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Bean and Hot Dog Faces

Cooking in a hurry for some children who have to be coaxed to eat? Try this quick and easy dish that also has a lot of fiber and protein.

Three ingredients:

4-5  hot dogs: Turkey, Chicken or Beef Hot Dogs (or a combination thereof)

1 can of Bushes Vegetarian Baked Beans – 28 ounces


Cut the hot dogs lenth wise. Then cut some of them in half and others in chunks. Add the can of beans and cook in a heavy pot for about fifteen minutes. Sometimes I add a tablespoon of mustard into the pot for an extra zing.

I added some tomato chunks to the top – you could get artistic and add different vegetables to make the hot dog face look like it has lots of hair.

After arranging the hot dogs into a face, I squiggled some mustard onto my masterpiece (you gotta smile folks).


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Popcorn For Pennies

Noticed how expensive and calorie ridden popcorn has become?

As a kid, I remember having a square popcorn popper with a long handle and standing at the stove moving our arm back and forth scraping the electric burner, to keep the popcorn from burning,

Now we have all kinds of flavored popcorn, drowning in butter or fake butter, These boxes, with six bags, usually run from $3.50 to over $5, while a bag of popcorn such as Jolly Time©  – two pounds worth – costs less than $2 and probably makes triple what you would get from the bags-in-the-box popcorn.

Want to get back to basics? Start by putting a small amount in a glass bowl and cover with a plate until you find exactly how much the bowl can hold. Everyone’s microwave is different but for me, three minutes is perfect.


Sprinkle a little salt and then spray with your favorite aerosol butter or oil. Surprisingly, the spray gives it a very buttery taste with the tinest bit of spraying. It’s time to munch.

You can use your imagination to put on whatever you want but you can also do it in a way that spares you the calories. Popcorn is great for fiber and should be a low calorie snack.


Vegetable Casserole

Vegetables were something I had to eat as a child – not something I looked forward to. Evan as an adult I couldn’t find much enthusiasm. I decided to experiment and came up with this dish that I can assume you my mama never made.


3   Carrots – grated

1/2 Fresh broccoli bunch

1   Large onion

1/2 Green pepper

12  Mushrooms (medium)

3   Eggs

1/3 Cup vegetable oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1  Tablespoon dried basil

Use a little of the oil to saute the chopped up onion, green pepper and mushrooms. I always refer to the pepper, onion, mushroom mix as the holy trio.

Next, chop up the brocolli and cook it until soft. While it is cooking, grate the carrots.


Drain the broccoli and put in a large mixing bowl. Add the sauteed holy trio, the carrots, three beaten eggs, salt and pepper, basil, the remainder of the oil and mix. This is what it looked like before going into the oven.Image

Bake in a casserole dish (spray with oil before putting in) at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes.

When finished I couldn’t resist – didn’t even wait for my guests. It was bubbling hot and um, um, good.



Double Delicious Brownies

By Joan Gross

This recipe takes minutes to make and the double delicious brownies are moist, chewy and scrumptious.

1/2 Cup of chocolate chips
1/2 Cup of chopped walnuts
3/4 Teaspoon real vanilla flavoring
1/2 Cup of margerine or butter
1/4 Cup brown sugar
3/4 Cup white sugar
3/4 Cup whole wheat flour
2 Eggs

Melt margerine in the microwave with the chocolate chips – takes about one minute. In another bowl and the dry ingredients. After the margerine/chocolate mixture cools down, add the beaten eggs and vanilla.

Blend the ingredients of both bowls together and pour into baking dish (8″ x 8″ or 9″ x 9″) and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Your grandchildren (or children) will be delighte.

Double Delicious Brownies

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Potato Leek Soup

Harried mom’s quick, easy and frugal recipes

3 Medium to large leeks

3 Potatoes

1/4 Bunch of parsley

1 Bouillon cube or 1-1/2 tablespoons or use chicken stock instead of water

4 Cups of water (approximate)

Salt and pepper to taste

1/3 Cup of soy milk


After washing leeks, cut off the tough leaves and slice the softer leaves and bottom section. Cut two of the potatoes in chunks and add the rest of the ingredients including one whole potato.

Cook for about 20 minutes making sure it is not too thick or thin.

Put soup through an immersion blender or put into a regular blender and blend well.

Dice the last potato and add to the soup. When the diced potato is almost soft, then add the soy milk, salt and pepper and it is ready to serve.

Decorate top of soup before serving with a little fresh parsley or chives

This soup from beginning to end takes less than 30 minutes and served with hot bread and butter can be a  hearty meal.

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Chicken with Mangoes and Peaches

Harried mom’s quick easy and economical dinners

2    Pounds of boneless chicken (top or bottom)

1/2 Sliced onion

1    Large peach

1    Mango

1/2 Cup Chablis wine

3/4 Cup water

1    Bullion cube (or equivalent in powder)

1    Green pepper21

1/4 Teaspoon chili powder

2    Tablespoons vegetable oil


Photo of the chicken dish before putting it into the oven

This dish is vibrant with the juxtaposition of the colors of the pepper, fruit and chicken and the little bit of chili powder gives it a bite. This dish will not make an oh-hum presentation when served, especially if you ladle it into a colorful serving bowl.

Cut boneless chicken into small chunks. Sauté the chicken pieces, onion and green pepper for a few minutes. Add wine, water, bullion, mango chunks, sliced peaches, and chili powder. You can either simmer it on the stove for about 15 minutes or put it in the oven, covered, and bake for approximately 30 minutes.

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Turkey meatballs in plum sauce

1  Pound of Ground Turkey

3  Overripe plums

1/2 Cup of spicy BBQ sauce

1/2 Cup orange juice

1  Small onion

1/2 Cup ground corn flakes

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

Salt and pepper

Mix ground beef with diced onion and ground corn flakes. Saute meatballs. Put the meatballs into a pot along with all the other ingredients, removing pit from plum before or after cooking. Let simmer for about 30 minutes. Serve hot.

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Joan’s Fruit Soup

6 Plums (over ripe)

1 Large peach (over ripe)

1/2  Small Cantaloupe

1 Large cinnamon stick

1/3 Cup sugar

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Squeeze pits out of plums and peach. Put it all in one pot with about 1 cup of water and cook slowly for about an hour. Take out the cinnamon stick and then let it cool. You can either then put it through a food processor or put an immersion blender in the pot. Serve cold. Great on hot days.