Saturday, December 15, 2018

Pesto Cheese Spread

© "So Easy, So Delicious"
8 oz cream cheese, softened
⅓ to ½ C pesto sauce

Using an electric mixer or food processor, thoroughly blend pesto and cheese together. Serve as a spread for crackers or crudités (raw vegetables). You can also thinly spread it on slices of ham or roast beef and roll them up, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to a day ahead. When ready to serve, remove plastic and cut into ¾-inch slices. Turn on end to resemble pinwheels.

Hint: Pesto spread is also delicious used in place of mayonnaise on roast beef or turkey sandwiches. Another attractive and easy way to serve pesto cheese spread is to place it in mini-filo shells. Before serving shells, defrost. For added crispness, bake at 350° for about 5 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Then, using a pastry bag, or plastic bag which has a corner cut off to resemble a pastry bag, pipe some of the cheese mixture into each filo shell. Serve as is or top with a small piece of red pepper or pimento.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Jann Hagle Cookies

© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"
1 C butter, softened
1 C sugar
1 egg, separated
2 C flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 T water
2¼ oz (1 small pkg) almonds, sliced
1 tsp baking soda

Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg yolk and mix well. Add flour and cinnamon and blend well. Press lightly into a greased 10½"x15½"x1" jellyroll pan. Beat egg white with water and brush over the dough. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden. Cut immediately into 1½ to 2-inch squares.
Hint: I use a stick of butter and a stick of margarine. These are great cookies to make when you're in a hurry, since it is easier cutting squares than making drop cookies. These keep well in a tin for a few weeks or they may be frozen.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Yam Pecan Casserole

© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"
3½ lbs yams or sweet potatoes
4 T butter or margarine, melted
1 egg, beaten
½ C milk
⅓ C dark brown sugar

3 T butter or margarine, softened
3 T flour
6 T dark brown sugar
¾ C pecans, coarsely chopped
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp vanilla

Bake yams or sweet potatoes with skins on at 400° for approximately 40 to 50 minutes, or until tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Decrease oven temperature to 375°. Scoop out pulp from cooled yams or potatoes and place in a large bowl. (There should be about 4 cups.) Mash until very smooth. Add melted butter or margarine, egg, brown sugar and milk which has been heated on top of stove or in microwave. Blend well and then spread into a greased 7"x11" casserole dish. Make topping by combining butter or margarine, flour and brown sugar. Add remaining topping ingredients. Sprinkle over yam or potato mixture in casserole. Bake for 30 minutes at 375° or until topping is crusty. Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.
Microwave: To cook 2 pounds yams or sweet potatoes, prick with tines of a fork, set on paper towel and cook on high for 13 to 15 minutes. If cooking more than 2 pounds, place yams or potatoes in a circular pattern in microwave and adjust time accordingly.

Hint: This casserole may be completely assembled hours before your family or guests sit down to dinner. It is perfect for holiday dinners or buffets.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Cidered Baked French Toast

© "So Easy, So Delicious"
4 slices cinnamon-raisin bread
2 eggs
1/2 C apple cider or apple juice
2 T sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Confectioners’ sugar, for sprinkling on top

Place bread in a 9-inch square baking pan. Whisk together eggs, cider, sugar and vanilla until well blended. Pour this mixture over the bread. Let stand, turning once, until egg mixture is absorbed, about 5 to 10 minutes. Place bread slices on a cookie sheet that has been greased or sprayed with a nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 12 minutes and turn slices. Continue baking until puffed and golden, approximately 12 additional minutes. Serve with applesauce or with confectioners’ sugar sprinkled on top.

Hint: If you don’t have raisin bread, use plain bread and add 2 tablespoons raisins to the egg mixture. This recipe is lower in fat than traditional French toast because it is baked rather than fried. Also, egg substitutes can be used. People who are lactose intolerant will appreciate the fact that this is made with cider instead of milk.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Walt's cooking lesson

"Despite my being a total novice in the kitchen, Ellie had no trouble guiding me to some recipes that I could handle, and I had no trouble tracking down the ingredients she specified. The lesson itself was great fun, the food was delicious, and I have no doubt I can reproduce the recipes we did!

Thanks again,”
Walter B., West Roxbury, Massachusetts

Monday, October 15, 2018

Pumpkin Apple Soup

© "So Easy, So Delicious"
3 lbs fresh or (2) 16 oz cans pumpkin
6 C chicken or vegetable broth
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cubed
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 tsp rosemary
1 tsp thyme
1/2 C milk or half and half
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 C sour cream or yogurt, for garnish
Croutons, for garnish

Peel and cube pumpkin and cut into 2-inch pieces. Heat broth in a large pot. Add pumpkin, apples, onion and spices. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until apples and vegetables are tender. Purée in a food processor or blender. Return soup to the pan and add milk or half and half and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt and croutons, if desired.

Hint: If using fresh pumpkin, to avoid the drudgery of peeling and cutting it, wash it and poke it all over with the tines of a roasting fork. Place on a plate, uncovered, in the microwave and cook on high for 10 minutes. Turn over and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from microwave and cool briefly. Cut open, remove and discard the seeds (or roast, if desired). Using a spoon, scrape flesh of pumpkin from the skin and place in the soup pot and proceed with recipe.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Kid's cooking birthday party

"Thank you for the follow up. Everyone enjoyed the night and I was very impressed by your patience and passion of working with the kids. Overall the event was an A++++. I am happy to have you include pictures from the event. You deserve lots of praise. I will tell Mom and Avery for sure. I hope our paths cross again soon. Thanks again,”
Mike C., Waltham, Massachusetts

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Keller Williams - Westford

"We all had a fantastic time!! Thank you so much for traveling to Claire's and for your wonderful cooking! Thank you and have a great day!”
Stacie G., Westford, Massachusetts

Monday, October 1, 2018

Pumpkin Muffins

1½ C flour
1/2 C sugar, plus extra for topping
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 C milk
1/2 C pumpkin
1/2 C butter or margarine, melted or canola oil
1 egg
1/2 C raisins

Mix all ingredients by hand just until flour is moistened. Batter should be lumpy. Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon sugar over batter in each cup. Bake at 400° for 17 to 19 minutes, or until a toothpick, inserted in the center, comes out clean. Immediately remove from pan.
Yield: 12 pumpkin muffins

Hint: These muffins are equally delicious with fresh or canned pumpkin. They freeze well.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Basil and Spinach Salad

© "So Easy, So Delicious"
6 C spinach leaves
1½ C basil leaves
1/4 C olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/3 C pine nuts (pignoli)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 to 1/2 C fresh Parmesan cheese, grated

Toss the spinach and basil together in a large bowl. Heat the oil in a skillet and add garlic and pine nuts. Sauté until the nuts begin to brown slightly. Pour oil mixture over the greens and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Toss immediately and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Peach Kuchen

© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"
2 C flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 C sugar (reserve 2 T)
1/2 C butter or margarine
12 peach halves (fresh or canned)
1 tsp cinnamon
2 egg yolks
1 C sour cream

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and 2 tablespoons sugar. With a pastry blender or food processor, blend in butter or margarine until it resembles cornmeal. Pile into an ungreased 8-inch square pan or springform pan and pat an even layer of crumbs on bottom and half way up sides of pan. Place peach halves on pastry. Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over peaches. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Combine egg yolks with sour cream and pour over kuchen and bake 30 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack.

Hint: This is especially delicious during peach season when you can use fresh peaches. It's very impressive looking, but so simple to make.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Spaghetti Salad

© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"


8 oz spaghetti, cooked and drained
4 medium tomatoes, cut in chunks
1 cucumber, peeled and cut in chunks
1 onion, chopped
1/4 C parsley, chopped
1/3 to 1/2 Ib Feta cheese, crumbled


1/4 C olive oil
2 T fresh lemon juice
3 T wine vinegar
1 T sugar
1 T fresh basil, finely chopped or 1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp pepper
Dash Tabasco sauce

Combine ingredients for dressing and refrigerate for several hours or up to a few days ahead. Cook spaghetti and drain. Transfer to a large bowl. While spaghetti is still hot, mix with Feta cheese. Add tomatoes, cucumber, onion and parsley. Add dressing and toss.

Hint: If you find that Feta cheese is too salty, try the imported Feta from France. It is much creamier in texture and a lot less salty than domestic Feta. You may substitute 1 heaping tablespoon of dried parsley for the fresh parsley. The ratio between fresh to dried herbs is 3:1. You need three times as much of the fresh as dried. This salad is fantastic in late summer when fresh basil and native tomatoes are at their peak!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018


© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"
6 very ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small green pepper, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1½ C tomato juice
3 T olive or canola oil
2 T red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt, or to taste
Black pepper, to taste
2 to 3 drops Tabasco sauce
Croutons (for garnish)

Purée all ingredients, except croutons, in a blender or food processor. Serve in chilled soup bowls or mugs. Garnish with croutons.

Hint: To peel tomatoes, place them in boiling water for about 30 to 40 seconds. Remove and immediately plunge them into ice cold water. Using a sharp paring knife, peel off skins. Gazpacho is a very refreshing soup that I first tasted in Spain many years ago. It is very low in calories and fat and is a great way to use any surplus vegetables you may have from your garden.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Chicopee Library

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Grilled Lemon Mustard Chicken

© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"
2 lbs boneless chicken breasts, halved
1/4 C fresh herbs such as basil, parsley,
  oregano or rosemary, chopped
1/4 C Dijon mustard
1/2 C fresh lemon juice
Rind of one lemon, chopped
1/4 tsp black pepper

In a small bowl combine all ingredients, except chicken, to make the marinade. Place chicken in a nonaluminum pan and pour marinade over it. Marinate for 2 to 4 hours in the refrigerator. Grease grids of grill with oil or spray with nonstick spray. Grill chicken for 6 to 9 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Check carefully for doneness so that the chicken will not get overcooked and dry.

Hint: This is a wonderful fat free marinade that has an intense lemon flavor. If not overcooked, it tastes very moist and juicy.