Investigatin’ Cookin’

Healthy Meringue Cookies

1 c sliced almonds

1 c pecans, chopped

1 c walnuts, chopped

1/2 c oats

1/2 tsp salt

3 Tbsp olive oil

2 large egg whites

1/2 c sugar

Toss first five ingredients for several minutes in heated olive oil in a large skillet until toasted.  Refrigerate mixture until cool. Beat the egg whites until foamy. Continue to beat and slowly add the sugar, beat until thick. Fold egg white mixture into nut mixture. Drop by rounded tablespoon on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350, 15-20 minutes until slightly brown. Cool. Store in airtight container at room temperature.

 Hearty Winter Bean Soup

2 c dry beans of choice (pinto and garbanzo are used above)

1/2 c cooked ham, diced

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, peeled and diced

2 garlic loves, minced

1 can tomatoes

6 c water or broth

salt & pepper to taste

Soak beans overnight, drain, rinse. Saute veggies and garlic in some olive oil. Stir in remaining ingredients. Slow cook 4-5 hours  until beans are tender.

Cheesy Broccoli Soup

1 onion, chopped, chopped

1 stick margarine

4 cans chicken broth

3 cans water

1 lge bag broccoli, cooked

1 package skinny noodles

6 oz Velveeta cheese, cubed

1 pint half and half

Saute onion in butter in large Dutch oven. Add broth and water. Add cooked broccoli. Add noodles. Melt cheese in microwave with half and half. Pour into a Dutch oven and heat.

(This basic recipe comes from my high school friend, Kathy M. Walkup  and here are her updated suggestions:  Use butter instead of margarine. Use 2 lge boxes of chicken broth and add a tsp (or to taste) of Better than Bouillon; use a lge bag of broccoli tips, cook in microwave and drain; use 2 boxes of regular or lite cubed Velveeta melted in the half and half  using a glass pitcher in microwave on low power, stir frequently; more  broth or water may be added for desired consistency; can add garlic salt to taste and garnish with parsley.)


Layered Leftovers from Thanksgiving

1 pkg. (8oz) egg noodles

1/2 c green pepper, chopped

1/2 c green onions, chopped

4-6 oz mushrooms, fresh or canned

1 can  (16 oz) tomatoes

1/4 c black olives, chopped

8-10 oz leftover turkey

8-10 oz cheese, grated

Cook and drain the noodles. Microcook the green peppers, onions and mushrooms in small amount of water 3-4 minutes on HIGH. Drain. Mix tomatoes and olives with vegetables and noodles. Alternate layers of noodle mixture, meat and cheese. Microcook 10 minutes on MEDIUM or bake, uncovered at 350 for about 20 minutes until cheese melts.

 Ham, Squash and Rice Oven Meal

(cooks at 350 for 1 hour)

Ham with Raisin Sauce

2 slices ham  (3/4″ -1″ thick)

3/4 c brown sugar

3 tbsp cornstarch

1 1/2 tsp dry mustard

3 tbsp vinegar

3 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp grated lemon rind

2 1/4 c water

3/4 c raisins

In saucepan, mix brown sugar, cornstarch and dry mustard. Slowly add vinegar. Add lemon juice, lemon rind, water and raisins. Cook over medium heat til thickened and clear. Place ham in single layer in baking pan. Pour sauce over ham. Bake at 350 for 1 hr.

Squash Casserole

2-  12 oz pkg frozen butternut squash

1/4 c butter

1 tsp salt

1 c applesauce

1 c miniature marshmallows

Place frozen squash in 1 1/2 qt casserole. Season with butter and salt. On top of squash arrange spoonfuls of applesauce. Top with marshmallows. Bake  at 350, 1 hr.

Mushroom Pimento Rice

1 1/4 c long grain rice

1 tsp salt

2 1/2 c boiling water

4 tbsp butter

2 beef bouillon  cubes

1 tbsp  minced onion, dehydrated

1 chopped pimento

1 small can mushrooms

Grease casserole. Add rice, salt, butter, pimento and mushrooms. Dissolve bouillon cubes in  the boiling water and add onion. Pour over rice mixture. cover tightly with foil. Bake at 350, for hr.

Fruited  Ricotta Cheese

Here is a quick, easy, healthy lunch packed with 380 mg calcium, 21 gm protein, and fiber-rich fruit!

Mix 3/4 c ricotta cheese with

1/2 c  blueberries, peaches, pears, or an orange

Top with 1 tbsp almonds


Butternut Squash-Tomato Sauce Pizza

ciabatta bread pizza I

1 loaf ciabatta bread, sliced in half lengthwise

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 cup Dave’s Gourmet butternut squash sauce

1 cup tomato sauce

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried oregano

2 c shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 c shredded Parmesan cheese

mini pepperoni

fresh basil & oregano for topping

Spread olive oil over ciabatta bread, sprinkle with garlic powder. Mix butternut and tomato sauce and spread over top, cover with dried herbs. Mix the cheeses and sprinkle over sauce, top with pepperoni and fresh herbs. Bake 15-20 minutes, 425 degrees, til cheese is bubbly.

A Veggie-Spiked Fruit Smoothie













Blend together:

1/2 c almond milk

2 Tbsp protein powder

3 oz  strawberry-banana light yogurt

1/2 c fresh spinach leaves

4 strawberries, stemmed


A Summer Salad for the 4th of July





Summer Tomato and Cucumber Salad


  • 3 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 large cucumber, sliced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons green onion tops or chives, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, onion and cucumber. In a small bowl, whisk dressing ingredients until blended. Drizzle over salad; gently toss to coat. Serve immediately. Yield: 8 servings.













My grandson Ethan turns 11!

I always bake special cake requests for my grandchildren. Ethan requested an Oreo cake. He helped me make it and this is the result.

Oreo Birthday Cake


Whisk together 2 c. flour, 2 c. sugar, 3/4 c. cocoa powder, 2 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. salt. Add 2 eggs, 1 c buttermilk, 1 c. oil, mix well. Add 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla, and 1 c. boiling water, mix well.

Pour into 3 prepared 9-inch cake pans and bake at 300 degrees for about 25-28 minutes. Cool.


Beat together 1 1/2 c. butter and 1 1/2 c. shortening until smooth. Slowly add 4 c. powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add 1 tsp. vanilla and  3 cups Oreo crumbs. Add another 4-5 cups of powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add 6-7 tbsp. water or milk until a smooth consistency. Ice cake and decorate as desired with additional Oreos.




Like Quick and Easy Recipes?

Try: Makes Its Own Crust Quiche

from: Thyme Waves Cookbook


Quiche, Bamboo Shoots, Morel Mushrooms

1/2 lb. bacon or sausage, cooked & crumbled

1 c. Swiss cheese, shredded

1/3 c onion, chopped

4 eggs

1/2 c biscuit mix

2 c milk

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 tsp pepper

Spread meat in bottom of lightly greased 9″ DEEP pie plate. Sprinkle cheese over meat. Blend remaining ingredients with mixer and pour over meat and cheese. microcook 30-35 minutes on MEDIUM, or until almost set in center. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Note: If use shallow 9″ pie plate, use 3 eggs and 1 & 3/4 c milk


This is a great tasting casserole that can be increased for large group entertaining.

Image result for chicken cordon bleu casserole


1/4 butter

1 can (10 3/4 oz) cream of chicken soup          1 lb penne pasta, cooked

2/3 c. evaporated milk                                         3 c. diced rotisserie chicken

1/3 c white wine                                                     8 oz. cooked cubed ham

8 oz. grated Swiss cheese                                     Topping: 3 Tbsp. butter, melted,

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard                                           1 c. Panko bread crumbs, 1/4 tsp. paprika,

1/4 tsp. ground white pepper                              1 tsp.dried parsley

Melt the butter over medium heat in large saucepan. Stir in cream of chicken soup, evaporated milk and white wine. Continue stirring until mixture is completely combined, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the cheese and continue stirring until completely melted. Stir in mustard and white pepper. Remove the cheese sauce from the heat. In a large bowl or pot, combine the cheese sauce, cooked pasta, chicken and ham. Stir well. Pour into a greased 13 X 9 pan. Topping: Combine the melted butter, Panko, paprika and parsley in a small bowl. Stir until panko is coated. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the casserole. Bake @ 350, uncovered, for 22-25 minutes until bubbly and topping is golden brown.


Easter Egg Breakfast

Easter Eggs, Colorful, Easter

Here is a great recipe for using those colored Easter eggs.

6 hard-cooked eggs

3 Tbsp butter

3 Tbsp flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 c. milk

4 buttered toast or biscuit

Melt the butter in a sauce pan. Blend in flour and salt. Add milk. Stir until thickened. Cut eggs into fourths and add to the sauce. Stir carefully to warm, and serve over toast or biscuit.



Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner –    An Irish Favorite

3-4 lbs. corned-beef brisket        6 small to med. potatoes

2 onions, sliced                               6 small carrots, pared

2 cloves garlic, minced   1 med. head cabbage, cut in wedges

6 whole cloves

2 bay leaves


Place corned beef in Dutch oven and barely cover in hot water; add onion, garlic, cloves, and bay leaves. Cover and simmer 1 hr/lb of meat or till fork tender. Remove meat from liquid; add potatoes and carrots. Cover; bring to boiling and cook 10 minutes. Then add cabbage wedges; continue cooking 20 minutes longer or till vegetables are done.