Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Zoupa Toscana

I guess this is from the Olive Garden. We had this on Christmas Eve for dinner and loved it.

1 pound hot Italian Sausage- cut into slices
6 slices bacon, diced and cooked
3/4 C diced onion

Cook all these ingredients in a pan and drain the extra grease.

1 1/2 tsp mince garlic and simmer for 1 minute.
1 giant can of chicken broth
2 medium potatoes, diced to 1/4 inch.

Simmer for 15 minutes

Add: 2C chopped kale leaves and 1/2 C heavy whipping cream. Simmer for 4 minutes. Serve with grated parmesean cheese.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Our FAVORITE treat at the holidays

It's become a Christmas Tradition for my sweet hubby to make his most requested recipe...Creme Brulee. This is the recipe we like best...and FYI the best place to buy fresh vanilla beans is at Costco...SO MUCH CHEAPER and better beans. They are 10 beans for $11.99 vs. The Spice Islands grocery store version, One bean for about $9.

Creme Brulee (recipe from food network, Alton Brown)
1 quart heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 cup vanilla sugar, divided
6 large egg yolks
2 quarts hot water
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the cream, vanilla bean and its pulp into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and reserve for another use.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually. Pour the liquid into 6 (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the creme brulee is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

Remove the creme brulee from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Divide the remaining 1/2 cup vanilla sugar equally among the 6 dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. Allow the creme brulee to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My favorites

Julie asked awhile back what our favorite recipes from this blog are...I"m a little obsessed with soups right now, these are my faves of the season!

1. We LOVE the White Bean Chili Recipe (from Kelly Dean that LeeAnn posted) I make this pretty often. I have substitued cilantro for the green chiles in a pinch and that was so good also. I love to munch it with Lime Tostitos and a dollop of sour cream. YUM!

2. I also love Mere's tomato Soup

3. Julie's baked potato Soup

I also love, love, love Mere's Orzo Salad it is SO good!

also like Jen's Balsamic Penne Pasta

Keep those recipes coming! I love to come here to find something new when I'm planning my meals. Eryn

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pork Chops and Apples

This is a yummy one. I haven't made it in a long time but a friend asked for the recipe and it reminded me of it. How many of us have that great recipe that we just forget about? Organizational system for recipes is needed!!

Pork Chops and Apples

6 pork chops (1/2” thick. About 1 ½ lbs.)
3-4 apples, unpeeled and sliced
¼ c packed brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp. butter

Heat oven to 350. Grease 9x13 pan.
Brown chops on medium heat about 5 minutes, turning once.

Place apples in baking dish. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon. Dot with butter. Top with pork.

Cover and bake 1 hour or until pork is slightly pink in center and apples are done.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Chicken Noodle or Rice Soup

This is a super delish soup recipe.

Chicken Noodle or Rice Soup

8 c chicken broth
1 c milk
1 Tbsp butter
3/4 c carrots, chopped (I usually add more)
1/2 c celery, chopped(I usually add more)
1/2 c onion, chopped(I usually add more)
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 tsp dried marjoram, crushed
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 to 1 tsp salt to taste
2 c cooked chicken, diced
6 oz. egg noodles or 1/2 c rice
1 tsp or more Better Than Bullion chicken flavor

2 Tbsp butter
1/2 c flour
1/2 c milk

In large stock pot, cook carrot, celery, onion, garlic, salt, pepper in 1 Tbsp butter, for a few minutes. Add broth, 1 c milk. Cook 20 minutes. Add cooked chicken and dry noodles or rice. Cook 10 -12 minutes or until done. Mix 1/2 c milk, flour and butter and add to soup to thicken.

One secret to making this extra good is a jar of Better Than Bullion. They sell this at Costco, winco, etc. It is a paste rather than cube or granules. I think it tastes "better than bullion." Just add 1 tsp at a time until it tastes more chickeny. This is especially nice to use if you have your own broth that maybe isn't as strong as the canned.

Also my absolute favorite noodles for this soup are Vita Spelt Extra Wide White Spelt Noodles. There is white and whole wheat. I prefer the white for this soup. Fred Meyer's Natural section and Whole Foods sell these. They are by far the best. Just creamy and good. I first started using them since my husband can't have wheat but now I use them even when I make this for others.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cheddar-topped Shepherd's Pie

Aaaah....good comfort food for a cold night. I only make 1/2 of this for my family with plenty of left-overs. Does anyone know if you could freeze this?

2 pounds potatoes, peeled
6 carrots, diced small
6 celery stalks, diced small
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tomato paste
2 pounds ground beef
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar

Boil potatoes until fork tender. Heat 1 T. oil in skillet. Add carrot, celery, onion. Cook 8-10 minutes or until tender. Add flour and tomato paste. Cook 1 minute longer. Add beef. Cook until no longer pink. Drain off fat. Add 1 cup water. Bring to boil then simmer 1 minute.

Drain potatoes. Return to pan. Add milk and 1 cup of cheese. Mash.

Pour beef filling into 9x13 pan. Top with mashed potatoes. Then top with remaining cheese. Bake at 450 for 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

So sorry

Genius me. Sorry about the elf post... while trying to post it on my blog, I lost it. Apparently the good people at office max sent it on over here. Again, my apologies!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sourcream Sugar Cookies

While I can't eat these anymore (flour), these were always my favorite FROSTED sugar cookie. Yes, I have another favorite recipe to eat un-frosted. I'll share that one another time.

Cream together:
1 c. butter
3 eggs
1 3/4 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla

Sift together in large bowl:
5 c. flour
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 t. salt
1 t. baking powder

Mix together in small bowl:
1 c. sour cream
1 t. baking soda
(they will react and "foam" up.)

Alternate adding portions of dry mixture and sour cream mixture into butter mixture.
The dough is very soft. Chill for several hours or put in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Keep unused dough in the fridge while rolling out dough.

Bake @ 400 for 8-10 minutes.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Peanut Clusters

This is my extended family's favorite candy. It's also the easiest!

Peanut Clusters

12 oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
12 oz of almond bark
1 jar dry roasted peanuts (salted)

Coarsely chop almond bark so that it will melt evenly with chocolate chips. Microwave chips and almond bark together, stirring frequently until melted. Add peanuts. Drop by teaspoons onto waxed paper.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Favorite Holiday Treats

I love baking, especially for Christmas. I would love to see new postings of your favorite Holiday treats. I love to try new treats and would love some new inspirations.

Peppermint Bark

The kids and I whipped this out this afternoon. One of many batches to be made this holiday season.

1 bag of white chocolate chips
6 candy canes, crushed plus more for topping
peppermint flavoring, optional
1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips, optional

Melt white chocolate chips according to package directions. Once melted, add crushed candy canes and pepperming flavoring to your liking. Place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper spread with a spatula to about a quarter inch thick. Sprinkle with the extra crushed candy canes. If desired, melt semi-sweet chocolate chips in microwave and drizzle on top.

Monday, November 17, 2008

leftover Turkey Nachos Cuban Style

We had this dinner at Chelsea Carbonells a few years ago and could not get enough of it.
Now it's tradition to make it every year after Thanksgiving. KIDS Love it!

Turkey breasts
1 tblsp olive oil
1 tlbsp butter
5-6 garlic cloves/crushed
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp mexican oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
small can of tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatos
1/2 cp of chicken broth
1 can refried beans
1 can black beans
1 small can of chopped olives
Shredded cheese

Brown the turkey in olive oil and butter then add ingredients to chicken broth.
Let simmer for 3 hours. After add 2 tsp of flour and mix to thicken.
shred chicken.
Layer pan with tortilla chips, cheese, chicken, refried beans and black beans and olives.
Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes and serve with a little sour cream on top or avocado too.


Okay Ladies, I like to be known for few ingredients and simple but this recipe has been requested a few times so I must ruin my reputation and post this recipe which has 12 ingredients. This is a little time consuming but what lasagna isn't?

In a large Saucepan...
1 lb of Italian Sausage
1/2 lb of hamburger
chopped onion (to taste)
lots of Garlic! I usually do 4-5 cloves

Add and heat
1 jar of "Classico Spicy Pesto Tomato sauce"
1 can of diced Italian tomatoes in juice
1 can of tomato sauce
1/4 cp of fresh chopped basil

Cook 1 box of lasagna noodles, rinse and lay flat on towel
slice 1- 1 1/2 lbs of mozzarella cheese in 1/4 inch slices
12 oz of Ricotta cheese with 1 egg blended in.
Parmesan cheese

There is a trick to making this lasagna great!!!
Layer the ingredients but very little sauce between the noodles. So that it's mostly cheese.
You add enough just to wet the noodles. After layering, pour the remainder of the sauce on top add Parmesan cheese, olives or any garnish and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Leftover Turkey Ideas

I made a large turkey the other night for dinner and we have a huge amount of leftovers. I would love some new ideas on what to do with the turkey if anyone has them. Thank you all for your help. Maybe you will get some ideas as well for what to do after Thanksgiving dinner.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Thought we might post what some of our favorite recipes so far that we have found on this blog. I know the recipes get buried quickly and it can be a chore to search for them. There are so many great recipes on here and there are so many I have yet to try. Thanks for contributing! My top three that I make a lot now are...

1. amber w's fish tacos
2. michelle p's sesame noodle salad
3. lynne's comfort chicken noodle soup
oh i have to add one more because my husband LOVES it!
4. Dee's hearty tortilla soup

If you post your favorites, put 'Favorites' in the labels section

Thursday, October 23, 2008

quick grocery store dinner ideas? challenge

Hey gals, I was inspired by Jennifer's Grocery Store Tomato soup dinner idea, to ask, what is your favorite throw it together from pre-made ingredients dinner? Tonight I made some yummy pasta from Costco.

It was a seasonal butternut squash ravioli (SO GOOD)mixed with a couple of tablespoons of the Kirkland Pesto sauce....I threw in a couple of chicken breasts, sliced up and browned in a skillet. I LOVE a dinner that comes together in 10 minutes! It was another case of getting sucked into what they were sampling the day I was shopping....so tasty.

I also love their rotisserie chickens ($4.99) and one of the bags of salad (or the yummy spinach salad in the delicase, but it's more spendy) Drive home, and pretend you slaved for hours over a rotisserie :)

What are your favorites?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Swiss Steak

My mom made this meal a lot when we were kids and I now know why. It is so easy to make and my family all loves it, like we did when I was a kid. It took me 15 minutes to get it in the oven today and 2 hours later, dinner was ready.

Family pack of Top Round Steaks (thin cut is the best)
Carrots, Onion, Potatoes
Salt & Pepper

Lightly flour, salt & pepper trimmed meat, pound it flat and lightly brown in oil.
Put meat in a skillet with cut carrots, onion slices, quartered potatoes. (It doesn't call for any tomato sauce but I added 3 or 4 spoonfuls of marinara tonight and it was so good)
Cover, cook 2 hours at 300 degrees. The meat falls apart easily.
Add bread and you are ready for dinner!

Pumpkin Seeds

I decided to finally post some recipes we love. I have the seeds cooking in my oven right now and that smell brings so many great childhood memories. My daughter helped make them this year...sharing the tradition my mom started.

1 1/2 T melted butter
2 c rinsed pumpkin seeds
1/2 t. worchestershire sauce
1 1/4 t. salt

Blend. Bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours until seeds are crisp, dry & golden brown.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Three Ingredient Supermarket Soup

This is another easy Trader Joe's find. I went grocery shopping today and this was up for tasters.

1 box creamy tomato soup
sweet Italian chicken sausage (comes in a pack of 6 links) just remove from casing
use your judgement on how many
Parmesan cheese or shredded Italian cheese blend

brown sausage in saucepan until cooked
pour box of soup into pan and scrape up bits on bottom to get the good browned flavors
ladle into bowls and top with cheese.

that's it! I know, its easy, and my kids liked it. This time of year we east a lot of tomato soup and lunch time food can get a little boring. I also though it would be good to add in some cooked pasta.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Orange Julious

I made this last night for some girlies with sore throats. It was really yummy. I think it's even better than the original. I used 1 T. less sugar and I think next time I will try even less. It's plenty sweet.

6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate
1 cup water
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
8-10 ice cubes.

blend in blender. Serves 4

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pumpkin Dip

Can you handle any more pumpkin right now? Here's a yummy dip. When I first heard what was in it I wasn't so sure, but I really like it!

3/4 cup soft cream cheese
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin
2 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Blend together and serve with fruit.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

roasted balsamic vegetables with penne

Okay Julie, here you go.... It's not that I don't want to share, I'm just slow at this. Don't be turned off by the long list of ingredients, it's just cutting up a bunch of vegetables. The goat cheese mixed with warm roasted veggies is creamy and delicious!

1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4 inch-thick slices

2 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4 inch-thick slices (about 6 oz.) I find grape tomatoes work too

1 eggplant, cut into bite-size pieces (about 1 c.)

1 medium onion, cut into 1/4 inch-thick rounds

1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch-wide slivers

4tbs. chopped basil, divided

4tbs. balsamic vinegar, divided

1tbs. Extra Virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

8oz. penne

2tbs. sour cream

1tbs goat cheese ( I always use more cheese!)

Preheat oven to 500

In a medium bowl, add zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, onion, bell pepper, 2tbs basil, 2tbs vinegar, oil salt, pepper and toss.

place in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with foil and bake for 15-20 min until vegetables are tender when pierced with a knife and just beginning to brown.

Cook pasta. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add sour cream, vegetables, 2tbs basil, 2tbs vinegar, and toss to combine.

Serve pasta and crumble goat cheese over the top

note* the recipe says to reserve 1/2C of the roasted veg. for another use another day ( put on baguette bread with cream cheese) I think it's fine to add all the vegetables to the pasta.

note* last time I made this I mixed in browned sausage, it was good!

Holiday Fun

My kids and I are going to be home all weekend while my hubby is out of town. We were supposed to go with but kids have been sick all week :( I am wondering if anyone has any fun dinner ideas to help keep the kids spirits up. I have a recipe for "sleeping cannelloni" where the pasta is the sleeping bags, the heads are mushrooms with olives for eyes and the hair is parmesan but I am looking for something new and creative. Can anyone help? Thanks Amber

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

BBQ Pork Sandwiches

I made these for dinner last night. Couldn't even taste the onions!!! Callie and Asher loved getting the rings of onions apart so even your kids could help make these. We froze a ton for someother day after lunch today. I got this from my slow cooker cookbook.

2 onions, sliced
4-5 pound pork roast
5-6 whole cloves
2 C water

1 large onion, chopped (I skipped this one, too many onions already)
16-oz bottle barbecue sauce

Put half of sliced onions in bottom of slow cooker. Add meat, cloves, and water. Cover with remaining sliced onions. Cover and cook on low for 8-12 hours (I cooked it on high for 5 hours instead). Remove bone from meat. Cut up meat. Drain liquid. Return meat to slow cooker. Add chopped onion (if using) and barbecue sauce. Cover. Cook on high for 1-3 hours, or low for 4-8 hours, stirring two or three times. Serve on buns.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Stuffed Acorn Squash

I'm so excited that I acually made myself sit down and post a recipe! I've been thinking about doing this ever since it started. This is a yummy recipe from the Rachel Ray magazine Feb. 07 issue. It's a really easy, warm fall meal. I usually serve it with a green vegetable.

serves 4
Prep Time 20 min
cook time 1 hr

2 acorn squash
2 tbs butter
salt and pepper
1/2 C couscous ( I make 1 cup dry couscous and use it all, I think it could use more than 1/2 c cooked)
1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
3/4 pound ground beef ( I use 1 full lb.)
1/2 C chopped walnuts, toasted
1/4 C dried cranberries

1. Preheat the oven to 400. Cut the squash in half crosswise and scoop out the pulp and seeds. trim the ends so each half will stand upright. Place both halves in a baking pan, flesh side up, and pour hot water into the pan to reach about half way up the squash. Add 1/2 tbs. butter to the center of each squash and season with salt and pepper. Bake the squash until tender when pierced with a fork, about 45 min to an hour.
2. Prepare the couscous according to the package directions and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium -high heat . Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 4 min. push the onion aside, add the meat, season with salt and pepper and cook through, about 5 min. Stir in the walnuts, cranberries and couscous; season with salt and pepper if needed.
3. remove the squash from the oven and, using a spatula, carefully transfer each half to a plate. Divide the couscous among the squash.

And the winners are...

Time's up as of yesterday at 11:59pm! Wow, this was a close one, ladies! ;)

I think this contest was a success! We have had 4 new authors sign up...2 of which really went for it!

New author winner is LYNNE P. with 26 new recipes ( i counted off the post list not the labels)! Close behind, was Amber W with 23 new recipes!!

Old author winner is Miss LeeAnn with 12 new recipes!!

Way to go girls!! Your prize is a 15 dollar gift card to the store of your choice. Starbucks? Target? You let me know...email me or comment....

Keep posting girls! I've been loving your ideas.

Beef and Bean Burritos

I had these last night for dinner. I only made half the recipe and ended up still freezing about 8 burritos for later! Good idea for those of you having babies.

1/4 C oil
2 onions, chopped
4 lbs. ground beef
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
16 oz can tomato sauce
62 oz can refried beans
24 10-inch flour tortillas

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat; cook onions until tender. Add ground beef and garlic; cook until browned. Drain; add seasonings and mix well. Stir in sauce; simmer for 5 minutes. Add beans; cook and stir until well blended/ Cool slightly. Spread mixture down centers of tortillas; roll up burrito style and arrange seam-side down on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and serve immediately, or cool and freexe on baking sheet. When frozen, wrap individually or in pairs and store in plastic zipping freezer bags. Makes 2 dozen!!!

Heat and Eat Instructions:
Thaw desired number of burritos. Reheat on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

It is kind of a Mexican tortilla casserole. A great freezer recipe. I thought I saw one similar to this on here before but now I can't find it, so I hope this isn't a repeat of one someone else has posted. We really like this though and it is great to make and split and put 1/2 in the freezer and 1/2 for dinner that night.

1 can cream of mushroom soup (10 3/4 oz.)
3/4 c pace picante sauce
3/4 c sour cream
1 Tble chili powder
2 med. tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups)
3 c cubed cooked chicken or turkey
12 corn tortillas (6 inches), cut or torn into 1 inch pieces
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. Mix soup, picante sauce, sour cream, chili powder, tomatoes and chicken.

2. In 2 qt. shallow baking dish arrange half the tortilla pieces. Top with half the chicken mixture. Repeat layers.

3. Sprinkle with cheese.

4. Freeze uncooked. Defrost and bake for 40 minutes at 350.

Comfort Chicken Noodle Soup

This soup is so yummy. My friend Sarah also makes it and it is an easy great meal on a cold day. *For light chicken noodle soup, omit cream of chicken soup and sour cream.

2 qts water and 8 bouillon cube OR 2 qts chicken stock
4-5 cups uncooked egg noodles
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
3 cups cubed, cooked chicken
chopped carrots and celery

In large pan bring water and bouillon to boil. Add noodles. Cook uncovered until tender, about 10 min. Add carrots and celery last 2 min. of boil. Do not drain! Add soup and chicken. Heat thru until carrots and celery are tender. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.

Beef Mix for Meatloaf and Meatballs

You can use this recipe to make three meatloaves and a lot of balls, all loaves, or all balls if you want. It freezes great and it is so nice to get meatballs out for sandwiches, spaghetti, etc. This great recipe I got from my friend Sarah H. who's learned how to cook for the chilly days in Chicago!

24 oz. tomato sauce
3 c dry bread crumbs
7 eggs, lightly beaten
1 c onion, chopped
1/2 c green pepper, chopped
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. marjoram
8lbs ground beef

Combine first eight ingredients. Add ground beef and mix well. Divide mixture in half.

"MeatloafShape" half the mixture into 3 loaves and place in high-sided baking dish. Don't allow the loaves to touch while baking. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Cool; wrap in heavy foil. Put in freezer bags.
To serve: thaw loaves and bake in 350 oven for 30 minutes.

For 2nd half of mixture for meatballs:
"Meatballshape" into meatballs and place on broiler pan. Bake uncovered in 350 oven for 30 minutes. Divide into meal size portions. Freeze individually on a cookie sheet and then place in freezer bags.
To Serve: thaw and reheat with your favorite sauce or in the oven until heated through.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Toffee Dip for Apples

This is a sinfully good dip for apples. Just right for this time of year! A little different from the one Lynne posted.

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c sugar
8 oz bag of Heath Toffee Bits
1 tsp vanilla

Beat together first four ingredients. Fold in toffee bits. Serve with sliced apples. Tart apples are best.

Note: I have found it is best make this an hour ahead or more to let the flavors meld.


Fun Snacks

Make these with your kids for a new fun snack.

Celery cars:
1 celery stalk
4 carrots rounds
peanut butter or cream cheese
2 toothpicks

fill celery with peanut butter or cream cheese. Place carrot rounds on each end of the toothpicks (these will be the wheels). Place filled celery(the car) on top of the wheels. Enjoy.

Marshmello Creatures:
Several large and small marshmellows
food coloring
shredded coconut

Let your child create creatures using the marshmellows. Example: I large marshmellow for the body, another for the head, connected by a toothpick. Then add the arms and legs using the toothpicks with small marshmellow attached to the ends. Then add food coloring for the eyes, mouth, and nose. Use the shredded coconut as hair. Try different creatures as well horses, dinosaurs, etc.

Apple Smiles:
Cut an apple into slices. Place peanut butter on two slices of apple. Place miniture marshmellow on top of one slice of apple with peanut butter for the teeth. Place second slice on top to form mouth. Enjoy

Bunny Salad:
Place a leaf of lettuce on a plate. Place on half of a pear cut side down on the lettuce leaf. Make eyes with 2 raisins, nose with a red hot, ears with two almonds, and a tail with a cottage cheese ball. Enjoy

Happy Snacking

Stone Soup

There is a book called stone soup that you could read to your kids before making this if you want to. Make sure to read it first though, some versions are not the greatest.

1 large, very clean stone
4 C water
3 large carrots
3 potatoes
2 onions
3 celery stalks
1 can tomatoes
1 can corn
1 can peas
4 tsp beef(I use chicken) bouillon
dash of salt
(When we made this with our students at school, we would use other ingredients as well, like ground beef/chicken, rice, other veg., etc)

Heat water in a large pot. Add the stone. Peel and cut up carrots, potatoes, onions, and celery. Boil these ingredients until soft. Add tomatoes, corn, peas, and bouillon. (If adding meat, make sure it is cooked and add now). Add salt and boil 10 minutes. Remove the stone. Serve.

Chocolate Yummies

I made these when I was a kid. I need to make them with my kids now.

1 (6 oz) pkg. chocolate bits
1/3 C margarine
16 large marshmellows
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 C shredded coconut
2 C rolled oats

Melt chocolate, margarine, and marshmellow in a saucepan, stir until smooth. Remove from heat. Add vanilla, stir. Stir in coconut and oats. Mix thoroughly. Drop by teaspoonful onto waxed paper. Refrigerate. Enjoy.

Quesidilla Face

I told Julie I would post some cute kid pleasing ideas. Here is a super easy one.

1 tortilla
1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese
2 cucumber slices
2 olives
1 half sliced dill pickle

Place tortilla in frying pan and spinkle cheddar cheese on inside on only one half. Fold totilla over so no cheese is showing. (Make quesidilla) When quesidilla is finishe, place on the bottom half of a plate, with the fold line in the middle. (this makes the mouth) For the eyes: place cububer on the top of the plate with olives in the middle of the slices. Place pickle between the eyes down toward the quesidilla for the nose. Serve to your kids for lunch.

Oven- Fried Fish

Callie made this the other night for dinner. We loved it and she was so excited to get to make dinner for the family.

1 pound fish fillets ( we used halibut)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (we accidently used more and it still tasted great)

Preheat oven tao 350. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray. Put the milk in a flat pie plate or shallow bowl. In another flat pie plate, combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Dip the fish into the milk and then into the bread crumb mixture. Place fish in baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until fully cooked.

Fish Shaped Pizza or green frog calazones

I get this pizza crust from the book that came with my Kitchen Aid. You could use your own favorite as well. My kids love to help make the dough and the pizza.

1 package active dry yeast
1 C warm water
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil
2-1/2 to 3-1/2 C flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water in mixing bowl. Add salt, olive oil, and 2-1/2 cups flour. With dough hook, stir on speed 2 for 1 minute. Continuing on speed 2, add remaining flour 1/2 C at a time, and mix about 2 minutes, or until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl. Knead on speed 2 for 2 more minutes. Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover. Let rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down. Press dough across a pan to form the shape of a fish. Spread with pizza or spaghetti sauce. Spread mozzerella cheese and then use pepperoni for the "scales" of the fish. Use a sliced black olive for the eye. Bake at 450 for 15 to 20 minutes.

You can also use this for calazones. Use food coloring to dye the dough green. Save some of the dough and once the calazone is wrapped make feet with leftover dough to make frogs. Use olives for the eyes and bake.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

We love this one for family gatherings.

1 C mayo
1 C grated Parmesan Cheese
4 medium green onions, chopped
1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 can (14 oz) artichoke heart, drained and coarsly chopped

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together and spoon into a 1- quart casserole dish. Cover and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until hot. Enjoy.

Herb Rub for Roasting Turkey

I thougth I would publish this before Thanksgiving incase someone wanted to try it. We love this on our turkey.

2 Tbsp Poultry Seasoning
1 Tbsp All season salt
1 Tbsp paprika
2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground black pepper

works well on a 12- 15 pound turkey

Crispy Chicken with Asparagus Sauce

1 egg or 2 egg whites
4 skinless chicken breasts
1/2 C dry bread crumbs
2 Tbsp veg. oil
1 can (10-3/4 oz) cream of Asparagus soup
1/3 C milk
1/3 C water
Parmesan cheese

In a shallow bowl, beat egg. Dip chiken into egg. On wax paper, coat chicken with bread crumbs. In skillet, over medium-low heat, in hot oil, cook chicken for 15 minutes or until browned on both sides and no longer pink. Remove; keep warm. Pour off fat. In same skillet, combine soup, milk and water. Heat through, stirring occasionally. Spoon soup mixture over chicken. Serve over rice.

Whole Chicken Quandary?

Okay I bought a whole chicken awhile back (the small kind) when it was on sale. It has sat in my freezer b/c I don't know what to do with it and I'm afraid. Does anybody have any good ideas? Thanks Lynne!

Maple-Soy Salmon

When my friend made this my reaction (before tasting it) was, Weird! And then...I took a bite. Oh man, it is awesome and of course simple which is another big bonus! It is that perfect combo of salty & sweet making it oh so melty in your mouth!

3/4 C. maple syrup
1/4 C. soy sauce

Place all in Ziploc to marinate in fridge. Cook fish as you prefer (oven, grill etc.) I have only done this in the oven. I kept it in the foil and broiled it.

Red Hot Applesauce Jello

I loved having this as a kid and I still love having it! Yum! (I have learned to serve this in it's own dish because otherwise all your food turns red.)

3/4 C. Red Hot candies (I use less now b/c my child complains it's too "spicy")
1 small box red jello (any flavor that is red works)
1 C. boiling water
1 small jar applesauce
1 package gelatin
1/4 C. water

Mix together red hots and red jello.

Add 1 C. BOILING water. Stir until red hots dissolve. You will have to fish out any pieces that don't dissolve.

Add applesauce.

Mix together 1 package of gelatin & 1/4 C. water. Add to jello mixture.

Cover & Place in fridge to set.

Breaded Pork Chops

I learned this one from my Nana which means it has to be good!

1/2 C. canned, evaporated milk
Bread crumbs
Lemon pepper
melted butter
Boneless Pork Chops (4-6)

Season bread crumbs with salt, lemon pepper to taste. Dip chops in Evap. milk. Roll chops in seasoned bread crumbs. Place chops in baking dish. Pour melted butter over each one.

Bake 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

Harvest Chowder

This is such good soup, perfect for the fall days ahead. This soup freezes well.

1 C. ham, diced
1/2 C. onion, chopped
1 C. water
2 1/2 C. potatoes, bite sized pieces
2 C. corn (16 oz can)
1 C. milk
1 C. shredded cheddar cheese
1 C. carrots, sliced
Pepper & salt to taste
parsley or chives-garnish

Brown ham & onion.

In large pot combine: ham, onion, potatoes, water & carrots

Cook on Med. until potatoes are tender. Add milk, corn, salt & pepper.

Add cheese. Stir constantly until melted.

**make it suit your tastes; add a little more or less of any ingredient to make it your way.

Garnish with grated cheese, parsley or chives

To freeze simply place in air-tight container or Ziploc bag. Thaw and reheat when ready to eat.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Chicken Spaghetti

My family requests this cheesy dish almost weekly. Another Arkansas favorite! I never saw processed cheese cooked with until I lived down South & I have to admit this is delicious. My hubby loves this & he hates processed cheese. I served this at my daughter's 2 year old birthday party & all the kiddos scarfed it down. (I have to admit I'm feeling a little vulnerable posting all the "not so perfectly healthy meals" that we eat regularly!) Maybe next I'll post a veggie dish or something!

*this does freeze well too. Prepare as stated below, but don't bake it in the oven. When ready to eat, thaw and bake as recipes states.

12 oz. approx. Noodles-(thin spaghetti is the standard but you could use any kind you like)
4 Chicken Breasts-boneless, skinless
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1/2 jar Cheese Whiz
1/2 jar Pimento Cheese spread
Grated cheddar cheese
Lemon Pepper to taste

Boil noodles & chicken separately (I sometimes just cook the chicken in the Micro too)
Chop chicken into bite sized pieces. In hot pan used previously, add soups and cheeses and mix together. (The hot pan will melt the cheeses). Ad chicken & noodles to pot. Stir all together. Place mixture in 9x13 baking dish & top with cheddar cheese. Add Lemon Pepper to taste. Bake UNcovered @ 350 degrees for 30 min.

Lazy Lasagna

I have 2 Lasagna recipes...this one, the cheap and easy one and a 2nd that is not cheap or easy but extra amazing! This recipe is a good throw together meal that freezes really well. This is the one I usually make.

12 oz Lasagna noodles (uncooked)
1/2 tsp dried Oregano (crushed)
1 (15 1/2 oz) jars spaghetti sauce
2 C. cream-style cottage cheese (or Ricotta cheese)
12 oz. Mozzarella sliced or shredded (buy it already shredded to make life easier!)

Add Oregano to sauce. in 2 10x6x2 inch baking dishes, spread 1 C. sauce on bottom of each dish. Then make layers on this order:

Uncooked noodles, sauce, cottage cheese, mozz. cheese & repeat. (*be sure your noodles are fully covered with sauce since it is the hot sauce the ends up cooking the noodles when you bake it.)

For freezing:
cover pans in foil, label & freeze.

To Serve:
thaw completely if frozen. Bake tightly covered @ 350 degrees for 45 min. or until edges are bubbly & center is hot. Take cover off during the last 10 min.

Taco Soup

A wonderful comfort food that feeds a house full, freezes great & pleases even the little eaters in the family.

1 lb Ground beef (turkey or chicken)
1 med. onion
1 pkg Taco seasoning
1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz)-DON'T drain
1 can kidney beans (16 0z) DON'T drain
1 can whole kernel corn (16 oz) DON'T drain
1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
1 can Garbanzo beans-DON'T drain
1 can Black beans-don't drain

Brown ground beef. Drain. Add all ingredients to large pot and bring to a boil. Simmer 20 min.

Tortilla chips or Frito chips
sour cream
*whatever toppings you love*

To serve:
place chips in bottom of bowl. Ladle soup over chips. Top with whatever you love!

Mud Pie (Oreo Dessert)

I often requested (& still do, although now that means I have to make it!) this frozen dessert for my birthday every year. *This layered dessert takes time b/c you need to freeze each layer.

26 Oreo cookies-ground up
1/2 cube margarine
Quart Vanilla ice cream (or your favorite ice cream flavor)
1 can hot fudge topping
9 oz carton Cool Whip

Mix ground up Oreos and margarine together. Place half the Oreo mixture on the bottom of a 9x13 pan; FREEZE.

Let ice cream thaw slightly.

Spread ice cream over top of frozen Oreo mix. FREEZE.

Heat hot fudge so it is pourable. Pour over top of frozen ice cream layer. FREEZE.

Spread Cool Whip over frozen hot fudge layer. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 of Oreo mixture over top. FREEZE & keep frozen until serving. (You will want to let it sit out a few min. before serving so it will be easy enough to cut)

Serves 10-12

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Since we started grilling our corn its hard to ever want to cook it in the pot anymore. My 3 year old loves eating the corn and really loves helping to make it.

Corn on the cob, shucked
lemon pepper

Shuck corn. Make a piece of foil for every cob you have. (enough to completely wrap your corn). Place corn on foil. Generously butter, then salt and pepper to taste. Wrap foil around corn. Grill on the top rack over medium heat for about 15 min. Turn corn every few min. during cooking.

Tomato, Basil & Broccoli Chicken

When moving to the chicken Farm in Arkansas, everybody thought it was funny to give me chicken cookbooks & recipes! It turned out being pretty helpful! Here's an easy favorite of ours.

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
salt & pepper (optional)
2 Tbsp margarine or butter
1 pkg (6.9 oz) RICE-A-RONI Chicken flavor
1 tsp. dried basil
2 C. broccoli flowerets
1 med. tomato, seeded, chopped
1 C. (4 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Sprinkle chicken with salt & pepper, if desired.

2. in large skillet, melt margarine over med-high heat. Add chicken; cook 2 min. on each side or until browned. Remove from skillet; set aside, reserving drippings. Keep warm.

3. In same skillet, saute rice-vermicelli mix in reserved drippings over med heat until vermicelli is golden brown. Stir in 2 1/2 C. water, contents of seasoning packet & basil. Place chicken over rice mixture; bring to a boil over high heat.

4. Cover; reduce heat. Simmer 15 min. Top with broccoli & tomato.

5. Cover; continue to simmer 5 min. or until liquid is absorbed & chicken is no longer pink inside. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover; let stand a few minutes before serving.

* makes 4 servings

Soupy Fruit Salad

This is from our days living down south. I don't know if it's specifically a "Southern" recipe, but it's sure delicious & fast too! Jeremy wishes I made this much more often.

1 carton frozen strawberries (sm)
1 can chunk pineapple (drained)
1 can peach or cherry pie filling (we prefer peach)
2 bananas

Dump all ingredients together. Slice bananas and spread on top right before serving.

serves 4-6

Pear-Craisin Salad

This is the perfect salad to take to just about any event! This is one people always want the recipe for.


1 bunch red leaf lettuce-torn into bite-size pieces
1 red onion-sliced thin & separated into rings
1 pear-chopped
1 C. crumbled blue cheese
Craisins (about 1 C.)
Hazelnuts or walnuts-chopped & lightly toasted in oven @ 325 degrees for 10 min.

*Mix all above ingredients & toss w/ dressing (below) right before serving.


1/4 C. sugar
dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. poppy seeds
1/2 C. veg. oil
1/4 C. red wine vinegar

*Whisk together all ingredients except poppy seeds. Add seeds after thoroughly blended.

Bread Machine CINNABONS!!!!!

These are an easy & great imitation of the real deal! Enjoy!

1/4 C. butter, melted
1/4 C. warm water
1/2 pkg vanilla pudding
1 C. milk
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbl sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
4 C. bread flour
2 1/2 tsp yeast

Put ingredients in bread machine in order listed. Set machine to dough cycle. When dough comes out, roll our into large rectangle. Put filling listed below on top.


1/2 C butter, softened
1 C brown sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon

Roll up the dough starting at the shorter end. Pinch to seal. Using dental floss, cut rolls & place in greased jelly roll pan. Bake @ 350 degrees for 15-18 min.


4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 C. butter
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp milk

Whisk together ingredients & spread over hot rolls.

Texas Sheet Cake

I Loooovvvve this brownie-like-cake-like fudge dessert! Easy and a crowd pleaser too! Served with a little Vanilla ice cream it's the perfect dessert.


2 sticks marg/butter
1 C. water
4 Tbsp. cocoa
2 C. flour
2 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/2 C. sourcream
1 tsp. baking soda


1 stick margarine/butter
4 Tbsp milk
4 Tbsp. cocoa
1 box powder sugar (1 lb)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. walnuts (chopped)


Boil margarine, water & cocoa. Stir in flour, sugar & salt. Beat in eggs, sour cream & soda.

Bake in 18x12" jelly roll pan @ 350 degrees for 20 min.


Bring margarine, milk & cocoa to a boil. Add sugar, vanilla & nuts.

**make frosting a few minutes before cake is done & pour over HOT cake.

The World's BEST Sugar Cookies

Okay, I have to admit I have been wavering about posting this recipe out of selfishness! These are truly the BEST sugar cookies and they are always perfect! I will lay down my recipe greed and share this winner with you all! (FYI this makes a huge batch of cookies. It can be a lot to frost if you're getting fancy just to warn you!)

1 1/2 C. butter
2 C. sugar
4 eggs
2 t. vanilla

***cream together above ingredients


5 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

REFRIGERATE for easier rolling (spray cooking spray on plastic wrap and wrap dough up prior to placing in fridge)

Roll 1/4"-1/2"thick (yes make them this thick)

Bake @ 350 degrees approx 10 min. or so. (Watch them to see how long in your oven; they're done when edges are golden)

Welcome Fall with some SUPER YUMMY Pumpkin Bars

With fall in the air and today being it's first official day, I thought I would post this. It is a recipe I found in one of my cookbooks a few years ago and I make them a TON in the fall. They seem to be a winner and people always ask me for the recipe. WARNING: They are addicting!

Pumpkin Bars

2 c all purpose flour
2 c sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cloves
1 c oil (could probably substitute applesauce but haven't tried it YET)
1 16 oz can of pumpkin (2 cups)
4 eggs
1/2 c chopped nuts (optional - I haven't added)
1/2 c raisins (optional - I haven't added)

Frosting (This is what makes it good!)
2 c powdered sugar
1/3 c butter softened
1 3 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 350. Grease 15x10x1 inch baking pan. (I don't have one of these so I divide it up between a 9x13 and an 8x8.) In large bowl, combine all bar ingredients except nuts and raisins. Beat at low speed until moistened. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Stir in nuts and raisins. Pour into greased pan.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.

In a small bowl, combine all frosting ingredient; beat until smooth. Frost cooled bars. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator. (They taste super yummy cold. Too good!)


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Cucumber and Red Onion Salad with Creamy Dill Dressing

Oh, how I love the dressing on this salad. This would be a great side dish to salmon.

2 large cucumbers, peeled and seeded

1/2 red onion, sliced and separated into rings

1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

Dill Dressing

1/2 c. light sour cream

1/4 c. plain yogurt

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon fresh dill, or 1 teaspoon dill weed

1/2 teaspoon salt

fresh ground pepper to taste

in a bowl wisk all ingredients together

Halve cucumbers lengthwise and scrape seeds out with a spoon. slice horizontally into 1/4 inch slices.

In a bowl combine cucumber slices, onion rings, and bell pepper, and mix with dressing. Cover and chill several hours or overnight

Friday, September 19, 2008

Shredded Pork Tacos

I made this and froze it for a friend. She said the tacos were great. I put the pork in a zip lock bag and placed the tortillas in an aluminum freezer container with the pork. I got this from Better Homes and Garden cookbook.

1 3lb boneless pork shoulder blade roast
8 cloves garlic, minced ( I use less)
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground red pepper
1 C beef broth ( I use chicken broth)

Trim fat from meat. In a small bowl combine garlic, coriander, cumin, oregano, onion powder, salt, black pepper, and red pepper; rub into meat. Place meat in crock pot; add broth. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat for 4 to 5 hours. Shred with two forks. Serve with the normal taco fixings.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Freezer Meal Recipes?

Okay girls, I am trying to stock up my freezer with some yummy meals for after the baby is born, or maybe even before since I am completely uninspired to cook. We have a few freezer meals on this blog, but I would love to have more to draw from. Do you make something awesome and freeze it? Post the recipe and include Freezer Meal in the label so we can have more to draw from. I'll post some fav's too. I know some people don't know what would make a good freezer meal so it would give them some inspiration as well. Many times this is an awesome way to bless someone who has just had a baby or is going through some other hard times and the traditional bringing of meals is difficult.


Just friendly competition!

Ya, right! Uh-oh, Amber, looks like someone is up for the challenge. Meet Lynne, new author #3. Lynne, meet Amber, new author #2. ;) I get fired up, just thinking about competition. who knew, it could be taken to a recipe blog?

Just FYI...'new author' is considered anyone who posted a new recipe after the beginning of the challenge. For example, amber was on the author list prior but had never posted a recipe. She is considered a 'new author' because she posted her first recipe after the start of the competition. Since this is getting a little competitive, I don't want anyone challenging the results! October 6th is the end date!

AND because it is getting more competitive....I need to up the prize. 15 dollar gift card to each winner.

EDITED TO ADD: please read on.

Okay, I just read over the initial competition post. I wrote, "First prize goes to the first 'new author' to post the most recipes in the next month! ....The second prize goes to the person (old or new) who posts the most new recipes this month!"

Well, blame it on pregnancy brain...but that does not make any sense. So the new author with the most new posts would probably also win the other prize as well too...unless an old author posts more than the new author. Do you follow? So potentially, based on how I wrote that...the 'new author' could win it all.

So let's vote...should we keep it how it is or change it to the one 'new author' with the most posts...and the one 'old author' with the most posts????

Chicken Devan

This is one of my Family's Fav's now & it was growing up as well!

2 cans Cream of chicken OR broccoli (or 1 of each)
1 C. Mayo
2 T. lemon juice
1/2 t. salt
broccoli-cooked (approx 2 heads)
chicken-cooked (3-4 breasts)
Parm. Cheese

Cook chicken & broccoli
Arrange chicken in greased baking dish. Place broccoli over chicken.

Combine Mayo & soups, lemon juice & salt. Pour over top of chicken/broccoli.

Top with Parm. Cheese

Bake Uncovered 45 min-1 hr. @ 350 degrees.

Chicken Herb Casserole

This one my mom made a lot growing up. It's a kid/crowd pleaser and a great way to use up left over turkey too. You can make this with chicken or turkey. It's a large recipe so I sometimes split it into 2 pans.

2 1/2 lb chicken or turkey (fryer parts preferred, but use anything you like)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 soup can of milk
1/2 pt. sour cream
1 sm. pkg Pepperidge Farm Herb Dressing

Cook chicken & remove from bone in nice size pieces; arrange in largest greased Pyrex pan. Combine soup & milk & mix until smooth. Fold in sour cream.

Prepare Pepperidge Farm dressing according to the directions on pkg. Pour soup & cream mix. over layer of chicken. Crumble dressing over top. Cover with foil and bake @ 350 degrees for 30 min. appox.

**This can be made the night before & set in the refrigerator. Just omit the dressing until you are ready to bake it.

Chicken Lasagna

Oooo this one is a goodie, just not a super "diet-friendly" dish! Ahh, the good ones rarely are!

1 pkg Penne Pasta
1/2 lb mushrooms
butter to saute
1 T. flour
4 C. Half n' Half
2 C. Mozz. Cheese
1 1/2 C. white wine
1/2 tsp. Tarragon
5 C. Shredded, boneless chicken

Cook, shred chicken; saute mushrooms in butter & 1 C. wine until evaporated.

4 T. butter, Flour & Half n' half

Combine all ingredients for sauce. Heat until thick & creamy.

Stir sauce while adding mushroom/wine mix & seasonings. Add chicken. Mix together. Place in 9X13 casserole dish. Bake @ 350 degrees for 40-60 min.

Apple Dip Appetizer

***Serve with Granny Smith apples***

1 8 oz. pkg cream cheese
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. pecans

You can make this the night before, just keep refrigerated.

Smothered Steak

This one is delicious & easy as long as you think ahead to put it in the oven in time!

Round Steaks (1 pkg, 4-8, whatever you need really)
2 cans Golden Mushroom Soup
1 pkg Lipton Onion soup mix
1/2 C.- 1 C. water

Place steaks in single layer in 9x13 pan. Dump both cans of soup over steak and sprinkle 1 pkg soup mix over top. Add 1/2-1 cup of water to pan. Cover with foil, cook 5 hours @ 275 degrees.

Guinness Pot Roast

Yes, this recipe has beer in it, but of course the alcohol cooks out and it makes it tastes amazing!!! This is not an every day type of recipe as it takes some time and has some expensive ingredients. It is however, so unbelievably good that it is wonderful for a special meal. My husband even loved it and until I made this Pot Roast recipe I had never seen him eat any roast without smothering (ruining in my opinion) it with BBQ sauce! Here it goes....1st the ingredients, then the actual directions. Duh, I know but it looks confusing to me the way this is written! :)


1 boneless chuck pot roast or arm roast (3-3 1/2 lb)
Salt & Pepper
2 T Olive Oil


2 C. Shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, halved (3 1/2 oz)
1 1/2 C. onion, diced
2/3 C. carrot, diced
2/3 C. celery, diced
1/4 C. garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
3 T. tomato paste
1/2 C. pretzels, finely ground


2 bottles Guinness or other dark beer (12 oz ea)
2 C. chicken or beef broth
2 T. Dijon mustard
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
Seared Roast


3 carrots, peeled, cut into 3" long chunks


chopped, fresh parsley

preheat oven to 325

Trim meat of excess fat & season with salt & pepper; heat oil over med-high in an ovenproof Dutch oven. Sear roast on both sides until brown, 8-10 min total/ Remove roast from the pan.

Sweat mushrooms, vegetables & seasonings in the pot for 5 min. Add the tomato paste, cook 2 min, then stir in the pretzels.

Deglaze with Guinness, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan; stir in broth, Dijon & Worcestershire. Return the seared roast to the pot & bring the liquid to a simmer. Cover the pot, then transfer to the oven; braise roast for 2 hrs. After 2 hrs, remove pot from the oven & turn the roast over with a carving fork.

Add carrot chunks, then cover & return pot to the oven. Braise another 45 min, or until the meat is spoon-tender. To serve, transfer roast & carrots to a platter & cut meat into chunks. Bring sauce to a simmer, skimming off fat, then spoon it over the roast.

Garnish with parsley.

*makes one 2 1/2-3 lb roast, 4 C. sauce; Total time 3 1/2 hours

Microwave Caramel Corn

I always have loved Caramel Corn but didn't like the hassel of all that stirring in the oven business! This is a great recipe and so easy!

1 Cup Brown Sugar 1 tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 C. Margarine 1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/4 C. Corn Syrup 3-5 qt. Popcorn

Place popcorn in a brown paper grocery bag. Set aside. Bring brown sugar, margarine and syrup to a boil in a (4 cup) glass-measuring pitcher. Boil 2 min. on high. Remove from microwave & stir in the vanilla and baking soda until light & foamy. Pour over the popcorn & fold down the top of the bag. Shake the bag few times & then place in the microwave. Cook for 4 min. on high, stopping ever 60 sec. to shake the bag & turn the bag to a different side. Spread Caramel Corn on wax paper to cool. Remove any unpopped kernels. This freezes great too, just place in a freezer Ziploc type bag. Enjoy!

Meatless Spaghetti Sauce

Oh my goodness. I just made this for the first time. I usually don't like homemade spaghetti sauce but this was wonderful! I had to share. The only reason I made it was because we had a ton of tomatoes from the garden. I got it from a country cooking cookbook I have.

1/2 C vegetable or olive oil
4 medium onions, chopped
1-1/4 teaspoons pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
12 C chopped and peeled fresh tomatoes
3 bay leaves
4 tsp salt
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
2 cans (6 ounces each) tomato paste
1/3 C packed brown sugar

In a large Dutch oven, heat oil. Sautethe onions and pepper until onions are tender. Add garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, salt, oregano, and basil. Simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add tomato paste and brown sugar; simmer 1 hour more. Remove bay leaves. Serve.

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

I got this from a friend at my old work and made them a ton because we always seem to have ripe bananas.

2 extra-ripe bananas
1/2 C oil, or margarine
3/4 C brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 3/4 C quick- cooking oats
1 1/2 C all purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C craisins
1 C chopped nuts (I don't use these)

Beat oil or magarine and sugar. Beat in egg, then add mashed bananas. Combine dry ingredient; stir into banana mixture just until blended. Stir in craisins and nuts. Drop by tablespoonfunl 2 inches apart onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake in 350 degree oven for 15-18 minutes until lightly browned. Cool. Makes 3 1/2 to 4 dozen cookies.

Luscious Lemon Cheesecake

This is such a fast treat (minus the baking time).

2 pkg (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 C sugar
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 ready-to-use graham cracker crust

Mix together cream cheese, sugar, juice, peel, and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, mix until blended. Pour into crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Cool. Refriderate for 3 hours or overnight.

No- Fuss Dinner Rolls

I make these often in our house. They are very easy and taste great.

1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 1/2 C warm milk
1 egg
2 Tbsp butter, softened
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
4 C all purpose flour
melted butter

In a bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add the egg, sugar, salt, and 2 cups flour. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on high for 3 minutes. Stir in remaining flour. Do Not Knead. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes. Stir dough down. Fill greased muffin cups 3/4 the way full. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake @ 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Brush with melted butter. Cool for 1 minute before removing from pans to wire rack.

Monday, September 15, 2008

No wheat Peanutbutter and Chocolate Chip Cookies

I thought I would post this for Lee Ann since she shared a wheat free cookie with me. Hope you enjoy them.

1 C Peanut butter
1 C firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 C chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In small bowl, with wooden spoon, combine all ingredients except chips until blended. Stir in chips just until combined. On ungreased cookie sheet, using rounded teaspoons, drop dough 2 inches apart. Bake 9 minutes or until cookies are puffed and golden. Cool on wire rack on baking sheet for 5 minutes then take cookies off sheet and place on rack to cool completely.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Game On...holy cow

You girls are cracking me up! the competitive streak is coming out in you ladies, I can't even keep up with the posts, let alone compete. And usually, my competitive streak comes out in these sort of things...Can't wait to see who wins!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Fish Tacos

I got this from Better Homes and Gardens. It is a staple in our house and the kids love them!

1 pound fresh or frozen skinless cod (I use halibut)
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp garlic powder
3 Tbsp mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 tsp lime juice
1 1/2 C packaged coleslaw mix without dressing
8 corn taco shells

Thaw fish, if frozen. Cut fish into 3/4-inch slices. Place in a single layer in greased shallow baking pan. Combine butter, cumin, and garlic powder. Brush over fish. Bake in 450 degree oven for 4-6 minutes or until fish flakes when tested with a fork.

Meanwhile, stir together mayo and lime juice. Add cabbage; toss to coat. Place fish in taco shell, add cabbage mixture, and enjoy.

Monster Cookies

My mom and I always made a FULL batch of these every Christmas. The first Christmas after I quit eating wheat she called me and said "Lee Ann! There's no flour in Monster Cookies!" I was SOOOO excited.

The recipe is HUGE! In black is the full recipe, in red is 1/4 of a recipe. I think you're probably supposed to make the cookies really big, but I just make normal sized cookies.

Monster cookies

1 dozen eggs (3)
4 cups sugar (1 c.)
2 lb brown sugar (1 c.)
1 lb margarine (I use butter) (1 cube)

2 T. vanilla (1/2 T.)
2 T. white (karo) syrup (1/2 T.)
8 tsp. soda (2 tsp.)
18 cups quick oats (4-1/2 c.)
3 lb. peanut butter (Adams works too) (1-1/3c.)
1 lb. chocolate chips (3/4 c.)
1 lb. m&m's (3/4 c.)

Bake at 350 for 7-8 minutes. cool 1 minute on cookie sheet then remove

Oatmeal Cake

My brother has this every year for his birthday. This year I was making it, getting ready to go camping, and I somehow left out the FLOUR!!! We were in a hurry so my mom said just take it that way. It was AWFUL!!!! So don't skip the flour. :-)

Oatmeal Cake

Pour 1-1/2 cups hot water over 1 cup quick oats. Cool and let stand while you:

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
Mix in:
1-1/3 cup flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Pour into greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. When it's almost done baking make the frosting.

Frosting-boil 1 minute:
3/4 cube margarine/butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 T. milk
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Pour on cake and return under broiler. Watch it closely until it bubbles. Remove, cool, and enjoy!

Easy Rosemary Focaccia Bread

I took this recipe out of The Easy Way to Artisan Breads and Pastries by Avner Laskin. I checked it out from the library. All the recipes are designed to be used with a stand mixer with a dough hook so you don't have to knead the bread by hand. Much easier! It turned out with awesome results! I love to make Kelly's Pesto Focaccia sandwich but sometimes buying all the ingredients gets spendy. Last week I made it with my own bread, tomatoes and pesto from my yard! It was quite rewarding.

Fresh Rosemary Focaccia Bread

1 1/4 c water
1 Tbsp dry yeast
1/4 c plus 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 1/4 c flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp course salt for garnish
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary for garnish

1. In the bowl of a standing mixer with dough hook attached, mix the water, yeast, 1/4 olive oil and flour at low speed for 3 minutes. With machine running, add the salt, switch to medium speed and continue to knead for 10 minutes.

2. Place dough in a floured bowl, covered with plastic to rest for one hour.

3. Transfer dough to floured surface and flatten it out with the palm of hand to remove air pockets.

4. Grease bottom of 12 x 15 or 9 x 13 pan with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Place dough in the pan and flatten it out with the palm of your hand until it fits snugly.

5. Brush with remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil, sprinkle with rosemary and course salt and let rise until tripled in size, about 1 hour.

6. Preheat oven to 400. Use your finger to make little indentations in the top of the dough.

7. Bake for 15 minutes or until the crust is hard, shiny and deep golden brown.

8. Remove from oven and cool in wire rack.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Three Cheese Enchiladas

1-1/2 cups shredded jack (divided)
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar (divided)
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup picante sauce (divided)
1 medium green pepper
1/2 cup chopped green onion
8 flour tortillas (I make mine with corn, but flour is better)

In a bowl combine, 1 cup jack, 1 cup cheddar, cream cheese, 1/4 cup picante, pepper and onion. Spread 1/4 cup of mixture down center of each tortilla. Roll and place in 9 x 13 pan. Spread remaining picante sauce over top. Top with remaining cheeses. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Remove and top with lettuce, tomato and olives.

Orange Slush

This is also another family favorite. No reunion is complete without this drink.

4 cup sugar
6 cups boiling water
2 12 oz frozen orange juice
1 12 oz frozen lemonade
3 juice cans of water
1 large can pineapple juice

Mix. Freeze in any container, but a shallow one is easier to scoop the mixture out of. Scoop it into a cup and top with 7-UP

Little Smokies

Here's some good "football food"! This is my husbands most requested party appetizer.

1-2 pkg. Little smokies
1 cup brown sugar
1 T. flour (I use corn starch)
2 T. mustard
1 T. vinegar
1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate

You can mix this in a pan on the stove top to heat but I usually put it all in my crockpot for an hour.

Cheese ball

My aunt and my mom make sure these cheese balls are at every big family gathering. Once I learned to make them I almost quit eating it. It's kinda gross.....but I'm tellin' ya, it is oooh so good. They freeze really well. The recipe makes three big cheese balls or several smaller ones. They're nice to make at the beginning of the holiday season then just pull them out of the freezer when you need to take an appetizer somewhere.

Cheese ball

3 cups grated cheddar
1 small jar American cheese
1 small jar Old English cheese
2 small jar Pimento cheese
1/2 lb margarine
2 T. milk
2 dashes garlic salt
2 small tsp. Worcester sauce
8 oz. cream cheese

Mix everything except the walnuts. Chill the mixture a couple of hours or over night. Roll into desired size of ball and roll the ball into chopped walnuts.

To freeze them, I wrap in saran wrap then foil.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bow Ties, Zucchini, Carrots, and Chicken

Here is a great one I pulled off Allrecipes.com tonight while doing an ingredient search at 5pm tonight trying to sort out what to make for dinner. I'm sure that NEVER happens to any of you! :-) If you haven't tried that feature of allrecipes.com, you should! Click on Ingredients at the top of the page, then just type in ingredients you have and can even put in things you don't want and it comes up with tons of great recipes! I use it a lot! Saves me from feeling like I HAVE to go to the store to make something. I did that BEFORE I had kids!

My kids ALL gobbled this up. Some ate more zucchini than others, but they all ate everything else.

1 tablespoon olive oil
12 cloves garlic, pressed and divided
4 zucchini, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into bite-size pieces
1 pound carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 (16 ounce) package uncooked farfalle (bow tie) pasta
1/4 cup butter
1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
3/4 cup water
1 (.18 ounce) packet chicken bouillon granules
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook 4 cloves garlic 1 minute, until golden brown. Place zucchini in the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender. Set aside. Place chicken in the skillet, and cook 10 minutes, or until juices run clear.
2. Place the carrots in a pot with enough water to cover, and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, drain, and set aside.
3. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add farfalle pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
4. Melt the butter in the skillet over medium heat, and cook the remaining garlic until golden brown. Pour in the chicken broth and water, and stir in bouillon granules until dissolved. Gradually stir in Parmesan cheese. Mix in zucchini, chicken, and carrot, and continue cooking until heated through. Gently toss with pasta to serve.

Soft Pretzels

These are great to make with your kids. Mine love playing with the dough and then getting to eat their results.

1 package yeast
1 1/2 C warm water
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
4 C flour
1 egg, beaten
course salt

Measure warm water inot large mixing bowl. Sprinkle on yeast and stir until it looks soft. Add salt, sugar, and flour. Mix and knead dough. Give kids small balls of dough to roll and twist into shapes (snakes, letters, number, etc) Grease cookie sheet. Lay pretzels on cookie sheet. Brush pretzels with beaten egg and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 425 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Caramel Brownies

I'm not kidding, the best 'brownies' ever...

50 square caramels (you might want to employ your kids to unwrap the caramels)
1/2c. evaporated milk

melt above in saucepan.

1 pkg. German chocolate cake mix
3/4 c. butter, melted
1/3 c. evaporated milk
1/3 c. chopped nuts
6 oz. chocolate chips

Combine cake mix, butter, evaporated milk, and nuts in a bowl and stir by hand until dough holds together. Press 1/2 of the dough into 9X13, greased pan. Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven; sprinkle chocolate chips and pour caramel mixture over baked crust. Then crumble the rest of the dough over that. Return to oven for 15-18 minutes. cool slightly. Refrigerate 30 minutes to set.

oh, it's on!

I like it! Great recipes girls...the competitive side is coming out in all of you. I'm just going to have to make 6 trips to the store this week though with all the new recipes. Reminder... 10 dollar gift card to Starbucks or your choice of stores to both the 'old' and 'new' authors who post the most recipes by October 6th. Keep going!! email me at juliedelamarter@yahoo.com to become a new author!

Carmello Bars

These are only something I can make when I am taking them somewhere. They are so so so good and even better when you crumble them on vanilla ice cream with syrup. Not for the weight watchers.

Caramello Bars

2 c flour
2 c quick oats
1 ½ c packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ c butter or margarine

1 jar caramel ice cream topping
3 tsp flour
1 6 oz. pkg chocolate chips
½ c chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9 x 13 pan. Spread ½ of crumb mixture and press into pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Sprinkle nuts and chocolate chips on cooked layer. Add caramel topping evenly. Sprinkle remaining crumbs on top. Bake 18-20 minutes more. Cool completely.

Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

I shared this recipe a few years ago on Great Ideas Day. It is easy and even my kids eat it. One thing I would suggest that you can cook your noodles seperately so if you have left overs you store them seperately. Otherwise the noodles get mushy and make the leftovers not as good. Also for you wheat/gluten free ladies, it works well with super thin rice noodles too.

*** if you have never used Lemon Grass, it is hard to find, Michelle P is growing it in her yard, but I get mine at the Asian Market on Fourth Plain. You cut it in 4 inch lengths and smash with the side of your knife to allow the juices to come out. Remove the stalks before serving.***

Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

1 Tbsp veg oil
1 Tbsp bottled minced garlic
1 Tbsp bottled grated ginger
2 stalks fresh lemon grass
2 c water
2 14 oz. cans chicken broth
1 lb chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces
4 oz. uncooked angel hair pasta
¼ c chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
½ tsp salt
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 red chili, finely chopped

Heat oil in large pot. Add garlic, ginger and lemongrass over medium high heat. Saute 3 minutes. Add water and broth; bring to a boil. Add chicken and pasta. Cook 5 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove from heat, stir in cilantro, lime juice, salt, onion and red pepper. Let stand 5 minutes. Discard lemongrass. Serve with lime.

Makes 8 1 cup servings

Wildly Addicting Dip

This is great for football game parties (Especially Washington State Cougar Games!)

Layer all of these in a large 9x13 pan:

Layer 1: 2 cans bean dip (10oz each)
Layer 2: 3 avacados= mashed with 2TBSP lemon juice, 1/2 tsp salt & 1/4 tsp pepper
Layer 3: 1 C sour cream, 1/2 C mayo., 1 pkg taco seasoning
Layer 4: 3 tomatoes (2 Cups) chopped fine
Layer 5: 1 bunch green onions ( I omit these)
Layer 6: 1 large can black olives, chopped
Layer 7: 8 oz grated cheddar cheese

Refridgerate for several hours. Serve with heavy tortilla chips

Russian Tea

I have loved this tea ever since I was a little girl. My grandmother gave it to me every year while we were making homemade apple cider!

2 C Tang
1 3/4 C sugar
1/2 C Instant tea (caffine or no caffine, your choice)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves

Mix together well. I put it in a large container with a lid and let my kids shake it up! Use 2 tsp of mix per cup of boiling water (I like mine a lot stroner.)

Makes a very quick christmas gift for the neighbors as well

Butternut Squash and Pear Soup

2 box cartons of Butternut Squash Soup
3 pears
1 pomegranate

Roast pears at 400 for 1 hour. Puree with soup and salt and pepper. Heat. Top with a dalop of sour cream and pomegranate seeds. Enjoy

Tortilla Soup

2+ chicken breasts
1 can diced tomatoes
6-12 oz water
1 can green chilis
chili powder to taste
garlic powder to taste
Sliced avacado (garnish)
Grated cheddar (garnish)
Corn totilla strips(garnish)
sour cream (garnish)

In a crock pot combine all ingredients except those for garnish. Cook for 4+ hours. Stir chicken to shred or pull apart with two forks. Serve with garnishes on top.

To make tortilla strips: Cut 2 tortillas into strips. Lightly salt and spread onto a microwave safe plate. Microwave on high for 2-4 minutes

Chicken Adobo

2 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts
2 cups tomato juice
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 medium onion, quartered
4 garlic cloves
4 tablespoons mild oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
**20 dried pequin chiles (found in the Hispanic food section at Winco)

Cut chicken breast into bite sized pieces and place in a large skillet. Put all remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor; blend until smooth. Pour mixture over chicken, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes over low heat. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking

Serve warm with toppings: grated cheddar, avocado slices, cilantro, etc.

**When I make this I put about 6 chilis in, I'm not one that likes spice much. 20 will make it very spicy. I suggest maybe starting with 10 and the adding from there...

Broccoli Casserole

1 lb. chicken, cubed and cooked
2 lbs. broccoli, chopped
6 garlic cloves, pressed
3 tablespoons butter
6 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
Parmesan cheese

Steam broccoli until almost done, being careful not to overcook. Press garlic into a small pan. Add butter and simmer on very low heat for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until garlic turns no darker than golden brown. Remove from heat and let cool for a couple of minutes. Crush garlic with the back of a spoon and stir. Place the steamed broccoli and chicken into a casserole dish, gently stir in the garlic butter and cover with cheddar.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes

Serve topped with Parmesan

Tomato-Parmesan Soup

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 teaspoon dill
6 cups tomato juice
2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon honey
Parmesan cheese

In a soup pan, heat butter and olive oil; add salt, onion and garlic. Saute until onion is translucent. Add dill, tomato juice, tomatoes, pepper and honey. Cover and simmer 45 minutes.

I like to then blend mine in the blender to make it nice and smooth. However, the recipe does not call for that.

Serve topped with freshly grated Parmesan

Serves 4-6

Dr. John's Pink Salad Dressing

This is easily one of my favorite dressings. It ranks up there with Brianna's Blush Wine Vinaigrette. Yummy!

1/2 cup honey
6 tablespoons mild oil (safflower, sunflower, etc.)
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup red onion chopped (you can also use a Walla Walla sweet)
1 teaspoon poppy seeds

Puree all ingredients in a blender. Keep Refrigerated.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Mom's Easy Microwave Carmel Corn

My mom helped pay our way to my 8th Grade washington DC trip by selling this yummy stuff at our school Christmas bazaar, it's so yummy!

1/2 Cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soday
dash of salt

Pop 1 cupof popcorn in air popper and pour into large paper bag (the kind you get at the grocery store). Melt butter in 1 quart bowl in microwave. Add brown sugar, syrup and salt; stir well. Microwave on high 3 minutes without stirring. Stir, add vanilla and soda (it gets foamy)-stir well. Pour over popcorn. Stir, then close bag and shake to coat. Place closed baby in microwave; cook one to one and half minutes on high. Shake again; then cook another one to one and a half minutes longer. Open bag and cool. Break apart, store in air tight bag or container.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Crock Pot Chicken for Tacos

Another simple one here from me (see a theme??)

Four large boneless skinless chicken breasts
One pkg. taco seasoning
One 14.5oz can diced tomatoes w/green chilies

Place chicken in crockpot.
Mix together tomatoes and taco seasoning.
Pour over chicken.

Cover with lid, cook on High 2-3 hours or Low 4-6 hours.
When done chicken will shred easily.

Serve shredded chicken in heated corn tortillas with taco fixings.

Yummy and Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Alright Julie, I'm coming out of hiding!
I've been lurking here for a long time and have tried alot of the recipes. So here is my first.

This recipe came from Mara, but we make this all the time, so now I claim it as mine!!

My kids LOVE this and it is super easy to put together. I often make two and freeze the second to use as a meal in a pinch or to give away when a friend needs a meal.

Chicken Pot Pie

Pie Crust for top and bottom of 9" pie
2 C. cooked chicken, diced or shredded
1- 15oz can of Veg-All Original Mixed Vegetables (DRAINED)
1- 10 3/4 oz can of Campbells Cream of Potato Soup
1/2 C. milk
Thyme to taste
Pepper to taste

Place bottom pie crust in 9" pie plate
Mix remaining ingredients together in a bowl
Pour into pie pan
Add top crust, crimp and cut vent slits

Cook in 375 (preheated) oven 40-45 minutes
Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.

My Shortcuts and Hints:
*I usually use the Pilsbury premade pie dough, just because it is convenient and my mother never taught me the secret to her excellent pie crust.
*Whenever we have a store bought rotisserie chicken I pull the leftovers off the bone and freeze them until I have enough for a pie.
*If I am making two pies at the same time I will use an extra can of Veg-All split between the two pies just to sneak in a few more veggies.
*Do not salt the ingredients before tasting. The Veg-All is salty already, and you could end up with too much salt!


Friday, September 5, 2008


I know there are MANY ways to make chicken enchiladas, but these are some of my favorite. (Except for Kristi R's. But I can't eat them. If you can though, they're the BEST!!! Kristi, will you share your famous recipe?)

Chicken Enchiladas

3-4 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
18 corn tortillas
2 cups shredded colby jack cheese
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup finely chopped onion (or some onion powder)
1/4 cup flour

2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
2 (4 oz) cans diced green chilies

In a large bowl combine cheese, onion, 1 can chilies, and chicken. Heat tortillas in frying pan one at a time. I don't use oil, just heat them on each side until they're nice and soft and won't break when you roll them. Spoon chicken mixture onto all tortillas, rolling up , and placing them seam side down in large greased baking dish.

In sauce pan, melt butter then add flour making a roux. Add chicken broth and cook until mixture thickens and bubbles. stir in sour cream, and 1 can chilies. cook until heated through but do not boil.

Pour sauce over enchiladas and bake at 450 for 15 minutes; then set oven to broil and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Enchiladas are done when sauce in the center is bubbling.

just a friendly reminder...

here is the post about the CONTEST! :) LeeAnn pushed that post down to the next page! We have ONE new author so far...she is yet to have posted though...and we have a whole month!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Caramel Corn

Fall is coming! I always make this in the fall at least once for our bible study. Everyone devours every last popped kernel.

Caramel Corn

Pop 2 air poppers full of popcorn. About 2/3 cup of kernels.

In large saucepan mix: (don't use a small pan...this stuff "grows")

2 c. brown sugar
2 cubes margarine or butter
1/2 cup karo syrup

Boil about 5 minutes stirring constantly (seriously it's best to do this when your kids are sleeping because if they fall and get a bloody nose you won't be able to help them or this precious goo will burn) On a candy thermometer you're looking for 275 degrees or "soft crack" stage.

Take off the burner and add:

1 tsp salt
1 heaping tsp soda
1 tsp vanilla

Have all that stuff ready to go because this is where it really "grows". Stir it in quickly and pour over the popcorn. Mix it is fast as you can. Be careful though because it's VERY hot! If you have some kind of really big oven safe dish, use that, or a couple of 9 x 13 pans. (I use a foil Turkey pan) Bake at 200 for 30 minutes stirring every 10-15 minutes. It will still be gooey when you take it out, but will harden as soon as it cools.

Don't make this HOURS before you want to serve it because you will eat it all before your guests arrive and then you'll have to serve them something like the frost bit vanilla ice cream out of your freezer.