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