Monday, March 29, 2010

Back to School

Spring Quarter 2010 started today at Gwinnett Technical College.

Today, I started Anatomy and Physiology II. By the way, I got an A (That would be an A+ if they used + and -) last quarter.

Tomorrow, I will start a required Public Speaking class. It's just two days a week.

More updates later.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sundried Tomato Cheese Spread

More from our appetizer dinner last week.


4 ounces cream cheese, softened (1/2 tub)
3 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 diced sundried tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped basil

Mix all ingredients and stir until smooth. Chill.

I used dry sundried tomatoes and re-constituted them in warm water for a few minutes. You can use the ones packed in oil, just be sure to drain well.

For the little toasts: Slice a baguette in 1/2 inch pieces. Spray both sides of slices with olive oil cooking spray, spread out on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes, turning once.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Toasted Ravioli


frozen cheese ravioli
Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs
1 or 2 eggs, beaten
olive oil cooking spray

Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Set aside.

Cook ravioli according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cool water.

Dip each ravioli in egg and then in bread crumbs. Place on prepared pan. Spray tops of each ravioli with cooking spray.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. Once, halfway through, turn the ravioli over and spray other side with cooking spray.

Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Appetizer Dinner

It seems that our big TV in the den has died. It may be repairable, but might cost more than makes sense for a TV it's age. So, while we decide what to do about the TV, we will watch TV in the (unfinished) basement. I have a TV there that I watch while I'm on the treadmill.

Here's my attempt to make the basement a little more fun. Appetizers for dinner!

Toasted Ravioli served with sauce for dipping.
Sundried Tomato Cheese Spread with little toasts.
Party Meatballs.
Scallops - just because I had a few leftover from something else.
Oatmeal Raisin cookies from Publix bakery.

Recipes to come in the next few days...

Blueberry Pancake

Remember the Big Square Pancake?

I added blueberries this time. So delicious!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pistachio Coconut Cake


1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
eggs (as called for on cake mix)
oil (as called for on cake mix)
lemon-lime soda (substituted for amount of water called for on cake mix)
1 (3 ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
3/4 cup chopped pecans

2 (1.3 ounce) envelopes Dream Whip mix
1 1/2 cups milk
1 (3 ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Prepare the cake mix with eggs, oil, soda and 1 package of pudding as directed on package. Fold in coconut and pecans. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 cake pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. (This is longer than the cake mix directions.) Let the cake cool completely before frosting.

To make frosting: Combine Dream Whip mix, pudding mix and milk. Beat until thick. Spread over cake. Sprinkle pecans and coconut on top.

Decorating: I placed a shamrock shaped cookie cutter in the center of frosted cake and filled it in with green sprinkles. Removed cookie cutter. Then, I placed a small paper plate over the shamrock, sprinkled the pecans and coconut all around. Removed the paper plate to reveal a circle around the shamrock clear of pecans and coconut. (See previous post for pictures.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Cake recipe tomorrow...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Break

I took my Anatomy & Physiology final exam today. So, I guess you could say I'm on Spring Break.

But not really. No Jamaica vacation this year.

I'll be okay.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Eddie got a craving for Pineapple Upside Down Cake a couple of weeks ago. Funny thing, I had just found and printed a recipe for it a few days before.

Yes, he is the one that actually made it, not me.

He decided to use pineapple chunks instead of the usual rings for better coverage of the cake. We also decided to double the brown sugar next time for more caramelization.


butter (enough to grease the pan)
1 cup brown sugar (this amount is double the original recipe)
1 large can (15 ounces?) pineapple chunks, drained with juice reserved
1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries
1 (18.25 ounce) boxed pineapple cake mix
{ingredients on box to prepare, may vary depending on mix}

Place a 10 inch springform pan on a baking sheet lined with foil (in case the pan leaks). Grease the bottom and sides of pan with butter. Sprinkle the brown sugar in the pan and spread evenly. Place pineapple chunks and cherries over the brown sugar.

Prepare the cake mix as directed on box, but substitute pineapple juice for water. Add water if needed to get the required amount of liquid. Pour batter into pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan for 20 minutes.

Invert the pan onto a serving platter, remove the outer ring of the pan, then the bottom.

Note: This makes a cake that is almost 3 inches tall. Next time, I will double the brown sugar, pineapple and cherries and make two cakes out of the one cake mix. Then the proportion of cake to pineapple will be more to my liking.

Original recipe found at Joelens Culinary Adventures.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Banana Burritos

I know what you will say....

Who puts a banana in a burrito??

You will.

Once you see that's it's a dessert, not an entree!


3 medium bananas
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 flour tortillas (8 or 10 inch size)
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted
caramel ice cream topping

Grease cookie sheet. Peel bananas and cut lengthwise in half; brush with lemon juice. Place 1 banana half in each tortilla. Mix sugar and cinnamon, reserving 1 tablespoon. Sprinkle bananas with sugar and cinnamon. Roll each tortilla around banana; place seam side down on cookie sheet. Brush with butter. Sprinkle with remaining sugar and cinnamon.

Bake at 450 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. Place on dessert plates and drizzle with caramel topping. Great with ice cream, too.

Yield: 6 tortilla rolls

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Mediterranean Pasta

I've had this recipe in my personal cookbook for about 15 years. It is my version of a dish from a restaurant in Athens, GA. I don't think I've made it since I moved away from Athens in 1997. I'm not sure why.

I guess when I looked at the ingredients more recently, it seemed like it was missing something, like maybe it needed more sauce?

Now, I'm really sad that I haven't been making it on a regular basis. Eddie even asked me why I had been hiding this dish from him. Not to worry, sweetie, we will be adding this to the rotation.


8 ounces cooked thin spaghetti
1/4 cup pitted and sliced Greek olives
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup sliced or chopped banana peppers
3 tablespoons basil pesto
1 tablespoon olive oil (adjust oil based on how much oil is in your pesto)

After draining pasta, combine all ingredients in same pot. Return to stove and cook a few minutes until other ingredients are warm.

Yield: 2 - 3 main dish servings

Optional: Top with a grilled or sautéed chicken breast seasoned with Greek or Italian seasoning.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Big Square Pancake

This is another new recipe that turned out great!

I've never even made pancakes the regular way. It seemed like too much trouble and you have to cook them in batches. This one cooks in the oven and would be easy to double if you have more than two people in your household.


3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Lightly grease an 8 x 8 baking dish. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together milk, butter and egg. Add sugar, then gradually stir in the flour, baking powder and salt. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Top of pancake will not brown. Cut into squares or triangles to serve. Top with confectioner’s sugar and pancake syrup.

Yield: 4 pancakes

Next time, I will try dropping in some blueberries or chocolate chips. Any number of additions would work with this.

I found the recipe at My Tasty Treasures.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Fiesta Ravioli Bake

This dish is one of those that puts together really simple ingredients and tastes like something so much more. You will be amazed that it tastes so, so good. It would also be really easy to keep the ingredients on hand for an entertaining emergency.


1 (25 ounce) package frozen beef ravioli
1 (12 ounce) jar chunky salsa
1 (10 ounce) can red enchilada sauce (La Preferida)
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
crushed tortilla chips
sour cream
chopped cilantro

Cook ravioli according to package directions. Drain.

Meanwhile, combine salsa, enchilada sauce, beans and corn. Mix together with ravioli and pour into a 13 x 9 baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Top with cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes until casserole is bubbly and cheese is melted.

Top each serving with crushed chips, sour cream and cilantro.

Yield: 6 servings

Eddie chose to serve his like this. Looks like Fiesta Ravioli Nachos!!

I found this recipe at Cassie Craves.

Friday, March 5, 2010

School Stuff

This quarter is almost done, I just have a week and a half left. Unfortunately, that includes 3 big tests: a lab final on Tuesday, lecture test #4 on Thursday and a cumulative final exam the next Tuesday. Focus, focus, focus...

This week, we covered several topics: spinal cord, nerves, nerve reflexes, the eye and ear.

Didn't that look fun??

Word of the Day:
(I like the long, weird words)


The unconscious perception of movement and spatial orientation arising from stimuli within the body itself. (In other words, knowing where your body parts are at all times!) There are receptors all over that are continuously telling your brain what all your body parts are doing.

Did you know?
(interesting or amazing facts)

There are touch receptors located throughout your skin, but they are not evenly distributed. In other words, some parts of the body have higher concentrations of receptors, giving you more sensitivity. Try this experiment on a friend: Have the friend close their eyes. Using 2 slightly pointed objects (keys, pencils) touch the person on the back, thigh, hand, face... Each time, ask them if they feel one or two points on their skin. They will be able to tell it was two points on some parts, but other parts will feel like just one!

Cream Cheese Banana Bread

This is a new recipe that I tried earlier this week. It makes a lighter and fluffier banana bread than I was expecting. It's really tasty but I think I would prefer it a little denser and it needs more banana flavor.

Next time, I will add more bananas and a little less flour.

You can find the recipe at

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lemon Cookies

Today, it is dreary, cold, wet and snowing. Just a little over a week ago we had a taste of spring with a beautiful sunny weekend. That is when I made these cookies. They were like a taste of spring, too.


1 (18.25 oz) package lemon cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
grated zest from 1 lemon
powdered sugar for decoration

Pour cake mix into a large bowl. Stir in eggs, oil, lemon juice & lemon zest until well blended. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes, and up to overnight to make the dough easier to handle. Roll teaspoonfuls of dough into balls and then drop into a small bowl of powdered sugar. Roll around until lightly or heavily covered, depending on how much you want. Once sugared, place on an ungreased or parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes. The bottoms will be light brown, and the insides chewy.

Yield: 5 dozen

Note: I plan to use more lemon juice next time to increase the lemonyness (that's a word, isn't it?).

Monday, March 1, 2010

Orange Cranberry Wine Punch

I invented this a week or so ago. It'll be even better out on the deck when it's gets warmer outside.

I don't have any measurements for you. I don't think they're that important for this.

I used one bottle of Chardonnay. Make a mixture of these ingredients (orange juice, cranberry juice, ginger ale) to match the amount of wine. (We're making the drink half strength.) Mix it all together and serve over ice.

Less cranberry juice than orange juice... more ginger ale than the orange juice... Something like that! You really can't go wrong.