Treasures & Tips to Health & Happiness

little tid bits that add a touch of happiness to your life

Miscellaneous Recipes

 = My family's favorites!


  1. Jamacian Jerk Rub 
  2. Quick Puff Pastry 
  3. Homemade Italian Rolls 
  4. Homemade Shake n' Bake 
  5. Mexican Corn Bread 
  6. Pizza Crust 
  7. Cocktail Hour! 
  8. BBQ Sauce 
  9. Homemade Craft Dough 
  10. Itlian Dressing Mix 
  11. Mardi Gras Cocktails 
  12. Harissa (Morrocan Hot Sauce)
  13. BBQ Dry Rub
  14. Taco/Fajita Seasoning
  15. Creole Seasoning Blend


Jamacian Jerk Rub

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
5 teaspoons ground allspice
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Remove stems from fresh thyme. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring together well.

Remove approximately half of the mixture to a Ziploc freezer bag and freeze for next use (recipe is for a double batch).

To use, the mixture should be rubbed well into any type of meat, poultry or seafood, then the meat should be covered and refrigerated from 2 to 12 hours so that the flavors can work their magic.

24 Hour Variation: Omit salt from rub; sprinkle meat with salt just before cooking. Use this variation when meat will be refrigerated for more than 12 hours.

Posted 08/23/2009

Quick Puff Pastry

4 c all-purpose flour                                                                                                                 1 tsp salt                                                                                                                                    2 c cold butter (1 pound)                                                                                                         1 1/4 c ice water

In a large mixing bowl stir together flour and salt. Cut the cold butter into 1/2-inch-thick slices (not cubes). Add the butter slices to the flour mixture; toss till butter slices are coated with the flour mixture and are separated. Pour ice water over the flour mixture. Using a spoon, quickly mix (butter will remain in large pieces and flour will not be completely moistened).

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough 10 times by pressing and pushing dough together to form a rough-looking ball. Shape dough into a rectangle (dough still will have some dry-looking areas). Make the corners as square as possible. Slightly flatten dough.

Working on a well-floured surface, roll the dough into an 18x15-inch rectangle. Fold crosswise into thirds to form a 15x6-inch rectangle. Give dough a quarter turn, then fold crosswise into thirds to form a 5x6-inch rectangle and to create 9 layers. Repeat the rolling, folding, turning, and folding process once more, forming a 5x4-inch rectangle. Wrap dough with plastic wrap. Chill for 20 minutes. Repeat the rolling and folding process 2 more times. Before using, chill dough for 20 minutes more. To use dough in a recipe, cut in half crosswise with a sharp knife.

Posted 06/13/2009

Homemade Italian Rolls

Original recipe was borrowed from $5 Dinners and then altered to accommodate the ingredients that I had on hand (and my stand mixer)! 

1 cup warm water                                                                                                                    1 tsp salt                                                                                                                                    2 tsp Olive Oil                                                                                                                           3 cups flour                                                                                                                               2 tsp sugar                                                                                                                                1 packet rapid rise (or bread machine) yeast (2 ¼ tsp)                                                    2 tsp Italian Seasoning (or make your own with whatever Italian spices you have on hand.  I used ½ a tsp of the following: Rosemary, Oregano, Basil, and Onion Powder)                                                                                                                                     2 T grated Parmesan cheese (I used Romano, since I had it handy)

Add all of the ingredients to the mixing bowl in the order listed.  I reserved about half a cup of flour to add in at the end.  Turn on low speed and slowly add in the last bit of flour.   Switch to dough hook and continue to mix for about 5-10 minutes, pushing down any dough that climbs up the hook. 

Let dough rest for 5 minutes, flour hands and remove dough from the bowl.  Place dough on lightly floured surface.  Knead in extra flour if dough is sticking to fingers.  Divide dough in half and then each half in half and keep doing so until you have 36 gumball size balls.  Using a pastry brush, lightly oil the botom and sides of 12 cup muffin pan.  Place 3 dough balls in each muffin cup and brush the tops with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt.  Place in warm place and let dough rise for an hour.

Once rolls have risen, place them in the oven and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Once they begin to golden, they will be finished baking.

Unused rolls can be frozen or eaten within a day or so!

Posted 06/04/2009

Homemade Shake n' Bake

1/2 cup cornflake crumbs, plus 1 tablespoon cornflake crumbs                     2 teaspoons all-purpose flour                                                                                              1 teaspoon salt                                                                                                                      1/4 teaspoon paprika                                                                                                           1/4 teaspoon sugar                                                                                                               1/4 teaspoon garlic powder                                                                                                 1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir to combine.  Make sure the corn flakes are crushed.   They should be a course powder, and the whole mixture should be rather fine, and should be well mixed.

Posted 06/01/2009

Mexican Corn Bread

2/3 cup white cornmeal

2 eggs, beaten

2 jalapeno pepper, chopped

1/2 cup green pepper, chopped

1/2 cup green onion, chopped

1 (14 ounce) white cream-style corn

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup sour cream

2 cups cheddar cheese, grated


Mix all ingredients in large bowl.  Pour into ungreased 9x12 pyrex.  Bake 350 degrees for 45 minutes until lightly browned.

Posted 05/08/2009


Pizza Crust

2 ¾ - 3 ¼ Cups Flour                                  

1 c. Warm Water (110 degrees)                  

1 packet yeast (2 ¼ tsp)                              

2 T. oil                                                      

¼ tsp Salt                                                      



Preheat oven to 400

Lightly oil pizza pan & set aside (I use a large rectangular baking stone with sides or a large round pizza stone).


In medium bowl mix 1 ¼ c. flour, yeast, salt, water & oil.  Stir quickly for 30 seconds (You can use a mixer on high or use a wooden spoon and muscle!).  Continue to mix on high for 3 minutes (or until arm is almost tired).  Add flour a little at a time stirring and scraping sides of bowl.  Continue to add as much flour as possible while stirring.  Knead in more of the flour.  You should have a soft ball of dough when done (not too stiff).  Let it rest for about 5 minutes. 


Lightly oil your hands & press dough into the pan.  Build up the edges for a nice crust.  *To make a stuffed crust pizza see note below.  Bake for about 8-10 minutes.  Add your toppings and bake for another 15-20 minutes (until cheese is bubbly).

*Note:  For stuffed crust, follow above directions (round pan may be best for this so that every piece has a cheesey crust!).  Once dough is pressed into pan and edges are built up, split sticks of string cheese in half length-wise (or use whole pieces for a cheesier stuffed crust) and line around inside edge of crust.  Fold over dough and press to seal cheese in crust.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, top and finish baking as directed above.    

Posted on 04/17/2009  updated with note & photos on 05/17/2009

Cocktail Hour!


1/2 cup Bailey's Irish Cream

2 cups Orange Juice

1/4 cup Crushed Ice

Pour all ingredients into a Blender. Blend well at High speed. Pour drink into a glass.



1 cup Orange Juice

2 tsp Grenadine

1 scoop Vanilla Ice Cream

1/4 cup Crushed Ice

Pour all ingredients into a Blender. Blend well at High speed. Pour drink into a Collins glass and garnish with a Pineapple Slice and a Maraschino Cherry.



1/4 cup Vodka

1/4 cup Kahlua

1/4 cup Bailey's Irish Cream

1 scoop Vanilla Ice Cream

1 cup crushed ice

Blend alcohol with ice cream. Serve in frosted glass.  Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry.



1/4 cup Vodka

1/4 cup Kahlua

1/4 cup Bailey's Irish Cream

Fill with Cola

Build in a highball glass over ice.


Posted 04/08/2009

BBQ Sauce

½ C chopped onion

4 C ketchup

3 tsp brown sugar

1 T mustard (whatever you have on hand, I use brown mustard, but yellow will work too)

1 T Worcestershire sauce

1 T liquid smoke*

1 C vinegar

½ T salt

1 T onion powder

½ T black pepper

1 T garlic powder

1 T honey*

1 tsp cayenne pepper*

1 tsp red pepper flakes*

*more or less, depending on your taste


The last three ingredients are not going to make or break the sauce, only enhance and direct the flavor to your liking, so you may choose to completely leave them out or increase the amount to give it the kick you like! 

Posted 03/31/2009

Homemade Craft Dough

4 c. flour

1 c. salt

1 ½ c. hot water

2 tsp. oil



Mix flour and salt together.  Continue to mix and gradually add water and oil until the dough becomes elastic.  If it’s too sticky, add more flour, if it is too crumbly, add more water.  Knead until the right consistency is formed.  Get out the rolling pins, cups, bowls, straws, cookie cutters, plastic utensils, and let the fun begin!!


Another recipe:


2 c. baking soda
2 c. corn starch
1 ½ c. water

Mix the baking soda and corn starch in a pot.  Use hands to make sure all the lumps are broken up.  Add water.  Put the pan on the stove over medium heat and stir constantly.  As soon as the mixture gathers together, remove from the heat.  When it cools, knead it into smooth dough.


Note: Don't overcook or it will crumble when it’s used.


If you would like to save your creations, bake them at 200 degrees.  Times will vary depending on the size and thickness of the object.  When the object is hard, it is done.  If the dough starts to darken before complete, cover it with foil.  If making ornaments to hang, insert a hook into the ornament before baking.  This can be done with paper clips or actual tree ornament hooks (sold mainly during the Christmas season). 


When they are cool, paint them with acrylic paints.  Once they are dry, spray with a clear varnish on all sides to seal and preserve.   


Posted 03/28/2009

Italian Dressing Mix

This recipe makes enough mix to make the dressing about 4 times.   

1 T Garlic salt

1 T Onion powder

1 T Sugar

2 T Oregano

1 tsp Pepper

1/4 tsp Thyme

1 tsp Basil

1 T Parsley

1/4 tsp Celery salt

2 T Salt

Mix together and store in an air tight container.


To make the dressing:

1/4 Cup Cider Vinegar (white vinegar will work as well)

2/3 Cup Oil (regular cooking oil, not EVOO... it's too thick and does not chill well)

2 T Water

2 T Dry Mix

Shake well.  Store unused prepared dressing in fridge.


Posted 03/27/2009

Mardi Gras Cocktails

New Orleans Hurricane


1/2 cup ice

2 fluid ounces light rum

2 fluid ounces passion fruit flavored syrup

1 cup lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage

1 ounce lime juice

1 fluid ounce 151 proof rum



In a shaker, combine ice, light rum, passion fruit syrup, lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage and lime juice. Shake well and pour mixture into a Hurricane or other large specialty glass. Float the 151 proof rum on top of the drink.


Red Snapper


1 1/4 fluid ounces whiskey

1 fluid ounce amaretto liqueur

1 fluid ounce cranberry juice

1 cup ice cubes



Place the whiskey, amaretto, and cranberry juice into a shaker with ice. Shake, then strain into shot glasses.




2 leaves fresh mint

1 tablespoon simple syrup

2 cubes ice

1 1/4 fluid ounces rum

1 fluid ounce carbonated water

1 sprig fresh mint



In a cocktail glass, muddle (crush) mint leaves with simple syrup. Add ice and rum. Top with carbonated water. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Posted 02/22/2009

Harissa (Morrocan Hot Sauce)


2 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp coriander seeds

1/2 tsp cardamom seeds -- (dark inner seeds)

4 tsp chili pequins -- (whole dried pods)

10 whole cloves

1/2 tsp black peppercorns

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp salt

2 cloves garlic (large)

1/4 cup olive oil


Place cumin, coriander, cardamom, chili pequins, cloves and peppercorns in a small saucepan, set over moderately high heat, and toast spices 3-4 minutes, shaking pan frequently. Note: cumin seeds will turn bitter if browned.  Cool spices 2-3 minutes, transfer to a mortar, and crush thoroughly with a pestle.  Add cayenne, salt and garlic and crush all to paste. Transfer to a small jar, add oil, cover tight and store at room temperature.  Sauce will keep several weeks. Use sparingly to flavor hot sauce for couscous, meatballs, and meatloaf.  Replenish oil each time so that the spice mixture is covered at all times by about 1/3” oil.


NOTES : When making harissa, you may substitute crushed or ground spices for the whole and omit roasting them, but the flavor of the harissa will not be as intense.

Posted 02/26/2009

BBQ Dry Rub

Please excuse the measurements here... I am kind of a dumper when it comes to this recipe!


About ½ cup chili powder 

About ¼ cup grilling spice (whatever you have on hand)

About 2 T ground cumin

¼ c. brown sugar

a few shakes of garlic powder (maybe a tablespoon)

ground black pepper (maybe a teaspoon or so)

Tablespoon or so of Olive or veg oil


Mix everything (except oil) in a large zipper bag (gallon freezer size). 


Add 3-4 Chicken Breast & oil and shake until all pieces are coated.  Let it sit for 10-15 minutes, even better if you can let it sit for longer in the fridge (I’ve let it sit for up to 4 hours and it was perfect… so juicy and yummy!). 


Grill to perfection!  I’ve even used the George Foreman to grill this. 

Posted 02/11/2009

Taco/Fajita Seasoning

Instead of packaged seasoning, I use a mixture of:

8 T Chili powder

4tsp Ground Cumin

4 T Onion powder

4 T Garlic Powder

2 tsp of cayenne pepper

1 T salt

1 T black pepper

1 T white pepper

Store in airtight container and use desired amount to season. 

Adjusted recipe on 03/01/2009.

Creole Seasoning Blend

This is great for seasoning chicken, beef, pork, seafood, even rice & beans!


2 tablespoons onion powder

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons dried oregano

2 tablespoons dried basil

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon white pepper

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

5 tablespoons paprika

3 tablespoons salt



In a small bowl, combine onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, basil, thyme, black pepper, white pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika and salt. Store in an airtight container.

Posted 02/21/2009