Tomato Salsa Sauce

1 c chopped onion
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic, or to taste
3 tbsp olive oil or cooking oil
5 c. tomatoes, coarsely chopped, with juice
1 5-and-a-half-ounce can tomato paste
2-3 bay leaves
1-and-a-half tsp basil
1-and-a-half tsp oregano
2 tsp granulated sugar
1-and-a-half tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Saute onion and garlic in oil.
Add the rest, stir, bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for one or two hours, till it's the consistency you like. Discard bay leaves.

We use this as a salsa, as a bruschetta, and as a sauce for pasta. I've added various peppers to it sometimes too.

Original recipe: Jean Pare's Company's Coming Pasta Cookbook. Her recipe tells you to remove teh skin from the tomatoes; I don't do it. She says you can make Super Sauce by scramble-frying a pound of lean ground beef and adding it to the sauce with a half-teaspoon of salt.


Baked Carrot Casserole

You can make this ahead of time, and a food processor is a useful kitchen gadget to have.

6 medium carrots, grated
3 tablespoons of butter
3/4 teaspoon of sugar
salt and pepper to taste

In a greased casserole, layer carrots, salt and pepper, 1 tbsp butter and 1/4 tsp sugar.
Layer three times, until all ingredients are used.
Bake at 350F for 45 minutes.
I like making this one when we're having company. It fancies-up carrots and it's delicious.
For every extra person, grate one more carrot.
The recipe doesn't mention putting a lid on the casserole. I've done it with and without.

*Original recipe from Veggie Mania, by Cathy Prange and Joan Pauli


No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls

2 and 1/2 c rolled oats
1 c peanut butter
1/2 c honey
1/4 c shelled sunflower seeds
1/2 c shelled peanuts, chopped

Toast the oats in a frying pan by stirring constantly over medium heat till lightly browned, 5 or 10 minutes.
Soften peanut butter for 30 seconds in microwave.
Stir in honey and add the rest of ingredients.
Roll teaspoonfuls into small balls and chill.

Keep these in the fridge for a quick, satisfying snack.
The original recipe was for granola bars and, although delicious, they didn't hold together and were a pain in the dumpling to eat. I made other ingredients changes.

The original recipe also called for an optional addition of 1/2 c of chocolate chips. Without them, everything in these balls is good for you!


Cranberry Pecan Quinoa Salad

1 c quinoa
2 c water
1/2 c dried cranberries
1/3 c coarsely chopped pecans
6 tbsp fresh orange juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp freshly grated orange zest
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/4 tsp salt

Bring quinoa and water to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover and cook 15 min. Transfer it to a bowl and let it cool to room temperature.
Add cranberries and pecans.
Whisk together remaining ingredients and our over quinoa mixture.
Toss and fluff with a fork. Serves 4.

*Original recipe: truRoots Quinoa

I like to keep this in the fridge and eat bowlfuls of it over several days.
Quinoa is complete protein. Bonus!


Celery Slaw

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper
pinch of paprika
1/2 c vegetable oil
3 tb vinegar
1/2 c sour cream
1/2 bunch celery, thinly sliced
1 sliced onion
1 medium shredded carrot

Combine first 5 ingredients; beat well.

Add sour cream and beat again.
Pour dressing over celery and chill about 3 hours.
Before serving, add onion and carrot.
Mix thoroughly.


Rice & Cheese Croquettes

1 c rice, uncooked (should be about 3 c if already cooked)
1 and 1/2 c grated cheese
1 beaten egg
1 tsp salt
dash of pepper
2 eggs, beaten
dried bread crumbs

Cook rice about 20 minutes or until tender.
Combine with cheese, first egg, salt and pepper.
Shape into balls, roll in crumbs, then in eggs, then in crumbs again.
Fry till golden brown in deep fat heated to 375F.
Drain and serve.

I don't have a thermometer so kept the stove burner on medium.
These were a tasty treat! A bit fussy to make, but they'll be a nice addition to the table when we have company over sometime. The rice/cheese mixture was scooped up with a tablespoon. I think I'll make them smaller next time -- one-bite size.

Original recipe from Darlene Johnson of Selkirk, Manitoba, from the Carillon Centennial Cookbook printed in 1974.

The original called for another half-teaspoon of salt but I found it too much so have cut it back to one.


Cream of Corn Soup

1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, diced (with leaves if possible)
3 tbsp oil
1 tbsp butter
1/4 c flour
4 c milk
4 c kernel corn
1/2 tsp curry powder, or to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion and celery in oil and butter till onion's lightly browned.
Add flour and blend thoroughly.
Add milk; stir till thickened.
Add remaining ingredients.
Mix well.
Cover and leave over very low heat till ready to serve.
Serves six.

This recipe is in Mom's hand on a card in her old recipe box. 

Mosquito Yard Spray

1 big bottle of cheap blue mouthwash
3 cups of epsom salt
3 cheap, stale, 12-ounce beers
Mix till the salt’s dissolved. 
Spray anywhere you sit outside. 
Won’t harm plants. 
Mosquitoes will be gone about 80 days.