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.