Wednesday, December 31, 2008

breakfast casserole for tomorrow?

I'm thinking of making this tonight for breakfast tomorrow morning. It's a family tradition to have it on Christmas morning, but why wait all year to have it again? I might try to 1/2 the recipe, since there won't be too many of us eating it here. It's yummy and pretty easy--just notice that it has to be refrigerated overnight. Happy New Years!

Breakfast Casserole

8 slices of bread, cubed
10-12 eggs
2 cups of milk
1 pound of bacon or sausage
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
1 cup of shredded cheddar

1. Cube the bread and lay it in a greased 9 x 13 pan.
2. Brown meat and drain.
3. Mix eggs, milk, mustard, and salt. Pour over the meat and bread.
4. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
5. Sprinkle with cheese and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.

From Linnea Ross (my mom)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ham and Cheese Crepes--from scratch

I often forget about this recipe. It's actually pretty easy, but the key is to plan ahead on the crepes b/c the mix needs to be refrigerated for at least 2 hours. The recipe is for 2, but obviously, you can double or triple it as you need. Another optionis to add sugar and make these dessert crepes, then fill with fruit. Enjoy!

Crepes for 2

2 eggs, slightly beaten
2/3 cup milk
¼ cup flour
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp butter (or more)

1. Beat all ingredients except butter in a small bowl till smooth. Refrigerate covered at least 2 hours—can leave overnight.

2. Heat butter in 7-inch skillet or crepe pan until bubbly. Pour about 3 Tbsp. of batter into the skillet. Quickly tilt and rotate skillet to coat bottom evenly. Cook over medium heat until lightly browned. Turn crepe to brown on second side. Stack crepes until ready to fill.

Ham and Cheese filling for Crepes

½ cup sour cream
3 green onions, finely chopped
¼ tsp mustard
Dash of pepper
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar
12 oz. thinly sliced cooked ham
1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs, optional
3 Tbsp melted butter, optional

1. Mix sour cream, onions, mustard, salt and pepper. Sprinkle cheese on the crepe. Top with ham, then spread a heaping tsp of sour cream mixture on top. Roll crepe and place on ungreased baking sheet.

2. Mix bread crumbs and butter. Sprinkle over crepes if desired.

3. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.
From my mother-in-law

Monday, December 29, 2008

I'm BACK and here's the menu for the week

Monday: Chili
Tuesday: Spanish Rice Bake
Wednesday: Pizza
Thursday: Pork and Sauerkraut--it's a German tradition (right, Mom?)
Friday: leftovers
Saturday: Cheesy Chicken Bacon Wrap Ups
Sunday: church dinner

This menu is dependant on everyone feeling up to eating--the stomach flu has been working it's way through our family. Here's hoping!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Cookie Dough Truffles

This recipe comes straight from the Taste of Home award winning recipes...YUM!

Cookie Dough Truffles

The flavorful filling at the center of these yummy candies tastes like genuine chocolate chip cookie dough...without the worry of raw eggs. That's what makes them so appealing. Plus, they're easy to make. -Lanita Dedon Slaughter, Louisiana

60 min.
60 min.

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1-1/2 pounds semisweet candy coating, chopped
1. In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add flour, alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.
3. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
4. Shape into 1-in. balls; place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Loosely cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until firm.
5. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt candy coating; stir until smooth.
6. Dip balls in coating, allowing excess to drip off; place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets.
7. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. (f desired, remelt remaining candy coating and drizzle over candies.)
8. Store in the refrigerator.

Yield: 5-1/2 dozen.

From Taste of Home

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tortellini in Cream and Ham Sauce

One of my favorite things about Christmas is leftover ham. I love ham and don't make it enough. Here's a yummy recipe that you can make with your leftover ham. Enjoy!

Tortellini in Cream and Ham Sauce

1 pkg of tortellini (frozen pkgs are cheaper than the non-frozen ones)
1 cup milk
1/2 pint of heavy cream
1 small onion, chopped
1 small pkg of diced ham (approx. 1 cup)
2-3 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp butter
8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded

Cook tortellini while working on the rest of the recipe.

Melt butter in frying pan, add chopped onion. Saute onion until soft (approx 2-3 minutes), add ham and cook until warm. Add flour and mix well (this will look like a pretty thick, lumpy mixture). Cook until flour starts to turn golden in color. Add cream and milk and lower the heat. Stir this mixture until it starts to thicken. It will have a nice creamy consistency when it is ready.

Put cooked tortellini in a casserole and pour ham and cream sauce over it. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top, covering the entire mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 30 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown.

This recipe is from Jessie Schroder--thanks, Jess!

Monday, December 15, 2008

This Week's Menu

Monday: Pizza

Tuesday: Company Chicken

Wednesday: Chili

Thursday: Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breasts

Friday: leftovers

Saturday: we leave to visit my family for a week!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Chocolate Peppermint Treats

I went to a fun cookie exchange last week and received these cookies. They were the first to go when I got home. We all loved them. This week, I will be attempting to make them myself. Beth said she got the recipe from the Taste of Home website under their contest winning recipes. I believe it! These are delish! :)

Chocolate Peppermint Treats

Cookie Ingredients:
1 c. butter
1 c. packed brown sugar
½ c. sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 ½ c. flour
¾ c. baking cocoa
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips

White Chocolate Frosting:
½ c. vanilla or white chips
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 c. confectioners’ sugar
½ c. crushed peppermint candies

1. In large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips.
2. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375F for 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
3. In a microwave, melt vanilla chips at 70% power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave additional 10-20 second intervals, stirring until smooth; cool.
4. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Beat in melted chips.

5. Frost cookies; sprinkle with peppermint candies.

Makes approximately 6 ½ dozen

This yummy recipe is from Beth Amstutz. :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

New recommendations

Here are a couple of websites that I visit if I'm looking for a good recipe:

The last one was just recommended to me by a new friend and she says to search their "Contest Winning Recipes." I've tried one of them and YUM!

Figured if you're like me, those might come in handy.

Chicken Enchiladas

This is a meal that can be tweaked in so many ways. That's one of the things I love about it--you make it the way you like it, I'll make it the way I like it. Here's the way we usually have it, then I'll share a couple variations.

Chicken Enchiladas

1.5 -2 pounds of chicken
2 cups of shredded cheddar or mexican blend cheese
1 large bottle of enchilada sauce (we prefer the Ortega mild--it's really smooth)
8 large tortillas (flour or corn)

1. Cook the chicken--sometime I boil it, sometimes I cook it in a skillet.
2. Cube the chicken and mix it with 2/3 the bottle of enchilada sauce in a medium/large bowl
3. Spray a 9x13 pan lightly with cooking spray. Then drizzle a little enchilada sauce on the pan.
4. Scoop approximately two heaping spoonfuls of the chicken mixture into each tortilla. Sprinkle some cheese and then roll the tortilla burrito style. Place it in the 9x13 pan.
5. Drizzle the remaining enchilada sauce on top. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
6. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and a little golden.
7. Serve with sour cream and/or guacamole

add refried beans to your chicken mixture
add spanish rice to your chicken mixture
add canned corn to your chicken mixture

We've tried most of the variations and end up sticking with the above recipe. We're kind of simple like that though. :) How do you do enchiladas?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Three-Cheese Stuffed Shells

Three-Cheese Stuffed Shells

12-15 jumbo pasta shells
1 beaten egg
15 oz. of ricotta cheese
1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese*
1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese*
1 tsp of dried parsley
1/2 tsp of dried oregano
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce

1. Cook pasta shells as directed on the package. Drain well. Cool shells in a single layer on a piece of greased foil
2. Meanwhile, stir together egg, ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, the parsley and oregano.
3. Spoon the cheese mixture into each of the shells filling as full as you can. (although, I often leave a couple less full--these are for the kiddos, it's easier for them to eat the ones that aren't stuffed full)
4. Drizzle a bit of spaghetti sauce in a 9x13 pan, then arrange the shells on top.
5. Pour the remaining sauce over the shells and sprinkle a bit more of each of the shredded cheeses on top.
6. Bake, covered at 350 for 15 minutes, then uncover and bake an additional 10-15 minutes.
Serves approx. 4

*I'm always a bit more generous w/ my cheese than this recipe--we <3 cheese! :)

Yummy Updates

Last night I went to a cookie exchange and it was really fun. Not only did I get some delicious cookies, but I also won a cook book by the Deen Boys!! Tell me that Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breasts w/ Chile Cheese Sauce doesn't sound heavenly! I know that my husband can't wait for me to try it. I'll be sure to post the recipe when we do.
The holidays are sure keeping me busy, and I probably won't post much the week of Christmas, but until then, I'm going to try to stay consistent. Don't forget, I welcome your recipes. Thanks to those of you who have passed some my way, as soon as I try them, I'll probably post them! Thanks again!
Heather :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

What's for Dinner

Monday: Chicken Club Ring, mixed veggies, apple sauce
Tuesday: Stuffed Shells, homemade bread, salad
Wednesday: Company Chicken, salad and rolls
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Homemade Pizza
Saturday: dinner at a friends house
Sunday: Chicken Potpie (didn't get made last week, still have the ingredients!)

It's funny to me how little I stick to my original plan...seems things are always coming up. I really like this week's menu with our schedule though, so we'll see if I end up changing it or not! :) Do you plan ahead for the whole week? If so, do you stick to it? Just curious!

Chicken Club Ring

This is probably Pete's favorite thing that I make. We're having it for dinner tonight. It's from one of my Pampered Chef cookbooks and can be made into a wreath, braid or ring with crescent rolls. I usually make the ring. I've included some pics explaining how to make it at the end.
Chicken Club Ring

3 cups chopped cooked chicken
4 slices of bacon, crisply cooked drained and chopped
1 cup shredded cheese (Swiss or Cheddar), divided
1/3 cup mayonnaise (I use more!)
1 teaspoon mustard
2 tablespoons of parsley
1 garlic clove, pressed
2 plum tomatoes, sliced
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 tubes of original Pillsbury Crescent rolls

1. Preheat oven to 375°
2. Combine chicken, bacon, ¾ cup of the cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, parsley and garlic; mix well.

3. Scoop filling evenly over crescents. Top with tomato slices*.
4. Complete your wreath, ring or braid and brush on egg white
5. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
6. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown

Serves 8
*Pete prefers I omit the tomato slices.
Here's pics of how to make the ring:

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Yeast Rolls

This recipe was given to me by my sweet friend, Christina. They are pretty easy to make, but they do require a bread machine. Also, I learned the hard way that you do need to use bread flour, regular all-purpose flour won't cut it. :) These are best right out of the oven, but most likely, there won't be many left anyway!!


1 cup warm water
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, softened (not melted)
1 egg
3 1/4 cups BREAD flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tsp yeast

1. Place all ingredients in bread machine pan IN ORDER listed.
2. Select dough cycle (mine is 1 1/2 hours long)
3. After it's done in the bread machine: grease a cookie sheet.
4. Divide dough into 15 (or so) balls, place 2 inches apart on sheet.
5. Brush with a little melted butter. Cover with a towel, let rise in a warm place 30 or 40 minutes or until double.
6. Preheat oven to 375, bake 12 to 15 minutes.
7. Brush tops again with butter if desired (I think this helps them taste yummier, but that's just my opinion).

from Christina Gathany

Mexican Spinach Salad

We served this tonight to the college students from our church. We hosted the salad and bread course of the progressive dinner. My mother in law makes this salad for Thanksgiving every year and it's one of my favorite things. Everyone loved it tonight and several people asked for the recipe, so I thought I'd type it up and post it here, too! Enjoy!

Mexican Spinach Salad
(these ingredients make enough salad for approx. 10 people)


1 bag of spinach
3 hard boiled eggs
1/3 pound of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 bag of Pepperidge Farm stuffing (I used a little less)

Dressing Ingredients*:
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. celery seed
3 tsp. prepared mustard

1. Mix dressing ingredients with an electric mixer and refrigerate overnight.
2. Put the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then top with the dressing and mix.
3. Enjoy, it's quite yummy!! :)

This is another great recipe from Pete's mom!

Friday, December 5, 2008


I'm making the Christmas variation of these for a cookie exchange on Tuesday...maybe I'll remember to post some pics when I make them!


1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup butter or margarine, softened
½ cup shortening
2 large eggs
2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 400°F
2. Beat 1 ½ cups sugar, the butter, shortening, and eggs in a large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed, or mix with a spoon
3. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt
4. Shape dough into 1 ¼ inch balls (I use my Pampered chef medium scoop and do not over-fill)
5. Roll in cinnamon sugar mixture and place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet
6. Bake 8-10 minutes. Immediately remove from cookie sheet.

Christmas variation:
Follow steps 1-4, then roll dough in green or red sprinkles for step 5, continue on with step 6.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Easy Fantasy Fudge

Just made this yesterday...yummmmm!

Easy Fantasy Fudge

¾ cup butter
3 cups sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
12 oz. bag of chocolate or peanut butter chips
7 oz. marshmallow crème
2 tsp. vanilla

1. Lightly grease pan.
2. Mix butter, sugar, and milk in a large sauce pan. Bring it to a rolling boil, stirring constantly.
3. Boil 5 minutes or until mixture reaches 234 degrees. Remove from heat.
4. Gradually stir in chips until melted.
5. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
6. Pour into pan (either an 8x8 or a 9x13 depending on how thick you prefer) and let cool.

From Heather Ziegler Hamilton

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sweet and Tangy Meatloaf

This recipe is probably the only one I've ever made up completely on my own. My mom and I had a deal in middle school that if I made dinner, she'd do the dishes. I hated to wash the dishes and loved to cook, so she'd leave me recipes. She was working at the time, so it was a win-win situation. Her recipe called for onions and ketchup...we were low on ketchup and I'm not a huge onion fan (I've grown to appreciate them more, but I used to despise them!), so I started playing and here is the end result. It tastes similar to a barbeque meatball appetizer...also, I definitely don't measure when I make this, so the measurements aren't exact. Sorry!!

One last thing, I almost always serve this with baked potatoes b/c you can stick them in the oven before you make the meatloaf and it all ends up done around the same time.

Sweet and Tangy Meatloaf

1 ½-2 pounds of hamburger
½ cup of ketchup
½ cup of barbeque sauce
1/3 cup of brown sugar
5-6 crumbled saltine crackers
2 eggs

Sauce topping:
1/3 cup ketchup
¼ cup barbeque sauce
3 Tbs. of brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375° F

2. Mix all of the above ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. (I use my hands, but you could probably do it with a spoon or fork.)

3. Dump #2 into a 9 x 13 baking dish and shape into a loaf

4. Mix the sauce in a sauce pan until the sugar is dissolved. Pour on top of the loaf.

4. Bake for approx. 45 minutes (check to be sure the meat is brown all the way through before eating)

Serves 4-6

A Heather Gross original—Pete doesn’t like me to make it for company b/c he wants to have more leftovers!! :)

This week's menu

Several of my friends do this on their blog, so I'm going to jump on the bandwagon!

Monday: Sweet n' Tangy Meatloaf, baked potatoes, green beans and homemade rolls
Tuesday: Date night!! (yay for Grammy watching the boys!)
Wednesday: French Toast, Scrambled Eggs, and Bacon
Thursday: Chicken Enchilladas
Friday: Homemade Pizza
Saturday: Chicken Potpie
Sunday: leftovers

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ginger Cookies


3/4 cup shortening (or 1/2 cup shortening and 1/4 cup butter)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 molasses
2 cups flour

1 Tb ginger
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

1. Mix wet ingredients first.
2. Then mix in dry ingredients.
3. Form into small balls and roll in sugar.
4. Bake 10-12 minutes at 400 degrees.

This recipe was passed on to me from the wonderful Bethanie May Cooke! :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Chicken Divan

This is one of those classics that a lot of people make, but I never had a good recipe. That is until our friends, the Shanks, had us over for lunch after church a few months ago. This one is soo yummy! Even my husband, who despises broccoli, says it's okay for me to make it! (you don't realize how huge this is, unless you've heard my husband talk about broccoli) Enjoy--we do!!

Chicken Divan

3 cups rice, cooked
1 pound bag of frozen broccoli
3 cups of chicken, cooked and cubed
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
1 cup of mayonnaise
1 tsp of lemon juice
1 tsp. curry powder
¾ cup shredded cheddar
¾ cup breadcrumbs (actual pieces of bread works best)
2 Tbsp butter

1. After cooking rice and chicken, in a 9 x 13 baking dish layer: rice, broccoli, then chicken.
2. Combine soup, mayo, lemon juice, and curry powder. Pour over chicken. Sprinkle with cheese then breadcrumbs. Dot with butter.
3. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, until bubbly and bread crumbs look golden.

From my friend, Bonnie Shank

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tuscan Mac n' Cheese

My friend, Kim, sent me this recipe and it was quite yummy. It made way more than our little family needed--I think next time I'd make half and freeze or give away the other half. Enjoy!!

Tuscan Mac n’ Cheese

8 ounces sweet or hot Italian sausage or uncooked turkey Italian sausage
8 ounces gemelli or elbow macaroni (2 cups), cooked and drained
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, cut into cubes and softened
4 ounces crusty Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
1 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 oz.)
1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon snipped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried leaf sage, crushed
1 teaspoon snipped fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1-1/2 cups milk
1 medium tomato, sliced
2 ounces shredded Asiago, Parmesan, or Romano cheese (1/2 cup)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Remove casings*, if present, from sausage. In a skillet cook and crumble sausage; drain. In a very large bowl combine sausage, cooked pasta, cream cheese, bread cubes, olives, and mozzarella cheese. Set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour, sage, thyme, salt, and cayenne pepper. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Pour sauce over pasta mixture. Stir gently. 3. Transfer mixture to a 2-quart casserole. Bake, covered, for 35 minutes. Uncover; top with tomato slices and Asiago cheese. Bake, uncovered, 15 minutes more or until heated through. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with additional fresh thyme, if desired. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
*I bought sausage that had casings and it was quite time consuming to remove them. Kim told me later that she buys the kind without casings--definitely the way to go!! :)
This recipe was passed to me from Kim Brown.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Eclair Recipe

Éclair Recipe


2 sleeves of graham crackers*
2 boxes of vanilla pudding
3 cups of milk
1 (8 oz) container of cool whip
1 can of chocolate frosting
1 heath bar (crushed)

1. Combine pudding and milk, mix. Fold in cool whip.
2. Line 9 x 13** pan with graham crackers.
3. Pour mixture over crackers. Place another layer of crackers on top gently.
4. Melt chocolate frosting and pour over top layer of crackers.
5. Sprinkle crushed heath bar on top.
6. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving.

From Leigh Bryant

*for a fun twist, try using cinnamon graham crackers and french vanilla pudding mix, it's yummy!! :)
**I have made half of this recipe once in an 8x8 dish and it worked great!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Taco Bake

Terra sent me a link to her site. It's loaded with tasty recipes. Go on over and check it out. We're going to try this one tomorrow night:

Taco Bake

1 tube of crescent rolls
2 cups (divided) corn chips
1 ½ lb. ground beef
1 can tomato sauce
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded mexican cheese

1. Unroll crescent rolls into 9×13 inch greased dish, seal seams by pressing together
2. Sprinkle with 1 cup corn chips
3. Brown beef, drain, stir in tomato sauce and taco seasoning and bring to boil. simmer about 5 minutes
4. Spoon meat mixture over the chips, add sour cream, cheese & more chips
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes

From Terra,
Thanks, Terra! :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sour Cream Pound Cake

This is great with strawberries--fresh or frozen--poured over top! Yum! I might have to go make it right now! :)

Sour Cream Pound Cake


2 sticks butter, softened
3 C sugar
6 eggs
3 C flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4-1 C sour cream (I used 1 C)
1/4 tsp vanilla

1. Cream butter and sugar with mixer.
2. Add eggs, one at a time mixing after each.
3. Combine dry ingredients and add a little at a time. It will be thick.
4. Blend in sour cream & vanilla.
5. Pour in greased and floured tube pan or 2 loaf pans. Bake at 350.
Tube pan for 1 1/2 hrs or 2 loaf pans 60 min.
( I baked it in an angel food cake pan one time for 1 1/2 hrs and thought it was too done. That's when I switched to loaf pans).

From Sharon Webb

Friday, November 14, 2008

Pizza Dough

I got this recipe from my dear friend, Tina, and it's now a favorite around here. This is a bread machine recipe, so if you don't have one...well, check out Craigslist or garage sales or something! :) Mine was given to me by a sweet friend who got a bread machine that makes two loaves--who knew!--and no longer needed(or should I say kneaded...heehee) her single loaf machine. Anyway, one last tip and then the recipe...don't try to double this recipe in the doesn't work! I speak from experience.

Pizza Dough

Put the ingredients in bread machine in this order:
1 Cup warmish/hot water
2 Tbsp olive oil (or you can use veg. oil if you don't have olive oil)
3 Cups flour1/2 tsp salt
*Make a little well in the top of the dry ingredients and put in 1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast

Set bread maker on dough cycle (mine is 1 hour 40 minutes long)
After you spread it out on the pan, and top with toppings, bake at 400 degrees for 16 minutes.

This recipe is from Christina Gathany

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Spanish Rice Bake

Okay, skeptics, this one is definitely one to try. It's easy and it's fairly cheap and it's tasty! I mean, really, what more can you ask for? And my husband, the guy who doesn't dig casseroles, loves it! Also, in case you needed anything else to convince you, it makes a lot. (2-8 x 8's or 1-9 x 13) Today, I made it to give to a friend who just had a baby and I put the other 8x8 in the freezer for later. Not really sure that an 8 x 8 will feed your family? I made a 9 x 13 of this when we had my pastor's family over--they have 3 teenage boys and 2 other kids. There were 9 of us eating it, seconds were had, and there were leftovers. And like I said, it's yummy. Enjoy!

Spanish Rice Bake:

prep time: 30 minutes bake time: 30 minutes


1 pkg. Spanish Rice/Vermicelli mix (I use the Rice-a-roni (sp?)brand)
1 can corn (drain)
1 can tomotoes (either with or without green chilis)
However much cubed, cooked chicken breast you would like
1 med. container sour cream
1 pkg. (16 ounches) shredded cheddar cheese

1. Prepare rice/vermicelli as directed.
2. Combine with other ingredients, including half of the cheese.
3. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top, in a casserole dish.
4. Bake at 350 F until melted and bubbly. (usually 30 min)

Enjoy. I served it with tortilla chips and a salad.

From Christa Manahan*

*Several years ago, when I was blogging on xanga, I started a recipe swap and Christa gave this one to me...and now, it's a favorite around here and I give it to you! :) Thanks, Christa!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Chicken Corn Soup

Chicken Corn Soup


3 pounds of chicken Revels:
1 onion, chopped 1 cup flour
½ cup of celery 1 egg
1 tsp of white pepper salt
1 can of whole kernel corn pepper
2 cans of creamed corn
1 can of chicken broth
1 tsp salt

1. Boil chicken with the chopped onion, celery, white pepper and enough water to cover the chicken for approx. 1 hour.
2. Remove chicken and let cool enough to handle. Cut into small pieces and return to the pot.
3. Add the corn (all three cans) and the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
4. Mix the revel ingredients together with a fork and slowly add to the soup while stirring constantly. (they thicken the soup and taste like mini dumplings)

From Linnea Ross

Monday, November 10, 2008

Raspberry-Balsamic Chicken

My husband just reminded me that I hadn't made this one in a while. So it will probably hit the menu sometime next week. Pete doesn't request food very often--he just doesn't care, this is evidenced in the fact that he has a 30 inch waistline!! Crazy man. I wish I didn't care, but alas, I love food!! In fact, I think I'm going to go eat a cookie! :) Happy cooking!

Raspberry-Balsamic Chicken

Time: approx. 30 minutes

1 tsp vegetable oil
½ cup chopped onion
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp salt
4 skinned, boned chicken breast halves
1/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
¼ tsp black pepper

1. Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over med-high heat. Add chopped onion and sauté for 5 minutes.
2. Sprinkle thyme and salt over the chicken, then add the chicken to the pan. Saute for approx. 6 minutes on each side (or until chicken is done clear through).
3. Remove chicken from the pan. Reduce heat to medium.
4. Add preserves, vinegar and pepper stirring constantly until the preserves melt. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve.

Another recipe from my mother in law (I believe it's a Cooking Light recipe)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Sugar Cookies/Cut-Out Cookies

I know it may be a little early to start thinking about holiday baking, but I LOVE baking, so it's never too early in my book! My friend, Jen, gave me this recipe and it makes cookies like my mom used to make. (I can't her recipe-must have lost it!) I love them. I might make some turkeys w/ Jon one day soon. If I do, I'll post some cute pics of my little helper--he loves "cooking in the kitchen with Mom." I haven't found a frosting recipe that I love, so please share yours with me. I'm always up for trying new things. :) Thanks! Enjoy!

Cut-Out Cookies

prep time: 10 minutes + at least 1 hour of 'chill time' + 10-20 minutes of cutting out cookies
bake time: 8-10 minutes each

1c. margarine
2 eggs
2/3 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
3 c. flour

Combine margarine, sugar, salt, eggs and vanilla in a bowl and beat with mixer until smooth and fluffy. Add flour and mix well. Divide in half. Form each half into a ball and wrap in waxed paper. Chill in refrigerator at least one hour - you can do it overnight too. Roll out 1/8 inch thick and cut with cookie cutters. (Lightly flour board or counter and rolling pin to prevent sticking.*) Bake on greased cookie sheet one inch apart at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes. Frost with icing or sprinkle with colored sugar.
This makes about 4 cookie sheets worth of cookies--I know that's a vague way to describe the amount, but I figured no matter what size your cookie cutters, you're all using approximately the same sized cookie sheets right??

From Jen Hooper

*My mother in law got me a thin fabric cover for my rolling pin and a pastry cloth sheet that I use--it's wonderful. I still use flour on it, but then I shake it out and throw it in the washer. I highly recommend them. They also help if you make pie crusts from scratch--although I must confess, I usually just by the Pillsbury ones now!! (time is money people!!)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pumpkin Bread

I'm actually not a fan of all things pumpkin, like others I know. But I heart this bread. It's REALLY good. I don't think I've met anyone who's tried it and doesn't feel the same. My husband, who sadly doesn't get excited about food, even really likes it. It makes 3 full sized loaves or 8 mini-loaves. (I usually make 2 full-sized and 3 minis) It freezes well and is a great gift for a neighbor or a friend. Try it--you won't be disappointed!

Pumpkin Bread

prep time: 10 minutes cook time: 40-50 minutes


3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
16 oz. can of pumpkin
3 ½ cups of flour (I use half wheat/half regular)
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cup water

1. Mix sugar, oil, eggs and pumpkin.
2. Add flour, baking soda, salt, spices alternately with water.
3. Pour into 3 greased 8 x 4 loaf pans.
4. Bake at 350 for approx. 45 minutes.

From Valerie Cook/FCS Cookbook

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sweet and Sour Pork

Sweet and Sour Pork

prep time: 20 minutes cook time: approx. 1 hour


1 ½ pounds boneless pork
Flour, salt and pepper
2 Tbsp oil
½ cup barbeque sauce
¼ cup vinegar
¼ cup water
1 green pepper cut in strips
½ cup apricot preserves
1 small can chunk pineapple drained of juice
½ can of water chestnuts (optional)

1. Coat meat with seasoned flour and brown in oil in large skillet.
2. Add barbecue sauce, vinegar, and water.
3. Cover and simmer for one hour, adding green pepper and apricot preserves during the last 10 minutes.
4. Just a few minutes before serving, add the pineapple and water chestnuts.
5. Serve over rice.

Serves 4 - 6

*I skip the water chestnuts and sometimes the pineapple and it still turns out great! :)

Another good one from my mother-in-law

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Dump Cake

Dump Cake

prep time: 5-10 minutes bake time: 30 minutes

1 can blueberry pie filling
1 large can of crushed pineapple
1 french vanilla cake mix (you can use yellow cake mix, but I prefer the f.v.)
1 stick of butter

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Pour the blueberry pie filling into a 9 x 13 pan and spread it out with a spatula
3. Pour the crushed pineapple, with its juice, over top of the blueberry
4. Sprinkle the cake mix (dry—don’t make it or anything) over top of the pineapple
5. Cut the butter into slices and put evenly over the cake mix
6. Bake for approx. 30 minutes or until golden

From Pam Catlin

Monday, November 3, 2008

BBQ Ribs

I actually got this recipe out of a mystery novel! There's this series of fun, clean mysteries by Joanne Fluke that I've enjoyed reading. The first one was The Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder and then they continue on in the same theme of baked good murders. The main character owns a cookie shop--which would be very cool!--and inevitably finds dead bodies--which would not be very cool!--and then proceeds to try to solve the mysteries. They're fun and light-hearted and always have at least 5 recipes. Most of the recipes are for baked goods, but in one of the books there are several main dish ideas. This one sounded good and easy--which are my main criteria when cooking, so I gave it a whirl. It was quite delicious! Enjoy!

BBQ Rib Recipe

4-5 pounds of ribs, cut in to 2 rib servings
1/2 cup of ketchup
2 Tbsp of brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup of steak sauce
1/4 cup of prepared mustard
2 Tbsp wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
1/2 tsp of seasoned salt
1/2 tsp of liquid smoke
1/2 onion, minced (or some onion powder)

1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Place ribs on a broiler pan and cook for 15 minutes on each side.
3. Combine the sauce ingredients in a large bowl.
4. Place the ribs in a crock-pot and pour on the sauce.
5. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

from Joanne Fluke in The Sugar Cookie Murder

Things worth noting: the amount of sauce you might want/need will vary depending on your preferences and the size of your crockpot. My crockpot is large, so I doubled the sauce to get the best outcome. Enjoy!! :)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Baked Pasta Florentine

Baked Pasta Florentine

prep time: 30-40 minutes bake time: 30 minutes

Serves 8 (or 4 twice!)

10 oz frozen chopped spinach 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 Tbsp, plus ¼ cup vegetable oil ½ tsp. of salt
1 ½ pounds ground beef (or turkey) pinch of pepper
1 medium onion, chopped 1 pkg. of seashell pasta
1 garlic clove, minced 1 cup shredded cheddar
16 oz jar of spaghetti sauce ½ cup bread crumbs
8 oz. can of tomato sauce 2 eggs, beaten well

1. Cook the macaroni according to the package directions, drain and return to the pot. *
2. Cook the spinach according to the package directions, drain and reserve the liquid. Add enough water to the liquid to make 1 cup and set aside. *
3. In a large heavy pot, heat 1 Tbsp of oil over medium heat. Brown the beef, onion and garlic in the oil, stirring well to crumble beef. Drain off the fat. *
4. Stir the spinach liquid, pasta sauce, tomato sauce and paste, salt and pepper into the meat mixture. Simmer for 10 minutes, cover and set aside.
5. Add the spinach, cheese, breadcrumbs, eggs, and ½ cup of oil to the cooked pasta; stir gently to mix well.
6. Spread the pasta mixture evenly in a 9 x 13 dish (or I often make two 8 x 8’s and freeze one). Top with the meat sauce and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

* I get steps 1-3 started all right at the beginning, otherwise this can take quite a while. But it times out well if you start them all together.

From my friend Jenny Adler, (but I believe it's originally from Paula Deen)

No Fail French Bread

Two of my friends had their babies on Sunday--what are the chances? So, tomorrow, I'm taking them both meals. They will be getting Jenny's Pasta Florentine and Stephanie's No Fail French Bread, along with some salad. Jenny made me the pasta recipe when I had Jon three years ago and it's been a favorite ever since. It takes a little longer than most of my recipes, but it makes a lot--two 8x8's, one to eat and one to freeze. I'll post that recipe tomorrow. For now, here's the yummy French bread recipe. Enjoy!

No Fail French Bread
prep time: 10 minutes (then stirring every 10 minutes for another 40 minutes) bake time: 20-25 minutes

Makes 2 loaves

½ cup warm water
4 ½ tsp yeast
2 cups of HOT water
1 Tbsp salt
3 Tbsp sugar
1/3 cup oil
6 cups flour (I use half whole wheat and half regular)

1. Sprinkle yeast over warm water in a small bowl or measuring cup
2. In a large bowl, combine hot water, salt, sugar and oil. Let stand until warm.
3. Add yeast mixture and 3 cups of flour. Beat until smooth.
4. Add remaining flour to form soft, stirrable dough. (add a little more if it's too sticky--sometimes the humidity in the air can affect this)
5. Cover the dough with a towel and let it rest for ten minutes. Stir again. Repeat this step 5 times.
6. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead enough to make dough workable for easy handling.
7. Divide dough in half and use hands to form into an oblong loaf shape. Fold in sides, push through the middle and seal seam.
8. Arrange side by side on a large cookie sheet
9. Brush with beaten egg white. Slash diagonally 3 or 4 times.
10. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.

This recipe is from my friend Stephanie Ross :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Company Chicken or...

I've seen this recipe with several different names, but it was given to me first as company chicken, so...that's what I'll call it on here:

Company Chicken

prep time: 10 minutes? (maybe less!) cooking time: 5-6 hours

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
1 block cream cheese, cut up
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 c. white cooking wine
1/4 c. butter
1 envelope Italian Dressing Mix

1. cut up the chicken, put it into a crockpot
2. mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl (or just dump them in the crockpot if you're in a hurry!!)
3. cook on low in the crockpot for 5-6 hours, stirring occassionally

This is great served over pasta or rice. I served it over bow-tie pasta with a little shredded parm. on top--yum! We had rolls and a green vegetable as sides. My in-laws came to visit and we had this one. Everyone loved it. :)

This recipe was given to me by my friend and neighbor, Nancy Awabdy, and a couple days later by Kim Brown! :)

Sweet Corn Bread

Sweet Corn Bread


1 cup ground corn meal
2 cups white flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups sugar
¾ cup butter, melted
4 large eggs, separated
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

1. Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
2. Combine the egg yolks, milk, vanilla and melted butter
3. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients
4. Beat egg whites w/ mixer until stiff
5. Carefully fold the egg whites into the batter.
6. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan (or 2 8x8’s)
7. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until done.

This jewel was passed to me from my mother in law when Pete and I got married, but I didn't try it until a few weeks ago. I've made it twice since then! Also, at least two of my friends have made it and loved it, too! Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Delicious Marinade for Chicken

Chicken Marinade

prep time: 5 minutes, but you must marinade overnight!!


½ cup of soy sauce
¼ cup of vegetable oil
¼ cup of red* wine vinegar
1 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
½ tsp. garlic powder**
½ tsp. pepper

*the color probably doesn’t matter
**sometimes I substitute 1 clove of fresh garlic

1. Marinate chicken overnight.
2. Grill it and serve!

this recipe was passed to me by my mother in law, Jan Gross :)

Cheesy Broccoli Soup

Cheesy Broccoli Soup

prep time: 30 minutes


1 pound of broccoli, finely chopped
½ cup chopped celery
1 cup water
16 oz. cream cheese, cut into small cubes
½ pound of velveeta cheese, cut into small cubes
½ cup butter
1 can of cream of celery soup
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 quart of milk
1 cup of very fine egg noodles

1. Cook broccoli and celery in 1 cup water until tender.
2. Add cheeses and butter and stir constantly until they melt.
3. Add soups and milk, continue to stir.
4. Once boiling, add noodles and continue to boil.
5. Once the noodles are soft, you can reduce the heat to low and serve. YUM!

this one is from my mom, Linnea Ross :)

Baked Ziti

Prep time: 25-30 minutes Cooking time: 35-40 minutes


6 cups(16 oz) cooked and drained ziti pasta (I use rotini)
1 large jar spaghetti sauce, divided*
16oz cottage cheese or ricotta
8oz shredded mozzerella
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 egg
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Baked Ziti
1. Heat oven to 375.
2. In a large bowl combine everything except 1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce and the parmesan cheese.

3. Put pasta mixture in a 9x13 baking dish, top with remaining sp. sauce and sprinkle with cheese. (*I usually add more sp.sauce then what they say—close to two regular size jars).
4. Cover with foil and bake for 30-35 minutes, then last 5 min. uncovered.

This recipe freezes nicely, just add 20-25 minutes to the baking time.

(I started adding a pound of hamburger to mine—Pete likes it better this way, I think it’s great either way!)

this recipe passed on to me from Heather Wright :)

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

prep time: 10 minutes cooking time: 30 minutes

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup chunky salsa
8 ounces corn tortilla chips
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (optional)

1. Over medium heat, saute the chicken in the oil for 5 minutes.

2. Add the garlic and cumin and mix well. Then add the broth, corn, onion, chili powder, lemon juice and salsa. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes.

3. Break up some tortilla chips into individual bowls and pour soup over chips. Top with the Monterey Jack cheese and a little sour cream.

this recipe passed on to me from Kim Brown :)

Sticky Chicken

Sticky Chicken

prep: approx. 15-20 minutes cooking time: 55 minutes

2-3 chicken breasts
1/2 cup butter
1 1/3 cups ketchup
1 to 1 1/2 cups brown sugar (I use probably 1 1/4 cups, but some like it less sweet, or more...)
1 T minced dry onion
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons reg. yellow mustard
2 teaspoons lemon juice (you can also use vinegar in a pinch)

1. Bring to a boil in a small saucepan and whisk until mixed together all the ingredients besides the chicken.
2. Brown 3-4 chicken breasts in a skillet (I cut them in half lengthwise to make smaller, juicier pieces).
3. Lay browned chicken in baking dish (I use a smaller deep dish that barely fits the chicken in one layer on the bottom). Cover with 2/3 of the sauce, keeping the rest warm on a low burner (stir here and there).
4. Bake uncovered 40 minutes at 350.
5. Pour on the rest of the sauce and bake 15 minutes more.

This chicken is delicious served over rice, with biscuits and a vegetable for sides. If you decide to serve it with rice, begin cooking the rice about 30 minutes after you put the chicken in the oven.

this recipe was passed to me by Christina Gathany :)


First, let me say that I'm not a gourmet chef. I don't even LOVE cooking. I enjoy cooking when I have time and a good recipe. However, as a wife and mom, necessity brings me to the kitchen more often that I would chose. So, like many of you, I've gotten bored on numerous occassions. Frequently I complain to my friends about needing new recipes, and probably because they don't want to listen to me complain anymore, they give me some of their favorites. Therefore, I have gotten a pretty good collection of tasty meals--not too many are light or low-fat, but most are quite delicious. Lately, I've enjoyed cooking more and more because I've found so many good recipes from friends. I want you to share in my joy, so here you go...
Here's the address for all my facebook friends:
Enjoy! And please send me feedback!!