The Difference Between Butter and Margarine?

 Cooking For Entertaining  Comments Off on The Difference Between Butter and Margarine?
Feb 292012

DO YOU KNOW the difference between butter and margarine?

They both have the same amount of calories.  Butter is slightly higher in saturated fats at 8 grams compared to 5 grams, so what gives?

Here are a few facts about butter you might find interesting…

Eating butter increases the absorption of many other nutrients in other foods.

  • Butter has many nutritional benefits where margarine has few to none, and only because they are added!
  • Butter tastes much better than margarine and it can enhance the flavors of other foods.
  • Butter has been around for centuries where margarine has been around for less than 100 years.

According to a Harvard Medical Study, eating margarine can increase heart disease in women by 53% verses eating the same amount of butter.

And now for a few facts about margarine…

1. Very high intrans fatty acids

2.  Triples risk of coronary heart disease

3.  Increases total cholesterol and LDL (the bad cholesterol)

4.  Lowers HDL cholesterol, (the good cholesterol)

5.  Increases the risk of cancers by up to five fold

6.  Lowers quality of a mother’s breast milk

7.  Decreases immune system response

8.  Decreases insulin response

And Here Is The Part That Is Very Interesting!

Margarine is but ONE MOLECULE away from being PLASTIC!!

This fact alone was enough to have me avoiding margarine for life and anything else that is hydrogenated, (hydrogen is added, changing the molecular structure of the substance).  Try this yourself at home… place a tub of margarine in your garage or shaded area and check it in a few days. You will notice a couple of things: no flies, not even teeny weenie micro-organisms will go near it and it does not rot or smell because it has no nutritional value.

So I ask you, would you melt your Tupperware and spread it on your toast?

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

 Baked Goods, Breads  Comments Off on Cinnamon Coffee Cake
Feb 292012

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

I remember baking this as part of the breads served for our Sunday Brunches along with banana and zucchini breads.  It was, hands down, the favorite and people always asked for refills.  It’s a wonderfully moist coffee cake because of the sour cream.  It also freezes well so consider making a double batch.

2 – 1/2  cups sifted flour

2 – 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup butter

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup firm packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Sift flour and baking powder and set aside.  Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, add vanilla and each of the eggs one at a time.  Add sour cream to the mix. Spoon the flour mixture in until well blended.  Pour batter into a well greased baking dish. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle on the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, cool for 10 minutes.

Cut into 2 inch squares and watch them disappear!

Banana Bread

 Breads  Comments Off on Banana Bread
Feb 292012

Banana Bread

Making this bread whenever you have ripe banana’s on hand is a must.  Everyone loves this bread and it makes for a tasty treat for the whole family anytime.  I also like making smaller loafs as gifts during the holiday time.

This batch makes a 9 x 5 x 3 loaf.

1 ¾  cups sifted flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoons baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup softened butter


cup sugar

2 eggs, well beaten

1 cup mashed bananas (approx. 3 bananas)

½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.  Cream butter until light, then add sugar and cream together until it appears fluffy.

Add the eggs to butter and sugar mixture and set this aside. Mash bananas.  Next, add flour mixture and bananas, alternating the two, and ending with the flour.  Butter loaf pan and sprinkle lightly with flour.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Test for loaf to be done by checking to see if sides have pull away from the pan. Let cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan.

Slice and serve with butter, peanut butter, or your favorite preserves.

Chicken Enchiladas

 Mexican  Comments Off on Chicken Enchiladas
Feb 222012

Chicken Enchiladas are a great meal everyone enjoys.


2 Large chicken breasts cooked and shredded

1 Large onion

1 4 oz. can of green chilies

4 cups cooked rice

1 16 oz. Refried Beans

2 Packages of Enchilada Sauce

12 Large Tortillia

4 Cups extra sharp shredded cheese


Parmesan Bread Sticks

 Baked Goods, Breads, Italian  Comments Off on Parmesan Bread Sticks
Feb 222012

I love these bread sticks to compliment just about any dish I make. I usually make a double batch and freeze the rest for those times when you don’t have time to make em fresh. They also make for a great after school snack dipped in warmed spaghetti sauce, warmed and dipped in your favorite sauce.

3/4 Cup Buttermilk

1 Tablespoon sugar

1/2 Teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon Butter

1 Packet Rapid Rise Yeast (2-1/4 teaspoons)

1/4 Cup warm water (110-115 degrees)

3 Cups flour

1 Tablespoon parsley flakes

2 Tablespoons of parmesan cheese

1 Egg beaten to brush top of each bread stick.

First combine together buttermilk, sugar, salt, and melted butter. Mix Rapid Yeast with warm water and combine it with milk mixture. Mix 1-1/2 cups of flour with the remaining dry ingredients and add to your liquid mixture until smooth. Continue adding flour until dough becomes stiff. Remove from bowl and kneed until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl and let rise for 30 minutes. Punch down. Divide dough into 12 pieces and roll out into bread sticks. Place on ungreased baking sheet about 2 inch apart. Let them rise for 15 minutes. Use egg to brush top and sprinkle with parmesan before baking at 350 for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot and enjoy with any meal.



Anti Pasta Salad

 Salads  Comments Off on Anti Pasta Salad
Feb 222012

This is a great colorful and tasty dish I like bringing to any party because everybody loves it. It makes for a great side dish with any meal or a great meal all in itself with lots of fresh greens and a zesty flavor. It makes for a great vegetarian dish or add thick slices of hard salami. Here’s what you’ll need.

1 Package of corkscrew colored macaroni

2 Cups Broccoli

1 Medium red onion

1 Cup slivered carrots

1 Can whole black olives, drained

1 Cup sliced peperoncini peppers

2 Jars of your favorite gourmet artichokes in olive oil

1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese

4 Romano tomatoes

1 1/2 Cups hard salami (optional)

To begin, cook corkscrew pasta. Once cooked, rinse with cold water and stir a tablespoon of artichoke juice to keep pasta from sticking together as it cools. Cut broccoli into small flowerettes and the carrots into long bite size slivers.  Lightly steam these two vegetables in a covered sauce pan for 5 minute once the water boils. Remove from heat and blanch by rinsing them with ice cold water to stop the cooking process. They should still be bright in color yet soft to bite into. Meanwhile, slice red onion into long stripes, slice black olives in half, and drain sliced peperoncini, slicing them into smaller pieces so they don’t over power the dish. Cut artichokes into quarters and reserve the juice for the dressing. Dice tomatoes into large cubes. Add all the ingredients, including parmesan cheese to pasta and lightly toss everything together before adding the artichoke juice.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Enjoy!  Be sure to check out my Parmesan Bread Sticks to go with this dish.

Banana Cream Pie

 Pies  Comments Off on Banana Cream Pie
Feb 152012

Banana Cream Pie

Cream pies always go over great anytime of the year.

½ Cup sugar

2 Tablespoons flour

2 Tablespoons cornstarch

¼ teaspoon salt

1-3/4 cups milk

3 Egg yolks, lightly beaten

1 Tablespoon butter

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

3 Ripe bananas

1 Baked 9 inch pie shell (pre-baked & cooled)

½ cup shredded coconut

1-1/2 whipped cream

Mix flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt in a saucepan or use a double boiler if you have one.  Slowly add in the milk and continue to heat, (do not boil) stirring occasionally until it becomes thick and smooth.  Turn heat to lowest setting and continue to stir for 1-2 minutes. Take a spoonful of the hot mixture and add it to the egg yolks and return this back to saucepan. Proceed to cook on very low heat, stirring until mixture is very thick.  Stir in butter and vanilla extract and cool to room temperature.  Slice a banana in thin rounds and place on the bottom of your baked pie shell.  Add the filling to the pie and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.  Meanwhile toast the coconut and set aside.  A good rule of thumb is to top the pie with whipped cream when you are ready to serve to prevent it from going flat in the refrigerator.  Sprinkle with the toasted coconut and more slice bananas.  Enjoy!


Holy Mole Guacamole Party Dip

 Dips, Mexican  Comments Off on Holy Mole Guacamole Party Dip
Feb 132012

 The Awesome Avocado

You don’t have to avoid avocados, even though they have a high fat content. They actually contain “good” unsaturated fats that do not raise blood cholesterol. Dietary Guideline Reports suggest that moderate amounts of foods like avocados can help keep blood cholesterol down and offer protection against heart disease. Avocados are also very high in folic acid and potassium and a good source of iron and vitamins A and C.

4 Avocados

2 Romano Tomatoes

1/2 medium size red onion

1 Tablespoon sour cream (optional)

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 habinero or jalapeno pepper (check temp before adding entire pepper.

1/4 teaspoon lemon

In a glass bowl, lightly mash avocados.  Dice onion, tomatoes, and pepper and add to avocados and gently stir.  All the remaining ingredients.  Cover and chill for at least one hour to allow the flavors to marinade together.  Serve with your favorite tortilla chips and enjoy!

Outrageous Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip Cookies!

 Baked Goods, Cookies  Comments Off on Outrageous Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip Cookies!
Feb 132012

If you think about getting good at cooking or baking, the first thing to do is start with comfort food. It just makes a person feel good to bite in warm food that’s made with love with the heart beaming on the inside out.  So, for starters, anyone for some cookies?

1 Cup Butter, Softened

1/2 Cup White Sugar

1/2 Cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar

2 Eggs

3 teaspoon vanilla

3 Cups Uncooked Oat

1-3/4 Cup Flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2  Cup chocolate chips

1 Cup Walnuts (Optional)

Heat oven to 350. Beat softened butter and sugars until fluffy.  Add the eggs, vanilla and mix in the chocolate chips.  Mix the dry ingredients. Place small tablespoon balls of dough on un-greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 13 minutes. Store in a sealed container to keep their freshness.  Make a batch of 12 and freeze the rest in a sealed container.


Fresh Homemade Salsa

 Dips, Mexican  Comments Off on Fresh Homemade Salsa
Feb 122012

There’s nothing like fresh salsa! You’ll want to make plenty because your family and guests will gobble it down in no time. To accomplish a nice consistency, you’ll want to use a blender for ¾ of the finished product with the remaining portion you’ll add as the crunch.

8 – 10 Romano Tomatoes

2 Medium Red Onions

5 Cloves pressed Garlic

1 Tbsp Cilantro

1 tsp basil

¼ tsp salt

Dice tomatoes and onions in small cubes. Set aside ¼ of the batch to be added after you blend the larger portion of ingredients. In a blender, place ¾ of tomatoes and onions, along with the pressed garlic, cilantro, basil and salt. Blend 10 seconds, pulsating until you have a thick salsa puree. Pour blended portion into a glass serving bowl and add the ¼ remaining diced tomatoes and onion chunks to the puree. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour to get the full flavor. Break out the tortilla chips and enjoy!