Sunday, December 30, 2012

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

recipe from Heather

1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels
4 1/2 Tbsp white sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup white sugar
2 (8oz) pkg cream cheese
1 (8 oz) container cool whip
1 (6 oz) pkg of strawberry flavored gelatin
2 cups boiling water
16 oz frozen strawberries (cut into smaller pieces)

preheat oven to 350
mix pretzels, 4 1/2 Tbsp sugar, and butter.
Press into bottom of 9x13 pan
bake 10 - 15 until lightly toasted
cool completely

beat sugar and cream cheese until smooth
fold in cool whip
spread over cooled crust
refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes

stir together gelatin and boiling water
mix in frozen strawberries , stir until thawed
pour over cream cheese mixture
refrigerate until chilled, at least one hour

I have heard a few people mention, when they make a dish similar to this, it gets runny or the layers mix together. I have not had that with this recipe, but I never rush it. make sure layers are cooled/set before adding the next layer.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

recipe from my Mom and Chris

1 cup oleo
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 beaten eggs
( for egg-free cookies, replace eggs with 2/3 cup applesauce)
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 6oz package chocolate chips

cream butter and sugar
add eggs (or applesauce) and vanilla - beat well
fold in dry ingredients
add chocolate chips
bake at 350 degrees, bake about 13 minutes

makes about 3 dozen

Friday, November 30, 2012

Cheese Potato and Smoked Sausage Casserole

recipe from

3 cups potatoes, peeled, boiled and cut into cubes
when cool approx 1 pound
4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp flour
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 pound Velveeta cheese, diced
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 pound skinless smoked sausage
1/8 tsp paprika

Cut skinless smoked sausage in half, lengthwise, and then chop into 1/2 inch "half moon" cuts.
Cook in frying pan about 15 minutes, turning frequently to slightly brown.
Meanwhile, put cooked and diced potatoes in 2 quart casserole.
Add cooked meat and give it a gentle toss
Mix all remaining ingredients (except for shredded cheddar cheese and the paprika) in a saucepan over medium heat until warm, melted and smooth, (use a whisk and stir constantly)
Pour white/cheese sauce over potatoes and meat. Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese on top, and then sprinkle with paprika evenly over the top.
Bake in preheated oven at 350 for 35-45 minutes (watch until golden brown on top)

Chocolate Cake, Egg-free

recipe from Mitch and Val

chocolate cake mix
15 oz can of Pumpkin pie filling
(can also toss in chocolate chips)

mix them together and bake accordingly
original recipe is for large muffins, but we made a birthday cake!

Hormel Chili Dip

can of Hormel Chili 
block of cream cheese
toss it in a bowl and heat in the microwave!
Serve with tortilla chips

Yup, easy as that!
It's not impressive or healthy, but it's good! Fancy it up and throw in some taco seasoning or shredded cheese. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Chicken Nuggets

recipe from Kraft

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 - 2 inche pieces
(we used 3 good sized chicken breasts)
1 packet, Shake n' Bake chicken coating mix

coat chicken with coating mix as directed on package
(only place 3-4 nuggets in coating mix at a time)
place in shallow, foil-lined pan
bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes, until until cooked through

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Chicken Enchilada Puffs

recipe from Tidy Mom

1 package jumbo cresent rolls ( I used regular)
3 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup Mexican shredded cheese
3/4 cup cooked chicken, diced or shredded
1/3 cup enchilada sauce or taco sauce
2 tsp enchilada or taco seasoning mix
1/4 cup Mexican shredded cheese for topping

preheat oven to 375 degrees and line cookie sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray
place cream cheese and 1/2 cup Mexican cheese in small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds, to soften
Add seasoning mix, sauce and chicken to cheese mixture and stir until combined
unroll cresent rolls
Scoop 1 heaping tablespoon of mixture onto each cresent roll
Pull outer corners of cresent roll over the mixture, and then pull long end over, completely enclosing filling.
sprinkle tops of puffs with additional Mexican cheese

Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fast Fruity Delight

recipe from Kraft

additional flavor combinations can be found at their link

3/4 cup boiling water
1 cup thawed cool whip
1 pkg (3 oz) Strawberry gelatin
2 cups frozen strawberries

Add boiling water to gelatin in a large boil, stir 2 minutes, until completely dissolved
Stir in 2 cups frozen fruit until gelatin starts to thicken
Add 1/2 cup of the gelatin mixture to cool whip, stir until blended.
(Kraft has directions for placing in individual serving cups)
I placed all the the gelatin mixture in a dish and topped with cool whip mixture
mix all the gelatin with the cool whip and skip the layering
refrigerate 15 minutes or until firm

This jello sets quickly with the frozen fruit, so it's a great last minute dish

Combinations I have made;
Strawberry gelatin, frozen strawberries
Very Berry gelatin, frozen mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Three Meat Pizza Casserole

recipe from Cully's Kitchen

1 lb box tie pasta
1 lb mild pork sausage
1 large onion, chopped
2 (26 oz) jars spaghetti sauce. I used tomato basil flavor
1 lb cubed cooked ham ( I used 1/2 this amount)
1/2 - 1 lb pepperoni (or enough to cover the casserole)
3 (8 oz) bags mozzarella cheese
6 Tbsp of grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp chopped garlic (I used 1 tsp garlic powder)
1 teaspoon dried oregano

cook pasta in boiling water
cook sausage, garlic and oregano with onions until juices run clear
the link above with give you directions if you would like to layer each ingredient.
The next time I make it, I plan on mixing everything together and then putting it in the dish
Save 8 oz of cheese and the pepperoni to layer on top

bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 40 minutes
let stand for 5 minutes before serving

I split this dish into 2, 8x8 pans and put one in the freezer. This recipe makes more than enough!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Three Cheese Potatoes

recipe from Taste of Home

3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium onion chopped
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp minced chives (optional)
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon bits
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a large bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients
Transfer to a double layer thickness of greased heavy duty foil
Dot with butter
Fold foil around potato mixture and seal tightly
Grill, covered, over medium heat for about 20 minutes on each side, or until potatoes are tender.

Carefully open foil. Sprinkle with cheese and bacon bits
Grill 3-5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
Open foil slowly allowing the steam to escape.

These are amazing! Taste like a loaded baked potato!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Potato Soup

recipe from my Aunt Lois

4 cups cubed potatoes (red or white)
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 1/2 cups water
3 cups milk
2 Tbsp. oleo
2 tsp. salt
chopped celery to taste
1 can corn, drained
1 inch block Velveeta cheese or 1/3 cup Chedder cheese

Boil potatoes and onion in water.
Do not drain.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer,
To make it a little thicker, I added about 2 Tbsp of cornstarch mixed with water.
Add this towards the end of cooking and stir while pouring it in.

Mini Mexican Pizzas

recipe from Dashing Dish

originally made for our cooking party

3-4 large whole wheat tortillas
(enough to cut out 12 small circles)
1 cup cooked ground turkey or cooked ground beef
(I used ground beef)
1 cup salsa of choice (I used a corn and bean salsa)
2 tsp dry taco seasoning
1/2 cup low fat refried beans
1/2 cup shredded Mexican or Chedder cheese
Optional Toppings: sour cream, lettuce, black olives, tomatoes

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Spray a 12 count muffin tin with non stick cooking spray

Start by laying out individual tortillas on flat surface.
Cut 3-4 circles out of each shell, using a glass, can or cookie cutter
Press each circle into the tins. (it doesn't need to be perfect)
In a bowl, stir together meat, taco seasoning, refried beans, and salsa
scoop approx 1/8 cup of mixture into each shell
top with shredded cheese

bake 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted

*approx 3-4 per person

*these freeze well

I used my hamburger pattie maker.
I was able to get 3 circles from each shell

Drumsticks, Chicken legs

recipe from ES Cookbook, Vicki

1/2 cup Progresso bread crumbs
( I used herb seasoning stuffing, and crushed it up)
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp garlic salt
2-3 pounds chicken legs

Place bread crumbs, cheese and salt in plastic bag.
Wet chicken with water and shake chicken in seasoning bag.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour
(Makes a good recipe for whole chicken also)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Baked Potato with Kosher Salt

recipe from Jen

If you like to eat the skin of a baked potato, this is your new favorite recipe!

large potatoes
olive oil
Kosher salt

wash and dry large potatoes
stab several times with a fork
coat with a little olive oil
sprinkle with Kosher salt all over
lay them directly on the oven rack
(the olive oil will drip, so lay a piece of tinfoil on the rack under the potatoes)

bake at 400 for 1 hour

Pork Tenderloin, Slow cooked on grill

recipe from guys at Crown Motors :)

lay pork tenderloin on tinfoil
sprinkle with Montreal Steak Seasoning
double wrap in tinfoil
grill on low for 1 hour, turning occassionally
unwrap and grill for addition 15 minutes
(make sure meat is cooked through)

(add more seasoning than what you see in this picture, 
we could have used more)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Stuffed Pasta Shells

recipe from The Maroon Spoon, Lisa

12 oz Jumbo shells
1 1/2 pounds hamburg
1 pound Italian sausage
1 16 oz jar picante sauce
3/4 lb Monterey Jack cheese
3/4 lb Colby jack cheese

Boil shells
Brown meat in skillet, drain. Add picante sauce to meat. 
Spoon into shells 
Top with cheese
Cover and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted
recipe is for a 9x13 pan

*I like sausage, but I am not a huge fan of the fat chunks in it. Next time I might use all hamburg, or cut the recipe in half and only use the hamburg. I ended up with 2, 8x8 pans, and put one of them in the freezer. I used about 12 shells in each pan. I boiled all the shells in the box and had a lot left over.

Macaroni & Cheese, slow cooked

found recipe on Moms with crock pots

8 oz medium shell macaroni
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups (8 oz) shredded sharp cheddar cheese or a Cheddar blend
4 Tbsp butter, melted

Cook macaroni following package directions.
drain and rinse with hot water, drain well

Generously butter the sides and bottom of a 3 1/2 to 4 quart slow cooker
( I used about 2 Tbsp of butter)

Combine macaroni with remaining ingredients in the slow cooker and blend well.
Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally

If desired, when macaroni and cheese is done, spoon mixture into baking dish, sprinkle with a little more cheese or bread crumbs, and put under the broiler for a 1-2 minutes, getting the "fresh from the oven" look

Side note: When we made it, it looked great after 2 hours, but at 3 hours it was starting to get a little lumpy. It still tasted great, and we plan on making it again, but will plan on only 2 to 2 1/2 hours in the crock pot.

Pepperoni Rolls

recipe from What about pie?
that site has much better pictures and her finished product looks better than mine :)

pre packaged frozen white bread dough (wheat does not work well)
olive oil
mozzarella cheese
parmesan cheese (grated or shredded)
Italian seasoning ( or oregano, parsley, and basil )
garlic powder

let bread rise for a few hours
roll it out and brush with olive oil
layer with pepperoni ( the larger deli slices of pepperoni would work great for this)
spinkle with mozzarella cheese
sprinkle with parmesan cheese
sprinkle with seasoning
roll up the dough into a log shape
brush top with melted butter
bake at 375 for 15-25 minutes, or until golden brown and you can make a tapping sound on the crust

recipe states that you should let it cool before cutting....but we prefer hot pizza, so we didn't wait too long!

Mine did not turn out like I thought it was going to. It was still good, but it kind of deflated. So click on the link above to see what it should look like. Im not sure if I let it rise too long, or when I rolled it out, I used a little wheat flour so it wouldn't stick to the counter, maybe that did it. Who knows!

check out the pictures from the link above. She has her loaf of bread in a perfect, not so much! So I decided to divide it into 2, then I had nice squares :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

French Dip Sandwich

packet of dry Au Jus Gravy
roast beef sliced thin
sandwich buns
provolone or Swiss cheese

follow directions for gravy mix (heat on stove top)
put together your sandwich and use gravy for dipping
easy as that!

Baked Spaghetti

recipe from Lindsay

8 oz spaghetti noodles, cooked
2 eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp parsley
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
8 oz mozzarella cheese

Toss cooked noodle with egg, Parmesan cheese, and parsley
(let noodles cool for just a minute, or the eggs will "cook" when they mix with the really hot noodles)
In a greased 8x8 pan, put in half the noodle mixture
layer with 4 oz mozzarella cheese
then layer with remaining noodles
and top with remaining mozzarella cheese

Cover, bake at 350 for 20 minutes
Heat favorite spaghetti sauce and serve it over individual pieces

this is a great recipe to double and make into a 9x13 OR 2, 8x8 pans and freeze one

Friday, September 14, 2012

Italian Chicken Casserole

original idea from Boss Sanders, but I changed it up a bit

4 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 cans cream of chicken soup
8 oz cream cheese, softened
Dry Italian dressing packet
1/2 cup milk
16 oz noodles, cooked
bacon ( optional )

mix everything together and put in casserole dish.
Bake covered at 350, 30-40 minutes ( just need to heat through)

I split this recipe, and it was the perfect amount for our family

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Beef Enchiladas

recipe from Chris

makes 2, 9x13 pans

2 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 cans (15 oz each ) of enchilada sauce
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can tomato soup
flour tortillas (10)
2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese

Cook beef and drain
combine enchilada sauce and soups, pour 1 cup into bottom of each 9x13 pan
stir 1 1/2 cups sauce into beef mixture, set remaining sauce aside.
Spoon mixture into each tortilla, sprinkle with some cheese, roll up and place seam side down into pans.
Top with reserved sauce.
Cover with foil
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes
Uncover, sprinkle with cheese and bake 5-10 minutes more

can top with lettuce, green peppers, sour cream, etc.

Hodge Podge Soup

recipe from my mom

1 pound hamburg
1 chopped onion ( or minced onion )
salt and pepper to taste
1 can tomato soup
1 can mixed vegetables with liquid
1 can spaghetti o's

brown hamburger with onion and salt and pepper, pour off grease
mix all ingredients together
warm in crock pot for 2 hours OR on the stove top until heated through

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Apple Crisp

recipe from my mom

6-8 apples
1 stick oleo

peel and slice apples into a 9x9 baking dish 
pour a 1/2 cup water over apples
then cover with 1/2 cup sugar and a dash of salt

1/2 cup oleo ( 1 stick ) do not melt
1 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
mix together until crumbly (use pastry blender or fork)
pour over top of apples
sprinkle with cinnamon

Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until bubbly around edges and top is browned

May also use peaches instead of apples. Use less water and bake until it bubbles through the topping along the edges

**this is fantastic right out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Green Beans with Garlic

recipe from my mom

olive oil
FRESH green beans
garlic, the real stuff

place a small amount of olive oil in skillet
crush up a small  amount of garlic and let it start to heat in skillet with oil
add in green beans and use a medium heat, stirring often
cook green beans until desired crispiness
( I cook them until they are started to get a little burn on them)

Sweet and Sour Chicken, Grill

recipe from Heather
originally made at our cooking party

chicken breasts
12 oz pineapple juice
6 oz sweet and sour sauce
2 oz soy sauce

marinate chicken for the day
cook on the grill
it is suggested to turn them often to prevent burning due to the sugar content

marinade will make enough for up to 10 chicken breast halves
I usually cut this marinade in half and make about 4 chicken breast halves
its a great recipe to make a meal for the night and throw the other half in the freezer for a later date

Mashed Potatoes

about 6 potatoes; peeled, washed, and cut up
boil until you can easily poke a fork through them
Drain the potatoes and place in a new bowl. Blend the potatoes with a mixer
add about 1 cup milk ( I warm it just a touch so it doesn't cool down the potatoes)
add about 3 Tbsp butter
sprinkle in a desired amount of salt (couple teaspoons)
finish blending until you reach the chunkiness or smoothness you prefer
I like to put it back in the warm dish I started with to keep the potatoes warm
and we like butter, so I toss a slab of butter on top to melt!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hamburg Skillet Dinner

recipe from Eric's mom
originally made at our cooking party

1 pound hamburg
salt, pepper, and onion to taste
2 Tbsp Chili powder
1 can Fiesta corn, drained
1 package beef noodles
2 1/4 cups water
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

cook hamburg in skillet and drain. 
Mix in all the ingredients, but save the cheese for the end
Cook in skillet for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed and noodles are soft
Top with cheese and let it melt before serving

serve with garlic bread and a side salad

Monday, August 13, 2012


I am almost certain you cannot screw up a fruit smoothie combination! I usually use 2 fruits, one frozen, one fresh. (If you're only using fresh, throw in a couple ice cubes) Then I add in a couple spoonfuls of vanilla yogurt and a splash of orange juice. If I have it on hand, I toss in a hand full of fresh spinach, (the boys have no idea it's in there!)

We use a Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand blender, (but you can also use a regular blender.) We drink the smoothie right from the cup we mix it in!

orange juice
orange juice
orange juice
orange juice
orange juice

This is a favorite summer time treat for our boys!

Zatarains Rice and Smoked Sausage

recipe from "the box" :) or here

2 1/2 cups water
2 Tbsp vegetable oil (optional)
1 package Zatarain's Jambalaya Mix
1 pound, meat of your choice, we like smoked sausage
(or chicken, ham, or shrimp)
bring water and oil to a boil in 3 qt sauce pan
Stir in rice and meat of your choice, return to boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 25 minutes
remove from heat, let stand 5 minutes, fluff with fork

* we keep a box of this rice in the pantry and keep the sausage in the freezer. The meat thaws quickly and it's a great last minute meal!