From time to time I experiment with new food ideas. Here are a couple that actually turned out to be good.

Pizza circa 1974
Honey-Glazed Nuggets Feb/3/2002
Smashed Almond M&M Cookies Aug/11/2002
Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies circa 1992
Frito Casserole circa 1992
Cincy-Style Turkey Chili circa 1990
Macaroni Bake added in 2011
Butt Puffs circa 1985
Wilma’s Mess an old family recipe

This pizza recipe has its roots in a cooking class I took in high school. I replaced some of the white flour with whole wheat (you can change it back to white flour for a blander dough), and strengthened the onions (the original calls for just 1 teaspoon of minced onion).


Dough     Sauce
1 package (¼ ounce)  dry yeast      1 small can (6 ounces)  tomato paste
1 cup  warm water      1 small can (8 ounces)  tomato sauce
2 tablespoons  olive oil      ¼ teaspoon  italian seasoning
1 teaspoon  sugar      ¼ teaspoon  garlic salt
1 teaspoon  salt      ¼ cup  chopped onion (strong)
2 and ¼ cups  white flour
¾ cups  whole wheat flour

Dough: Dissolve yeast in water (water should be warm but not hot). Add oil, sugar, and salt. Gradually add flour, knead for 10 minutes. Let rise until double. May be refrigerated overnight. Makes 1 thick or two thin pizzas.

Sauce: Mix and heat tomato sauce and paste. Sauce will be thick. Add italian seasoning, salt, and onion. Covers two pizzas.

Pizza: Using rolling pin, shape dough into circle, slightly larger than pan. Fold edges back into lightly greased pan, press with heel of hand to form crust. Spoon sauce onto dough, add favorite toppings. Bake at 475° until done, roughly 12 minutes. Lift pizza with a spatula to check underneath center for doneness. To prevent crust from overbaking, cover loosely with foil for first 7 minutes.

Topping Suggestions:
Cheese: Let pizza bake 5 minutes before adding 1 and ½ cups of Mozzerella or (pizza cheese mix) per pizza. If you like a cheesier pizza, you will probably want 2 and ½ cups of cheese.
Pepperoni: Bake as long as the pizza; use as much as desired.
Ground Beef: Precook in microwave, drain fat. Let pizza bake 5 minutes before adding beneath cheese.


I had the idea to make a honey-glazed pretzel nugget mix shortly before Christmas of 2001. I posted a request for such a recipe to the ‹ newsgroup›, and “Johnson ‹›” replied with a recipe for honey-glazed snack mix. I fiddled with this a little, adjusting quantities for absorption (and for the standard size bag of nuggets), and increasing the proportion of honey.

Honey-Glazed Nuggets

8 cups (about 14 ounces)  pretzel nuggets
½ cup  butter or margarine (8 Tablespoons)
½ cup  honey

In a small saucepan, melt butter; remove from heat. Stir in honey until well blended. Pour over nuggets; stir to coat. Some coating will settle to bottom; pour mixture into another pan, rescue that extra coating, and spoon it over nuggets. Continue until all coating is absorbed.

Spread nuggets onto two greased baking pans, cookie sheets, or pizza pans. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until mixture is lightly glazed; stir or turn the nuggets halfway through baking.

Allow to cool on pan for 5 minutes; remove from pan and place on waxed paper to cool completely (about 30 minutes). Store in an airtight container.


One day I decided that almond chocolate chip cookies would be tasty. While looking for almonds in the grocery store, I realized almond M&Ms would provide the chocolate too. I took my mom's recipe for chocolate chip cookies (which includes oatmeal and nuts), and replaced the chips and nuts with a bag of almond M&Ms, smashed.

The hardest part was figuring out the right way to smash the M&Ms. My food processor left me with chunks that were too big, plus a sandlike mixture of candy coating, chocolate, and almond dust. A rolling pin worked a little better, but a hammer works the best. This still creates a small amount of sand, and on my first attempt I mixed this in with the cookie dough— the result was a cookie that was too crumbly. On my second attempt I sifted out the sand; having done so I realized I could use it as a sprinkled topping on the cookies.

Smashed Almond M&M Cookies

½ cup  butter (8 Tablespoons)
½ cup  granulated sugar
½ cup  brown sugar
½ teaspoon  vanilla
1 Tablespoon  water
1  egg
1 cup  sifted flour
½ teaspoon  baking soda
½ teaspoon  salt
1 and ¼ cups  rolled oats
one bag (11 ounces)  almond M&Ms

Prepare the M&Ms as follows. Place the M&Ms between a folded layer of waxed paper on top of a cookie sheet. With a clean hammer, lightly smash each M&M; it is helpful to surround the target with your other hand to contain the fragments. A couple of light taps should reduce the target to pieces slightly smaller than a chocolate chip. Repeat this process until all M&Ms have been smashed.

Sift the smashed M&Ms to separate the chunks from the ‘sand’. This is an important step, as including the sand in the cookie dough would make the baked cookies too crumbly. Instead, the sand will be used as a topping.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Mix butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Beat in egg and water. Add flour, soda, and salt; blend until smooth. Stir in oats and crushed M&Ms.

Drop spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375° for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle on M&M sand. Return to oven to another 5-7 minutes. Makes two and a half dozen.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

1 and ½ cups  sifted flour
½ cup  unsweetened cocoa
½ teaspoon  baking soda
½ cup  granulated sugar
½ cup  brown sugar
½ cup  softened margarine
¼ cup  peanut butter
1 teaspoon  vanilla
1  egg

¾ cup  peanut butter
¾ cup  confectioner’s sugar

Dough: Combine flour, cocoa, and baking soda; set aside. Combine sugar, brown sugar, margarine, and ¼ cup peanut butter. Beat until fluffy. Add vanilla and egg, beat. Stir in flour/cocoa mixture.

Filling: Blend ¾ cup peanut butter and confectioner’s sugar.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Roll filling into 1 inch balls. With floured hands, flatten 1 Tablespoon of dough and wrap around filling. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten with bottom of a glass (optionally, wet glass and dip in sugar). Bake at 375° for 7 to 8 minutes. Makes 20 to 30.


This dish is pretty easy to make. If you can brown ground beef, open cans, and turn on an oven, you can make this. It also works suprisingly well going from the freezer to the microwave.

Frito Casserole

1 pound  ground beef
1 package  chili seasoning mix
three 8 oz. cans  tomato sauce
1  medium onion, chopped
one 16 oz. can, drained  beans (chili, kidney, or pinto)
one 8 oz. bag  corn chips (fritos)
2 cups  shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Brown ground beef. Add chili mix, tomato sauce, onion, and beans. Simmer 10 minutes. Pour into casserole, cover with corn chips, sprinkle on cheese. Bake at 350° until cheese has melted and cooked.

Serves a whole familiy, or one pig.


An old family favorite, at least for some of my family.

Macaroni Bake

2 cups (cooked)  macaroni
¼ cup  onion, chopped
2 tablespoons  butter
1 can  tomato soup
½ cup  water
¾ cup  shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons  bread crumbs (buttered or not)
¼ cup  (more) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

(under construction) Prepare macaroni in boiling water. Meanhwile, in a saucepan, cook onion in butter until tender. Stir in soup, water and ¾ cup cheese; heat until cheese melts. When macaroni has finished cooking, blend sauce with macaroni. Pour mixture into 1½ quart casserole. Mix bread crumbs with remaining cheese and sprinkle on top of macaroni mixture. Bake at 350° for about 30 minutes, or until nicely browned.

This works well by itself as a low-fat dish, or as a pasta sauce.

Cincy-Style Turkey Chili

1 pound  ground turkey (dark meet clumps less than white)
1 large  onion, chopped
1 cup  water
16 ounces  tomato sauce
4 teaspoons  chili powder
2 teaspoons  vinegar
2 teaspoons  worchestershire sauce
1 teaspoon  salt
1 teaspoon  garlic powder
¼ teaspoon  cinnamon
¼ teaspoon  allspice
¼ teaspoon  red pepper
2  bay leaves

Coat a large saucepan with cooking spray. Combine turkey and onion and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until turkey is cooked. Break up turkey clumps along the way.

Add water and tomato sauce and stir. Add remaining ingredients and stir some more. Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves before serving.


Suprisingly, cream puffs are not at all difficult to make. This recipe replaces the usual cream filling with pudding. The first few batches I made used butterscotch pudding (and hence the name). Chocolate pudding works just as well.

Butt Puffs (Butterscotch Cream Puffs)

1 cup  water
½ cup  butter or margarine
1 cup  flour
4  eggs
1 small package  butterscotch pudding (other flavors can be substituted)

Preheat oven to 400°. Crack eggs into a bowl. In a separate pan, bring water and butter to a boil. Add flour, stirring vigorously over low heat until mixture forms a ball (about 1 minute). Remove from heat and quickly add eggs, beating mixture until smooth. Drop puffs onto ungreased baking sheet; about ¼ cup per puff; 3 inches apart. Should make a dozen puffs. Bake 35 to 40 minutes; shells should be puffed and golden. Allow to cool.

Prepare pudding as per instructions on box. After puffs have cooled, cut off tops, and pull out any interior strands (these are tasty in their own right). Fill puffs with pudding, and place tops back on. Refrigerate long enough for pudding to achieve desired firmness.

Be careful when eating, because filling can and will squirt out.


This recipe was handed down from generation to generation in my Aunt Wilma’s family. Whoever was in posession of the recipe, the recipe was called so-and-so’s mess. So I guess I should really call this Bob’s Mess. Very easy to make.

Wilma’s Mess

1  graham cracker crust
8 ounces  cream cheese
¾ cup  powdered sugar
2 cups  cool whip (or one package dream whip, prepared)
1 can  cherry pie filling (blueberry is good too)

Beat cream cheese and sugar together. If using dream whip, prepare it according to package. Mix cool whip (or dream whip) with cheese/sugar mixture and spread on crust. Spread pie filling on top and chill.