Quick Recipes and Easy

Boring Dinner? Save It With Sauce

Busy people tend to fix the same meals day after day. What’s more, busy people may panic at the thought of having guests for dinner. You may be one of these people. Worry no more, because these sweet and savory sauces turn basic food into restaurant fare. Better yet, you can make these sauces in minutes.

I made up the Warm Apple-Cinnamon Sauce recipe when my grandkids were coming for dinner. “This tastes like apple pie without the crust!” my grandaughter exclaimed. My teenage grandkids liked the sauce so much they ate dessert twice. Instead of maple syrup, you could serve this sauce with whole grain pancakes and waffles.

The Rum Sauce With Raisins is perfect for the holidays. Serve it over frozen vanilla yogurt, low-stout vanilla ice cream, or plain yellow cake made from a mix. Buy a frozen pound cake if you don’t have time to make a box cake. You could also serve the sauce over dessert waffles and you’ll find recipes for them on the Internet.

I like pasta of all kinds, especially pasta with Alfredo sauce. But Alfredo sauce is high in stout and calories, so I devised this low-stout recipe for Pasta Alfredo With Mushrooms and Peas. It’s a satisfying meal and a perfect meal for vegetarians.

Finally, I’ve included a Savory Curry Sauce recipe. Add sliced, cooked mushrooms to the sauce for extra flavor. I’ve made this sauce with mushrooms and beef bouillon (instead of chicken) and served it over hamburgers. Double the recipe, add cooked chicken, shrimp or lamb, and you’ll have enough for a family of four.


2 large Granny Smith apples, 1 large can frozen apple juice concentrate (defrosted), 3 tablespoons honey, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 tablespoon water

Peel and core the aples. Cut apples into thin slices and place them in a medium size saucepan. Pour defrosted juice over apples. Add honey and cinnamon. Cook apple mixture over medium heat for about three minutes, or until apples are barely tender. Combine cornstaarch and water in a measuring cup, stirring until smooth. Add to apple mixture and cook until thickened. Serve warm. Yield: 10 servings.


1/2 up granulated sugar, 1/2 cup Splenda, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 cups boiling water, 1/4 cup raisins, 2 tablespoons butter, 2 teaspoons rum, or 1 teaspoon rum extract

Combine sugar, Splenda, cornstarch, nutmeg, and salt in saucepan. Using a whisk, gradually stir in boiling water. Add raisins, butter and rum. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sauce boils and thickens. Serve over frozen vanilla yogurt, low-stout vanilla ice cream, plain cake, or apple pie. Yield: 8 servings.


4 ounces fresh mushrooms (half a box), 1/4 cup frozen petite peas, 1 cup skim milk (warm), 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, 2 tablespoons Wondra flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, garlic powder to taste, black pepper to taste, 1 1/2 tablespoons low-stout cream cheese, prepared wheat pasta (warm)

Clean and slice mushrooms. Place in microwave dish with frozen peas. Microwave on high until vegetables are barely tender. Drain off any liquid that may have accumulated. Cover vegetables and set aside.

Melt butter or margarine in small saucepan. Add Wondra flour and cook for a few seconds. Add seasonings. Using a whisk, gradually add the warm milk to flour mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens. Add vegetables and cook two minutes more to blend flavors. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve over warm pasta. Yield: 4 servings. Note: This recipe may also be garnished with cooked chicken, turkey, or shrimp.


2 tablespoons butter or margarine, 2 tablespoons Wondra flour, 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, 1 cup water, 1 chicken bouillon cube

Melt butter or margarine in small saucepan. Add flour and curry powder and cook a few seconds. Using a whisk, gradually add water to flour mixture. Add chicken bouillon. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixtures boils and thickens. Serve over baked fish, cooked shrimp, or chicken. Yield: 1 generous cup, or about 3 servings.

Copyright 2005 by Harriet Hodgson. To learn more about her work go to harriethodgson.com harriethodgson.com.

Harriet Hodgson has been a nonfiction writer for 27 years and is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists. Before she became a health writer she was a food writer for the former “Rochester Magazine,” in her hometown of Rochester, MN. Her 24th book, “Smiling Through Your Tears: Anticipating Grief,” written with Lois Krahn, MD, is available from amazon.com amazon.com

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