A collection of Recipes by Deborah Dolen

Dry Wassail Mix Recipe by Deborah Dolen

Wassail Recipe by Deborah DolenDry Wassail Mix Recipe by Deborah Dolen

Dry Wassail Mix for Entertaining or Gift Giving
2 cups Sugar or Splenda
1 Cup brown sugar (or plain sugar)
1 cup Tang
1 1/2 cup Country Time Lemonade Mix
2 tsp. Cinnamon
2 tsp. Cloves
1 tsp. Ginger
1 tsp Allspice
½ teaspoon Nutmeg

Thoroughly mix all ingredients. Separate into air tight jars.4 heaping TBSP. of wassail mix stirred in 1 cup of water and 1 cup of apple juice or apple cider makes 2 cups. Other juices can be exchanged or blended with the apple part such as pineapple and cranberry juice and/or dry sherry or any dry wine.

Easy Dip Mix Recipe by Deborah Dolen

Dry Dip Mix Recipe by Deborah DolenMany people love dip mixes because they feel they are “cooking.” I say that with a big smile on my face because perhaps they are. I look at dip mixes in an abstract way. Basically throwing a few spices in sour cream, giving them a spin with a spoon – grabbing decent crackers and the meal is ready. Meal? Sure. I am an author. Dip mix and cold coffee can constitute a meal for two days if need be.

Dip Mixes are easy to prepare and they are also just wonderful as gifts. In my Kitchen Art’s Book coming out on Amazon’s Kindle (Whispernet platform) in mid October of 2010, I list hundreds of recipes to make as gifts. I think Kindle is great because the Kindle tablet can be in the kitchen and the recipe right there without pages flipping all over. I do use a plastic slip cover over my Kindle because batter does go flying around in my kitchen.

Dip Mixes are so easy to make the only real issue to contemplate is the packaging. Little glass shakers and bottles can be secured at most Dollar Stores, and the giver can simply tie card with a piece of raffia around the neck. I create cute cards from a business card, folded in half and punch a hole in it to secure the card with the raffia.

You will need to figure out how much your basic recipe weighs and then how many servings are in your final container. It is better to make the recipe for one use because spices tend to settle and it would be hard to divide the gift to make two servings. Beyond little shaker bottles, spices are very easy to get at the dollar store also. I feel they are the best value. And just so you know, dried parsley really does look like spinach when allowed to sit over night, so a definite consideration when making a bacon-spinach type dip. All variations of my dip mix recipe taste far better when allowed to rehydrate in the sour cream base, such as in the fridge over night.

So here is my basic recipe for dip mix that you can amend to make your dip mix as you like: Mabel White’s Basic Dip Mix Recipe Copyright Deborah Dolen Kitchen Art’s Per Pound of Dip (Sour Cream, Cream Cheese or both)

1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp onion powder
1 tap paprika
1 tsp chives
2 tsps salt

Finely grind the ingredient and add natural or artificial flavors if you want at about 1 tsp or to taste. This recipe is designed to go into 16 ounces of sour cream and/or warm cream cheese. Variations can include Clams, Dill, Green Chile spice, Cajun, or even complimented with real avocado or bacon. I prefer the mildest chili peppers for color.

Hashbrown Casserole Recipe

 Hashbrown-CasseroleI recently posted Turkey Brine Blend, Corn Casserole recipe, and how to make your own Cran Raspberry Jelly…but the most coveted recipe I am posting is the “Hash Brown Casserole recipe.”

Hash Brown Casserole is a year round favorite recipe acceptable at any time of day. You can add to this recipe, such as cooked sausage, bacon and/or ham. The true secret seems to be the cream of chicken soup. I have not tried rice as a substitute for the shredded potatoes but I will very soon. This is also the dish I like to make for busy people. I use a food processor to just shred a bag of potatoes quickly as well as block Colby jack cheese. I tend to use thin skinned potatoes if I do not feel like peeling them – meaning I just leave the nutrients on.

1 Cup of Onions Sautéed
2 Pounds of shredded potatoes (frozen is fine)
2 – 10 ounce cans cream of chicken soup
8 ounces shredded Colby jack cheese

Salt & Pepper

Grease an 8″ by 12″ pan. Mix everything together. Bake 40 minutes at 400 degrees.


Best Vanilla Extract Recipe

How to Make the Best Vanilla Extract – Great Gift Giving

deborah-dolen-vanilla-extractMaking your own vanilla extract is a great way to make neat gifts for others while enjoying your own “stash.” Vanilla extract is made with a low proof vodka but some people make it with rum. Before you “think it,” just know a higher proof alcohal does not render a deeper extract from the bean. The formula needs some water to act as a “solvent” to the bean. Water is a little known solvent. Real connoisseurs of vanilla extracts will make a few variations to have their own “collection” such as one with a vodka base and another with a rum base.It takes a good six months to have a dark quality vanilla and a year to have the maximum richness a vanilla bean can offer. So, you may want to start in January of each year your gifts for the following December. Beyond vanilla beans, attractive bottles and little funnels may be the only primary components you may want to secure to make your own vanilla extract. To make for gifts you can create a “hang tag” with a business card folded in half, whatever story or graphics you want on it, and a string through it. Regarding the use of colored bottles, I personally do not feel a colored bottle makes a difference over a clear bottle. It needs to be stored in a cool dark place and the color of the glass has no impact. However, glass is important as plastics in circulation are having endless questions come up – specifically with phthalates.

Commercial vanilla extract is usually 35% alcohal and the rest water and propylene glycol. The purpose of the alcohal is most likely for preservative value. 13.5 ounces of vanilla beans are used to make a gallon of normal strength on the grocery shelf kind of extract. This means to make five fold you can do 13.5 ounces of vanilla beans to 25 ounces of alcohal. You can also vary your beans like I do. I order them from all over the world to make a “blend.” Mexican vanilla is outrageously priced because it competes with the “tourist” vanilla beans it becomes not worth the price. Fake vanilla, the clear stuff, is made with resins from trees.

In regards to vanilla beans around the home as a raw material-you can do many other projects. Stick a few beans in your sugar to make “Vanilla sugar.” In fact, if I was making vanilla extract as a gift I would probably package it up with a canister of vanilla sugar. Vanilla beans can also go into honey and permeate that over time.

The way to prepare you vanilla beans for extract and other infusions such as vanilla sugar is to slit them all of the way up so the beans inside are exposed. There is no way to make vanilla extract without alcohal or it would not be called an “extract.” You can, however, focus more on vanilla sugar or honey if your religious preferences forbid any kind of alcohal.

SOURCE: I get most of my beans on e-Bay from “VanillaProducts”http://myworld.ebay.com/vanillaproducts/ I find they are very competitive and offer a great variety of fresh beans.

BBQ Potato Salad [Serves 30]








  • 1 6 pound can potatoes, cubed
  • 1 large Vidalia or red onion, diced
  • 6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 1/2 cups Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup barbeque sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (optional) 

Kidney Bean Salad [Serves 30]


      1 6 pound can (

drained &rinsed) Deep Red Kidney Beans

  • 2 large Vidalia onions diced
  • 1 large celery stalk diced
  • 2 cups of Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise
  • ½ cup of relish
  • Salt and Pepper

Waldorf Fruit Salad [Serves 30+]

Waldorf Salad RecipeWaldorf Fruit Salad

  • 1 6 pound can (drained) pineapple chunks, fruit cocktail, or mandarin oranges
  • 2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 2 cup (16 ounces) sour cream
  • 5 cups whipped topping
  • 7 cups miniature marshmallows
  • Optional 2 packages of pistachio pudding to mix in the cool whip makes this very special.  Pineapple chunks are really important if going this route.)

Grit Poached Eggs

Easy Egg SoufleeGrit Poached Eggs
Simple, Filling, and Fast to Make!  Fast being the operative word here.
This worked out wonderful and makes two servings.
4 packs of instant grits
2 cups boiling water, stir into grits with wisk to ensure no clumps
4 eggs dropped away from each other in grits
Microwave for 4-5 minutes on full power.
Garnish with bacon bits

Hollandaise Rocket Style 4 Minute









Hollandaise Rocket Style 4 Minute

Serves 2

Using a large Pyrex cup

1 stick of butter 1 minute in microwave [or until foaming hot]

Using a Rocket Blender or Magic Bullet

4 egg yolks, few tablespoons of lemon juice in and salt into bullet or blender until blended.

Pour egg mixture slowly into Pyrex cup quickly blending 5 seconds 

15 seconds more nuker

blend 5 more seconds

15 seconds more nuker

Any blender is fine but you have more control with a small blender and can “lid” any extras to store in the refrigerator for later. 

Scrape out with spatula and enjoy!!!!