Dec 19, 2010

Rolo turtles

When I saw the "recipe" for these, I decided I needed to try to make them because they looked so easy and delicious.  Boy am I glad I did.  They turned out super yummy and they are an easy enough recipe that even the boys are able to help me with making them.  The other positive thing is that you only need three ingredients.

The boys really like the M&M version.  In fact, I needed to lock the deep freezer so that the Wee One wouldn't get into them.  I think these are his favorite of  all the candies I've made.

Stars of the recipe:

  • either pretzel twists or waffle pretzels

  • Rolo candies

  • M&M's or pecan halves


  1. Line a cookie sheet with foil.  Place whole pretzels on the foil in a straight line.

  2. Place a Rolo flat side down on the pretzel.

  3. Put in the oven at 350 degrees for about 4 minutes.

  4. Carefully pull out of the oven and then place either a M&M or pecan half on the top of the melted Rolo.

  5. Allow the turtle to cool and then place in a plastic bag and store.  I froze mine and they did fine.

Dec 18, 2010

Easy Fudge

Who doesn't love fudge?!?  It's rich and decadent.  Recently I found a recipe for an easy fudge that I decided I needed to try.  It is so easy to make and tastes yummy!  The best thing is that it only requires 3 ingredients!  Yes I said it right, I only needed three ingredients.  Not bad for a delicious piece of fudge.

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1-12 oz. bag of chocolate chips

  • 1 can of condensed milk

  • 1 to 2 tsp. of vanilla extract

  • handful of pecan pieces, optional


  1. Place the chocolate chips and condensed milk in a microwavable safe bowl.

  2. Microwave on 70% power for 1.5 minutes.  Stir.

  3. Continue microwave on 70% power for another 1.5 minutes.  Stir.

  4. If the chocolate is not melted, continue microwaving on 70% power for 30 second intervals until the chocolate is melted.

  5. Once the chocolate is melted, add the vanilla and stir.  If you add pecans, this would be when they would be added.

  6. Pour into a square cake pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  (I also lined mine with foil and then sprayed the foil.)

  7. Place in the fridge until it's hardened.  Cut into pieces.  Enjoy!


Dec 13, 2010

Menu Planning ~ Week of December 13

Monday - chicken in the crockpot, mashed potatoes, veggie, roll

Tuesday - Quesidillas (spelling) cheese soup, and raw veggies,

Wednesday7 up pork chops, buttered noodles, veggies

Thursday - homemade hamburger helper, veggies, Easy Rolls

Friday - pizza and salad

Dec 11, 2010

Saltine Chocolate Pieces

These are so addicting! 

  • 1 sleeve about 37 Saltines

  • 3/4 c. brown sugar

  • 1 c. butter

  • 12 oz. (2 c.) semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • 3/4 c. chopped nuts (I used pecans)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.

  2. Line a 10 x 15 inch cookie sheet with foil; spray very lightly with cooking spray.

  3. Cover cookie sheet with saltines.

  4. Boil sugar and butter for 3 minutes.

  5. Pour mixture over saltines and pread evenly.

  6. Bake at 400 degrees Farehenheit for 5 minutes.

  7. Remove from oven.

  8. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let set 1 minute, then spread melted chips with spatula.

  9. Sprinkle 3/4 chopped nuts over this and press down lightly.

  10. Cut on diagonal immediately or cool until firm, then break up; pieces can be fozen. Yield: 30 pieces.

Microwavable Chex Mix

I've made Chex Mix like this for the past two years.  It is super easy this way. 

(I copied this post and then edited it from my old blog.)

The Original ChexParty® Mix

Prep Time:15 min
Start to Finish:15 min
Makes:24 servings (1/2 cup each)


  • 3 cups Corn Chex® cereal

  • 3 cups Rice Chex® cereal

  • 3 cups Wheat Chex® cereal

  • 1 cup mixed nuts

  • 1 cup bite-size pretzels

  • 1 cup garlic-flavor bite-size bagel chips or regular-size bagel chips, broken into 1-inch pieces

  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine

  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt

  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  1. In large microwavable bowl, mix cereals, nuts, pretzels and bagel chips; set aside.

  2. In small microwavable bowl, microwave butter uncovered on High about 40 seconds or until melted.

  3. Stir in seasonings.

  4. Pour over cereal mixture; stir until evenly coated.

  5. Microwave uncovered on High 5 to 6 minutes, thoroughly stirring every 2 minutes.

  6. Spread on paper towels to cool.

  7. Store in airtight container.

If you don't want to make it in the microwave, you can use the oven directions instead.

Oven Directions

  1. Heat oven to 250°F.

  2. In large bowl, mix cereals, nuts, pretzels and bagel chips; set aside.

  3. In ungreased large roasting pan, melt butter in oven.

  4. Stir in seasonings.

  5. Gradually stir in cereal mixture until evenly coated.

  6. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

  7. Spread on paper towels to cool, about 15 minutes.

  8. Store in airtight container.

Pecan Nougat Cookies (Shortbread Snowballs)

This is one of my favorite Christmas cookies.  Today I was looking at the Southern Plate's blog and found a recipe for them.  I decided I needed to try out the recipe.  Oh, my goodness, they were delicious.  I ended up putting them in the freezer so I don't eat the whole entire batch.  They were that good!!!!  :)


  • 1 c. softened butter (2 sticks)

  • 1/2 c. sugar

  • 2 tsp. vanilla

  • 2 c. all purpose flour

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 2 c. finely chopped, ground up pecans

  • powdered sugar


  1. Cream butter, sugar, and salt until fluffy.

  2. Add flour and vanilla, mix well, scraping down sides as needed.

  3. Add nuts and mix until well incorporated.

  4. Shape into one inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheet.

  5. Bake at 325 for twenty minutes, but don't let them brown.

  6. Cool cookies.  When cooled, roll in powdered sugar.

  7. Enjoy!

Dec 6, 2010

Menu Plan Monday ~ Week of December 6

Monday -Bacon and Parmesan Pasta, garlic bread or cheddar bay biscuits, salad

Tuesday - Potato soup, Depression Era bread (freezer), raw veggies

Wednesday -Gingerbread pancakes, bacon

Thursday -chicken and dumplings

Friday - Prime time meatloaf (refrigerator freezer), scalloped potatoes, veggies

Saturday - left-overs

Dec 1, 2010

December meals

I can't believe the year is almost over.  Before we know it, it will be Christmas and then we will be ringing in 2011!

Week of December 1st

  1. Swedish meatballs over egg noddles, veggies

  2. beef veggie soup, rolls

  3. sweet and sour chicken over rice, fortune cookies

  4. leftovers

Week of December 6

  1. Bacon and Parmesan Pasta, garlic bread or cheddar bay biscuits, salad (When I saw this recipe on Pioneer Woman's' Tasty Kitchen blog, I knew I needed to cook it for dinner.  My hubby and I agreed we are going to have this instead of spaghetti carbonara.)

  2. Potato soup, Depression Era bread (freezer), raw veggies

  3. Gingerbread pancakes, bacon

  4. chicken and dumplings

  5. Prime time meatloaf (refrigerator freezer), scalloped potatoes, veggies

  6. left-overs

Week of December 13

  1. Quesidillas (spelling) cheese soup, and raw veggies,

  2. chicken in crock pot, mashed potatoes, rolls, veggies

  3. 7 up pork chops, buttered noodles, veggies

  4. pizza and salad

  5. homemade hamburger helper, veggies, Easy Rolls

  6. leftovers

Week of December 20

  1. White castle sliders, chips or fries, veggies

  2. tomato soup (request from Wee One), grilled cheese sandwiches

  3. Waffle House waffles, hash browns smothered, covered, and chunked, breakfast meat

  4. chicken nuggets, French fries, veggies

  5. green beans with ham and potatoes (Christmas eve - It will be the two year anniversary of her death.  This was one of the meals she cooked for us.  I think it would be a good way to remember her.)

  6. Christmas

Week of December 27

  1. lasagna, garlic bread, veggies, applesauce

  2. Mel's Chili, cornbread, raw veggies

  3. orange chicken over rice, fortune cookies

  4. hogies, leftover chips, and raw veggies

  5. New Year's Eve - hor dourves (spelling)

  6. New Years's Day - Annual pork and sauerkraut dinner - (yummy!)

For more great meal plans, visit Mommy's Kitchen.

Sweet and sour chicken (or pork)

This is a simple 15 minute meal if you used already cooked chicken or pork!  When my hubby tasted it, he told me it was better then the sweet and sour chicken that you get in Chinese restaurants.  Now that''s saying a lot.

(There is no picture because as soon as it was finished cooking, my hubby had to eat so he could get to work.)

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 lb of diced up chicken or pork (already cooked)

  • 1 Tbsp oil

  • 1 cup green pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces

  • 1 cup onion, cut into thin wedges

  • 1 (15 oz.) can pineapple chunks in juice

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar

  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch

  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce


  1. Preheat oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat.

  2. Stir fry green peppers an onion in hot oil for 2 to 3 minutes or till crisp tender.

  3. Remove from wok.  Add more oil, if necessary.

  4. Reheat chicken or pork in skillet.

  5. Drain pineapple, reserving juice.

  6. In a small pan, combine the juice, brown sugar, vinegar, cornstarch, and soy sauce.  Bring to a boil; cooke about 1 minute or till thickened, stirring constantly.

  7. Return green pepper and onion to skillet.  Stir in pineapple and the thickened sauce.

  8. Cook and stir until heated through.

  9. Serve with rice, if desired.

This post is linked to Eat at Home's Ingredient Spotlight.

Nov 29, 2010

Menu Plan Monday ~ Week of November 29

Monday - Grilled chicken with bbq gravy, pasta roni, corn, rolls, and homemade rolls

Tuesday - chili (freezer), cornbread

Wednesday - sweet and sour chicken (using leftover chicken from Monday's meal) over rice, fortune cookie

Thursday - Swedish meatballs over egg noodles, veggies

Friday - veggie beef soup with Arby's roast beef sandwiches

Saturday - leftovers

Nov 20, 2010

Nantucket Cranberry Pie

Update 11/2/11:  Last week, I was asked by someone from my church to bring a pie to our Thanksgiving service.  They remembered this pie from last year and they wanted me to bring this pie once again.

I found this recipe on the The Pioneer Woman's blog.  Since I love cranberries, I decided it would be perfect a Thanksgiving dessert.  Before I could serve it to my whole family on turkey day, I decided to bake one and taste test it.  The taste is devine. 

Since I was meeting with my pastor and his wife today, I decided to serve some of it to them.  They gave it thumbs up. Now that it's been tasted tested and approved, I'm definitely making it on Thanksgiving day.

If I had to give three reasons why I love this recipe, I would say 1)It is easy to assemble and get into the oven; 2)The taste is amazing; and 3)I've never had a pie made of cranberries so it's an unique recipe.

Stars of the recipe:

  • Butter, For Greasing

  • 2 cups (heaping) Cranberries

  • ¾ cups Pecans, Chopped (measure, Then Chop)

  • ⅔ cups Sugar

  • 1 cup Flour

  • 1 cup Sugar

  • 1 stick Unsalted Butter, melted

  • 2 whole Eggs, Lightly Beaten

  • 1 teaspoon Pure Almond Extract

  • ¼ teaspoons Salt

  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar For Sprinkling


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Generously butter a cake pan or pie pan.

  3. Add cranberries to the bottom of the pan.

  4. Sprinkle on chopped pecans, then sprinkle on 2/3 cup sugar.

  5. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, 1 cup sugar, melted butter, eggs, almond extract, and salt. Stir gently to combine.

  6. Pour batter slowly over the top in large “ribbons” in order to evenly cover the surface. Spread gently if necessary.

  7. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. 5 minutes before removing from oven, sprinkle surface with 1 tablespoon sugar for a little extra crunch.

  8. Cut into wedges and serve with ice cream or freshly whipped cream.

For more great recipes, visit Colleen's Kitchen Recipe Swap and Eat at Home's Ingredient Spotlight Cranberries.

Spritz Cookies

I love Spritz cookies.  However, most recipes I've tried have been more work then necessary.  After putting the dough in the cookie gun, I would have to pump it and most times it would not stay on the cookie sheet.  It truly was frustrating.  Rather then giving up, I looked for other recipes.  Then  I saw this Spritz recipe on the Domino Sugar website.  So I decided to try it.  Getting the dough onto the cookie sheet was not perfect at times.  However, I was truly amazed at the ease of getting those cookies on the cookie sheet. 

After they finshed baking, the Wee One and Imaginative One taste tested them.  They both gave the recipe a thumbs up! 

Stars of the recipe:

  • 3/4 cup -granulated sugar

  • 1 cup - butter or margarine, softened

  • 1/2 teaspoon - salt

  • 2 - egg whites

  • 1 - egg yolk

  • 1/2 teaspoon - almond extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon - vanilla

  • 3 cups - all-purpose flour


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. Beat sugar and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy.

  3. Add salt, egg whites, egg yolk, almond extract and vanilla; mix well.

  4. Add flour, beating at low speed until well mixed.

  5. Force dough through cookie press onto ungreased cookie sheet.

  6. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. (I baked mine for 8 minutes.  When I baked them for nine minutes, they were too brown.)

  7. Remove to cooling rack.

  8. Store in airtight container.

  9. Makes 7 dozen.

For more great recipes, visit Colleen's Kitchen Recipe Swap.

Nov 9, 2010

Menu Planning Week of November 8, 2010

This is a day late.  I was working on paperwork for work last night that I needed to get done so I did not get this posted.

Monday - pancakes or waffles, bacon, eggs

Tuesday - pinto beans and Youngs Dairy pumpkin bread

Wednesday - dinner at Frisch's Big Boy - We have coupons for free kid's meals.

Thursday - spaghetti carbonara, Cheddar Bay biscuits, veggies

Friday - pork chops with onions and peppers, buttermilk biscuits, veggies

Saturday - Primetime meatloaf, mashed potatoes, veggies, Easy Rolls

Nov 7, 2010

Pumpkin spice muffins

I totally forgot that I had signed up to bring snacks to church today.  Lucky for me, my mother-in-law remnded me.  I quickly whipped up some of the Halloween sweet and salty treats - even though it's not Halloween.  Last time I brought them to church, people loved them.  I also made some pumpkin chocolate chip granola bar bites.  Then I was at a stand still of what else I could make.  That's when I decided to use my all star muffin mix to make some pumpkin spice muffins.  I had some pumpkin puree left-over from the granola bar bites so it was perfect.

Stars of the recipe: 

  • 2 - 3/4 c. All Star Muffin Mix

  • 1 c. milk

  • 1 egg

  • 1/2 c. of melted butter (1 stick) - When I did this, I melted it in the microwave for one minute.

  • 3 Tbsp. of pumpkin puree -  When I made these, I didn't know how the recipe would work when you added the pumpkin puree.  You might want to add more.

  • 2 Tbsp. of pumpkin spice


  1. Place 2-3/4 cups muffin mix in a large bowl.

  2. Whisk the egg, milk, pumpkin puree,  and butter; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

  3. Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full.

  4. Bake at 400° for 18-21 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

  5. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

  6. Serve warm.

I made mini muffins this time.  I ended up having 45 mini muffins.  Instead of baking them for 18 to 21 minutes, I baked them for 12 minutes.  I also added chocolate chips to half of the batter.  Those turned out really delicious.

This recipe has been linked to Colleen's Kitchen Recipe Swap, Days of Thanksgiving, and Potluck Sunday.

Nov 1, 2010

Menu Planning Week of November 1

I can't believe it's already November.  Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here before we know it.

This week is going to be a busy week because I have parent teacher conferences on Monday and Wednesday nights.  Election day is Tuesday so before heading home on Tuesday, I've got to go and vote.  On Thursday night, I've got to go to the Imaginative One's parent teacher conference.  Friday night is chiropractor and then eating at Chick Fil A for dinner.  The church that I attend MOPs at is building an addition to one of the MOPs' members house.  One of the fund raisers is with Chick Fil A.  I decided that would be a nice way to begin the weekend after a long week.

Monday - (Hubby  cooking) mini meatloaves, butter noodles, corn, and Italian sweet bread

Tuesday - (crockpot) roast with root veggies, boiled potatoes, green beans, Italian sweet bread

Wednesday - (Hubby  cooking) Skyline chili (freezer) over spaghetti, mixed veggies, cornbread (freezer)

Thursday - hash made from left over roast, veggies, Easy Rolls

Friday - Chick Fil-A

Saturday - left - overs

For more great menus, visit Menu Plan Monday.

Oct 31, 2010

Pinto Beans and Ham

Last winter I found this recipe and have cooked several times.  The last time I made it, both boys gave it a thumbs up.  I enjoy this recipe because the recipe makes a lot so it stretches a buck and it is made in the crockpot.

Stars of the recipe:

  • bag of dried pinto beans

  • 1/2 lb. of ham chopped

  • small onion chopped

  • water


  1. Soak the pinto beans over night.  Make sure you put them in a big bowl and cover them with water.

  2. In the morning, drain the beans.  Get rid of any debris which could have gotten in the bag.

  3. Place the beans, ham, and onion in the crockpot. 

  4. Put water in the crockpot so it's over the beans, ham, and onion.  Season with salt and pepper.

  5. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

  6. Serve over rice or with cornbread.

November Meals

Week of November 1st - (I have parent teacher conferences on Monday and Wednesday so hubby has to cook.  It needs to be easy meals that I know the boys will eat.)

  1. mini meatloaves, pasta roni, and veggie

  2. Skyline chili (in freezer) over spaghetti, veggie

  3. roast with root veggies, rolls

  4. hash made from the roast, veggie, Easy Rolls

  5. Chick Fil A (Friday) to support a fund raiser for a MOP's mother - Her church is building an addition to her house.

  6. leftovers

Week of November 8

  1. primetime meatloaf (freezer), mashed potatoes, veggie, Easy Rolls (freezer)

  2. spaghetti carbonara, salad, garlic bread or cheddar bay rolls

  3. pinto beans and ham (freezer) and cornbread (freezer)

  4. pork chops with onions and peppers, buttermilk bicuits, veggies

  5. breakfast for dinner - pancakes, bacon, eggs

  6. leftovers

Week of November 15

  1. molasses chicken (freezer), easy mac and cheese,  veggie, bread

  2. soup (TBA) and sandwiches

  3. spaghetti, garlic bread, salad

  4. ham (freezer), corn casserole or mashed potatoes, applesauce, peas

  5. chicken nuggets, French fries, raw veggies

  6. leftovers

Week of November 22 (Thanksgiving week)

  1. Taco soup (freezer), cheese quesidillas

  2. White Castle sliders, French fries, raw veggies

  3. Roast Kiebalsa dinner, veggies, rolls

  4. Thankgiving

  5. breakfast for dinner - Waffle House waffles, hash browns smothered, covered, and chunked

  6. leftovers

Week of November 29

  1. chili (freezer), cornbread

  2. grilled chicken, pasta or rice roni, veggie

  3. Swedish meatballs over egg noddles, veggies

  4. beef veggie soup, rolls

  5. sweet and sour chicken over rice, fortune cookies

  6. leftovers

This menu has been linked to This Mommy Cooks and Mommy's Kitchen.

Oct 25, 2010

Menu Planning Monday - Week of October 25, 2010

Monday - lemon basil pasta, cheddar bay biscuits, salad

Tuesday - pinto beans and ham, cornbread (freezer)

Wednesday - monterray chicken quesidillas for adults, cheese quesidillas for children, veggies

Thursday - molasses chicken (freezer), noodles or rice side dish, veggies

Friday - grilled cheese and potato soup (freezer)

Saturday - leftovers

For more great menus visit, Menu Planning Monday.

Oct 24, 2010

Peanut Butter Blossoms

This is my third week of posting Christmas cookie recipes.  This week's recipe is another favorite of the Imaginative One.  My mother-in-law adores these.  What's not to love about them?  Peanut butter and chocolate is delicious together.

Stars of the recipe:

  • 48 Hershey Kisses

  • 1/2 cup shortening

  • 3/4 cup Creamy Peanut Butter

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 2 tablespoons milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Granulated sugar


  1.  Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.

  2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended.

  3. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy.

  4. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well.

  5. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.

  6. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

  7.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

  8. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges.

  9. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

  10. Cool completely.

Other Christmas cookie recipes:  Mock Thin Mints and Snickerdoodles

This post has been linked up to Delicious Dishes. and Eat at Home.

Sweet and salty Halloween treats

I found this "recipe" on This Mommy Cooks' blog so I decided to make them to take to church for our fellowship time.  These treats were gone quickly.  In fact, my hubby came over looking for some and couldn't find any because they were all gone.

I call these a "recipe" but it is actually a method more than a recipe.

Stars of the "recipe:"

  • mini pretzels (twists or snaps)

  • Hershey kisses or hugs

  • candy or Indian corn


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or foil.

  3. Place the pretzels on the cookie sheet.  Make sure they are not touching.

  4. After unwrapping the kisses/hugs, place them on each pretzel.

  5. Place the cookie sheet in the oven.  Bake for 3 to 5 minutes until the kisses are melted.  You will know they are because they will become shiny.

  6. Take out of the oven.  Carefully place a candy corn/Indian corn on each of the kisses.

  7. Cool and then store.  (You may have to put them in the fridge to aid in the cooling process.)

Oct 20, 2010

Roasted Kielbasa Dinner

I saw this recipe on Rachael Ray's talk show about a month ago.  I knew it would an instant hit for my family so I put it on my October menu plan.  Boy was I correct (as the Wee One would say), it was a hit with the whole family.  You need to plan ahead because it takes an hour of actual cooking time.  There is very little prep that needs to be done besides cutting up the onions, kielbosa, potatoes, and apples.  Since you are not doing a fine chop with any of those ingredients, it doesn't take too much time.

Stars of the Recipe:

  • 2 pounds of red potatoes, halved or quartered depending on their size (Some of mine needed to be cut even smaller.)

  • 4 large onions quartered (I used only 2 onions because the boys do not like onions.)

  • 2 pounds of kielbasa, cut into 2 inch pieces (I used turkey sausage instead.)

  • 4 Gala or Honeycrisp apples cut into wedges

  • Honey for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 425˚F.

  2. In a large, shallow roasting pan, drizzle potatoes and onions with EVOO, salt and pepper. Roast 40 minutes.

  3. Drizzle the apples with honey, EVOO, salt and pepper. Add kielbasa and apples to potatoes and onions in the last 20 minutes of cooking time.

I served our dinner with steamed green beans and Young's Dairy Pumpkin Bread.

Oct 18, 2010

Menu Planning Monday - Week of October 18

I'm off of work this week!!!  A few of the meals take longer to fix then our usual meals.  I usually have to have meals on the table by 5 o'clock so that my hubby can have dinner before going to work.  I'm excited to try the roasted kielbosa dinner.

Monday -  chili, cornbread

Tuesday - roast kielbasa supper, salad, rolls

Wednesday - ravioli lasagna(freezer), veggie, rolls

Thursday -spaghetti carbonara, cheddar bay biscuits, salad

Friday - homemade hamburger helper, green beans, easy rolls

Saturday - leftovers

This post has been linked to Menu Planning Monday.

Oct 17, 2010


This is another Christmas cookie recipe.  The Imaginative One loves these.  In fact, this one of his top two favorite Christmas or year around cookie.  I know when I make these, he will have a big old smile on his face.

Last December, I found this recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Cooking During Stolen Moments.  As soon as I tried it, I knew this would be my go to recipe for Snickerdoodles.  They are so light and crispy.

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 c. butter or margarine

  • 1 1/2 c. sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 t. vanilla

  • 2 3/4 c. flour

  • 2 t. baking powder

  • 1/2 t. salt

  • 1/3 c. sugar  (I used green or red to make it look Christmas looking.)

  • 2 t. cinnamon


1. Cream butter or margarine and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat for 2-3 minutes.
2. Whisk or sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add to creamed until combined.
3. Place dough in refrigerator and let chill for at least 2 hours.
4. Roll about 1 t. of dough into a ball. Combine 1/3 c. sugar with cinnamon. Roll dough in cinnamon sugar until covered.
5. Place dough on cookie sheets, flatten slightly with the bottom of a glass, and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until edges are very lightly browned.

I've started to make my Christmas cookie dough and then put it in the freezer.  This way they are ready to go when it's time to do my Christmas cooking baking.  I roll the dough into a loggish shape and then wrap it in wax paper.  I then put the wax paper log in a freezer bag with instructions of how to bake it on the bag.  (I have to admit that we do bake some of the cookies so that we can taste test the dough.)

This post has been linked to Potluck Sundays.

Oct 11, 2010

Menu planning Monday - week of October 11

Monday - porcupine meatballs, homemade applesauce, corn, homemade pumpkin bread

Tuesday - creamy caesar chicken pasta, garlic bread, veggies

Wednesday - pork chops with peppers and onions, veggie, rice

Thursday - potato soup

Friday - chicken nuggets, French fries, raw veggies

Saturday - left-overs

For more great menu plans, visit I'm an organizing junkie.

Oct 10, 2010

Mock Thin Mints

For the past ten or so years, I've baked cookies or made candy for Christmas.  It is a tradition that was started by my grandma and mom.  I can remember past Christmases where they made various types of cookies and candy.  They would then package them up and give them to friends and family for Christmas presents.

Since Christmas is quickly approaching, I've need to start think of my baking/candy making list.  The goodies I made last year really hit the spot so I'm thinking I'm going to be making most of those types of cookies/candy if not all of them.  I've decided to do a post a week of these goodies in preparation for the Christmas baking season.

The first Christmas "cookie," I'm posting is Mock Thin Mints.  My MOPs group does a cookie exchange every December.  A few years ago, one of the ladies brought these. I quickly fell in love with them.

Last year, I made them.  My mother-in-law, a girl scout advisor, tasted them.  She could not believe they were made from Ritz crackers.  She told me that they tasted just like Thin Mints.  Coming from her, that was a compliment.

Stars of the recipe

  • Bag of chocolate chips

  • 1 tsp. of mint extract

  • 1 sleeve of Ritz crackers

  • crushed candy canes


  1. Put a bag of chocolate chips with a teaspoon of mint extract in a microwavable bowl.

  2. Melt the chocolate chips at 75% power for 1 minute. Stir. If not melted, put it in the microwave for 30 secs at a time, stirring each time, until the chips are melted.

  3. Dip Ritz crackers into the melted chocolate and then place them on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper or foil.

  4. Put crushed candy canes on top.

  5. Let the chocolate harden and then put the cookies in a container. 

Oct 5, 2010

Wordless Wednesday #13 - Sunset

This post is linked up to Wordless Wednesday.

Young's Dairy Pumpkin Bread/Muffins

One of our favorite places is Young's Dairy.  We love their ice cream, lunch items, and their sweet potato bread.  We also love feeding the goats, petting the animals, and all of the fun activities there.  At over four dollars a loaf of sweet potato bread, it is not very economical  to keep buying the sweet  potato bread whenever we visited there.  So I  bought one of the postcards with the recipe on it so I can make it at home.  When I made the muffins, the boys decided they were delicious and were like the ones from Young's Dairy.

Edited to add:  My boys will fight over who gets the biggest piece or the last piece when they have this bread.  They absolutely love it!

Stars of the recipe:

  • 3/4 c. butter softened (1 and 1/2 sticks)

  • 2 1/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar

  • 1 1/2 c. sweet potato puree (I used pumpkin puree instead.)

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 1/2 c. flour

  • 3/4 tsp. salt

  • 3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

  • 3/4 tsp. ground ginger

  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. baking soda

  • 1 Tbsp. ground sinnamon

  • 1 and 1/2 dashes of ground cloves

  • 1/2 c. water


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

  2. Butter and flour pan or line with muffin papers.

  3. With a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, stir in puree and egg.

  4. Sift together dry ingredients.  Stir 1/2 into creamed mix.

  5. Stir in water, then remaining dry mix.

  6. Bake until dry on top and a skewer inserted in center comes out clean - serve warm!

  7. Muffins take about 15 minutes to bake.  Bread will take 35 minutes, depending on pan size.

The recipe says it would make 1 loaf of bread or 12 muffins.  I ended up making 12 muffins and 3 mini loaves.

For more great recipes, visit Colleen's Kitchen Recipe SwapTempt My Tummy Tuesdays, Ingredient Spotlight, and Potluck Sundays .

Oct 4, 2010

Menu Planning - Week of October 4 (with recipe)

Monday - mini meatloaf (freezer), butter noodles, veggies

Tuesday - crockpot chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans

Wednesday - cornbread pizza, raw veggies or salad

Thursday - creamy caesar chicken pasta bake, veggies, garlic bread

Friday - hot dogs, French fries, raw veggies

Saturday - left overs

Buttered Noodles -

  • 1/2 package of egg noodles (I used wide noodles.)

  • 1.5 to 2 Tbsp. of butter

  • salt and pepper

  1. Boil the noodles according to directions on the package.  Drain the noodles (save about 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water).

  2. Melt the butter in the microwave for about a minute.  Add some of the cooking water to make a sauce. 

  3. Add the drained egg noodles.  Stir to cover the noodles.

  4. Season with salt and pepper.

My oldest son loved the noodles.

This recipe is linked up to Menu Planning Monday.

Oct 1, 2010

October meals

The Wee One got to pick a couple meals for this month.  He decided hot dogs with French fries and chicken nuggets with French fries would be good menu items.  Even though the Imaginative One didn't choose any of the meals, I've included one of his favorite meals this month.  He loves crockpot chicken with mashed potatoes. 

For the third month in a row, I've included spaghetti carbonara.  That is one of our favorite meals.  Hubby and I fight over the left overs!  Thank you Tina for such a delicious meal.

Week of October 4

  • hot dogs, French fries, raw veggies

  • mini meatloaf (freezer), butter noodles, veggies

  • crockpot chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans

  • creamy caesar chicken pasta bake, veggies, garlic bread

  • cornbread pizza, raw veggies or salad

  • left overs

week of october 11

  • pork chops with peppers and onions, veggies, Easy Rolls (freezer)

  • ravoli lasagna (freezer), garlic bread, salad, applesauce

  • chicken nuggets, French fries, raw veggies

  • potato soup (freezer), biscuits, salad

  • leftovers

week of october 18 (I'm off this week for fall break!!!!!)

week of october 25

  • lemon basil pasta, salad

  • pinto beans and ham, cornbread

  • grilled cheese and soup (TBA)

  • molasses chicken (freezer), noodles or rice side dish, veggies

  • monterray chicken quesadillas for the adults, plain cheese ones for the children, veggies

  • leftovers

This menu has been linked up to This Mommy Cooks and Mommy's Kitchen.

Homemade Hamburger Helper

I found this recipe on Cooking During Stolen Moment's blog and made it a lot of different times.  I love this recipe because I know exactly what is in the food I'm cooking.  I feel it's more nutrious that way.  Another thing I love about this recipe is that the ingredients come straight out of my freezer, pantry, or fridge.  This is a no frills recipe.

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 lb of hamburger

  • 1/2 onion, chopped

  • 1 to 2 c. of pasta (I've used shells, elbow macaroni, and farfalle pasta.), cooked and drained

  • 2 Tbsp. butter

  • 2 Tbsp. flour

  • 2 c. milk

  • 1.5 c. shredded cheese (I usually use cheddar cheese but it's your choice.)

  • 2 Tbsp. ketchup

  • 2 Tbsp. mustard (You can use regular mustard, honey mustard, or dijon mustard.  Again it's your choice.)

  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Brown the hamburger meat.  When it's almost finished, add the onions.  Cook until they are translucent.  Take the skillet off the heat.

  2. Using the same pot you cooked the pasta in, melt the butter.  After it is melted, add the flour.  Cook it for a minute or two.

  3. Add the milk and raise the heat.  Stir until the butter/flour mixture is incorporated into the milk.

  4. Let the milk mixture boil.  Take off the heat.

  5. Add the cheese, ketchup, and mustard to the milk.  Stir until the cheese is melted.

  6. Add the hamburger and pasta.  Stir until it is all covered with cheese sauce.

  7. Enjoy!

This post is linked to Potluck Sundays, Delicious Dishes, and Tempt My Tummy.

Sep 30, 2010

Yummy Sugar Cookie Recipe

Last Christmas, I found this recipe in the Food Network magazine.  I loved the hint of orange in these cookies and the ease of the recipe.

Stars of the recipe:

  • 2 sticks of unsalted

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar)

  • 2 egg yolks

  • 1 tsp. vanilla

  • 1 tsp. orange zest

  • 2 and 1/4 c. flour

  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp. salt


  1. Beat butter, granulated sugar, and confectioners' sugar until fluffy.

  2. Beat in egg yolks, vanilla and orange zest.

  3. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl and then add it to butter mixture.  Stir until well incorporated.

  4. Chill for 30 minutes.

  5. Roll tablespoons into balls and flatten; sprinkle with coarse sugar. 

  6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

This recipe is linked up to Colleen's Kitchen Recipe Swap.

Sep 27, 2010

Menu plan Monday - Week of September 27

Monday - chicken cordon bleu (freezer), veggies, biscuits

Tuesday - ham in crockpot, scalloped potatoes, veggie

Wednesday - breakfast burritos, hash browns, fruit

Thursday - grilled cheese sandwiches, soup (TBA which kind of soup)

Friday - homemade hamburger helper, veggie, rolls

Saturday - left-overs

For more great menu plans, visit Menu Planning Monday.

Sep 24, 2010

Skyline Chili

I found this recipe on Crockpot Tuesdays.  Cincinnati is known for it's Skyline Chili which is a sweet chili instead of a spicy chili.  I live an hour away from Cincinnati so there are lots of Skyline Chili restaurants around.  In fact, there are two Skyline Chili restaurants within five miles of my house.  Eating there can get expensive so I decided making it at home would be more cost effective plus I know what's in my food.

Since I found the recipe, I have made it three times.  It was delicious the first time I made it.  However, the second time it was too runny so it wasn't as good.  So when I made it for the third time, I decided to put a teeny less water in it.  It ended up being thicker and as delicious as it was the first time.

Skyline chili is eaten in 5 ways.

1-way:  chili
2-way:  spaghetti with chili
3-way:  spaghetti with chili and shredded cheddar cheese
4-way:  spaghetti with chili, shredded cheddar cheese and onions OR red kidney beans
5-way:  spaghetti with chili, shredded cheddar cheese, onions, and red kidney beans

Stars of the Recipe

  • 2 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef

  • 15 oz. can tomato sauce

  • 8 oz. tomato paste (1 1/3 cans)

  • 5 tbsp. chili powder

  • 2 1/2 tbsp. semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

  • 1 tsp. allspice

  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1 tbsp. distilled white vinegar

  • 1 tsp. black pepper

  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder

  • 1 tsp. onion powder

  • 2 tsp. steak sauce

  • 4 cups water (I used more like 3 and 3/4ths cup instead.) 


  1. Brown ground beef lightly on stovetop.

  2. Combine all ingredients in crockpot.

  3. Stir well, and cook on low for 12 hours or longer.


 This post is linked to Colleen's Kitchen Recipe Swap.

Sep 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday #11 - Imaginative One's Pictures #2 - Sky

My 7 year old took these pictures.  I think they are neat looking.

This post is linked to Wordless Wedneday at And Miles to Go Before I Sleep.

Sep 20, 2010

Menu Planning Monday - Week of September 20

Today is hubby's birthday.  Two weeks ago, I did not make the spaghetti carbonara so I'm going to make it for his birthday dinner.  He is really excited because that is one of his favorite meals.

Monday - spaghetti carbonara, garlic bread, salad

Tuesday - pancakes, bacon

Wednesday - lemon chicken (freezer), lemon basil pasta, salad or veggies, rolls

Thursday - taco soup with cheese quesadillas

Friday - Skyline chili over spaghetti, cornbread, salad or veggie

Saturday - I will be the only one here so I'm on my own.

Sep 17, 2010

Spanish style chicken noodle soup

I've been making this soup for the past few years.  I saw Rachael Ray cooking it up on her cooking show and decided I wanted to try it.  During the Lent season, I've made it to share with the members of my former church when we've had soup Wednesdays.  They always loved it.  In fact, during this past Lent season, I sent home leftovers with a couple people.

The thing I love about this soup is that instead of regular egg noodles, you use orzo pasta which is sort of like rice but is in reality pasta.  I also like that it has black beans in it.

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 medium-size carrots, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons (about a palmful) chili powder
  • 1 bay leaf, use fresh if available
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 quarts (6 cups) chicken stock
  • 1 pound chicken tenders or chicken cutlets, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes or 1 28-ounce diced tomatoes 
  • 1 cup corn, frozen or fresh
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 pound orzo pasta

  1. Put all of the ingredients except for orzo pasta in the crock pot.
  2. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  3. A half hour before serving, put the orzo pasta in the soup so that it can cook.
  4. Enjoy!

This post has been linked up to Colleen's Kitchen Recipe Swap, Delicious Dishes, and Tempt my tummy.

Sep 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday #10 - Sunrise

Last week, I posted a picture of an animal's tongue.  None of the guesses were correct.

This tongue:

belongs to a GIRAFFE!

This was my view this morning as I parked at work.  Luckily I had the camera with me.

This post has been linked up to Wordless Wednesday.

Sep 13, 2010

Menu Planning Monday - Week of September 13 (with recipe)

Monday - ravoli lasagna (freezer), salad, garlic bread or Italian breadsticks

Tuesday - Chicken and cornbread dumplings (The $5 dollar mom’s cookbook pg 97) - I’ve been wanting to make this for a long time.  I’m finally going to get around to making it.

Wednesday - pork chops, peas, applesauce (recipe to follow)

Thursday - shimmy and roast Italian chicken, crash hot potato, veggie

Friday - White Castle Sliders, chip or fries, raw veggies

Saturday - left-overs

For other great menu plans, visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for Menu plan Monday.

7-up pork chops

  • 4 to 6 pork chops

  • 12 oz. can 7 up, Sprite, or lemon lime soda

  • 1 envelope onion soup mix

  1. Place chops in baking dish.

  2. Pour soda over chops and sprinkle with dry soup mix.

  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Sep 9, 2010

Aunt Janet's Pecan Tarts

These pecan tarts envoke a lot of memories when I eat these.  I can remember going to her farm with my grandparents for family get togethers.  I can visualize food being laid out on the island in the kitchen or members of the family either sitting outside eating their dinner or sitting around their dining room table.  I can see their pond with the weeping willow right by the driveway and the pine trees around the perimeter of the pond. 

Many times these get togethers involved my great aunt making these delicious pecan tarts.  We lost another member of our family to cancer this past weekend.  Since then, I was thinking about these pecan tarts because they remind me of my family and growing up; however, I couldn't remember where I put the recipe.

This evening, I decided to cut out some box top for educaiton labels.  When I opened the drawer that I kept those box tops in, I found the recipe for the pecan tarts.  I had put it in there so I wouldn't lose it.

To make the pastry:

  • 1/2 c. butter softened

  • 1 3oz. package cream cheese, softened

  • 1 c. flour

  1. Mix ingredients well, chill. 

  2. Form into 24 small balls and place in lightly buttered (or sprayed with cooking spray) muffin tins.  I use the mini muffin tin.

  3. Chill again. 

  4. Shape with thumb and press against up to fit bottom and up the sides.

To Make the filling:

  • dash of salt

  • 1 tsp. butter, softened

  • 1 egg

  • 2/3 c. chopped pecans

  • 3/4 c. brown sugar

  1. Add sugar to butter and mix well.

  2. Then add egg and salt.  Combine thoroughly.

  3. Add nuts; mix well.

  4. Fill tart shells 2/3 full.

  5. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes or until crust is slightly brown. 

  6. Remove from pan while warm.

Makes 2 dozen.  These can be frozen.

For more great recipes, visit Potluck Sunday and Colleen's Kitchen Recipe Swap.

Sep 7, 2010

Waffle House Waffles

Delicious!!!!  When I found this recipe on Copy Cat Recipes, I knew I needed to put this on my September meal plan.  My hubby loves Waffle House waffles with hash browns covered, smoothered, and chunked a.k.a hash browns with American cheese, onions, and diced ham.  When I made this for dinner, I also made those hash browns.  Our bellies were very happy after that dinner.

Warning:  You need to make the batter ahead of time because it needs to be chilled overnight or during the day.

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 & 1/2 cup all purpose flour

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 T. sugar

  • 2 Tbsp. butter, softened

  • 2 Tbsp. shortening

  • 1/2 cup half & half

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1/4 cup buttermilk

  • 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla


  1. Mix the flour, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl, and stir to combine.

  2. In another medium bowl beat the egg.

  3. Add the sugar, butter and shortening and mix well with a mixer until smooth.

  4. Add the half & half, milk, buttermilk and vanilla, and mix well.

  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture while beating and mix until smooth.

After you chill it overnight or for 8 hours:  (Make sure you cover it.)

  1. Take batter out of fridge about half hour before you make them.

  2. Be sure you iron is well oiled and hot, and pour 1/3 to 1/2 cup batter and cook 3-4 minutes. until golden brown.

  3. If you want to make the pecan waffles just sprinkle pecan halves over batter right after pouring.

On my waffle iron, it only made 3 waffles.  Next time I'm going to double the recipe so I can freeze some of the waffles.  They were that delicious.

On my waffle, I put butter and blueberry syrup that I got while in St. Louis on it.  Yummy!

For more delicious recipes, visit Delicious Dishes.

Sep 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday #9 - Guess who's tongue this is

I'm going to interrupt the Imaginative One's theme to show you this really cool pic I took over the weekend.  Can you guess which animal this tongue belongs to?

The answer will be in next week's post.
Edited to add:  So far the guesses have been an alpaca and camel.  Neither of those guesses are correct.

This post has been linked up to Wordless Wednesday.

Sep 5, 2010

Menu Planning Monday - Week of September 6

Monday - TBA probably turkey burgers and chips

Tuesday - waffle house waffles, hash browns smothered, covered, and chunked

Wednesday - on your own day

Thursday - steak, fried potatoes, veggie

Friday - Spanish style chicken noodle soup, biscuits

Saturday -  spaghetti carbonara, Cheddar Bay biscuits, salad

Sep 3, 2010

Crockpot Baked Potatoes

I had read you could cook backed potatoes in the crockpot but I was skeptical on whether it worked or not.  Since baked potatoes were on my meal plan for Thursday night, I decided to test out if you could cook them in the crockpot or not.  I am no longer a skeptic because it really worked.  My hubby even told me that they were delicious.

Stars of the recipe:

  • russet potatoes - (I didn't put a quantity because it depends on how many you want to make.)

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • salt


  1. Wash the potatoes and then poke the potatoes.

  2. Wrap each individual potato in foil and then place in the crockpot.

  3. Put about 1 to  Tbsp. of water in the bottom of the crockpot.

  4. Turn the crockpot on low and cook the potatoes for about 4.5 hours.

  5. When they are finished, unwrap them and put in a bowl. 

  6. Douse them with Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) just to lightly coat them.

  7. Sprinkle them with salt.

  8. Enjoy with your favorite baked potato toppings.

For other great recipes, visit Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

Aug 31, 2010

September Meals

We had some successful meals during August.  I heard alot of yums coming from hubby's mouth.  Some of his favorites were the White Castle Sliders, spaghetti carbonara, and breakfast burritos.  My favorites were the bowtie lasagna, White Castle Sliders, spaghetti carbonara, and lemon basil pasta.  During early August, I made the spaghetti carbonara.  Hubby absolutely loved it and ate the last of the left-overs.  There was no way he was going to share.  Two weeks later, I offered to make Sunday night dinner.  I decided to make spaghetti carbonara.  That time I got to eat the rest of the left-overs at work the next day.  I had to stake claim on them right away or he would eaten them again.

Week of September 1

  • Skyline chili over spaghetti, rolls

  • Baked potatoes with skyline chili and cheese, veggie

  • spaghetti, Italian breadsticks, salad, applesauce

  • leftovers


    Week of September 6 (Labor day - don't know if we are eating at my in-laws or not for labor day.  one of my meals will be a tba.  it will probably be hamburgers and hot dogs.)

    Week of September 13

    • ravoli lasagna (freezer), salad, garlic bread or Italian breadsticks

    • Chicken and cornbread dumplings (The $5 dollar mom's cookbook pg 97) - I've been wanting to make this for a long time.  I'm finally going to get around to making it.

    • pork chops, peas, applesauce

    • shimmy and roast Italian chicken, crash hot potato, veggie

    • White Castle Sliders, chip or fries, raw veggies

    • left-overs

    Week of september 20

    • lemon chicken (freezer), lemon basil pasta, salad or veggies, rolls

    • Skyline chili over spaghetti, cornbread, salad or veggie

    • homemade pizza

    • pancakes, bacon

    • quesadillas,taco soup

    • left-overs

    week of september 27

    • chicken cordon bleu (freezer), veggies, biscuits

    • ham in crockpot, scalloped potatoes, veggie

    • breakfast burritos, hash browns, fruit

    • grilled cheese sandwiches, soup (TBA which kind of soup)

    • homemade hamburger helper, veggie, rolls

    • left-overs

    This post has been linked up to This Mommy Cooks and Mommy's Kitchen.

    Wordless Wednesday #8 - Imaginative One's Pictures (Part 1)

    The Imaginative One has been working on taking pictures.  These were taken at the Columbus Zoo.  I am in absolute love with the polar bear, penguin, and flamingo shots.

    Come back next week for more pictures taken by the Imaginative One.

    [gallery order="DESC" columns="2"]

    This post is linked up to Wordless Wednesday at "And Miles to Go Before We Sleep."

    Aug 30, 2010

    Menu Plan Monday - Week of August 30

    Monday - porcupine meatballs (freezer), rolls, veggie

    Tuesday - molasses chicken (freezer), make over macaroni and cheese, veggie

    Wednesday - Skyline chili over spaghetti, rolls

    Thursday - Baked potatoes with skyline chili and cheese, veggie

    Friday - spaghetti, Italian breadsticks, salad, applesauce

    Saturday - leftovers

    This post is linked up to Menu Planning Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

    Aug 29, 2010

    Seasoning without salt

    MJ, one of my family members, got this interesting sheet that lists different ways to season food without using salt.  As we are becoming more diligent with making sure things are low sodium for my father-in-law, I thought it was appropriate to post this list.

    For beef:  bay leaf, dry mustard, green pepper, marjoram, fresh mushrooms, nutmeg, onion, pepper, sage, thyme

    Chicken:  green pepper, lemon juice and lemon zest, marjoram, fresh mushrooms, paprika, parsley, poultry seasoning, sage, thyme

    Fish:  bay leaf, curry powder, dry mustard, green pepper, lemon juice, paprika

    Lamb:  curry powder, garlic, mint, mint jelly, pineapple, rosemary

    Pork:  apple, applesauce, garlic, onion, sage

    Veal:  apricot, cinnamon, cloves, ginger

    Breads:  cinnamon, cloves, dills, poppy seed

    Pasta:  basil (my fav), caraway seed, garlic, oregano, poppy seed, lemon juice and zest

    Rice:  chives, green pepper, saffron, onion

    Asparagus:  garlic, lemon juice, onion, vinegar

    Broccoli:  lemon juice, garlic

    Cucumbers:  chives, dill, garlic, onion, vinegar

    Green beans:  dill, lemon juice, nutmeg, marjoram

    Greens:  onion, pepper, vinegar

    Peas:  green pepper, mint, parsley, onion, fresh mushrooms

    Potatoes:  green pepper, mace, onion, paprika, parsley

    Squash:  cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, ginger

    Tomatoes:  basil, marjoram, onion, oregano


    Favorite books - Hannah Swenson series

    I've decided to do a series of posts about different books that I enjoy either reading or listening to on CD.  Some are adult series while others might be a children's series. 

    One of my favorite series is the Hannah Swenson series.  It's a murder mystery series that involves Hannah who owns a cookie shop in Lake Eden, Minnesota.  Hannah is famous not only for her baking skills but also for finding dead bodies which drives her mother, Delores, batty.  With the help of her sisters, Michelle and Andrea, her cookie shop partner, Lisa, and one of her two on-and-off boyfriend, Norman, they track down the killer.  Her other on-and-off boyfriend, Mike, does not always like her investigating these murders.  In some of the books, Hannah finds herself in some very tight situations which leaves the readers wanting to read more because they want to make sure everything is okay with Hannah.

    An added bonus to the entertaining books is the recipes, Joanna Fluke provides for the readers.  They range from cookies to casseroles or hot dishes as they are called in Minnesota.  I have tried some of the recipes from her books that are absolutely delicious.  In fact, I have posted two of the recipes - Pretzel chocolate chip cookies and Watermelon cookies

    I have read all of the books and several of them numerous times.  I hope you enjoy the series as much as I have.

    Cookies and Cream Cheeseball

    A few weeks ago, I had a MOP's party that I was going to attend.  I knew I needed to bring some sort of party food to share with everyone.  At first I thought about bringing brownies but when I got home from work that evening I decided I was not in the mood to bake so I went onto the Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen blog and try to find another recipe.  I ended up finding a recipe for cookies and cream cheeseball.   It sounded like something different and totally yummy.

    Once I tasted it, I knew I had made the right choice because it was deliciouso (my own made up word).  I had some left-over so I took it to work and one of my co-workers even enjoyed it.

    My hubby even enjoyed eating this right out of the fridge with a fork.

    Stars of the Recipe:

  • 8 ounces, weight Package Cream Cheese, Softened

  • ½ cups Butter, Softened

  • ½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract

  • 2 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar

  • ¾ cups Confectioner's Sugar

  • 1 cup Oreo Cookies Broken Into Small Chunks

  • 1 cup Oreo Cookies Crushed Fine

  • Directions:

    1. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth.

    2. Add vanilla, sugars and mix well. 

    3. Stir in the Oreo cookie chunks.

    4. Refrigerate 20 minutes.

    5. Then form a ball, roll the ball in the Oreo cookie crumbs.

    6. Place on a waxed paper lined plate and drape the ball loosely with plastic wrap.

    7. Chill for at least 1 hour.

    8. Serve on graham cracker stix or mini vanilla wafers. (I used graham crackers because that is what I had the house.)

    For more great recipes, please visit Potluck Sundays, Kitchen recipe swapDelicious Dishes, and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

    Aug 28, 2010

    Instant Oatmeal Mix

    Usually I'm not a big oatmeal eater, however; when I saw this mix on Mommy's Kitchen I decided I needed to try it.  Oh my goodness, it's a lot better than the instant oatmeal you get at the grocery store.  I think I like it because I can add what I want to it so it's unique to my likings.

    Stars of the "recipe":

    • 2 and 1/4 cup of instant oatmeal

    • 1/3 cup dried milk powder

    • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

    • 1 to 2 tsp of cinnamon  (I added more because I love the taste of cinnamon.)

    • 1 cup of raisins or any other dried fruit (I used blueberry flavored craisins in mine.  I also added chopped pecans to my mix.)


    1. Mix all of the ingredients together and store in a airtight container.

    2. Label the container with the directions on how to prepare the oatmeal.

    To Prepare OatMeal:

    1. Scoop 1/2 cup oatmeal into a bowl and mix with 1/2 cup water. You may need a bit more water if you like you oatmeal thinner.

    2. Microwave on high for 1 minute stir and enjoy.

    This post has been linked to Eat at Home - Ingredient Spotlight.

    Aug 24, 2010

    Wordless Wednesday #7 - Adventures of the Scary Monkey (Part 3)

    Three weeks ago, the family and I went to a local historical park.  The Wee One decided to bring along his stuffed monkey.  We had a lot of fun posing the monkey at various exhibits.

    Click on the pictures to make them bigger.

    [gallery order="DESC" columns="2"]

    This post is linked to Wordless Wednesday at "And Miles to Go Before We Sleep."

    Aug 22, 2010

    Menu Plan Monday - August 23

    A review of last week's meals:

    A favorite was lemon-basil pasta.  It was my favorite meal during the week.  My hubby enjoyed it but not as much as I did.  The boys were not so keen on it but it was because it had green in it.
    My hubby's favorites were the meatbball sub, breakfast burrito, and the barbecue ham.  I was nervous about making the breakfast burritos for hubby because I didn't know if he would like it or not.  He ended up eating two of them! 

    This week's meals

    Monday - Primetime meatloaf (freezer), makeover macaroni and cheese, veggie

    Tuesday - sloppy joes (freezer), chips, raw veggies

    Wednesday - chicken cooked in crockpot, mashed potato, green beans (Imaginative One's first day back at school.  He requested this meal because it's one of his favorites.)

    Thursday - pork chops, peas, applesauce

    Friday - chicken and rice casserole, rolls, veggies

    Saturday - left-overs

    For other great menus, please visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

    Aug 21, 2010

    Lemon Basil Pasta

    I found this recipe on The Pioneer Woman's website.  Since I had put some lemon chicken in the freezer, I decided that this would really compliment the chicken.  The pasta dish is pure heaven.  Okay maybe not pure heaven.  However, it was delicious and the smells coming from cooking it or even heating it up makes me happy.  In fact, I took it to work for lunch and one of my fellow teachers complimented me on the smell of the dish.  If you get a chance, make this dish and escape to happiness from the taste and smell.

    Stars of the Recipe

    • 1 pound Penne Pasta, Cooked Until Al Dente

    • ½ sticks Butter

    • 3 whole Lemons, Juiced (I also used some of the lemon rind to add another depth of flavor.)

    • ¾ cups Heavy Cream (I used heavy whipping cream.)

    • ¼ cups Half-and-half

    • 1-½ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (or Romano)

    • Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste

    • 20 whole Basil Leaves, Chopped (I used basil paste in a tube.  It's all I could find.  I used maybe a tablespoon to a tablespoon and a half.  I didn't measure.)


    1. Cook pasta, reserving 1 cup of hot pasta water when you drain.

    2. Set pasta aside in a colander.

    3. In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat.

    4. Squeeze in the juice of 3 to 4 lemons. (Also use a microplane to grate some rind.)

    5. Whisk together.

    6. Pour in cream and half-and-heat. Whisk until hot.

    7. Dump in cheese and whisk until melted.

    8. Add salt and pepper.

    9. Check consistency, adding some of the hot pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed. (I didn't need to add that much.)

    10. Pour pasta and sauce into a large serving bowl. Sprinkle remaining basil all over the top.  (I skipped this step.)

    11. Serve!

    This recipe is great as a side dish or eaten by itself.

    For other great recipes, Potluck Sundays, Delicious Dishes , and Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays.

    Aug 17, 2010

    Wordless Wednesday #6 Adventures of the Scary Monkey (Part 2)

    Two weeks ago, the family and I went to a local historical park.  The Wee One decided to bring along his stuffed monkey.  We had a lot of fun posing the monkey at various exhibits.

    Click on the pictures to make them bigger.

    [gallery order="DESC" columns="2"]

    This post is linked back to Wordless Wednesday at "And Miles to Go Before I Sleep."

    Aug 15, 2010

    Menu Plan Monday - Week of August 16

    The students are coming.  The students are coming.  Monday is the first day back for students.  Since I teach special education and I don't have my schedule yet, I don't start working with them until at least next week.  I do know who my students are though and of the 12, I have either worked with or know 8 of them. 

    I'm so glad I planned a simple meal on Friday.  The Wee One woke me up at 3 am because he had a bad dream.  He asked me to go lay with him in his bed.  I laid there until 5 am when I had to get up for work.  Between that and the heat, I was beat when I got home at 3:30 in the afternoon.  I crashed for 2 hours.  Fortunately for me, my hubby wasn't working so he could watch the boys.  I did make pancakes which was what was on the menu for supper.  It was just later then expected. 

    On to this week's plan:

    Sunday - Spaghetti Carbonara, Cheddar Bay biscuits, Caesar's salad, dessert (My mother-in-law is camping with her girl scouts so I volunteered to cook Sunday's dinner.  Two of the people were in agreement about me making spaghetti carbonara for dinner.)

    Monday - lemon chicken (freezer), lemon basil pasta, veggie, rolls

    Tuesday - homemade pizza

    Wednesday - meatball subs, chips, veggie

    Thursday - breakfast burritos, hashbrowns, muffins or biscuits

    Friday - bbq ham steak, make-over mac and cheese, veggie

    Saturday - leftovers

    For more great menu plans visit Menu Planning Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

    Dirt pudding

    Last weekend, we went to the zoo and COSI (a science museum).  For a snack at both places, the Imaginative One tried dirt pudding.  He loved it because it had gummie worms, Oreos, and chocolate pudding in it.  Since he liked it, we decided to make some for dessert tonight. 


    Gather all the ingredients. 



    Mix up the pudding 


    Crush up the Oreos. 


    Fold the Cool Whip into the pudding. 


    Layer the crushed up Oreos, gummy worms, and pudding/Cool Whip. 



    Stars of the recipe:

    • 1 small box of chocolate pudding (We used milk chocolate flavor.)

    • 2 cups of milk

    • 1 - 16 oz. container of Cool Whip

    • 10 to 15 Oreos

    • gummy worms


    1. Make up the chocolate pudding by following the directions on the package.  Put it to the side so it can set up.

    2. Place Oreos in a ziploc bag.  Crush up the Oreos.  (We used a meat tenderizer.)

    3. Fold in cool whip into the pudding.

    4. Place a third of the crushed Oreos and a few of the gummy worms on the bottom of a bowl.  Top with half of the pudding/Cool whip.

    5. Place another third of the crushed Oreos and a few of the gummy worms on top of pudding/Cool whip.

    6. Top with the rest of the pudding/Cool whip.

    7. Place the rest of the crushed Oreos on the top.  Place some more gummy worms on the top or sticking out of the top.

    8. Enjoy!

    For more great recipes, check out Potluck Sundays and Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays.