Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Overnight Oats / Chocolate Oatmeal


  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • dash of salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips

Optional items to throw in include: yogurt, banana, protein powder, chia seeds, nuts, etc.


Stir all ingredients in a lidded container or mason jar. Shake well. Refrigerate overnight. The next morning, simply stir and enjoy.

Funeral Potatoes

Funeral potatoes (also known as or similar to country potatoes, cheesy potatoes, hash brown casserole, cheesy hash browns, scalloped potatoes or au gratin potatoes) 

Ingredients for casserole:

  • 2 pounds Ore-Ida Southern Style Hash Browns (or your own shredded potatoes)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese 
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 can of cream of chicken
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup butter


  • 1.5 cups of corn flake crumbs 
  • 1/2 cup butter


  • Mix all casserole ingredients 
  • Pour into a 9x13 casserole dish
  • Mix crumbs and melted butter and pour over top
  • Bake at 350 for 60 minutes.

From the kitchen of Pat Mackay

Shredded Beef Chili Con Carne



  • 1kg / 2lb beef chuck roast (Note 1)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 0.5 tsp EACH salt and pepper


  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 onions , diced (brown, yellow, white)
  • 0.5 large red capsicum/bell pepper , seeds removed and diced
  • 0.25 cup (62.5ml) beef broth/stock (or water)


  • 14oz canned red kidney or pinto beans , drained (2 x 400g/14oz cans)
  • 14oz crushed tomato
  • 1/8 cup tomato paste
  • 0.5 cup (125 ml) beef broth/stock


  • 0.5 tbsp EACH cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, smoked paprika (or plain paprika)
  • 0.5 tsp cayenne pepper , or to taste (spiciness)
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 0.25 tsp black pepper


  • 1.5 tbsp cornflour / corn starch
  • 1/8 cup (32.5ml) beef broth/stock or water



  • Cut the beef into four equal sizes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat 1/2 the oil in a heavy based skillet over high heat. Brown beef well all over - about 1 1/2 minute on each side, then remove onto a plate.


  • Add a touch more oil if needed.
  • Add the garlic, onion and capsicum (bell peppers) and saute until caramelised, around 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add 1/2 cup beef broth, bring to simmer, scraping the bottom of the skillet to dissolve brown bits into the liquid. Simmer for 30 seconds then scrape it all into the slow cooker.


  • In the slow cooker, add the beans, tomato, tomato paste, beef broth and Chili Spices. Stir, then add beef - it won't be fully submerged, beef juices will raise liquid level.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours.
  • Remove beef from slow cooker and shred with two forks.


  • Mix cornflour and 1/4 cup beef stock, then pour into slow cooker. Add beef, then slow cook for a further 20 minutes to allow sauce to thicken.
  • Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.


Serve with garnishes of choice, such as sour cream, guacamole or diced avocado, grated cheese, coriander/cilantro. Serve either with corn chips or cornbread for dunking, or serve over rice!

Recipe Notes:

1. Beef - beef chuck is ideal, it's marble with fat so it's juicy and it shreds well. Boneless beef short rib is also ideal - beautifully juicy and also shreds well (slightly stringier than chuck).

2. Homemade Chili Powder - Chili Powder as sold in the US is a mix of spices. The flavour differs from brand to brand and also it's not readily available outside the Sites. So I prefer to make my own - more consistent flavour outcome of the dish.

3. Searing the beef adds extra flavour as well as helping to seal the juices in the beef. But it's an optional step - skip it to save time, just place everything in the slow cooker Still super delicious!

4. Other cook methods: Stove & oven - Add 1 cup water and simmer covered for 2.5 hours on low heat, or 3 hours (covered) in the oven at 160C/320F. Adjust sauce quantity at end with water if needed (depends how much evaporation there is which depends on how heavy your pot lid is). Pressure cooker / instant pot - 60 minutes on high

5. Storage - leftovers keeps 100% perfectly in the fridge for 4 - 5 days, or in the freezer for 3 months (thaw then reheat).

From: https://www.recipetineats.com/shredded-beef-chili-con-carne/#wprm-recipe-container-20420

Monday, November 6, 2023

30 Minute Dinner Rolls


  • 1 cup warm tap water
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons yeast
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅛ cup milk room temperature


  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • In a large bowl, combine 1 cup water, oil, sugar, and yeast. Let sit until yeast is bubbly (about 8 minutes). 
  • Stir in beaten egg, softened butter, and salt.
  • With a stand mixer or by hand, add flour, one cup at a time until you have a soft dough that isn’t sticky. 
  • Knead by hand 10 minutes or 5 minutes with a stand mixer.
  • Divide dough into 16 to 32 even pieces (depending on how big you want the roles) and form into balls. 
  • Place in a greased pan and cover with parchment paper and a kitchen towel.
  • Let rise 15 minutes in a warm place. (You can allow them to rise up to an additional 30 minutes if time allows).
  • Lightly brush with milk and bake on the middle rack for 10-12 minutes or just until browned.
  • Brush with butter after taking them out of the oven.
Recipe courtesy of https://www.spendwithpennies.com/30-minute-dinner-rolls/#wprm-recipe-container-136278

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Cheddar Biscuits (Reb Lobster Copycat)


  • 2 cups Bisquick® mix
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese (finely shredded)
  • 2/3 cup cold milk
  • 4 Tbsp. butter (salted)
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder


  • Mix Bisquick, cheese, and milk into soft, sticky dough
  • Spoon onto greased cookie sheet
  • Bake for 8 to 10 minutes at 450 degrees
  • While baking, melt butter and stir in garlic powder
  • Take biscuits from oven when done and brush with garlic butter

Friday, August 18, 2023

Pan-Grilled Chicken Tenderloins


  • Chicken Tenderloins (or chicken breast cut into tenderloin sized pieces)
  • Spices (Salt, Pepper, Garlic Salt, etc.)
  • Oil (Olive Oil is healthier, but Canola Oil or Vegetable Oil works too)


  • Heat frying pan on medium-high temperature
  • Add oil to frying pan (between a teaspoon or two for a single tenderloin, but could be a tablespoon or two for a larger quantity).
  • Season tenderloins with spices per your liking and then place them in the frying pan with the seasoned side down.
  • Season top of tenderloins and allow to cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes.
  • Flip tenderloins, reduce heat to medium, and cover the frying pan while they cook for another 5 to 7 minutes. 
  • That's it. 

Spanish Rice and Bean Wraps/Burritos


  • Spanish Rice from Rice a Roni
  • 2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 16 oz can of crushed tomatoes (or salsa, if you prefer)
  • 1 can of Black Beans (or pinto or kidney, if you prefer)
  • 1 cup of canned Corn, drained
  • Shredded cheese
  • Burrito sized flour tortillas
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Bacon (optional)


  • In large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté rice and vermicelli mix with butter until vermicelli is golden brown.
  • Add 2 cups water, tomatoes/salsa, and special seasonings from Rice a Roni and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce to low, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until rice is tender.
  • Stir in beans and corn and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
  • Serve on flour tortillas with desired toppings (cheese, sour cream, bacon, etc.)

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Hash Browns / Country Fried Potatoes


  • Russet Potatoes (1 small one or half a big one, roughly, per person)
  • Oil (1 tablespoon, roughly, per serving. Canola Oil or Vegetable Oil is best for crispiness, but you can also use Olive Oil)
  • Salt 
  • Pepper
  • Cubed ham (optional)
  • Toppings, optional, like cheese, bacon bits, sour cream


  • Shred or dice potatoes: We usually use a salad shooter to shred them, but you can also use a cheese grater. Absent one of those tools, you can simply dice the potatoes into small pieces.
  • Rinse the starch off the potatoes: Put the shredded or diced potatoes into a big bowl, fill the bowl with water, and then drain the water through a colander. Repeat until all the starch is rinsed off.
  • Dry the potatoes: We usually take the rinsed potatoes from the colander and put them on a plate with a paper towel. Take another paper towel and pat dry the top of the potatoes. Don't ignore this step because if the potatoes are wet, they will not fry up as crispy. 
  • In a frying pan commensurate with the amount of potatoes, turn the burner to medium-high, and then add the oil.
  • Let the oil get hot for a minute, and then add the potatoes across the frying pan to form a layer about half an inch thick. If the layer of potatoes is too think, they will not fry up as crispy. 
  • Put salt and pepper (and other spices, if you desire) on the potatoes and let them cook for about 5 minutes. Resist the urge to stir because stirring them will turn them to mush. 
  • If you are adding cubed ham, now is the time. We love putting left over Honey Baked Ham (from Thanksgiving or Christmas) in the hash browns. 
  • Flip the potatoes. The up side should be a crispy brown.
  • Allow the second side to cook for about 3 minutes, and then they will be done. 
  • You can add additional oil during the cooking process if they seem dry or not frying well, but be careful not to add too much.

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce


  • 1/2 pound Ground Beef
  • Spaghetti Sauce (we usually get Prego Traditional)
  • Noodles (we prefer angel hair or thin spaghetti), usually about 16 oz for our family
  • Petite Diced Tomatoes (optional, 14.5 ounces and drained)
  • 1/2 Green Pepper (optional, diced)
  • Parmesan Cheese (optional)


  • Brown ground beef
  • Add diced green pepper, if desired
  • Add Prego spaghetti sauce
  • Add petite diced tomatoes, if desired. If you do, you'll want to add a little salt as well.
  • Bring 2 or 3 quarts water to boil in large pot. 
  • Add pasta and cook until al dente. 
  • Drain pasta and transfer back to cooking pot.
  • Put the noodles on your plate and add your sauce.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Chicken Quesadilla


  • 1 (or more) flour tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded cheese or the equivalent slices (Cheddar, Colby Jack, or other cheeses work)
  • 1 Can of Chunk Chicken
  • Butter, Margarine, or Spray Oil
  • Diced tomato (optional)
  • Salsa (optional)
  • Diced Onion (optional)
  • Sour Cream (optional)
  • Guacamole (optional)


  • Warm up a frying pan on medium to medium-high temperature. Alternatively, you can use an electric griddle at around 300 to 325 degrees. 
  • Apply a small amount of Butter, Margarine, or Spray Oil, just enough to coat the pan/griddle.
  • Place one tortilla on a griddle/pan and sprinkle with cheese, chicken, and optional onion, tomato, and salsa. 
  • Top with remaining tortillas. 
  • Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. 
  • Cut into wedges.
  • Enjoy with optional sour cream and guacamole. 

Grilled Cheese Sandwich


  • Two Slices of Bread
  • Cheese (cheddar, or Colby Jack, or whatever king you like)
  • Spreadable Butter or Margarine
  • Deli Sliced Ham (optional)


  • Warm up a frying pan on medium to medium-high temperature. Alternatively, you can use an electric griddle at around 300 to 325 degrees. 
  • Butter one side of each piece of bread.
  • Put one slice of bread, butter side down, on the frying pan or griddle. 
  • Add cheese (can be in slices or shredded cheese) to cover the bread.
  • (Optional) Add a piece of deli sliced ham on top of the cheese.
  • Put the second slice of bread on the sandwich with butter side up.
  • When first side of bread is fried/toasted to a golden brown, flip the sandwich over with a spatula and cook the other side.
  • That's it. 

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Simple French Bread


  • 2.5 Cups Warm Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Dry Yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Oil
  • 6 Cups Flour

Step 1:
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine water, sugar, and yeast. 
  • Let stand for 5 minutes. 
  • Stir in salt, oil, and 3 cups of flour. Stir vigorously. 
  • Add remaining 3 cups of flour slowly as needed and mix well. 
  • Let rest in bowl 5 minutes. 
  • Stir down. 
  • Repeat process 2 more times. 
Step 2:
  • Place dough onto a floured board. 
  • Knead only enough to coat dough with flour so it can be handled. 
  • Divide into half or thirds.
  • Flatten out into rectangle, roll up from long side. 
  • Moisten seam with small amount of water and pinch of salt.
Step 3:
  • Arrange loaves lengthwise on a large, well-greased or parchment covered cookie sheet. 
  • Place seam side down. 
  • Spray top with cooking spray and let rise about 20-25 minutes.
Step 4:
  • Use a very sharp knife to gently make 3 diagonal gashes in the top of each loaf (do not deflate the bread).
  • Then put into oven.
Optional Step 4A: 
  • Place the baking sheet in the hot oven.
  • Immediately toss 3-4 ice cubes on the bottom of the oven (this gives a delicious, classic, French bread crispness to the crust). 
  • Close the oven door quickly but don't deflate the bread!
Step 5:
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 23-25 minutes.
  • After removing from the oven, butter tops of bread.
  • Cool on racks and cover with a towel (this keeps the crust soft).
  • Serve warm.

Monday, May 29, 2023

Simple Coffee Cake


  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • heaping tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk


  • In a large bowl crumble all the ingredients together except the milk and egg. 
  • Scoop out 1/2 cup of this for the topping. 
  • To the rest of the crumbs, stir in the egg and milk.  
  • Pour into a greased 9″ square pan or 7"x11" rectangle pan.
  • Sprinkle with the saved crumb topping.  
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 min.


Sunday, April 9, 2023

Homemade Waffles


  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¾ cups milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Monday, February 20, 2023

Oven Baked French Fries

Soak the potatoes in cold water after cutting for 30 minutes. (I usually just rinse them well.) This step removes a lot of starch resulting in a crispier French fry!

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Dry the fries thoroughly after soaking and before seasoning. You make sure to dry them well so they don’t steam and get soft when they bake! 

Generously oil and season the oven fries. I usually do this in a bowl with a tablespoon or two of oil. Season to taste with salt, pepper, rosemary, garlic, etc.

Use parchment paper or spray oil on the cookie sheet to keep them from sticking.

Spread evenly in a single layer of a cookie sheet. Try to prevent the individual fries from touching. 

Cook 20 minutes at 375°F.

Take out and turn/rotate/flip the fries.

Turn the heat up to 425°F and continue baking until crisp, about 20 minutes.

Two temp cooking is key technique that allows the fries to bake perfectly crispy! 

See https://www.spendwithpennies.com/crispy-oven-fries/

Sunday, February 5, 2023

BabyCakes Donut Maker Recipe

 Put in mixing bowl and combine these ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Add the following and blend just until the ingredients are mixed well and dough is creamy:

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

About 2 tablespoons will fit in each cavity.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Classic Old-Fashioned Pancakes


  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter, or oil
  • 1 egg


Sift flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add milk, melted butter, and egg; mix until smooth.

Heat griddle or pan over medium-high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake; cook until bubbles form and the edges are dry, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on the other side. Bon appétit.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Banana Bars / Banana Bread Sheet Cake

Banana Bars Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons (57 g) salted butter, softened or even melted and cooled
  • ¼ cup (53 g) lightly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup (106 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (113 g) sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅔ – 1 cup mashed ripe bananas, (about 2 large bananas)
  • 1 cup (142 g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Browned Butter Frosting Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons (57 g) butter
  • 2 cups (228 g) powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk or cream


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch pan (see note) with cooking spray and set aside.

For the bars, in a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown and granulated sugars, sour cream, egg, and vanilla until well-mixed, 1-2 minutes.

Blend in the bananas and mix.

Stir in the flour, baking soda and salt and mix for just a minute or two until combined.

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the top springs back to the touch.

While the bars are baking, make the frosting by melting the butter in a saucepan or stainless steel (not nonstick) skillet over medium heat (here’s a quick tutorial on browning butter). Bring the butter to a gentle simmer, turning the heat down if needed, until the solids lightly brown and the butter smells caramelly and fragrant. Immediately remove from the heat and add the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk, whisking until smooth and creamy. Add more milk if needed to achieve a thick but spreadable consistency.

Let the bars cool for 5-10 minutes and then dollop the frosting over the warm bars and spread in an even layer.

Cool the bars to room temperature. Cut into squares and serve. These keep well-covered for 1-2 days at room temp or refrigerated.

See: https://www.melskitchencafe.com/banana-bars-with-browned-butter-frosting/

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Potbelly Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies


  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 ½ cups quick oats
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups chocolate chips


  • Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Next, add the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, oats, salt, brown sugar, and white sugar) together in a large bowl. Stir well with a large spoon or spatula.
  • Next, add in the wet ingredients (eggs, vanilla extract, and butter). Mix well with a hand mixer until everything is well combined.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips with a large spoon or spatula.
  • Form the dough into balls (about 2 ½ tablespoons) and place on parchment paper lined (not wax paper) or greased baking sheets.
  • Bake for 12 to 14 minutes at 350 degrees. Edges should be golden brown.
  • Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes after baking. The centers may look undone but they will finish baking on the sheet.


  • These cookies are pretty big, let them finish baking on your cookie sheet for at least 10 to 15 minutes after you take them out of the oven. The centers may not look done when you take them out but remember, they will finish on the baking sheet.
  • Be sure to mix the dry ingredients together first. This ensures that no one gets a big bite of baking soda or salt.
  • Let your butter soften to room temperature but do not melt the butter or your cookies will spread.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake


  • Cook and serve chocolate pudding mix (3.4 oz box)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 chocolate cake mix (Heather likes Betty Cocker Triple Chocolate Fudge cake)
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips


  • Preheat over to 350 degrees.
  • Prepare pudding as on box directions (add 2 cups of milk to pudding in a mixing bowl and cook in microwave on high for 6 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes)
  • Add chocolate cake mix to pudding. Stir batter together. Should be thick and fluffy.
  • Pour batter into a greased 9x13 pan.
  • Sprinkle 1 cup of mini chocolate chips on top of cake batter.
  • Bake 30 to 35 minutes at 350. 
  • Serve with cool whip or whipped cream on top. Yum!

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Fruit Salad by Terry Smith


  • 1 to 2 Bananas
  • Mandarin Orange slices (1 can or the fresh equivalent)
  • 1 Apple, chopped 
  • 1 to 2 cups of Grapes
  • 1 Peach, fresh or canned, chopped
  • Pineapple (optional, really any of the fruit is optional, pick the ones you like)
  • 1/2 cup Mini Marshmallows
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 1/8 cup granulated Sugar


Mix the sour cream and sugar in a separate bowl. Place all the fruit and marshmallows in a big bowl. Add the sour cream sugar mixture. Stir.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Sloppy Joes

  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 2 ½ pounds ground beef or ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ⅔ cup BBQ sauce (we usually use Sweet Baby Ray's)
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Rolls or buns, for serving
We usually half it: 1/2 INGREDIENTS =
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup BBQ sauce (we usually use Sweet Baby Ray's)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Rolls or buns, for serving
  • Brown ground beef in a nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Drain excess grease. Add the onions. 
  • Stir in the tomato paste, BBQ sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire, and soy sauce and a pinch of black pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer ,and cook until the sauce is slightly thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add additional salt and pepper, to taste, if needed.
  • Serve the sloppy joe meat warm on buns or rolls.
See: https://www.melskitchencafe.com/the-best-sloppy-joes/ 

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Breakfast Cake / Bisquick Coffee Cake

 Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 cups baking mix (such as Bisquick®)
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • ⅔ cup baking mix (such as Bisquick®)
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions Instructions

  • Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease a deep 9-inch pie pan (see note below).
  • Step 2: Combine baking mix, milk, sugar, egg, and cinnamon in bowl; mix well. Spread into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  • Step 3: Mix baking mix, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon together in a separate bowl using a fork or pastry blender until crumbly. Spread topping mix over cake batter; drag a butter knife across the top as if making a tic-tac-toe board several times.
  • Step 4: Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

Notes: We don't like the cake to be as thick as is called for in the recipe. If the whole family is home and we want a lot, we double the recipe and put it in a 11x13 pan. But generally we can single it and use an 11x7 pan.

Source: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/274198/bisquick-coffee-cake/

Friday, August 6, 2021

Pumpkin Bars

 1 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. cinnamon
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda

Mix above ingredients together and set aside.

2 c. sugar
2 c. pumpkin pie fillings
4 eggs
1 c. oil

Mix above ingredients together and then combine and mix with dry ingredients. Pour into a greased jellyroll pan. Bake at 350* for 30 minutes. Cool and frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
3/4 c. butter
1 tsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
4 0z. cream cheese

Combine above ingredients and beat thoroughly. Add more sugar or milk for desired consistency.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Banana Bread Recipes


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ⅓ cup melted butter
  • 1 egg, beaten


Step 1: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 2 mini muffin tins with cooking spray.

Step 2: Combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl.

Step 3: Blend bananas, sugar, butter, and egg together in a separate bowl. Add to flour mixture; stir batter well to combine.

Step 4: Scoop batter into prepared muffin tins, filling each cup 2/3 of the way full.

Step 5: Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 15 minutes.

See https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/246624/best-yet-banana-mini-muffins/ 

March 2021 - Turned out a little dry for me. It wasn't bad, but I think I will try a different recipe next time. Maybe next time try this one: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/20144/banana-banana-bread/, which is as follows:


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 ⅓ cups mashed overripe bananas


Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.

Step 2: In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

Step 3: Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Other Recipes I've Tried:

Oct 13, 2016 Made this recipe: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/banana_bread/ 
It was good. Maybe not the best banana bread ever, but good. 

Dec 21, 2016 Tried this recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/banana-bread-recipe.html 
I omitted the cinnamon and only put in 3/4th cup sugar. I liked it, I think a little more than the previous one. 

Jan 14, 2017 http://allrecipes.com/recipe/23426/almost-no-fat-banana-bread/
It's ok. Especially considering its low fat 

May 24, 2017 http://allrecipes.com/recipe/20144/banana-banana-bread/ 
Felt like something was missing. not my favorite recipe. 

July 1, 2017 https://www.google.com/amp/www.food.com/amp/recipe/best-banana-bread-2886 
I liked it

June 12, 2018 https://spoonuniversity.com/recipe/the-only-banana-bread-recipe-you-will-ever-need 
I liked it. 

Dec 30, 2021: I (Jimmy) created my own recipe. It turned out okay, but it still needs improvement. It was a little dry. Also, it made twice as much as we needed. It went as follows:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • about 2 cups of bananas, mashed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter softened
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tspn salt
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  • Baked at 350

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Bacon Ranch French Bread Pizza


  • 1 loaf about 12.5 ounces French Bread or Sourdough Bread
  • 2/3 cup Hidden Valley® Simply Ranch Classic Ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 4 cups shredded cheese cheddar or mozzarella or a mix
  • 6 slices cooked bacon crumbled
  • 2 green onions sliced small, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Slice loaf of bread horizontally. Place two halves face up on the cookie sheet.
  3. Stir together ranch dressing and pizza sauce in a small bowl. Coat each bread half with sauce.
  4. Sprinkle with cheese, then bacon, then onions.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  6. Serve immediately. May be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days, but best the day it’s made.

Source: https://www.crazyforcrust.com/cheesy-bacon-ranch-french-bread-pizza/

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Golden Grahams S'mores


  • 8 cups Golden Grahams cereal
  • 8 oz miniature marshmallows (4 cups)
  • 1 3/4 cups milk chocolate chips (9 oz)
  • 5 tablespoons butter or margarine 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup

1.5 Recipe Ingredients

  • 12 cups Golden Grahams cereal
  • 1 bag (10 oz) miniature marshmallows (5 1/2 cups)
  • 2 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips (12 oz)
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup light corn syrup


  • Grease 13x9-inch pan (13x11 for 1.5 recipe)
  • Measure cereal into large bowl
  • In saucepan on the stove, melt the butter
  • Add the chocolate chips and corn syrup over medium heat
  • Stir occasionally and bring melted chocolate mixture to a boil
  • Remove from heat; stir in vanilla
  • Pour chocolate mixture over cereal in bowl; stir until evenly coated. 
  • Stir in marshmallows one cup at a time (reserve 1 cup of the marshmallows to sprinkle on top)
  • Pour mixture from bowl and press firmly in pan
  • Cool until firm and then cut into bars and enjoy!

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Easy Vanilla Ice Cream for 4 Qt. Ice Cream Maker

3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 cups heavy whipping cream
3 cups milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients and mix well.
Pour into frozen ice cream maker canister.

Black Forest: Mix in 1/2 cup chocolate syrup and 1 can of pitted Bing cherries, drained and halved.
Chocolate Covered Peanuts: Mix in 1 1/2 cups chocolate syrup and chocolate-covered peanuts.
Cookies and Cream: Reduce sugar to 1 1/2 cups. Mix in 30 cream –filled sandwich cookies, broken in small pieces.
Orange-aide: Mix in 1 (12 oz.) can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed and undiluted.
Mint-Chocolate Chip: Replace vanilla extract with 1 teaspoon of mint extract. Add 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips, 4 drops of green food coloring (optional) to mixture.
Peanut Butter: Mix in 2 cups of chunky peanut butter and mix well.
Chocolate Chip Walnut: Add 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate bits and 1 cup chopped walnuts;
Strawberry-Banana: Add in 6 mashed bananas and 1 quart coarsely chopped strawberries.
Double Almond Chocolate: Replace vanilla extract with almond extract. Add 6 ounces finally chopped semisweet chocolate squares and 2 cups chopped almonds to mixture.
Cookie Dough: Add 1 roll (18 ounces) refrigerated raw cookie dough, cut into small pieces, to mixture.
Banana Pudding: Add 1 cup mashed bananas x`nd 12 crushed vanilla wafers to cream mixture.


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Alfredo Sauce

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 Tblsp minced garlic
1 1/2 - 2 cups heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Add the garlic to the butter and cook for 1 minute.
Whisk in the cream, salt, pepper, and cheese.
Bring mixture to a boil.
Reduce heat to med/low and simmer uncovered for 12-15 minutes or until thick, stirring often.

Makes 2 1/2 cups

Serving Ideas: with pasta, chicken, vegetables, and/or bread sticks.

Notes: I have never been able to get it thick enough with 2 cups heavy cream, so perhaps use 1.5 cups and if too thick, add the additional 1/2 cup. (Heather)

Recipe courtesy of Alison Robinson

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Garlic Parmesan Breadsticks

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 to 4 cups flour, about 15-20 ounces (see note)

3 tablespoons butter, melted (for the baking sheet)
Dried herbs, garlic salt and grated Parmesan cheese

1. In an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook (or in a large bowl by hand), mix together the water, yeast, sugar, salt and one cup of the flour.
2. Continue adding the flour until the dough just clears the sides of the bowl; knead for about three minutes. It should be soft and slightly sticky without leaving a lot of residue on your fingers.
3. Let the dough rest in the bowl for 10 minutes.
4. While the dough rests, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the melted butter onto large, rimmed baking sheet (about 11X17-inches).
5. On a lightly greased countertop, pat the dough into a long rectangle, about 16-inches by 7-inches or so. Cut the dough every 1-inch (more or less) into strips with a pizza cutter.
6. Twist each strip slightly and place about 1/2-inch apart on the baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with dried herbs of choice, garlic salt and Parmesan cheese.
7. Let rise for 20 minutes (you can cover with greased plastic wrap, if desired, I usually go without). Bake for 15 minutes until golden.

from https://www.melskitchencafe.com/divine-breadsticks-2/

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

No Bake Cookies

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
  • 3 cups (often I do 3.5 cups) oatmeal (quick oats work better than regular oats)
  • (optional) between 1/2 and 1 cup of peanut butter can be added while mixture boils
  • if you use unsalted butter, add some salt (maybe 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon salt)

Add the butter, milk, sugar, cocoa, and vanilla to a pot. Mix and place on stove on medium heat, stirring occasionally. At first sign of boiling, set a timer and allow the mixture to boil for 4 minutes. Then remove the pan from the heat and add the oatmeal to the pot. Stir well and then spoon it onto a greased cookie sheet into the desired size of cookie you like. Allow to cool and dry for 10 or 15 minutes.

Friday, May 31, 2019

White Sauce / Creamy Sauce for Pasta

Heather often simply calls this "white sauce". We often have this sauce over noodles and served with grilled chicken and vegetables.


  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk (or 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup chicken broth)
  • Spices (salt, pepper, garlic) to taste

  • Melt butter in sauce pan over medium heat. 
  • Add flour and wisk together. 
  • Add liquid (milk and/or chicken broth) 
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring / wisking frequently until the sauce thickens (five minutes or so).

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

1 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons peanut butter

1. In a medium bowl, mix together the butter or margarine, graham cracker crumbs, confectioners' sugar, and 1 cup peanut butter until well blended. Press evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13 inch pan.

2. In a metal bowl over simmering water, or in the microwave, melt the chocolate chips with the peanut butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Spread over the prepared crust. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares.

Recipe By: Nancy
"These peanut butter bars taste just like peanut butter cups."
Printed From Allrecipes.com

Quick and Easy Foolproof Pizza Dough

For use in Pizza Pockets

 1 cup warm water
 1 tablespoon honey
 1 tablespoon oil
 1 tablespoon instant yeast
 1 teaspoon salt
 2-3 cups flour (see note)

1. In a large bowl or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the water, honey, oil, yeast and salt. Add the flour gradually until a soft dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The exact flour amount will vary so go by the touch and feel of the dough versus the exact cup measurements in the recipe. The dough should be soft and smooth (not leaving a residue on your fingers but not super stiff, either).

2. Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes (more like 5-6 minutes if kneading by hand or if using whole wheat flour).

3. Let the dough rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Shape the dough into pizza(s), spread with sauce and toppings, and bake at 475 or 500 degrees on a preheated pizza stone or on a lightly greased baking sheet for 8-10 minutes (for an in-depth look at baking methods, here is a great tutorial).

I almost always use 1/2 or up to 3/4 whole wheat flour with good results - I let it knead for a few minutes longer.

Also, this recipe doubles, triples and quadruples really well. If doubling, use double the amount for all the ingredients. For triple and quadruple batches, increase all the ingredients accordingly except the yeast - only use 2 tablespoons yeast for a tripled batch and 2 1/2 tablespoons yeast for a quadrupled batch. Keep an eye on the flour if increasing the recipe. You want a soft, smooth dough - not too sticky and definitely not overfloured.


From https://www.melskitchencafe.com/quick-and-easy-pizza-dough/

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Peanut Butter Corn Flake Cookies

  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1 cup granulated sugar      
  • 1 cup peanut butter            
  • 6 cups corn flakes

Mix the corn syrup, sugar, and peanut butter in a pot over medium low heat on the stove. When mixture comes to a boil, take off the stove and stir in the corn flakes.  Form it into cookies on a greased cookie sheet, or spread into a greased cake pan like rice crispy treats and let them cool off for about 5 or 10 minutes.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Hot Mexican Dip

  • 1/2 pound Ground Beef
  • 1 Tablespoon Taco Seasoning
  • 16 oz. can of Refried Beans
  • 16 oz. Sour Cream 
  • 16 oz. Salsa
  • 1 to 2 cups Shredded Cheese (cheddar jack is what we usually use, but plain cheddar would be fine)
The ingredient portions do not have to be exact. For example, sometimes I use less sour cream and refried beans or more salsa and cheese. It just depends what I'm feeling like.

Directions: In a large frying pan:
  • Brown the ground beef. Add taco seasoning (and salt and pepper, if you like).
  • Layer on the refried beans (or what I typically do is just mix the refried beans together with the cooked ground beef).
  • Spread the sour cream in a layer over the meat and beans.
  • Pour the salsa in as the next layer
  • Sprinkle the cheese over the top for the final layer
You can, of course, do other layers, for instance some people like a layer of diced olives on top.

Serve the dip in bowls and eat with tortilla chips.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

German Pancakes (aka Rahn's Pancakes)

2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
2 Tablespoons Butter
Dash of Nutmeg (optional)
(our pans are a little bigger so we add a little more milk and flour, bringing it to about 2/3 cup)

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Beat eggs and add flour and milk. Mix lightly (batter will be lumpy). Put two round cake pans in hot oven with butter in the pans, 1 Tbspn each. As soon as the butter is melted, add the mixture, divided between the two pans. Close oven and bake 12 to 15 minutes. Serve with powdered sugar, maple syrup, hot apples, lemon juice, or other toppings of your choice.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Rice Pilaf

  • 2⅔ c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • ⅓ c. unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. kosher sea salt
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ⅛ tsp. paprika
  • pinch onion powder
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • ⅓ c. vermicelli or orzo
  • 1 c. long-grain white rice
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

1. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, add the chicken broth, butter, salt, garlic powder, pepper, paprika, and onion powder. Once the mixture starts to simmer, reduce to low heat.

2. In a large skillet set over medium-low heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the vermicelli and cook until brown, about 4-6 minutes. Add the rice and cook until it turns bright white, about 5-7 minutes.

3. Pour the warm broth mixture into the skillet, stir to combine. Once the mixture simmers, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the cover, add the parsley, cover and continue cooking for 5 minutes or until all of the broth is absorbed. Serve immediately.

-You can also microwave the chicken broth mixture in a microwave-safe bowl for 2 minutes on high right before pouring it into the rice.
-You can cut back the butter to 3 tbsp. without it becoming sticky.

1.5x recipe:
  • 4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter
  • 1.5 tsp. kosher sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 3/8 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 3/16 tsp. paprika
  • pinch onion powder
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. vermicelli or orzo
  • 1.5 c. long-grain white rice
  • 1.5 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Stir Fry Sauce

6 tablespoons soy sauce (3/8 cup)
2 garlic clove, minced
4 teaspoons cornstarch
6 tablespoons water (3/8 cup)
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely chopped (optional)
2 scallion, white and green parts, finely chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon chili oil (optional)

1 - Dissolve cornstarch in water.
2 - Combine all ingredients.
3 - To use, make your stir fry until almost fully cooked. Stir in sauce in the last few minutes. Bring to a boil until thickened.

Mix it with broccoli, carrots, celery, green pepper, tasty chicken, & rice. Yummmmm.

Double Recipe:
3/4 cup tablespoons soy sauce
4 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely chopped (optional)
4 scallion, white and green parts, finely chopped (optional)
2 teaspoons chili oil (optional)

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Sauce
1/2 cup coconut milk (can sub regular milk, or yogurt)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
(the spices have been modified by us. the original recipe called for a full teaspoon of each of the spices. way too hot for us.)

Combine all the spices into a small bowl and add the coconut milk and mix until fully incorporated. Adjust spices to suit taste.

Pulled Chicken
2 pounds chicken breasts cut into palm sized portions
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Pinch of salt

1. Fill a large pot with chicken stock and add the garlic and onion and bring to a boil.
2. Once boiling, add the chicken breasts and after 2 minutes reduce to low and allow to simmer for 12 to 15 minutes until chicken is just cooked and no longer pink. Remove from heat and drain immediately and allow chicken to cool.
3. Once cooled, place chicken back into the pot and using two forks shred the chicken finely. Add the tandoori sauce and serve immediately.

Serving Suggestions
Serve over naan bread or rice or both.

Jell-O Pretzel Salad

2 2/3 cup coarsely chopped pretzels
1 large package frozen strawberries or raspberries
1 1/2 cubes butter
3/4 large carton Cool Whip
12 ounces cream cheese
2 cups pineapple juice
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large package Jell-O

Beat cream cheese and sugar. Set aside. Mix pretzels and butter. Press into a 9x13 dish. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes. Spread cheese mix over pretzels. Spread cool whip over cheese. Chill. Dissolve Jell-O in hot pineapple juice. Add strawberries. Allow to set. Pour over top and refrigerate. Also excellent with graham cracker crust instead of pretzels. Much easier too!

Green Bean Casserole

1 can Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup (or we use cream of celery)
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 dash black pepper
4 cups cooked cut green beans
1 1/3 cups French's® French Fried Onions

Step 1
Stir the soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, beans and 2/3 cup onions in a 1 1/2-quart casserole.

Step 2
Bake at 350°F. for 25 minutes or until the bean mixture is hot and bubbling. Stir the bean mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining onions.

Step 3
Bake for 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.

Recipe Tips
For the cooked green beans: Use 1 bag (16 to 20 ounces) frozen green beans, thawed, 2 packages (9 ounces each) frozen green beans, thawed, 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) green beans, drained or about 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans for this recipe.

Texas Roadhouse Copycat Rolls

1 pkg. active dry yeast = 1 Tblsp Active Dry Yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups milk- scalded and cooled to lukewarm
3 tablespoons of melted butter - cooled
1/2 cup sugar
2 quart all purpose flour (7-8 cups)
2 whole eggs
2 tsp. salt

Soften yeast in warm water with a teaspoon of sugar.

Add yeast, milk, sugar and enough flour (like 2-3 cups) to make a medium batter. Beat thoroughly. Let stand until light and foamy.

Add melted butter, eggs and salt. Beat well. Add enough flour to form soft dough . Sprinkle small amount of flour on counter and let dough rest.

Meanwhile, clean and dry bowl; grease clean surface of bow. Knead dough until smooth and satiny. Put in greased bowl; turn over to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place until double in bulk.

Punch down. Turn out on floured board. Divide into portions for shaping; let rest 10 minutes.

Shape dough into desired forms. Place on greased baking sheets. Let rise until doubled.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes (until golden brown). Baste immediately with butter

Yield: 5 to 6 dozen (depending on the size - I made mine kind of big and got about 3 dozen)

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

5 pounds Russet Or Yukon Gold Potatoes
3/4 cups Butter
1 package (8 Oz.) Cream Cheese, Softened
1/2 cup (to 3/4 Cups) Half-and-Half
1/2 teaspoon (to 1 Teaspoon) Lawry's Seasoned Salt
1/2 teaspoon (to 1 Teaspoon) Black Pepper


Peel and cut the potatoes into pieces that are generally the same size. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. When they’re cooked through, the fork should easily slide into the potatoes with no resistance, and the potatoes should almost, but not totally, fall apart.

Drain the potatoes in a large colander. When the potatoes have finished draining, place them back into the dry pot and put the pot on the stove. Mash the potatoes over low heat, allowing all the steam to escape, before adding in all the other ingredients.

Turn off the stove and add 1 ½ sticks of butter, an 8-ounce package of cream cheese and about ½ cup of half-and-half. Mash, mash, mash! Next, add about ½ teaspoon of Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and ½ a teaspoon of black pepper.

Stir well and place in a medium-sized baking dish. Throw a few pats of butter over the top of the potatoes and place them in a 350-degree oven and heat until butter is melted and potatoes are warmed through.

Note: When making this dish a day or two in advance, take it out of the fridge about 2 to 3 hours before serving time. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 20 to 30 minutes or until warmed through.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Pasta with Tomato and Almond Pesto


1/4 cup slivered almonds (roasted)
1 can of petite diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces and drained) or 12 ounces cherry tomatoes (about 2 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup dry basil leaves or 1/2 cup packed fresh basil
1 medium garlic clove , minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1 pound pasta , preferably angle hair or spaghetti
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Toast almonds in toaster over or in small skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until pale golden and fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes. Cool almonds to room temperature.

In food processor, mix cooled almonds, tomatoes, basil, garlic, salt, and oil until smooth, about 30 seconds. 

Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain pasta and transfer back to cooking pot.

Add pesto and ½ cup Parmesan to cooked pasta, so that pesto coats pasta. Serves 4-6 people.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Baked Asparagus

Whenever we get asparagus from Bountiful Baskets, this is the recipe we like to make for a side dish. This recipe is from the food network.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

new year... new meal plan

I've been a bit of a slacker in the meal planning department. It's one of those things that is incredible when I do it... "Wow... 3-6 p.m. is so much easier when I plan ahead." but hard to do. It's so constant to plan ahead and organize shopping trips... but I know it's worth it.

So - I designed a new meal plan. I changed the way the shopping list is... simplified it all a bit (I wasn't really planning side dishes, etc). Here's the new one:
If anyone else is interested you can download the pdf here.

I'm hoping to add new favorite family recipes here soon as I think we've tried a few new things in the past year.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Chocolate Zucchini Bread {makes 2 loaves}
Recipe by Our Best Bites

2 C flour
2 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t baking soda
6 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 C canola oil
1 C sugar
1/4 C brown sugar
3 eggs
2 t vanilla
1/2 C sour cream
3 C grated zucchini
3/4 C mini chocolate chips

2 T brown sugar
2 T white sugar
1/2 t cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and flour 2 loaf pans and set aside. I actually used one 8" disposable pan to give away and a larger 9" one for me and the batter divided perfectly. So you should get 2 very full 8" pans or slightly less full 9". Do one of each like I did!

Mix topping ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Place flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.

With a stand or hand mixer beat oil, white sugar, brown sugar, and eggs until combined and slightly fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Add vanilla and sour cream and mix until combined.

Gently stir in the grated zucchini. Take a spoonful of the flour mixture and stir in with the chocolate chips (that will help keep them evenly distributed.)

If you only have regular chocolate chips, or a chocolate bar, just give it a chop so it's the size of mini chocolate chips.

Stir remaining flour mixture into batter and mix just until combined. Add chocolate chips and stir to combine.

Divide the batter between the two pans. and sprinkle topping over each. Bake in your preheated 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes. I set my timer for 45 minutes and then keep an eye on it for the remainder. Ya never know how different ovens handle things. When it's done a toothpick or skewer should come out without goopy batter on it and the top will be gorgeous and cracked with sugar.

 Let it cool on a rack for 5-10 minutes and then remove from pans. You definitely have to eat a slice warm. And slathered with butter.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Our Favorite Caramel Popcorn

This is our favorite caramel popcorn recipe that my sister Carol shared with us years ago. We usually 1/4 the recipe since my husband doesn't love it too sugary.

Caramel Popcorn - The Best Ever
from: Golda

2 cubes margarine or butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup karo (light
pinch salt

Melt butter in saucepan. While melting add brown sugar, karo syrup, and salt. Bring to boil over medium heat while stirring with a wooden spoon. Boil 2 minutes. Pour over popped corn.

1/4 recipe
1/2 cube margarine
3/8 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup karo (light)
pinch salt

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip BROWNIES

I want to try these yummy looking treats!!!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Brownies
Yield: 24 small brownies

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 whole egg
2 egg whites
1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line an 11″- x 7″-inch pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree, eggs and oil until smooth. Set aside.

In a separate medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, spices, salt and brown sugar. Add to the wet ingredients and mix until thoroughly incorporated.

Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until passes toothpick test. Cool completely before cutting.

Source: Small Home Big Start

Thursday, October 14, 2010

wanna try this bread

One-hour Sweet Bread
mmmcafe (shared by Alison Robinson)

Makes 2 (8x4 inch) loaves

3 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. gluten flour, sifted (or vital wheat gluten)
1 1/4 T. instant yeast (or quick-rising)
2 1/2 c. very warm tap water
1 T. salt
1/3 c. oil
1/3 c. honey or 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/4 T. bottled lemon juice
2 - 2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour

Mix together first three ingredients in mixer with a dough hook.  Add water all at once and mix for 1 minute; cover and let rest for 10 minutes.  Add salt, oil, honey or sugar and lemon juice and beat for 1 minute.  Add last flour, 1 cup at a time, beating between each cup.  Beat for about 6-10 minutes until dough pulls away from sides of the bowl.  This makes a very soft dough.

Preheat oven for 1 minute to lukewarm and turn off.  Turn dough onto oiled counter top; divide, shape into loaves, place in oiled bread pans.  Let rise in warm oven for 10-15 minutes until dough reaches top of pan.  Do not remove bread from oven; turn oven to 350 degrees F and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from pans and cool on racks.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sesame Chicken

We love this! The flavor was a little strong so perhaps I needed to use more chicken. I used 8 tenderloins. We served with broccoli and rice. There wasn't much sauce.

SESAME CHICKEN {Rachael Howell}

2-4 chicken breasts, cubed
1/4 c. sesame seeds
1/4 c. soy sauce
3 T. oil
2 T. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 tsp. ginger

Mix everything together in Ziploc bag and marinate 1-4 hours. Pour onto a cookie sheet (lined with foil for easier clean up) and broil for 10 minutes. Turn and broil 5 minutes more. Serve over rice with steamed broccoli.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

how i freeze fresh peaches

this is definitely not a 'how-to' from Heather... because who knows if I even did it right. But I was-a-wishin' I would have written down my instructions a few years ago when I prepared fresh peaches for freezing ... so here I am doing just that.

Here's the low-down...
i bought a box of peaches at the Thanksgiving Point Farmer's Market for $18.
i probably only used 2/3 of it... so let's say $12-$13 worth.
It took about 4-5 peaches to make 2 cups sliced.
2 cups per quart-size freezer bag x 13 bags = 26 cups
So we'll say about $1 per 2 cups.

First I washed the peaches...

Blanched them by putting them in boiling water for 30 sec - 1 min. Then immediately put them in ice water to stop them from cooking. Hannah helped peel the peaches. What a lifesaver that girl is!

Then I sliced and cubed those slippery peaches. (for future reference... we like the cubed much better.  It seems like I generally cut up the sliced ones.  But sliced would work better for cobbler probably)

I put 1 - 1.5 cups sugar & 2 Tblsp of Fruit Fresh for about 6 cups worth. (one of my white tupperware size bowls). It seemed to make it's own little sauce from the liquid in the peaches. I like it that way - little saucy but not too much.

Then I put 2 cups in each bag and laid them flat in the freezer. Wah-lah. I'm so excited to use these on crepes, scandinavian fruit soup, cobbler, etc ALL WINTER LONG!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Smashed Potatoes

Recipe from Pioneer Woman. Yum! Jimmy and I both liked these potatoes.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Salad

This is a new favorite recipe from my friend Brooke Fritz.
I went a little mellow on the spices and didn't add all the stuff in the dressing.  It was all really, really tasty!

These 3 recipes, Brooke shared.


6 Lb. Pork - 2 of the pork sirloin roast at costco per recipe
16 oz. salsa
20 oz. Coke
2 c. brown sugar

Place roast in crock pot cook approx. 6-8 hours until meat falls apart. Shred. In a blender mix salsa, coke and brown sugar. Pour over meat and reheat. YUM!

CAFE RIO DRESSING (I just used the buttermilk ranch dressing mix)

1 pkg. Buttermilk ranch dressing ( prepare as directed on pkg.)
2 tomatillos ( a green tomato with husk)
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 garlic clove
juice of one lime
1 jalapeno pepper ( use seeds too if you like it spicy)

Use a blender to blend all ingredients. Refrigerate.

3 c. water
4 tsp. chicken bouillon
4 tsp. garlic, minced
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 can green chilies
3/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. Butter
3 c. rice

Blend cilantro, green chilies and onion together in food processor/blender. Bring water to a boil and add all ingredients; simmer cover for 30 mins.

These recipes below I found at favfamilyrecipes.com. They have different recipes for the meat, dressing, and rice, as well. Plus, they share ideas for the tin and tortilla for the salad.

Cafe Rio BLACK BEANS - favfamilyrecipes.com

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/3 c. tomato juice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro

In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat until you can smell it. Add beans, tomato juice, and salt. Continually stir until heated through. Just before serving stir in the cilantro. (**NOTE** we added a can of corn, drained, to the beans with a dash of cumin and chili powder, it was AWESOME! We recommend doing this even though it's not "traditional Cafe Rio")

Homemade tortilla chips favfamilyrecipes.com
These are perfect for Our Version of Cafe Rio Salads (click HERE)... or any salad for that matter. They are so easy and cheap to make. If you buy these at the store, they are like $4! What a rip-off! These taste a lot better than the store ones too. I promise it is worth making your own!

10-12 corn tortillas
oil for frying
Kosher salt

Cut tortillas into strips using a pizza cutter. You can cut 2-3 at a time pretty easily. Heat oil in a large frying pan. Place strips into hot oil and fry until they become crispy. When nice and crispy, remove from oil and place on a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt after each batch.

(photo by favfamilyrecipes.com)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What is this all about?

My friend Kristin showed me her 6-week meal plan that she had seen on Better Budgeting.

I decided I needed to fly with it and get my meals in order. I always go bonkers about 4 p.m. trying to decide what to make for dinner or getting it ready. Delaying the inevitable just doesn't work.

So here's my goal:

Step 1: 6-week meal plan with organized grocery list and orderly recipes on blog. See links on right for blank or completed meal plan sheets for download.

Step 2: Organize my morning so I'll make time for dinner prep before I get too tired.

Step 3: Empty dishwasher in the morn. I'm notorious for leaving it until 4 p.m. when I decide to start supper. I can't stand to cook in a messy kitchen so first I'll spend the time to do all the dishes and THEN start on dinner. No - bueno! So - dishes first and all-day so when it's dinnertime, I can focus on dinner.

I know my meal-plan and goals may need some tweeking. And I don't expect to be perfect... baby steps apply here!

Info on 6-week Meal Plan:

A few friends asked to see my meal plan. I hesitate sharing it only because I'm so not a gourmet. Now, my sisters and mom and cousins and aunts are gourmet... so I use their recipes and just try and pretend like I can cook.

Truth is that the cooking gene skipped me. But I'm not letting that stop me from trying. I'm still trying to master baking rolls and breads. I can do easy meals.

But I honestly don't have enough energy to conquer recipes that take all-day long or have a list of 20 ingredients. I don't enjoy my own cooking enough. I enjoy when other's make those recipes, but I'm too tired to enjoy when I'm standing for hours slaving in a hot kitchen.

Blah-Blah. Anyhoo... so, the point is that most of the recipes I chose for our meal-plan are simple. As I was going through the family cookbook (which I hope to reorganize and share digitally one of these days), I saw so many tasty recipes that I didn't include on my mealplan, so I'm adding an ALTERNATIVES section which will give me ideas when I just don't feel like something that week. That section, I'll keep adding to.

I entered the recipes for my own sake. They are listed by Week as well as labeled by category.

Regarding grocery list:  I decided not to include all the items I regularly have in my food storage like rice, noodles, frozen chicken tenderloins, ground beef (unless I need it fresh for the recipe), etc.  But the things I knew I would need to take stock on in my pantry, I included so I wouldn't be without an ingredient.

Regarding sidedishes:  I generally have canned/frozen veggies and fruits which we have each night for side dishes, so I didn't plan my sides/desserts/baked goods very well.  The main dish is what I need help on generally, and it's easy enough to snag the sides depending on what fresh fruit/veggies are in season.

Ummm yeah - and don't judge how healthy I am by my meals.  I realize there are many carbs.  But we try and compensate with lots of veggies, protein, and fruits. We're just lucky to eat around here these days!

Anyhoo... shout out any questions and I'll refer you to the proper chefs to answer them. :)

Also, if you want to share your meals or meal plan, feel free to email them to me at happyfam {at} gmail {dot} com.



3-5 lb. chuck roast
4 TBSP. flour
3 TBSP. shortening
Large flour tortillas
10 oz. picante sauce

Toppings: Shredded lettuce, tomatoes, olives, grated cheese, salsa, sour cream are good.

I cook the roast in the crock pot on high for 6 7 hours or on low for 12-14 hours. Cool and shred. Melt shortening. Add other ingredients; cook for 1 minute. Stir in reserved juices from meat. Cook until thick. Add more flour, if needed.

Place 1/3 cup meat mixture in upper third or tortilla. Fold top over, sides in, and roll. Place, seam side sown, in roasting pan, well buttered. Butter the top of each chimachunga. Bake at 500' for 8¬10 minutes.

You can also use shredded or canned chicken instead of beef. We use this meat for tacos, too.


CHILI (Carol Reed)

This is my favorite Chili recipe which I love to put in the crockpot.

2-3 cups beans (Kidney or chili beans)
1 lb hamburger
1 onion, chopped
Garlic Salt
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp red pepper seeds
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
8 oz. can tomato sauce
Can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup water (or so)

Brown hamburger & add chopped onion, green pepper, cook till veggies are soft. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer all afternoon. Add grated cheese right before eating.

Must Serve with Mary Jones Corn Bread!!!


Mary Jones Cornbread

2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cube melted butter

2 cups Bisquick
2 heaping Tbsp cornmeal
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar

Bake in 9x13 pan at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Won Ton Salad

Won Ton Salad (Pat Mackay)

1 small package fried and broken up won tons
2 heads lettuce
4 chicken breasts, cut in pieces
1/2 cup green onion
1 small package slivered almonds

Oil Dressing:
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 cup oil

Bring vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper to boil. Cool and add oil.

Cheese Enchiladas

Cheese Enchiladas (Jan Moffitt)

1 pkg Enchilada seasoning mix
1 can Tomato soup
1 can water (use soup can)
9-12 corn tortillas
3 C. cheese (or more to your liking)
Ground Beef

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan combine Tomato soup, water, and seasoning mix. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Sauce should thicken slightly. If too thick, add more water. Ladle some sauce in an 8X11 pan. With tongs dig a tortilla in the sauce and layer tortillas, more sauce and cheese. Finish with a layer of cheese on top. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly. (Note: you can also add ground beef as a layer.) Serve with sour cream and lettuce. I like to serve it with Spanish rice, recipe below.


Munchies (Rasmina Beck)

1 pound ground beef
1 can cream of celery
Grated onion
¼ pound grated cheese
Salt and pepper
12 potato, or other kind, rolls

Brown meat and add spices and soup. Simmer 10-15 minutes. Add grated cheese, turn off heat, and cover. Cut off tops of rolls and remove centers. Fill with meat mixture and replace top of rolls. Serve immediately.

Chicken Pot Pie

I love Chicken Pot Pie. Pat's recipe is delicious but takes more time to do the pastry. I love it though. Amy's is quick and easy and heart-warming.

Easy Chicken Pie (Amy DeMordaunt)

1 package (10 oz) frozen mixed vegetables or make your own by chopping and cooking until partly done: potatoes, carrots, celery, peas…
3 cups cooked and cubed chicken
1 can cream of celery or chicken soup
1 cup chicken broth
¼ tsp pepper
1 cup bisquick
¾ cup milk
¼ cup butter or margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 425. Spread chicken and vegetables in a greased, shallow 2 quart baking dish. Stir together soup, broth, and pepper. Pour over chicken mixture. Combine baking mix, milk, and butter in separate bowl; stir until smooth. Pour over ingredients in baking dish. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown.

Delicious Chicken Pot Pie (Pat Mackay)
½ cup margarine
1/3 cup flour
½ cup onion
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 ¾ cup chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 cups chicken
1 package frozen peas and carrots (can add potatoes). Cook before.

Melt margarine and blend in flour, onions, salt and pepper. Cook until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in broth and milk. Boil and stir for 1 minute. Stir in chicken and vegetables. Prepare pastry.

2/3 cup + 2 Tbsp shortening
1 tsp salt
2 cups flour
4-5 Tbsp water
2 tsp poppy seeds

Roll 2/3 of pastry into 13” square. Ease into square pan. Roll remaining dough. Place over filling. Flute edges and cut slits in top. Cook, uncovered, at 425 until crust is brown, 30-35 minutes.

Chicken Roll-ups

Chicken Roll-Ups (courtesy of Pat Mackay)

  • 1 package Pillsbury crescent rolls
  • 1/2 cup butter/margarine, divided
  • 4 ounces cream cheese or sour cream
  • 1 cup cubed or canned chicken
  • 1 medium green onion diced (optional. can substitute onion powder)
  • 1 cup bread crumbs (optional)
  • dash pepper (optional)
  • sage (optional)
  • Soften cream cheese and 1/4 cup margarine in microwave and blend together. 
  • Add pepper, onion, and chicken. 
  • Lay rolls out. 
  • Spread with ¼ cup mixture on center of roll. 
  • Roll by starting at large end; fold sides in and over. 
  • Melt ¼ cup margarine. 
  • Make crumb mixture by combining bread crumbs and sage. 
  • Roll chicken rolls in margarine, then dip in crumb mixture. 
  • Bake 350 for 20 minutes.
  • Makes 8 rolls.
  •  Optional: Serve with chicken gravy. 
(side note by Heather: I don't use Cream Cheese. I just use a little Sour Cream and put some mozzarella in)

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Mock Chicken Cordon Bleu (Shari Price)

Skinned and boned chicken breast fillets (I use Tenderloins)
Sliced ham (Canadian bacon works too)
Slices of cheese (jack and/or cheddar)
Chicken breasts
Cream of chicken soup

(If I don’t have enough breasts, I start with the ham layer.) Sprinkle salt, pepper, paprika, grated onion and grated cheese on top. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Take off foil and bake 15 minutes longer.

Baked Crispy Chicken

Baked Crispy Chicken (Shari Price)

2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp paprika
1-4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Blend marinade ingredients. Place chicken breasts in pan. Pour marinade over all, or put all in large Ziploc bag. Refrigerate overnight. Drain thoroughly. Roll chicken pieces in dry bread crumbs. Place in baking pan. Pour 1/4 cup melted butter over pieces. Bake for 1 hour+, uncovered for a crispier chicken. For less crisp coated, cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Remove foil, add 1/4 cup water and bake another 15-20 minutes.

Taco Soup & Bread Bowls

Taco Soup (Mary Brunson)
1 pound ground beef
1 can corn
1 can Hunts taco tomato sauce
1-2 cans kidney beans, undrained
1/2 taco seasoning packet
1-2 small cans tomato sauce

Brown meat and then mix all remaining ingredients in crock pot. Cook all day on low. Serve with grated cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.

Bread Bowls
1 loaf Rhodes bread dough, thawed but still cold
1 egg, beaten

Cut loaf into fourths. Form each fourth into a ball. Place on baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Brush with egg. Cover with sprayed plastic wrap, and let rise until double. Remove wrap and bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and slice off top. Hollow out bread and fill with favorite soup. (Use hollowed out bread to dip into soup.)

Hungarian Goulash

Hungarian Goulash (Shari Price)

Brown stew mean in a small amount of oil. Season with salt and pepper and instant beef bouillon crystals and onion. Blend in 2-4 Tbsp flour to coat meat. Add two bay leaves. For the sauce you can add 1 large can tomato sauce, canned tomatoes if desired, tomato paste, etc. Cover and simmer until meat is tender, about 3 hours. Remove bay leaves and serve over hot rice or noodles.

French Dip Sandwiches

  • Super-super thin slices of Italian Roast Beef from the deli
  • Muenster Cheese slices
  • Buns (sub sandwich rolls, or Kaiser Deli Buns, or we like Walmart Steak Rolls)
  • Packet of Au Jus / French Dip Sauce
  • Broil buns for 5 minutes with butter on one-half and Muenster Cheese on the other half
  • Follow package instructions to make Au Jus / French Dip Sauce
  • Soak Roast Beef in warm Au Jus for a minute, then use fork to remove roast beef slices and put them on the bun.
  • Get a small cup of Au Jus to dip your sandwich

Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder (Camille Keller)

2 cups water
2 cups chopped potatoes
1/2 cups sliced carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 can corn (niblets babycorn)

White Sauce:
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Simmer vegetables for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make white sauce: Melt margarine. Stir in flour with wire whisk. Add 2 cups milk. Stir over medium heat until thick. Add pepper and grated parmesan cheese. Combine undrained veggies with white sauce. Do NOT boil. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Roast and Gravy

This is how I make Roast - though it's not really a recipe.

We use the Roast Seasoning Packet that comes with a roasting bag.

I add 1/2 cup or so of water with the seasonings with some Worcestershire sauce. I also sprinkle a little Onion Soup packet in.

I put the sealed bag (with a few little cuts up at the top) in a crockpot for 6-8 hours.

Using the bag makes it easier for clean-up and to use the drippings for gravy.

Basic Brown Gravy (taken from a Rachel Ray Shepherd's Pie Recipe)

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup beef stock or broth (or add drippings from Roast)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire, eyeball it

In a second small skillet over medium heat cook butter and flour together 2 minutes. Whisk in broth and Worcestershire sauce. Thicken gravy 1 minute.

(I've had serious problems making decent gravy. Here's my attempt at what I think has worked. I may tweek this next time I make it. Jimmy encourages me to write down what works and I always forget right when I'm making it. Anyhoo...)

Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese

Elbow macaroni or pasta of choice
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp prepared mustard
1 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Cook and drain pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, melt butter and blend in flour. Stir in milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce boils and thickens.

Stir in salt, mustard, cheese and parsley. Heat slowly until cheese melts. Mix with pasta. Turn into buttered casserole dish. Good with crushed ritz mixed with butter on top or extra grated cheese.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, until thoroughly heated.

Beef Ole Taco Salad

BEEF OLE (Shari Price)

1 onion chopped fine
1 green pepper chopped fine
3 stalks celery chopped fine

Add and brown:
1 lb. lean ground beef

Simmer 30 min. with:
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 t. Mexican seasoning

Serve over a handful of corn chips (& rice). Top with grated cheese, finely shredded lettuce, sour cream, sliced olives, chopped tomatoes, etc.

Golden Chicken Nuggets

Golden Chicken Nuggets (Carol Reed)

1 envelope Lipton Golden Onion recipe soup mix
3/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs
1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400. Combine soup mix with bread crumbs. Dip chicken in bread crumb mixture, coating well. In lightly greased shallow baking pan, arrange chicken, then drizzle with butter. Bake 10 minutes (turning once) or until chicken is done. Serve with sauce. Makes 2 dozen nuggets.

Minestrone Soup

MINESTRONE (Stephanie Bacon)

2 T. olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chop
3 ribs celery, coarsely chop
2 cloves garlic
5 c. chicken broth
2 t. dried basil
2-16 oz. cans tomatoes
2 carrots, peel and chop
1/2 c. orzo pasta
2 med. zucchini, chop
1 can cannelliini beans
1/4 t. pepper
Parmesan or Romano cheese

Heat olive oil in large saucepan over med. heat. Add onion and celery; saute for 2 minutes or until softened. Add garlic; saute for 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, basil, tomatoes (broken up), carrot, orzo, and zucchini. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add cannellini beans (drained and rinsed) and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes. Serve with cheese on the side.

Hawaiian Haystacks

Chinese Sundaes (Family Favorite)

Serve buffet in this order:
Chinese noodles
Cooked rice
Chicken (cooked and cut in bite-sized pieces)
Gravy (cream of chicken soup thinned with milk and heated through)
Grated cheese
Diced celery
Chopped green onion
Diced tomatoes
Crushed pineapple
Crushed pineapple
Slivered almonds
Maraschino cherries

You can also use bacon bits, chopped olives, parmesan cheese, sunflower seeds, taco sauce, ranch dressing, cottage cheese, etc.

Lasagna & the sauce

Spaghetti Sauce or Lasagna Sauce (Shari Price)


1 pound ground beef
Grated onion
1/4 cup finely diced celery (can also add green pepper)
Salt and pepper
Other spices as desired, garlic powder, oregano, fresh garlic, etc.

30 ounces tomato sauce
15 ounce can tomato diced tomatoes
8 ounces can tomato paste (can be optional)
bay leaf

Simmer all afternoon.

Lasagna (Shari Price)

Make the sauce as above and simmer all afternoon. Cook the lasagna noodles as direction on package.

1 pound grated mozzarella cheese
2 cups cottage cheese
1 cup sour cream
chopped green onion or parsley flakes, if desired

Layer the sauce, noodles, cheese mixture over and over, ending with sauce. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken

6 Chicken Tenderloins
1 Egg
1 Tbsp Milk
Italian Style Bread Crumbs
Olive Oil

Put plenty of Olive Oil in Frying Pan and warm over Medium Heat.

Dip thawed chicken in mixture of beaten egg and milk. Then cover with Bread Crumbs.

Place dipped chicken in oil and cook both sides about 10 minutes or until thoroughly cooked through. Serve with Mashed Tators and Gravy

Chicken Gravy

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
Desired spices - pepper, paprika, Spike

In a second small skillet over medium heat cook butter and flour together 2 minutes. Whisk in broth and Worcestershire sauce. Thicken gravy 1 minute.

Pasta Delight

PASTA DELIGHT (Stephanie Bacon)

12 ounces penne pasta
1 onion
2-3 tomatoes
1 T. olive oil
1-3 zucchinis, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. dried basil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Cook Pasta according to package directions. Chop shallot or onion. Cut tomatoes. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir zucchini in hot oil until slightly softened. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and garlic. Cook 1 minute. Add tomato; cook 45 seconds. Add basil and cheese. Pour vegetable mixture over penne pasta. Enjoy!

Chicken Fajitas

Chicken Fajitas 

1. Chicken. (Roughly one chicken breast feeds two or three people, depending on how much you eat).

2. Cut chicken into small strips or bite-sized pieces. Cook in a frying pan on medium heat with little bit of oil. Salt as desired.

3. While cooking, add Lawry’s fajita seasoning (or the homemade fajita sauce recipe below).

4. After the chick is mostly cooked, add sliced green and/or red peppers (roughly one pepper for the two or three people, depending on preference).

5. Also add fresh sliced onion.

6. Serve on flour tortilla with desired toppings such as: cheese, tomato, sour cream, etc.

Fajita Sauce (seasons 1.5 to 2 pounds of chicken):
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of black pepper

Tony Roma's Baked Potato Soup

Tony Roma’s Baked Potato Soup

2 medium potatoes
3 Tbsp butter
1 cup diced white onion
2 Tbsp flour
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups instant mashed potatoes
3/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp basil
1/8 tsp thyme
1 cup half and half

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup crumbled cooked bacon
2 green onions, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 and bake the potatoes one hour or till done. Remove from oven to cool.

As potatoes cool, prepare soup by melting butter in a large saucepan and sauté onion till light brown. Add the flour to the onions. Stir to make a roux.

Add stock, water, cornstarch, mashed potatoes and spices to pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Cut potatoes in 1/2 lengthwise. Scoop out contents with large spoon. Chop baked potato with large knife to make chunks about ½ inch in size.

Add chopped potato and half and half to the saucepan, bring soup back to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer soup for another 15 minutes or till thick. Serve in bowl and top with cheese bacon and onion. Great in bread bowls.

(ok, ok... i probably ruin this soup because I don't do everything properly.   I boil the potatoes (it's faster). I also like to add carrots and celery occasionally just to add variety.  Oh, and since I rarely have half-n-half and I'm not a huge fan of cream, I use milk.  I know, I'm sorry if I ruined the best parts of this soup!  But we still love it!)

Pizza Benders / Easy Calzones

Easy Calzones (Jessica Mohlman)

8-9 Texas Rhodes rolls, thawed
2/3 cup shredded provolone cheese
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced, or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Other fillings:

Pepperoni, cooked sausage, cooked ham, olives, peppers, mushrooms, anything you want

Egg wash:

1 egg beaten
1 Tblsp water

Set rolls out to thaw. Pre-heat oven to 350.

Mix together all ingredients (except egg and water for egg wash).

Flatten rolls and fill with mixture. Place onto a greased cookie sheet. (Make sure the cookie sheet has a raised edge.) Fold over and press fork around edges to close.

Mix egg and water in a separate bowl. Brush onto closed calzones. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until whole calzone is golden brown. (Pour excess oil out of pan immediately, or put on cooling rack, so the calzones don’t get soggy!)

Dip in Pizza or Marinara Sauce.

(You can fit a lot more filling that you're realize in the calzones... At recipe group they probably put 1/2 - 3/4 cup filling in).

Pizza Benders (Mary Brunson)

Rhodes Texas Rolls, thawed
Pizza sauce
Favorite pizza toppings (ham, pepperoni, olives, peppers, etc.)
Grated mozzarella cheese

Thaw rolls until warm and bubbly. (30 minutes in oven and then 30 out of oven.) Roll one roll into a 7” circle. Fill with two tablespoons of your favorite pizza toppings and one tablespoon of grated mozzarella cheese.

Fold over like a turnover and seal edges with fork. Bake on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray for 20 minutes at 350. Dip pizza benders in heated pizza sauce.