Ginny McBlain,
    Romance Writer

Ginny's Favorite Recipes

List of Recipes
(click on title to jump to recipe)

Tiara Brownie Dessert
Ginny's Cream of Potato Soup
Ginny's Hamburger Soup
Tropical Slaw
Crunchy Tuna Salad
Grape Tomato and Mozzarella Salad
Sweet Potato Salad
Broccoli-Cauliflower Casserole
Special K™ Cookies
Ten-Boy Curry
Ham & Capers in Garlic Cream Sauce
Hot Mexican Cheese Dip
French Dip

Tiara Brownie Dessert

Do you have one of those old Duncan Hines tiara dessert pans collecting dust in your cabinet? If so, here's a recipe of my own creation for you to try.

1 box (lg. enough for make a 9" x 13" pan) of fudge brownie mix. I prefer Betty Crocker, but any will do. Follow the directions on the box.
1 bag of mini chocolate chips
2 T. cream
1 8 oz. brick of cream cheese, softened
1 small lime
1/2 cup apricot jam

Spray the pan well with cooking spray. Be sure you get the fluted sides covered.

Mix brownies according to the instructions on the box. Add 3/4 cup of mini chocolate chips. Bake 25 minutes at 350°F. Allow to cool ten minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Cool completely.

Melt one cup of chocolate chips in a double boiler. Add the cream and mix well. Add more cream if needed to make a good consistency. Spread the mixture into the well of the brownie.

Zest lime (I use a Microplane) and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl cream together the cream cheese, the juice of the lime and the zest with an electric mixer until smooth. Top the chocolate in the well with the cheese mixture.

Melt the jam and cover the cheese.

Melt 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips. Drizzle in a decorative pattern over the jam.


Ginny's Cream of Potato Soup

8-10 large potatoes, peeled and cut in bite sized pieces
3 T. butter or margarine
3 T. flour
small onion, chopped or 3 T. dried minced onions
6 rashers of bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
2 16 oz. cans chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups half and half
1 t. salt (more to taste) I use sea salt
1/2 t. fresh ground pepper (more to taste)
1 1/2 t. tarragon
2 T. parsley
1 t. thyme

Melt butter in a Dutch oven. Add onions and sauté until soft. Add flour, salt and pepper and mix well. Add broth and stir until smooth. Add potatoes and cook until they are soft but still firm. Add cream and half and half. Cook on low 10 minutes. Do not boil. Add herbs and any additional salt and pepper and the crumbled bacon. Heat through another 5 minutes.
Serves 8.


Tropical Slaw

Combine in large bowl:
2/3 package of cole slaw mix or one head of cabbage and two small carrots chopped fine
one 20 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained and saved
one mango, peeled, pitted and chopped

2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 T. half and half
3 T. pineapple juice
Whisk together in medium bowl. If the mixture is too thick add pineapple juice a tablespoon at a time until the mixture is the desired consistency.
Toss together with the cabbage mix and fruit.
Chill one hour before serving.


Crunchy Tuna Salad

1 large can of solid all white tuna
3 hard boiled eggs, chopped fine
1 stalk of celery, chopped fine
3 T. pickle relish
1/3 cup slivered almonds
squirt of lemon juice
1 tsp curry powder (if you like curry powder add more)
mayonnaise to taste

Mix mayonnaise, lemon juice and curry powder together. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Chill. Serve as sandwich filling or as a salad. I like to cut a ring of cantaloupe and mound the tuna in the center hole. To make a pretty presentation, make a bed of bed of curly leaf lettuce under the cantaloupe.
Serves 4-5.


Grape Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

A Ginny Original recipe

2 pint cartons of grape tomatoes
2 small or 1 large cucumbers
1 ball of fresh mozzarella cheese

Remove stems and any greenery from the tomatoes. Cut each in half. Peel and slice the cucumber; cut each slice in fourths. Cut the cheese in bite size pieces. Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl.

I dressed the salad with a homemade light vinaigrette, made with olive oil, vinegar and fresh chopped herbs from my garden. Bottled Italian herb dressing would work also.
Serves 8


Sweet Potato Salad

A large recipe of my own creation

4 sweet potatoes, roasted
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 bunches green onions, sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup sunflower nuts
Salt and pepper to taste


Roast sweet potatoes in oven at 350°F until done. If the sweet potatoes are very large, cut in half, placed in greased pan cut side down. Time depends on the size of the potatoes. Cool. Remove the skin and cut into cubes. Put into large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss. Add dressing and toss again. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.


1 cup mayo
1 6 oz. cup plain Greek yogurt
2 T. fresh ginger, grated with a microplane (tip: it works best if the ginger is frozen)
1 T. fresh squeezed lemon juice


Ginny's Hamburger Soup

1/2 lb. Hamburger, cooked and drained
2 cans of Veg-All™, including liquid
1 can of diced tomatoes or tomato sauce
2 cans beef broth or four cups water, plus four beef bullion cubes
water to fill a two quart pot*
1/2 cup barley
dried minced onion flakes to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp basil

Mix all ingredients in two quart sauce pan and simmer for one hour or until the barley is tender. Serves 4. Just the thing for a cold winter day.

This recipe is easy to expand for a crowd. I've made it for 50 people.

*I make this soup thick with veggies. Use a larger pot and add more broth if you prefer more broth.


Broccoli-Cauliflower Casserole

1 large head cauliflower
1 large bunch broccoli
1 can mushroom soup
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can French fried onions

Steam cauliflower and broccoli separately until just tender. (Don't overcook.) Layer broccoli in the bottom of a greased casserole (either 9 x 13 or 2 qt). Mix mushroom soup with the cheese and enough water (1/3 to 1/2 cup) to make it pourable. Pour half the soup mixture over the broccoli. Layer the cauliflower in the casserole. Pour remaining soup mixture the vegetables. Sprinkle fried onions over the top. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes until hot, or microwave 10 to 15 minutes on high.
Serves 8.


Ten-Boy Curry

(It takes 10 houseboys to carry in the dishes.)

3 T. butter
1/4 cup minced onion
1-1/2 t. curry powder
3 T. flour
1/4 t. salt
3/4 t. sugar
1/8 t. ground ginger
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
2 cups diced chicken (may substitute shrimp or lamb)
1/2 t. lemon juice
3 to 4 cups cooked rice

Melt butter over low heat in heavy saucepan. Sauté onion and curry in melted butter. Blend in flour and seasonings. Cook over low heat until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in chicken broth and milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute. Add chicken and lemon juice. Heat. Serves 4. (I usually double or triple this recipe.)

Serve curry over rice and top with 8 condiments from the list below.

Major Grey's chutney    India relish    raisins    slivered almonds    chopped peanuts    sautéed onions    pineapple tidbits    chopped hard boiled eggs    real bacon bits     sliced bananas soaked in lime juice    currant jelly    sliced avocado    flaked coconut    tomato wedges


Ham and Capers in Garlic Cream Sauce

A Ginny Original recipe

Chop one medium onion fine; sauté in 1/2 cup of butter, add 1/2 cup flour, salt and pepper to make roux. Add 24 oz. of chicken stock. Stir until smooth.

Add 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, stir until smooth.

Add the juice of one lemon and 1 to 1 1/2 cups small cubed ham.

Season with 3 T. capers (or more), 1 1/2 T. chopped garlic (I use the squeeze bottle kind), 2 t. fresh thyme. Add more salt and pepper if needed

Stir in 1 to 1 1/2 cups of half and half

Heat through, stirring often so it doesn't stick to the pot. Serve over your favorite pasta.

Makes 6 large servings


Hot Mexican Cheese Dip

1 large box of Velveeta™
3 bunches chopped green onions (more if desired)
1 small box of mild Mexican Velveeta™
8 oz. canned diced green chiles
3-4 firm tomatoes, diced (I use Romas)
1-1/2 lbs. hamburger

Brown and drain hamburger. Cut Velveeta cheeses into cubes. Melt in double boiler with a dash of milk. Add tomatoes, onions, chiles and hamburger and stir well. Add more milk if the mixture is too thick. Serve hot with tortilla chips. (I use the scoop kind.)

(A crockpot set on low works well.)


French Dip

3-4 lb. beef roast—I try to find a sirloin tip, but another lean cut is fine
1 qt. water

Put meat and water in a crock pot for several hours on high, or at least 12 hours on low (I start about 15 hours before serving).

Add the following 1-1 1/2 hours before serving:
1/2 t. pepper
1/3 stick margarine
1 T. Bouquet Garni and/or Kitchen Bouquet (I use both if I can find Bouquet Garni—it's with the gourmet herbs)
2 t. seasoned salt
10 shakes Worchestershire Sauce


Special K™ Cookies

This recipe packs and ships well. It was a favorite among my son's Army friends.

1 cup white Karo syrup
1 cup sugar

Stir together in large sauce pan (I use my dutch oven) and bring to a boil. Set off the burner. Stir in 1 1/2 cups peanut butter until melted. Add 5 cups Special K. Stir until the cereal is completely coated. Drop in spoon fulls onto wax paper or cookie sheet.
Makes approx. 4 doz.