Monday, December 28, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 13

We made it through Christmas! We decided to have our big dinner on Christmas Eve so we could relax on Christmas Day without spending a lot of time in the kitchen. We were running some errands on Wednesday and ended up having Sloppy Joes and tater tots for supper. Saturday and Sunday we ate at other peoples' houses. We got home late last night, so I'm just now trying to come up with a menu plan for the week. It's pretty sketchy right now, but at least it's a start!
Monday--Cheesy Ham and Potato Soup
Tuesday--Something with hamburger
Wednesday--Something with chicken
Thursday--NEW YEAR'S EVE: Maybe steak or roast beef
Friday--NEW YEAR'S DAY: Chili
Saturday--Homemade pizza

Green Jello

This recipe has been in my file for years; I'm not sure where it originally came from.

1 large box lime Jell-o
1 can crushed pineapple
2 cups cold water
2 cups boiling water
1 - 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese

Dissolve Jello in boiling water. Add cold liquid (water and/or pineapple juice). Refrigerate until gelling. Beat in softened cream cheese; stir in pineapple. Refrigerate to set.

Green Beans Almondine

This recipe is also from $5 Dinners, and was another side to go with our ham.

1 pound fresh green beans
2 teaspoon olive oil
¼ cup slivered almonds
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Wash and cut the stems off of the greens beans. Pat dry.
2. In large skillet, sauté the green beans in the olive oil for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often. After about 2 minutes of sautéing, add the slivered almonds and sauté them with the green beans for the
remaining 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (I sauteed these longer, as they were still very crisp after 4-5 minutes.)

Au Gratin Potatoes

We had these Au Gratin Potatoes from the $5 Dinner Mom with our Christmas Eve ham. Visit $5 Dinners for your chance to win a copy of her new cookbook--she's giving away 10 copies a day for two weeks!

6 large Russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
4 tablespoons flour
4 cups milk
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9x13-inch glass baking dish.
2. Place a layer of thinly sliced potatoes, followed by a layer of thinly sliced onions, and finally topped with another layer of thinly sliced potatoes in the glass baking dish. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper.
3. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and quickly whisk in the flour to form a paste. Pour the milk into the saucepan, whisking as you pour. Whisk until butter/flour paste dissolves into the milk.
Heat the sauce over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes, until it begins to bubble and thicken. Once thickened and bubbling, pour the sauce over the potatoes and onions in the glass baking dish.
4. Sprinkle shredded sharp cheddar cheese over the potatoes and sauce. Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes. Remove foil and return to the oven and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until cheese is golden on top and sauce is bubbly.

Salted Peanut Chews

This recipe came from my mom--we often make it around Christmas.


1 pkg. (18.25 oz.) yellow cake mix

1 egg

1/3 cup softened butter

3 cups miniature marshmallows


2/3-cup light corn syrup

2 cups peanut butter chips

¼ cup butter

2 cups Rice Krispies (I didn't have Rice Krispies, so I used Special K)

2-tsp. vanilla

2 cups salted peanuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, combine all base ingredients, except marshmallows, at low speed. Press in ungreased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-18 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with marshmallows. Return to oven 1-2 minutes or until marshmallows begin to puff. Cool while preparing topping.

In large saucepan, heat corn syrup, butter, vanilla and chips just until melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and stir in cereal and nuts. Immediately spoon warm topping over marshmallows and chill.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 13

Christmas week already! It's a busy week, so we're keeping it simple most of the week. I stuck pretty close to my plan last week--on Wednesday I didn't make sausage and black bean soup, we just cooked the sausage and had corn bread and applesauce with it. Thursday (my birthday) we had lasagna and French bread and Barry brought a German chocolate cake home, and Saturday we had leftover lasagna. Here's what we're eating this week:
Sunday--Parmesan drumsticks, mashed potatoes, sugar snap peas (carried over from last week)
Monday--Tuna hotdish
Tuesday--Chicken breasts, ravioli
Wednesday--Last minute shopping/errands, so something quick and easy
Thursday--Ollie's birthday and Christmas Eve; ham, au gratin potatoes, green beans, rolls, birthday cake
Friday--Christmas; Leftover ham on rolls, snacky stuff like crackers and cheese, chips and dip, veggies and dip
Saturday--Going the the in-laws for Christmas celebration

My birthday cake

Cheesy Ranch Chex Mix

I wanted to make something not sweet for snacking on, so I tried this recipe from the back of a Chex box.

9cups Corn Chex®, Rice Chex® or Wheat Chex® cereal (or combination)
2cups bite-size pretzel twists
2cups bite-size cheese crackers
3tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1package (1 oz) ranch dressing and seasoning mix
cup grated Parmesan cheese

In large microwavable bowl, mix cereal, pretzels and crackers. In small microwavable bowl, microwave butter uncovered on High about 30 seconds or until melted. Pour over cereal mixture; stir until evenly coated. Stir in dressing mix and cheese until evenly coated.

Microwave uncovered on High 3 minutes, stirring after each minute. Spread on waxed paper or foil to cool. Store in airtight container.

Chocolate Crinkles

This was a new recipe to me, and I'll definitely be making them again.

1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup confectioners' sugar


  1. Mix oil, chocolate, and granulated sugar.

  2. Blend in one egg at a time until well mixed. Add vanilla.

  3. Stir flour, baking powder and salt into oil mixture.

  4. Chill several hours or overnight.

  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  6. Drop by teaspoonfuls into confectioners' sugar.

  7. Roll in sugar; shape into balls and place about 2 inches apart on greased baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes (do not overbake). NOTE: If you use self-rising flour, omit the baking powder and salt.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

This is a must have recipe for the holidays.

1/2 cup CRISCO® Butter Shortening (I used butter)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
48 foil-wrapped milk chocolate pieces, unwrapped


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Cream together shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar and 1/2 cup sugar. Add egg, milk and vanilla. Beat well.

  3. Sire together flour, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Beat on low speed until stiff dough forms.

  4. Shape into 1-inch balls. Roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

  5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

  6. Top each cookie immediately with an unwrapped chocolate piece, pressing down firmly so that cookie cracks around edge. Remove from cookie sheets to cool.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 12

I didn't go to the grocery store until Friday, so we filled in on Wednesday with pork steaks cooked in the crock pot with cream of mushroom soup, Stove Top stuffing, carrots and squash and Thursday with homemade vegetable soup. Friday we had frozen pizza and Saturday we had hamburgers and French fries. Here's what we're eating this week:
Sunday--Leftover hamburgers from Saturday, mac 'n cheese, fruit salad
Monday--Chicken breasts, baked potatoes, broccoli
Tuesday--Hamburger rice hot dish
Wednesday--Black bean and sausage soup
Thursday--My birthday, so I refuse to cook!
Saturday--Chicken drumsticks, mashed potatoes, carrots

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Baking Time!

I'm ready to do some baking this weekend! I did some major grocery shopping yesterday, and am all stocked up on chocolate chips, peanut butter, Hershey's Kisses and Reese's Mini peanut butter cups, marshmallows, pretzels, almond bark, sugar (brown, powdered and granulated), and can't forget the sprinkles!
I'm not sure how much we'll get to this weekend, but I have the following on my baking list:
Almond Bark pretzels
Ranch Chex Mix
Fudge Puddles and/or Reese's mini peanut butter cookies
Peanut Blossoms
Decorated sugar cookies
Christmas "crack"
M & M cookies

Monday, December 7, 2009

Taco Seasoning

I didn't have any taco seasoning packets in the cupboard the other day, so I decided to make up my own seasoning. I used this recipe, a hodgepodge of different recipes I found here and there:
1 T. chili powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (I didn't have these, and used just a bit of cayenne pepper instead)
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 1/2 tsp. cumin (I was out of cumin, so I omitted this time)
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. flour or cornstarch (I used flour this time)
For tacos, use 2 T. to 1/4 cup water with the mixture.

Menu Plan Monday 11

I had an easy week in the kitchen last week. With Barry gone for four days, I made simple, kid-friendly food. I did pick up a few groceries in town and ended up with chicken nuggets, tater tots, and corn on Tuesday. Wednesday morning the kids had late start for school, so I made them bacon, egg and cheese on English muffins for breakfast. Instead of English muffin pizzas on Friday night, we had pita pizzas--bacon cheeseburger style, with hamburger, bacon, cheddar and mozzarella cheese, plus pickle on top. Thursday was French toast and sausage.
What we're eating this week:
Sunday--Taco Ring
Monday--Cajun baked chicken, red beans and rice (from a packet), veggie
Wednesday through Saturday--I have to finish my plan after I go to the grocery store on Wednesday.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 10

It looks like an easy week in the kitchen this week. Barry will be gone Tuesday through Friday, so I plan to have an eat out of the pantry/kid friendly week. Here's what we're eating:
Sunday--Turkey Soup
Monday--Spaghetti Hotdish
Tuesday--Grilled cheese and soup
Wednesday--English muffin pizzas
Thursday--French toast or pancakes and bacon
Saturday--Eat with mom, dad and sister

Pumpkin Pie

I just used the recipe off the canned pumpkin label.

3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
Whipped cream (optional)

MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

POUR into pie shell.

BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.

Dutch Apple Pie with Oatmeal Streusel

I had two pie crusts and used one for pumpkin pie, so I decided to make apple pie with crumb topping to use the other crust. The recipe is from
1-9 inch pie shell
5 cups apples--peeled, cored and sliced (I used closer to 6 cups)
2 T. flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice (I did not use)
2 T. butter
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 tsp. lemon zest (I did not use)
1/2 cup butter
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Fit pastry shell into pie pan and place in freezer.
Apple filling: Place apples in large bowl. In a separate bowl combine 2 T. flour, sugar, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Mix well, then add to apples. Toss until apples are evenly coated.
Remove pie shell from freezer. Place apple mixture in pie shell and dot with 2 T. butter. (I forgot to dot with butter, and I don't think it mattered.) Lay a sheet of aluminum foil lightly on top of filling, but do not seal (I did not cover). Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
While filling is baking, make streusel topping: In a medium bowl, combine 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, brown sugar, oats and lemon zest. Mix thoroughly, then cut in 1/2 cup butter until mixture is crumbly. Remove filling from oven and sprinkle streusel on top.
Reduce heat to 375 degrees. Bake an additional 30 to 35 minutes, until streusel is browned and apples are tender. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to prevent excess browning. (This was not necessary in my case.)

This was good, although in places the bottom crust was a little gummy, I suspect because the apple mixture was quite juicy.

Cranberry Jell-o

I didn't serve traditional cranberry sauce with our turkey (I doubt the kids would have eaten it), but they sure like the Jell-o I made. This recipe has been in Sunday coupon supplements. It's also on the Kraft Foods website as Cranberry Pineapple Minis. I didn't make it in muffin tins as suggested, but in one big bowl.

2-3 oz. boxes raspberry Jell-l
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1 can crushed pineapple
1 apple, chopped

Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Add water to make 2 1/2 cups. Bring liquid to a boil. Add to Jell-o in large bowl, stirring 2 minutes until dissolved.
Stir in cranberry sauce, pineapple and apple. Refrigerate 2 1/2 hours or until firm. (I made this the night before.)
The original recipe also calls for 2/3 cup chopped walnuts, which I did not include.


I didn't really follow a recipe to make stuffing for Thanksgiving, but this is what I did:
Melt a stick of butter and saute 1/2 onion and 2 stalks celery
Brown 1 pound bulk sausage
Put package of stuffing cubes in large bowl. Add sauteed celery and onions and browned sausage. Add 3-4 cups chicken broth. Add desired spices (thyme, rosemary, sage, etc.). Mix together. Put in 9 x 13 pan, cover, and bake about 45 minutes.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Leftovers

One of the great things about hosting Thanksgiving is the leftovers you get to eat! We ate our Thanksgiving meal at around 4 p.m. on Thursday. We've been eating leftovers ever since!
Friday lunch--Everyone loaded up their plate with what they wanted and heated it up in the microwave
Friday supper--The kids and I had turkey quesadillas (just chopped up turkey and shredded cheddar cheese between two tortillas, heated in the oven for 5-10 minutes, until cheese is melted; serve with sour cream and/or salsa) and Barry had grilled turkey and cheese sandwiches.
Saturday--I picked the extra meat off the turkey carcass and ended up with about 4 cups. Then I put the carcass in a pot and covered with water. I simmered this for an hour or so, removed the carcass, strained the broth through a towel, and will make turkey soup with it.
Saturday supper--I mixed the leftover mashed potatoes, stuffing and corn with a little sour cream, formed them into patties that I cooked on the griddle. I mixed leftover turkey and gravy and heated up on the stove. I served the turkey mixture over the potato/stuffing patties.
Sunday--Turkey and rice soup for supper, using the bits of turkey that are left and the broth I made yesterday.
That's a lot of meals for a $5 turkey!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Triple Chocolate Cherry Bars

This recipe was on the back of a Betty Crocker chocolate fudge cake mix.

1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist chocolate fudge cake mix
1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips (I used regular, not miniature)
1 container Betty Crocker Whipped chocolate frosting

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees, or 325 degrees for dark or nonstick pan). Grease and flour, or spray with baking spray with flour, 15x10x1-inch pan (I used this size), or 13x9-inch pan.

2. In large bowl, gently mix dry cake mix, pie filling, eggs and chocolate chips with rubber scraper; break up any undissolved cake mix by pressing with scraper. Carefully spread in pan.

3. Bake 15 x 10 pan 25 to 30 minutes, 13 x 9 pan 35 to 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Frost with frosting.

Texas One Dish

From my Saving Dinner cookbook.

1 pound ground beef
2 onions, chopped (I only used about 1/2 of an onion)
1 bell pepper, chopped (I had some yellow and orange chopped in the freezer that I used)
1 cup oats
1 can diced tomatoes, with juice
1/2 cup brown rice (I used white rice this time)
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large skillet, saute beef and onions over medium-high heat. When onions begin to look translucent, add bell pepper. Continue cooking until beef it browned completely. Drain grease well (to reduce fat grams, you can also blot with paper towels). Add oats, stirring well to incorporate.
Add remaining ingredients, stirring well to completely mix. Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes or until rice is tender.
I've used brown rice in the past and it was slightly crunchy, so I figured I needed to bake it a little longer or add a little more liquid. This time I used white rice, cooked it only 45 minutes, but it was almost burnt around the edges. I also added about 1/2 cup water. The rice was cooked this time.

Menu Plan Monday 9

I totally stuck to our menu plan last week! The only difference was on Wednesday I had planned chicken/broccoli/rice casserole. I ended up cooking chicken breasts in the crockpot with a can of cream of mushroom soup, served it over some rice, and had frozen mixed veggies on the side. I didn't have anything planned for Saturday, and we ended up having grilled cheese and tomato soup (for the adults) and Dora chicken noodle soup (for the kids).
Here's what we're eating this week:
Sunday--Pork chops, baked potatoes, green beans
Monday--Smoked sausage, fried potatoes, veggie
Tuesday--Chicken, sweet potatoes, veggie
Wednesday--Homemade vegetable soup
Thursday--THANKSGIVING: Turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, stuffing, cranberry salad, rolls, pumpkin pie, apple pie.
Friday--Leftovers, of course!
Saturday--Either more leftovers, or pizza.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Butternut Squash Soup

Another recipe from

6 tablespoons chopped onion
4 tablespoons margarine (I used butter)
6 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash (I used 3 cups pureed squash I had previously baked)
3 cups water
4 cubes chicken bouillon (I used 1 can chicken broth and 1 bouillon cube/1 cup water)
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram (I did not use)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese (I used 1 package, which I think was plenty)
  1. In a large saucepan, saute onions in margarine until tender. Add squash, water, bouillon, marjoram, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Bring to boil; cook 20 minutes, or until squash is tender.
  2. Puree squash and cream cheese in a blender or food processor in batches until smooth. Return to saucepan, and heat through. Do not allow to boil.

Sweet 'n' Sour Meatloaf

This recipe has been in my file for years; I'm not sure where it originally came from. It's a good recipe to use when you want a departure from traditional meatloaf.

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 eggs
1 tsp. dried onion
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce, divided (I used two 8 ounce cans)

Reserved tomato sauce (or another 8 oz. can)
2 T. brown sugar
2 T. vinegar
2 tsp. mustard
1/2 cup sugar

Mix together beef, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and eggs. Add onions and 1/2 of tomato sauce. Form into loaf in bread pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. In saucepan, combine topping ingredients; bring to boil. Pour over meatloaf; bake 10 minutes more. Makes 6 servings.

Bread Pudding

This recipe is from, the Bread Pudding III.

10 slices white bread, cut into cubes (I used dry buns)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
6 eggs, beaten (I would use probably 4 eggs if I use this recipe again)
3/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups hot milk (160 degrees F)
1 pinch ground nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter one 2 quart baking dish.

2. Combine bread cubes, butter, cinnamon and raisins; mix well and place in baking dish.

3. Beat together the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt. Add milk, mix well and pour over bread cubes.

4. Sprinkle with nutmeg and bake for 25 minutes. (I baked mine an additional 15 minutes or so, as it didn't seem to be setting up at 25 minutes.)
And in my opinion, serve hot with vanilla ice cream on top. The combination of the hot bread pudding and the cold ice cream is soooo good!

Tuna Fusilli

This recipe is from my Saving Dinner cookbook. I used Wacky Mac pasta instead of fusilli.

12 oz. fusilli
2 T. butter, divided
1 onion, chopped (I used less onion)
1 clove garlic, pressed (I used garlic powder this time)
1 12-oz. can tuna in water, drained ( I used 2-5 oz. cans)
1 tsp. basil (I did not use)
1 jar roasted peppers, diced (I have used this before, but not this time)
1 package frozen green beans, thawed (I used frozen peas this time)
2 tsp. flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup low-fat Cheddar cheese, shredded (I used regular, not low-fat)
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, and set aside.
In a skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add onion and garlic and saute till translucent. Add drained tuna and basil, mixing well. Add diced peppers and green beans; mix well and remove from skillet.
In the same skillet over medium heat, add remaining butter and add flour gradually, whisking well to form a roux. Add milk and keep whisking till mixture is fully incorporated. Keep whisking and add cheese. Allow sauce to thicken, careful to not let it boil.
Add tuna mixture and pasta back to the cheese sauce, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 8

After being gone for a long weekend, it's good to have a menu plan in place for the week! Here's what we're eating this week:
Sunday--We got back from our weekend away and I made mac and cheese for supper.
Monday--Chili and garlic cheese bread
Tuesday--English muffin pizzas
Wednesday--Chicken/broccoli/rice casserole
Thursday--Texas One Dish
Friday--Friday night pizza

Monday, November 9, 2009

Brown Sugar Chicken

This recipe is from the Year of Slow Cooking blog via orgjunkie. No picture because my camera was full and I didn't want to take time to empty it before we ate.

12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, or 6 boneless, skinless breast halves (I used thighs)
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup lemon-lime soda (I used root beer)
2/3 cup vinegar
3 cloves smashed and chopped garlic (I used garlic powder as I didn't have any fresh in the house)
2 T. soy sauce
1 tsp. ground black pepper

The Directions.

Place the chicken into crockpot. Cover with the brown sugar, pepper, chopped garlic, and soy sauce. Add the vinegar, and pour in the root beer.

Cover and cook on low for 6-9 hours, or on high for 4-5. The chicken is done when it is cooked through and has reached desired consistency. The longer you cook it, the more tender it will be.

Serve over a bowl of white rice with a ladle full of the broth. (I used brown rice, and also served broccoli.)

Menu Plan Monday 7

When I made my menu plan last week, I wasn't sure what day I would make it to the grocery store. I changed the plan here and there as the week went on: Tuesday was Barry's birthday, so we ordered pizza. Thursday a friend came over and we had steak, baked potatoes and tossed salad. Since we had pizza earlier in the week, we had Better Cheddars, fried potatoes and veggies and dip on Friday night. Saturday we had the burgers (with onion rings) that were originally planned for Tuesday.
This week we're probably going out of town Thursday through Sunday, so I only need to plan for the beginning of the week.
Sunday: Brown sugar chicken, brown rice, broccoli.
Monday: Tuna noodle casserole
Tuesday: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, corn
Wednesday: Butternut squash soup

Friday, November 6, 2009

Toasted Pumpkin (or Squash) Seeds

Don't throw away your pumpkin or squash seeds! Follow these directions for a yummy, healthy snack!
Separate seeds from strings. Soak seeds for 30 minutes and rinse. Pat dry.
Put seeds in single layer on baking sheet. Drizzle with butter or oil of your choice. Sprinkle with Lawry's seasoning salt, or seasoning of your choice. Bake at 325 degrees until crispy.

Puppy Chow

This is a fun snack that's easy for kids to help with. They can measure and count the cups of cereal and other ingredients and shake up the bag(s) to mix it all up.

9 cups Chex or Crixpix cereal
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla (I actually forgot to add this, and it didn't seem to make a difference)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Measure cereal into a large bowl. Microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter for 1 minute; stir. Microwave an additional 30 seconds, or until smooth when stirred. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal and mix until evenly coated. Pour into 2 gallon resealable bag. (I used two 1 gallon bags--this is all I had, and it allowed 2 kids to shake) Add powdered sugar; seal bag and shake until well coated.
You can spread on wax paper to cool and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. I just leave it in the bag on the counter.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 6

Once again, we stuck pretty closely to our plan last week. The only change was I made chicken taquitos instead of Mexican Hotdish.
Here's what we're eating this week:
Sunday--Build your own taco salad/plate of nachos
Monday--Chili Mac
Tuesday--Bacon cheeseburgers for Barry's birthday
Wednesday--Grilled cheese and tomato soup
Thursday--Tuna Noodle Casserole
Friday--Friday night pizza
Saturday--Minestrone Soup
Check out orgjunkie for hundreds more ideas!

Halloween Spooky Feast

For our Halloween meal this year we had:
Brain Burgers (Chicken Burgers)

The "brain" ready to be made into burgers

Apple Biters with Swamp Water Dip (apples with slivered almonds and caramel dip)

Photo and idea courtesy of

Chips with Algae Dip (tortilla chips with guacamole)

Pumpkin Cookies (decorated by the kids)

Remy got a little carried away with the chocolate chips

Chicken Taquitos

I got this recipe from the Blessings in Abundance blog.

3-4 boneless chicken breasts
1 pkg. chicken taco seasoning, 1 small can of enchilada sauce, or 1/2 cup salsa (I used salsa, plus a small can of green chiles)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Chopped onions (optional) I did not use
Green peppers (optional) I did not use
10 Small flour tortillas
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons water

*Cook chicken breasts in a skillet with about 2 tablespoons olive oil and when they are almost done cut them up in the skillet with a spatula or remove them to shred them - your choice. (I used chicken that was already cooked.)

*When your chicken is almost done you can also add onions or peppers and cook them until they are as done as you like.

*Add either the seasoning with 3 tablespoons water, the enchilada sauce, or salsa and then bring to a boil.

*Place a small strip of the chicken mixture in the center of a tortilla and then add the shredded cheese on top (add as much as you'd like:).

*Roll them as tight as you can and lay them on a cookie sheet side by side. (I probably could have rolled them tighter.)

*Once they are all lined up lightly brush some vegetable oil on the tops of the rolled up tortillas. This will make them crispy!

*Bake them for about 10-15 minutes on 350 degrees. You can also broil them for about 2-3 minutes if they are not crisp enough after baking. You can dip them in sour cream or salsa and enjoy!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 5

Last week we ate as planned Sunday through Tuesday. Wednesday I made the sausage potato soup planned for the previous week, Thursday we ate out at Famous Dave's, Friday was pizza, and Saturday was leftovers.
Here's what's up for this week:
Sunday--Ham, mashed potatoes and corn with the in-laws for lunch and chicken pot pie with my parents for supper
Monday--Ate at Betty's Pie with my parents
Tuesday--Italian Dunkers
Wednesday--Parmesan Drumsticks
Thursday--Mexican Hotdish
Saturday--Halloween Spooky Feast!
Go to for hundreds more meal plans!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Homemade Fries

Homemade fries taste a lot better than frozen, and they're really easy to make.

Cut potatoes into eighths. Toss with oil of your choice and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until tender. You can add garlic salt, parmesan cheese, or other seasonings to your liking.

Sausage Potato Soup

I got this recipe from the What's for Dinner? blog

1/2 pound smoked turkey kielbasa, diced (I used regular smoked sausage)
6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed (I often use Yukon Golds and leave the skin on)
2 cups frozen corn
1-1/2 cups chicken broth (I used enough broth to cover the veggies while they cooked)
1 celery rib, sliced
1/4 cup sliced carrot (I used two carrots)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1-1/2 cups milk
2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley (I did not used parsley)

In a large saucepan, brown sausage; drain. Set sausage aside. In the same pan, (I used a different pan because I started the veggies cooking while the sausage was browning.)
combine the potatoes, corn, broth, celery, carrot and seasonings. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Add the milk, cheese, parsley and sausage. Cook and stir over low heat until
cheese is melted and soup is heated through.

Yield: 6 servings.

Special K Bars

Definitely a classic.

1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter
6 cups Special K cereal
Place sugar and syrup in a saucepan. Stir to combine; heat to boiling, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add peanut butter. Mix well and add cereal. mix and spread into 9 x 13 pan.

1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
Melt chips in double boiler (or microwave). Spread over bars. Cool and cut.

Creamy Baked Chicken Breasts

I got this recipe from my mom. We like it with baked potatoes and a vegetable. Easy and yummy!

4 whole chicken breasts
1-10 3/4 oz. cream of chicken soup
1 cup stuffing mix, crushed
8 slices Swiss or American cheese
1/4 cup apple juice or milk
1/4 cup butter, melted

Arrange chicken in lightly greased 9 x 13 pan. Top with cheese slices. Combine soup and apple juice/milk. Spoon evenly over chicken. Sprinkle with stuffing mix. Drizzle with butter. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 4

We did pretty good on last week's menu. The only change was Saturday, when we had tacos instead of Sausage Potato Soup.
Here's what we're eating this week:
Sunday--Creamy Swiss Chicken Breasts, baked potatoes, broccoli w/cheese
Monday--Sloppy Joes, homemade fries, corn
Tuesday--Chicken and Rice, carrots
Wednesday--Sausage, red beans and rice
Thursday--Baked chicken, mashed potatoes, squash
Saturday--Some kind of soup

Monday, October 12, 2009

Lentil Soup

I adapted this recipe from This recipe is supposed to be two servings, so I basically doubled everything.

* 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 fresh green onions, chopped (I used 1/2 yellow onion)
* 1 carrot, chopped (I used two)
* 1 parsnip, sliced (I did not use)
* 1 stalk celery, chopped
* 1 potato, cubed (I used two)
* 1 leek, chopped (I did not use)
* 1 cup dry lentils, rinsed (I used 2 cups)
* 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes (I used 2 cans)
* 3 cups vegetable broth (I used 3 cans of chicken broth)
* 2 bay leaves (I did not use)
* 1 dash soy sauce (I did not use)
* 1 dash Worcestershire sauce (I did not use)
* 1/2 cup red wine (I used about a tomato can of water)

1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the oil, onions, carrot, parsnip, celery, potato and leek. Stir well for 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Add the lentils, tomatoes with liquid, stock, bay leaves, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and wine.
2. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Remove the bay leaves and add fresh coriander or fresh parsley to taste.

Pork Chops with Apples

This came from the House of Bowling recipe blog.
  • 6 pork chops

  • 2 Tbsp. oil

  • 3-4 unpeeled apples, cored and sliced

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed down

  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

  • 2 Tbsp. butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brown pork chops on both sides, using oil in a skillet. Place the apple slices in a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Sprinkle on the brown sugar and the cinnamon. Dot with bits of butter. Layer browned pork chops on top of all.

Bake at 400 degrees, covered, for 1 1/2 hours. I did not bake them so long; it was probably closer to an hour.

Crock Pot Apple Crisp

I found this recipe on a blog called Frugal Homekeeping.

Apple Crisp in the Crock Pot

6 cups cooking apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup quick-cook oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 T. butter
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Place apples in greased crock pot. Combine remaining ingredients in mixing bowl until crumbly. Sprinkle over apples. Cover. Cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours.

Eggplant Parmesan/Lasagna

I combined Eggplant Parmesan I and Eggplant Parmesan II from to make my version. I breaded and baked the eggplant like recipe II, and used the rest of the ingredients like recipe I.

Ready to go in the oven.

1 eggplant, cut into 3/4 inch slices
Sprinkle both sides of the eggplant slices with salt. Place slices in a colander, and place a dish underneath the colander to capture liquid that will sweat out of the eggplant. Allow to sit for 30 minutes. Rinse eggplant in cold water until all the salt is removed.

1 egg, beaten
2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dip eggplant in egg and then bread crumbs. Place in single layer on baking sheet Bake in preheated over for 5-7 minutes per side, until crispy.

8 ounces ricotta cheese (I used cottage cheese)
6 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
Mix ricotta, mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese with the egg.

In a 9x13 inch baking dish, evenly spread 1 1/2 cups of spaghetti sauce. Arrange a single layer of eggplant slices on top of the sauce. Top the eggplant with 1/2 of the cheese mixture. Repeat layering process until all the eggplant and cheese mixture is used. Pour remaining sauce on top of layers, and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake 30 to 45 minutes until sauce is bubbly.

Cheesy Chicken Crescents

I found this recipe at cdkitchen.

3 1/2 cups cooked, cubed chicken
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cans (8 oz size) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Combine chicken and 1/2 the cheddar cheese. Separate crescent dough into triangles. Place about 3 Tbsp chicken mixture on wide end of each triangle and roll to opposite point.

In medium saucepan, combine soups, milk and 1/2 the remaining cheddar cheese. Heat until cheese melts. Pour half of soup mixture into greased 8 or 9 inch square baking dish. Reserve remaining soup mixture for sauce. Arrange filled crescents over hot soup mixture.

Bake at 375 for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. During last 10 minutes, sprinkle with remaining cheese. Serve with remaining sauce poured over the top. I poured the rest of the sauce over top before I baked it.

Menu Plan Monday 3

I did pretty good sticking to last week's menu plan. I ended up making Lentil Soup rather than Lentil Stew; everything else went according to plan. This week, the kids don't have school on Thursday or Friday, so we may end up changing one of those days.
Sunday: Roast, potatoes and carrots
Monday: Brats, fried potatoes, salad
Tuesday: Turkey roast, mashed potatoes, squash
Wednesday: Spaghetti
Thursday: Something with chicken breasts
Friday: Friday night pizza
Saturday: Sausage potato soup

Monday, October 5, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 2

I didn't make a couple things from last week's menu. One night Barry wanted to grill, so we had hamburgers on the grill instead of Sloppy Joes. Another night he wasn't home for supper, so the kids and I had grilled cheese and tomato soup instead of pork chops with apples.
The plan for this week:
Sunday--Hamburger hot dish
Monday--Beef Stew
Tuesday--Chicken Crescents
Wednesday--Eggplant Parmesan
Thursday--Pork chops with apples
Friday--Friday night pizza
Saturday--Lentil stew

Monday, September 28, 2009

Lemon Chicken, Potatoes and Green Beans

This recipe came from Kelly's Korner.

6 tablespoons olive oil
2 lemons, 1 thinly sliced, 1 juiced
4 cloves garlic (I used garlic salt since I didn't have any fresh garlic on hand)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
3/4 lb green beans (I used 2 cans)
8 small red potatoes, quartered
4 chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 450. Coat a large baking dish with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Arrange lemon slices from 1 lemon in a single layer on the bottom of the dish. In large bowl combine remaining olive oil, lemon juice of 2nd lemon, garlic, salt and pepper. Add green beans and toss to coat. Using tongs, remove green beans and arrange them on top of lemon slices. Add potatoes to same olive oil mixture and coat. Arrange on inside edge of dish on top of the beans. Place chicken in olive oil mixture and coat. Place chicken in dish. I also sprinkled some garlic pepper seasoning on top of everything for some extra flavor. Roast for 40-50 minutes. Remove chicken and continue roasting potatoes/beans if necessary.

Due to the lemon juice, the beans were rather tangy, according to the kids. It reminded me of when my grandma added vinegar to green beans when we would eat Sunday dinner at her house.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

From the Quaker Oatmeal container.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
3 cups Quaker Oats (quick or Old Fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup raisins
I sometimes add chocolate chips, too.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat together butter and sugars until creamy.
Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well.
Stir in oats and raisins; mix well
Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack.

Bar cookies: Bake 30 to 35 minutes in ungreased 9 x 13 metal baking pan.

BBQ Meatballs

Hands down, the best meatball recipe ever! My mom's recipe, of course.

2 pounds hamburger
24 saltines, crushed (about 1 cup crumbs)
2 eggs
1 medium onion, chopped (I use less onion)

1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup vinegar
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

Blend hamburger, cracker crumbs, eggs and onion. Shape into meatballs and place in greased roasting dish. Mix the sauce in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour sauce over meatballs. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • I also added chocolate chips
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cocoa powder. Set aside.

  • Zucchini, cocoa/flour mix, and cake batter

  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter, oil and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. In a small bowl, combine shredded zucchini with milk. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the zucchini mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.
  • I think this is best served on the day it is baked. After the first day, the cake was a little on the dry side.
  • The original recipe also suggests frosting with cream cheese frosting.

Monster Cookies

A fun fall cookie recipe!

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
4 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup M & M's

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat eggs. Add remaining ingredients in order, stirring as you go. Use ice cream scoop to put on cookie sheets. Bake 12-15 minutes.
I made a 1/2 batch of these cookies (2 eggs, everything else halved).

Sunshine Toast

Raina really likes it when Barry makes her "drippy eggs" for breakfast. She found this idea in a Summer Activities book we have and wanted to try it.

1 slice of bread
1 medium egg
Large cookie cutter
  • Heat your oven to 400 degrees.
  • Dip a paper towel into some butter and rub it all over a baking sheet.
  • Spread butter on one side of the bread. Press the cutter into the middle of it.
  • Lift out the shape you have cut. Put the pieces of bread onto the baking sheet, butter side up. Break the egg onto a saucer. Then, carefully slide the egg into the hole you have cut.
  • Bake them for seven minutes at the top of your oven, or for a little longer if you don't like a runny yolk.
  • Use a spatula to lift the pieces of bread carefully onto a plate. Eat them while warm.

Stir Fry

The original recipe for Stir Fry Chicken and Broccoli came from my Calvinette (now Gems) cookbook. I've made some adjustments over time.

1 lb. chicken breast strips (I've also used pork and shrimp)
2 T. oil
4 cups veggies (broccoli, pepper strips, water chestnuts) (I've also used carrots in this, or occassionally a frozen stir fry veggie mix)
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
3 T. soy sauce
2 T. cornstarch
2 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 to 2 cups Minute Rice (I never use Minute Rice, just cook some brown rice to go with it.)

Stir fry chicken in hot oil in large skillet until browned. Add vegetables. Stir fry until crisp tender.

I love the colorful veggies!

Mix broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, brown sugar, garlic powder and ginger. Add to skillet. Bring to boil. Boil for 1 minute or until thickened.

Liquid added, needs to thicken.

Meanwhile, prepare rice as directed on package. Serve chicken and vegetables over rice.

Menu Plan Monday 1

Here's what we're eating this week:
Sunday: Chili
Monday: Open house at school; eat at school
Tuesday: Spicy Honey Chicken
Wednesday: Sloppy Joes
Thursday: Pork Chops with Apples
Friday: BBQ Chicken Pizza
Saturday: Homemade Vegetable Soup
Go to I'm an Organizing Junkie for hundreds more meal plan ideas!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Cookie Jar Recipe

This recipe originally came from my sister Abby.

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup Parkay spread sticks (I usually use butter)
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla

Mix flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Beat Parkay and sugars in large bowl until fluffy. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture, beat until blended. Stir in chocolate chips (or other variations).
Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Cool 2 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets.
1/2 cup peanut butter (decrease butter amount by 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa with flour (decrease flour amount by 1/2 cup)

Bubble Pizza

This recipe originally came from my college roommate Becky.

1 lb. hamburger
14 oz. spaghetti or pizza sauce
2 tubes buttermilk biscuits, cut into 4 pieces each
2 cups mozzerella cheese

Brown hamburger; drain grease. Add spaghetti/pizza sauce. Add quartered biscuits. Mix together. Bake in 9 x 13 greased pan for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Add cheese over top, baking for 10 more minutes.

Mexican Hotdish

I'm not sure where I originally got this recipe, but it's been in my file for awhile now.

1 pound hamburger
1 medium onion
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 lb. cheddar cheese (1 lb. seems like a lot; I used an 8 oz. package)
Flour tortillas

Brown hamburger and onion. Add stewed tomatoes and taco seasoning and simmer for 10 minutes. Layer meat, tortillas and cheese 2-3 times in 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour, uncovered.

S'more Cookie Bars

The Wit's End Bakery and Corner Store next to our office makes the best s'more cookies, so I was looking to duplicate their recipe. I didn't find a cookie recipe, but I did find this bar recipe at

S’More Cookie Bars
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs*
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 king-sized milk chocolate bars (e.g. Hershey’s) (I used chocolate chips)
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme/fluff (not melted marshmallows) (I used regular marshmallows)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined. Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan.
Place chocolate bars over dough. 2 king-sized Hershey’s bars should fit perfectly side by side, but break the chocolate (if necessary) to get it to fit in a single layer no more than 1/4 inch thick.
Spread chocolate with marshmallow creme or fluff.
Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff (most easily achieved by flattening the dough into small shingles and laying them together).
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned.
Cool completely before cutting into bars.

I put all the dough in the pan and baked about 25 minutes. Then I added a layer of marshmallows and baked an additional 5-10 minutes until they were puffy and lightly brown. I took them out of the oven, sprinkled with chocolate chips and let them melt, and then spread the chocolate chips over top.

Makes 16 cookie bars.

*Note: 3/4 cup crumbs is approx 7 full-sized graham cracker sheets, whizzed in the food processor until fine. (I put the crackers in a plastic bag and crush with my rolling pin.)

Sloppy Joes

I found this recipe at I don't like Manwich, I think it's the green peppers in it, and this recipe did not call for them. I've been using this recipe for over two years now.

2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery (I don't use a full cup, usually 1 stalk)
1 (10.75 oz.) can condensed tomato soup
1/4 cup ketchup
1 T. white vinegar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
8 hamburger buns

Place ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until evenly browned, stirring to crumble. Add onion and celery, cover the pan, and cook until tender and transparent, about 5 minutes. Drain off any grease.

Stir the tomato soup (undiluted), ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce into the beef mixture. Season with salt and garlic powder. Heat to a simmer over low heat, and cook until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently to prevent it from burning on the bottom.

Spoon the hot beef mixture onto buns, which may be toasted first, and serve.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tater Tot Hotdish

For when you're looking for some classic comfort food. This is how I make it, others make some changes.

1 pound hamburger
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 soup can milk
2 cans green beans, drained
1 bag tater tots

Brown hamburger and drain. Mix with cream of mushroom soup, milk and green beans. Pour into 9 x 13 pan and spread evenly. Top with tater tots. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until bubbly and tater tots are crisp on top.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Rhubarb Raspberry Crunch

My dad found a rhubarb patch in the trees behind our house when he was here last weekend, and mom brought some frozen raspberries from their patch with them. I went to allrecipes, where you can enter ingredients to find recipes that use those ingredients. I entered rhubarb and raspberries, and this is what I decided to make.
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant tapioca (I didn't have any tapioca, so I added an extra tablespoon of cornstarch)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (I increased the brown sugar, oatmeal and flour to about 2/3 cup each)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup butter, chilled
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan (I used an 11 x 7 pan).
In a large bowl, combine sugar, tapioca, cornstarch and salt. Place rhubarb and raspberries into bowl making sure to completely coat them with dry ingredients. Pour into baking pan.

In a medium bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour and oats. Cut in butter until mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs. Spread on top of fruit mixture.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until rhubarb is tender.

Tastes good plain; tastes even better with whipped cream or ice cream.