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Monday, January 28, 2008

Meatballs and Gravy

Printable Recipe

In a crock pot, mix the following:

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can consommé beef soup
1 envelope onion soup mix (Onion Soup Mix, 5T = 1 package)
1 can water

Make meatballs:

2 lbs. ground beef
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk, maybe a little less.

Mix it together with your hands, really well. Form into balls, roll in flour, brown well and drain.
Add to the soup mixture. Cook on low, 6-8 hours. Serve with mashed potatoes.

Holly's Note:
This is the same soup base that is used for Beef Stew. The meatballs freeze really well too. After browning the meatballs, let them cool and then freeze them. You don't even need to thaw them before putting them in the soup base.

If you don't want to spend the time or mess to brown the meatballs, place the meatballs on a jelly roll pan and bake them at 350 for about 25 minutes. Nice and easy and a lot less mess.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Homemade Chocolate Frosting

Printable Recipe

  • 6 T. butter, softened
  • 2 2/3 cups powered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 t. vanilla
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix it all together, adding more liquid or sugar depending on the consistency you want.
  2. Makes about 2 cups.
Frost your Homemade Chocolate Cake or Yummy Vanilla Cupcakes.

Homemade Chocolate Cake

Printable Recipe

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 1 cup boiling water
Cooking Directions
  1. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla; beat on medium for 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).
  4. Pour batter into a greased and floured 9 x 13 pan (or two round pans).
  5. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.
Frost with Homemade Chocolate Frosting. No canned frosting allowed.

Holly's Note:
This works well in a large jelly roll pan. However, there is too much batter for a regular jelly roll pan. (Trust me, I know this from experience!) So, use about 3 to 3 1/2 cups of batter in the regular (smaller) pan. Eyeball it: you know your pans the best. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Use the remaining batter as cupcakes or as we like, mini cupcakes. For minis bake in lined mini muffin pans at 350 for about 10 minutes-ish. With this recipe, I usually get one jelly roll pan and about 36 minis.

Banana Bread

Printable Recipe

2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 medium, the riper the better)
3 eggs
1 cup oil
1 t. vanilla
1 cup white flour
1 cup wheat flour
1 cup sugar
1 t. baking soda
¼ t. salt

Combine bananas, eggs, oil and vanilla and mix well. Combine dry ingredients and add to banana mixture. Pour batter into greased pan and bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes or until done.

Makes 1 large 9 x 5 loaf or two smaller ones. You can also make muffins or mini-muffins. For the muffins, bake for 25 minutes.

Holly’s Note:
If you don’t have quite enough banana mixture, add ½ cup of applesauce. My family loves this.

Western Burgers (Sloppy Joes)

Printable Recipe

2 lbs ground beef
½ cup chopped onion
¼ cup tomato sauce
1/3 cup ketchup
½ cup tomato juice
1 ½ T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. brown sugar
1 ½ T. vinegar
2 T. liquid smoke
1 T. chili powder
1 large can of chili

Brown the ground beef and onion together. Drain. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for several hours. I cook it all together and then dump it in my crockpot so it simmers until we're ready to eat. However long that is...

Serve over hamburger buns. My husband eats it like chili, with some tortilla or corn chips.

Lemon Sheet Cake

Printable Recipe

1 box lemon cake mix
4 eggs
1 can lemon pie filling
1 package cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 ½ t. vanilla

Mix the cake mix and eggs until blended. Fold in pie filling. Pour into a greased jelly roll pan (15 x10 x1). Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes. Cool. Beat cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Frost the cake. Store it in the refrigerator. Absolutely delicious.

Holly's Note:
The original recipe came from a Taste of Home magazine.

Hamburger Casserole

Printable Recipe

1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1 1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 cup rice, uncooked
1 can chow mein noodles

Brown the ground beef. Drain. Add everything else except noodles. Stir it together and dump it into a 9 x 13 pan. Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 30 minutes more. Sprinkle 1 can of chow mein noodles over the top. Cook 10 more minutes.


Printable Recipe

3 eggs
1 1/2 cup buttermilk (or sour milk)
1 t. baking soda
1 3/4 cup flour (I use 1 cup of white and 3/4 cup of wheat)
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Mix it together and make yummy waffles.

Holly's Note:
These are simply the best waffles I've ever eaten. They also freeze really well. I make up the whole batch and then freeze whatever doesn't get eaten. I just pop them in the toaster when we want some fresh waffles.

Cherry Crunch

Printable Recipe

1 box white cake mix
1 can cherry pie filling
1 t. lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup butter, melted

Spread the pie filling in the bottom of a greased, square 9-inch pan. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Combine the cake mix, nuts, and melted butter. Crumble it over the pie filling. Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with ice cream.

Holly's Note:
This is an easy recipe to use if you need to take a meal to someone or are hosting a party or something. It's also versatile and you can use different kinds of pie filling. Try apple pie filling with a yellow cake mix and add 1 t. cinnamon to the cake mix.

Pasta Rustica

Printable Recipe

¼ cup butter
1 8oz. package of fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 block cream cheese
1 can chicken broth
1 pkg. Italian salad dressing mix. (Parmesan Italian is best.)
Grilled chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
Roasted red pepper, sliced (about ½ cup or ½ the jar)
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese
1 lb. cooked penne pasta (or farfalle)

Saute the mushrooms in butter until golden and tender. Add the cream cheese, chicken broth, and Italian dressing mix. Simmer until smooth, stirring frequently (about 8 minutes). Add the chicken and red pepper and simmer for about 5 minutes more. Toss sauce with pasta and mozzarella cheese and place in casserole dish. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and bake at 450 for about 10 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is brown and bubbly.

Almond Pound Cake Muffins

Printable Recipe

½ cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 t. almond extract
1 ¾ flour
½ t. salt
¼ t. baking soda
½ cup sour cream

Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs and extracts, mix well. Combine dry ingredients and add, alternating with the sour cream. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.

Mix together the following glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
½ t. almond extract
1 ½ T. water

Drizzle over muffins. Serve warm. Makes ~12.

Fake Champagne Punch

Printable Recipe

1 quart ginger ale, chilled
1 quart white grape juice, chilled
Raspberries, if desired.

Combine the grape juice and ginger ale together in a punch bowl or pitcher. Float berries in it, if desired.

Good Wheat Bread

Printable Recipe

1 cup warm water
2 T. oil
1 t. lemon juice
1 ½ t. salt
2 T. sugar
2 T. powdered milk
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 t. yeast

In bread machine, place everything in the order recommended by manufacturer. Select dough setting (check after 5 minutes, add water or flour if necessary). When cycle is completed, turn dough onto floured surface. Form into a loaf and place into a greased loaf pan. Let rise again, and bake at 375 for 35 minutes.

Holly's Note:
This is the same recipe as
Good White Bread, just with wheat flour instead of white. My husband loves bread and he prefers heavy bread to light bread. He often says that we Americans don't know how to do bread correctly, and Wonder Bread doesn't count as bread. (He's right.) So, using whole wheat flour in this bread makes it a healthier as well as heavier loaf. You can do a mixture of white and wheat flour if you want it a little lighter.

Apple Pie Parfait

Printable Recipe

3 large tart apples, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
12 shortbread or sugar cookies, crushed
2 cups vanilla ice cream
Whipped cream

Combine apples, sugar, water and seasonings in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Uncover, stir and cook for about 10 more minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat.

In a goblet or parfait glass, layer 1 tablespoon of cookie crumbs, about 1/2 cup of ice cream, and a fourth of the apple mixture. Top with remaining cookie crumbs and whipped cream. Serve immediately. Makes 4.

Holly's Note:
I made this one Christmas when it was just the 4 of us and my husband didn't want a whole apple pie sitting around. It was really good! My Dutch Apple Pie is better, mostly because there is just something good about pie crust, but this is very quick and easy. It looks really pretty in parfait glasses, but a bowl works just fine too! The original recipe came from a Quick Cooking magazine.

Hot Wassail

Printable Recipe

Boil 2 cups of sugar in about 1 quart of water for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the following, wrapped in cheese cloth:

8-10 allspice berries
2 whole cinnamon sticks
10 cloves
1 piece of ginger, scored

Let it all set for about 1½ hours.

2 qts apple juice
12 oz of orange juice, mixed from concentrate
6 oz of lemonade

Heat and serve hot.

Broccoli Salad

Printable Recipe

  • 2 bunches broccoli, chopped and parboiled for 1 minute
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 12 slices bacon, cooled and diced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 T. white vinegar
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix together broccoli, onion, sunflower seeds, raisins and bacon.
  2. Mix together mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar
  3. Toss the sauce with the rest of the salad.
  4. Chill and serve.
Holly’s Note:
I hate this salad. It absolutely repulses me. But, The Doctor loves it and so does much of the rest of the extended family. Somehow it fell to me to be the one to always make it. This and the baked beans. They are the recipes that I am asked to bring to family gatherings. The beans I can handle. The salad I do because I love everyone else!

This has become a staple at all holiday meals. It really is popular.

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Chicken and Rice

Printable Recipe

1 pkg. Rice-A-Roni chicken flavor
2 c. water
1 t. basil
1 c. chopped tomatoes
1 lb. chicken pieces
Some cheddar cheese

Saute the rice and vermicelli as directed. Add water, basil and seasoings. Place chicken on top of rice. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes. Top with tomato. Cover and cook for 5 minutes longer. Stir in some cheese and serve.

Cheap and easy.

No Fuss Sunday Chicken

Printable Recipe

2/3 cup flour
1 t. sage
1 t. basil
1 t. seasoned salt
1 whole chicken, cut up or enough pieces for your family (2½ to 3 lbs)
¼ cup butter
1 can chicken broth

Combine dry stuff. Coat the chicken. Reserve the flour mixture. Brown the chicken in butter. Put in crock pot. Add about ¼ cup of the flour mixture (or more, depending on how much gravy you want!) to the skillet. Stir until smooth. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Boil about 1 minute. Pour it over the chicken and cook for about 3 hours or until the chicken is done.

Serve with mashed potatoes.

Vanilla Sugar Cookies

Printable Recipe

½ c. butter (softened, no substitutions)
1 c. sugar
½ t. vanilla
1 egg, beaten
2 ¼ c. flour
½ t. salt
¼ t. nutmeg
2 t. baking powder
2 T. milk

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients together and add to creamed mixture, alternating with milk. Chill 1 hour. Roll and cut and bake. 350 for 7-8 minutes. Decorate with Homemade Frosting.

Feel sorry for every other person out there who thinks that their sugar cookies are actually good. We know better!

Holly's Note:
This recipe came from a dear friend and is, quite simply, one of the best sugar cookies I've ever tasted. When I was in college, for holidays my mom would send me a "party in a box" and include these cookies, cut into whatever shape was appropriate for the current holiday, with a can of frosting so I could have them and share them with my friends. They're better with homemade frosting, but when I was away from home, they were perfect with canned frosting!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Printable Recipe

  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 package chocolate chips
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
Cooking Directions
  1. Cream shortening and butter with sugar, eggs and vanilla.
  2. Add dry ingredients and chocolate chips. Mix well.
  3. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.
Holly’s Note:
This is a Betty Crocker recipe that we’ve had forever. My mom had a red recipe box full of Betty Crocker recipe cards, and this recipe came from that box. I know other people like Toll House Cookies or Mrs. Fields, but I’ve never found one that I like better than these. They’re really good with butterscotch chips, too.

The dough freezes really well.

Good White Bread

Printable Recipe

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 T vegetable oil or melted butter
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2 T powdered milk
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 t yeast
Prep Directions
  1. In bread machine, place everything in the order recommended by manufacturer.
  2. Select dough setting (check after 5 minutes, add water or flour if necessary).
  3. When cycle is completed, turn dough onto floured surface.
  4. Form into a loaf and place into a greased loaf pan. 
  5. Let rise again.
  6. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes.
Holly's Note:
This same recipe can be used for
Monkey Bread.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Pizza Stromboli

Printable Recipe

1 package yeast
3/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
4 1/2 t. honey
1 T. nonfat dry milk powder
2 cups white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 t. Italian seasoning
1 t. salt
4 1/2 t. pizza sauce
3/4 cup chopped pepperoni
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella, divided
2 T. finely chopped onion
1 t. chopped olives
1 t. chopped mushrooms

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in honey and milk powder and until well blended. In a small bowl, combine 1 cup bread flour, wheat flour and seasonings. Add to yeast mixture, beat until smooth. Stir in pizza sauce. Stir in enough remaining bread flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto floured surface and knead until elastic. (6-8 minutes). Place in greased bowl, turning once to grease top, cover and let rise until doubled (about an hour)./

Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 14 x 12 inch rectangle. Sprinkle pepperoni, 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, 2 T. mozzarella cheese, onion, olives and mushrooms to within 1/2 inch of edges. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side, pinch seam to seal and tuck ends under. Place seamed side down on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes.

Sprinkle with remaining cheeses, Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes.

Holly’s Note:
I make the dough in the bread machine. Rather than going through the whole cycle, I just shut the machine off after it is kneaded, and let it rise in the machine until doubled. Once I roll it out, I treat it like a pizza and use our favorite Ragu, the toppings we like, the cheeses we like (not olives!), and then rolled it up and let it rise, etc.

I used the dough recipe for regular pizza, but we didn’t like it as well as we do the stromboli. This is great for snacking, but is also sells well at bake sales. The original recipe came from a Taste of Home magazine.

Pizza/Calzone Dough

Printable Recipe

Preheat oven to 425.

1 T. yeast dissolved in 1/2 c. warm water
2 T. sugar
1 c. milk
6 T. oil
1 1/2 t. salt
4+ cups of flour
1 T. Italian seasoning

Dump it all together in a bowl and knead or mix until well mixed. Dough will be sticky.

For Pizza:
Spray a large pizza pan and put dough in the middle of pan, spread out (using flour if necessary). Poke dough with a fork. Immediately bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and top as you normally do for pizza: sauce, cheese, toppings. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.

For Calzones:
Makes about 8. Roll them out, stuff them and seal and bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes.

Pie Crust

Printable Recipe

3# can of Crisco (regular, not butter-flavored)
1 5# bag of flour (set aside 1 cup)
2/3 cup sugar
4 t. salt
pinch of baking powder
2 cups cold, cold water

Mix dry ingredients together. Drop shortening into dry mixture by large spoonfuls. Mix with hands until it's all pea-sized. Add the water, mix very little. You want to see shortening streaks in your crusts. Form into 8 to 10 oz balls. Freeze them individually. I think it makes 13-15 pie crusts.

Thaw and roll out for the best pie crust you've ever had.

Holly's Note:
My sister received this recipe from a friend who owned a bakery. It doesn't work if you try and halve it or anything like that, but the pie crusts freeze really well. The 1 cup of flour that you set aside would be used to roll out all your pie crusts if you were making pies in bulk.

I use these for my Dutch Apple Pie and Quiche recipes.


Printable Recipe

Pie Crust Pastry
3 beaten eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
dash nutmeg
3/4 cup chopped meat (we use bacon or sausage, but you can use chicken, crab or ham)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
1 T. flour

Prepare pastry for a single-crust pie. Line crust with foil, bake at 450 for 5 minutes. Remove foil, bake for 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 350.

In a bowl, stir together eggs, milk, onion, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir in meat of your choice. Toss together cheese and flour and add to egg mixture. Pour egg mixture into hot pastry shell. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until knife inserted into the center comes out clean. If necessary, cover edges with foil to prevent browning.

Let stand for 10 minutes.

Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

Printable Recipe

½ cup sugar
¼ cup shortening
1 egg
¼ cup milk
½ t. vanilla
1 c. flour
½ t. baking soda
½ t. baking powder
¼ t. salt
2/3 c. mini chocolate chips

Cream sugar and shortening 'til fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla. Mix well. Combine dry ingredients, gradually add to creamed mixture. Mix well. Fold in chocolate chips. Bake in mini muffin pan at 375 for 10-13 minutes or until done.

Holly’s Note:
These taste just like chocolate chip cookies but are quicker and easier to make. Great for after school snacks.

Hot Fudge Sauce

Printable Recipe

3 c. sugar
1 cube butter (1/2 cup/4 oz)
3 squares (3 oz) unsweetened chocolate
1 can evaporated milk (~15 oz)

Melt all in sauce pan over low heat. Do not stir. Do not boil. After it gathers, mix with mixer. Eat it with a spoon until someone catches you and reminds you to save some for everyone else.

Holly's Note:
This is an old family favorite.  I can't remember not ever having it.  It keeps well in the fridge and never quite hardens, so you can dip a spoon in it cold when you need a chocolate fix... It rewarms quickly in a microwave too.

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Lemon Pudding Dessert

Printable Recipe

1 c. cold butter
2 c. flour
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 c. powdered sugar
1 carton (8 oz.) whipped topping, thawed
3 c. cold milk
2 pkgs. (3.4 oz) instant lemon pudding mix

Cut butter into flour until crumbly. Press into an ungreased 9 x 13 pan and bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes or until set. Cool. Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Fold in 1 cup whipped topping. Spread over crust. Beat milk and pudding on low speed for 2 minutes. Carefully spread over the cream cheese mixture. Top with remaining whipped topping. Chill until ready to serve.

Holly’s Note:
I normally halve this recipe and make it in a square pan. I have also used butterscotch pudding or chocolate. It’s best with lemon pudding. The original recipe came from a Taste of Home magazine. 
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Dutch Apple Pie

Printable Recipe

2/3 c. flour
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. butter

2 lbs. tart cooking apples, peeled and sliced
1 T. lemon juice
2 T. flour
¾ c. sugar
dash salt
1 t. cinnamon

1. Prepare pie shell (using Pie Crust Pastry, which is awesome).
2. Make topping: cut butter into flour and sugar until the consistency of oatmeal
3. Preheat oven to 400
4. Make filling: sprinkle apples with lemon juice. Combine flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon together. Toss lightly with apples.
5. Put filling in unbaked pie shell. Cover with topping.
6. Bake 40-45 minutes or until apples are tender.

Holly’s Note:
This recipe came from one of my bridal showers. The Doctor says it’s the best apple pie he’s ever had.

Vanilla Chip Brownies

Printable Recipe

2 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cups vanilla chips

In a small bowl beat eggs with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar. Blend in melted butter and vanilla. Beat till thoroughly combined. Combine flour, unsweetened baking cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Add to the egg mixture, blending thoroughly. Stir in vanilla chips. Pour batter into a greased 8-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool. Cut into bars.

Holly's Note:
It's also good if you use 3/4 cups of vanilla chips and 3/4 cups of chocolate chips instead of just vanilla chips.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Potato Casserole AKA Funeral Potatoes

Printable Recipe

  • 1 package frozen hashbrowns (I like the shredded style)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 can milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix together the hashbrowns, soup, sour cream, milk, cheese and onion. Dump it into a 9x13 pan.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, parmesan and butter. Spread over the top of the casserole.
  3. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until bubbly.
Holly’s Note:
Here in Idaho, these are called Funeral Potatoes. I refuse to call them that, but I do get asked quite often to bring them to funeral luncheons! The original recipe that I have came from my great-aunt. I realize that there are tons of recipes like this out there, but I like to think that it is a family recipe because I copied it from her a gazillion years ago. Her original recipe said to cook the potatoes and shred them. I buy frozen hash browns.

This also freezes well. It's the perfect accompaniment to ham or as a side dish for barbeque. We often have it alone as a meatless meal.

Many recipes call for corn flakes on top.  I can't stand it that way.  The Parmesan/bread crumb topping is so good and gives the dish a very elegant look.