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Tasty combinations

July 24, 2013
By Pat Jensen , Marshall Independent

Anyone stopping by earlier this week might have been greeted with the smell of cookies baking in the oven. After allowing the cookies to cool slightly, I poured myself a glass of milk (which I seldom drink), but a warm chocolate chip cookie and milk just go together! It was an enjoyable pairing and also brought back memories of my youth.

There are so many foods that make good partners. One isn't quite the same without the other. Here are some examples: scalloped potatoes and ham, Polish sausages and kraut, tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich, cake with ice cream, eggs and bacon, lasagna and garlic bread. Who thought of these combinations? Many of us were served these foods while growing up - and we continue the tradition.

Every now and then, I change things a bit; keeps meals interesting. Leftovers often provide the source for creativity. I?must admit I've served some unusual pairings from time to time.

My husband has spent a limited amount of time in the kitchen. On one occasion, he fried some leftover potatoes in a skillet and then added chopped onion, leftover pork and beans and bologna. I've been told that ketchup is a "must have" with this concoction. I'll take his word for it.

Unusual dishes are often born out of desperation (hunger) and end up becoming a favorite. What's yours?

This recipe allows many variations and is also easy to downsize


3 to 4 T. veg. oil

Approx. 20 oz. frozen shredded potatoes

Black pepper

Seasoned salt

1/4 to 1/3 cups diced bell pepper (red/green)

2/3 cup chopped onion

1 cup (or more) diced ham

6 eggs, beaten

Shredded cheddar cheese, as desired

Warm veg. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes. Season to taste. Cook until slightly browned. Add bell pepper and onion. Cook until softened. Stir in diced ham and then the beaten eggs. Stir well. When eggs are done, remove from heat. Add cheese. Cover to allow cheese to melt. Time to eat!

Notes: Allow potatoes to partially thaw; this shortens cooking time. May substitute cubed hash browns. In place of ham, may add cooked sausage or bacon - even sliced hot dogs; warm in microwave before adding. Other shredded cheeses work well also. Add your favorite.

An old-time recipe - updated


3 T. olive oil

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni

3 T. diced onion

1 (14.5oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained

1/2 tsp. Mrs. Dash (table blend)

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. seasoned salt

2-3 pinches black pepper

3-1/2 cups hot water

Warm olive oil in skillet. Add macaroni and onion. Cook over med. heat; stirring until macaroni is light brown. Add tomatoes, seasonings, and hot water. Reduce heat. Simmer (uncovered) until pasta is done to your liking. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Notes: Frying the pasta gives it a nutty taste that is out of the ordinary. Macaroni will absorb some of the liquid as it stands.

Nothing could be easier


2 to 4 slices bologna (lunch meat)

Onion slices

2 slices bread, toasted

Mustard, optional

In a skillet, saute meat and onion slices. (Spray skillet or use some veg. oil)

Layer bologna slices and onions on toasted bread. Add mustard if desired. Top with second slice of toast. Enjoy.

Notes: I lightly butter the toasted bread. Wonderful on potato bread.

No baking required


1/2 cup margarine

1/2 cup milk

2 cups granulated sugar

3 cups quick oats, uncooked

5 T. unsweetened cocoa

1/2 cup coconut

Heat margarine, milk and sugar in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for just one minute. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining ingredients. Drop by spoon onto waxed paper. Cool.

Yield: about 3 dozen.

Just a thought: If hot coffee tastes good, and iced coffee tastes good, why does a swig of cold coffee taste so awful?



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