Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cranberry Relish

Blend in blender:

2 large oranges
1 package raw cranberries
1 cup sugar

Combine and refrigerate overnight.

Stir in just before serving:

1 cup chopped apples
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

I left out the nuts because my family doesn't like them. I also made it with Juliet and we split it in half to share. It's so yummy though. Especially on the leftover turkey sandwich.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Can we talk Thanksgiving?

For the first time EVER...I have a house, and hence, my family is coming to my house for Thanksgiving! This feels like serious pressure to cook the perfect meal. Most of the family are coming from out of town, so I can't really make "assignments" and farm out all the cooking.

So...talk to me all you wonderful women.

How do I pull it off? What are your favorite all time Thanksgiving recipes?

My current plan (feel free to dissect and comment on)

Turkey - simple. In a roasting pan (hence, freeing up the oven for other tasks)
Super Target has a special this week...if you buy the roasting pan and a butterball turkey (on sale at $.88/lb) you $15 gift card back. Also, I found a coupon for $2 off a butterball turkey.
so, I figure I can score both the roasting pan AND the turkey for about $22!
Cooking plan for the turkey? in a roasting bag, in the roaster, rub butter on the skin and salt and pepper, probably fill the "cavity" with onions, celery and sage.

Mashed Potatoes - enlist family to peel on the day of. Whip using my kitchenaid. Mix in some decadence with whipping cream, butter, and some fresh nutmeg

Stuffing - Mrs. Cubbisons. Turkey sausage. Onions, celery, Chicken Stock. Basic and easy. Make the day of.

Sweet Potatoes - I have a killer recipe for a sweet potato souffle. basically mashed sweet potatoes, sweet and condensed milk, butter, eggs, topped with a mix of pecans and coconut. YUM! Make the day before.

Corn Casserole - this is for my southern sister in law. Basically Jiffy corn muffin mix, sour cream, 1 can of creamed corn, 1 can of regular corn, melted butter and an egg. Baked. yummy and certainly not good for the waist! Make the day of, can cook with the stuffing.

Rolls - my brother is going to make (day of, in between the stuffing and corn casserole?)

Pies - my other brother is going to make (they will bring...not make in my tiny kitchen)

Am I missing something important? Do I need to serve a vegetable? What kind of cranberry sauce do you like? The canned kind? or fresh? What about salad? green or jello? or neither? Appetizers? Beverages?

Do tell....

Share your favorite Thanksgiving Recipes....



Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Yummy Frittata

I made something new, easy, and yummy tonight. Maybe you all have made these before, but this was my first. Everyone ate it, and it was healthy! The recipe I used called for potatoes, green onions, spinach and garlic (death breath!!) but I just used whatever left over veggies I had in the fridge.

Veggie Frittata

cubed or sliced potatoes, about 1 cup (mine were already cooked, but they don't have to be)
2/3 cup chopped broccoli
1/3 c chopped onion
1 small tomato, diced
3 cooked strips of bacon, crumbled (okay, that part's not so healthy)
6 eggs
1/3 c milk
1/2 c shredded Cheddar cheese

Heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat. If your potatoes are not cooked, place in skillet and cover for about 10 minutes, until tender but firm. Mix in onion, broccoli, or any other veggies you have around (zucchini, other squash or mushrooms would be good, too). Saute these together, season with salt and pepper or whatever you like (I used some seasoned salt, too). In medium bowl, Beat together eggs and milk, pour into skillet over vegetables; sprinkle with cheese. Reduce heat to low and cover, cook about 7 more minutes or until eggs are firm. That's what the instructions say, but mine were taking forever to get done. So I took about 1/3 cup of water and poured it on the side of the skillet so it would go underneath the frittata, covered it, and it was done within a minute or two. It's always exciting to find something new that you like to eat that involves plenty of vegetables. P.s., if you haven't already, visit my got2bcra-z blog and enter my penny pincher contest that ends on Nov 30th.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lorien's Bread recipe doesn't make rocks ;-)

Made the Bread Recipe Lorien posted and made one loaf bread and one chicken broccoli braid. then, I did make a can of cream of chicken soup to use as a gravy after the braid was sliced and put onto plates.
Chicken Broccoli Braid
by Mary Ellen
razzledazzlerecipes or pampered chef
12 oz. cooked chicken, chopped (2 cups - about3 cooked boneless skinless chicken breast halves)1 C. broccoli, chopped1/2 C. red bell pepper, chopped1 clove garlic, pressed4 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)1/2 C. mayonnaise2 tsp. All-purpose Dill Mix (or 1 teaspoon dillweed)1/4 tsp. salt2 pkg. (8 oz. each) refrigerated crescent rolls [[this is where I used the bread dough]]1 egg white, lightly beaten2 T. slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Chop chicken and broccoli and place in bowl. Add chopped red bell pepper. Press garlic over mixture and shred cheese over mixture. Add mayonnaise, dill mix and salt. Mix well.
Unroll package of crescent rolls. Do not separate. Arrange longest sides of dough across width of 12 x 15-inch pan and repeat with remaining package of dough. Roll out dough to seal perforations. On long side of pan, cut dough into strips 1 1/2 inches apart, 3-4 inches deep leaving approximately 4-6 inches in the center of dough for filling. Spread filling evenly over middle of dough.

To braid: lift strips of dough across mixture to meet in center, twisting each strip one turn. Continue alternating strips to form braid. Tuck ends under to seal at ends. Brush egg white over dough and sprinkle with almonds. Baked 25-28 minutes or until deep golden brown.

Banana Squash!!! Now What???

We at this last night with mixed reviews. Most of the kids ended up liking it after trying a taste. Those that didn't ate toast.
Dinner in a Squash Shell
· 1 banana squash
· 1-2 lbs ground beef
· 2 eggs
· 1 tablespoons lemon juice
· 2 tablespoons brown sugar
· 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
· 1 tablespoon steak sauce (like A-1)
· 1/2 cup Minute Rice (uncooked) OR 1 cup regular rice precooked
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 1/2 teaspoon pepper
· 1 can cream of anything soup
· 1 cup grated cheese
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Bake halved and seeded squash face down on a baking sheet for 30 minutes.
3. While squash is cooking mix filling and put in refrigerator until squash is ready.
4. When squash done cooking, fill with meat mixture, mounding extra on top.
5. Return to oven for 40 minutes, put grated cheese on for the last 10 minutes.

from recipezaar.com

I am going to try this one next
Baked Banana Squash
Preparation: 1 hour 30 minutes Heirloom Recipe

Banana squash
Dark brown sugar
Apricot jam (optional, see notes)
Butter or margarine
Ground cinnamon
Ground nutmeg

Wash cur pieces of squash under running water. Lightly scrape inside surface that may have softened after exposure to air. Pat dry with a paper towel.
With a sharp knife, make parallel ½-inch deep slits across surface. Turn squash 90 degrees and make additional slits forming a 1/4-inch checkerboard over entire surface.
Spread with butter using spatula or kitchen knife to force butter down into the slits. Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste and add a light sprinkle of nutmeg. With fingers, press brown sugar down onto squash filling slits and covering entire surface with a covering of brown sugar.
Set squash on a double layer of aluminum foil. Fold foil up around squash making a close fitting “boat that will hold juices next to the squash. Place on a cookie sheet to catch any drips.
Bake in a 375°F oven for 1 1/4 hour, depending on size and thickness, or until squash is fork-tender and flesh separates easily. The butter and sugar will darken - tent as needed with foil to prevent burning. Allow to set 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
In later years I learned to glaze the squash with a light slathering of apricot jam on the squash in the last 15 minutes of cooking. I’ve always had a “thing” for apricots that wasn’t always shared by everyone else. The choice is yours - the squash is excellent without the jam but you might try glazing it at least once. Either way, you'll be back for more baked banana squash.
Since it is pumpkin season I thought I would try a new recipe. Mariah said it was almost as good as pumpkin pie - translation "fabulous mom!" I must say these were delicious!! I did change things up a little bit however -
*I baked them in my cookie sheet and told my children they were pumpkin brownies.
*Then, I have one that doesn't like cream cheese frosting (yes, he can tell if there is even 1 T of it in the frosting), so I made more of a buttercream type frosting.
* of course added mini chocolate chips for the chocolate lovers (i must say it was equally delish with or without chip!)
*and then some chopped nuts on my part :0. Juliet

Pumpkin Bars

4 eggs
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar1 cup vegetable oil
15-ounce can pumpkin
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.
Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth.

Spread the batter into a greased 13 by 10-inch baking pan (I used 9x13).
Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting. Cut into bars.
To make the icing:

Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth.
Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined.

Stir in the vanilla and mix again.
Spread on cooled pumpkin bars.

However, I did think the name was a little deceiving. They turned out more like a dense cake in the 9x13 pan. Next time I want to try making it on two cookie sheets (or splitting it between two 9x13 pans) for a thinner bar. Either way, these are truly heavenly. This might be my new favorite pumpkin dessert!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Lorien is finally contributing something!!

For those of us who, like myself, got a little over excited about the pantry secrets bread thing, and are now a bit dissapointed in the fruits of your labors; may I present a new recipe for bread that is soft, sliceable, and non-crumbly.

From: Allrecipes.com

Honey Wheat Bread

1 .25 oz package rapid rise yeast ( I used plain old active yeast and it works fine)
1 tsp white sugar
1/2 c warm water(110 degrees F)
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
1/4 c water
1/4 c melted shortening
1/4 c honey
2 tsp salt
2 c whole wheat flour
3 c bread flour
2 Tb butter

1- Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1/2 c warm water

2- Combine milk, 1/4 c water, shortening, honey, salt and wheat flour in mixer. Mix in yeast mixture, and let rest 15 min. Add white flour, process until dough forms a ball. knead in bowl or by hand 10 minutes. Place dough in a buttered ( or sprayed w/ oil) bowl, turn to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise for 45 minutes, or until almost doubled.

3- Punch down, and divide dough in half. Roll out each half, and pound out the bubbles. (I didn't need to do this, as I had no bubbles, maybe due to the yeast I used). Form loaves, place in buttered or greased 9x5 inch bread pans. Butter the tops of dough, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm area until doubled; second rise should take about 30 minutes.

4- Place a small pan of water on the bottom shelf of the oven.PREHEAT TO 375.

5- Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until tops are dark golden brown. Slice when cool.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Favorite Toddler Lunches

What is your favorite thing to do at lunch for the wee ones?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Apple Crisp

I made this today and it was so yummy I had to share.

10 cups all-purpose apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
sprinkle of water
sprinkle of sugar; (use more with granny smiths)

2 cup quick-cooking oats
2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degree C).
2. Sprinkle the apples with the cinnamon, sugar, flour and nutmeg
3. Combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda together. Cut the butter coarsely in. Put half of mixture in bottom of 9x13 inch pan.
4. Place the sliced apples on top and spritz with some water (depending on how wet/dry you want it) and put remaining mixture evenly over the apples.
5. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 45-60 minutes.

You can half the second mixture if you only want it on top. But that's my favorite part. And of course its great with ice cream. I also liked it cold. (the crisp, not the ice cream although that's best cold, too. I digress)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Zucchini Recipes

While my garden didn't actually produce any zucchini this year, I know lots of gardens did produce zucchini in abundance. What is your favorite soup, casserole, side dish and/or dessert recipe that uses zucchini? Click here for a FABULOUS Zucchini brownie recipe posted by my friend Melanie.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Does anyone have any good ideas for dinners to have while I'm packing everything up. Stuff that I can freeze or not use tons of pots & pans and goes with plastic/paper stuff. Oh yeah, the cheaper, the better, too. Anyone?

Friday, June 5, 2009

3 Summer Dinners

So, it's almost summertime. It's hot outside. I don't want to turn on the oven. I've been playing all day. So I need something easy, too. Let's post 3 meals that we prefer to eat on days like this!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Menu Planning

So do you plan a menu? Do you just make food with what you have in the house? How often do you go shopping? Do you eat the same thing more than once a week?

This is all part of my food ADD, but I have created a way to plan a one month menu without repeating anything. And some may say this is food OCD, but I'll share it anyway.

One day, when I didn't feel like cleaning, but I wanted to get organized (see my other blog), I wrote down every meal that my family likes on separate note cards. I also wrote down all the ingredients I needed for that meal. Then in the upper right and left-hand corners I wrote down what type of meat and how long it took to make. Then I organized my week into different meal categories: Sun-Crockpot/Fancy meals, Mon-Sandwiches , Tues-Non-meat, Wed-Casseroles, Thurs-Mexican, Fri-Winners, Sat-Soups/Dad. I have my cards separated into those categories now. So when its time to plan I pick out 4 sunday cards, then 4 monday, etc. I arrange them so I can use leftovers of things like beans for our cafe rio salad. I also have a basic grocery list laid out in front of me, too.

It has taken all of the pain out of coming up with something to eat every 2 weeks. I post the menu for everyone to see. Now there's less complaining when they see something they don't want, because they know something they like is coming up soon. Anyway, just thought I'd share.

So what are your secrets?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Amish Friendship Bread (or the "Multi-Level-Marketing scheme of the baking world")

Having recently "gifted" some "Amish Friendship Bread" starter...I thought I would repent and post some variations of what to do with your starter, if you are wanting something different than the traditional vanilla pudding loaf of sugar and oil. (I know, it's good...but probably not so good for you!)

First off, if you've never had the pleasure of caring for the starter..here are the basics. If you don't have friends who have given you some, and you want to create your own:


1 pkg. active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110°F)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup warm milk (110°F)


1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water for about 10 minutes. Stir well.

2. In a 2 quart glass or plastic container, combine 1 cup sifted flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly or the flour will get lumpy when you add the milk.

3. Slowly stir in warm milk and dissolved yeast mixture. Loosely cover the mixture with a lid or plastic wrap. The mixture will get bubbly. Consider this Day 1 of the cycle, or the day you receive the starter.

It is important that you don't store the bag in a refridgerator (keep at room temperature)

Day 1 - do nothing

Day 2 - mush the bag

Day 3 - mush the bag

Day 4 - mush the bag

Day 5 - Add 1 cup each flour, sugar and milk.

Day 6 - mush the bag

Day 7 - mush the bag

Day 8 - mush the bag

Day 9 - mush the bag

Day 10 - Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Divide into 4 containers, with 1 cup each for three of your friends and 1 cup for your own loaves. Give friends the instructions for Day 1 through Day 10 and the following recipe for baking the bread.

After removing the 3 cups of batter, combine the remaining cup of Amish Friendship Bread starter with the following ingredients in a large bowl:

2/3 cup oil
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Mix until well blended.

Grease two loaf pans with butter, sprinkle with sugar instead of flour.

Bake at 325 degrees F for 45 minutes to 1 hour (individual oven temperatures vary). Cool 10 minutes, remove from pans. Makes two loaves of Amish Friendship Bread.

And now for some variations on a theme....

  • Instead of bread loaves, bake muffins. (only takes about 25 minutes to cook)
  • Mix it up - use different flavors of pudding (chocolate, banana, butterscotch...)
  • Add chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, or cinnamon chips
  • add nuts - walnuts, pecans, etc.
  • Add fruits (blueberries, raisins, dried apricots, etc)
  • Add lemon zest and use lemon pudding maybe add poppyseeds

and some unique recipes:


Combine in large bowl:
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Combine in smaller bowl:
2 TBS oil
2 cups Amish starter
1/2 cup milk (plus/minus 1/4 cup)
1 egg

Add ingredients of smaller bowl to ingredients of large bowl and mix on medium speed.
Spoon batter onto greased griddle.


Prepare batter for pancakes except increase oil to 1/4 cup.

Amish Cinnamon Rolls

2 cups flour
1 cup milk
1 cup Amish starter*

Combine and let set at room temperature overnight or 10-12 hours. Stir down.

3 t. sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup shortening
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

Add into small bowl all at once to stir down. Pour dough out on well-floured board. Knead until no longer sticky. Roll out to 1/2" thickness in a rectangle shape. Brush dough with soft butter.

1/4 cup sugar
1 TBS cinnamon
1/2 cup crushed nuts

Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture over dough. Beginning at wide side, roll up, and seal seam.
Cut 1" slices. Place on well-greased cookie sheet. Let rise 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees F 30-35 minutes.

Sourdough-Style Biscuits

Dry Ingredients:
3-3/4 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 stick (1/2 cup) plus 1 TBS margarine

Blend dry ingredients with oleo until the oleo is well cut in.

3/4 cup milk or buttermilk
1-1/2 cups of Amish starter *

Knead, roll, and cut. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes. Makes 1-1/2 dozen biscuits.

Amish Sourdough Bread

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp salt
1 - 1/2 cups warm water
1 cup Amish starter
6 cups bread flour

Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Oil bottom & sides of large bowl & put bread dough in. Let stand overnight at room temperature. In morning, punch dough down 4-5 times and divide into 3 equal balls. Kneed each ball 8-10 times and put into 3 greased and floured loaf pans. Brush tops with oil and cover with oiled foil. Let stand 4-5 hours or all day. (If dough has not risen well, put small pan of water on bottom rack in oven, heat to 200 degrees, turn off oven. Put dough on top rack for 1-2 hours.) Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. (Cover with foil after lightly browned.)

Amish Cornbread

1 cup Amish starter
2 eggs
1-1/2 c. milk
2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup flour
1-1/2 c. cornmeal

Combine in large bowl. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.

1/4 cup oil
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

Mix well. Pour in well-greased 9" pan. Bake at 425 degreesF 25-30 minutes.

P.S. Don't hate me forever if you get some from me!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

quick chicken chili

Here's a fast and tasty meal: 2 cans of costco chicken, 1 can of black beans, 1 can chili beans, 2 cans chopped tomatoes w/ green chilies, 1 can corn. Combine all in a medium size pot and heat through. I also added a dash of chili powder and cumin. Serves two adults and four kids under the age of 10, with leftovers.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pie Recipes?

In honor of the date (March 14 or 3.14... "Pi")
I was thinking about how much I love making pie.

But I really never take the time to bake pie unless it's Thanksgiving.

But, this weekend I made a shredded apple pie.
I first ate "shredded" apple pie at a Dickens Festival in St. George. I have no idea where the idea came from, but it really changes the pie flavor. It's interesting. (You can see the recipe on my blog)

So now I am wondering...what kind of pie do you like to make?
Do you have any unusual or interesting pie recipes that you like?

Oh...and as a secondary sidenote/confession - I never make homemade pie crust any more. I've made it before and it is simply too fussy for me.
I use store-bought crust.

How about you?

Do you think that I am cheating?

Monday, March 2, 2009

pictures to go along with my comment on colorful food... :)

Complete Tutorial on how to make the rainbow brite cake can be found here

Colorful Food

I am totally missing the sun today. So I thought we should put our most colorful recipes down and pretend its not so gray outside!

Thursday, February 26, 2009


So I found this really fast biscuit recipe that I've started using instead of my regular breadsticks. My family loves it. And its so much easier and faster than breadsticks, and I'm lazy.
Butter-Dipped Biscuit Squares

2 c. self-rising flour (3 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt, then add up to 2 c. flour)
2 T. sugar
1 c. milk

1/2 c. butter (no margarine) melted

Combine the flour, sugar and milk and mix well. Turn onto a well floured surface; and sprinkle with more flour on top. Pat the dough down to 1/2 inch thickness. With a sharp knife dipped in flour, cut into 3x2in pieces. Pour the butter into an ungreased 13x9 pan. Dip each side of piece into melted butter; carefully turn to coat. Bake, uncovered, 450 for 10min.

The dough is really sticky so don't try to knead it or work with it; just pat it into the floured surface and put enough flour on top so it doesn't stick to your hands. Then, if you don't want it so buttery, just dip it into the butter, but cook it on a non-buttered pan. Yummy.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Large Group Recipes

I need some easy recipes for groups of 15 or more. This weekend I am planning and preparing 4 days worth of meals for my whole family at my parents' home. I feel like I've used all my good ideas on my family before and would like to try some new things. Any suggestions?

Monday, February 16, 2009

New Format

So I was thinking that I want to change this blog a little bit. I want whoever wants, to be able to post their own suggestions for recipe and menu ideas. So let me know if you want to be an author on this site and I will add you. By the way, I have been using some of these recipes with great success - thanks.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


So instead of recipes this time, I'm just wondering what people eat for breakfast these days. Do you have the same thing every morning? Do you rotate through stuff? Hot? Cold? And feel free to add recipes if you want.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Since I'm sick this week, I'm looking for recipes you can just throw into the crockpot. What is your best crockpot recipe?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Love This Even Though No One Else Does!

We all have those recipes that we love, but the rest of the family could do without. And we probably don't get to make them as much as we would like to. So let's share the recipes. And if we're close enough to share, even better!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Meals to Warm Us Up

For this one, let's do the recipe that we like to have when it's just a cold, miserable day outside. Something that will warm us up!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Go To Meal

So for this first one I thought we should all just put in the one meal that everyone will eat and is the easiest for us to cook.