cook book recipes

I used to love to just throw food together. Part of it was laziness, but another part of it was just the joy in experimenting. I would never use cooking recipes at all – not if I could help it. I had dozens of cookbooks, but I never consulted the cookbook recipes. Most of them I inherited from friends who were moving in and out of town, which made it easy to amass quite a collection. I didn't want to get rid of them, but I saw very little need for them. After all, my cooking was pretty good.

Then one day, one of my friends – a serious gourmet – came over. He made the most delicious dish. It was an Italian dish – calzones I think – and it was one of the best things I had ever had. I asked how he came up with it, and to his my surprise he told me he had just follow the cookbook recipe.

At first, I was a little bit surprised. I knew that he was someone who love to experiment on his own, and it wasn't  like him to use cookbook recipes. I asked him about it, and he told me about how much he had grown as a cook. Since he started using a recipe cookbook, he had gotten more compliments on his meals than ever before. He had been eating healthier, and his meals had been much more delicious than they used to be. Hearing all this, I couldn't help but admit that cookbook recipes made some sense.

I am not very good at following directions, so I started my recipe cooking pretty simple. I did a lot of rice dishes, crockpot dishes, and simple baking. Just learning to set the temperature like they say, add just enough salt, the right proportion of water, and the right spices was novel for me. When I was ready, however, I got into some more advanced, difficult cookbook recipes. I had always wanted to try cooking Thai food, so I figured it was my chance to begin. It didn't turn out so well the first time I tried it, but I persevered.

Soon, I had a recipe book of my own. It was compiled of some of my favorite cook book recipes, many of them altered with slight variations to fit my tastes. I can't say that I am quite as creative at cooking as I used to be, but I certainly cook much better food. Some of it is completely to die for.

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Homemade Beef Pot Pie Recipe

Hearty beef pot pie is a great meal to serve on a cold day or any time you want something that really sticks to your ribs. You can add extra zing to this recipe by adding 1 large chopped onion and mix in 1/3 cup of red wine with the gravy.

1 pound sirloin steak, cubed
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (14 oz.) can beef broth
3 large carrots, cubed
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup water
2 (9-inch) refrigerator pie crusts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a saucepan over medium high heat, brown the pieces of meat on all sides. Pour in enough water to almost cover the meat. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer meat until it falls apart easily (about 2 to 3 hours). Place meat in a large bowl. Slightly shred the meat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the beef broth, carrots and potatoes. Cook over medium high heat until almost tender (about 15 to 20 minutes).

When the carrots and potatoes are done, transfer to a large mixing bowl and combine with the beef. Reserve the liquid in the saucepan. Mix the peas in with the vegetables and beef.

Dissolve the cornstarch in 1/3 cup of water and pour this into the reserved beef broth. Bring to a simmer while stirring constantly; reduce heat. Cook for 5 minutes.

Line a 9-inch pie plate with one of the pie shells following package directions. Spoon the beef mixture into the pie crust. Pour the gravy on top. Cover with remaining pie crust.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Hamburger Pie

=> Hamburger Pie Recipe: All American Hamburger Pie

This recipe is an American favorite. We love hamburgers, so making a pie out of our favorite meat sandwich is a winning idea. To give this recipe a richer flavor, you can substitute 1 can of mushroom soup for 1 can of tomato soup.

4 potatoes
1 pound lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 (10.75 oz.) cans condensed tomato soup
1 (15 oz.) can green beans, drained
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Peel and quarter the potatoes and put into boiling water; cook for 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain and mash. Set aside.

In a large skillet, cook ground beef and onion over medium high heat until the beef is brown; drain. Stir in the tomato soup and green beans.

Pour mixture into a 9x13-inch baking dish. Mound the mashed potatoes around the meat mixture (do not cover meat). Sprinkle cheese on top of the potatoes.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are golden.
Beef Pot Pie

=> Cheeseburger Pie Recipe: Easy Cheeseburger Pie

Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger! Need I say more?

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tomato, sliced
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup buttermilk baking mix
1 cup milk
2 eggs


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 10-inch deep dish pie plate.

In a large skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until beef is brown; drain. Spread beef mixture into the pie plate.

Sprinkle beef with salt, pepper and oregano. Arrange tomato slices on top of meat. Sprinkle cheese on top.

In a small bowl, combine together the baking mix, milk and eggs. Pour over cheese.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

=> Hamburger Pie Recipe: Corn Bread Hamburger Pie

This is a nice variation on the basic hamburger pie recipe. The cornbread mix adds a nice sweetness and blends very well with the other ingredients. For an extra treat, add 1 can of creamed corn to the cornbread mix.

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 (10.75 oz.) can condensed tomato soup, undiluted
1/4 cup salsa
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon steak sauce
1 (8.5 oz.) package corn bread/muffin mix
Minced fresh parsley (optional)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large oven proof skillet, cook the beef, onion and green pepper over medium high heat until meat is brown; drain. Stir in the soup, salsa, ketchup and steak sauce.

Prepare the cornbread batter according to package directions; let stand for 2 minutes. Spoon batter over beef mixture. Bake for 15 minutes or until corn bread is lightly browned. Garnish with parsley.

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Beef Jerky Recipes

Over the years, humans have strived for a method of preserving meat that also retained the flavor. This was achieved with Beef Jerky, which is meat cut into strips with the fat removed. The next step is to marinate the meat in a salty, spicy or sweet liquid and then it is dried. The drying can be done artificially or by sun drying. The usual meat used for Beef Jerky recipes is brisket or round or flank steak. The meat does not have to be refrigerated.

Jerky is normally made from beef but alternatives can include turkey, alligator, ostrich, moose, caribou, elk meat and venison. Fish too can be used, such as tuna or salmon. The smoking or salting preservative methods keep the nutritional value of the food and Beef Jerky recipes are popular with people who are traveling or camping, as they are slow to perish. Commercially produced jerky can be stored for up to a year and home made can be kept for one to two months. The dishes are most commonly found in the USA, Canada and Europe.
Beef Jerky

The marinade used makes all the difference to the meat and keen cooks can experiment with their own recipes or buy ready made products. Seasonings are important too and often include cayenne pepper, cheese powder or white pepper. One of the classic Beef Jerky recipes includes a marinade with brown sugar, seasoning, Teriyaki Sauce and garlic. Other popular flavors are onion powder, Worcestershire Sauce, soy sauce, dark corn syrup, molasses or liquid smoke.

There are regional variations to jerky and some are more spicy than others. Chinese Beef Jerky uses typical Chinese ingredients of dry sherry, honey, ginger, red pepper, soy sauce and white pepper. Blue Ribbon Beef Jerky is a simple blending of soy sauce and Chinese 5-Spice Powder. There is a whisky jerky recipe with a cup of Jack Daniels, ketchup, onion, chili powder, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, thyme and sage. Wisconsin Beef Jerky uses onion powder, sea salt, ground black pepper corns, soy sauce, Worcestershire Sauce and liquid smoke.

Any taste can be easily accommodated in Beef Jerky recipes. An Indian flavor is attained with ready made curry powder or by blending coriander, turmeric and ground cumin together. These ingredients are then mixed with chili powder and ginger. Cajun cooking can also be applied to jerky with the addition of Tabasco or Louisiana Hot Sauce. Jerky is there for all to enjoy!

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Fantastic Tasting Diet Shake Recipes Will Help You Lose Weight

Nothing can be quite as delicious and satisfying as a great diet shake, especially in the hot weather months that we are now “enjoying.”  Whether you choose to go to the mall and visit a nutritional supplement shop, so you can add supplements to your diet shake recipes or whether you prefer your diet shake recipes to contain just what you can get at the farm stand or grocery store; there are a million diet shake recipes out there.  It can also be quite fun to experiment with your diet shake recipes and add your own personal touches to your delicious creations.

One of my favorite ingredients to add to any smoothie or diet shake recipes is low-fat yogurt.  No mater whether you are making a water-based (ice) shake or a dairy-based (2 % milk) diet shake recipe, a little container of yogurt can add a lot.  Yogurt adds a nice creamy consistency to your diet shake recipes, and I wholeheartedly recommend that you try it in your favorite smoothie recipe the first chance you get.

Here are five tried-and-true diet shake recipes.  Give them a whirl in your blender:

Strawberry-Orange-Banana Diet Shake Recipes
•    Some orange juice – about 2 cups or so
•    Some sliced bananas – 1 or 2
•    Some strawberries -- a cup or so
•    Some ice – about a cup
•    A container of strawberry-banana low fat yogurt

Mandarin-Mango Diet Shake Recipes
•    Some mandarin orange pieces – 2 cans or so
•    Some cut up mangoes – 2 mangos is about right
•    Some ice – about a cup
•    Protein supplements from the nutrition store—follow the label directions
•    A container of mango-flavored low fat yogurt

Berry Berry Special Diet Shake Recipes
•    Some cranberry juice – about ½ a cup
•    Some apple juice -- about ½ a cup
•    Some strawberries
•    Some blueberries
•    Some raspberries
•    A banana
•    A container of strawberry or blueberry low fat yogurt

Banana-Chocolate-Vanilla Diet Shake Recipes
•    A cut up frozen banana
•    A teaspoon of vanilla
•    A cup of skim milk
•    A teaspoonful of Splenda
•    A teaspoonful of cocoa powder
•    A container of low fat yogurt—plain or vanilla

Coffee-Mocha Diet Shake Recipes
•    One teaspoon instant coffee
•    One teaspoon cocoa powder
•    One teaspoon of Splenda
•    Ice
•    A container of vanilla or plain low fat yogurt
•    A powder protein supplement if you like

Regardless of which of the diet shake recipes you are making, the procedure is the same.  Just pop all the ingredients into your blender and turn it on.  Run the blender until the shake is the desired consistency, pour into a beautiful glass, and enjoy your homemade, healthy, nutrient-dense, diet shake recipes. Not only will it help with your weight loss; it taste delicious.
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Adapting Your Recipes for the Slow Cooker

Now that you’ve started using your crock pot slow cooker regularly, you’re probably wondering how you can adapt your traditional recipes to use in a crock pot. The ease of preparing a meal with a slow cooker has literally changed the lives of busy families. With the help of their slow cookers, families are eating healthier and consuming less greasy fast-food.

Here are some hints for adapting your favorite traditional recipes for crock pot cooking.

1.) Add vegetables like peas and broccoli to your recipe in the last 15 – 60 minutes. If you’re using frozen vegetables, remember to add them to your crock pot recipe during the last 30 minutes.

2.) Make sure to soak your dried beans so that they are completely softened before adding them to your recipe. If your recipe includes tomatoes, salt, or sugar, then your beans should definitely be soaked before cooking.

3.) If your recipe calls for pasta, any kind of seafood, milk or other dairy products, then only add them during the last 60 minutes of cooking, and cook pasta to just a bit tender before adding them to the cooker. Condensed cream soups are good alternatives to dairy products because they can withstand longer cooking times.

4.) When cooking a recipe with rice, add an extra ¼ cup liquid for every ¼ cup of rice.

5.) Always remember to reduce the liquid in your recipe by ½ when you’re using a traditional recipe in your crock pot.

6.) A good idea for cooking stews and soups that call for vegetables is to put the veggies on the bottom and sides of the slow cooker and then place your meat on top.

Traditional Recipe to Slow Cooker Use:

15-30min traditional = 1.5–2hrs High or 4-6hrs Low in Crock pot

35-45min traditional = 3-4hrs High or 6-10hrs Low in Crock pot

50min-3hrs traditional = 4-6hrs High or 8-18hrs Low in Crock pot

If you’re like most families, your slow cooker supplies lots of food per meal, so you’ll very likely have leftovers. Always remember to never reheat your leftovers in the crock pot. One of the additional rewards of slow cooking is the ability to make lots of food and freeze for future meals. Happy slow cooking!

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4 Easy Tips on How to Make Healthy Recipes

For many people, making healthy recipes seems too difficult and time consuming...

But with some advance planning and some basic knowledge of nutrition, it is easy to create a week's worth of healthy meals that you and your family will love. The key to creating delicious and healthy meals for the family is planning ...and lot's of it!

Planning ahead of time an entire week of healthy recipe meals is the best way to create dishes you can be proud of, while keeping cost and time commitment to a minimum.  So below are amazing tips you can use to make healthy meals all the time.

<b>Healthy Recipe Tip #1:</b>

Using convenient appliances such as slow cookers and microwaves can be a huge time saver when planning and preparing meals.  There are many delicious and healthy recipes that can be started in the morning and left to cook all day in a crock pot or slow cooker.  These are great choices for working families.

In addition, making the meals ahead of time on the weekend and heating them in the microwave is a great way to stretch both your food and your time.  There are many microwavable healthy meals you can make at home, and single serving microwave safe containers allow every member of the family to eat on their own schedule.

When planning the meals for the week, it is a good idea to create a chart listing each day's menu and each days' schedule. Here's a smart tip...plan the quickest and easiest to prepare meals for the busiest days of the week.

<b>Healthy Recipe Tip #2:</b>

Get your family involved in creating the week's meal plan by asking for their input and noting everyone's favorite foods. It is still very important to eat healthy meals, so that (of course) does not mean eating pizza every night or having ice cream for dinner.  But involving your spouse and children in healthy recipe planning, you'll help to increase their interest in healthy eating right away.

It is also a good idea to get your entire family involved in the preparation of the meals.  Even children too young to cook can help out by setting out the dishes, chopping vegetables, clearing the table and washing the dishes.

Healthy Recipe Tip #3:

Cooking large quantities of healthy food recipes - and freezing the leftovers - is a easy way to save time.  Cooking large amounts of stews, soups, pasta, chili and casseroles can be a huge time saver.  Making double and even triple batches of these staple foods, and freezing the leftovers for later use, is a great way to save both time and money.

When freezing leftovers, however, it is important to label the containers carefully, using freezer tape and a permanent marker.  Try to keep the oldest foods near the top to avoid having to throw away expired items.

Stocking up on meats when they are on sale is another great way to use that valuable freezer space.  Stocking up on such easily frozen foods as chicken, turkey, ground beef, steaks, roasts and chops is a great way to make your food dollar stretch as far as possible while still allowing you and your family to enjoy delicious healthy meals every day.

Healthy Recipe Tip #4:

Keeping a well stocked pantry is as important as keeping a well stocked freezer.  Stocking the pantry with a good supply of staple items like canned vegetables, canned fruits, soup stocks and the like will make healthy recipe preparation much faster and easier.

Stocking the pantry can save you money as well as time.  Grocery stores are always running sales, and these sales are a great time to stock up.  Buying several cases of canned vegetables when they are on sale, for instance can save lots of money and provide the basic ingredients for many nutritious, easy to prepare meals.

Examples of great staples to stock up on include whole grain cereals, pastas, tomato sauce, baked beans, canned salmon, tuna and whole grain breads.  It is easy to combine these staples into many great meals on a moment's notice.
healthy recipe

I hope you found these <i>healthy recipe</i> tips easy as pie!

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Detox Diet: Juice Fasting Recipes

Juice fasting is gaining popularity as a great way to detoxify. Many people are interested in getting toxins out of their system so they can live a healthier life. When toxins accumulate in the body, they feel sluggish and also have a poor immune system. Juice fasting, as a cleansing method, can help to people to achieve better health and more energy. It is quite easy to do as fruits are readily obtainable and all that is required additionally is a juicer.

For a beginner to juice fasting, it is important to start out slow and to try it out for one day. By juice fasting, you are limiting your intake to juices only. Fruit juice is high in sugar, so if you are a diabetic or otherwise in need of monitoring your sugar intake you should be cautious of trying a juice fast with fruit juices. Anyone just starting out with fasting should always speak with their doctor first. Also, do not juice fast for prolonged periods like more than 3 days, not unless your doctor agrees that it is safe for you to do so.

The following are sample recipes that can help give you an idea of combinations of fruits and vegetables to use together:
Juice Fasting

Recipe 1: Vegetable Juice Combo
2 Swiss chard leaves
1/2 beetroot
2 or 3 sprigs of watercress
3 carrots
1 celery stalk
Wash with filtered or distilled water, cut and put in juicer.

Recipe 2: Carrot-Apple Juice
2-3 Green Apples
1 carrot
Fresh basil leaves
Wash with filtered or distilled water, cut and put in juicer.

Recipe 3: Carrot-Vegetable Juice
A handful of dandelion leaves
1 kale leaf
4 carrots
Fresh mint, basil or coriander leaves
Wash with filtered or distilled water, cut and put in juicer.

Recipe 4: Peach Juice
2 or 3 peaches
Wash with filtered or distilled water, cut and put in juicer.

There are many different types of juice fasts. Some diets call for fruit juices while others used less sugary vegetable juices. You can always come up with your own unique combination of fruit and vegetable juice diet recipes.

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Cool Summer Soup Recipes - A Food Processor And 10 Minutes Is All You Need

Summer is coming and so is the hot weather. Nobody likes to cook in the heat of summer. A really hot meal on a hot day is almost as unpopular. It could be that a cool, easy to prepare summer soup is just what you need.

Below are 3 recipes for soups that can be made in your food processor or blender. If you have the ingredients on hand, none of them take more than 10 minutes to make. They are all delicious, nutritious, and really refreshing on a hot day. While the recipes all suggest you use a food processor, you can get very good results by using a blender or hand blender too.

These are all very simple recipes, so don't be shy to modify them and get a taste that your whole family can enjoy.

Here are the recipes.
Cool Summer Soup Recipes

Summer Vegetarian soup
This is great tasting soup with a touch of Italy included. It is super easy to make and very healthy. It is particularly good on a hot summer day

an avocado - skin and pit removed of course
4 Roma tomatoes - they may not be quite juicy enough (see below)
Basil to taste (Thai basil is really good in this)
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

How easy is this soup? Simply throw everything into your food processor and mix until it is smooth. If you find that it is more like a smoothie than soup, simply add more liquid (or swap one of the Roma tomatoes for another more juicy variety). Pour into bowls, garnish as you wish (minced chives are nice) and enjoy.

Sensational Salsa & Black Bean

This soup is a very simple soup that takes just a few minutes to prepare. It can be served hot or cold, but always benefits from being heated.
Roughly 4 servings

2 normal sized cans of black beans (any brand is OK, but try for low salt)
1 1/2 cups soup stock (Just use chicken, beef, or vegetable bullion)
1 cup of your favorite salsa (chunky makes a heartier soup)
1 teaspoon cumin (best to use fresh ground in the soup and you can sprinkle seeds on top too)
1/4 cup of sour cream
1-2 green onions chopped fine

Put the beans, salsa, cumin, and soup stock into a food processor (a blender is OK too). Puree the mixture until it is creamy in texture. Pour the mixture into a mid-sized pot and heat on low-medium until it is completely hot. This allows the flavours to merge. If you are going to serve it cold, move it to the fridge to cool off till it is time to eat. To eat it hot, simply serve into bowls and garnish with the onions and some of the sour cream.


Mangos are simply divine. They are great as a fruit, mixed into drinks, added to salads. They also make a really good cool summer soup which is explained below.


1 large RIPE mango (it will be soft, no squishy, to touch)
2 cups chicken soup stock (make your own or use bullion if you must)
1 TBSP lemon grass (available in most Asian markets, it looks like long greenish reeds when you buy it)
1 TBSP ginger - Freshly chopped is best
Ground chili peppers to taste
1 cup yogurt (2% plain is best)
2 TBSP cilantro (chinese parsley) chopped fine

Chop mango and put in food processor. Mix briefly and then put in the ginger, lemon grass, chili and 1/2 cup of soup stock. Mix again till everything becomes very smooth. Move the soup into another bowl (be sure it is large enough) and mix in first the rest of the stock, and then the yogurt. This is best served cold, so put in fridge till you are ready to eat. Then put into bowls and serve with the cilantro as the garnish.

As the temperature starts to go up give these soups a try. They are all very simple and will add a new delicious and healthy dimension to your summer diet.
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