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Vernalisa's Seasonal Menu

Brrrr... IT'S January and time to  stay warm and cozy There's no better way to stay cozy on chilly nights than ... some real comfort food... and some movies on the T.V.. .. and a nice blazing fireplace to snuggle next too.

Winter is one of my favorite season but living in Las Vegas we don't have the same cold winters I had when I lived in West Pittston Pa I use to love the long cold nights and the silent falling snow.

I love cool windy days and toasty hot chocolate nights. When we lived in West Pittston Pa, it was a winter tradition to make an ice rink in our yard. When the temperatures dropped below freezing, with the garden hose in hand.

We would flood the huge back yard with water. In a few days we had created a nice sized ice pond perfect for skating and playing ice games on we all loved it! If you have the opportunity, try it sometime. It really is a lot of fun and makes wonderful memories.

Now we live in Las Vegas just a 15 minute ride to a wonderful skiing mountain where it snows from Oct till April almost 14,000 ft. While we don't get snow here at home, the mountain gives us enough to satisfy our "flaky" craving and enjoy a good dose of winter. Cold and snugly weather just suits me when I want it.

Dutch Oven B.B.Q. Pot Roast

5 lb Round Bone Pot Roast

2 ts Salt

2 tb Shortening

1/2 c Barbecue Sauce (Your Choice)

1/2 c Apple Cider

8 Carrots, Pared *

6 Large Potatoes **

2 Onions, sliced

8 oz Fresh Okra ***

* Carrots should be peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks. **Potatoes should be peeled and quartered. *** One 10 oz pkg of frozen okra can be substituted.Rub meat with salt. Melt shortening in Dutch oven; add meat and cook over medium heat, turning once. Reduce heat; pour barbecue sauce and cider over meat. Cover and simmer on top of range or in 325 degree F. oven for 3 to 4 hours. Add carrots, potatoes and onions 1 1/2 hours before end of cooking time. Add okra 15 minutes before end of cooking time.

Beef and Pasta Parmesan

One dish meal This is a great main dish or a very good side dish!! Prep

   Time: approx. 30 Minutes. Cook Time: approx. 30 Minutes.

   Makes 6 servings .

   1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef

1 (14 ounce) can beef broth

1 (14.5 ounce) can

   Italian-style diced tomatoes

2 cups uncooked farfalle

   (bow tie) pasta

2 cups sliced zucchini, (1/4

   inch thick)

3/4 cup grated Parmesan

   cheese, divided


1 In a large skillet over medium/high heat, brown the ground beef until no longer pink, breaking up into 3/4 inch pieces. Remove beef with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Pour off  the drippings.

2 Return the skillet to the heat and add the beef broth, tomatoes, and pasta. Stir to coat all of the pasta. Bring to a  boil and reduce heat to medium.

3 Cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes stirring frequently.  Add zucchini and continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes or until pasta is tender.

4 Return beef to the skillet and stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese; heat through. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over each serving. 

Beef and Lentil Stew

1 Pound lean ground beef

1/2 c Onion; Chopped, 1 Md

1 Clove Garlic; Minced

4 oz Mushroom Stems & Pieces;1 Cn

16 oz Stewed Tomatoes; 1 Cn

1 Celery Stalk; Sliced

1 Carrot; Lg, Sliced

1 c Lentils; Uncooked

3 c Water

1/4 c Red Wine; Optional

1 Bay Leaf

2 tb Parsley; Snipped

1 ts Salt

1 ts Beef Bouillon; Instant

1/4 ts Pepper

Cook and stir the meat, onion and the garlic in a Dutch oven until the meat is brown. Drain off the excess fat. Stir in the undrained mushrooms, and the remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, about 40 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and serve.

Beef Stew

1/4 c Shortening

3 lb Rump Roast, Boneless

2 c Onions, Sliced

1/4 c Unbleached Flour

2 tb Salt

2 tb Sugar

Pepper, To Taste

2 ts Mustard, Dry

1/2 ts Celery Seed

1/4 c Water

1 lb Tomatoes, (1 can)

Melt shortening in a Dutch oven. Add the meat and brown on all sides. Place the onions on top of the meat. Mix the flour and seasonings with 1/4 c water. Blend with the tomatoes and add the misture to the dutch oven. Bake at 325 degrees F, about 2 hours, until the meat is fork-tender. Serve with oven-browned potatoes.


My mom made a similar recipe for this comforting dish, and I still remember the wonderful aroma of it cooking throughout the house. . I loved the light, tender dumplings, which is still my most favorite part of this dish. .  

1 large frying chicken, cut up

2 celery stalks, sliced

4 carrots, peeled and sliced

1 medium onion, diced

1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth

2 tbsp. fresh parsley

2 . chicken bouillon cubes such as Knox

1-1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

8 CUPS Water

DUMPLINGS: 2 cups flour 4 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. salt 3/4 cup milk 4 tbsp. oil .

1. Combine chicken, celery, carrots, onion, chicken broth, parsley, chicken bouillon salt and pepper in a large pan or Dutch oven; add enough water to cover chicken. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours or until chicken is done. 2. Remove chicken and let stand until cool enough to handle. Remove skin from chicken and take meat away from bones. Return meat to soup; discard skin and bones. Add more salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Return soup to a simmer. 3. In a mixing bowl, combine dumpling ingredients and mix well to form a stiff dough. Drop by tablespoonfuls into simmering soup. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 to 6 servings. . *SOUTHERN STYLE DUMPLINGS (heavier and chewier) 2 cups flour 1 cup chicken broth 2 tsp. baking powder 2 eggs, beaten . 1.  Combine flour, broth, baking powder and eggs; mix well to form a stiff batter.  Drop by tablespoonfuls into simmering soup.  Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Pot Roast and Gravy Slow Cooker

This is a very easy recipe for a delicious pot roast. It makes its own gravy. Its a great family meal for busy moms  who do not have time to cook all day but it tastes like you did. Buy a 5 to 6 pound roast   . Prep Time: approx. 10 Minutes. Cook Time: approx. 6hrs

Makes 8 to 10 servings .

    2 (10.75 ounce) cans

   condensed cream of mushroom soup

1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix

2 Tablespoons of gravy master

1-1/4 cups water

5-1/2 pounds pot roast


I first roll the roast with flour salt and pepper and brown in a dutch oven in 1 tablesoon vegetable oil .Then add it to slow ccooker or you can skip this and just place unbrowed in cooker.


1 Place the mushroom soups into a slow cooker. Add the onion soup mix and the water gravy master and mix well. Add the pot  roast, turning several times in the soup mixture, to coat all sides of the roast.

2 Cook on high setting for 3 to 4 hours OR on low setting for 8 to 9 hours. Serve with mashed potatoes or rice ,green salad and fresh bread

By Vernalisa


Potato Cheese Soup Warm and yummy

Serving Size : 2

Preparation Time :0:35

3 medium potatoes -- peeled and cubed

1/2 each celery stalk -- minced

1 Tablespoon minced onion

1/4 each carrot -- grated

2 cups chicken broth

2 teaspoons white vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups milk -- lowfat okay

2 Tablespoons flour

1 Tablespoon shredded cheddar cheese -- lowfat okay

1 Tablespoon shredded monterey jack cheese -- lowfat okay

2 slices bacon -- prepared, crumbled

Bring potatoes, celery, onion, carrot, chicken broth, vinegar, and salt to boil in saucepan.-Cover and simmer 20 minutes.-Whisk together milk and flour.

Stir into saucepan.-Simmer uncovered 5-8 minutes, or until thick.-Pour into 2 bowls. -Sprinkle cheese and bacon on top of soup.


4 cups water

4 cups clear chicken stock

1 pound dried split peas

2 pounds smoked ham - or - 1 ½ pounds polska kielbassa

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

A dash of garlic powder

2 medium carrots, cut into about ½ inch pieces

2 medium stalks celery, cut into about ½ inch pieces

1 large potato, cut into about ½ inch pieces

 Heat water and peas to boiling in a large pot. Boil for 2 minutes; remove from heat.Cover and let stand for 1 hour.

Stir in the ham, onion, salt and pepper. Heat to boiling; reduce heat, cover and simmer for ½ to 1 hour until peas are tender. Skim fat if necessary.

Remove ham; trim fat and bone from the ham, and cut into ½ inch pieces. Stir in the ham, carrots, celery and potato. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer covered for about 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Makes 8 servings.

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