespoons onion, chopped

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2-1/2 cups tomatoes, cooked or canned

1-cup cornmeal

1-pound ground beef

¾ cups whole kernel corn, cooked or canned

2 large eggs, beaten

2 teaspoons salt

1-teaspoon paprika

1-teaspoon chili powder

Fry onion in vegetable oil until lightly browned. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add cornmeal very slowly and cook and stir 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and blend lightly. Turn mixture into a greased 9 inch x 13 inch x 5 inch load pan. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 45 minutes.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Salmon Wellington

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If you liked my Aunt Frita's Zucchini Appetizer in a previous post, you'll love her recipe for Salmon Wellington.  My greatest tribute to her is to keep her memory alive by sharing her recipes with you. The recipe here is presented exactly as she wrote it.
Our family is Hungarian.  We equate love with food.  Here is your dose of love for today. You'll be seeing some of my Mom's recipes at a later date as well. She was a great cook.
The Old Guy

Aunt Frita’s Salmon Wellington

1 large can Salmon (pink or red), drained and boned

¾ cup crushed soda crackers

1-cup sour cream

1 teaspoon melted butter or margarine

1-teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 egg yolk, slightly beaten

1 package of 8 Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

A little lemon juice

1. Roll and pat out dough into oblong piece, pinching lines together to stop leakage.

2. Combine all ingredients. Mix and form into oblong shape on top of dough.

3. Fold sides up and pinch ends over.

4. Brush egg yolk over the top

5. Bake on cookie sheet 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

6. Slice to serve

Salmon Wellington Sauce

1 8-ounce Sour Cream

2 tablespoons Miracle Whip

1 good size cucumber chopped

A little paprika

Mix all ingredients together and spoon over sliced Salmon Wellington.

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Strawberry-Pretzel Dessert

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This is one of my Mom's receipes.  It was a favorite dessert of mine when i was a kid. (and it still is)
The Old Guy


2 c. chopped pretzel sticks

3 tbsp. sugar

3/4 c. melted butter

Mix ingredients together and spread in 9x13 pan. Bake 7 minutes at 400 degrees. Cool 1 hour.


8 oz. cream cheese (softened)

1 c. sugar

1 lg. Cool Whip

Cream together softened cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add container of Cool Whip to this and beat together for 1 or 2 minutes. Spread this onto cooled crust. Chill until topping (next step) is complete.


1 lg. pkg. strawberry Jello

2 c. boiling water

2 (10 oz.) containers frozen strawberries (or 1 frozen and 1 fresh container)

1 sm. can drained crushed pineapple (drain well - at least 2-3 hours)

Dissolve Jello in 2 cups boiling water. Add strawberries and pineapple and mix. Chill slightly, about 30-45 minutes. Pour onto cream cheese mixture. Chill completely.

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Monday, August 2, 2010

Corn on the Cob

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CornImage via Wikipedia
Sweet Corn Season is here (at least in Michigan).  The only better time of year for produce is when the home grown tomatoes are ready.

Just a quick suggestion for cooking sweet corn on the cob.

Just throw the corn, husk, silk and all in the microwave after rinsing in coldwater.

Cook for 3:30 for 1 ear, 6 minutes or so, for 2 ears. When done, use a hot pad and towell or glove to clean. The husk and silk comes off easily. Butter and season if you prefer. (I prefer). Keeps all flavor and nutrients in the corn. Ever notice when you cook corn in water, the water turns yellow? That's the flavor and vitamins! If you still prefer to boil the corn, place in boiling water and add a little sugar, return to a boil, and it's done. Don't overcook or kernels will become tough.

The Old Guy

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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Fuzzy Navel Cake

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A glass of Orange juice.Image via Wikipedia
This cake tastes just like the drink.  The alcohol in this recipe is cooked out.  Only the flavor of the peaches remain.
The Old Guy

Fuzzy Navel Cake

1 can drained, chopped peaches

½ cup peach schnapps

¼ cup orange juice

1-cup granulated sugar

1 package yellow cake mix

1 small size package vanilla instant pudding

4 large eggs

½ cup vegetable oil

1 cup chopped pecans

1-½ cups powdered sugar

Combine drained peaches, schnapps, orange juice and granulated sugar in a glass bowl. Stir well to combine. Cover and marinate 24 hours at room temperature. Drain peaches and reserve marinade.

In a large mixer bowl, combine eggs and oil. Add cake mix, pudding, ½ cup marinade liquid and oil; mix at medium speed for 2 minutes.

Add peaches to cake mixture along with chopped pecans, mixing by hand just until well blended. Pour batter into a greased and floured bundt pan and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 40 minutes. Invert cake onto a cake plate and carefully remove pan.

Make a glaze by mixing the powdered sugar and ¼ cup marinade liquid. Stir until smooth. Pour glaze over cake while the cake is still hot.

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Sweet Noodle Pudding (Noodle Kugel)

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Noodle Kugel is my all-time Sunday morning brunch favorite. My 100% Hungarian Mom would make it for us almost every Sunday for brunch, along with scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, toasted bagels, and what she called "Farmer's Chop Suey" a mixture of small curd cottage cheese, sliced scallions, sliced radishes, diced celery and green peppers and a little sour cream to make it creamier.
I made it sweeter than hers and my family likes it better.
The Old Guy

Sweet Noodle Pudding (Kugel)

About 10 ounces cooked and drained medium wide egg noodles

1/8 cup melted butter or margarine

1 cup sour cream

1 (8 ounce) package small curd cottage cheese

12 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 cup raisins (optional)

3 large eggs (separated)

1 (16 ounce) jar Strawberry jam


3 cups crushed Corn Flakes

1/8 cup melted butter or margarine

1 tablespoon cinnamon

4 tablespoons granulated sugar

Beat egg yolks in a large bowl. Add butter, sour cream, cottage cheese, raisins, and cooked egg noodles. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and then fold into noodle mixture. Place into a greased 9-inch x 13-inch Pyrex baking dish. Dot with generous spoonfuls or Strawberry jam.

Mix all topping ingredients together, mixing well. Sprinkle on top of noodle mixture and pat down slightly.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 1 hour or until sides are brown. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Cut into generous squares and serve while still warm.