Family recipe — U.P. Pasty

Growing up in and around the Upper Peninsula of Michigan one knows the taste and beauty of  a good pasty. This recipe is one passed to us from my mother Elaine’s sister Ruth. I as a kid enjoyed many a pasty. It a good day when we make them…(not nearly enough):-(


  1.  3 cups flour
  2.  1 1/2 tsp. salt
  3.  2/3 cup shortening
  4.  2/3 cup ICE water

Mix flour, salt, and water together and then cut in shortening.


  1.  1 1/4    ground beef
  2.  1/2 lb. ground pork
  3.  4           red potatoes
  4.   1          onion
  5.   1/2     rutabaga  minced finely)
  6.   3         carrots
  7.               salt for each pasty
  8.               pepper
  9.    1 pat  butter per pasty


Separate dough into 5 portions.  Roll out each portion into a flat circle. Fill half the circles with raw ingredients and add a tbs. of butter. Close by folding into a half circle. Pinch edges closed with a fork using water to stick the edge together.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, turn down to 375 and bake an additional 45-50 minutes.

Enjoy with your favorite condiment…PSST ketchup!!!





stuffed red peppers

Made these last night. I did add two sweet sausage to the recipe I would add more next time. Easy to do and froze the extras for later.


  • 1-1/3 cups brown rice
  • 2-2/3 cups water
  • 11 ounces ground beef
  • 5/8 onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons chopped mushrooms, or to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5/8 (26 ounce) jar tomato sauce
  • 5/8 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 5/8 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 red bell peppers, tops and seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste


  1. Bring brown rice and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, place a cover on the saucepan, and simmer until the rice is tender, about 40 minutes; transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Break ground beef into small pieces and place in the skillet. Add onion, mushrooms, and garlic; cook and stir until the beef is completely browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Mix beef mixture into brown rice.
  4. Stir tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and Italian seasoning into the rice mixture and season filling with salt and black pepper.
  5. Arrange bell peppers in a baking dish. Spoon filling into bell peppers.
  6. Bake in preheated oven until the peppers are tender, about 1 hour. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the stuffed peppers to serve.




Brined chicken

I have recently heard how it is a good idea to brine one’s chicken before cooking it. I looked up a couple recipes and came up with my own idea based on what I had on hand. So here goes:
One half gallon Cold water
One cut up chicken
1/2 cup salt
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons fresh marjoram
2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon Splenda or 2 tablespoons sugar

I use these herbs because it is what I had growing out back… You can use whatever suits your fancy!

Place the chicken pieces into the mixture of cold water herbs salt and sugar. Let it soak for three hours or so.
Then you can either grill it outside like I did, Or bake it inside in your oven. Before grilling it I did sprinkle on a little bit more seasoned salt and rubbed it with a little bit of olive oil.

It turned out very moist and delicious and everyone loved it! I will definitely be doing this again!




Low-carb fried chicken salad

Tonight I wanted something light and easy for dinner. I just love slice fried chicken breast on a salad but I’m on a low-carb diet, so what to do… put a handful of nuts in the blender and finely grind them. Dip the chicken breast on either side and then lightly fry in a little oil or butter. Assemble whatever salad ingredients you want and serve 🙂


Tostados Para Mi

Yesterday I made a batch of frijoles. A very simple version: pintos, water,salt,chipolte powder and bacon salt. It is very easy to do in the crockpot. We also seasoned a whole chicken and cooked it in “set it and forget it” fashion yesterday for dinner. Gotta love rotisserie chicken. Plenty of leftovers.

So thoughts of dinner come up for tonight. What to do? Why not tacos and for me tostados. Left over rotiss chicken and fresh frijoles… perfect ! Tacos/tostados are so easy to do. Fry up some corn tortillas,chop up tomatos,onions,lettuce, some cheese,add sour cream,salsa,hot sauce of choice and wah la! Two birds with one stone leftovers gone and a great light easy meal.


Who Doesn’t Love Lasagna?!

Last night we had lasagna. That pan of cheese, meat and pasta. YUM! Over the course of years I have come across several ways to make it. Let’s break it down.

The noodles – I like my noodles pre-cooked, rinsed and cooled prior to assembly.

The sauce – My personal favorite, and controversial, “sauce” is canned tomato soup. I know WTH! Try it! 😀

Meat or no meat – I choose sausage (bulk or cut up links) and/or ground beef (in that order). The ground meat must be thoroughly seasoned in the tomato soup version. Sausage is best as it will add its flavors to the “sauce”.

The cheese -I like the combo of cottage cheese and mozzarella cheeses.

And most importantly…

Cold or heated – A lasagna worth eating is worth eating cold.

How do you like yours assembled? Let us know!

BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad


two large chicken breasts, sauteed or grilled, seasoned with whatever you want. I used Pappy’s seasoning. Cut into cubes.

half of a medium red onion, diced

half of a medium green bell pepper, diced

one stalk of celery, diced

one 15 oz can corn niblets, drained

one 15 oz can black beans, drained

1 8 oz container cherry tomatoes, halved

one lb elbow macaroni, cooked and drained


one cup low fat mayo

1/4 – 1/2 cup bbq sauce of your choice… i used Winger’s Amazing Sauce

1/2 tsp chipotle powder

juice from one lime


combine all ingredients and allow to chill at least one hour. Adjust seasonings to taste.

I kind of threw this together after after looking at a few similar recipes that did not include pasta. It turned out wonderful!