Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Dinner

Since my grandparents passed away, I've been trying to adjust to a new type of Christmas.  If you know me, you know two important facts.  The first is I'm not fond of change and the second is family is at the top of my list of favorite things.  We used to gather at my grandparent's house on Christmas Eve for a big Italian dinner that always, always, always included boiled shrimp, lasagna, and meatballs.  There was lots of other food, but we could count on those three items being part of the menu.  We all started by standing around the kitchen island or sitting at one of the tables with a bowl of hot shrimp laughing and talking with my grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, and sisters.  I miss that.  This year we all gathered the day before Christmas Eve at my mother's club house and had the closest thing we've had to a family Christmas dinner since the loss of my grandparents.  It was wonderful having so many of us together.

Christmas day is also different.  We would all get together again for a Christmas dinner on Christmas Day.  Now we stay at our own homes for a variety of reasons.  I realized last year I would need to start some kind of new tradition to make Christmas Day dinner special and to help me move on from the past.  I decided a standing rib roast would be a treat.  Since Publix puts rib roasts on sale Christmas week, it helps with the budget of a big meal.  I only make this dinner once a year so that makes it special too.  This year I made a rib roast dinner again.  I must say it was delicious and enjoyed by the three of us for a couple of days.  I should have taken a picture because it was beautiful.  I guess you'll have to wait until next year for a picture. Sorry.  Maybe you'll forgive me if I share the recipe.

Standing Rib Roast

1  3 rib standing rib roast (or whatever size you may need)
1 sliced onion
1 bag of baby carrots
1 bag of baby potatoes
2 - 3 ribs of celery
salt & pepper to taste
garlic powder
3/4 cup horseradish sauce
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Set the meat out of the refrigerator for about an hour to knock the chill off.  Rub butter on the inside of a 9x13 baking dish and on the sides of the roast.  Put the roast in the dish with the fat side up.  Spread the carrots, onions, and potatoes around the meat.  I cut the potatoes in half, but I don't think you would have to do that.  Sprinkle a little salt, pepper, and garlic powder over the meat and veggies. Cover with tin foil.  Place the dish in the oven preheated at 450 degrees for 1 hour.  Mix the horseradish sauce and Worcestershire sauce together.  Pour the mixture over the meat after it has cooked for 1 hour.  After that, reduce the oven's heat to 250 degrees and cook for 2 more hours.  If you have a larger rib roast, it will need to cook longer.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Tortellini! It as much fun to say as it is to eat!

You have to admit, it's fun to say the names of Italian food.  Try it!  Tortellini!  Fettuccine!  Maranara!  See, I was right.  Or maybe I'm just easily amused.  Hmmmmm.

Last Sunday I found two $1 coupons in the paper for Buitoni Pasta.  The grocery store had it on sale this week so with my coupons, the price wasn't so bad.  I made two trips to the grocery store today because I forgot the Alfredo sauce and Parmesan cheese on the first trip.  After I returned home the second time, I realized I didn't have the fresh broccoli.  I did have a bag of frozen broccoli so I used that instead.  Fresh would have been better, but I didn't have it in me to go to the grocery store three times in one day.  One day I'll get my act together and get everything on one list.  Today wasn't that day.  Maybe tomorrow ... or the day after.

Broccoli Cheese Tortellini

 1 jar of Ragu Alfredo sauce
1 cup fresh broccoli florets
2 packages (9 ounces each) refrigerated chicken and cheese tortellini
1 ½  cups shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add pasta and broccoli.  Cook uncovered, over medium-low heat for 8 - 10 minutes.   Drain the pasta and broccoli.  Stir in Alfredo sauce, Parmesan cheese, and pepper.  Stir in cheese and pepper into broccoli mixture.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 6 - 8 minutes or until cheese is melted and mixture is thickened, stirring occasionally. 

It looked better on the plate, but I ate it before I realized I had not taken a picture.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Just in Time For Fall

A friend of mine made a pumpkin cake and brought me a piece.  The only thing I didn't like about it is that it disappeared so quickly.  The cake was so moist and so good!  Her cake didn't have icing.  I added that part. If you want to cut a few calories, leave the icing off.  It's good either way. It's the perfect cake for Fall.  Thanks for sharing Cindy!

Pumpkin Cake

1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 pkg. (3.4 oz) instant butterscotch pudding
4 eggs
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup oil
1 cup of canned 100% pure pumpkin
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
½ can cream cheese icing

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients except the icing. Beat on low for 30 sec, then on medium for 4 minutes. Pour into a greased and floured 10 inch Bundt tube pan.  Bake at 350 for 50-55 min or until wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 15 min.  Remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Microwave icing for 40 seconds.  Spoon over the top of the cake.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Time Saving Tip

Sometimes, out of nowhere, I'm struck with a moment of brilliance!  Yesterday was one of those moments!  They don't happen often,so when it does, I have to capitalize on  it.  I do have to give some credit to hubby.  He suggested I put it on my blog ... and Pinterest.  When he suggested that, I knew it was a good idea!. 

My daughter's father-in-law is in the hospital, so I have the grandbabies for the weekend  YAY!.  The youngest needs her food cut into little pieces.  I whipped out the pizza cutter and sliced everything up in seconds!  I'm not having that baby wait for her food a second longer than she needs to.  Spoiled?  Absolutely NOT!  Loved to pieces?  YES!  I sliced up a hamburger patty as fast as lightning, pizza in a flash, pancakes and cheese toast speedy quick!  Was she a happy girl?  She's always a happy girl.  But now, she's a happy girl who doesn't have to wait as long for her food.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Open Sesame

Don't you love simple recipes with only a few ingredients?  If so, you'll REALLY love this one!  It has two ingredients!  YEP!  TWO.  As the kids say, "It's easy peasy."

I was at Publix this weekend and one of the "sample people" was cooking this recipe and it was good!  I quickly bought the 2 ingredients and prepared it for dinner tonight.  Even the hubby stated more than once how good it was.  What were the 2 ingredients?  Top sirloin steak and Lawry's Sesame Ginger marinade.  I also made Fried Rice to go with it.  It was the perfect combination.

Sesame Ginger Steak

1 pound of Top Sirloin Steak
1/2 bottle of Lawry's Sesame Ginger marinade

Cut the steak into small cubes.  Place the meat in a pan and pour 1/2 the bottle of marinade over the meat.  Cook over a medium heat.  Stir frequently for about 10 minutes.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

This Little Piggy Went To Market

 My local grocery store had pork loins on sale for $1.99 per pound.  I bought one and had it cut into boneless chops.  I bought another and cut it in half.  Since there are only 2 of us left at home now, it's a waste to make a whole one for us.  I now have enough chops for 5 meals, 1 pork loin for another night, and made one for dinner tonight.  We had enough leftover from dinner tonight that hubby and I can have lunch one day too.  So I have at least 8 meals out of 2 pork loins.  What a deal!  I mixed up some yummy marinade for the one we ate tonight and made mashed potatoes, speckled butter beans, and a fruit salad.  It was delish!

Pork Loin Marinade

2 pounds pork tenderloin
1/2 cup Soy sauce
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
1 Tb. garlic (minced)
1/4 cup brown sugar

Mix all of the marinade ingredients together and pour into a gallon size Ziploc bag.  Place the tenderloin in the bag with the marinade and place in the refrigerator and marinate for at least an hour, up to 24 hours.  I marinated mine for 2 hours.  Spray an 8” baking dish with Pam.  Place the marinated tenderloin in the dish and cover with foil.  Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour 40 minutes.  Cook longer for larger tenderloins.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

For the Monkeys In My Life

Do you like to eat bananas?  I don't.  I don't like the way they feel in my mouth when you chew them up.  I feel the same way about cottage cheese.  GROSS!  Strangely enough though, I do like banana bread and banana flavored candy.  Just one more of my little oddities.  I bought bananas last week and put them in a paper bag to ripen.  They didn't ripen fast enough so I put the apples I was going to use in hubby's apple pie in with the bananas to help ripen them faster.  Did you know that apples release a gas that ripen bananas quickly?  So next time you put fresh fruit in a bowl, don't put the apples next to the bananas.  However, if you forget, you can always make banana bread.

Banana Bread

3 bananas, mashed
1 cup of sugar
½ cup shortening
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups of self rising flour
½ cup chopped pecans

Mix bananas, sugar, and shortening until creamy.  Add eggs and mix well.  Add flour and pecans.  Spray a loaf pan with Baker’s Joy.  Pour mixture into a loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes until cake tester comes out clean.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy Birthday Pie?

Today is my husband's birthday.  He had a big birthday breakfast, a not so impressive birthday lunch, but we are going out for a birthday dinner.  He just hasn't told me where yet.  In our house, you get to choose what kind cake you want.  Normally, hubby chooses pineapple upside down cake.  This year was different.  He chose an apple pie.  I was thrilled!  Pineapple upside down cake is O.K., but I really like apple pie.  I have the best recipe for apple pie thanks to my friend Becky.  Years ago, she made an apple pie and brought it to work to share.  It was delicious and she gave me the recipe.  I made a couple of small changes.  She used 4 red apples instead of 3 red apples and 1 Granny Smith and since I really like cinnamon, I added more cinnamon than what she did.  It's cooking right now and it smells goooooooood!!!!!!

Apple Pie

1 deep dish pie crust
3 red apples
1 Granny Smith apple
½ cup of sugar
1 ½ tsp. of cinnamon

Peel and dice the apples into bite sized chunks.  Place in crust.  Top with the sugar,   and cinnamon.


½ cup of sugar
¾ cup of self-rising flour
1 stick of butter
1 drop cinnamon essential oil
Cinnamon to taste

Melt butter and mix in sugar. cinnamon oil, and flour.  Spread over the top of the pie.  Sprinkle cinnamon over the topping.  Make at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.

 I wish this was a scratch and sniff picture so you could enjoy the aroma too!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July! Thank you to all those who have served in a branch of the military in order that we may be free!  YOU are AWESOME!!!  THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

We were invited to a cook out at our new neighbor's house.  I gave them a choice of desserts I could bring.  Either coconut cake or chocolate eclair dessert.  They chose chocolate eclair dessert.  All the food was absolutely delicious and we had a delightful time.  It was a perfect way to celebrate the 4th.  We have the nicest neighbors!

Chocolate Éclair Dessert

1 box of graham crackers
2 small boxes of instant vanilla pudding
3 cups milk
1 tub of Cool Whip
1 tub of chocolate frosting

Spread a layer of graham crackers in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish or pan.  Add milk to pudding and let set.  Add Cool Whip to the pudding.  Spread ½ of the pudding mixture on top of the graham crackers.  Lay another layer of graham cracker and spread the remaining pudding mixture over the crackers.  Top with another layer of graham crackers.  Open the frosting and put it in the microwave for 1 minute.  Pour over the graham crackers and chill.

To cut back on the calories, I use sugar free pudding, skim milk, and fat free Cool Whip.

Friday, June 29, 2012


 We found out a few weeks ago that my daughter is pregnant with baby #3!  When I went to visit her last weekend, she told me she was craving Oriental Cole Slaw.  You know when a pregnant lady craves something, they should have it.  At least, that's my theory.  Especially when that lady is my daughter.  Tonight I made the recipe and in the morning, I'll pour the dressing over it.  Then I'll head out to see the cutest little family in Georgia!

Oriental Cole Slaw

Dressing (make the night before):

1 cup of oil
½ cup of sugar
1/3 cup of vinegar
2 beef seasoning packets from the Ramen noodles


1       1 lb. bag of  shredded cabbage/slaw mix
2       packages of Beef flavored Ramen Noodles – crushed
1       cup of slivered almonds
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
1 cup of sunflower seeds

Crush the uncooked noodles and spread over the cole slaw mix.  Toss together.  Just before serving, pour the dressing over the salad mix.  Stir and serve.

(I usually put the dressing over the slaw about an hour ahead of time.)

 Tiffany was so excited when I arrived with her Oriental Cole Slaw!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sum, Sum, Summertime!

It's summer time and what do we all enjoy in the summer?  Cook outs!!  What goes really well with ribs, hamburgers, and chicken?  Baked beans, of course!  I have taken 2 good baked bean recipes and created one great recipe.  I should have taken a picture last night, but I forgot.  Sorry.  :(

Ground Beef (or turkey) Baked Beans

 2 cans of pork and beans
½ lb. of ground beef or ground turkey, browned and crumbled finely
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 onion, finely chopped
½ cup of dark brown Karo syrup
2 Tb. yellow mustard

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.  Pour into a casserole dish sprayed with a baking spray.  Bake in an oven for 30 – 40 minutes at 375 degrees.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Okra ... mmmmmmmmmmm

Okra is one of my favorite foods.  Hmmm ... I seem to say that about a lot of foods.  Anyway, I like it fried and boiled.  My husband and son gag at boiled okra, but that's o.k.  It leaves more for me and my daughter!  I was looking around for an oven fried okra recipe and I found one!  I had to change it a little because I didn't have any corn meal.  It tasted great, but it lacked the crunch from when you fry it in oil.  However, when you consider the difference in calories and fat, it's worth it.  I hope you like it too!

Oven Fried Okra

canola oil cooking spray
1 16 ounce bag frozen sliced okra, thawed
1 half-teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 pkg. cornbread mix

Preheat oven to 475 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray the foil generously with cooking spray or use non-stick foil.  Spray the inside of a gallon-sized food storage bag with cooking spray. Add the okra, a half-teaspoon of salt, and the pepper. Close the bag and shake to blend everything well. Let the okra rest for ten minutes to extract juice from the okra. Add the cornbread mix to the bag and shake to evenly coat the okra. Let the bag sit for ten minutes; then, shake it up again.  Use a colander to pour the okra into.  Remove the okra in batches and shake off excess cornmeal.  Place the coated okra on the sheet pan and continue the process until all the okra is on the pan and the pieces are not touching each other. Spray the okra well with cooking spray. Throw the leftover meal away.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven and stir the okra, trying to turn over as many pieces as possible. Lightly spray the okra again. Return it to the oven for another 20 minutes.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Have You Missed Me?

It's been a while since I've had the opportunity to post.  I found out I was going to have to have surgery and my time was taken up with trying to prepare for the end of school and getting everything ready for a sub to take care of my class for the last 2 weeks of school.  I was also trying to cook some meals for the freezer so hubby wouldn't have to do everything.  Plus, I was trying to get as much done around the house as possible because I would not be able to lift anything for a while. After the surgery, my Sunday School class and friends prepared meals for us every night for a week.  I have the best friends ever!  Hubby has even been a very good nurse, cook, etc.

Tonight I was able to make a new meal.  I made Chicken Kabobs!  They were really good and I'm excited to share the recipe with you.  I didn't have any zucchini so I used 2 yellow squash instead.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Chicken Kabobs

 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 medium onion
1 carton of whole white mushrooms
6 – 8 skewers soaked in water for 10 minutes


 1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. minced garlic
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper

Cut chicken into large chunks and marinade in sauce for 30 minutes.  Cut zucchini and squash into large chunks.  Cut onion into quarter chunks and separate pieces.  Make a pattern of veggies and meat onto the skewers.  Lay skewers onto foil sprayed with a cooking spray.  Pour remaining marinade over the skewers and wrap into a foil package.  Place package on the grill and cook for 12 minutes on each side.

Friday, April 20, 2012


After working late tonight, I called home to see what hubby felt like eating for dinner.  What I really meant was, what restaurant do you feel like eating from tonight?  I figured I could pick it up on my way home and if I was lucky, I could go through a drive through.  But, do you know what I heard on the other end of the phone?  "I have dinner in the oven.  I knew you'd be tired tonight."  WOW!!  WHAT A MAN!!  I hurried home and when I got out of the car, I could smell the best aroma coming from the kitchen.  It was so delicious, I had to share his masterpiece with you!

Chicken and Rice Bake

1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 cup of rice, uncooked
1 envelope of dry onion soup mix
1  3 oz. chopped mushrooms, undrained
3 – 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
French’s fried onion rings
1 cup of milk
1  12 oz. pkg. thawed peas and carrots

In a bowl, mix mushroom soup, milk, onion soup, and undrained mushrooms.  Reserve ½ of the soup mixture and add in uncooked rice and thawed vegetables.  Pour the rice / veggie mixture into a 9x13 baking dish sprayed with Pam.  Sprinkle with fried onion rings.  Place chicken on top and pour the remaining soup mixture over chicken.  Sprinkle top with more onion rings and paprika.  Cover with foil.  Bake at 375 degrees for 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Feeling A Little LOCO!

Saturday I was thinking about my weekly menu.  I'm tired of all the regular stuff we keep having.  I'm in a rut and I don't like it, but I've been so busy and tired from work, I haven't had the energy to put too much thought into meals.  This weekend I decided to invest a little time.  Last night we had oven fried pork chops and tonight we had a Mexican chicken salad.  Even my husband commented on how good it was and that we haven't had it in a while.  I shredded up some leftover chicken for this.  Tomorrow night we'll be having ground chicken patties!

Taco Loco

 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 Tb. oil
½ red pepper, thinly sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tomato, diced
Salt and pepper to taste
Shredded lettuce
Shredded cheese
Sour cream  (optional)
Salsa  (optional)
Black olives  (optional)
Jalapenos  (optional)
Guacamole  (optional)
Azteca Salad Shells

Prepare salad shells as directed on package.  Cool for 2 minutes before filling.
Place oil, onion, and pepper in a pot and cook until tender.  Add chicken, salt, and pepper.  Mix well.  Cook until hot over low heat.  Add tomatoes and steam for a couple of minutes.
Place lettuce in salad shells.  Top with chicken mixture, sour cream, cheese, guacamole, salsa, olives, and / or jalapenos.  

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Pinterest  has become my latest addiction.  I have so many boards and a gazillion pins.  O.K.  maybe I am exaggerating a little bit, but not by much.   I get so many great ideas.  I just wish I had the time to do all of them.  My grandchildren and students have benefited the most from this web site because most of the things I have made have been for them.  My grandchildren got some pool / beach coverups with their names embroidered on them for Easter, they made special Christmas ornaments for their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparent, I have made many games for my school children, and the list goes on and on.  A couple of days ago I found a recipe for almond cookies.  I made them tonight for the hubby and myself. They aren't super sweet, but if you like the taste of almond, you will like these.

Almond Cookies

1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. almond extract

Combine these ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

In a separate bowl mix:
2 cups plain flour        OR               You can use 2 cups of self rising flour and NOT
1/2 tsp. baking powder                        use the baking powder and salt.
1/4 tsp. salt
sliced almonds

Add the flour mixture 2 Tablespoons at a time to the wet ingredients until completely combined.

Roll into small balls and flatten slightly. Cook for 9 minutes (they will not look done) at 400 degrees on a lightly greased pan or parchment-lined pan. Cool cookies until they are just warm, but place sliced almonds on top of each cookie as soon as they are removed from the oven. Drizzle a spoonful of glaze on top of the almonds and cookie.  This will help keep the almonds in place.

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
1 Tb. water

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Here Comes Peter Cotton Tail

Easter just isn't the same since my grandparents passed away.  My grandparents always made holidays special.  My grandfather created the best Easter egg hunts.  For all I know, everybody's family did the same thing, but I'll ALWAYS think ours was the best!  My grandparents loved the family coming together.  As an adult, that's my favorite part too. For some reason. whenever I think of food for the Easter spread we always have, coconut comes to mind.  I have the best recipe for coconut cake.  Granddaddy always enjoyed a piece or two of this cake.  It's so moist, it's juicy!  What's your favorite or most memorable  food for Easter dinner?

Coconut Cake

1 white cake mix
1 large bag of coconut
1 small can cream of coconut
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Cool Whip

Prepare cake in a 9x13 inch pan as directed on package.  As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, poke holes in the cake about one inch apart with the handle of a wooden spoon.  Pour cream of coconut evenly over the cake.  Next, pour cream of condensed milk evenly over cake.  Sprinkle liberally with coconut.  Refrigerate until cool.  Frost with Cool Whip and top with remaining coconut.  Store in refrigerator until time to serve.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Fruity Goodness

One of my favorite foods is fruit.  Summer brings all kinds of delicious fruit into our house.  I know it's not summer yet, but I am counting down the days.  Sometimes you need to switch it up a bit instead of eating the same plain fruit.  This recipe for fruit dip gives just enough change to add the yummmm to the same-o, same-o. 

Fruit Dip

1 package French Vanilla instant pudding
1 cup of skim milk
1 cup of fat free sour cream or vanilla yogurt

Combine pudding with milk.  Whip until thick.  Fold in sour cream or yogurt.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Serve with fruit.

Note:   The sour cream makes it a little more tart than the yogurt.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Spinach Artichoke Dip

I made this at Christmas and meant to post it, but I forgot.  It is SO good!  It's a yummy recipe for any type of gathering.  Just looking at the recipe makes me want to fix it!

Spinach Artichoke Dip

14 oz can artichoke hearts drained and chopped
10 oz frozen chopped spinach (thawed)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 1/2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

Mix everything saving about 1/2 cup Monterrey cheese. Spread in 1 qt baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 – 20 min.


Do you like bananas?  I don't like the way bananas feel in my mouth, but I do like the taste of bananas.  I suppose I have a weird texture complex.  I feel the same way about oatmeal, but love foods with oatmeal in them.  I guess we all have oddities and I will be the first to admit that I probably have more than most people.  Is it odd that I sometimes I like to have breakfast for dinner.  Absoultely NOT!  Here's a recipe for Banana Pancakes.  These are good for breakfast OR dinner!  I'm sorry I don't have a picture of this one.

Banana Pancakes

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 over ripe bananas, mashed

Combine flour, white sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together egg, milk, vegetable oil, and bananas.  Stir flour mixture into banana mixture; batter will be slightly lumpy.  Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Cook until pancakes are golden brown on both sides; serve hot.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It's Saucey!

I don't care if it is winter.  I still like to cook on the grill.  I cook on the grill year round. Yes, I have been known to cook on the grill when we've had several inches of snow.  Why do I enjoy grilling so much?  Three words ... less clean up.  When I cook things like chicken, I always wrap it in foil so I don't have flare ups.  Tonight I made barbeque chicken with my own homemade barbeque sauce. To me, it's better than the store bought kind and it doesn't take that long to make.  Try it.  You'll like it!

Barbeque Sauce

 1 cup ketchup
2/3 cup water
2 Tb. brown sugar
2 tsp. dried minced onion
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. instant coffee

Combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil in a saucepan.  Reduce heat and stir constantly for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool completely.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ugh. What to Fix For Dinner

I hate trying to figure out what to fix for dinner when I come home from work.  I didn't make out a menu for this week and now I'm paying for it.  Hubby was out of town last week so dinner was whatever I had on hand.  I went out with friends for Mexican one night and I had enough leftover to have dinner again the next night.  I enjoyed the break from cooking, but Hubby is home now so the cooking must resume.  I looked through some recipes I hadn't tried and found this one.  I cut the recipe in half in case we didn't like it.  I wish I hadn't now so I could have put the other half in the freezer.  Oh well, live and learn. 

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

3/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 can chicken broth
1 Tb. Dijon mustard
¼ tsp black pepper
1 ½ cup instant rice, uncooked
2 cups cooked cubed chicken
½ cup diced ham
1  6 oz. package shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
½ cup plain bread crumbs
2 Tb. butter, melted
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Whisk together sour cream or plain yogurt, chicken broth, mustard, and pepper in a large bowl until well blended.  Add rice, chicken, ham, Swiss cheese, and peas and carrots.  Mix with a spoon.  Pour into a 9x13 pan or 2 smaller pans for freezing.  Mix bread crumbs, butter, and Parmesan cheese.  Spread evenly over the top of the casserole.  Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.

Tip:   If you don't care for sour cream, you can substitute plain yogurt.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!!

It was time to fix the traditional New Years dinner.  I smoked a pork tender loin on the smoker, made black eyed peas, corn bread, and collard greens.  I also found a new recipe for potatoes and fixed them.  Hubby and I both agreed, we will have these again!  They are crispy around the edges and very tasty.  

Crushed Potatoes 

8 - 12 whole New Potatoes or Red Potatoes
Olive Oil 
Salt To Taste
Black Pepper To Taste

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add in as many potatoes as you wish to make and cook them until they are fork-tender.
On a baking sheet, generously drizzle olive oil. Place tender potatoes on the baking sheet leaving plenty of room between each potato.  With a potato masher, gently press down each potato until it slightly mashes. Brush the tops of each crushed potato generously with more olive oil.
Sprinkle potatoes with salt and black pepper.
Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

New Years Eve Celebrations

 Last night I had the best dinner since Christmas Eve.  What made it so special?  I had both of my kids and grandkids here.  Too bad my son-in-law couldn't make it.  He had to work.  It's not that I made a fabulous dinner, but the company was the best!  My husband and son were at our son's house all day installing a new kitchen sink, faucet, and disposal.  This is always good bonding time.  My daughter continued a tradition she and a dear friend have had since 8th grade.  They ALWAYS go to lunch and a movie on New Years Eve.  I'm so glad that she and her friend do this every year.  I had the best job though.  I got to keep and love on two of the sweetest babies in the WORLD!  We all had special things to do during the day, but we all came back together for dinner, conversation, and entertainment from the grandkids.  Since we were all busy during the day, dinner was soup and salad.  This soup is another one of my favorites.  There was no better way to end 2011.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

1 12 oz. pkg. of frozen chopped broccoli
1 15 oz. Cheez Whiz
1 pkg. fresh sliced mushrooms
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 medium onion, chopped
1/8 tsp basil
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 ½ cups of milk

Break the mushrooms into smaller pieces.  Mix all ingredients together.  Heat and stir frequently until hot.

This is what was leftover.  I forgot to take the picture after I made it.