Archive for Author Lora Murray

Healthy Eating with Zucchini Noodles

Want to eat healthy: Instead of pasta make Zucchini Noodles

ZuchinniMake your favorite spaghetti sauce. Just before serving add your Zucchini Noodles and heat. No need to boil. I found my veggie peeler at Crate and Barrel. Healthy, yummy and so easy. Enjoy

Rhubarb Dream Bars

Rhubard DreamSomeone sent this to me via Face Book.

This is so easy and with all the Rhubarb I still have in my garden;

an easy dessert to enjoy or freeze.

Crust: 2 cups flour, 3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar, 1 Cup Butter

Mix crust and press into 9×13″ pan. Bake in 350 oven for 15 min.

Filling: 4 Beaten eggs, 4 cups chopped rhubarb, 2 cups sugar, 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 tsp salt

Combine eggs, sugar, flour, salt. Mix. Fold in rhubarb. Pour on top of baked crust.

Bake at 350 for 40-55 min until set and edges start to brown

Easy Rolls

Yields 24 rolls

• 3 (.25-ounce) packets active dry yeast
• 1 3/4 cups warm water
• 1/2 cup honey
• 1/2 cup melted butter, plus more for brushing
• 2 teaspoons salt, plus more for sprinkling
• 2 large eggs, beaten
• 4 to 6 cups flour, plus more if needed

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the instant yeast, and warm water. Let it activate for 5 minutes until bubbly. Stir in the honey.

On low speed, add 1/2 cup melted butter, 2 teaspoons salt, and eggs. Slowly add the flour cup-by-cup until fully incorporated and the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl. Add more flour if it is too sticky. Fit the mixer with the dough hook and knead for 3 minutes.

Portion the dough into 24 even servings. Form the rolls into desired shape and place in a cast iron skillet or on a baking sheet spaced evenly apart. Set aside and allow to rise approximately 20 minutes, or until doubled in size. Brush the rolls with melted butter.

Bake for 25 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush with more melted butter, and sprinkle with a little salt.

These are amazing. I did use this dough for cinnamon rolls. I mixed 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and ½ cup of raisins. Melt 1/4 cup of butter. Split the dough half. I save ½ for pizza dough and I rolled the other half on a jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper. Buttered the dough and sprinkled the sugar mixture on top. I then rolled the dough and baked at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.


• 1/2 cup soy sauce
• 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 1 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco
• 1/3 cup Bourbon or other whiskey
• 2 14-ounce rib eye steaks
• Salt and freshly ground pepper
• In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, sugar, mustard and hot sauce. Pour the ingredients into a small saucepot and whisk over low heat until well combined and the sugar caramelizes, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the whiskey and stir together. Bring the mixture to a simmer over low heat while stirring often. Then remove from heat.
• Heat a medium pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the steaks with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the steaks into the pan or on a hot grill and brush the marinade onto the steaks and around the edges as they cook. Cook until the steaks develop caramelized crusts, and then flip and brush the marinade on the other sides, 4 to 5 minutes per side.

You will never have a “plain” rib eye steak again. So flavor full.

Raspberry Meringue Kisses


3                         Egg Whites

1/8 tsp.            Salt

3½ TBS.           Raspberry Gelatin

¾ cup               Sugar

1 tsp.                  Vinegar

1 cup                  Mini Chocolate Chips



Beat egg whites with salt until foamy. Add raspberry gelatin and sugar gradually. Beat until stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Fold in vinegar and mini chocolate chips. Drop from teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheets covered with brown paper or parchment paper. Bake at 250° for 25 minutes. Turn oven OFF; leave cookies in over 20 minutes or longer. The recipe states that it makes 9 dozen. I usually get about 6-7 dozen depending on the size.

The trick to this recipe is to make the cookies relatively the same size for even cooking. Do not let them brown.

If you have double ovens like I do; you can get this accomplished in one batch.


Christmas Wreaths – Unbaked


32                    Large Marshmallows

6 TBS.              Butter

½ tsp.               Vanilla

½ tsp.               Almond Extract

2-3 tsps.           Green Food Coloring (add more depending of the shade of green you like)

4 cups              Corn Flakes

Red Cinnamon Candies


Melt marshmallows and butter in a double boiler (large bowl placed in a sauce pot with simmering water). Mix in flavorings and food coloring. Add corn flakes. Stir gently to coat. Remove double boiler from heat keeping the large bowl in place to keep mixture warm. Butter or spray (non-stick cooking spray) hands well. Spoon tablespoon of mixture onto parchment paper; spread out to resemble a wreath. Decorate immediately with red cinnamon candies (2-3 per wreath).  Depending on the size we usually get about 3 dozen per batch.

My son and I make these every year. They are quick, easy and taste like a more adult rice crispy treat.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

This recipe is for my guy Tom from the gym.


Christmas Cookies

These are his favorite cookies and I told him that I would post this on my website.

Thanksgiving is will upon us soon but Christmas is knocking on our door.This is a great Christmas Cookie and for beginners, it should be your go to recipe.


  • 48 HERSHEY’S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup REESE’S Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Additional granulated sugar(optional)


    1. Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.

    2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.

    3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

    4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes about 48 cookies.

    For more information please check out Hersey Kitchen.


    Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies


    • 1 box Duncan Hines® Red Velvet Cake Mix
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1 can Duncan Hines® Fudge  Frosting
    • 1 can Cherry Pie Filling


    Baking Instructions

    1. Melt butter; set aside to cool. Place cake mix, egg, cooled butter and vanilla in large mixing bowl. Mix by hand until well blended and dough is formed.
    1. Form dough into a smooth 12-inch log on wax paper or parchment making sure it is even in thickness end to end. Wrap in wax paper; seal in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease baking sheets. Unwrap dough log and set on wax paper. Using a sharp knife, cut into 48 slices about 1/4- inch thick. Place on cool baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
    1. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, in center of oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
    1. Spread frosting on half the cookies. Spread 1 tsp. of Cherry Pie Filling on top of the frosting. Top each frosted cookie with another cookie. Gently press together.


    I printed this off the Duncan Hines web site and added the Fudge Frosting and Cherry Pie filling.


    Let’s Talk Turkey

    I found some valuable information in the Milwaukee/Journal Sentinel’s Food section this morning. I personally “brine” my turkey the day before I roast. You can find this recipe under “Fall/Harvest” in my blog.

    Frozen or fresh? My first decision was whether to buy a frozen or fresh turkey. Frozen turkeys are less expensive than fresh, and can be purchased weeks in advance if you have the freezer space; however, you have to be sure to allow plenty of time to thaw.

    Fresh turkeys are more often free-range or organic and can be purchased at the last minute, but they will last only a few days in the refrigerator. According to Butterball Turkey Talk-Line director Mary Clingman, you can make a fresh turkey last longer by placing it in the freezer for a few hours to drop its temperature, then returning it to the bottom of the fridge, which is usually the coldest area.

    Size: One pound per person is the general rule for selecting a bird properly sized for your gathering. This will allow for a reasonable amount of leftovers. I went with the smallest turkey I could find, an 11.5-pounder, figuring my husband and I might have a few guests over – at most – for this preholiday, practice turkey roast (you’ll see how well those plans held up).

    Thawing : If you’re going with a frozen bird, the next crucial step comes days before Thanksgiving. Butterball has declared the Thursday before Thanksgiving to be National Thaw Day as a reminder to move your turkey from the freezer to the fridge, or at least to start thinking about it.

    The general rule of thawing is 24 hours for every 4 pounds of turkey in a fridge set at about 40 degrees. To be safe, I gave mine four days, but it wouldn’t have been a bad idea to start thawing even earlier than that. You can wait up to four days to cook it once it’s fully thawed, which ensures the bird’s temperature will be between 35 and 40 degrees.

    You’ll want to place the turkey on a pan or in a plastic bag to prevent leaks in the fridge. If you find yourself without enough time to thaw it in the refrigerator, you can place the turkey in a sink or cooler (or even a bathtub, as my cousin once had to do) filled with cold water, breast side down.

    This method will take 30 minutes per pound of turkey if you’re changing the water every half-hour. If that seems like too much work, you can forget about changing the water, but it will take several hours longer (the frozen turkey cools the water).

    And if you completely forget to thaw your turkey, or it’s still a bit frozen on Thanksgiving morning, Clingman says not to worry. You can cook a turkey from the frozen state. It may take a couple of hours longer, and you won’t be able to remove the neck, giblets and gravy packets or insert the meat thermometer before placing it in the oven, but in the end it should taste perfectly delicious.

    Preparing the bird: Once thawed, the turkey requires a little preparation. Free it from its plastic wrapping, rinse it well, inside and out, and dry it with paper towels. My turkey still had some ice in the cavity, despite my conservative thawing time, but this didn’t mean the meat was still frozen; it just had some frozen liquid hanging around. A good, strategic rinse took care of that.

    You also need to remove the neck, gravy packet and giblets. This proved to be my first real challenge of the day. I easily found the neck and gravy packet tucked into the main cavity, but the giblets were elusive. After searching high and low, I concluded that our bird was missing its giblets and moved on.

    Fast forward to the turkey being carved, and sure enough, out popped a little packet with the giblets. It didn’t hurt anything to be cooked right inside the bird, as the bag is oven-safe, but it’s probably best to find it before it goes in the oven – if only to save yourself the embarrassment.

    While the neck and gravy packets are usually found in the main cavity, the giblets are stored in the neck cavity. Unfold the neck skin to get into the cavity and remove them. Then, after rinsing and drying the bird, use the neck skin to hold the wings akimbo – or lifted up as you would look holding your hands behind your head with your elbows out.


    Reference: Milwaukee/Journal Sentinel Food Section, Wednesday November 16, 2011

    Stuffing with Hot Sausage and Cranberries


    1-LB Hot Bulk Sausage

    1-14 oz. Brownberry Sage & Onion Cubed Stuffing Mix

    1-Large Granny Smith Apple, cored and diced

    1-Medium Onion, diced

    2-Stalks Celery, diced

    ½ -Bag Fresh Cranberries (buy 2; freeze 1)

    1-tsp. dried Sage or 4 Sprigs Fresh Sage, chopped

    ½-cup White Wine (use a wine you love to drink)

    3 to 4-Cups Chicken Stock


    Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

    Brown hot bulk pork sausage. Drain fat if needed. Place in a large mixing bowl. Add Brownberry Stuffing, apple, onion, celery, cranberries and sage. Mix ingredients. Add wine and 1 cup of chicken stock and mix. Let sit for a few minutes.  Add 1 cup of chicken stock and mix. Let sit for a few minutes. Check how the stock has been absorbed by the stuffing mix. Add chicken stock to the desired consistency of the stuffing mix..not too wet; not too dry.

    Bake for 30 minutes; stirring occasionally. I like my stuffing mix with a little brown crust on the top.

    Makes about 16 cups.

    Note: Store the left over stuffing in a freezer bag to serve with “Leftover Turkey Soup” (recipe to follow after the holiday). Save your turkey carcass in a freezer bag also or ask your hostess for the carcass and watch their face and response. Trust me; it will be well worth the effort.

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