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Tofu Chili

Tofu Chili

Maria - This is a recipe that I adapted after many tries. I have a child with a milk allergy, my kids won't touch beans and all of them try to eat as little vegetables as possible. Some of my kids would pick the herbs out of the homemade tomato sauce! I had to get very creative. All of my kids love tofu now, but not at the time that I created this recipe. So I decided to substitute and try to hide it. When I first made this, I used half meat and half tofu and gradually removed the meat. They never noticed. Now, they LOVE tofu chili!

Nachos with Chili

2 packages (14 oz) of firm or extra-firm tofu, crumbled

1/2 sweet onion, diced

4 oz (1/2 cup) organic mushrooms, diced (If you use canned, wash to remove salt)

2 garlic cloves, diced (I buy the jar of minced garlic so I always have it on hand)

15 oz (2 cups) organic tomatoes, chopped (If you use canned, I recommend the low salt, organic)

15 oz (2 cups) organic tomato sauce (If you use canned, I recommend the plainest, low salt, organic)

15 oz (2 cups) refried black beans (I like black beans)

1 cup of your favorite organic vegetables. I like kale, carrots, celery to name a few.

Chili seasoning to taste (start with 1 teaspoon)

Cumin seasoning to taste (start with 1 teaspoon)

Olive oil ~ 2-3 Tablespoons

Dice and chop everything before cooking. Coat the wok with olive oil and 1 teaspoon of cumin and chili each. Heat on high until spices look foamy. Add onions and garlic. Stir briefly to coat then add mushrooms. Stir until softened and onions are translucent. Then add crumbled tofu. Now, stir to mix everything and get the tofu coated with the onion, garlic, mushroom mixture. Keep stirring periodically. Gradually the tofu will darken. Add in your extra diced vegetables and stir fry for 1 minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and finally the tomato sauce. Mix everything well.


Add the chili and cumin. This is where you need to add a little, stir it in, cover and come back in ~5 minutes to taste. Once you have it to your taste, cover, lower the flame to low and let it cook. If your kids don't like tomato chunks (I know mine don't), after it's been cooking on low for 15 minutes, take out a potato masher and carefully mash the ingredients and then stir it up. Repeat in another 15 minutes if necessary. I don't use salt very often but if you feel the taste needs it, add a little. Serve with chunks of bread, or tortilla chips. My kids like sourdough, but use what your kids like.

Prep time: 10-15 minutes to chop onion, mushrooms (canned), vegetables and crumble tofu. I always keep canned, organic chopped tomatoes and canned, organic tomato sauce on hand which speeds things up. 10-20 minutes to cook and darken the tofu.

Whole Wheat Pizza

Whole Wheat Pizza

Maria - We started making pizza at home when my oldest, now 23, was 5 years old. She hated school! So, to give her something to look forward to, I started celebrating the weekend on Friday night. I tried to have things on hand that we don't have everyday like juice, or a non-caffeinated soda, or a sweet of some sort. And the one thing she loved... pizza! We made pizza using our bread machine. She would help roll out the dough and put the toppings on. It is now a tradition in our house!

Pizza Margherita

This recipe makes 2 - 12" pizzas , using a 2 lb bread machine.


1 cup warm water (70 - 80 degrees F)

2 Tbsp olive oil

3 cups flour (1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 white)

     To Taste:

     ~ 1 tsp garlic powder

     ~ 2 tsp basil

     ~ 2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp active dry yeast

Bread Machine Directions:

Put water and olive oil in bread machine pan. Cover with whole wheat flour, then add garlic powder, basil, onion powder, and salt. Cover with the rest of the flour (white). Make a small well in the center and put the yeast in the well. Set bread machine to "dough" cycle and turn on.

When dough is finished, roll out ball onto a flour dusted surface and cut in two equal pieces for a regular crust. If you like thin crust, cut ball into three equal pieces. Set oven to 375 degrees F. Roll out each piece to desired size.

Toppings per Pizza:

1 can organic tomato sauce (don't use the prepared sauce - it has too much salt) - you will use ~ 1/3 to 1/2 of the can per pizza.

     (Use more or less to taste)

     ~ 1 tsp garlic powder

     ~ 1 Tbsp oregano (gives it that fantastic pizza smell)

~ 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (if you like a really cheesy pizza, add more)

any other toppings you like (bell pepper, black olives, mushrooms, pineapple, onion, meat of any kind)

olive oil

Using a serving spoon, put 4 to 5 spoonfuls of sauce on the dough and spread around using the back of the spoon. Add more if you think there's not enough. Sprinkle the garlic powder and oregano evenly around the pizza. Since this is to taste, use more or less as needed. Sprinkle shredded cheese around the pizza. Again, adding more if necessary. Top with any other toppings you like. Finish with a light sprinkle of olive oil on the top. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes or so, until crust and cheese is browned.

Girl Scout Cookie Layer Bars


Ice Cream and Brownies
Girl Scout Cookie Layer Bars

Active Time: 35 Mins
Total: 3 hours, including chill time
Yield: Serves 16 (serving size: 1 bar)

Why pick one Girl Scout Cookie when you can have them all… in one epic dessert bar. This decadent amalgamation of Girl Scout Cookies—featuring Trefoils, Samoas, Do-si-dos, and Tagalongs—is the perfect recipe for anyone who simply can’t say no to any scout who asks. Go ahead; generosity earns you extra indulgence points, everyone knows that.


1 (9-oz.) box Girl Scout Trefoils cookies
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup (3 oz.) unsalted butter, melted

16 Girl Scout Samoas cookies
1 (10.25-oz.) pkg. brownie mix
Water, oil, and eggs called for on brownie mix pkg.

16 Girl Scout Do-si-dos cookies
1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg

16 Girl Scout Tagalongs cookies
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (4 oz.) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup (4 1/4 oz.) all-purpose flour

Assorted Cookies (4 of each Trefoils, Tagalongs, Do-si-dos, and Samoas)
1/4 cup melted dark chocolate

How to Make It

Step 1

Prepare the Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Place Trefoils cookies in a food processor; process until finely ground, about 10 seconds. Add powdered sugar and melted butter; pulse 10 times or until well blended. Press evenly into bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan. Bake in preheated oven 10 minutes. Remove from oven.

Step 2

Prepare the Brownie Layer: Arrange Samoas evenly over warm crust. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions, and pour batter evenly over Samoas. Bake in preheated oven until top is crackly, but not fully cooked, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven.

Step 3

Prepare the Cheesecake Layer: Arrange Do-si-dos evenly over warm brownie layer. Beat together cream cheese, condensed milk, vanilla, and egg in a bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour cheesecake batter over Do-si-dos, spreading evenly with an offset spatula. Bake in preheated oven until edges begin to turn golden brown, but center is still under cooked, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven.

Step 4

Prepare the Peanut Butter Blondie Layer: Arrange Tagalongs evenly over warm cheesecake layer. Beat together brown sugar, butter, and peanut butter in a bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Beat in egg and vanilla until blended. Gradually add flour, beating on low speed just until combined. Dollop batter evenly over Tagalongs; gently spread batter using your hands or a greased spatula. Bake in preheated oven until blonde mixture is golden brown and set, 20 to 25 minutes.

Step 5

Remove from oven, and top with 4 of each type of cookie. Return to oven, and bake 5 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack, about 1 hour. Drizzle top with melted chocolate, and chill 1 hour before serving. Slice with a sharp knife. Bars will be very thick, so handle carefully!

Wild Rice Soup

Tammy's Favorite Wild Rice Soup

Soup Kitchen


2 T butter

½ tsp salt

1 T whole onion

4 c chicken broth

¼ c flour

2 c cooked wild rice (ready made)

Ham or seasoned turkey dog, to your taste

4 T slivered almonds

¾ c grated carrots ( already grated - easy) 

½ c almond milk or milk

Grated Parmesan cheese on top



  1. Melt butter.

  2. Saute onions.

  3. Blend in flour.

  4. Gradually add broth.

  5. Cook stirring constantly until boiling, then boil 1 minute.

  6. Stir in rice, ham, carrots, almonds and salt. Simmer 5 more minutes.

  7. Blend in milk.

  8. Heat to serving temperature.

Asian Ribs

Barbecued Ribs, with an asian inspired glaze

Asian Ribs

Glaze Ingredients

(prepare 1 day ahead, if possible)

1 cup hoisin sauce

½ tsp chinese five spice

1½ tsp grated ginger root

½ tsp red pepper flakes

Ribs Ingredients

1 can reduced sodium chicken broth

¼ cup reduced sodium teriyaki sauce

4 cloves minced garlic

2½ lbs sliced baby back ribs

     green onions to taste

     toasted sesame seeds to taste

Sliced Beef



Mix glaze ingredients together. Refrigerate (for 1 day if possible).

1. Mix broth, teriyaki sauce, and minced garlic.

2. Add ribs.

3. Cover and bake in 350°F oven for 45 minutes.

4. Baste with ½ cup glaze mixture, return to oven for 45-75 minutes.

5. Heat remaining glaze in microwave for 1 minute

6. Cover ribs with glaze.

7. Garnish with green onions and toasted sesame seeds.


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Alan's Apple Pie

Alan's Apple Pie

Alan, now 19, is Maria's son. He has a severe milk allergy so many of her recipes have been adjusted to remove any dairy. This is a pie that she and Alan have perfected over the years.

Apple Pie


1 unbaked pie crust (easy pie crust recipe below)


6 tart apples

1½ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup water

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg


Peel apples.

Place in saucepan with sugar and water.

Cook slowly until apples are tender.

Add lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Pour into an unbaked 9-inch pie plate.

Bake at 300°F oven 1 hour.

Easy and delicious!

Sarah's Pie Crust

Sarah's Easy Push Pie Crust

No Rolling!

This is the pie crust Maria's husband's grandmother made for all her pies. She was a Home Economics teacher. It's easy, with no worries about tearing, but it won't do for a traditional top crust. For fruit pies that needed a top crust, she would make an additional half recipe and crumble it over the top of the filling before baking. 

Cherry Pie


2 Tbsp cold milk (soy milk also works well)

½ cup vegetable oil

1½ cup flour

1 tsp sugar

¼ tsp salt (fruit pies)

½ tsp salt (nut pies)

1 tsp salt (meat pies)


Mix milk and oil in measuring cup, beat with fork until cloudy.

Mix flour, sugar, and salt in pie pan and make a well in the center.

Pour milk and oil mixture into the well.

Mix thoroughly until the dough is evenly mixed.

Press dough onto sides and bottom of pie pan in an even layer, using a low fluted edge.

For recipes that call for a baked shell: bake at 400°F for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole



6 sweet potato, peeled, cooked, and mashed

¼ cup unflavored soy milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup white sugar

½ tsp salt

3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

½ tsp ground nutmeg

½ tsp ground cinnamon


1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

¾ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup all-purpose flour

¾ cup chopped pecans



Preheat oven to 350° F / 150° C.


Grease one 2 quart/2 liter casserole dish and set aside.


Cook (boil or roast), peel, and mash the sweet potato.


Blend in remaining base ingredients.


Pour into prepared casserole dish.


Mix the topping ingredients until thoroughly blended. Sprinkle over casserole and bake for 45 minutes or until hot.


  • For a slightly different flavor, add ¼ cup orange juice to the base ingredients.

  • Use butter or margarine instead of coconut oil. We prefer the hint of coconut ourselves and of course it makes our recipe dairy-free, but the recipe should work fine without it.

  • Use evaporated milk instead of the soy milk. It should turn out slightly creamier with a slightly less nutty flavor.

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Candied Yams


15 yams


2 cups brown sugar


1.5 cups butter

Cinnamon/Vanilla - mix with melted butter and place on bottom, between potatoes and top for yummy marshmallows-after cooked to finish the top



  • Parboil the potatoes in boiling water until tender, but not too soft.

  • Drain and run cold water over all to halt the cooking.

  • Cut into circles, thickly so the pieces will have more texture.

  • Assemble the potatoes in a large rectangular Pyrex or other oven safe dish and cover.

  • I cook in the morning at 350 degrees for 2 hrs.

  • Baste regularly with the juices.

  • Remove cover when half way cooked. 


Then it can be warmed for 15-20 minutes – 350 degrees- just before eating. Again, dot with butter and add a wee more brown sugar. Just before serving- add the marshmallows and brown… the result? Yummy Candied Yams! 


Yield: 1.5 casseroles for 14-17 people

Afghani Lamb Marinade

Afghani Lamb Marinade


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 heaping teaspoons of chopped or minced garlic

1 heaping tablespoon of Grey Poupon mustard

2 heaping teaspoons of crushed rosemary


  1. Crush the rosemary using a mortar and pestle until it is a powder.

  2. Mix together all the ingredients.

  3. Put the meat in a plastic bag.

  4. Make sure the marinade is mixed thoroughly, pour over the meat and seal the bag.

  5. Seal the bag and turn the bag around so that the marinade coats the meat.

  6. Put in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours for a tender cut; 24 hours for a tougher cut.

  7. Cook it how you would cook that particular cut of meat.

Beef Steak



  • 1 cup raisins

  • 2 tablespoons light rum

  • 2 tablespoons hot water

  • 3¾ cups all-purpose flour

  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar

  • ½ teaspoon active dry yeast

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon lemon zest

  • ½ vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise

  • 3 eggs, at room temperature

  • ⅔ cup tepid water

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 10½ tablespoons unsalted butter, well softened

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, chilled

  • ⅔ cup candied citron (or candied orange peel) in ¼-inch pieces


This recipes calls for panettone molds and wooden skewers.

You can buy stiff paper molds suitable for baking or use greased 13 oz coffee cans. If you use the coffee cans you will need to separate the dough into 2 balls.

The skewers are used to hang the panettone upside down after baking.


  1. In a small bowl, combine the raisins with the rum (you do not have to use rum, plain raisins work just fine) and 2 tablespoons of hot water. Allow to soak at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until the raisins are plump and most of the liquid has been absorbed, at least 8 hours or overnight.

  2. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, yeast, salt, lemon zest and vanilla bean on low speed until combined. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, tepid water and honey. With the mixer on low speed, pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture. Increase the speed to medium-low and mix until all of the ingredients are combined. Add the softened butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing until incorporated before adding more. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.

  3. Drain the raisins, discard the soaking liquid, and stir together with the candied citron and 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Stir this mixture into the dough with a wooden spoon.

  4. Place the dough in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a cold oven with the door closed until it has nearly tripled in volume, 12 to 15 hours.

  5. Locate and discard the vanilla bean, then sprinkle the dough lightly with flour and scrape out onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle a bit more flour onto the dough, then fold the edges of the dough in towards the center, forming a loose ball, and place, seam-side down, into the panettone mold. Cover with a damp kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until the dough is just above the top of the mold, 3 to 5 hours.

  6. Preheat oven to 370 degrees F.

  7. Place the dough-filled panettone mold on a baking sheet. Use a very sharp serrated knife to score an “X” across the entire surface of the dough. Place the 1 tablespoon chilled butter in the center of the X and bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out slightly moist but not wet, 60 to 75 minutes (the panettone will be very dark).

  8. Remove from the oven and pierce 12-inch metal or wooden skewers all the way through the panettone (including the paper) 4 inches apart and 1 inch from the bottom so the skewers are parallel. Hang the panettone upside down over a large stockpot and cool completely before cutting. To store the panettone, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then either place in a resealable plastic bag, or wrap again in foil. The bread will keep at room temperature for up to 1 week.

And now the most important step of all ... Enjoy!

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  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 envelope active dry yeast

  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt

  • 1 cup evaporated milk

  • 7 cups bread flour

  • 1/4 cup shortening

  • Nonstick spray

  • Oil, for deep-frying

  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar



  1. Mix water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.

  2. In another bowl, beat the eggs, salt and evaporated milk together. Mix egg mixture to the yeast mixture. In a separate bowl, measure out the bread flour. Add 3 cups of the flour to the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add the shortening and continue to stir while adding the remaining flour. Remove dough from the bowl, place onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray. Put dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rise in a warm place for at least 2 hours.

  3. Preheat oil in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F.

  4. Add the confectioners' sugar to a paper or plastic bag and set aside.

  5. Roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness and cut into 1-inch squares. Deep-fry, flipping constantly, until they become a golden color. After beignets are fried, drain them for a few seconds on paper towels, and then toss them into the bag of confectioners' sugar. Hold bag closed and shake to coat evenly.

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Oh My! Soooo GOOD Pumpkin Bread




3 c. flour 

3 c. sugar 

2 tsp. baking soda 

½ tsp cinnamon

1 tsp. salt.

1 c raisins (opt.) 

1 c oil 

4 eggs

¾ c. water (or apple juice) 

2 c. pumpkin 

1 tsp. vanilla




Mix liquid, eggs, pumpkin, oil and vanilla.

Add any dry ingredients and follow with the raisins.

Fill 1 large and 1 small loaf pan, greased and floured ½ full and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  for small loaf - 325 degrees for 25 minutes.) Be careful not to overcook.

Pumpkin Bread
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