"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." Marthe Troly-Curtin

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Enchilada Penne

1 lb. Lean Ground Hamburger
1 medium yellow onion diced
1/2 bell pepper diced (any color will do)
1 large stalk celery diced
1 heaping tablespoon chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

1 19 oz. can of Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce (Mild)
1 10 oz. can of Rotel Original Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies
1 8 oz. package of Philly Cream Cheese cubed

There are two ways to prepare this depending on how much time you have.

8 oz. Penne right out of the box.. or

8 oz. Penne Pasta prepared al dente in salted water reserving 1 cup of pasta water for later use if needed.  This can be done while browning the hamburger.

In large skillet w/cover break up and brown hamburger, just before hamburger is "done" add the onion, bell pepper and celery.  Cook until onion starts to soften.  Next add the chili powder.  Mix until you start to smell the chili powder release it's flavors.

Next add the Enchilada Sauce and Rotel Tomatoes.  Heat until it starts to bubble, add the Cubed Cream Cheese.  Stir until melted, reduce heat.

If you are in a hurry add the al dente penne and coat, cover and let simmer about 10 minutes.

If you have time on your hands add the uncooked penne cover and simmer until pasta is done.  **You may need to add additional water or tomato sauce (about 1 cup) if mixture gets too dry before pasta is finished.

When ready to serve top with grated Pepper Jack cheese.  Enjoy.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Pistachio Milnot Cheese Cake

I have had this version of the Milnot cheese cake in my head for a couple months now.  I finally got it together this weekend.  This is a very soft, light cheese cake that will put a smile on your face and asking for seconds!

(Please ignore the fact that the Pistachios in this picture are "flavored" Salt and Pepper)  Use regular crushed Pistachios as a topping if desired.

1 Envelope Knox gelatin
1/2 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons sugar

1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 Box Jello Instant Pistachio Pudding
1 Cup Half and Half
1 12-oz. can MILNOT, whipped
Green food coloring to deepen the color if desired.  None added to this recipe.

3 cups Oreo crumbs
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

Mix the gelatin and 2 tablespoons of sugar then dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Chill until slightly thickened. 
Cream together cheese, sugar, pudding and slowly add Half and Half ; add gelatin and blend well. 
Fold in stiffly whipped MILNOT. (This can be done with electric mixer.)  I whipped the Milnot at room temp.  Do not add anything while whipping, it will break.
Mix Oreo Cookie crumbs and melted butter together; pack 2/3 of mixture on bottom and sides of spring form pan or a 9x13x2-inch pan (or larger). 
Add filling and sprinkle with remaining crumbs. Chill several hours (or overnight). 
Cut or slice and serve plain or garnished with Crushed Pistachios. 
Serves 12-16

Friday, July 17, 2015

Knox Gelatine Basics

Knox Gelatine Basics


If you have ever simmered meat bones for a soup then chilled it, you may have noticed a slight jellied effect to the broth. This result is due to "collagen", a protein substance which yields gelatine and is found in the bones, skin and connective tissue of animals. In manufacturing, unflavoured gelatine is extracted from the collagen by hot water, then concentrated and filtered for purity and clarity. It is cooled, extruded and dried into glassy brittle strips. In 1889, Charles B. Knox of Johnston, New York discovered a method of granulating gelatine by breaking down the strips using high speed mills.
Most unflavoured gelatine is packaged in pre-measured individual envelopes for convenient usage. Each envelope of Knox® Unflavoured Gelatine will gel 2 cups of liquid. If the recipe you want to use calls for unflavoured gelatine by the tablespoon, just use 1 envelope for each tablespoon called for.
Unflavoured gelatine has no flavour of its own and contains no sugar, unlike many flavoured gelatines which contain mostly sugar as well as artificial flavours and colours. This makes unflavoured gelatine extremely versatile: it can be used to create desserts, salads, main dishes, jams and jellies, even ice cream and frozen yogurt!
Knox® Unflavoured Gelatine contains only 6 calories per serving (or 25 calories per envelope) and can easily be used to prepare "lower-in-calorie" recipes.

per 1.75g* serving
Energy .......................... 6 Cal/30 kj
Protein .................................. 1.6 g
Fat ........................................... 0 g
Carbohydrate ........................... 0 g
*Equals a 1/2 cup serving "as
consumed" made up with water  


 Clear or Simple Gel
A clear or simple gel is a basic juice or broth mixture. Solids may be added after the mixture has chilled to "the consistency of unbeaten egg whites".

A whip is a clear gel that has been chilled until partially set; and then beaten until fluffy. Solids are not added to whips.

A snow is a clear gel that has been chilled until partially set; unbeaten egg whites are added, and the mixture is beaten until stiff. Solids are not added to snows. This dish is also sometimes called a "sponge".

A mousse is a clear gel that has been chilled until the "mixture mounds slightly when dropped from spoon". Whipped cream is then folded in; solids may also be folded in at this time.

Custard Gel
A custard gel contains egg yolks, milk and gelatine cooked to form a custard base.

A chiffon is a custard gel that has been chilled until "mixture mounds slightly when dropped from spoon". Stiffly beaten egg whites are then folded in; solids may also be folded in at this time.

A Bavarian is a chiffon with the addition of whipped cream.

A soufflé is a mousse, chiffon or Bavarian mixture chilled in a soufflé dish with a collar.

A charlotte is a mousse, chiffon or Bavarian mixture chilled in a bowl, loaf pan, or springform pan lined with ladyfingers.

Blend 'N Gel
A blend 'n gel is a clear or custard gel prepared in a blender or food processor. Generally, ice or another frozen food is added to speed the gelatine process.


Sprinkle Knox® Gelatine over cold liquid to separate the granules. Let stand for 1 minute.
Gradually add boiling liquid (or liquid heated to the boiling point).
Stir constantly until gelatine is completely dissolved - about 1-2 minutes depending on the amount and temperature of the liquid.

Knox® Unflavoured Gelatine is simple and easy to work with. Depending on the nature of the recipe, you can choose one of four methods of dissolving the gelatine: 

In a Bowl: for most recipes.
Liquid Mix Method:
1. In mixing bowl, sprinkle 1 pouch Knox® Unflavoured Gelatine over 1/4 cup (50mL) cold liquid. Let stand for 1 minute.
2. Add 1/4 cup (50mL) boiling water, stir constantly until granules are completely dissolved.
Sugar Mix Method:
1. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 pouch Knox® Unflavoured Gelatine with 2 tablespoons (25mL) of sugar.
2. Add 1/2 cup (125mL) boiling water; stir constantly until granules are completely dissolved.
In a Saucepan: for recipes with ingredients that must be cooked or melted.
1. In a saucepan, sprinkle 1 pouch Knox® Unflavoured Gelatine over 1/4 cup (50mL) cold liquid. Let stand for 1 minute.
2. Place over low heat; stir constantly until granules are completely dissolved - about 3 minutes.
In a Blender:
1. In a blender, sprinkle 1 pouch Knox
® Unflavoured Gelatine over 1/4 cup (50mL) cold liquid. Let stand for 1 minute.
2. Add 1/4 cup (50 mL) boiling liquid and process until granules dissolve, about 30 seconds.
In the Microwave:
1. In a glass measuring cup, sprinkle 1 pouch Knox® Unflavoured Gelatine over 1/4 cup (50mL) cold liquid. Let stand for 1 minute.
2. Microwave on High (100%) for 30 - 40 seconds; stir once.

Once the gelatine has been dissolved using any of these methods, remaining ingredients are added and the mixture is then poured into a mould or bowl and chilled until set.

For best results when preparing a recipe, use all imperial or all metric measures - not a combination.

Unmoulding is easy:

Carefully loosen gelatine from side of mould with moistened tip of sharp knife.

Dip the mould into warm (not hot) water to the depth of the gelatine contents for about 5 seconds. Tilt or shake mould gently to loosen gelatine.

Invert serving dish on top of mould. Hold both firmly together and turn over (to right side up).

Shake firmly until gelatine slips down from mould into serving dish. If gelatine doesn't come loose easily, repeat the process.
If Gelatine mixture becomes too firm:

Knox® Unflavoured Gelatine is more resilient than you may think. If a recipe reads "chill mixture to consistency of unbeaten egg white" and it chills too firm, that's easy to fix. Place the saucepan over low heat and stir just until the mixture returns to a smooth-textured liquid state. Repeat the chilling process to the desired stage and the mixture will reset successfully.

A metal pan or bowl chills faster than a glass container.
Small containers or individual moulds chill faster than large ones.
When chilling to a partially set stage, the bowl containing the gelatine combination may be set into a pan of ice and water to speed thickening. Stir frequently to ensure even chilling, then stir constantly once the thickening starts.

Chill to consistency of unbeaten egg white.

20-45 minutes.

Tip mixture off spoon. It should pour off slowly in partially thickened state.

Combine with solids or whipped cream, to give an even distribution.

Chill until mixture mounds when dropped from a spoon.

20-45 minutes.

Tip mixture off spoon. It should mound slightly.

Combine with beaten egg whites, to give a fluffy even texture.

Chill until set (or firm):

Most dishes take 3 hours; large dishes 4-6 hours or overnight.

Tilt mould gently from side to side. The gelatine should hold its shape firmly.

Unmould and serve.

*Chilling times may vary with quantity of mixture, material of container and refrigerator temperature.



Unflavoured gelatine granules must be separated before a hot liquid is added or you're guaranteed to have lumps. You can separate the granules by mixing the gelatine with either sugar or a cold liquid. Then add the hot liquid, stir and there will be no lumping!


Follow these easy steps:

Use boiling water to dissolve gelatine in a bowl - temperature is important.

Use a rubber spatula, and scrape the sides and bottom of the pan or bowl while stirring. Easy does it ... too vigorous stirring will splash the gelatine and leave it on the sides.

It takes time as well as temperature to dissolve gelatine. So stir for at least two minutes (or longer if the recipe says so).

You'll know the gelatine is completely dissolved when there are no visible granules remaining. Splash a little bit up against the side and check. No granules? You're ready to go on with the recipe.


For special occasions, nothing is quite as impressive as a shimmering mould. And it's really not that hard to unmould gelatine:

Dip the mould into warm (not hot) water for about 5 seconds.

Carefully loosen the mixture by running the tip of a sharp knife around the edges. Place the serving dish on top; flip over and holding firmly, shake gently until the gelatine slips from the mould onto the dish.

If it doesn't come loose easily, simply repeat the process again.

Some consumers find it easier to lightly oil the jelly mould before filling.

But don't forget - you don't have to use a mould. Gelatine can be chilled in just about anything - bowls, dessert dishes, parfait glasses, baking or springform pans, graham cracker crusts, or even paper cups.


1 pouch is about 2 1/2 teaspoons (7g) unflavoured gelatine. If a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon, use 1 pouch of unflavoured gelatine. Each pouch will gel 2 cups (500mL) of liquid and up to 1 1/2 (375mL) cups of solids.


Sheets of leaf gelatine are not readily available in the United States or Canada, but it can be found in Europe. To use, these sheets are first softened in cold water for 1 to 2 minutes or until soft, then squeezed and then finally dissolved in hot liquid. One pouch of Knox® Unflavoured Gelatine has the same gelling strength as 5 sheets (2-7/8" x 8-1/2") leaf gelatine.


Many people confuse "softening" with "dissolving". Softening gelatine in cold water or another cold liquid helps the granules swell, which is the first step in dissolving. To actually dissolve the granules, boiling liquid or heating the cold liquid in which the gelatine is softened is needed, plus some stirring.


Yes. Gelatine can be dissolved easily in a microwave oven. Here's how: in a glass measuring cup, sprinkle 1 pouch unflavoured gelatine over 1/4 cup cold water and let stand for 1 minute. Microwave on HIGH (100%) for 30-40 seconds; stir once.


Fresh figs, kiwi fruit, papaya, pineapple and prickly pears contain protease enzymes (enzymes which destroy protein). These enzymes have a softening effect on gelatine and prevent it from gelling properly. Boiling the peeled cut-up fruit for 5 minutes, however, will usually inactivate these enzymes, making all these fruits (except kiwi fruit) usable in gelatine recipes.

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Olivia's Buttermilk Pie

Food Network Recipe Link

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup biscuit mix (recommended: Bisquick)
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 eggs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch pie pan.

Put all ingredients in a bowl and blend for 1 minute with a handheld electric mixer. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Blueberry Buckle Coffee Cake

Betty Crocker Recipe Blueberry Buckle

Crumb Topping
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
1/3 cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour 
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

Coffee Cake
2 cups Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh or Cascadian Farm® frozen organic blueberries (thawed and drained)

Vanilla Glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons hot water


Heat oven to 375°F. Grease bottom and side of 9x3-inch springform pan or 9-inch square pan with shortening or cooking spray. In small bowl, mix 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour and the cinnamon. Cut in butter with fork until crumbly. Set aside.

In large bowl, stir together all coffee cake ingredients except blueberries; beat with spoon 30 seconds. Fold in blueberries. Spread batter in pan. Sprinkle with topping.

Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove side of pan.

In small bowl, mix all glaze ingredients until smooth and thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle over warm coffee cake.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Mushroom Risotto with Peas

This is my first try at making Risotto, and I must say it turned out pretty darn good.  The "Old Goat" gave this two thumbs up.

In my search for recipes the one that appealed to me the most was by Giada De Laurentiis which is shown below.  I did not have all the suggested ingredients, so I improvised some.

The directions that Giada has provided are perfect so I will not duplicate.  Just remember this version has less ingredients.

6 tablespoons salted butter
1 medium onion diced
8 oz. button mushrooms sliced
2-3 cloves garlic smashed and chopped
1-1/4 cup long grain brown rice (Arroz De Grano Largo)

2 cans 14.5 oz Beef Broth low sodium (Swanson)
3-4 cups of warm/hot water

3/4 cup frozen green peas
3/4 cup grated Parmesan

Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis
8 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
1/2 -ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onions
10 ounces white mushrooms, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice or short-grain white rice
2/3 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
2/3 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, optional
Bring the broth to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan. Add the porcini mushrooms. Set aside until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Keep the broth warm over very low heat.

Melt the butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the white mushrooms and garlic. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the porcini mushrooms to a cutting board. Finely chop the mushrooms and add to the saucepan. Saute until the mushrooms are tender and the juices evaporate, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and let it toast for a few minutes. Add the wine; cook until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of hot broth; simmer over medium-low heat until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook until the rice is just tender and the mixture is creamy, adding more broth by cupfuls and stirring often, about 28 minutes (the rice will absorb 6 to 8 cups of broth). Stir in the peas. Mix in the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis
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Friday, June 5, 2015

Hoagie Rolls

The Old Goat is currently into making sub sandwiches...regular loaf bread will not handle all the extra "stuff" he likes to add to his "master piece".  This is my first attempt to make a Hoagie shaped roll.  I did use one cup of whole wheat flour.  I changed the recipe to 3 cups regular unbleached flour and 1 cup of whole wheat.

Hoagie Rolls Fleischmann's

Make your own hoagie rolls and create all kinds of delectable sandwiches.

8 rolls

Prep Time
30 minutes
Rise Time
2 hours

Bake Time
13 to 16 minutes


2 envelopes Fleischmann's® Active Dry Yeast
1/2 cup warm water (100° to 110°F)
1 teaspoon sugar
3-1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup Mazola® Corn Oil
1/4 cup honey
1 egg

Egg Wash
1 egg white
2 teaspoons Spice Islands® Sesame Seeds

Combine yeast, 1/2 cup water and sugar in small bowl for about 5 minutes until foamy. Combine 2 cups flour and salt in a large mixer bowl. Heat milk, oil and honey until warm (100° to 110°F). Add to flour with yeast mixture and egg; beat for 2 minutes at medium speed. Continue adding flour, 1 cup at a time until soft dough forms.

Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic (about 6 to 8 minutes). Place in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft -free place about 1 hour, until doubled.

Punch dough down and divide into 8 balls. Lightly roll or pat each ball into an 8 x 3-inch rectangle. Place on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise 1 hour until rolls are doubled. Brush rolls with beaten egg white, slash if desired and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake in preheated 375°F oven for 13 to 16 minutes. Cool, slice and fill with your favorite sandwich toppings.