Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Freezer to Crockpot

I've been looking around online for ways to make a bunch of dinners that you can put in the freezer and then the crock pot... not in love with anything I've found yet. 
Wondering if anyone out there has any ideas?

I like THIS, but I think I would maybe do a few less veggies. 

This site HERE has some good ideas too.  And one MORE here.

I've been lucky to find some of these ideas on pinterest and I would really love to come up with my own meals to repin there, in hopes of generating more traffic for the blog.  But mostly because it would be so nice to have at home!  I'd really love to try this on a Saturday, and then not have to worry about cooking all week.

So if any of you have ever tried this and have any suggestions I would really love to hear from you!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cowboy Beef & Bean Skillet ~ From Kraft

1-1/2 lb.beef sirloin steak, cut into thin strips
2 slices  Bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 red (or green) pepper, chopped
1 can (16 oz.) pinto beans, rinsed
1 can  (15 oz.) butter beans, rinsed
3/4 cup Barbecue Sauce

COOK steak strips in deep large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven on medium-high heat 3 min. or just until no longer pink in centers. Remove to plate.
ADD bacon to skillet; cook on medium heat 1 min. Add onions and peppers; mix well. Cook 6 min. or until bacon is done and vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in beans and barbecue sauce; simmer on medium-low heat 5 min.
RETURN steak and any juices from plate to skillet; cook 1 to 2 min. or until steak strips are done, stirring occasionally.

For a spicier dish, add 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper or 1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce to ingredients in skillet with the beans and barbecue sauce.

Recipe Stache

I was cleaning out my e-mails and I found a bunch of old recipes stached in there!  Thought I'd share some on the blog.  Most of these are a copy for something I found online.

These are from Gooseberry Patch:

Trim-the-Tree Casserole
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded 1/2-inch thick
4 slices Swiss cheese
10-3/4 oz. can cream of broccoli soup
1/3 c. milk
1 c. herb-flavored stuffing mix, crushed
1/4 c. butter, melted
Place chicken breasts in a greased 13"x9" baking pan. Top with cheese. Stir together soup and milk. Spread over cheese. Toss stuffing mix with melted butter and sprinkle over all. Bake, uncovered, at 350
degrees for 30 minutes, or until chicken is tender and cooked through. Serves 4 to 6.

Creamy White Chicken Chili
6 15-1/2 oz. cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
3 5-oz. cans chicken, drained
6 c. chicken broth
3 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 4-oz. cans diced green chiles
12-oz. container sour cream
1 T. olive oil
2 t. ground cumin
1 t. garlic powder
1-1/2 t. dried oregano
1/4 t. white pepper
Optional: 2 onions, chopped

Combine all ingredients in a large stockpot. Simmer for 20 minutes until heated through.
Serves 16 to 20.

Bonus tip!
Transporting a full pot of soup can be tricky...slip a large rubber band under one handle, twist it around the knob on the lid and wrap under the other handle. The lid will stay secure on the way!

The next two are from:
Christine Steendahl
"The Menu Mom"

Pizza Pasta Casserole
Makes 8 servings
1 pound ground beef (or ground turkey)
1/2 onion chopped
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 package 16 oz. spiral pasta cooked and drained
2 cups shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
4 ounces sliced pepperoni (we use turkey pepperoni - it's healthier and less greasy)

1. In a large skillet, cook beef and onion until meat is no longer pink; drain.  Stir in spaghetti sauce and pasta.

2. Transfer to a greased 13x9x2" baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Arrange pepperoni over the top.

3. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Pork Chop Casserole
6 pork chops
1 can cream of celery soup
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (24 oz.) package hash browns
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can french fried onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Salt pork chops and brown in vegetable oil. Place in large casserole dish. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over top. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.


Stuffed Bread ~

We love these at our house! You can put one wrapped in foil in the slow cooker to warm on a Saturday morning for a quick Saturday afternoon lunch!

Use an artisan or large rounded loaf. Make cuts down to the bottom without cutting all the way through.
They can be stuffed with your favorite sandwich ingredients, wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for later. Make as many as you can fit in the freezer!

These are our favorites:
Roast Beef/Provolone
Cinnamon Sugar w/powdered sugar glaze
*These can also be baked in a 400 degree oven on a baking sheet for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is crisp on the outside.

Island Chicken Pizza ~ from Sandra Lee Semi Homemade

  • 3/4 cup chili sauce
  • 1 cup refrigerated tropical fruit
  • 2 teaspoons Jamaican jerk seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 can (13.8-ounce) refrigerated pizza crust
  • 3 cups shredded Jack cheese
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • Crushed red pepper (optional)


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. 2. In a small bowl, stir together chili sauce, 1/4 cup juice from tropical fruit jar, jerk seasoning, and ginger; set aside.
  3. 3. Press out pizza dough on prepared baking sheet into a 12-inch square. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes.
  4. 4. Remove crust from oven and spread sauce mixture over, leaving a 1-inch border. Top with cheese, fruit, chicken, and cilantro. Bake for 14 to 18 minutes or until cheese is melted and beginning to bubble. Garnish with cilantro sprig and serve with crushed red pepper (optional). Serve hot.

Stupid Chicken from Recipe Lion
This slow cooker cooking recipe is so easy, even the world's worst cook can make it. Good luck finding easy recipes for a slow cooker that are any easier than this slow cooker chicken recipe.     
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 28 ounces can Italian-seasoned diced tomatoes
  • 1 envelope Herb and Garlic Recipe Soup Mix
  • Hot cooked rice or pasta
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  1. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces. Mix chicken, tomatoes and soup mix together, and pour into slow cooker.
  2. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. 
  3. Serve over rice or bow tie pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Ritz Mock Apple Pie
pastry for 2-crust 9-inch pie
36 RITZ Crackers, coarsely broken (about 1-3/4 cups crumbs)
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. cream of tartar
Grated peel of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

PREHEAT oven to 425°F. Roll out half of the pastry and place in 9-inch pie plate. Place cracker crumbs in crust; set aside.
MIX sugar and cream of tartar in medium saucepan. Gradually stir in 1-3/4 cups water until well blended. Bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer 15 minutes. Add lemon peel and juice; cool. Pour syrup over cracker crumbs. Dot with butter; sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll out remaining pastry; place over pie. Trim; seal and flute edges. Slit top crust to allow steam to escape.
BAKE 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is crisp and golden. Cool completely.

    Grilled Cheese

    I forgot how good a simple grilled cheese sandwich can be.  Especially with your favorite can of soup on a cold day.  I know this isn't really a great recipe or anything, but it's one of those things that I honestly forget about.  I'm always trying too hard to find great new recipes that I forget about the simple things.  I have seen a few new recipes lately for a twist on the grilled cheese.  Like adding slices of apples and bacon.  Or sseveral different types of cheese, with a tomatoe or adding an avacado.  How do you like your grilled cheese?

    Tuesday, December 6, 2011

    "The Dip"

    7 Layer Mexican Dip

    1 can refried beans
    8oz container of guacamole
    8oz container of sour cream
    1/2 cup mayo
    1/2 pkg taco seasoning
    1 cup tomato- chopped and drained
    1 cup olives- sliced
    1/2 cup green onions- chopped
    grated cheddar cheese

    1st layer: bean dip
    2nd layer: guacamole
    3rd layer: sour cream, mayo, taco seasoning mixed together
    4th layer: tomato
    5th layer: olives
    6th layer: green onions
    7th layer: grated cheese

    Crispy Bears

    My grandma used to make these every year for Christmas.  I think they are better than regular rice krispy treats. Yum

    13oz bag Rice Krispies
    2cups brown sugar
    1cup white karo
    2 sticks butter (no wonder these are so good!)
    1 can eagle brand milk
    several small decorating candy: chocolate chips, red hots, etc.
    2 or more plastic bear molds (you will want to spray these with pam the 1st time)

    Place rice krispies into bowl.
    Add together sugar, butter, syrup into pan and boil for 3 min. remove from heat. 
    Add eagle brand milk and boil 3 additional min. 
    Pour over rice krispies and mix well. 
    Fill bear mold with mixture. Careful, it's hot. Remove bear from mold, place on wax paper. 
    Use tiny chocolate chips for eyes and nose, red hots for belly button. 
    After they have cooled off and "dried" you can wrap them in plastic wrap to keep them fresh longer or if you are delivering them as treats to neighbors.

    Hot Christmas Wassail

    1 gallon apple cider
    2 quarts orange juice
    2 quarts lemonade
    18 whole cloves
    6 sticks cinnomon
    12 berries allspice

    Mix and simmer for one hour, enjoy!

    Mini Gingerbread Village

    Makes4 mini houses
    · 1    tube (6-ounce) white icing
    · 32   2-part graham cracker squares
    · 1    can (6.4-ounce) white icing
    ·       Variety of small candies for decorating ~let the kids help pick out the treats
    1.      Using squeezable icing as glue, glue together 5 graham cracker squares to make a box without a top. Let icing harden for a few minutes.
    2.      To make roof supports, use a serrated knife to cut 1 graham cracker square in half. Using a long side of a cracker half as a base, cut cracker half into a triangle. Repeat with the other cracker half. Squeeze icing onto the long side of each triangle and attach to the top of the 2 opposite walls.
    3.      Squeeze icing onto the edges of the roof supports. To make the roof, use 2 more graham cracker squares attached together with icing. Gently place roof onto the roof supports. Repeat to make 3 more mini gingerbread houses. Let icing stand overnight to harden.
    4.     Decorate gingerbread houses as desired, using a variety of candies and canned white icing.

    Copied from Sandra Lee Semi Homemade

    We made a mini village a few years ago and it was really fun for the kids.
    They go quick and easy because they are small, so the kids don't get half way done and then decide they are board.

    Five-Minute Fudge Wreath on the Food Network

    Five-Minute Fudge Wreath on the Food Network

    Love Rachel Ray's super easy Five-Minute Fudge Wreath.
    Great for the holidays!

    Cheesey Scalloped Potatoes

    Cheesey Scalloped Potatoes   ~Mom
    5 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
    3 T flour
    1 1/2 t salt
    1/4 t pepper
    1 1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese, divided
    3/4 cup Swiss cheese slices finely chopped, divided
    2 medium onions, finely chopped
    1 1/2 cup milk
    2 T fresh minced parsley
    Place a third of the potatoes in a shallow 3qrt dish, coated with nonstick spray.  In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper; sprinkle half over the potatoes.  Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of each cheese and half of the onions.  Repeat layers.  Top with remaining potatoes.  Pour milk over all.  Cover and bake at 350 for 50-60 min or till nearly tender.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake uncovered, 10 min longer or till cheese melts and potatoes are tender.  Sprinkle with parsley.

    Dutch Oven Potatoes

    Dutch Oven Potatoes-  These are a serious favorite!

    Brown bacon in dutch oven
    add diced onions & peppers to bacon.
    After it's simmered for a bit add a small can of sliced mushrooms including juice.
    Layer sliced carrots, and sliced potatoes sprinkling garlic powder and lemon pepper.
    Add about 1/2 can of Mt Dew (or sprite)
    Let cook on coals, camp chef or in oven until carrots and taters are tender.
    Top with cheese

    Funeral Potatoes

    I've got more potatoes than I know what to do with!  Thank you Bountiful Baskets.  We will have plenty of taters for a while.

    Funeral Potatoes ~Grandma Ruth
    6-8 medium potatoes, cooked, cooled and sliced
    Pour 1/3 cup melted butter over potatoes
    Combine: 2 cans cream of chicken soup, 1/3 cup evaporated milk, 1 cup sour cream, 1 cup shredded cheddar.
    Mix lightly and pour over potatoes.
    Put in greased casserole or 9X13 pan.
    Top with crushed Ritz crackers and butter.
    Bake at 350 uncovered for 30 min.

    Spinach Salad

    I had a bunch of fresh spinach and a pomegranate, so I thought I'd put them together as a salad to go with our dinner tonight.  I couldn't decide what kind of dressing to put with it, so instead I got out a little jar of herbs de provence and sprinkled a tiny bit over the salad.

    Hawaiian Haystacks

    Need a quick, easy (and cheap) dinner idea?
    Try Hawaiian Haystacks, the kids love it!
    I was curious what other people use for toppings and
    found a crock pot method for busy/working mom's who are really short on time.

    Hawaiian Haystacks

    Stove top method: This is the way I've always done it
     2 cans of cream of chicken soup- or cream of mushroom
     1 can of milk (you can use a little more if you like)

     Heat soup and milk on the stove until heated through. You want this to be the consistency of gravy. You can add more milk if the mixture is too thick.

    Crock pot method:
     2 cans cream of chicken soup
     2 frozen chicken breasts

    Put chicken breasts in the crock pot and then cover with soup. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove chicken from the crock pot and shred or dice the chicken and return to the crock pot. Add enough milk to make the consistency of gravy.

    Serve the sauce over COOKED RICE. Plan on one cup per person.

    Then top with any of the following toppings:
    *2 cups of cooked chicken breasts, diced or shredded (or you could use pork)
     shredded cheddar cheese
     pineapple tidbits
     sliced olives
     diced green onion
     chopped celery
     shredded coconut
     slice almonds
     diced fresh mushroom
     Chow mien noodles
     diced tomatoes
     mandarin oranges

    I like this, because a lot of the toppings can come out of a can.... which saves me time.
    Plus, my kids eat it.  And it's not bad for left over lunch the next day either.

    Wednesday, November 30, 2011

    Santa Party Mix


    I have to try this... the kids will love it. 
    I think we will do it without the craisins though.

    Saturday, November 19, 2011

    Zesty Crock Pot Chicken BBQ

    6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    1- 18oz bottle BBQ sauce
    1/2 cup zesty Italian salad dressing
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

    Place chicken in crock pot.
    Combine all other ingredtients and pour over chicken.
    Cook on high 3-4hours or 6-8 on low.
    Use two forks to shred the chicken and serve on a bun.

    Our Turkey Tradation

    We can't have Thanksgiving without our traditional turkey centerpiece.  For as far back as I can remember my grandma used to make this turkey centerpiece.  Since she has passed away we have carried this on, and I hope some day my kids will pass it on.  I didn't take a very good picture of the whole thing last week, so I will try and get a better one next week for our 2nd turkey of the year.  (We had a turkey dinner last Sunday with Chad's family and some friends at our place).

    To make this turkey you need a pineapple (works best with the green sort of curved), a yam (look for a goofy shaped one that resembles a turkey head), dates, red and green grapes, a small carrot, maraschino cherries, two cloves, several toothpicks and mixed nuts.  You also need a dish/pan/platter to serve it on.

    Dump the mixed nuts on the platter and set the pineapple down sideways.  Attach the yam with toothpicks.  stick the carrot in for the beak using toothpicks again.  Add cherries for the golly-wobble or whatever it's called lol.  And use cloves for eyes - or if you don't have any you can slice the ends of an olive off  like I did this year.  Sit the grapes around the pineapple to create a "nest".  Toothpick on the dates to make wings.

    One year I changed it up a bit and added kabob sticks into the "tail" and put cheese, olives, pickles and salami on the kabobs.  It was good, but it just wasn't the same.

    Everybody can much on the grapes and the nuts.  My little boy loves the peanuts!
    A day or two later you can eat your nice ripe pineapple.

    Gobble gobble.

    Thursday, November 10, 2011


    I love Thanksgiving.  Why?  Because I love PIE.
    See the PIE link for 31 Thanksgiving pies.  Good luck picking which ones!

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    Mini Monkey Rolls

    Congrats to Emily on the drawing.  She was the only one that commented.  I noticed that a few people shared on facebook and that some are now following. 
    Emily e-mailed me this link for sweet-mini-monkey-rolls and they look YUMMY!

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011

    Flower Power Eggs

    Flower Power Eggs – Bell Pepper Ring Molds for Sunny Side Up Eggs!

    Flower Power Eggs 1865x1865

    I just stumbled across this and realized I hadn't updated the blog in a while. So I copied.  Looks like a good idea.  

    Monday, September 19, 2011


    I love this time of year... it's when I can start cooking soups/stews, comfort food and use my best friend, the crock pot!  Saturday it cooled off and rained all day.  So what did I make... chowder!  I used to hate clam chowder when I was a kid.  I have to say that this is one of very few recipes that I like they way I make it better than the way my mom makes it.  (Sorry Mom)  I use her basic recipe, or I guess I should say my grannies, but then I change it and make it the way I like it...

    The way I like it...

    about 3 cups of peeled/chopped potatoes (chopped really small)
    about 1 1/2 cups chopped onions, we like purple ones
    about 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
    a cup of copped carrots
    1-2 small can's of clam's like the one pictured above
    (make sure your rinse them good & pick out anything yucky)
    Let all of the above mentioned boil for about 20 min
    then add:
    about 2 cups of frozen corn
    keep it simmering...

    In a separate pot:
    make a Roux using-
    1 quart milk
    about a cube of butter... sometimes a little more :) My thighs like butter lol.
    a big teaspoon of sugar
    2 big teaspoons of salt
    lots of pepper

    After the veggies are tender and the roux has thickened, combine the two pots into one.
    Let simmer on low or put in crock pot until you're ready to eat it!

    We like to add mozzarella cheese or dip string cheese in it.
    Chad likes to add a few drops of Tabasco sauce.
    Sometimes we throw in some saltines.
    If we are really lucky I make fresh bread to go with it, but then you have to have jam too (or at least that's what Jack thinks)

    Mini Carmel Apple Pie's

    How cute are these?
    And the best part is, they're cheap!
    I found a 6 pack at WalMart for next to nothing.

    I filled them up with home made canned apple pie filling. 
    Sprinkled a little sugar on them.
    Warmed them up in the oven while we were eating our dinner.
    Then I drizzled some carmel on them and topped them off whip whipped cream.

    Wednesday, September 7, 2011


    I've learned that vinegar is a great secret weapon in some recipes.

    Like when you're making deviled eggs, add just a little lid full of it to the filling.

    When you're making potato salad, stir in a spoon full of it over the potatoes before you mix in all the other ingredients.

    Depending on the recipe you could actually use a little dill pickle juice rather than straight vinegar.

    When your sink gets clogged up, you can sprinkle a little baking soda and pour in some vinegar- works like a charm.

    Much thanks to a pair of wise old gals!  You know who you are...

    Tuesday, August 30, 2011

    Zucchini Nut Chocolate Muffins

    If you have more zucchini than you know what to do with (a lot of people do this time of year), try this muffin recipe.

    2 1/2 c. flour                                Misty
    4 TBSP cocoa pwd
    1 tsp soda
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 c. milk
    1/4 tsp white vinegar
    1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened
    1/2 c. vegetable oil
    1 3/4 c. sugar
    2 eggs
    2 tsp vanilla
    2 c. grated zucchini
    1 c. chocolate chips

    Heat oven to 325.
    Line 2 cupcake pans with wrappers.
    In medium size bowl, blend flour, cocoa, soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside. Stir together milk and vinegar in a small bowl; set aside.
    In large bowl, beat butter, oil and sugar on medium high speed for 3 min. or until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined.
    Add milk mixture and beat well.
    On low speed, gradually add flour mixture; beat until just combined.
    Stir in zucchini and 1/2 c. chocolate chips.
    Fill prepared cups 2/3 full (1/4 c) and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 c. chips and the nuts.
    Bake at 325 for 20-28 min. or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack.

    Thursday, August 11, 2011


    I've been really bad at keeping the blog updated lately.  Crazy, busy Summer...  Anyways-  I just canned some Apple Butter and I can't wait to try it!  I got thinking there are so many different things I want to can this year, I don't know how I will ever get it all done. 
    Then I thought, I guess I will have to pick and choose what I really want the most.  But then it occurred to me... I could do some kind of swap!
    So if anyone out there is interested in swapping some of your canned goods please let me know.  It seems kinda retro, but I think it would be fun. 
    Right now I have 2 bushels of apples and I'm trying to make things other than applesauce because I know we wouldn't eat that.  And as excited as I am about the apple butter and apple pie filling and cinnamon apple jelly... we don't really need THAT much apple.  So wouldn't it be great to swap a few jars of each for something that I wont be able to do?  Like potatoes, or pickles or beets.  Maybe I'm just way to sleep deprived right now and out of my mind.
    Here's to hoping one of you will can something fun and swap with me!

    Monday, July 25, 2011

    Chicken and Waffles?

    Ever been tempted to try chicken and waffles?  I found a new recipe (from all*you magazine) for corn and cheddar waffles... and I had some left over fried chicken from the deli.  So we tried it.  It actually wasn't too bad.  A little different, but sometimes change from the norm is nice.

    Corn AND Cheddar Waffles
    1 cup flour
    1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
    1 1/2 tea baking powder
    1/2 tea salt
    1 tbsp spoon sugar
    1 1/2 cups milk
    1 large egg
    4 tbsp butter- melted and cooled
    1 cup fresh corn (from one large ear)
        or 1 cup frozen kernels, thawed
    1 cup grated cheddar

    Preheat oven to 200 and preheat waffle iron.
    In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and sugar.
    In a class measuring cup , whisk together milk, egg and butter.
    Pour milk mixture into flour mixture and stir until just combined.
    Fold in corn and cheese.
    Mist waffle iron with cooking spray.  Pour batter onto grates and spread to edges with spatula.  Cook until waffles are golden, 5 to 7 min.  Transfer to plate and loosely cover with foil and keep warm in oven.  repeat with remaining batter, misting grates with cooking spray before each new batch.

    The recipe says you can enjoy with maple syrup, or you can go southwestern and try them with tomato salsa. 

    I tried them both ways

    I have to say a little salsa and then topped with chicken is better than the syrup.

    We added a little fresh fruit to round out the meal.

    I thought maybe the kids would like this recipe, but they were a little too weired out to try it. Maybe next time.  I think I'd also do eggs with it next time, because we were all hungry later.

    Friday, July 15, 2011

    Monster Cookies

    We love these cookies!  Usually I make a HUGE batch and freeze some of the dough.  They don't last long, because we scarf them up so fast.  I've actually been known to bribe people with these cookies.
    *SMALL BATCH*                                                                    
    1 stick butter
    1 c. brown sugar
    1 c. white sugar
    1 tsp. vanilla
    2 tsp. soda
    1 3/4 c. flour
    3 eggs
    1 1/2 c. peanut butter
    3 c. quick oatmeal
    1/4 lb. chocolate chips
    1/4 lb. M & M's (plain)

    Mix in bowl in order given.
    Drop by large tablespoon or ice cream scoop and flatten.
    Bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees. Do not over bake.

    French Pork Chops Recipe

    I was surprised how quick and easy this was.  It was actually really good, my kids even ate it... which is nothing short of a miracle.

    Courtesy Sandra Lee, 2007
    1 (14-ounce) bag frozen sliced carrots
    1 (8-ounce) package sliced fresh button mushrooms
    1 (15-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
    1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained
    4 boneless, thick-cut, pork loin chops, rinsed and patted dry
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon herbs de Provence, divided
    1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of potato soup (recommended: Campbell's)
    1/4 cup Dijon mustard
    1 tablespoon tomato paste
    3 tablespoons dry sherry
    2 teaspoons butter
    3 tablespoons seasoned bread crumbs
    1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley leaves
    Combine carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, and beans in the bottom of a 5-quart slow cooker.
    Season pork chops with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of herbs de Provence. Place in slow cooker on top of vegetables.
    In a small bowl, combine potato soup, Dijon mustard, tomato paste, sherry, and 1 teaspoon of herbs de Provence. Pour over pork chops.
    Cover and cook on low setting for 4 to 6 hours.
    In a saute pan over medium-high heat, melt butter. When butter is melted and foam subsides, add bread crumbs and stir constantly until toasted. Serve pork chops and vegetables sprinkled with bread crumbs and parsley.

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011

    Ice Cream Tip

    Ice Cream Without the Freezer Burn!

    If you've ever let your ice cream sit in the freezer for a while, you may have noticed freezer burn start to form in the empty spaces of the carton. To prevent ice crystals from growing on your ice cream, press a piece of waxed paper over the surface (touching the ice cream) and close the carton. This will help keep your ice cream fresh, like you just opened the carton. Especially handy for those "grownup" flavors that aren't so popular with the rest of the family!
    By Nancy from Wisconsin

    Peach Shortcakes

    I have been craving peaches lately, so I think I'm going to have to try this... it's sounds yummy!

    What You Need                                                                             From Kraft Foods
    1 cup flour
    1/4 cup  plus 2 tsp. sugar, divided
    2 tsp.Baking Powder
    1/2 tsp.  lemon zest
    4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.)Cream Cheese, cubed
    1/3 cup  plus 1 Tbsp. milk, divided
    3 large fresh peaches (1-1/4 lb.), sliced
    1-1/2 Tbsp.  lemon juice
    1 cup thawed Whipped Topping

    Make It

    HEAT oven to 425ºF.

    MIX flour, 2 Tbsp. sugar, baking powder and zest in large bowl. Cut in cream cheese with 2 knives or pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/3 cup milk until mixture forms dough.

    USE floured hands to divide dough into 8 pieces; shape each into ball. Place, 3 inches apart, on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray; flatten to 1/2-inch thickness. Brush tops lightly with remaining milk; sprinkle with 2 tsp. of the remaining sugar.

    BAKE 12 to 15 min. or until golden brown. Meanwhile, combine peaches, remaining sugar and lemon juice.

    COOL shortcakes slightly; split in half. Fill with peach mixture and COOL WHIP just before serving.

    Kraft Kitchens Tips
    Special Extra
    Mix 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon with the 2 tsp. sugar used to sprinkle over biscuit dough before baking.

    Monday, July 4, 2011

    Almond Punch

    When I was a kid I used to love it every time my mom would make this.  Especially on hot days!

    1 Gallon Water
    6oz Frozen Lemonade Concentrate
    6oz Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate
    1 C Sugar
    1 tea spoon Vanilla
    1 tea spoon Almond Flavoring

    Tuesday, June 28, 2011

    Killer Baked Beans

    4 (16-20 ounce) cans pork and beans (we use VanCamps)
    3/4 cup brown sugar
    1 onion, chopped up
    2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (or just a good dose)
    1 tablespoon prepared mustard (I use Kraft)
    1 cup barbecue sauce (whatever is your favorite!!)
    1 teaspoon liquid smoke (more or less up to you, I just shake the bottle hehehe)
    3 -4 pieces bacon
    1 Mix pork and beans, brown sugar, onion, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, barbecue sauce, and liquid smoke together in baking pan.
    2 Place bacon on top.
    3 Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour or so!
    4 Yummmmm!
    5 Hope you enjoy; we have people over for barbecues and they are gone in no time; can never seem to make enough!

    Read more:

    Wave Your Flag Cake

    See a video on how to make a wave-your-flag-cake for your 4th of July weekend.

    Friday, June 24, 2011

    Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas

    2 1/2 c. chopped cooked chicken
    1-2 tsp. chipotle chili pepper (I used southwest seasoning.  I think you could substitute taco seasoning too.)
    1 10.75 oz can condensed cream of chicken soup
    1 8 oz carton dairy sour cream
    1 4 oz. can diced green chile peppers, undrained
    8 7-8 inch flour tortillas (I used 10)
    2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
    1/4 c. sliced green onion

    Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 3 qt rectangular baking dish; set aside.  In a medium bowl combine chicken and chipotle chili pepper; set aside.
    For sauce, in a large bowl combine soup, sour cream, and undrained chile peppers.  Stir 1/2 c. of the sauce into chicken mixture.
    Divide chicken mixture among tortillas.  Sprinkle with 1 1/2 c. of the cheese and the green onion.  Roll up tortillas.  Place, seam sides down, in the prepared baking dish.  Pour the remaining sauce over filled tortillas.
    Bake, covered, about 35 min. or until heated through and edges are bubbly.  Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 c. cheese.  Bake, uncovered, about 5 min. more or until cheese is melted.
    I did a search for a picture of Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas... and this is what I got. So, I didn't make this fancy dish, I just copied it.  I just like to have pictures.  

    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    Pina Colada Salad

    Normally I wouldn't make something like this... but, it just so happens that I got some bright lights in my Bountiful Basket a few weeks ago.  I thought it turned out pretty good, and it was something different.

    Pina Colada Salad- From Mr. Food  
    This tropical recipe gives us another way to enjoy the tastes of a popular island a good-for-us salad featuring healthy Bright Lights greens.

    1 bunch Bright Lights, cut into bite-sized pieces (see Notes)
    1 (20-ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
    1 (8.5-ounce) can cream of coconut
    *** I didn't have any cream of coconut, so I used regular coconut flakes instead.

    1/4 cup apple cider vinegar                             
    1 (0.7-ounce) package dry Italian salad dressing mix         
    ***I didn't have any dry Italian dressing mix, so I just used regular Italian dressing and NO apple cider vinegar

    1.In a large bowl, combine Bright Lights and pineapple chunks.

    2.In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients; mix well. Pour dressing over salad then toss to mix; serve.

    •Bright Lights is a new generation of the popular leafy green Swiss chard. It features over sized leaves and a delicate flavor, and is available in exciting colors like gold, orange, pink, red, and white with leaves that are mostly medium to deep green with colorful veins throughout.

    •You can give this salad even more color, texture and flavor by garnishing it with a few maraschino cherry halves just before serving.

    Free Cook Book (Just $2.00 shipping)

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    Bad Guys

    When I was little and helping my mom make the meatballs for this recipe, I decided to call the meatballs, “Bad Guy's”. I don't know to this day where in the world I came up with that, but it stuck.

    Bad Guy's”
    1- 2 lbs. Ground beef – If you make extra it's okay for leftovers
    ½ Cup Salsa (+/- depending on how you like it)
    Salt and Pepper
    1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
    1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
    1 Can of Milk
    Frozen Corn
    White Rice

    Mix together the hamburger, salsa, salt & pepper. Shape into small meatballs. Just don't make them too big, or it's hard to cook them in the microwave.
    Microwave for about 7 minutes. Carefully, using hot pads, take the plate out and drain off the grease.
    Return to microwave for additional 6 minutes or until the meatballs are fully cooked.

    While the “bad guy's” are cooking...
    Mix the creamed soups and milk, and salt and pepper & heat in sauce pan
    Make the rice
    Heat up the frozen (or canned) corn with water and a little butter on your stove top

    When the meatballs are cooked and everything is warmed up and ready...
    We usually put the meatballs and the creamed soup in a 9X13 casserole dish.
    Serve the “Bad Guy's” on top of the rice and add your corn on top of that... or on the side.
    This usually needs lots of salt and pepper. My hubby likes to put hot sauce on it.
    I know it sounds kinda strange, and not all that great... but it's a favorite at our house.

    Wednesday, June 15, 2011

    Carmel Brownies

    The following recipe is from the Bars & Squares book:Caramel Brownies (p. 24)

    2 c. granulated sugar
    2/3 c. unsweetened cocoa pwd, sifted
    1 c. veg oil
    4 eggs
    ¼ c. milk
    1 ½ c. all purpose flour
    1 tsp baking pwd
    ½ tsp salt
    1 c. semi sweet chocolate chips
    1 c. chopped pecans
    14 pz soft caramels, unwrapped (about 50)
    1 can (10 oz) sweetened condensed milk

    Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 inch pan. In a large bowl, whsik sugar, cocoa, oil, eggs and milk until smooth. Combine flour, baking pwd and salt. Stir into cocoa mixture, mixing well. Stir in chocolate chips and ½ c. of the pecans. Spread 2/3 of the batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 12 min.
    Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan over low heat, heat caramels and sweetened condensed milk, stirring constantly, until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth. Pour over partially baked brownie layer. Sprinkle remaining pecans on top. Drop remaining chocolate batter by spoonfuls over caramel layer. Spread gently, then swirl with the tip of a knife to marbleize the uncooked chocolate batter and caramel layers.
    Bake in preheated oven just until set (25-30 min). Let cool completely in pan on rack. Cut into bars or squares.

    ****I thought that the caramel was too much. I cut it in half the next time I made this recipe and it was much better.
    Thanks again Misty!

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011

    BBQ Tips

    I received an e-mail from Kraft today with this nifty little link.
    Check it out...



    Chicken Mozzarella Roll ups

    Chicken Mozzarella Roll ups (p. 205) From 9 X 13 recipe book via/my sister Misty

    2 TBSP olive oil
    1/3 c. chopped onion
    6 skinless, boneless ckn breast halves
    6 mozzarella cheese slices
    ¾ tsp. garlic pwd
    ¼ tsp black pepper
    3 TBSP dry sherry or chicken broth (I made it without either one)
    ½ c. fine dry bread crumbs
    3 TBSP grated Romano cheese (I used mozzarella)
    ¾ tsp. dried oregano, crushed
    ½ tsp. onion salt (I used dried onions)
    3 TBSP butter, melted
    3 c. purchased tomato=base pasta sauce
    Hot cooked fettuccine (optional)

    Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan or baking dish and set aside. In small saucepan heat 1 TBSP of the oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook for 3-5 min or until tender. Set aside.
    Place each ckn breast half, boned side down, between two pieces of plastic wrap. Using flat side of a meat mallet and working from the center out, pound each half lightly into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Remove plastic wrap.
    Brush tops of ckn breast halves with remaining 1 TBSP oil. On boned side of each breast half, place a slice of mozzarella cheese and some of the cooked onion.
    In a small bowl combine garlic pwd and pepper; sprinkle evenly over cheese and onion on ckn breast halves.
    Fold in sides and bottoms of ckn breast halves; roll up each piece into a spiral, pressing edges to seal. Brush ckn rolls with sherry. In a shallow bowl combine bread crumbs, Romano cheese, oregano, and onion salt. Roll ckn roll ups in bread crumb mixture to coat. Place in prepared pan or dish. Drizzle with melted butter (I didn’t do the butter).
    Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 min. or until ckn is no longer pink. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan cook and stir the pasta sauce over medium heat until heated through. Serve ckn roll ups with warmed pasta sauce and if desired, hot cooked fettuccine.

    I think we will try this one for dinner tonight! Thanks for sharing Misty.

    Saturday, June 11, 2011


    Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store.
    If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.

    Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil.
    It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!

    Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom
     are sweeter and better for eating.
    Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom

     are firmer and better for cooking.

    Ground Beef
    Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef.
    It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.

    To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of
    spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream; then beat them.
    Easy Deviled Eggs
    Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag.
    Seal; mash till they are all broken up
    Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up
    mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy; squeeze mixture into egg.
    just throw bag away when done- easy clean up.

    Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste
    of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.

    Reheat Pizza
    Heat leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove; set heat to med-low

    and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza.

    Measuring Cups
    Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup,
    fill with hot water.
    Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup.

    Next, add your ingredient (peanut butter, honey, etc.)
    and watch how easily it comes right out.

    Milk Can Madness

    We tried this recipe from last summer and it was yummy.  We adjusted it a little bit to our liking.  We didn’t have a milk can, so we just used a big pot and watched it close.  No penny… it would be fun to watch though!

    Milk Can Madness from Razzle Dazzle
    24 ears corn, ends trimmed, shucks on or off
    2 heads cabbage, quartered or sliced (one purple and one green)
    10 pounds red potatoes, quartered
    4 pounds baby carrots
    4 large green peppers, quartered (bells and Anaheim’s)
    4 pounds onions, quartered
    salt and black pepper (let it have it!)
    10 pounds bratwurst or Polish sausage (SPICY and FULL of flavor)
    1 pound bacon

    Line bottom of a 10-gallon milk can vertically with ears of sweet corn (standing on end). Layer the remaining vegetables on top of the corn. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Arrange the sausages on top of the vegetables. Top with bacon. Pour one gallon of water over meat and vegetables.

    Drill a 3/16-inch hole in the lid of the milk can. Place the lid on the can. Place the milk can over low heat over a propane burner or on a gas grill. Place a penny over the hole in the lid of the can. When the penny blows off the hole this masterpiece is done. The cooking time should be about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

    Remove the lid from the milk can. If serving immediately, place the sausages and bacon on a serving platter. Drain most of the liquid from the milk can. Remove the vegetables and arrange them on serving platters. Or, to keep the meat and vegetables warm, pour the drained vegetables into a large cooler. Arrange the meats in a pan or tray that will fit in the cooler. Place the pan of meats on top of vegetables and close the lid until ready to serve.
    Serves 24 to 30

    How to Cook a Roast

    Revised 1-2-13

    A simple way to cook a roast is to put one in the crock pot with a can of chili and a can of Coke
    Cook on high for the first 2-3 hours then switch it to low for the rest of the day.
    Sometimes I put in a little salsa too. 
    Don't forget to sprinkle some salt & pepper.  
    After cooking on low all day it should fall apart.

    We like to have our roast with
    the traditional mashed potatoes and gravy,
    but it also goes good with rice. 
    Or you can shred it up and put it on salad. 
    Left-overs work great shredded up with BBQ sauce & slapped on a bun 
    or you can throw it in stews.

    For a Pot Roast version you can add:
    Baby carrots, baby onions and quartered potatoes.

    Delicious Strawberries

    I got this great recipe from my aunt Colette (Thanks!).  I don't know the real name of this recipe, but everybody called them "delicious strawberries", so we will go with that.  These were a huge hit at our brunch last weekend. 
    Delicious Strawberries
    1pkg Cream Cheese - let it sit out at room temp. for a bit
    3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
    1 tea. Almond Extract
    Strawberries (I did almost 1/2 a case)

    Wash your strawberries and try to pick out the bigger ones for this recipe
    Cut the strawberries in a cross section, but not all the way through (from the tip, not the green part)
    Mix together the cream cheese, powder sugar and extract with an electric mixer
    Fill up a pastry bag with the filling and squeeze it into the strawberries

    A little bit goes a long ways, but if you are going to make a lot for a party,
    you might want to double the batch.
    They don't keep well in the fridge, and need to be made &  then served.

    I would love to try a few variations of this something like:
    Using strawberry or blueberry cream cheese
    Switching the almond extract for lemon or orange
    You could also drizzle chocolate over them- yum!
    Top with a blueberry, pictured below

    Crock Pot Safety

    I have heard a lot people say that it's best to brown your meat (especially chicken) before putting it in the crock pot (or to cook on high for the first 2 hours, and then you can adjust the heat) so that the meat hits a certain temperature within a certain amount of time.  This is probably a smart way to do things. 
    I don't usually worry about it, but I wanted to put it out there for you to consider. 
    I actually put frozen meant in and cook it on low all day...
    Also make sure that you use a bread board under your crock pot to avoid burning your counter tops.
    Plug it in somewhere safe that wont be in the way or where little kids can get burnt.