Saturday, January 29, 2011


This recipe has come down from my grandmother to my mother and now to me. Hope you like it.

6 large flour tortillas
1 pound lean ground beef (I used ground turkey)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup salsa or enchilada
Cooking oil for frying
1 C guacamole
1 C sour cream
Shredded lettuce and chopped scallions or green onions

Prepare filling by browning ground beef and adding onion. Cook until soft. Moisten with desired sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Spoon filling down center of tortillas. Fold tortilla around filling, and fold sides in toward middle. Fasten with toothpicks.
Fry in oil over medium heat, turning, until golden; takes 1 to 2 minutes. Lift our with tongs from cooking oil, dry on paper towels. To serve, place on shredded lettuce bed, top with dollops of guacamole and sour cream. Sprinkle with chopped scallions or green onions.

Tortilla chips

So, you may have already had this mind blowing experience but I was excited. I made homemade tortilla chips with dinner tonight. Super easy and great when you forgot to buy tortilla chips at the store like I did.

6 tortillas (or more depending on how much you need)
cooking spray
any type of seasonings you want to put one them (lime, cumin, garlic salt, salt, etc)

Cut each tortilla into 8 sections. Mist with cooking spray. Sprinkle with desired seasoning. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8 minutes, flip and return to oven to cook for 7 more minutes. Don't brown.

Friday, January 28, 2011

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

I love to bake treats for my family. When they involve peanut butter and chocolate, they don't get very many of them! This recipe comes to us from "Old Fashioned Bake Sale" cookbook.

2 cups peanut butter, divided
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar, divided
3 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 cups mini chocolate chips

Grease 13x9-inch baking pan.
Beat 1 1/4 cups peanut butter and butte in large mixer bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in 1 cup powdered sugar. With hands or wooden spoon, work in remaining powdered sugar, graham cracker crumbs and 1/2 cup morsels. Press evenly into prepared pan. Smooth top with spatula.
Melt remaining peanut butter and remaining morsels in medium, heavy-duty saucepan over lowest possible heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Spread over graham cracker crust in pan. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until chocolate is firm; cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.

Maple brown rice pudding

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons sliced almonds

1. Combine rice, milk, maple syrup, and cinnamon in a microwave-safe bowl.

2. Microwave at HIGH 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of milk is absorbed. Top with almonds.

Sour cream lemon pie

1 c. sugar
1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
2 c. milk
1/2 c. sour cream
3 egg yolks
1/4 c. butter
1 1/2 t. lemon zest
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 (9 inch) pie crust
whipped cream

In saucepan, combine sugar, flour and salt.
Gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir on med. heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat, and cook stir for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat.
Beat yolks slightly. gradually stir 1 c. of mix into egg yolks. Return yolk mixture to sauce pan and bring to a gentle boil. Cook and stir for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter, peel and juice. Gently fold in sour cream.
Pour filling into baked pie shell and cool. Top with a dollop of whipped cream if desired.

Dark chocolate oat clusters

PMS + Diet.......Not good! But I found this recipe that doesn't have so much sugar but still calmed my cravings! Just enough for me though! Sorry kiddos!
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats


1. Heat peanut butter, milk, and chocolate chips in a saucepan over low heat 3 minutes or until chips melt.

2. Stir in oats. Remove from heat.

3. With a spoon, small ice cream scoop, or melon baller, drop 8 ball-shaped portions on a wax paper−lined baking sheet. Let set in fridge 10 minutes.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Caramel apple pork chops

4 boneless pork chops, 3/4-inch thick
2 tablespoons brown sugar
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter
2 medium tart red apples, cored and sliced into 1/2-inch wedges
3 tablespoons chopped pecans-optional

Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Saute chops, 5-6 minutes, turning occasionally, until internal temperature on a thermometer reads 160 degrees F. Remove; keep warm.

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar,salt, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add butter to skillet; stir in brown sugar mixture and apples. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes or just until apples are tender. Remove apples with a slotted spoon and arrange on top of chops; keep warm. Continue cooking mixture in skillet, uncovered, until sauce thickens slightly. Spoon sauce over apples and chops. Sprinkle with pecans if desired.

"Chevy's" Sweet Corn Cake

If you are like me, when you go to Chevy's you savor EVERY bite of that sweet corn cake they give you a little dollop of on your plate. That's all I get? Can I have more please? I never have asked, but it always leaves me wanting more! I had never made it until this week. Found this recipe on Allrecipes. It came out great. Not an exact match, but that same yum factor! I made it for home group to go with Fajitas. I doubled it, but I still did it in 2 8 x 8's since they needed to be floating in a 9x13 of water.

Sweet Corn Cake

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup masa harina
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

In a medium bowl beat butter until it is creamy. Add the Mexican corn flour and water and beat until well mixed.

Using a food processor, process thawed corn, but leave chunky. Stir into the butter mixture.

In a separate bowl, mix cornmeal, sugar, cream, salt, and baking powder. Add to corn flour mixture and stir to combine. Pour batter into an ungreased 8x8 inch baking pan. Smooth batter and cover with aluminum foil. Place pan into a 9x13 inch baking dish that is filled a third of the way with water.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven F (175 degrees C) oven for 50 to 60 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Use an ice cream scoop for easy removal from pan.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

I LOVE picnics. Last summer we lived on Bainbridge Island and every Wednesday people would pack picnic dinners and go to the concert in the park. We loved our Wednesday evenings! Because I love picnics, I was given a Picnic Cookbook for my birthday and a waterproof picnic blanket. I can't wait for the weather to turn warm again and get good use out of them both. This recipe comes from the Picnic Cookbook. I added some stuff to the recipe.

I love these cookies because once they are baked they are NOT flat. They are nice a round and yummy!

2 1/4 C all-purpose flour (I used some wheat flour in place of all the white)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C milled flax seed (I added this, it is not part of the origianl recipe)
3/4 C firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C softened, butter
1/2 C softened, margarine (I used all butter and no margarine)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 C old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 C chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt (and flax seed, if using) in a mixing bowl.
3. In a large mixing bowl, mix sugars at low speed. Add the butter and margarine and continue to beat on low, then increase to high speed and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla at low speed, then increase to high speed.
4. At low speed, add the flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time, then increase to high speed until the mixture is well blended. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.
5. Drop rounded TBSP onto an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the cookies from the oven and cool one to two minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely. Pack in a resealable plastic bag for the picnic.

Akutaq (Eskimo Ice Cream)

Alright, here's a fun one for you ladies and I dare you to try it!
We have eaten it a few times since we've moved up here and each time it's been a little different depending on who made it.

First rule of Akutaq (pronounced Ah-goo-duck by the white person) is to always use tundra berries and I have to tell you that tundra berries are a little hard to find right now, unless you have some in your freezer. so, if you must, go ahead and use any frozen berries that you have.

Modern Akutaq (Eskimo Ice Cream)

1 cup solid vegetable shortening*
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water, berry juice, or 2 cups loose snow (optional)
4 cups fresh berries, (blueberries, cloudberries, cranberries, salmon berries, or blackberries)

* Crisco solid vegetable shortening is preferred

In a large bowl, cream vegetable shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add water, berry juice, or snow and beat until well combined.

Fold in berries, 1 cup at a time, until blended.

Place in freezer to firm up before serving.

Original akutaq was made with the fat from a moose or caribou as well as seal oil and usually flaked white fish or sheefish mixed in.

We have had it with the fish, but never with the seal oil or moose/caribou fat.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Grandma's BBQ sauce

1 c. cider vinegar
1 c. ketchup
1/3 c. spicy brown mustard
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. minced white onion
2 T. butter
1/4 t. chili powder
dash of worcestershire sauce
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Allow sauce to cook at a rolling boil, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes until the sauce is reduced by 1/3.
Remove the sauce from the stove and season with salt and pepper.
Refrigerate until ready to use.

Sailor's special

1 lb. extra-lean ground beef-or venison, ground turkey or tuna
1 pkg. (7-1/4 oz.) Macaroni & Cheese Dinner
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) stewed tomatoes-do not drain
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup milk
1 cup mozzarella-or any cheese you have on hand

BROWN meat in lg. skillet on med-high; drain. Return to skillet.

STIR in Macaroni, Cheese Sauce Mix, tomatoes, peas and milk. Bring to boil; cover. Simmer on med-low heat 12 min. or until macaroni is tender, stirring occasionally.

TOP with cheese. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 5 min. or until cheese is melted.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hot Artichoke Dip

This is Jillian Weidmann's recipe and we LOVE it.

2 cans or jars marinated artichoke hearts-chopped
2 bricks cream cheese softened or use whipped
1 cup mayo
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup grated parmesan

Drain and chop artichokes
Stir all ingredients together
Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes
Remove foil and bake for additional 10-15 minutes

Serve with bread or crackers.

Brie Appetizer

Ashley and I make these ALOT.  I use a mini muffin tin, spray with non-stick.

Thaw and roll out puff pastry.  Cut in squares to fit in the mini-muffin tin.

Place piece of brie cheese on top of puff pastry in each tin, top with apricot jam, or anything that sounds yummy!

Bake in oven for 15-17 minutes

I tried these italian style the other night with fresh mozzerella, pesto, and sundried tomatoes and it was yummy too.  Totally different but same idea.

Pesto Dip

Ask, and you shall recieve!!  Here are a couple of my favorite appetizer recipes.

First, this one came from Meleea Miller, passed on from Lynn Miller.  SCORE!!  100 bucks to whoever can get lynne miller to post on here!  JUST KIDDING.  5 bucks! ;)   Okay, one dollar per recipe!! LOL!

Okay, back to the pesto...

First layer...

1 block of Cream cheese softened, mixed with 1/4c. fresh grated parmesan and 1 crushed clove of garlic (I think I did two--and I like to use whipped cream cheese)

Second and Third layer...

Top with Pesto and toasted pinenuts.  You could also top it with chopped sundried tomatoes, etc.  Serve with crackers, baguettes, or eat with a spoon! ;)

Pantry Meals

So, I did not do very well with my budget this month. Next weeks money for groceries is minimal, YIKES! Do any of you have some really cheap pantry meals that you could share with me? We don't eat red meat so I will limit you on that one. Thank you.

Italian stuffed mushrooms

12 to 18 mushrooms, nice large “stuffing” size
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
garlic powder, to your taste
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
4 ounces finely diced pepperoni
1/4 cup pizza sauce
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan
6 to 8 slices of mozzarella cheese, cut in squares to fit the tops of mushrooms
Grated Parmesan cheese for sprinkling over tops of mushrooms

Gently wipe any dirt from the mushrooms and remove the stems. Finely dice the stems. Melt butter in skillet, add stems, onions, seasonings, pepperoni. Sauté until veggies are tender. Add pizza sauce, bread crumbs and Parmesan.

Cook until just heated through and liquid is reduced. Place mushrooms on a lightly buttered baking sheet -- fill mushrooms with the cooked filling mixture.

Top filling with a piece of mozzarella cut to just fit over the top of the mushrooms. Sprinkle grated Parmesan over the tops.

Bake at 325* degrees about 20 minutes. Let cool a few minutes before serving as filling will be very hot!

coctail smokies

These are super easy and surprisingly tasty!

2 packages Lil Smokies
1 can of Classic Coke
ketchup (enough to cover Lil Smokies)

In a Crock-Pot, add 2 packages of Little Smokies.
Cover with enough ketchup to suit, and then for the surprise, pour 1 can of Classic Coke over the Smokies and ketchup mixture.
Cook on high for 2-3 hours.
At this point, taste them.
If sauce is too soupy for your liking, you can add brown sugar and store brand bbq sauce(I usually add some thick and spicy sweet baby Rays sauce, because I like them a little spicy)
Simmer on low for an additional 30 minutes.

Bacon and waterchestnut wraps

These are Easy, a little time consuming, but VERY addictive!

3 cans whole water chestnuts, drained
1 lb. bacon, cut into thirds
1 1/2 c. ketchup
1 1/2 c. brown sugar

Wrap bacon around chestnuts and secure with toothpicks. Bake at 350 degrees uncovered for 45 minutes. Drain.

Combine sugar and ketchup to make sauce. Pour over appetizers. Bake at 350 degrees covered for another 45 minutes.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Salsa bites

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese-softened
1/3 cup thick and chunky salsa (+additional for topping-optional)
2 eggs-lightly beaten
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 T. chopped olives
1 T. chopped green onion
1 clove garlic-pressed

Preheat oven to 350*
In lg bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.
Blend in salsa and eggs.
Stir in cheddar, olives, onions and garlic.
Lightly spray 24 mini-muffin cups with veg. oil spray; fill with cream cheese mixture.
Bake 15-18 minutes or until centers are set.
Remove from oven; cool in pan 5 minutes.
Remove from pan; cool on wire rack.
Top with additional salsa just before serving, if desired.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Just 4 Fun

This week's meals made me realize that I don't have a "recipe" in writing. It's totally in my brain. Next time around I will need to take the extra time to measure and write what I do. Some include my spaghetti sauce from scratch, no Progresso jars here, my minnestrone (the newer version) and my chicken pot pie.

I was blessed enough to recieve Kristi Roger's secret enchilada recipe. I had company over and they are tough palette to please and they loved them. I hope she posts her recipe soon. If not, I have her permission to do so.

We had ham this past week too. Anything special that you do with your ham? Of course, scalloped potaoes followed later in the week for another meal to use up my left overs. I'm freezing the rest for quiches and Michelle Picinich's split pea recipe in the next few weeks.

I also tried Michelle's toffee dip. My kids are on an APPLE kick right now. Do your kids do that? Mine are apple monsters right now.

I'm on a hunt for appetizer recipes.

My menu for next week is a little ambitious with my very full week. I will either have to BE on my game or be okay with take out at least one night next week.

I also want to show my COMPETITION some LUV...maybe next week especiall if they have some good appetizer recipes that are EASY.

Sweet Potaoes w/ Carmel Sauce

Anything caramel, gets my palette going!

4 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds)
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk (12 oz)
1 T. honey
1/3 cup pecans, if desired

Heat oven to 375* Line cookie sheet with foil. Pierce sweet potatoes with fork; place on cookie sheet. Bake 45- 1 hour or just until tender when pierced with fork; When cool enough to handle, peel potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch slices.

Reduce oven temperature to 350*. Grease 11x7 inch glass baking dish with butter or cooking spray. Place sweet potatoes in dish;

In 1-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and evaporated milk until completely incorporated; Cook and stir 2-4 minutes or until mixture is smooth and looks like caramel.

Stir in honey and pecans. Spoon over sweet potatoes.

Cover; bake 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

From start to finish: 2 hours.

Maple glazed carrots

1 lb baby carrots
2 T. butter
2 T. maple syrup-try Dee's in-a-pinch maple syrup :)
1/4 cup golden raisins-optional

Boil carrots in salted water until tender; drain.
In lg skillet heat butter and syrup over med. heat.
Add carrots; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add raisins, if desired.
Cook stirring frequently, 5 min. or until carrots are lightly browned and glazed.

p.s. that should earn an extra point for advertisement, Dee :)

BBQ potatoes

2 T. butter
1 T. chili powder
1 T. honey
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. pepper
2 lbs. med. sized red potatoes-quartered

Preheat oven to 400*
In a lg bowl, combine all ingredients, except potatoes; mix well.
Add potatoes; toss to coat.
Spoon potatoes into greased 11x17 inch baking dish.
Bake 40-50 minutes until potatoes are tender.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes


5 pound potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup butter or margarine, cut into pieces
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 t. garlic owder
1 t. onion powder
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/2-1 cup milk, warmed

Spray 4-5 quart crock pot with cooking spray;

Place potatoes, broth and butter;

Cover; cook on high heat setting for 4-4.5 hoursor until potatoes are tender;

Add remaining ingredients except milk;

Mash, crush or smash using potato masher or beat with electric mixer on low speed until well blended; Do not overmix;

Stir in enough milk for desired creamy consistency;

Cover; keep warm on low or warm heat setting until serving time; up to two hours;

Stir before serving.

Wild Rice Stuffing

You don't have to wait for Thanksgiving to have stuffin! Slow and steady! Chop, throw, turn on the crockpot!


1 cup uncooked wholegrain wild rice (not cracked or broken)
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (3 oz)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium stalk celery, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 T. butter or margarine, cut into small pieces
1 container (32oz chicken broth)
5 cups herb-seasoned stuffing cubes

Spray 5-6 quart crock pot with cooking spray;

In slow cooker, combine all ingredients EXCEPT stuffing; mix well;

Cover; cook on LOW heat setting for 5 hours;

Gently stir stuffing into rice mixture;

Cook 45-60 minutes longer or until stuffing is moist and tender.

Gently stir just before serving.

Takes about 6.5 hours to make this stuffing.

Southwest Cornbread Dressing

A little pow in that sweet mouth of yours!


2 pouches (6.5 oz) cornbread and muffin mix
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 eggs


1 pound spicey pork sausage (BG Produce has the best!)
3 T. butter
2 Large onions, chopped
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno chile, seeded, finely chopped
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 c half-and-half
2 eggs
1 T ground cumin
2 t. ground coriander
1 t. salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oven 400 *. Spray 15x10x1 inch pan with cooking spray;

In large bowl, stir all cornbread ingredients just until mostened (batter will be lumpy); Spread batter in pan; Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden bown. Cool 10 minutes.

While still in pan, cut warm cornbread into 1/2 inch cubes, fluff cubes. Bake 10 minutes; stir; Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until golden brown. Reduce oven temp to 350*.

Meanwhile, in 10-inch skillett, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; remove from skillet. In same skillet melt butter over medium heat. Cook onions, bell pepper and chile in butter 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened.

In large bowl, mix broth, half-and-half, eggs, cumin, coriander and salt. Stir in cornbread cubes. Add sausage, onion mixture and cilantro; mix well. Spoon into ungreased 13x9-inch baking dish.

Cover, bake 45 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-15 minutes longer.

From start to finish this recipe takes about 2 hours.

Roasted Carrots with Cumin

I love me some cumin!


2 pounds fresh carrots, cut into 3-inch long sticks (don't cheat and buy the baby carrots, the fresh ones have WAY more flavor)


3 t. cumin seed

1/2 t. salt

1/4 t. pepper

Heat the oven to 425*.

Put the carrots in a 15x10x1 inch pan. Drizzle with the olive oil; sprinkle with the cumin seed, salt and pepper;

Roast 25-35 minutes or until the carrots are tender and browning; Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Apple & Celery Salad

My kids love apples but please don't tell them this is called "salad"


1/2 cup mayo
3 T. plain yogurt
2 T. sugar
2 t. grated lemon peel

2 large granny smith apples, cut into 8 wedges then cut crosswise into bite-size pieces (about 4 cups)

2 large gala, cut same as above.

1 T fresh lemon juice

6 medium stalks celery with leaves

3/4 cup chopped walnuts toasted.

To toast walnuts, sprinkle in ungreased heavy skilled. Cook over medium heat 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently until walnuts begin to brown, then stirring constantly until light brown. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix dressing ingredients until blended. Refrigerate until serving time;

Place apples in large bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice; toss until coated;

Remove leaves from celery; chop leaves into 1/2-inch pieces to measure 1/2 cup;

Cut celery stalks diagonally into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices to measure 2 cups. Add to bowl with applles. Refrigerate until serving time.

Just before serving, toss apples and celery; Add dressing, toss until coated; Sprinkle with walnuts.

Jello Pie

This is where sweet and salty come together. I have been SO craving this; almost like a pregnancy craving... doooon't even go there!

Crust Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups pretzels
3 T. brown sugar
1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice (it's a weird combo but trust me)
1 cube of butter, melted

Jello Ingredients:

2 cups boiling water
2 packages (4 oz) favorite flavored gelatin (I use raspberry)
1 can (11 oz) mandarin orange segments, drained, juice reserved

Cream Cheese Filling:

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed

Heat oven 350*;

Spray 13x9 (3 quart) glass dish with cooking spray;

Place pretzels in resealale food-storage plastic bag, give a rolling pin to the kidlets and let them smash away; they love it!

In medium bowl mix crushed pretzels, brown sugar and pumpkin spice; Stir in butter; Press mixture onto bottom of baking dish. Bake 9-11 minutes or until set. Cool on cooking rack;

Meanwhile, in large heatproof bowl, pour boiling water on gelatin, stir until gelatin is dissolved. Add enough cold water to reserved juice to equal 2 cups; stir into gelatin. Refrigerate until partially set, about 1 hour 45 minutes (I always set my timer).

In medium bowl beat cream cheese and granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Fold in whipped topping; spread mixture evenly over pretzel crust;

Finely chop mandarin orange segments; gently stir into partially set gelatin; Carefully pour over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Cut into squares.

Sweet and Salty Party Mix

I made this for our family game night tonight. I got this recipe from Pampered Chef. I love me some Pampered Chef.

5 C popped popcorn
3 C miniture pretzel twists
2 C dry-roasted salted peanuts
2 C oven-toasted rice cereal squares
1 C butter
1 C packed brown sugar
1/3 corn syrup
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix popcorn, pretzels, peanuts, and cereal in a large bowl. Melt butter, brown sugar, and syrup in a sauce pan over medium heat stirring occasionally until mixture comes to a boil. Let boil 3 minutes and do not stir. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Pour caramal sauce over popcorn mixture and stir to coat.
Pour onto a baking sheet and bake in oven for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven. Pour mix onto parchment paper and let cool completely. Break mixture into small cluster.

Recipes says to not use dark brown sugar because it makes the mixture look different (like it is burnt). That was all I had so I used it and it turned out fine.

Potato salad

This recipe can also be made with dill pickles, but our family likes the sweet ones. Also, these measurements are approximate because I have never written down the recipe I just watched my mom make it many times and learned from experience so if it isn't creamy enough just add a little more mayo. then try it. Then season to your liking.
6-10 potatoes-boiled, peeled and cut into 1/2"-3/4" chunks
6 eggs-hard boiled, peeled and chopped
3-4 sweet pickles-chopped
3 green onions-diced
1 cup mayo
2 T. mustard
1/4 t. celery salt
salt & pepper-to taste

Put the potatoes, eggs, pickles, and onions in lg. bowl. mix.
In a small bowl; combine remaining ingredients, mix well.
Pour it over potato mixture and stir well. Taste and season.

Baked squash and apples

The kids love this one! Even my husband who doesn't think he likes squash, eats a serving of this one! Very fattening but Oh SO Yummy!!

winter squash-any size for your squash lovers
a few pared apples
1/2 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 T. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon(+ or - to your liking, I like more!)

Peel the squash and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices.
Place in an ungreased 8x10 baking pan.
Cut pared apples in 1/2 inch thick slices and layer on top of the squash pieces.
Mix together remaining ingredients and sprinkle over the squash and apples.
Cover with foil and bake at 350* for 50-60 minutes.

BBQ Green Beans

3 cans green beans, drained
1 can water
1 onion- chopped
6 slices uncooked bacon, cut into pieces
1 cup ketchup
1 cup brown sugar

Brown the bacon and onion.
When brown, add the ketchup and sugar.
Simmer until dark brown, the sugar will caramelize.
Put the green beans in a baking dish with the water from 1 can of the green beans.
Pour the hot mixture over the beans.
Bake at 325* for 1 hour.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

In-A-Pinch Maple Syrup

I've had to make this a time or two!


1 cup water
2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 t. maple extract

In a small saucepan, bring the water and brown sugar to boiling, stirring to completely dissolve the sugar;

Remove the mixture from the heat;

Stir in the maple extract;

Allow the syrup to cool enough to serve.

Dutch Babies

Some people refer to these as Oven Puff Pancakes. My husband and daughter could eat these everyday if I let them! I got this recipe from my husband's grandmother!

3 eggs
3/4 C milk
3/4 C flour
2 TBSP butter
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix eggs, milk and flour in a blender until smooth. Melt butter in oven in a 2-quart oven safe pan (we use our pan specified for Dutch Babies but any regular pan will work). Once butter is melted, pour egg mixture into pan and bake for 25 minutes.
Top with lemon juice and powdered sugar to individual liking.

Balsamic Salad


1 (16 oz) package penne pasta
¾ cup chopped red onion
2 cucumbers, sliced
1 (15 oz garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained & rinsed
1 ½ t. Italian seasoning
1 cup balsamic vinegar

Cook the pasta according to package directions;

Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again;

Place pasta in a large bowl;

Add red onion, cucumbers, beans, seasoning and vinegar to the pasta.

Cover the bowl and shake well to coat pasta,

Marinate in the regrigerator overnight or for several hours.

Four Bean Salad

Way cheaper than the deli! Takes just as long to stand in line as it does to make it.

1 (15 oz) can green beans, drained
1 (15 oz) can yellow beans, drained
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans (chick peas) drained and rinsed
½ cup green pepper, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped or sliced


¾ cup sugar
2/3 cup vinegar
1/3 cup salad oil
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper

In a large bowl, mix together the beans, sweet pepper and onion;

In a small bowl or jar with a lid, mix together the dressing ingredients;

Pour the dressing over the bean mixture in the large bowl.

Cover and refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Carrot Salad

You can make this sweet salad the night before you serve it. Love this salad at Easter as a side to that amazing Honey Ham!


4 cups shredded carrots (about one pound)
1 (15 oz) can pineapple tidbits, drained (juice reserved)
1 cup of raisins ( I like golden)
¾ cu flaked coconut
1 cup real mayo
¾ cup cashew halves

In a medium bowl, combine the carrots, pineapple, raisins and coconut;

In a small bowl, blend together mayo and one tablespoon of the pineapple juice;

Pour the mixture over the carrots and stir together to coat the carrots. Cover and refrigerate for two hours or more;

Before serving, stir in most of the cashews, reserving a few to sprinkle on the salad.

Honey-Poppy Seed Dressing

This light, low cal dressing is wonderful served over fruit or a salad. This recipe makes one cup of dressing, you may want to double it.


1 (8 oz) container plain yogurt
1 T poppy seeds
1 T honey (pick your flavor)
1 T orange or lemon juice
½ t cider vinegar
¼ zest of orange or lemon

In a medium bowl or large jar with lid, combine all the ingredients. Cover and refrigerate.

Baked Pork Chops with Garden Stuffing

A chop is a tender cut of pork veal or lamb that has been taken from the loin or rib area. It may or may not be boneless. Just a tad bit of info, just what you wanted to know, huh!

Preheat oven 400*


1 can (10 oz) condensed golden mushroom soup
3/4 cup water
1 bag (16 oz) veggie combo
1 T. margarine or butter
4 cups Pepperidge Farm Cubed Herb Seasoned Stuffing
6 pork chops 3/4 inch thick (about 2 pounds)
Optional: fresh thyme and bay leaves.

In large saucepan mix 1/3 cup soup, 1/2 cup water, vegetables and butter;

Over medium heat, heat to boil, stirring occasionally; Remove from heat;

Add stuffing, mix lightly;

Spoon into greased 3-quart shallow baking dish. Arrange chops over stuffing;

Mix remaining soup and water; spoon over chops;

Bake for 40 minutes or until chops are no longer pink;

Plate up; garnish with optional ingredients.

Spaghetti Florentine

Veggie cooking spray
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. Italian seasoning, crushed
1 can (10 oz) condensed cream of celery coup
1/8 t. pepper
1 package (about 10 oz) frozen chopped spinach
1 cup plain yogurt
1 medium tomato, diced (about 1 cup)
4 cups hot cooked spaghetti (about 8 oz dry)
Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil

Spray medium saucepan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat one minute;

Add onion, garlic and Italian seasoning and cook unti tender, stirring often;

Add soup, pepper and spinach; Heat to boil; Reduce heat to low;

Cover and cook 10 minutes or until spinach is tender, breaking apart spinach with fork and stirring occasionally;

Add yogurt and tomato and heat through; Toss spaghetti.

Sprinkle with cheese and fresh basil, if desired...desire it, it's a good thang!

Fish w/ Lemon Dill Sauce

This is a great fall back meal! You can totally whip this out and look like you planned it. Moms can play all day and cook too!

1 can (10 oz) condensed cream of celery soup
2 T. water
1 t. prepared mustard
1/2 t. dried dill weed, crushed
1 pound fresh or thawed firm white fish (cod, haddock or halibut)
4 thin lemon slices
Optional: fresh dill, lemon and slivered almonds

In medium skillet, mix soup, water, mustard and dill;

Over medium heat, heat to boil;

Arrange fish in soup mixture;

Top with lemon slices

Reduce heat to low;

Cover and cook 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested wiht fork.

If desired serve with sauce and hot cooked rice.

Garnish with optional ingredients

Me and Mommy Peanut Butter Kisses

My favorite cookie is by far peanutbutter blossoms. I found this much quicker recipe and tried them. They are a great alternative to the original. There is no wheat which is great for several members of my family. This recipe comes from Gooseberry Patch Quick and Easy Family Favorites.

1 C creamy peanut butter
1 C sugar
1 egg
24 milk chocolate drops, unwrapped

Combine peanut butter, sugar and egg in a bowl; mix well. Roll into small ball and arrange on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Remove from oven; immediately place a chocolate drop in the center of each cookie. Makes about 2 dozen.

Mock Grilled Cheese

I mentioned before that I love April Fools. I also made this as part of my "meal" on April Fools. I made mock shepherd's pie and my daughter was scared to try this grilled cheese. After she tried it, she ate it all. The poor things I do to my kids for a laugh. This is also from Family Fun.

Pound cake
1 C buttercream or white frosting
Yellow and red food coloring

Slice the pound cake to the same thickness as a piece of sandwich bread. Toast the "bread" until golden brown. Let cool slightly and slice diagonally as you would a grilled cheese sandwich.
Tint the frosting orange to resemble the "melted cheese" in the grilled cheese sandwich.
Frost one side of the "bread" and top with another slice of "bread." (the bigger the dolop of frosting the more it looks like melted cheese when topped with the other slice.)
Now, go trick your family members :)

Chcolate chip zucchini cake

2 1/2 cups flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 T. Cocoa
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups grated zucchini
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup choc. chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts-optional

Squeeze zucchini dry. mix wet ingredients in a bowl. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix together.
Smooth cake into 9x13 ungreased pan.
Sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts if desired.
Bake at 350* for 45-50 minutes.

Peanut butter pie

3 (8oz. each) tubs cool whip
1/2 c. PB (crunchy or creamy)
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 (8oz.) pkg. cream cheese
2 graham cracker pie crusts

Put cream cheese & PB in lg. bowl and mix with mixer until consistent.
Add 1 tub cool whip and again mix until smooth.
Add powdered sugar and mix well.
Add 2nd tub of cool whip and mix well.
When consistent,add last tub of cool whip.
Spread into 2 pie crusts.
Chill before serving.

6 week muffins

Super easy muffins make up a batch and have fresh baked muffins for weeks!
This makes a big batch, but can be kept in fridge (NOT FREEZER) for 6-8 weeks

1 (15oz.) box Raisin bran
6 eggs-beaten
3 c. sugar
1 c. oil
5 c. flour
1 Qt. buttermilk
5 t. baking soda
2 t. salt
Mix all ingredients with bran, add eggs, oil & buttermilk. Mix well, cover and store in the refrigerator.
Bake as needed in greased muffin pans at 400* for 20 minutes or until done.

Honey-cinnamon spread

1 pkg. cream cheese-softened
2 T. honey
1/4 t cinnamon

In med. bowl, blend all ing. until smooth. Serve on muffins, warm, toasted bagels or your favorite breakfast bread.

Banana cookies

These cookies are soft, cake-like cookies that even the youngest eaters can enjoy! My babies loved them and still do!
2/3 c. mashed ripe bananas
1/2 c. veg. oil
1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
3 T. milk
1 t. vanilla
2 1/4 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt

Preheat oven to 350*
Lightly spray cookie sheet.
Blend bananas, oil,sugar, eggs, milk, and vanilla in med. bowl.
Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt.
Add flour mixture to banana mixture until combined.
Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet.
Bake 8-10 minutes or until set.

Peanut butter dip

1/2 c. creamy PB
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1/2 t. cinnamon

Stir all ingredients in small bowl until fluffy.
Serve with celery, apples or pears.

Kids Make Ice Cream

I do a home preschool with my 3-year-old son. This week we are studying science. We just made this ice cream and he was excited about it. I got excited when I remembered I could post it on the blog! I got the reciped out of our Science Play book.

1 C milk
2 TBSP sugar
1/4 C salt
Ice cubes
2 resealable sandwich bags
Larger resealable bag
Plastic shopping Bag
Twist tie

Add sugar and milk to the small resealable bag. Taste the solution. Let out some of the air as you zip to seal. Seal this bag inside another sandwich bag.
Place ice cubes in the bottom of the big bag. Add the small bag of milk and surround with more ice cubes. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of salt over the ice. Let out some of the air as you zip to seal.
Wrap a towl around the bag of ice. Place the bundle into a plastic shopping bag and seal with a twist tie.
Shake the bag. Have kids help continue to shake for 15 minutes. Remove the small bag and quickly rinse off the salt with cold water. Ask your kids if they think the milk changed. Enjoy their creation. Try adding sprinkles, chocolate chips, nuts, or your favorite toppings :)

breakfast burritos

This is a fun breakfast that kids love! Make 1 egg per kid. Serve buffet style. Everyone can choose what they want and then roll up the tortilla like a burrito. Perfect for slumber parties!
* eggs
1 T. milk per egg
* chopped ham, smokey links or other breakfast meat
* whole wheat tortillas
* shredded cheese
* chopped tomato or salsa or both
* olives
* sour cream

Scramble the eggs with milk.
Cook meat.
Warm tortillas.
Put the remaining ingredients in small serving dishes.

Orange cooler

This is a homemade version of the Orange Julius

1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. water
1/3 c. frozen OJ concentrate
1/3 c. crushed ice
1 T. sugar
1 t. vanilla

Place all ingredients in blender.
Cover and blend until all ice chunks are gone.

Skillet spanish rice

1 lb. ground beef
small onion
small green pepper
1 t. chopped garlic
1 c. rice
1 t. chili powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t pepper
8 oz tomato sauce
1 1/2 c. water

Brown meat, onion, green pepper and garlic; drain.
Stir in remaining ingredients; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes until rice is tender.

Mock Sushi

I always make a funny meal for my family on April Fools. They are alway leery of eating that day not knowing what they may be putting in their mouth :) With April Fools Day around the corner I thought I would post this. I love Family Fun magazine and this is where I got this recipe. is their website where you can also find lots of fun ideas.

1/4 C butter
4 C mini marshmellows
6 C crisped rice cereal
20-25 gummy worms
1 to 2 boxes of fruit leather
12x 17-inch baking sheet
2-quart sauce pan

Grease a 12x17-inch baking pan.
Melt butter in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat.
Add the marshmellows and stir until smooth
Remove mixture from heat and stir in the rice cereal until it's evenly coated.
Turn the baking sheet so that the shorter ends are at the top and bottom. Then press the marshmellow mixture on the sheet, distributing it evenly.
Starting at one side and 1 inch up from the lower edge, place gummy worms atop the mixture end to end in a horizontal line.
Gently roll the lower edge of the marshmellow mixture over the gummy worms.
Then stop and cut the log away from the rest of the mixture. Use the same method for 4 more logs.
Slice each log in 1-inch-thick "sushi" rolls and wrap them individually with a strip of fruit leather.
Happy eating! :)

Beef stroganoff

This is a recipe that Emeril made on Good Morning America a few years back and is a family favorite now!
8 oz. extra wide egg noodles
1 1/2 lb. steak (ribeye or NY or ??)sliced in 1/2" strips
1-2 t. salt(+ more for water)
1 t. fresh ground pepper
4 T. olive oil
3 T. butter
1 1/2 cup onions (sliced in thin strips)
12 oz. button mushrooms-wiped clean, stemmed and sliced
1 T. chopped garlic
2 T. flour
2 c. beef stock
1/2 c. sour cream
1 T. chopped parsley

Boil noodles 8 min. or so-just tender, while noodles cook; brown beef in 2 T. oil season with salt and pepper, just a few minutes per side, transfer meat to a plate and set aside.
Add butter to pan, add onions, reduce to med heat, cook till soft (4 min. or so)
Add mushrooms and stir as needed til browned (7 min. or so)
Drain noodles and toss with 1 T. olive oil, cover to keep warm.
Add garlic and 1/2 t. salt and pepper to onions and mushrooms, cook 1 minute then add flour turn heat up to med-high, cook 2 min. then whisk in broth; when it boils, reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes.
Return beef to the saute pan stir in sour cream, remove from heat, fold in noodles then garnish with parsley.

Rich Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

This frosting goes great with the cupcake recipe I just posted. Also from Betty Crocker.

4 C powdered sugar
1 C butter or margarine, softened
3 TBSP milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled

In a medium bowl, beat all frosting ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and spreadable. If necessary, stir in additional milk, 1 tsp at a time. Spread over cupcakes.

Broccoli salad

This recipe is the best potluck salad ever! Whenever I make this one at a potluck, It always disappears! There is never any to take home! You will be amazed at how many people ask for the recipe!
head broccoli-cut into small flowerets
6-8 sliced cooked bacon-crumbled
1/2 c. chopped red onions
1/2 c. raisins or cranberries-I use cranberries
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese-cut in 1/2" chunks
1 c. mayo
2 T. white vinegar
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. cherry tomatoes-halved
salt & fresh ground pepper-to taste

Place broccoli in lg. bowl, add bacon, onions, cranberries (or raisins) & cheese.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; stir well.
Add to broccoli mixture and toss gently.

Sour Cream Chocolate Cupcakes

I went to a birthday party at the Kids Cooking Corner and these were the cupcakes they made. Very good. The owner got the recipe off the Betty Crocker website.

2 C all-purpose flour
2 C granulated sugar
3/4 C sour cream
1/4 C shortening
1 C water
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 36 regular-size muffin cups with paper baking cups. In a large bowl, beat all cupcake ingredients with electric mixer on low-speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each 1/2 full.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan; place on cooling rack. Cool completely and frost.

Ranch Pretzel Bites

I love the Gooseberry Patch cookbooks. My mom always gives me one for our annual Mom/Daughter weekend in October. Last year she gave me Quick and Easy Family Favorites which is where this recipe came from.

16-oz pkg. large pretzles
2-oz pkg ranch salad dressing
3/4 C oil
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp dill weed

Break pretzels into bite-size pieces; place in a large mixing bowl. Combine remaining ingredients in a seperate mixing bowl and pour over pretzels; toss to coat. Pour onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 200 degrees for on hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Makes 16 servings

Perfect for a family game night snack.

Chicken-taco cornbread pie

1 T. oil
1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast-chopped
1 green pepper- chopped
1 pkg taco seasoning
3/4 c. water
1 c. cheddar cheese
1 pkg(8.5 oz.) corn muffin mix

Heat oven to 400°F.

HEAT oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook and stir 5 min. or until done. Stir in peppers, seasoning mix and water. Bring to boil; simmer on medium-low heat 10 min., stirring occasionally.

SPOON into 9-inch pie plate; sprinkle with cheese. Prepare muffin mix as directed on package; spoon over cheese, completely covering cheese layer.

BAKE 20 min. or until golden brown. Let stand 5 min. before serving.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Foolproof Beef & Broccoli


1 pound boneless beef sirloin or top round steak strips (3/4 inch thick)
2 T. veggie oil
2 cups broccoli flowerets
1 medium oninon, cut into wedges
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 clove garlic, minced
1 can (10 oz) condensed cream of broccoli soup
1/3 cup water
1 T. soy sauce
4 cups hot cooked rice
green onion (optional)

Slice beef into very thin strips;

In medium skillet over medium-high heat; heat half of the oil. Add beef in two batches and stir-fry until browned. Set beef aside;

Reduce heat to medium; Add remaining oil; add broccoli, onion & garlic powder (or clove) and stir-fry until tender-crisp;

Add soup, water and soy. Heat to boil;

Return beef to pan and heat through;

Serve over rice.

If desired, garnish with green onion.

Quick Chicken A La King

I typically have these basic ingredients in my home. A great recipe when I need a plan B!


1 T. margarine or butter
half of chopped red or green pepper
1 can (10 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup of milk
1 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken
4 cups hot cooked long-grain and wild rice or hot cooked rice

In medium saucepan over medium heat, heat margarine;

Add pepper and cook until tender;

Add soup, milk and chicken.

Heat through, stirring occasionally;

Serve over rice.

Garnish with fresh parsley (optional)

Best Homemade French Fries EVER!

I love my Martha Stewart Everyday Food subscription. This month is focusing on Light foods. Always good to eat better. Light or not, I adore these fries.

3 pounds russet potatoes cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch wide strips
nonstick cooking spray
4 tsp vegetable oil
coarse salt and ground pepper

In a large bowl, cover potatoes with water by 2 inches. Refrigerate at least 3 hours (or overnight).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Lightly coat two rimmed baking sheets with cooking spray. Drain potatoes and pat dry; wipe out bowl. Toss potatoes in bowl with oil and season with salt and pepper. Divide potatoes between sheets and arrange in a single layer. Bake until golden and crisp, 45 minutes. Toss potatoes and rotate sheets. Bake 15 minutes more.

Shepherds pie

1 lb. ground beef or venison
1 small onion-chopped
1 can tomato soup- I like Campbell's
1 can green beans
6 potatoes-mashed (+ or -, 1 for each person)

Brown the ground beef, drain well, add the onion, cook over med. heat until the onion is done.
Add the tomato soup and green beans.
Pour into a casserole dish then dollop mashed potatoes on top; 1 dollop per person.
Bake at 400* for 8-15 minutes. Until mashed potato mounds are nice and golden brown.

Easy Tuna casserole

1 bag (24 oz.) Green Giant frozen pasta with carrots, broccoli, sweet snap peas & garlic sauce
2 cans (5 oz. ea.) Tuna- drained
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) cream of potato soup
1/4 cup milk

for topping:
1 cup soft bread crumbs-about 2 slices
2 T. butter- melted

Heat oven to 350*- spray 2 qt. casserole dish with cooking spray.
In a large microwavable dish, place pasta-veg. mixture. Cover with plastic wrap; microwave on high 5 min. then stir and microwave again for about 6 more minutes, until the sauce chips are melted and the veggies are cooked.
stir in tuna, soup and milk. Pour into casserole dish.
In a small bowl, toss topping ingredients then sprinkle over mixture.
Bake 25-30 minutes until hot and the topping is golden brown.

moist cupcakes

Just wondering if anyone has a good recipe for some moist chocolate cupcakes? Or any other flavor for that matter. Sky wants cupcakes for his birthday but the last cupcakes I made were so dry!

BBQ salmon

1/2 c. bbq sauce-we like Kraft thick & spicy
2 T. brown sugar
1 green onion, sliced
4 salmon filets-about 1 lb.

HEAT greased grill to medium-high heat.

MIX first 3 ingredients until well blended.

GRILL fish 4 min. on each side; brush generously with barbecue sauce mixture. Grill 2 to 4 min. or until fish flakes easily with fork, turning occasionally and brushing with remaining sauce.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cheesy ham & broccoli soup

1 lg. onion
1 T. oil
3 c. milk
3/4 lb. (12 oz) Velveeta cheese-cut in 1/2 inch cubes
3 c. frozen broccoli cuts, thawed
6 oz. ham-chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
1 c. frozen corn-thawed

COOK onions in hot oil in large saucepan on medium heat 5 to 7 min. or until tender. Stir in milk. Bring to simmer, stirring frequently.

ADD VELVEETA and broccoli; cook and stir 6 to 8 min. or until VELVEETA is melted and broccoli is heated through.

STIR in ham and corn; cook 4 to 5 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

Sweet & Sour Chicken

Twenty years ago, I thought this was gourmet! This recipe circulated during a time when I could not cook anything without some sort of can of soup in it.


3 T. cornstarch
1 can (10 oz) condensed chicken broth
1 T. veggie oil
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breates, cut into 1-inch piecees
1 can (8oz) pineapple chunks in juice, undrained
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
1 small green and/or red pepper, cut into 2-inch strips
4 cups hot cooked rice

In bowl mix cornstarch and broth until smooth; set aside;

In medium skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil; add chicken in 2 batches and stir fry until browned; Set chicken aside. Pour off fat.

Reduce heat to medium; add pineapple, sugar, vinegar and pepper; heat to boil;

Stir in cornstarch mixture and add. Cook until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly;

Return chicken to pan; Reduce heat to low; cover and cook 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, stirring occasionally.

Serve over rice.

One -Dish Chicken & Stuffing Bake

Easy. Whip it up and put those feet up.

Preheat oven 400*


1 1/4 cups boiling water
4 T margarine or butter, melted
4 C Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing
4-6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halft
1 can (10 oz) condensed cream of mushroom shoup
1/3 C milk
1 T chopped freshe parsley or 1 t. dried parley

Mix water and margarine; add stuffing; mix lightly;

Spoon stuffing across center of 3-quart shallow baking dish, leaving space on both sides for chicken; Arrange chicken on each side of stuffing; sprnkle paprika over chicken;

Mix soup, milk and parley; pour over chicken;

Cover and bake 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink;

If desired, garnish with additional fresh parsley.

Four Bean Enchiladas

I used to be a vegetarian, I could go back at any moment! :) My husband and I love these enchiladas and they are so easy to make. We haven't had them since my kids started eating solids. I know what I will be making soon. This recipe came from Better Homes and Gardens Vegetarian Recipes.

16 6-inch corn tortillas
1 15-oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz can navy or great nothern beans, rinsed and drained
1 11-oz can condensed cheddar cheese or nacho cheese soup (I use the cheddar sauce with salsa in it in the salsa asile)
1 10-oz can enchilada sauce
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 1/2 C shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
Sliced pitted olives (optional)
Chopped green peppers (optional)
Sour cream (optional)

Stack tortillas and wrap tightly in foil. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until warm.
For filling, combine beans and cheese soup. Spoon about 1/3 C filling onto one end of each tortilla. Starting at the end with the filling, roll up each tortilla. Arrange tortillas, seam side down, in 8 individual au gratin dishes or two 2-quart rectangular baking dishes.
In a bowl stir together the enchilada sauce and tomato sauce; pour over tortillas. Cover with foil. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes for au grati dishes or 30 minutes for baking dishes or till heated through. Remove foil; sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, about 5 minutes more or till cheese melts. Plate and top with optional toppings.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Parmesan Couscous

Just made this for dinner tonight. So yummy!!! I love couscous because it is so fast. Glad that I had all of the ingredients in my pantry for this one. I got this recipe from

2 C chicken broth
1 TBSP butter
10 oz uncooked plain couscous
1/3 C grated Parmesan cheese
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 TBSP olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper

Bring chicken broth and butter to a boil. Add couscous, stir until well mixed, remove from heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients to couscous and mix well. Serve and enjoy.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Easy Parmesan Chicken Fingers

We had these for dinner tonight. They were so easy to make and my kids ate them without asking how many bites they needed to eat to be done :) I think these would be a great "chicken nugget" for lunch. I will be sending these with my daughter to school somedays. Thank you to Martha Stewert Everyday Food for the recipe

1/3 C Panko or plain dried bread crumbs (I used Panko as the texture is always more crunchy)
1/3 C grated Parmesan
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme

Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with rack in the upper third. In a small bowl, mix together panko and parmesan. In a 9x13-inch baking dish, toss chicken with 1 tsp oil and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Arrange chicken in a single layer and sprinkle with panko mixture. Drizzle with 1 TBSP oil and bake on upper rack until topping is golden brown and chicken is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.

Chicken Picante

Haven't had this in a while. Great last minute dinner especially if you always have the 10 pound bag of Foster Farms frozen chicken breasts from Costco in the freezer:

4 boneless,, skinless frozen chicken breasts
1 cup medium chunky salsa
1/4 cup dijon mustard
2 T. fresh lime juice
1/4 cup sour cream
1 lime sliced into 4 segments
Chopped cilantro for garnishing

Preheat oven to 375*. Line a baking dish with foil;

In a bowl, mix salsa, mustard and lime juice;

Place frozen chicken in a pan. Top with salsa mixture;

Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.

Remove foil and continue cooking until center reaches 170*, about 10-15 minutes;

Remove chicken to serving platter;

Place one tablespoon of sour cream on each breast half, top with lime segment, garnish with cilantro.

Waaaalaaaa, dinner on the table!

Easy Focaccia Bread

I have lost count of how many times I have made this bread. My kids can't get enough of it. They referr to it as their "favorite" bread. It is straight from my Bettey Crocker cookbook. We usually dip this in oil and vinegar but I have also used it for sandwich bread.

2 1/2 to 3 C all purpose flour
2 TBSP chopped fresh or 1 TBSP dried rosemary leaves, crumbled
1 TBSP sugar
1 tsp salt
1 pkg. regular or quick dry yeast
3 TBSP olive or vegetable oil
1 C very warm water (120-130 degrees)
2 TBSP olive or vegetable oil
1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese

1. Mix 1 cup of the flour, the rosemary, sugar, salt and yeast in large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons oil and the warm water. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in enough remaining flour until dough is soft and leaves sides of bowl.
2. Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead 5 to 8 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy. Place dough in large bowl greased with shortening, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place about 30 minutes or until almost doubled. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
3. Grease 2 cookie sheets or 12-inch pizza pans with small amount of oil.
4. Gently push fist into dough to deflate. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a flattened 10-inch round on cookie sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap lightly sprayed with cooking spray and let rise in warm place about 30 minutes or until doubled.
5. Heat oven to 400. Gently make depressi0ons about 2 inches apart in dough with fingers. Carfully brush with 2 TBSP oil; sprinkle with cheese. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or cold.

Just For Fun

Okay girlfriends! Four out of the five meals I cooked last week were recipes I made from this blog! That's gotta be worth 5 points each. So that makes me up 20 points! :0) I'm just messin with ya and making up new contest rules that do not exist! But hey, it's my way of havin F~U~N!

Trish Hull's chicken taco crockpot meat was awesome! It was quick and easy on a day that I was super busy and could not devote much time in the kitchen. You seriously throw just a few ingredients in the crockpot and let it do it's thang!

For a rootin, tootin good time, try Lee Ann DeRoos's V-8 Chili especially paired up with some yankee bread. My son really loved helping me make the soup he doesn't normally eat...but since he made it, it had to be delicious, so I conquered another meal my kid ate. Another great crockpot recipe while preparing for the tax season. Be sure to double it and at least get three or more meals. Great item to have extra of in your fridge for sponanteous playdates.

If you haven't tried Michelle Picinich's famous teriyaki recipe, you are missing a partay in your mouth. Super easy. Super yummy. Double and triple the recipe and make more freezer meals. Don't be afraid of your freezer; it's just dying to do it's job for you.

I tried another recipe of Michelle's: Pork Chop and Apples. Oh baby. I have recently heard that she has made this for every one BUT me! :0) Be sure to pair this up with my carrot souffle. It's like candy and my kids had no idea they were eating veggies and nuts. SSSSSSSH, it's our secret.

Speaking of secrets, I am SERIOUSLY in possession of the most wanted recipe in Clark County. How spoiled am I? VERY! Kristi Roger's gave me the ingredient list to her famous enchilada recipe. If she ever offers to bring you a meal, hands down, you gotta request this!

The taco meat recipe I posted is always a great hit. We have taco night for sure once a week.

And lastly, have any of you tried my famous empty~jam~jar recipe?

I'd link ya to all these wonderful recipes, but I won't take the fun out of your searching and discovering.

Many blessings to you as you serve your family and taste that the Lord is good.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dilly Beans

My friend Bex got me hooked on these little, tasty suckers!


2 pounds of green beans
1/4 cup canning salt
2 1/2 cups vinegar
2 1/2 cups water
4 cloves of garlic
4 heads of dill
4 dried cayenne pepper
4 pint sized jars

•Start water bath;
•Trim ends off green beans;
•Pack beans lengthwise into jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace;
•Combine salt, vinegar & water in a large saucepot; Bring to boil;
•While waiting for items to come to boil, continue back to jars;
•Add one garlic, one head of dill and one pepper;
•Get 2-piece lids ready and boil;
•Ladle hot liquid over beans leaving 1/4-inch headspace
•Remove air bubbles;
•Adjust two-piece caps;
•Process pints 10 minutes in water bath canner;
•Makes 4 pints

Zucchini Bread & Butter Pickles

This recipe is a great way to use up 16 cups of zuchs ~~Maybe not today, but I won't have time this summer to post this recipe AND I am desperate for points, ladies!

If you enjoy sweet pickles, you will enjoy this recipe.

1 quart (four cups) distilled white vinegar
2 cups of sugar
3 tablespoons canning salt
2 teaspoons celery seed
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoons of dill weed
1 teaspoon dry mustard
4 quarts (16 cups)sliced zucchini (I used small yellow & green)
1 quart (4 cups) sliced onion (pick your favorite, I use white)

•Bring vinegar, sugar, salt & spices to a boil.
•Pour over freshly sliced veggies and let stand one hour.
•Bring veggie mixture to boil and cook for three minutes.
•Pack into hot, sterilized jars. Seal.
Process 10 minutes.
•Makes 6-7 pints

That lil touch note: I wanted to be sure and mention that when I slice my zuchs, I used my Pampered Chef crinkle cutter. I love the presentation.

Zucchini Relish

One year I had 40 zucchini plants thus the need to find recipes for zuchs.

Not only do I love canning this recipe but also eating it. It's a two day process. It is wonderful on any sandwich but especially tuna sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs and pork. My hubby loves this stuff; he'd be hooked to a zucchini relish IV if I would let him.

Day 1

12 cups shredded zucchini (I shred mine in food processor)
4 cups onion (I use white, love my food processor)
2 cups finely chopped red pepper (food processor)
5 tablespoons of canning salt

Put ingredients in large pot, fill with water to cover ingredients.

Put in fridge overnight.

While leaving this mixture in the fridge for 24 hours is ideal, I have left it in the fridge eight hours and up to 48 hours.

Day two

2 1/4 cups vinegar (I used white distilled)
6 cups sugar (oh my, I forgot no wonder why my sweet-tooth hubby loves this stuff)
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 TB mustard seed
2 TB celery seed
1 TB tumeric
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 TB (heaping) cornstarch

•Start water canner.
•Take zucchini mixture out of fridge
•Drain as much water out of the pan as you can
•Fill sink with fresh cold water
•Put zucchini mixture in sink, let soak a few minutes
•Grab handfuls of zucchini mixture and squeeze water out
•Put zucchini mixture in pan
•Drain water from sink; fill with fresh cold water
•Do this process three times
•Put drained zucchini mixture on stove top on medium to medium high.
•Add Day 2 ingredients EXCEPT cornstarch
•Stir constantly
•Once zucchini mixture comes to a small bubbly boil and well mixed, add cornstarch
•Stir constantly until cornstarch has blended through
•The cooking process will be about 20-30 minutes
•Process in water canner (be sure water is at least warm) while zucchini mixture is hot.
•Ladle into pint or half-pint jars. Process 10 minutes.
•After tomorrow's batch I will list how many it makes.

Cream of Zuchini Soup

I love soup night!
I always think of the soup nazi on Seinfeldt!

Serves 4-6

2 TB olive oil
1 TB butter
1 medium chopped onion
2 pounds zucchini, trimmed & sliced
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
4 oz dolcelatte cheese, rind removed & diced
1 1/4 cups light cream
salt and pepper
fresh oregano, extra cheese and cream to garnish
*can substitute gorgonzola instead of dolcelatte

Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan until foaming. Add the onion and cook gently for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently until softened but not brown.

Add the zucchini and oregano with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour in the stock and bring to boil, stirring.

Lower the heat, half-cover the pan and simmer gently, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes.

Stir in diced cheese until melted.

Process the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth, then press through a sieve into clean pan.

Add half of the cream (may need a tad more) and stir over low heat until hot but not boiling. Add more stock or water if the soup is too thick. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour into heated bowls. Swirl in remaining cream (optional). Serve garnished with oregano, extra cheese, cream and pepper.

Creamed Corn

I could just eat this for dinner. But I love me some corn!
I'm corny like that!

12 ears fresh corn or 6 cups frozen corn kernels (no thawing needed)
6 T. butter
3 cups cream (or more)
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. ground pepper
4 t. sugar
1 T. cornstarch, if desired
Chopped fresh parsley (optional for garnishing)

If using fresh corn, shuck it and scrape kernels into a bowl to save the liquid;

Put butter in large, deep skillet over medium heat;

When the butter foams, add the corn; cook & stir 1-2 minutes;

Add the cream, salt & pepper;

Bring to gentle simmer.

Reduce the heat to medium-low;

Simmer 15-20 minutes or until the corn is tender and the sauce has thickened slightly;

Stir occasionally;

Stir in sugar, and continue to cook until the mixture is thick, another few minutes;
adding a little more cream if necessary;

If you like it thicker, combine the cornstartch with a tablespoon of cold water and stir it into the corn; the mixture will thicken almost immediately;

Taste and adjust the seasoning, garnish with parley and serve.

Cucumber Salsa

I must really love you gals to share my secret recipes.
My favorite topping for salmon, halibut and chicken:


1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
1/3 small red onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, pressed
3 T. rice vinegar (I like the garlic version too)
2 T. veggie oil
1/4 t. sugar just a dash
1/8 t. salt, just a dash

Chop and combine all ingredients;

Let it marinate in the fridge.

Top on your favorite fish or white meat.

Have some Listerine for afterwards or just embrace the party that's going on in your mouth!

Fish or White Meat Marinade

Inspired by a Pampered Chef recipe and I added a few ingredients.


1 T. peeled fresh ginger root, finely chopped
2 T. sesame oil
1 T. snipped fresh cilantro (I use a bunch)
1 lime or lemon (sliced)
1/4 t. salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 lbs salmon filets.

Mix the first five ingredients in bowl;

Place salmon in resealable plastic bag;

Add marinade and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. I try for 4-6 hours.

Remove salmon and it's ready for baking, broiling, or bbq!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Taco Bake

My kids eat this up! It's great for leftovers, too.

1 pound ground beef
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup salsa
1/4 cup water
1 pkg Taco Seasoning mix
1 sm. can sliced olives
1 cup corn, drained
1 pkg Jiffy cornbread mix
1 cup grated cheddar
1(4 oz) can chopped green chiles, partially drained

Brown the ground beef with the onion and drain. Add the salsa, water, and taco seasoning mix. Stir well and cook 5 minutes over medium heat or until thickened. Add the olives and the corn. Put in a lightly sprayed 9x13 baking dish. Prepare the Jiffy mix and add the cheese and green chiles to the mixture. Stir and pour over the meat mixture. Bake at 350* for 30-35 minutes.

Ham & Potato Soup

This is a wonderful soup! A family favorite. Freezes well! Get out your crockpot!

5 carrots, chopped
3 peeled and cubed potatoes
1 onion, finely chopped
3 celery sticks, chopped
1-1/2 cups of chopped ham
1 can navy beans
1 can vegetable broth
1 can of tomato soup
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic salt

Place all ingredients in slow cooker as listed. Simmer 8-10 hours. Serve with rolls or a salad.

Taco-Stuffed Pasta Shells

A Mexican spin on an Italian favorite! My family loves this recipe! I have cooked it for 9 years now. It freezes well, too!

Prep time: 20 min Bake time: 40 min

16 jumbo dried shells, prepared according to package directions, rinsed and drained
1 pound extra-lean ground beef
1 package of taco seasoning mix
1 cup water
1 can (16 oz) Refried Beans
1 cup (4 oz) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided (I admit,I use WAY more!)
1 jar (16 oz) Salsa, divided
1/4 cup sliced green onions (optional)
Sour cream (optional)

PREHEAT oven to 350*. Cook beef in large skillet until brown; drain. Add seasoning mix and water; cook over low heat for 5 min or until thickened. Add beans and 3/4 cup cheese; mix well. Spread 1/4 cup salsa over bottom of each of two 8-inch-square (2qt) baking dishes. Fill pasta shells with beef mixture; place half of shells in each baking dish, filled side up. Spoon remaining salsa over shells.

IF FREEZING: Cover one or both baking dishes with plastic wrap, then overwrap with foil. Label and freeze for up to 2 months (4 servings per baking dish)

COVER remaining baking dish with foil. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with green onions and remaining cheese. Serve with sour cream.

TO BAKE FROZEN SHELLS: Place baking dish in the refrigerator overnight. Preheat oven to 375*. Remove plastic wrap; recover with foil. Bake for 45-50 min or until heated through. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup sliced green onions and 1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese. Serve with sour cream.

Old Fashioned Pork Chops

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp pepper
6 boneless pork loin chops (5 oz each)
2 T canola oil
1 can (10.5 oz)condensed chicken with rice soup, undiluted
1/2 medium onion, quartered
1-1/2 tsp dried parsley flakes

1) In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, mustard, garlic salt, and pepper. Add pork one piece at a time, and shake to coat.

2) In a large skillet, brown chops in oil on each side. Transfer to a 3-qt slow cooker. Top with soup, onion, and parsley. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until pork is tender.

We have served this with a side of baked potatoes and a vegetable.

Easy, Dangerously Creamy Italian Chicken

This is a WINNER at our house! We all love it.

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 oz each)
1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
1/4 cup water
1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 can (4 oz) mushroom stems and pieces, drained (we leave those out at our home)
Hot cooked pasta (I like egg noodles) or rice

1) Place the chicken in a 3-qt slow cooker. Combine salad dressing mix and water; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours.
2) In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and soup until blended. Stir in mushrooms. Pour over chicken. Cook 1 hour longer or until chicken juices run clear. Serve over pasta or rice.

Creamy Swiss Steak

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 pounds boneless beef round steak, cut into serving size portions
2 T butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cans (10 3/4 oz each) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 cup water
Hot cooked noodles (I use egg noodles)

In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, salt, and pepper; dredge beef. In a large skillet, brown beef in butter on both sides. Place into your slow cooker; top with onion.

Combine soup and water. Pour over onion. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or until meat is tender. Serve with noodles. It is soooo delish!!

Easy,Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

3 whole chicken breasts,boiled and chopped
(2) 10.5 oz cans of cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 cup of sour cream
4 oz can of mild, chopped green chiles
3 cups of cheddar/monterey jack
Olives for garnish
Enchilada sauce (For this recipe I use Old El Paso or La Victoria)

Preheat oven 350*.
Mix chicken, sour cream, cr. of chicken soups, and chiles together. Spread mixture into tortillas. Put in a greased 13x9 pan.
Cheese it evenly.
Pour the enchilada sauce over the tortillas. Garnish with olives on top, if desired.
Bake for 35 min or until heated through.

Sausage and Egg Casserole

8 servings, Cook time 40 min
(I love to serve this for brunches, paired with cinnamon rolls, juice, and fruit. I have also made this for dinner.)

1 pound bulk pork sausage
6 eggs
2 cups milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground mustard
6 slices white break, cut into 1/2 in cubes
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a skillet, brown and crumble sausage; drain and set aside. In a large bowl, beat eggs; add milk, salt, and mustard. Stir in bread cubes, cheese and sausage. Pour into a greased 13x9 baking dish. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 min before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350* for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

Mom's Banana Bread

I found this recipe 10 years ago. I have used it ever since! It's a lower fat version with ALL the flavor! My family loves it! My hips, however, do not, when I eat too much of it as I sip tea! I have also used the full fat version of milk, sour cream, butter and it still tastes great.

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup light butter, softened
3 mashed ripe bananas (pull those frozen ones from the freezer and defrost them)
1/4 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
2 large egg whites
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Cooking spray

1) Preheat oven to 350*.
2) Combine sugar and butter in bowl, beat with mixer until well blended. Add banana, milk, sour cream, and egg whites, beat well.
3) Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt; stir well. Add flour mixture to banana mixture, beating until well blended.
4) Spoon batter into 4 (5 x 2 1/2 inch)mini-loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350* for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack. Yield: 4 loaves, 4 servings per loaf.
Note: To make a 9 inch loaf, spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; bake at 350* for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Yield: 1 loaf, 16 servings.


2 cups cubed (or shredded) cooked chicken (or leftover crockpot roast beef)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2-4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 can sliced olives
8 oz bad shredded cheese
1 jar (12 oz) salsa
1 pkg corn tortillas
Canola oil, - sour cream to taste.

Combine chicken, onion, garlic, olives, and half of the cheese and salsa together. Mix well.
In pan, heat 3/4 in oil over low/med heat. Once oil is warm ,place single tortilla in oil, covering with oil, removing after approx 10-20 sec. Place 1-2 T of chicken mixture on tortilla lengthwise, roll, place in baking dish seam side down. Repeat until ingredients are gone. (Place enchiladas close together in baking dish).
Pour remaining salsa over enchiladas. Cover with remaining cheese evenly.
Bake at 375* for 20-30 min or until cheese is melted, bubbling, and starting to brown. Serve with sour cream and rice.

Chunky Spaghetti Sauce, homemade

1 lb. ground turkey (or beef)
1 large onion, finely chopped
2-5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 can (28oz) whole tomatoes, undrained
1/4C chopped parsley, or dried parsley
1t salt
1T dried (or fresh) basil leaves

Cook meat, onion, and garlic over medium heat until done, drain. Stir in remaining ingredients, breaking up tomatoes. Heat to boil.
Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 20 min.
Serve with whole wheat or spelt spaghetti noodles.

White Chili

Here's a favorite meal in our home, especially when it's cold outside! It warms you from the inside out.

1/4 C butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1+ clove garlic
4C 1/2 in cubes cooked chicken or turkey
3C chicken broth
2T+ chopped fresh cilantro
1T dried basil leaves
2t chili powder
2 cans (15-16oz each)Great Northern Beans, undrained

Melt margarine/butter in dutch oven/large pot over medium heat. Cook onion & garlic in butter, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender.
Stir in remaining ingredients; heat to boiling.
Reduce heat to low.
Cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally

Chili con Carne

This is a favorite in our house! It's cheap and easy! Pair it up with some corn muffins and you have a hearty, healthy meal! Approximately 5 servings.

1 lb ground turkey
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1T chili powder
1/2 t salt
1 t ground cumin
1 t dried oregano leaves
1 t cocoa (unsweetened baking cocoa)
1/2 t +/- red pepper sauce
1 can (160z) whole tomatoes, undrained
2 cans (15-16 oz each) red kidney beans, undrained

Cook turkey, onion, and garlic in large pot until turkey is brown; drain.
Stir in remaining ingredients, except beans, breaking up tomatoes (I use a potato masher). Heat to boiling; reduce to low. Cover & simmer 1 hr, stirring occasionally.
Stir in beans. Heat to boil. Reduce to low. Simmer uncovered about 20 min.
I serve with freshly shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream!
I have also put all ingredients in the crockpot (after cooking the ground turkey/onion/garlic) and cooked on low 3-4 hours.

Yankie Bread

Pair this up with Lee Ann's V-8 Chili; it's a rootin, tootin good time!

Our Texian friends call cornbread with sugar "Yankee Bread" and it ain't no compliment. Most Texians do no like sugar in their corn bread, or at least the ones we know.


2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetableoil or melted shortening
1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven 450*;

Grease 8 or 9 inch square;

In large bowl, mix all ingredients; pour into pan;

Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center come out clean

Serve warm, if desired.

We like'em warm, with butter and honey.

If making muffins: Fill muffin cups 2/3 full for 15 minutes for large muffin tin; 9-11 minutes for mini-muffin pan.

Sloppy joes

1 1/2-2 lbs Hamburger or venison
1 small onion
3 T. brown sugar
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. vinegar
4 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. mustard
2 c. ketchup
1 1/2 c. water
1/2 t. celery salt
Brown and drain meat then add onion, cook on med. until onions are soft. Add everything else and simmer at least 15 minutes. Serve on buns.

Crockpot Tamale Pie


1 lb lean ground beef, browned
3/4 cup yellow corn meal
1 1/2 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1 pkg. chili seasoning mix
1 T seasoned salt
1 can tomatoes, cut up
1 whole kernel corn, drained
2 1/4 oz. sliced ripe olives, drained (or slice your own)
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Stir together cornmeal, milk and egg.

Add rest of ingredients, except cheese.

Pour into crockpot, cover, cook on high 3 to 4 hours.

Sprinkle cheese over top, cover and cook another 5 minutes.

Top with favorite taco toppings: sour cream, lettuce, etc.

Easy Swiss Steak

I love my crockpot recipes. And yes, I'm on a crockpot frenzy and I know you want to be too! :0)


2 to 3 lbs. round steak
2 pkg. onion soup mix
2 can cream of mushroom soup (10 oz.)
1 soup can of water

Trim fat and cut steak into 5 or 6 serving size pieces.

Place in Crock Pot.

Add dry onion soup mix, water and mushroom soup.

Cover and cook 6 to 8 hours.

NOTE: This make lots of gravy. If you want less gravy use 1 package of onion soup mix, 1 can of mushroom soup and1/4 cup of water.

Delicious served with mashed potatoes or rice.

Nacho cheese sauce

2 T. margarine
2 T. flour
2 c. milk
2 c. pepperjack cheese-shredded

Melt the margarine in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until it forms a paste. Gradually stir in the milk so that no lumps form. Cook and stir until thickened, then remove from the heat and stir in the cheese until smooth.

Blackberry cobbler

1/2 c. butter-melted into a 2 qt. casserole dish
1 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/8 t. salt
2/3 c. milk
Mix well. Pour over melted butter. Do not stir. Spoon blackberries (16 oz. frozen or 2 c. fresh) over the batter. Do not stir.
Bake at 350* for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with fresh cream or ice cream.

All Day Crock Pot Beef


1-1/2 lbs. beef roast (browned)
1/2 t. pepper
2 cloves garlic
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. steak sauce
3 carrots, chopped
2 celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow onion, cut into rings (I use white)
1/2 c water
1/2 c tomato juice

Use more beef if you need more than 6 servings (or I make extra for other meals planned).

Brown beef on both sides in a bit of oil.

Place the vegetables into bottom of crockpot.

Place beef on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper, minced garlic.

Mix the steak sauce and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl with about 1/2 cup water and 1/2- cup tomato juice. Pour this over the meat.

Turn to low, cover and cook for 7-9 hours.

When ready to serve, removed roast and veggies.

Use the liquid as is or turn crockpot to high and thicken liquid with a little flour or cornstarch for gravy. I use Gold Medal's Wondra Quick-Mixing Flou, my favorite spices and my immersion blender.

NOTE: Keep the crockpot covered as much as possible throughout cooking time. A crockpot can be used to cook this type of meal for a varied amount of time, depending on your schedule. It is not important that you take the meat and vegetables out at a specific amount of time. One or two hours either way usually makes no difference.

Italian Beef

Get 'yer crockpot out and let it do it's thing:


3 lb. rump roast (or larger depending on size of Crockery Pot)
1 pkg. Good Seasons Italian Dressing mix
1 c. water
1 pkg. au jus gravy mix
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
6 pepperoncini peppers

Mix together water, gravy mix, dressing, and Italian seasoning. pour over roast in Crockery Pot. Add peppers if desired. Cover and cook on low about 4 hours. Break up roast and cook 1 hour more.

Serve on hamburger buns.

Corned Beef & Cabbage

This is what I'm makin this St. Paddy's Day.
This is the easiest way to make corned beef and cabbage if you have a large crockpot.

8 sm. red skinned potatoes, quartered
1 corned beef brisket, 3 lb. (Browned)
8 whole black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 onion, cut into wedges
1 head cabbage, cored and cut into 8 wedges

In a 6 quart Crockery Pot, place the potatoes on the bottom.

Top with the corned beef, including any juices in the package.

Scatter on the onions, peppercorns and bay leaves.

Add water to cover.

Cover and cook on low 6 hours.

Add the cabbage wedges and continue cooking until meat is cooked and vegetables are tender (an additional 2 - 3 hours).

Slice the meat and serve with the vegetables, drizzling some of the juices over all.

Serves 6

Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin isn't just for Fall time.

Makes 60 mini muffins
Preheat oven 400 degrees


3 cups of all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup pure pumpkin
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 cup raisins, sweetened cranberries or chopped nuts (I combine raisins with nuts, cranberry & nuts or just nuts). Optional.

•Combine dry ingredients

•Cut in shortening with pastry blender until mixture is fine

•Add pumpkin, milk & eggs and optional ingredient(s) until just moist

•Spoon into greased or paper line muffin pans 2/3 full

•Bake mini-muffins for 7-8 minutes or 12-15 for large muffins

•Immediately remove to wire rack

•Sprinkle with powdered sugar (another option)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Easy Apple Butter

This recipe sounds complicated, but it really isn't! Once you make it once, if you love apple butter, you will make it over and over again! It is SO EASY and you really can't mess it up! It makes great gifts, too! Just tie a ribbon around the jar! Everyone I have ever given it to asks for the recipe! It is so yummy on any kind of buttered toast!

12 c. Apples
4 c. sugar
1/3 c. juice-any kind
1 1/2 t.-4 T. cinnamon
optional spices: ginger, cloves, nutmeg or "red hot" candies
Peel and core apples then cut into about 1 inch chunks. Put apples into crock pot with sugar.
Add juice(just enough so the apples don't stick initially)I usually just use what I have in the fridge, OJ, apple, pineapple, I have used lots of diff. kinds and I really can't tell the diff.
Add cinnamon.
The other spices are optional, I have even used a couple t. pumpkin pie spices, It just depends on your taste preferences. Some people even drop "Red Hot" candies in to give a different cinnamon taste.
Turn the crock pot on high for a couple hours then stir, turn down to low for 8-10 hours.
Blend it in a blender a little at a time until smooth then put back into crock pot on high with the lid off until it is as thick as you like it. Can it. Enjoy!

P.B./Chocolate no-bake cookies

1 stick butter
1/2 c. milk
1 3/4 c. sugar
4 T. cocoa powder
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. crunchy peanut butter
3 c. quick oats
Melt together 1st 4 ingredients, bring to rapid boil and boil for 1 1/2 minutes, stirring constantly (Do not overcook, or the cookies will be crumbly and dry) add P.B. vanilla and oats. Scoop onto waxed paper

Pork Fried Rice

I absolutely LOVE chinese food. There is a wonderful resturant where I grew up that serves the best chinese food. I have yet to find a place down here that has good chinese. I welcome any suggestions! I make this dish a lot as a side to potstickers, almond chicken, spring rolls, etc
I got this recipe from my Betty Crocker cookbook.

1 C bean sprouts (I usually leave these out to make it more like the one I love)
2 TBSP vegetable oil
1 C sliced mushrooms (again, I leave these out)
3 C cold cooked regular long-grain rice
1 C cut-up cooked pork
2 medium green onions, sliced
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
3 TBSP soy sauce
Dash of white pepper

Rinse bean sprouts with cold water, drain. Heat 1 TBSP of the oil in 10-inch skillet over medium heat; rotate skillet until oil covers bottom. Cook mushrooms in oil about 1 minute, stirring frequently, until coated. Add bean sprouts, rice, pork and onions. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes, stirring and breaking up rice, until hot. Move rice mixture to side of skillet. Add the remaining TBSP of oil to other side of skillet. Cook eggs in oil over medium heat, stirring constantly, until eggs are thickened throughout but still moist. Stir eggs into rice mixture. Stir in soy sauce and white pepper.

Banana Cake

Sift together
2 1/2 c. flour
1 2/3 c. sugar
1 1/4 t. baking soda
1 1/4 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
Then add
1/3 c. shortening
1/3 c. butter
2/3 c. buttermilk
1 1/4 c. mashed ripe bananas(about 2 med)
Mix until moistened, then beat on low for 2 minutes
2 eggs
Beat 1 minute
Grease 2 9 inch square or round pans, then line bottom of pan with waxed paper. grease or spray waxed paper.
Divide batter into 2 pans; then bake at 350* oven for 25-30 minutes, until cake tests done. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes in pans then remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
Frost with butternut banana frosting, top with toasted pecans or walnuts if desired

Butternut banana frosting

1/4 c. butter
1/8 t. salt
1/2 c. mashed banana
1/4 t. white vinegar
3 1/2 c. sifted powdered sugar
chopped pecans, toasted-optional- for topping

Cream butter w/ salt.
Combine banana and vinegar in another bowl. Add banana mixture to butter mixture alternately with sugar. Beat until frosting is fluffy. Garnish top and/or sides of cake with chopped toasted pecans, if desired.

To toast nuts, spread out in a single layer on baking sheet. Toast in a 350* oven, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes. Or toast in ungreased skillet over medium heat, stirring until golden brown & aromatic