Raiding the Freezer and the Pantry

Danish bars using ingredients I had on hand.
I've been trying to use things that are in the freezer and the pantry, so this afternoon I noticed a package of Puff Pastry, and I thought oh I'll make something with that.  In the pantry a can of cherry pie filling was just what I needed to make Danish bars.  And yes I had cream cheese in the fridge.

It's possible to find almost any recipe online when you indicate the ingredients you want to use, and I found just the one I needed.

  • 1 sheet Puff Pastry dough, thawed
  • 8 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup canned  Cherry Pie Filling

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.

On a lightly floured surface roll out thawed puff pastry into a 12×9″ rectangle. Cut in half lengthwise, yielding 2 4-½” strips. Cut those two strips crosswise into thirds, to yield six 4×4 ½” pieces.

With a knife, score ½” border around the edge of each piece of puff pastry. Use a fork to make pricks into the dough within the border of each piece. This will help keep the middle of each piece from rising.

In a bowl, stir together softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Spoon about 2-3 tablespoons of mixture into the middle of each piece of dough and spread around evenly, ensuring the mixture stays within the borders.

In the middle of the cream cheese, add 4 or 5 cherries.

Bake for 20 minutes, on the middle rack and rotate the baking sheet half way through baking. Remove from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.


Cut into six rectangles. 

Prick center so that area won't rise. 
Fill the pricked area with cream cheese mixture and top with cherries. 
Out of the oven. 
Ready to eat with a bit of confectioner's sugar sifted on top. 

These will be perfect for breakfast, but I must admit, I had one for a snack almost as soon as they came out of the oven.  They are good!

Cabbage Roll Casserole

Shredded cabbage ready for the cabbage roll casserole. 
Not too long ago I posted on this blog a recipe for cabbage rolls.   Now I've found this recipe that combines the delicious flavors of cabbage rolls in this casserole with much less work.  I made this today, and it is quite good.
Saute onions.

Add ground beef. 

Fry until meat is brown. 
Add tomato sauce to uncooked rice. 
Second layer of shredded cabbage over sauce layer. 
Meat layer over cabbage layer. 

Out of the oven and ready for the table. A one-dish meal. 
I'm keeping this recipe.

Cook For Good's Tomato Sauce With Kale and Raisins


I subscribe to Linda Watson's website, Cook for Good, where she gives recipes for healthful living along with other interesting advice on food and cooking.  She recently posted this as one of her go to recipes for sauce, and after I tried it, I absolutely agree. I'll be saving this one.

1/4 teaspoon olive oil
1 small bunch kale, collards, or chard (about 8 ounces or 230 grams), stems and leaves separated and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried ground chipotle powder (I used smoked paprika)

one 32-ounce can crushed tomatoes, fire-roasted if possible
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnut pieces, chopped (I used cashews.)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  1. In a large skillet or medium pot, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add chopped kale stems and onion. Stir to spread oil around bottom of skillet. Cook chopped onion and kale stems until softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir garlic and chipotle powder into kale and onion mixture. Top with chopped kale leaves. Cover pan and reduce heat to low. (Water that clings to rinsed greens will add enough moisture to create steam.) Cook until greens are tender, about 10 minutes, stirring half-way through.
  3. Add tomatoes, raisins, walnuts, and oregano. Bring sauce to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to low. Cover skillet and simmer for about 5 minutes, until sauce is hot and flavors blended.
  4. Serve hot tossed with hot whole-wheat noodles or over quinoa or a baked potato. Refrigerate any extra for up to 5 days. Sauce freezes well for up to a year.


I recently made this and stuffed bell peppers with it, and I can envision using it for many different dishes.  She says that it freezes well, so it will be easy to keep a supply on hand for last minute meal preps.

Do check out her website.   I'm sure you will find it as enjoyable and helpful as I do.  And we are proud to have her right here in Raleigh.