Rice Casserole

Broth, Consommé or Stock?

Here is an interesting cooking question I had as I prepared this recipe that called for consommé-  is there any difference between broth, consommé or stock? I have become an indiscriminant cook who uses these interchangeably.

Stock is the basis of many dishes – soups, stews, sauces, and gravies. Broth and consommé are both types of soup.  According to ochef.com, Consommé is the most refined soup made from stock. The stock is reduced. Then ground beef or chicken, additional aromatic vegetables, and frothy egg whites are added to the boiling stock. The egg whites coagulate on top, acting as a filter that collects impurities in the stock during 45 minutes to an hour of simmering. The consommé is strained through a towel, and, often, Madeira or sherry are added.

Rice Casserole

Well, unfortunately, I read this important piece of information about consommé vs. broth after I put the rice casserole in the oven.  This casserole would be a great and easy addition to serve with chicken, turkey or fish brought to us by Lynda M, who also contributed similar recipe for flavored rice.  I found this on page 56 with the Main Dishes, but in my mind it belongs with the side dishes.  The preparation for this dish was minimal… Lynda suggested canned mushroom, but I used some dried ones, and frozen diced onions and peppers  To keep the sodium content down, I used a low salt broth I found recently from Jewel.


I love the brick containers with easy pour spout, great for storing leftover broth in the fridge.

Here is the rice casserole after it came out of the oven.  A nice accompaniment to rotisserie chicken we were having for dinner.  Thanks Lynda!



Desserts – Chocolate Cinnamon Cake and Chocolate Meringue Bars

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2015 gives you many grace-filled days as you journey through the year. Now I’m passing the microphone over to Nancy…

Hi, Nancy here, just realized the date & thought I’d better get my last 2 items in while in 2014. I think Julie & Kelly (with a little help from their friends) are going to finish the cookbook project.  Can’t wait to hear what Julie has in mind for 2015!!
2014 was a good year for our family and friends. We have much to look forward to in 2015.
Surprise, surprise I made two chocolate cakes for my daughter Patti’s birthday. They were very different, but both delicious.
The first was Cinnamon Chocolate Cake p. 77. This recipe is from pastor’s mom & his favorite birthday cake. I did give the Stieg’s some leftover cake. (Julie here: for which we were grateful! Yum!)


The second cake is contributed by Monique H. (p. 76), Chocolate Meringue bars and also delish. I do enjoy making meringue.


(Julie here: meringue sounds difficult to me. Glad Nancy took this one on! Even spelling it is tricky…)

The family enjoyed both birthday treats.


Julie again: (I know, I won’t shut up) Thank you, Nancy for adding your contributions here, not only for baking the treats but also taking photos and writing about them. My one question is: why isn’t Patti blowing out her candles? 🙂


Taffy Apple Salad


Happy Halloween! In lieu of costume for school, here is a robotic shirt/sweatshirt

It’s a little belated, but hoping you had a wonderful holiday season, which always starts with Halloween at our house! This was the first year for no party or costumes at school.   I surprised them with Halloween shirts/sweatshirts to wear during school.


I’m not sure, but I bet it was colder on Halloween than Christmas thanks to the famous Polar vortex we were living through again this Fall.  Look how the retailers are trying to cash in on this weather phenomena.


Taffy Apple Salad

When Julie and I met to review recipes left to make from the cookbook, I thought this looked like a neat recipe with lots of things my family loves- pineapple, apples, nuts, and yes, marshmallows and sugar!!  Taffy apples represent Fall/Halloween, so this was a great opportunity to make this delicious salad from page 17. Luckily, Queen Elsa (from Frozen, in case you missed this epic Disney phenomena) agreed to assist me with preparing the salad.

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Queen Elsa is an old fashioned monarch.  Luckily, she chose to wear an undergarment beneath her royal gown to prevent potential wardrobe malfunctions.  The Queen Mum searched high and low, but could only find the a suitable garment on a clearance rack in a much larger size than her majesty currently wears.   Queen Elsa also prefers beating her eggs the “old fashioned way”- with a wisk vs. an electric mixer. The eggs were mixed with pineapple juice, flour, sugar, and vinegar, then were poured into a small sauce pan.  After the mixture thickened, I put it our on the porch (in lieu of the refrigerator) to chill.


In this picture, her Highness is mixing cool whip, pineapple tidbits and chopped apples with the egg/juice/sugar/flour mixture.

Because I was concerned about a potential egg allergy with friends we were going to share this with,  I nixed adding the chopped dry roasted peanuts.   It was a fun addition to a Halloween gathering we co-hosted with our next door neighbors.  We were thrilled to share the warmth of their garage as kids were trick or treating and checking out the club house.


Dreamsicle Punch

I had the pleasure of making this delicious punch for our welcome back reception on Thanksgiving Eve last month.  Before kids (BK, as I like to refer to it!), I was the “cookie party lady”.  Yes, a strange title for a Registered Dietitian!   I was in charge of reception after the children’s Christmas program each December.  I wish I had this fabulous punch recipe from page 105, given to us by the lovely Sheree G… much better than the punch I made from Southern Home Living magazine for years!

Being the cookie party lady, I was in charge of assembling trays of cookies donated by our Sunday school families, making punch and of course, decaffeinated coffee for the adults.  Truthfully, the most challenging part of my duties was making sure that the kids didn’t sneak any cookies before the program!  I came up with a mantra I now use during my PK (post kids) era quite often:

  1. You must take the one you touch
  2. You must take the one you licked
  3. I will serve no cookie (or anything else) before its time

Dreamsicle Punch

I purchased the ingredients for the punch and kept all items except the soda in freezer, ready to go in 1 bag.  I stealthfully left the service after the sermon and went to the lower level kitchen, where I had stashed my supplies.  It was super easy to dump the frozen orange juice and lemonade, which were slightly thawed by this time, and easy to remove from the can.  Then, I scooped out the sherbet, carried the punch bowl to Ascension room and emptied contents of the cream soda bottles into the punch.

Here are the lovely Melanie and Kiana enjoying the punch at the reception.


Side Dishes – Potatoes Au Gratin



On the Second Day of Christmas

Yuki watched TV!


I got an animal DVD from the Library, and while I walked on the treadmill, Yuki took in America’s Greatest Animals for at least 10 minutes. 🙂

Potatoes Au Gratin

This was a perfect accompaniment to our Christmas dinner. In past years, I’ve made Christmas Goose, an interesting if labor-intensive dish.

I’ve decided that turkey and ham are the easiest large meats to serve. Not only are they budget-friendly, but also feed a lot of people. When I make a turkey, I have meat for the meal as well as leftovers for at least a couple more.

Not so with goose. Goose is roughly a similar size to a turkey, but the meat from it feeds maybe 4 people in one meal. The end.

This year I compromised. I made duck and sea scallops. I don’t think I’d ever made scallops before, but I love them and order them often when we’re out. So I didn’t have a good recipe to start from. I found a chili-encrusted lime scallop recipe which I thought sounded good, but came out only meh.

And the duck? Sorta of meh too. It’s a lot of work trying to get the meat off the bird, though it’s easy to roast.

The au gratin potatoes (p. 31), though, worked out perfectly as a side dish. I used plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, and had lightened up versions of the cream of celery and cheese.

IMG_6542Jacob really liked this dish. It’s tasty!


Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the final product. But trust me it comes out really nice in the end because you put cheese over the top and the potatoes brown up nicely.

Give it a try!




Pepperoni Roll Appetizers

Here is a great recipe brought to us by the lovely Julie W, found on page 5 of the cookbook.  For anyone hosting a post holiday get together, this is an easy and fun recipe to serve your guests!

Here in the Quinn household, there was some improvisation that took place on this tasty appetizer and am sure that using Asiago cheese and pepperoni, as well as chilling as suggested, would yield even better results!


I had been wanting to make this delicious appetizer for a while and had the Pepperidge farm pastry sheets in my freezer.  Nancy O and Julie had both offered to take this off my list but given its similarity and popularity of my mom’s Stromboli recipe, I wanted to give it a try.

I decided, with my husband’s input, to improvise using leftover Summer Beer sausage instead of Pepperoni.  Apologies to the readers of German/Italian descent!!  Also, I had some shredded Swiss/Gruyere cheese from Trader Joe’s we used instead of Asiago cheese.  If I had to make this again (and my husband hopes so), I would use the pepperoni, shredded Asiago and chill (or freeze/thaw) prior to baking at 400.


Since I am not a huge fan of processed meat and had spinach mixture ready to make for another Spanikopita recipe, I decided to try that rolled up in the pastry roll for a change with the Swiss/Gruyere cheese sprinkled on top before I rolled it up.


My husband and son enjoyed leftovers of this tonight during Packer vs. Lion’s game 😉  NO need to discuss who they were routing for!!

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Main Dishes – Chicken Casserole

Feed My Starving Children

Last Saturday, I took a group of youth and parents to Feed My Starving Children, in Aurora. There were 23 of us from Redeemer, a great number in my estimation. But we weren’t the only ones there.

Along with probably 100-150 other volunteers, we split up around various tables packaging food into “manna packs,” a blend of rice, soy, veggies, and vitamins. These are sent to various places in underdeveloped parts of the world.

In the packaging room, we noticed that some of the groups around us seemed more exuberant, more joyous in their packing than we did. Jacob said, with a wry smile, “Yeah, our youth group is kind of angsty.” Jacob has this wit, this subtle humor that makes me hours or even days later smile a little to myself. He’s right: we are kind of angsty.

And isn’t that okay? We’re Lutherans, for crying out loud. As my friend Sherri said, “We Lutherans repress our feelings and bring a dish to pass at the potluck.”

Chicken Casserole

We Lutherans do love our potlucks, and our casseroles, don’t we? Or rather, those of a previous generation surely did. My mom made a salmon casserole that I remember, sadly, with much disdain. I eat fish at least once a week now, but I’m not wild about any noodle-y, creamy, crunchy additional ingredients.

Anyhow, despite my being down on casseroles, dishes like this make for an easy family meal, as Kathryn found when she cooked this chicken casserole (p. 42) for me! She cut up the chicken before cooking to make it easier to serve. Great idea!


And here is the finished product:


Nice one, Kathryn! Thank you for your willingness to help me get through these last few recipes. 🙂


Salads – Lime Jello Mold

Merry Christmas! 


 Therefore this is the chief article, which separates us from all the heathen, that you, O man, may not only learn that Christ, born of the virgin, is the Lord and Savior, but also accept the fact that he is your Lord and Savior, that you may be able to boast in your hear:  I hear the Word that sounds from heaven and says:  This child who is born of the virgin is not only his mother’s son.  I have more than the mother’s estate; he is more mine than Mary’s, for he was born for me, for the angel said, “To you” is born the Savior.  Then ought you to say, Amen, I thank thee, dear Lord. (From Martin Luther’s sermon on Luke 2)

Lime Jello Mold 

This recipe (p. 12) comes from Donna H., who made several great contributions to the cookbook. It’s a tasty treat! I used sugar free lime jello and boiling water instead of the heavy pear syrup.



It didn’t take long for it to set up. Delish! Thank you, Donna!

Cookies – Divinity Cookies

Christmas Eve

When all was still and it was midnight

the immortal Word descended from His royal throne…

So begins the introit for Christmas Eve, my favorite of the whole year. It’s so beautifully poetic, isn’t it?

Divinity Cookies

Donna H. submitted this recipe (p. 95)  and then made the cookies the blog as well. Here’s what she shared with me:


I remember growing up in a multi-generational 2 flat and every Saturday was baking day and the house was filled with the wonderful aromas of fresh breads, coffee cakes etc.  As Christmas approached dozens of different cookies were added.


Now it lives on with my children and grandchildren.  My daughter also continues to do it with her children and grandchildren in Minnesota. Some men are even joining in. Different times, new traditions.  Love it!!


This cookie was one from a special aunt of mine and the reason I added it to our cookbook.


Here’s the mixture with a thermometer, making sure the temp is just right.


And the cookies on the pan:


P.S.  You can always try switching extracts and nuts.  Ex:  almond extract with almonds. Or try orange extract with orange peel.  Be creative and Have Fun!!!  That’s what baking is all about.



What a beautiful platter of deliciousness! Thanks, Donna!

Cookbook Corrections

Corrections for Redeemer Lutheran Cookbook, published 2013

Updates 12/2014

p. 1 – Artichoke Dip
1 glove garlic should be 1 clove garlic

p. 2 – Bar Nuts
2 T snipped fresh parsley should be 2 T snipped fresh rosemary

p. 15 Strawberry Pretzel Salad
Add 1/4 cup melted butter to the ingredients

p. 16 Sunshine Salad
Add small packet of orange jello to the ingredients

p. 32 Texas Caviar
1 small jar mild green chills should be green chilies

p. 48 Grilled Pork Tenderloin
At the end of the directions, add: Cook tenderloin in 375 degree oven for 45 min.

p. 53 Oriental Meatballs
These could be in appetizers; the balls should be rolled into 1″ size, and no larger.

p. 66 Banana or Pumpkin Bread
2 1/2 c. water should be 2/3 cup water

p. 68 Double Cranberry Bread
Remove last two ingredients (included in the list twice)

p. 82 Mattie’s Chocolate Cherry Cake
Add 5 T butter to the frosting ingredients

p. 92 Buttermilk Bars
Add 2 1/2 cups flour to the beginning of the list of ingredients.

p. 95 Divinity Cookies
In the directions, before the last sentence add: Add the vanilla and beat mixture until mixture becomes slightly dull. Stir in nuts and drop onto sheet.

p. 95 Double Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
Directions should state scant instead of “scan teaspoonfuls.”

p. 96 Five Pounds of Fudge
Add 12 oz. German sweet chocolate to the ingredient list.