Farm House Cookies

I was nine years old. The drafty, old house in Seattle had a huge kitchen. My mom was reading a recipe off a Domino sugar bag, Farm House Cookies. The cookies she made were soft-ball-sized clouds of deliciousness. Years later, I looked for them in from-the-label cookbooks, but never found them. I searched the internet in more recent years and finally found the recipe, though not credited to Domino (which I clearly remember being the source). I have made these for Christmas every year. Despite being rather plain, compared with the fancier choices on my tray, these are a favorite of My Quiet Child’s husband. I am using Splenda, low-fat sour cream and nonfat Greek yogurt, as well as ICBINB. I am also making these rather small. So, if I get 200 cookies, they will be about 20 calories each. 6 delicious little cookies CAN compete with my ice cream! The whole batch weighed 2000 grams, baked, so every 10 grams of cookie is 20 calories.

Farm House Cookie.jpg

This 10 gram cookie is one I swirled red food coloring into and dropped and smashed. See how puffy it is? It was not even 1/4″ thick before baking. Roll these really thinly to get the best result. Also, these would be so much better as in the original recipe but these are good for diabetic diets and for a low calorie alternative to sweets.

For lunch, I am having Cabbage Rolls from the freezer.

I just checked again at the domino recipe site and I found this. I clearly remember sour cream in the recipe so, not quite, but not far off.





I have seen some beautiful, extravagant ramen recipes, but I have fond memories of very simple ramen. It used to be a regular dinner when the kids were small. I would chop chicken thighs, throw them into a pot of water with a bit of bouillon, add mixed frozen vegetables, then ramen noodles and finally the seasoning packet. They loved it. (For some reason we also had slices of white bread with peanut butter on it with this). But what I really remember is a golf course club house on an army base in Japan that served a very simple ramen. It was a pork ramen with a slice of ham and 1/2 hard boiled egg. I can’t remember if they had vegetables in it. I am going to try to recreate that memory, using Costco’s frozen stir-fry vegetables, sliced ham and hard boiled egg halves. The sodium content will be half a day’s RDI, and it won’t be low in saturated fat, but I know it will be filling and hope it will be tasty. Another memory is watching men in stalls making the ramen noodles. I always wanted to try that, but wonder how hard it really is. Since this takes no time to cook, I will take a picture and give my comment after dinner.


Not fancy, but warming, filling and delicious.

Chicken and Dumplings

This is a bit like Chicken Gnocchi Soup, but I love dumplings, so I have to add this to my list of favorites. I found a nice-looking recipe here that I will use for inspiration. I don’t normally buy whole chickens and while I think it would make a rich and tasty broth, I am opting for low-fat chicken breasts and chicken bouillon for flavoring. I used my usual method to cook the chicken (I ended up with 300 grams cooked chicken) and added it to the soup at the end. I also cheated by using the can of carrots that have lingered in the pantry for a while. Also, I used half-n-half instead of cream.


I made 24 dumplings or 3 per serving and that ended up looking perfect in the bowl.


This was warmly received. I thought it was tasty and didn’t think the reduced amount of chicken was noticeable. I loved the dumplings! For dessert, I had half my usual serving of ice cream and a Walnut Cheesecake cookie, so good!


Philly Cheesesteak Onion Soup

Pillsbury Bake-Off strikes again for tonight’s dinner. This soup is so delicious and can stretch a rib eye steak to feed  6 people. (I doubled the recipe and split it into 6 servings rather than 4.) Below is what I actually used and how I cooked it.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Philly Cheesesteak Onion Soup

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
315 grams beef rib eye, R-T-C — cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion — sliced
1/2 medium green bell pepper — sliced
2 cans onion soup, condensed
1/4 teaspoon pepper
14 ounces mushroom stems and pieces — drained
125 grams reduced fat provolone cheese
200 grams whole wheat bread — 6 slices

Saute onions and bell pepper in canola oil over medium heat until softened. Add steak and cook, stirring until browned. Add cans of soup with 2 cans of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until heated through.
Meanwhile, preheat broiler and place bread on a baking sheet and top with cheese. Broil until browned.
Freeze soup and bread in separate compartments. After reheating, place bread on soup and serve.


How many cookbooks does a normal person own? With the internet I would think that number has declined. Who needs cookbooks when you can find a dozen recipes for just about anything. Here’s a picture of the majority of my collection. Obsessed is such a harsh word.



Beef Burgundy

I am not French. As far as I know, I don’t have even a drop of French blood in my veins. Don’t get me wrong, France is a beautiful country, with a rich history. Some of my favorite mathematicians are French. Tale of Two Cities is a favorite book. “The Girl in the Fireplace” is at the top of my list of Dr. Who episodes. And Crepes! (Sorry for the silliness.) But fussing for hours over a meal that is gone in a flash just isn’t me. I don’t go in for table fashion shows either. In fact, you’d probably call my presentation clumsy.

So, today I attempt an adaptation of the Boef Bourguignon recipe I spoke of in an early post. I am just throwing everything into my Crock Pot and turning it on low for however long it takes. Here are the ingredients I used:

* Exported from MasterCook *

Beef Burgundy

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
1 3/4 pounds Chuck roast
8 ounces mushrooms — quartered
200 grams onions — cut in eighths (two medium)
110 grams cooked bacon — (lightly microwaved) chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons brandy
1 1/2 cups burgundy
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 tablespoons water

Layer in a crock pot and cook on low for 5-7 hours. Place everything but the juices in a large serving dish. Stir cornstarch into water and stir into juices. Turn up to high and cook, stirring until thickened. Pour over meat and serve with crusty French bread slices.


If you saw the picture in the French cookbook, you’d know how little difference there is between the two finished products. My broth never really thickened either time. I divided it into 8 servings with 350 calories, not including the 150 calorie slice of whole wheat French bread.



Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Olive Garden serves many dishes I like but this one is a favorite. Todd Wilbur cloned it and you can get the recipe in Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 (did I say I had all his books? Well, I do.) But you can buy it for $.79 here. And I am sure there are other clones on the internet. I used my old standard pizza dough recipe to make bread sticks and this soup. I made a fairly bad mistake in adding 1/2 pound of mushrooms but not decreasing the water and the soup is not as thick as I wanted. I guess I could add more cornstarch…I also used store bought gnocchi as I had some in the pantry. Perhaps the homemade ones would have thickened the soup more. Also, I cooked 1 pound of chicken breast meat by my normal method.


The corn starch worked and everyone thought it was delicious and filling!





Chili Size

My Grandfather made one dish, chili. No chili I’ve tasted is better. It isn’t hot, it isn’t fancy, but to me, it is perfect. I love it just topped with a bit of cheese and diced onions, I love it on a baked potato, but best of all is on an open-faced hamburger with the top bun toasted and buttered. I have never been to a White Castle Burger restaurant, so when I saw frozen White Castle sliders, I thought they would be perfect for speedy, tiny chili sizes.

I don’t know the exact proportions I used, but I removed the top of one of the mini burgers and toasted and buttered (I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter) it. I placed the bottom in a storage container and spooned some chili on it, sprinkled a little cheddar cheese and diced onion on it and froze it.


* Exported from MasterCook *

Grandpa’s Chili

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 12 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Meat

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
1/2 pound chorizo — Farmer John (this is Mexican-style and is uncured)
1/2 pound ground turkey (Grandpa used ground beef)
2 cups dried pinto beans — cooked
1 medium onion — chopped
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic

Saute garlic and onions in oil. Break up turkey and chorizo and cook until meat is browned. Add beans and 3 to 4 cups water and simmer, stirring occasionally for 1/2 hour.


Chicken Enchilada Soup

My parents had me try this soup at Chili’s. I went looking for a recipe on the internet and found that I already had it in Top Secret Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur. You can buy just this recipe here. It calls for Velveeta, but I used cheddar cheese. And in place of chicken broth, I like to use water and sodium-free chicken bouillon. In the partial recipe listing above, it gives away the secret ingredient, Masa Harina. I wouldn’t have guessed that, but it is the source of the great enchilada flavor.

Also, there is a fool-proof way to get moist chicken breast meat here. I use it all the time and it never fails me. You can adjust the spiciness by choosing hotter enchilada sauce but I prefer mild green enchilada sauce.


The recipe said it made 12 servings, so that is how I dished it. It seems small but we’ll crumbled Juanita’s tortilla chips and sprinkle a little cheddar cheese on top. I’ll comment upon how filling it is after I eat.

I really didn’t mind the small portion. It was very satisfying. I did enjoy my customary dish of ice cream.

Boef Bourguignon

For lunch I delved into my freezer for the Boef Bourguignon I made after I bought a used copy of France the Beautiful Cookbook. It sent me hunting unusual ingredients and took all day to make. Among the ingredients were chuck steak, 36 pickling onions, 36 button mushrooms and pork belly. So although it was fabulous, I won’t make it again, nor will I share the recipe. With a slice of crusty French bread it comes in between 500 and 600 calories.

Boef Bourguignon

Perhaps I will try to make a jiffy version and see if I like it nearly as well. I’ll just call it Beef Burgandy.

Beans and Ham

I had a meaty ham bone in the freezer and a huge bag of pinto beans, so I decided to cook up a pot of Beans and Ham. I have loved this dish since I was a child and my mom made it.  (Calorie count is dubious, since MC had an ingredient called ham bone but I couldn’t account for how meaty it was.)

I made the beans in my wonderful electric pressure cooker, but canned pintos would be fine. We always have this with corn bread. I tend to leave out all unnecessary salt so you may want to add 1/2 tsp salt to the muffins. I also use Splenda (not in MC database) in place of sugar wherever I can.


* Exported from MasterCook *

Ham and Beans

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 8 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
——– ———— ——————————–
2 cups pinto beans
8 cups water
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
170 grams onion — chopped
4 stalks celery — with leaves
250 grams baby carrot — chopped
1 large ham bones
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Corn Muffins
2 large eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup skim milk
1/4 cup Sweet ‘n Low® sweetener
1 cup flour
1 cup corn meal

Cook beans in water in pressure cooker. (My Power Pressure Cooker XL took 25 min total.)

In a large stock pot, saute garlic and onion until soft.

Add all remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until broth is as thick as desired.

For the muffins, mix eggs, milk, oil and sweetener until blended. Add remaining ingredients and stir just until all the flour is moistened.

Put about 1/8 cup into each of 20 muffin cups, or 1 T into mini muffin cups. Bake at 425 for 10 to 15 min.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Beans Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 236 Calories; 5g Fat (18.0% calories from fat); 14g Protein; 36g Carbohydrate; 13g Dietary Fiber; 13mg Cholesterol; 49mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat.


Muffins Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 93 Calories; 3g Fat (34.0% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 13g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 21mg Cholesterol; 19mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

In addition to my meals, I had 100g green grapes mid-morning, 83g Dreyer’s Peanut Butter Cookie Dough – SLOW CHURNED® mid-afternoon, and 90g Dreyer’s Double Fudge Brownie – SLOW CHURNED® for dessert. I was a bit alarmed at how low my calorie count was yesterday, so I added a bit of joy today.