Goodcookbecky's Blog

Letting the juices of life (or food) drip from my chin!

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Tasty Meat Pie

Tasty Meat Pie

I love this savory Meat Pie.  It is another recipe I originally got early in my marriage.  It is a pie filled with a wonderful blend of vegetables, meat and soups for seasoning that we enjoy (yes, even my children).  Serve with a nice fresh garden salad to round out the meal.  Yum!

Tasty Meat Pie

Serves 6-8

  • 1 lb ground beef, lean
  • 1 small Onion, chopped
  • 1 can Campbells’ Beef with Vegetable and Barley Soup
  • 1 can Campbells’ Golden Mushroom Soup
  • 3 med Potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3 medium Carrots, cut into 1/8 inch slices
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Pepper
  • 1 Pillsbury double Pie Crust


  1. In a large pan, cook the ground beef and chopped onion in a little olive oil, until the ground beef is no longer pink.  Drain off the liquids.
  2. Add the two condensed soups and carrots and potatoes and seasonings to the meat mixture.  Cook covered over medium heat for about 15 minutes.
  3. Line a 9 inch pie dish (deep dish if you have one) with one of the pie crusts.
  4. Pour meat filling into the prepared pie dish.
  5. Cover the pie with second pie crust, cutting slits in the crust to vent.  Crimp the outer edge of the pie to seal.
  6. Bake in preheated oven at 350 for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown.
  7. Let stand on a wire rack for 15 minutes before serving.

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Grown Up Macaroni and Cheese

Sorry blue box, move over it is time for some grown up Macaroni and Cheese to get the spotlight.  Here is a version the adults in my family like.   This recipe has a kick of cayenne pepper that makes the mature palate smile.  I found it in a Martha Stewart Cookbook (Macaroni and Cheese 101 recipe), but hers serves 12.  Only Martha Stewart would serve Macaroni and Cheese to 12!  When I have 12 over it isn’t Mac and Cheese, so come to my house! 🙂  Nevertheless, this is a great recipe that I have adapted to serve 6.

Martha’s Macaroni and Cheese

Serves 6


  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 6 slices bread, crusts removed and processed into crumbs

Cheese Sauce:

  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 3/4 cup warm milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground white pepper (or black is fine if you don’t have white)
  • 1/8 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 (10 oz) block Cracker Barrel Cheddar cheese, grated, divided use
  • 3/4 cup Romano cheese, divided use
  • 8 oz Macaroni, cooked


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Melt the butter and toss with processed breadcrumbs and set aside.
  3. Melt remaining 3 Tbsp. butter in a heavy skillet over medium high heat.  Once the butter bubbles up add flour and whisk until it thickens about 1 minute.  Add the warm milk a little at a time, whisking to make a smooth sauce.  Continue adding the milk and cooking it until it is thickened.  Turn off the heat.  Add in the seasonings and 1 1/2 cups of the cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup Romano cheese. Stir into the sauce until melted.
  4. Drain the cooked pasta and add to the cheese sauce.  Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray and pour the macaroni into the prepared dish.  Top with remaining 3/4 cups of cheddar and 1/4 cup Romano cheeses.  Sprinkle with the buttered breadcrumbs. (I usually don’t put all on the topping)
  5. Bake at 375 F for about 30 minutes.  Cool 5 minutes before serving.  Yummy!

In case you are interested in Martha’s original recipe here is a link.

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April Fools Cupcakes

There is one thing my kids love to eat:  Spaghetti and Meatballs.  I could probably serve it several times a week and they would not tire of it.  I would though, and besides, what would I put on my blog?  I found this picture from last year and I will revisit this for April Fools Day this year. It is my kids’ favorite food as a dessert: Cupcakes topped with frosting (piped like spaghetti) and Ferrero Rocher balls (as meatballs) drizzled with warmed strawberry jam (as spaghetti sauce). Now this they love even more than Spaghetti and Meatballs.  My mom taught me not to play with my food, but sorry Mom, this is WAY too fun!!!

I got this idea from a wonderful book on baking cupcakes and making them for special occasions: Hello Cupcake.  I think you will want to pick a copy up from yourself as well.  Here is my adaptation: I didn’t tint the frosting and I used chocolate cupcakes because I had a chocolate cake mix in the house.  Also I like foil cupcake papers. I find them easier to peel.

April Fool’s Spaghetti and Meatballs

Source: Hello Cupcake p 34-35 Copyright 2008

  • 10 vanilla cupcakes, baked in white paper liners
  • 1 can (16 oz) vanilla frosting
  • 1/2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, opitonal
  • 3 drops yellow food coloring, optional
  • 10 hazelnut chocolates (Ferrero Rocher), unwrapped
  • 3/4 cup low sugar strawberry preserves (low sugar has the best color)
  • 2 Tbsp. grated white chocolate, plus to garnish.


  1. Tint the frosting with cocoa powder and food coloring and frost the cupcakes with a thin layer.  (I didn’t tint the frosting, but it would have looked better I think if I had). Put the cupcakes on a platter so they are touching.
  2. Spoon remaining frosting into a plastic baggie.  Press the bag to remove the air before sealing.  Snip a 1/8 inch corner from the bag.  Form “spaghetti” by piping the frosting all over the cupcakes, making a pile of spaghetti.  Don’t worry if it looks messy — it is supposed to be isn’t it?
  3. Put a chocolate ball on top of each cupcake and drizzle with strawberry jam (I find it is more runny if you heat it up a little)
  4. Grate white chocolate over the tops for “Parmesan cheese”.  Enjoy!

NOTES: My kids loved having this version of Spaghetti and Meatballs!  Hello Cupcake really is a cute book with lots of great ideas for decorating.  You can readily find a copy at stores like Target or Wal-mart.

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Pumpkin Waffles

Here is a recipe I found quite by accident.  It is pumpkin waffles.  Yes, I know it’s more of a seasonal thing to have pumpkin waffles, but I say pumpkin is one of those things you could and should have year round.

The site Bread and Breakfast Inns has a lot of recipes and links to Bed and Breakfasts around the country.  This particular recipe I changed a little.  I did not make the Maple flavored whipped cream, but instead served it with real Maple Syrup and Whipped cream from the can.  I like easy! Plus I have kids who have no patience when it comes to waiting for their food.  This is especially my husband’s favorite way to make Waffles.  One recipe was not enough for my family of 5 I made 1 1/2 times the amount and that is what is listed here.

Pumpkin Waffles -( adapted from

Serves 6-8

Combine dry ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 + 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cup sugar
  • 6 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ginger


  • 2 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (from can is fine)
  • 6 egg yolks (reserve egg whites)
  • 1 1/2 cups melted butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Beat until stiff:

  • 6 egg whites


  1. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients.  Combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients and mix together until combines.
  3. Beat egg whites until stiff and gently fold into the waffle batter.  It should be nice and light and airy.
  4. Bake Waffles in waffle iron.  Serve with warm Maple Syrup and whipped cream if desired.

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Black Dog Restaurant Ginger Cookies

I am a passionate cookbook collector.  In my 17 years of marriage I must have by now in my possession over 200 cookbooks.  I was for a few months a member of a cookbook club.  I got to buy the cookbooks at a good price and they would send them to me.  One such nugget is the Black Dog Restaurant Cookbook.  In this cookbook there are a few recipes that I have made over the past few years.  These cookies are not hard like Gingersnap cookies.  They have a nice soft chewy texture.  My daughters who are not big fans of ginger are big fans of these cookies and I think they are great for Christmas or any other occasion.  Just hum the tune from Sesame Street: “C is for Cookie”. 🙂

Here is a recipe from the book that I adapted. 

Black Dog Restaurant Ginger Cookies

Makes 8 dozen cookies.  I freeze some for later.

  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 5 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 7 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar in the raw to roll the cookies in before baking


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Blend the ginger with 1/2 cup of the oil.  I use a hand blender.  Process until well minced.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix 3 cups sugar, molasses and eggs.  Strain the ginger/oil liquid and add the strained ginger infused oil to the sugar mixture.  Add remaining cup of oil to the mixture and mix until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the salt, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves and flour.  Ad the dry ingredients to the wet mix and blend well.
  5. Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper for easier clean up. Scoop the cookie dough with a small ice cream scoop, form into balls (I find if I moisten my hands with a little water the dough does not stick to me.)  Roll in sugar in the raw (regular sugar works fine too- I love the texture of sugar in the raw)
  6. Place on prepared cookie sheet and bake for 8-12 minutes, just until the tops crack and cookies are flat.
  7. Leave on the cookie sheet a few minutes to firm up before removing them to wire racks to cook completely.  Enjoy!

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Zucchini and Carrot Ribbons

Zucchini and Carrot Ribbons

I was looking through a recent Cuisine at Home and came across this beautiful display. Ribbons of Zucchini and Carrots.  They called it Vegetable Melange.  Sounds fancy.  One hazard of making this is that you almost slice your fingers with the vegetable peeler. Use a mandolin if you have one.

Vegetable Melange

Makes 2 servings but can easily be doubled or tripled

Total prep time 20 minutes.

  • 2 carrots
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter (I used salted)
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh parsley (optional)
  • salt to taste
  1. Shave carrots and zucchini into ribbons using a vegetable peeler.
  2. Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add vegetable ribbons, cover with a tight fitting lid, and cook until vegetables are tender, 2-3 minutes.
  3. Off heat, add parsley and salt

Source: Cuisine at Home’s Cuisine for Two page 11 Copyright 2010 August Home Publishing

Cuisine at Home

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Chops in Mushroom Gravy

Pork Chops in Mushroom Gravy are a family favorite around our house.  We have it about once every other month.  It is especially good with garlic flavored mashed potatoes and a veggie on the side.

I found this through a Taste of Home Magazine and made some changes to it to suit our personal tastes.  In the original recipe the sauce is cooked with the pork chops, but sometimes the sauce would break apart, so I have changed that to stove-top only and then pour it over the chops and potatoes.  That way I get a consistent result that I can count on.

Chops in Mushroom Gravy
Serves 6-8


  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 to 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 6 to 8 boneless pork loin chops (1 inch thick)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (I used a bundle of green onions this time)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green or red bell pepper
  • 1 (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Hot mashed garlic potatoes

Preheat oven to 350F. In a shallow bowl, combine the first four ingredients. Add pork chops, one at a time and coat. Set remaining flour mixture aside.   In a large skillet, saute chops in butter until golden brown; transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Cover and bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink.

In the same skillet, saute the onion, green pepper and mushrooms until tender. Stir in reserved flour mixture; gradually add (heated) milk until blended. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in lemon juice. Pour over chops. Cover and bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink. Serve with potatoes.

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Pasta Kabobs

While I was away on my retreat, I received an e-mail from my husband.  My 13 year old daughter had cooked dinner and made Pasta Kabobs.  See what I started letting the kids watch Iron Chef America and other shows on the Food Network? lol I thought it was cute though.  Here it is:


Skillet American Chop Suey

I remember my mother making “Chop Suey” when I was growing up.  For some of you, this means Chinese food.. no, this is the American version.  A nice way to doctor up a pound of ground beef and other staples you have in your pantry. It is a better alternative to Hamburger Helper. A much tastier one as well!

I just came home from our church’s Ladies Retreat.  What a let down to return to dishes, a broken dishwasher and the dirty laundry that multiplied while I was away, but I was getting hungry and wanted easy and tasty for dinner.  I had not gone to the store since returning, but had ground beef and this has ingredients that I usually have on hand.

This recipe for “Skillet American Chop Suey” is from America’s Test Kitchen’s book The Best 30-Minute Recipe (page 148)

Skillet American Chop Suey

Serves 4

  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided use
  • 1 lb. 90% lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped medium
  • 1 celery rib, chopped medium (I didn’t have any this time)
  • salt and ground pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 oz elbow macaroni (about 2 cups-dry)

Making the minutes count:  Before cooking, mince the onion. While the beef cooks, chop the bell pepper and celery.  While the vegetables cook mince the garlic.

  1. Cook Beef: Heat 1 Tbsp. of oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add beef and cook, breaking it into pieces with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 3 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Saute Vegetables: add remaining Tbsp oil to skillet and return to medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion, bell pepper, celery and 1/2 tsp salt and cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes.  Stir in Garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Simmer Macaroni: Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, macaroni, and browned beef. Cover and cook, stirring often and adjusting heat as needed to maintain a vigorous simmer, until macaroni is tender, 10-15 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

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Las Vegas Baby!

My husband and I escaped to Las Vegas for the weekend (without children).  For breakfast on Saturday we ate at Thomas Keller’s restaurant “Bouchon” in the Venetian Hotel.  There I ordered their Eggs Benedict Florentine, which was their special for the day.  I must say it was VERY SPECIAL!  I love to cook and I consider myself a good cook, but after taking my first bite of their eggs I realized something:  I cannot cook eggs (like that!)  They were the best I had ever eaten EVER!  I am getting pretty sappy about this love affair I have with eggs and especially eggs benedict.  I have a soft spot in my heart for it!  Their potatoes were also not half bad — not over seasoned, crisp on outside and soft on inside.

If ever in Las Vegas and you have the opportunity to eat at Bouchon, please do!  It’s not cheap, but it is OH so good!

Eggs Benedict Florentine at Bouchon

Potatoes - perfectly cooked