Joan is the best cook I’ve ever met. I’ve also never met anyone who loves Jesus and the saints as much as she does. Periodically, she will post some of her recipes on this page, together with her spiritual reflections. You have no idea how lucky you are!
“Recipé for Thousand Island dressing,” Oct. 15, 2013.
“The (artichoke-tomato) Dip,”, Sept. 2, 2013.
“Feisty Sloppy Joes,” Aug. 17, 2012.
“Recipe for Pork Chops with Carmelized Onions,” Aug. 9, 2012.
“Make this inexpensive “chew bone” treat for your dog!,” June 23, 2012.
“Yummy-’n-Easy Thousand Island Dressing or Dip,” June 7, 2012.
“10 Flowers You Can Eat,” Sept 27, 2011.
“TO DIE FOR” MASHED POTATOES
(This is for a group of people, but you can reduce the ingredients in half if you’d like.)
- 5 lbs. California gold potatoes (or just gold potatoes, they are the best)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 4 large onions chopped
- 3 tbsp. butter for the onions
- 2 cups of whole milk
- 1 cup of cream
Let’s get the onions ready first. We want to carmelize them, i.e., develop the sugar in the onions. Sauté the onions that are roughly chopped in the butter until they are golden brown. Cook them slowly so they carmelize beautifully. Set that aside.
I do not peel the potatoes because the skin is nutritious and I like the rustic look the skin gives. So, I actually wash the potatoes and then cut them in chunks, uniform size, and place them in a large pot covered with water. Make sure you put some salt in the water. Let the potatoes come to a boil, and then simmer them for about 15 minutes or so, until they just become tender. After they are done cooking, drain them and let them sit for about five to seven minutes. Roughly mash them with a hand masher. Then, get your electric hand beater out and whip the potatoes, adding your milk and cream whilst you beat the potatoes. Beat until they are nice and creamy. You’ll notice the skins become better absorbed into the potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste, and you may even want to add more butter according to your taste. Pour in the carmelized onions and, voila!, you will taste the best mashed potatoes ever! Enjoy!
THE ULTIMATE COMFORT FOOD: MEAT LOAF FOR A CROWD
Here’s my meat loaf recipé, real comfort food for people on dreary days and during the winter season.
- 4 lbs. of ground chuck or 80/20 ground beef
- 2 large onions diced
- 5 tbsp. of finely chopped parsley
- 2 cups of cracker crumbs
- 7 eggs blended
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 1 tbsp. of marjoram leaves (dried)
- 2 tsp. of garlic powder
- 2 tsp. of Kosher salt
- 1 tbsp. of Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy seasoning
- 2 tsp. of freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups of Ketchup (I use Heinz)
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. of Teriyaki sauce
Get all of these ingredients set aside for efficient use of them. Dice the onions and finely chop the parsley. Set this aside. Get your rolling pin and make your own cracker crumbs. They will have a much more rustic texture as opposed to your ready-made fine-textured cracker crumbs. Put good quality Saltine crackers (I use Zesta) in a large baggy and close it. Then, roll the cracker crumbs to a fairly fine consistency, but not too fine.
In a very large bowl, blend thoroughly the meat, onions, parsley and cracker crumbs. Then, in a separate bowl, blend the eggs. Pour the blended eggs and heavy cream into the large bowl with the meat mixture. Again, mix everything thoroughly. Finally, add the marjoram, garlic powder, salt, Mrs. Dash and pepper to the large bowl and mix thoroughly. Get a large baking pan, spray it with cooking spray and fashion the meat mixture into a loaf. Bake one hour at 350 degrees.
Mix the ingredients together for the glaze. Take the meatloaf out of the oven and spread the glaze over it. Gently place foil over the glazed meatloaf (tent-like so it doesn’t touch the glaze) and bake for 45 minutes at 325 degrees. When finished baking, take the meatloaf out of the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes. Serve with mashed potatoes and corn.
This serves a crowd and it is very delicious. Enjoy!
A REALLY SASSY SHRIMP SCAMPI
- 1 bag of large frozen cooked shrimp (41-60 in a bag)
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 cube of unsalted butter
- 1 cup of Sweet Chili Sauce
- 4 large cloves of garlic diced
- 3 tbsp. of olive oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Before you do anything, I give my shrimp a “lemon bath.” Just take your shrimp and put them in some water. Roll the lemon a bit with your hand so the juices will flow. Then, cut the lemon in half and pour the juice of this lemon upon the shrimp. Let this sit for about 15 minutes. Then, take each shrimp and take the tail off. But most of the time you see shrimp with the tails left on. However, not this lady! I take the tails off because I don’t want to be playing with shrimp tails whilst I am eating. Primitive indeed! Put each of the shrimps on a paper towel so that all of the water has drained.
Then, in a frypan, melt the butter and then add the olive oil. Sauté the garlic for about 10 minutes in this mixture at low termperature. This will infuse the butter and oil with this wonderful garlic taste! Add the sweet chili sauce to this misture. (You can buy this sweet chili sauce in the Asian section of your grocery store. You will find that it is “your friend’ to jazz up things!) Let this simmer then for about 7 minutes. Finally, add the shrimp and bring your heat up to about medium high-cook for about 6 minutes. Salt and pepper this dish to taste.
I serve this with rice. This is delicious and it is a little different than regular Shrimp Scampi because of the spicy twist! I hope you like this idea! I also serve this with a salad using Romaine greens and baby spinach with a dressing of your choice. I use a vinagarette.
QUICK AND EASY PIZZA
1 package of pre-made Tandoori bread, which is an Indian bread. I was in a hurry and my husband wanted pizza. The texture of this bread is wonderful!
- Any good brand of pre-made spaghetti sauce on the market. You can also use your own home-made spaghetti sauce. (I keep mine in the freezer.)
- 1 diced onion
- 1 diced green pepper
- 3 diced garlic cloves
- Sausage (I like the Hillshire Farm cooked sausage varieties.)
- Sliced black olives
- Grated cheese of your choice
- Salt and pepper
- Mrs. Dash extra spicy seasoning
Spread the spaghetti sauce on the bread. Saute until just transparent the onion, green pepper and garlic. Place the pepperoni and cooked sausage upon the bread. Now sprinkle the onion, green pepper, garlic and olives over the meat. Sprinkle the grated cheese upon everything as the cheese will also bind everything together. Finally, shake upon the pizza the salt, pepper and Mrs. Dash. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes.
I think you’ll enjoy this version. My husband enjoyed it so much he brought the leftovers with him when he went hiking and ate it cold with his friend!
JOAN’S ROAST PEPPER SALSA
- 4 large red peppers
- 4 large yellow peppers
- 1 onion
- extra virgin olive oil
- sweet balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper
Dice the red and yellow peppers and the onion into little squares and put them onto a cookie sheet. Sprinkle them generously with some extra virgin olive oil, sweet
balsamic vinegar and salt and peppered. Put the diced peppers and onion in your oven at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Take them out and let them cool.
You can use these delicious roasted peppers as a condiment with hot dogs and hamburgers. I even added four heaping tablespoons of these peppers to my potato salad recipe. And, you can add them to dips, sour cream and ranch dressing. They are delicious! Just remember, when you roast vegetables, you bring out their flavor! Enjoy!
KNOCK-YOUR-SOCKS-OFF SHRIMP COCKTAIL
This recipe is easy for summertime and no cooking is involved! This can also be a meal, depending upon the number of shrimp you wish to serve.
- 1 bag of frozen shrimp, cooked and deveined
- 1 fresh lemon
- Iceberg lettuce
- 2 cups of ketchup
- 2 tbsp. of hot horseradish
- Club crackers
Put some cool water into a medium-size bowl. Squeeze the entire lemon into the water. In fact, when you are done squeezing the lemon, you can put the lemon in the bowl. Then, put the frozen shrimp into this “lemon bath.” This will make the shrimp taste mild. Let the shrimp soak in this bath for about 15 minutes. Then, cut up finely the lettuce and put the lettuce on individual plates.
You can now make your own cocktail sauce. There are so many sauces in the store that are most expensive. You can make your own sauces, such as this cocktail sauce. Put the ketchup into a bowl. Get your good-quality hot horseradish and mix it with the ketchup thoroughly. It is delicious, this particular combination. That’s all you need for cocktail sauce!
Now drain the shrimp and distribute them on the plates. Put a generous helping of cocktail sauce in the middle on top of the shrimp. I like to serve Club crackers with them. Believe it or not, this is a great meal for summertime, easy and delicious. Enjoy!
- 3 chicken breasts
- 1 large can of chicken stock or 1 box of chicken stock
- 1 onion diced
- 2 cloves of fresh garlic diced
- 1 cup of cooked rice
- 2 tsp. fresh diced thyme (or 1 tsp. of dried thyme)
- 1 cup of cream
- 1/2 cup of white wine or Sherry (optional)
- 1 tbsp. of corn starch
- 1 bay leaf
Some experts recommend boiling the chicken breasts to cook them. Frankly, I like to saute them in a bit of olive oil and butter until they are cooked. I think this procedure gives the chicken more flavor. In any event, after you have cooked the chicken, let the chicken pieces rest for about 15 minutes. Then, cut the chicken up in small pieces. I do not like big large pieces of anything in my soups or chowders. You are supposed to be able to fit the ingredients of your soup onto a spoon, not have big chunks of things to deal with! In any event, next step is to saute the onion in the same pan you cooked the chicken in and you will have to add a little more olive oil probably. Let the onion cook until it is transparent. (By the way, I just use a big pot for the whole thing!) Then add the garlic and saute for about five minutes. Cook your rice according to package directions (the ratio is usually 2 to 1). I usually use cooked rice from a previous meal I have made-leftover rice. This works very well. Then add the chicken stock and thyme. Bring to a low boil. Dissolve the cornstarch in a little water until it is absorbed into the water. Stir the cornstarch into the chowder whilst you are also stirring the soup so that this dissolves properly. Now add the cream, wine and bay leaf. Add some salt and pepper. (I always use Kosher salt because it has a brighter taste and freshly ground pepper – much better!) Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve this with some fresh bread or rolls.
I made this chowder for some friends and they loved it! It was a cold winter
day and this is what the doctor ordered! I hope you like it!
CLAM CHOWDER WARM AND FUZZY
- 2 cans Chicken of the Sea clams
- 1 large onion diced
- 3 cloves of garlic diced
- 2 large potatoes (I like gold Yukons, but any variety will do)
- 3 cans of chicken stock
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 1/2 cup of sherry
- 1 cup of fresh flat leaf parsley finely cut
- salt and pepper to taste
Saute the onion and potatoes until somewhat transparent. Then add the garlic and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the clams and chicken stock. Bring to a low boil. Now add the cream and the parsley (and the sherry if you like). Cover and simmer on low for about 20 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
This is easy and it warms your tummy! This chowder also smells very, very good. (Incidentally, you really don’t need to thicken the chowder with flour or cornstarch, because the quantity of veggies helps to thicken, notwithstanding the use of cream.)
JOAN’S BROCCOLI-POTATO-CHEESE CHOWDER
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 4 or 5 medium sized potatoes (preferably gold or red potatoes)
- 1 large diced onion
- 2 ribs of celery diced
- 1 bag of frozen broccoli
- 1/2 cup of Sherry
- 1 1/2 cups (or so) of chicken stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- a shake of red pepper flakes
- 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Nuke your potatoes in the microwave for about 6 or 7 minutes. (You can
even use leftover potatoes for this chowder.) In the meantime, saute the diced onion and celery in melted butter in the same pot you are using for this chowder. Saute until somewhat tender. Now, cut up the nuked potatoes. Add potatoes to the onion and celery and stir; salt and pepper them to taste. Let them play in the “hot tub” for awhile so that the flavors merge, for about
10 to 15 minutes. Cook the frozen broccoli according to package directions. I buy the steam-in-the-bag broccoli as it has been on sale lately. After you have finished steaming the broccoli, put the broccoli into the hot tub too. Then add the sherry and chicken stock. Bring to a near boil. To thicken into chowder, mix 2 or 3 tbsp. of cornstarch with about 1/2 cup of water or milk in a separate bowl. Pour this into the hot tub and stir. Cover (with the lid left off just slightly) and do a low simmer for 25 minutes. When this is finished, stir and let the chowder sit for about 10 minutes. Then, when you are ready to serve, sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of each bowl of chowder and also sprinkle some red pepper flakes (slightly) over the cheese.
This is a great meal on a cold winter day and it makes you feel cozy!
P.S. Soup is also good for weight loss, immune boosting, and detoxifying our bodies! Article HERE
JOAN’S SCRUMPTIOUS PORK CHOPS
- 6 to 8 pork chops
- 1 large onion cut into rings
- 1 cup of Smucker’s pineapple and apricot preserves
- Mrs. Dash extra spicy mix
- olive oil
- salt, pepper and garlic powder
Coat a pan with non-stick cooking spray. Rub your pork chops with olive oil. Put them into the pan. Then, salt and pepper the pork chops and shake some garlic powder on them. Take the pineapple and apricot preserves and generously put some on each pork chop. Then, take an onion ring and put one on each pork chop. Gently press the onion rings with a fork onto the preserves to moisten the onion. Then, moderately shake some more freshly ground pepper and Mrs. Dash extra spicy on top of everything. Bake at 350% for 1 hour or 1-1/4 hour, depending on the thickness of your chops. I use inexpensive cuts and they work just great. Also, if you have a convection bake setting in your oven, use it because the chops brown quicker. Enjoy!
Today, January 6th, we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, which means God manifesting Himself to us. It is the day we commemorate the arrival of the Magi - Gaspar, Melchior and Balthazar - to meeting the Holy Family and their worship of Jesus, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. They gave Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. I have always celebrated this day and all of my Christmas lights and decorations are still up. May we, every day, give the Triune God our prayers, works, joys and sufferings of each day, and begin each day thanking God for everything he has given us. I have one New Year’s resolution: to practice gratitude constantly, in every situation and in every way, thanking God by doing what I am supposed to do, when I am supposed to do it, and in the manner it is supposed to be done.
Also, it is the Birthday of St. Joan of Arc, my favorite saint! I ask for her intercession today to help me with this resolution and to continue to inspire me with her true holiness. You can do the same!
Happy Epiphany and Happy Birthday, dear St. Joan of Arc!
BAKED ARTICHOKE DIP
- 1 can of artichokes
- 1 cup of Parmesan cheese
- 5 to 6 green onions diced
- 2 tomatoes diced
- 1 1/4 cup of mayonnaise
- fresh ground pepper (liberally used)
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. garlic salt
Dice the artichokes and then the green onions. (I use the stems of the green onions as well.) Dice the fresh tomatoes. Then, mix the artichokes, green onions and tomatoes together. Then mix everything else together. I like to put this in a glass bowl or dish because it looks appetizing. Bake this for 350 degrees for 25 minutes – until it gets golden brown and bubbly on top.
This is a great recipe for New Year’s Eve! You can use this as a dip for vegetables, for chips, and even as a filler for stuffed mushrooms. You can serve it with some gourmet crackers and your family and friends will love it.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Blessed New Year, using St. Joan’s motto for the year, “May Our Lord Always Be First Served!”
GARLIC GREEN BEANS
- Green Beans
- Bunch of Fresh Garlic
- Fresh Ground Pepper
- One Stick of Butter (softened)
Wrap an entire bunch of garlic in foil. Roast it in the oven for about 30 minutes at 375 degrees. After you are done roasting, take the garlic out of the foil and then take the little jackets off the garlic (it’ll be hot but they’ll come off nicely). Take a fork and crush the garlic cloves until they are a bit mushy. Take a stick of softened butter and mix it with the mushed garlic. Now you have made your own garlic butter!
Steam some fresh green beans. (Some stores sell fresh green beans already clean in a bag. All you have to do is to steam them in the microwave per instructions. You can get such items on sale if you look closely in the ads!
Or, clean the green beans yourself and steam them according to the amount you have prepared.)
Take the green beans that have been steamed and put them in a bowl or dish. Put liberally the garlic butter on top of them as well as some fresh ground pepper. Delicioso! I made this for a Christmas party and there
wasn’t one green bean left.
As I am posting this recipe onto “Joan’s Kitchen,” I am reminded that today, the 29th of December, 2009, is the Feast Day of St. Thomas a’ Beckett, one of my favorite saints! He was a worldly, well-educated man, who eventually rose to the position of Chancellor of England to King Henry the II, and thereafter was ordained to the position of Archbishop of Canterbury. He reluctantly took this position because he knew that it would create enmity between himself and the king. Because the King tried to take over authority that only belonged to the Bishops and the Pope, and because St. Thomas took a position against the king as to unfair taxation practices and like issues, he eventually was martyred by the king’s soldiers at Canterbury. This is just a very brief summary of a very great saint! I have had an etching of St. Thomas in my home for over 20 years. You can read more about him at the EWTN website HERE.
Sadly, little has changed. Just as the Catholic Church has stood up for the unborn now, it is being threatened by representatives in California to lose its 501 (c)(3) status, and Catholic hospitals are being threatened into non-existence because they will be forced to conduct abortions. The holy men and women of God will continue to, just as in the time of St. Thomas, stand up for the truth and the right!
I oftentimes find myself praying and thinking about the saints while I cook. I learn so much from them because they were people just like you and me! We can all become saints.
Much love to everyone and as St. Joan of Arc said, “May Our Lord always be first served!”
I’ve found the spiral sliced pre-cooked hams to be the best.
Follow the directions upon the label of the ham (I like Farmland hams), as to cooking time and temperature. Cover the ham with foil while it is cooking so it will not dry out. While the ham is cooking, make the sauce:
- Brown sugar (about 2 to 3 tbsp.)
- Crushed cloves (about 1 tsp.)
- Mix sugar and cloves with a jar of Smucker’s apricot/pineapple preserves.
- Simmer the sauce in a small pot for about 20 minutes so that the flavors will merge.
After the ham is done, remove from oven, and whilst it is sitting, pour the sauce between each single ham slice. I have found that you really don’t have to bake the ham with the sauce. Although you will see the sauce, I also add some maraschino cherries over the slices here and there, and other fruit slices of your choice. Present the ham on a lovely platter with each of the slices fanned out. When you present the ham to your guests in this fashion, they comment how wonderful it looks — and they’ll come back for seconds and thirds! Enjoy!