Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

Holiday Cocktails: Cherry Splash

Cherry Splash
Recipe courtesy Jill Davie
Cherry Splash

Ingredients:2 oz. Silver rum
1/2 oz. amaretto, almond-flavored liqueur
1/2 oz. Luxardo maraschino cherry liqueur
Wedge of lime
Splash of maraschino cherry juice
Maraschino cherry for garnish

Preparation:Pour rum, amaretto and cherry liqueur in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until ingredients are well combined and chilled. Pour into a highball glass filled with ice. Squeeze a lime wedge over drink and drop into glass. Add a pour of cherry juice and garnish with a maraschino cherry.
¸.· ´¸.·*´¨)
Lena Austin

Monday, November 19, 2012

Recipe: Fauxtatoes Deluxe

For those of us on low carb diets, missing the mashed potatoes at holidays is pure torture. This recipe makes the pain a lot less.
¸.· ´¸.·*´¨)
Lena Austin

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bloody Rimmed Martinis

Bloody-Rimmed Martinis

Start to Finish: 10 minutes

Bloody-Rimmed Martinis


  •     Red decorating icing writing gel
  • 3/4  cup  half-and-half or light cream
  • 1/2  cup  coconut-flavored rum
  • 1/4  cup  vanilla vodka or vodka
  • 1/4  cup  cream of coconut
  •     Ice cubes


1. Carefully pipe red gel around the rim of 4 to 6 martini glasses, letting it drip down the sides. Set aside.
2. In a pitcher stir together the half-and-half, coconut rum, vanilla vodka, and cream of coconut. Place ice cubes in a martini shaker. Add coconut mixture. Cover and shake. Divide mixture among prepared martini glasses. Makes: 4 to 6 drinks

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Mabon Recipe: Apple Pecan Crisp

Apple-Pecan Crisp

Show Image
Hide Description
Looking for a fruit dessert using Betty Crocker® oatmeal cookie mix? Then check out this great apple-pecan crisp recipe.
Prep Time
Total Time
Hide Ingredients
cup maple-flavored syrup
cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
teaspoon ground cinnamon
large baking apples (about 5 1/2 lb), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch slices (about 12 cups)
cup cold butter or margarine, cut into pieces
pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® oatmeal cookie mix
cup chopped pecans
Hide Preparation
  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. In large bowl, stir together syrup, flour and cinnamon until blended. Add apples; toss until evenly coated. Spread in ungreased 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish.
  3. In same bowl, with pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives in opposite directions), cut butter into cookie mix until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans. Crumble mixture over apples in baking dish.
  4. Bake 30 minutes. Very loosely cover with foil; bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until apples are tender.
Makes 12 servings
Show Tips
Hide Nutrition

Nutrition Information:
1 Serving (1 Serving)
  • Calories 380
    • (Calories from Fat 130),
  • Total Fat 14g
    • (Saturated Fat 5g,
    • Trans Fat 0g),
  • Cholesterol 20mg;
  • Sodium 220mg;
  • Total Carbohydrate 59g
    • (Dietary Fiber 2g,
    • Sugars 31g),
  • Protein 4g;
Percent Daily Value*:
  • Vitamin A 6.00%;
  • Vitamin C 2.00%;
  • Calcium 0.00%;
  • Iron 6.00%;
  • 1 Starch;
  • 1/2 Fruit;
  • 2 1/2 Other Carbohydrate;
  • 0 Skim Milk;
  • 0 Low-Fat Milk;
  • 0 Milk;
  • 0 Vegetable;
  • 0 Very Lean Meat;
  • 0 Lean Meat;
  • 0 High-Fat Meat;
  • 2 1/2 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choices:
  • 4;
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
© 2011 ®/TM General Mills All Rights Reserved

¸.· ´¸.·*´¨)
Lena Austin

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ranch Stew

Ranch Stew

1-1/2 lbs ground beef
1/2 cup onions
2 cans condensed vegetable soup
1 16oz can pork and beans
3 cups water
1-1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/8 tsp instant minced garlic
1/8 ground cumin

Cook and stir ground beef and onion in Dutch oven over medium heat until beef is light brown; drain. Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Serve with biscuits or cheese rolls.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fall For Them Leaves

Fall For Them Leaves

Makes: 6 servings
Prep: 30 mins Cook: 30 mins
6 carrots, peeled and cut lengthwise in half
2 large parsnips, peeled, trimmed and cut lengthwise in half
1  rutabaga, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/4- 1/2-inch slices
1  sweet potato or yam, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/4- 1/2-inch slices
8  fresh sage leaves
3 tablespoons Country Crock® Spread, melted
Fresh ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. With a small sharp knife, cut vegetables into leaf shapes. Score some of the leaves with lines down the center to make them more "leaf-like.''
3. Put all of the vegetables and sage onto a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle Country Crock® Spread over vegetables. Season with black pepper. Toss to coat.
4. Roast in oven until golden brown and tender, about 30 minutes.
From the Test Kitchen
  • Tip Substitute any root veggies you like, or whatever's available locally, for this dish.
Nutrition Facts (Fall For Them Leaves)
  • Servings Per Recipe 6,
  • Calories 140,
  • Protein (gm) 2,
  • Carbohydrate (gm) 25,
  • Fat, total (gm) 4,
  • Saturated fat (gm) 1,
  • Dietary Fiber, total (gm) 6,
  • Sugar, total (gm) 11,
  • Vitamin A (RE) 2988,
  • Vitamin C (mg) 30,
  • Sodium (mg) 240,
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Friday, September 21, 2012

Chuck Wagon Beans

Chuck Wagon Beans Recipe

1/2 lb bacon slices
3 lbs ground beef
1 lg onion, finely chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
2/3 cup beef broth
1-1/2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 cups catsup
3 tbsp prepared mustard
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cans Bush's Baked Beans (13 oz)

In large pan, fry bacon until crisp, remove and drain. Pour away drippings. In same pan, add and stir ground beef, onion, and celery. When beef is brown and onion is tender, stir in broth and remaining ingredients. Cover and bake one hour, or in crock pot until hot and bubbly. Crumble bacon, sprinkle over beans.

Makes 12 servings, 1 cup each.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Southwest Spaghetti Pie

More a casserole than a pie, this dish is a perfect potluck contribution.

8 oz dried spaghetti
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 lb ground pork
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 medium green pepper, chopped (3/4 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain well. Return to pan. Combine milk and egg and stir into hot pasta. Transfer to a buttered 3-quart rectangular baking dish (there will be some free liquid).
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook pork, onion, sweet pepper, and garlic until meat is brown. Drain off fat.
Stir chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and black pepper into meat mixture in skillet. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Stir in tomato sauce. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Spoon on top of pasta in dish. Sprinkle with cheeses.
Bake, uncovered, in a 425F oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly around the edges. Let casserole stand 5 minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings.

Optional: Substitute equal amount of ground beef for the pork.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Recipe: Susie's Chai

Susie's Chai
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1. Pour entire can of milk into a clean, dry jar.
2. Add all the spices and cover tightly with lid.
3. Place in refrigerator. The longer it stays refrigerated, the better it gets.
4. To use, stir the mixture and scoop out 2-3 tablespoons directly into a cup of very strong, very hot black tea.
Makes 1-3/4 cups.
¸.· ´¸.·*´¨)
Lena Austin

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Holiday Drink: Frosty the Caramel Apple Pie Cocktail

Frosty the Caramel Apple Pie

Go to Cocktails for more comforting, cold-weather recipes and videos.

Frosty the Caramel Apple Pie

By Stephen Phillips
This festive holiday cocktail draws inspiration from decadent caramel-apple pie.

Single Serve Recipe

Ingredients:1-1/2 oz. vodka or tequila

1 oz. Hiram Walker Butterscotch Schnapps

1-1/2 oz. apple cider

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Apple slice for garnish

Crushed graham crackers

Preparation:First, rim the lip of a chilled cocktail glass with your crushed graham crackers.
Pour all the liquid ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
Shake well.
Strain into your chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with an apple slice.
Note: Serve over ice in a large wine goblet.
¸.· ´¸.·*´¨)
Lena Austin

Friday, September 14, 2012

Lena's Diet Matrix

Short Ribs
Chicken Thighs
Pork Shoulder, cubed or Spam
Bulk Pork Sausage or Ground beef
Chuck Roast, cubed
Cauliflower, zucchini,  turnips, rutabaga, parsnips, carrots, spinach, or Broccoli
Mushrooms (add last)
Red Wine
White Wine
Soy Sauce
Beef or Chicken Broth (Homemade is best)
Diced tomatoes
Dried mushrooms
Bay Leaves
Fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, and parsley
This matrix is my not-so secret list of "throw together" meals. Be aware you can vary the liquids, but if you won't drink the wines or beers, don't cook with them. For example, I happen to be very fond of a Reisling (white) wine that comes in a blue bottle with a sun on the logo. It cooks well. OTOH, I can't stand most pinot grigio, so I don't have it in my food. Same goes for the beers. This year, I'm going to try some of the Samuel Adams flavored beers. However, don't overlook the stale beers left when someone throws a party. It's free flavor.
Same goes for the vinegars. Don't forget herbal vinegars. I keep white, cider, sherry, balsamic, wine vinegars and rice wine vinegars on hand.
Simply choose your meat (Row 1), choose your veggies (Row 2), choose your braising liquid (Row 3), and choose your flavor enhancers (Row 4).
Prep: Chop up everything in advance. Measure your ingredients or have them standing by. (Salt and pepper are always welcome, but be sparing.)
You may use a deep frying pan and a crock pot or (my new favorite) the electric skillet.
  1. Braise your meat. Fully brown it in a splash of oil. The more carmelization, the more flavor. Remove the meat and either put it in the crock pot or bowl to add back to the skillet later.
  2. Throw in the veggies and give them a stir-up to help scrape up the brown bits. (You can add mushrooms in the last few seconds, since they cook so quickly.) Throw the veggies in the crock or put in the bowl on top of the meat.
  3. Now throw in the liquid, enough to cover the bottom and give you enough to give you some sauce. Scrape up the last of the brown bits and flavor from the pan.
  4. Add the herbs/flavor to the sauce. Now, if you're using the crock pot, pour the sauce over the meat and veggies, slap on the lid, turn on the crock and walk away. If you're using the electric skillet, add the meat and veggies on top of the sauce and stir it well. Turn the skillet to low, slap on the lid, and check it every ten minutes until done.
The rest of your groceries are your snacks like eggs (for boiling), bacon and sausages, vegetables (see above matrix), chicken strips, sliced cheese, canned tuna/salmon. You can have mayo, but beware the calories. Mustard is better.
If you must have a carb substitute, try quinoa. It cooks like rice in a 2:1 ratio of water to quinoa, and keeps very well in the fridge. It can be eaten as a hot cereal or used like rice or pasta.
¸.· ´¸.·*´¨)
Lena Austin

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Re: Russian Tea

The first is the recipe I grew up with.
Friendship Tea Mix
18 ounces Tang drink mix
1 cup instant iced tea
2 cups granulated sugar (or equivalent in Splenda)
1 package powdered lemonade mix
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Mix and place into a covered jar or other container. For hot tea mix 2/3 tablespoon to 1 cup of hot water. For iced tea mix substitute cold water and pour over ice.
Friendship Spiced Tea Mix
1 jar (18 oz.) Tang or store brand equivalent
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup red cinnamon candy (red hots)
1/3 cup instant tea mix
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container. To serve, stir 1 1/2 tablespoons of mix into 1 cup hot water, stirring until the candies dissolve.
About the Author
Brenda Hyde is a Mom of three, a freelance writer and editor of Old Fashioned Living. For information on subscribing to her newsletters Click here
¸.· ´¸.·*´¨)
Lena Austin

From: "" <>
To: Lena Austin <>
Sent: Friday, November 11, 2011 9:25 PM
Subject: Re: Recipe: Autumn Potato Gratin


On Nov 11, 2011, at 18:24, Lena Austin <> wrote:

We serve this every year...

¸.· ´¸.·*´¨)
Lena Austin

Welcome to my Blog!

Thanks for popping by! Don't sit on the whipping horse unless you want to find out how it's used. I speak my mind and annoy many people, but all of it is meant in good spirit. Feel free to argue with me. I like it.

Best way to reach me is by email: