Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

We will be taking some time off to enjoy the holidays with family and friends.

Have a happy and safe holiday, we'll be back in 2012!!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011


These come from my husband's best friend from college.  These are a Christmas treat at their house.  I finally begged enough, and they shared the recipe.  Enjoy!!!

1 lb Lean ground beef
1 lb Hot breakfast sausage
1 lb Velveeta Cheese
Oregano to taste
1 - 2 pkgs Rye Cocktail Bread
Sauté beef & sausage drain.  Crumble meat to a fine texture.  Cut Velveeta into sm pieces & "knead" into sausage, (it needs to still be VERY warm, to melt cheese), mix thoroughly. Place a sm amount on a slice of bread (you don't want it piled high or touching the edge). Place on cookie sheet & freeze.  Bake at 375 until bubbly. (5 - 10 minutes). Broil the last few minutes to toast edges.  You should end up after baking, with a crispy edge & dry bottom.  Great when you have company for breakfast.  They make great appetizers also.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pam's Cheese Ball

This came from my friend for over 30 years (the one I do OAMC with).  It was the cheese ball her mom made for special occasions and the holidays.  It is oldie,but a goodie!   :)

Cheese Ball
16 oz Cream cheese
2 - 5 oz jars Old English cheddar cheese
5 oz jar Roka bleu cheese
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS Onion, grated
½ c Pecans or parsley, chopped
Let cheeses soften. Mix together, add Worcestershire sauce and onion. Roll in chopped pecans or parsley. Serve with your choice of crackers

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Turkey Cranberry Pinwheels

1 can crescent dinner rolls or seamless dough sheet
4 TBS cranberry chutney or whole berry cranberry sauce
4 slices thinly sliced turkey breast
2/3 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Spray large cookie sheet with cooking spray or use parment paper. If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough; press into 12x8-inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal. If using dough sheet: Unroll dough; press into 12x8-inch rectangle. Spread cranberry chutney on top of rectangle, within 1/4 inch of edges. Arrange sliced turkey evenly over cranberry chutney. Sprinkle shredded cheese over sliced turkey. Starting with longest side, roll up; pinch long side to seal. With serrated knife, cut into 24 slices. Place cut side down on cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheets. Serve warm.

Made these for Bunko last night.  They were quite a hit.  We decided the leftovers would be good for breakfast with coffee.  I used whole berry sauce, processed in the magic bullet and warmed it to serve on the side, and they were great room temperature.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Gifts from the Kitchen #3

The first salsa is one I make in the winter when fresh tomatoes are not great.  Everyone who has this cannot believe it is made with canned tomatoes.  Make ahead and divide into smaller jars, add to a basket with chips and they have a great snack basket.

             Easy Texas Salsa

1 sm can (4 ½ oz) Black Olives, chopped
1 sm can (4 ½ oz) Green Chilies, chopped
1 sm can (4 ½ oz) Jalapeno Relish chopped
1 - 14 oz can Diced Tomatoes
4 Green onions, finely chopped
1 ½ TBS Oil
¾ TBS Vinegar
1 tsp Garlic powder (can use a sm spoonful of jarred chopped garlic)
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Pepper
Combine & refrigerate overnight. Makes 1 qt. An empty Miracle Whip jar is perfect. Everyone raves & can’t believe it is made with can tomatoes.

      Salsa Mix in a Jar
1 ½ c dried cilantro
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 c dried chopped onion
1 TBS salt
1/4 c dried red pepper flakes
1 TBS pepper
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients until well blended. Put into a 1-pint jar. Put the following instructions on a gift tag:
           Spicy Salsa
Blend 2 TBS salsa mix with one 10 oz can Mexican-style tomatoes. Serve with tortilla chips.
          Salsa Spread
Blend 2 TBS salsa mix with 1 c softened cream cheese. Serve with crackers or tortilla chips

This mix is great in a basket wtih chips and a cute bowl.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Blue Cheese Cranberry Pear Toasts

Not sure where this came from, it is great for this time of year when you always need an appetizer.

24 – 1/2 inch thick slices French bread
cooking spray
4 oz cream cheese
4 oz blue cheese
1/4 c pecans
1/4 c dried cranberries
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Bosc pear, very thinly sliced
Spray both sides of the bread slices with the cooking spray. Arrange bread slices on a large baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, about 7 minutes. In a small food processor combine the cream cheese, blue cheese, pecans, cranberries and cayenne pepper; process until just combined, but not smooth. Spread the cheese mixture onto one side of the toasts. Arrange a thin slice of pear on each toast. Bake at 425 for 5-6 minutes or until lightly browned. Yield: 24 toasts

Linked to:
Eat at Home
Ingredient Spotlight

Friday, November 18, 2011

Gifts from the Kitchen #2

Happy Friday!  This is the second installment of Gift from the Kitchen. Today has drink mixes and creamers.  Add any of these to a basket with a mug and a book for the recipient.

Hot Cocoa Mix in a Jar

6 ½ c powdered milk
1 pkg non-instant chocolate pudding mix
1 c powdered chocolate drink mix
½ c powdered non-dairy creamer
½ c powdered sugar
½ c unsweetened cocoa powder
In a large bowl, combine powdered milk, chocolate pudding mix, chocolate drink mix powder, creamer, confectioners' sugar, and cocoa. Divide the mixture between two 1 quart jars. Seal, and decorate as desired. These can be stored in a dry area for up to 3 months. Attach a tag with the following instructions: Hot Cocoa: Dissolve 1/3 c cocoa mix in 1 c boiling water.

Cappuccino in a Jar

2/3 c instant coffee
1 c non-dairy creamer
1 c powdered chocolate drink mix
½ c sugar
¾ tsp cinnamon
3/8 tsp nutmeg
Have ready 2 (12 oz) canning jars. Put the instant coffee into a food processor, and process to a fine powder. If you don't have a food processor, put it into a large plastic bag, and crush with a rolling pin. In a large bowl, combine creamer, chocolate mix, instant coffee, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir together until well mixed. Spoon into 2 - 12 oz jars. Attach a note to each jar that reads: Cappuccino: Mix 3 TBS of powder with 6 oz hot water.

Peach Tea Mix

1 c instant tea
1 - 3 oz pkg Peach Jell-O
2 c sugar
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; mix well. Store in an airtight container. Give with instructions to serve. For one mug use 2 tsp tea mix with 8 oz hot water. Makes about 3 1/2 c tea mix. Can use Strawberry Jell-O or your choice of flavor.

Snickerdoodle Coffee Mix

1 c sugar
1 c powdered milk
½ c vanilla flavored powdered creamer
½ c baking cocoa
3 TBS instant coffee granules
½ tsp allspice
¼ tsp cinnamon
Combine ingredients and store in an airtight container. Attach instructions. Makes about 3 cups Instructions: Add 3 TBS mix to 3/4 c boiling water; stir well. Makes one serving.

Mocha Creamer

1 jar non dairy powdered creamer (6 oz)
1 c chocolate mix for milk
½ tsp cinnamon
In a medium bowl, combine creamer, chocolate mix and cinnamon. Store in an airtight container. Give with serving instructions. Makes about 2 ½ c creamer (or 4 gifts).  To serve: Stir 1 TBS creamer into 6 oz of hot coffee.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Corn Casserole

This always makes an apperance at Thanksgiving and Christmas at our house.  Not sure where it came from, probably the Jiffy Cornbread box.

1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can creamed corn (not drained)
1 c sour cream
1/2 c melted butter
Mix all ingredients and pour into (greased or sprayed with cooking spray) 8x8" casserole dish. Cook uncovered for 55-60 minutes at 350 degrees.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Easy Spinach Artichoke Dip

2 pkgs frozen chopped spinach
1 jar Alfredo sauce
1 can plain artichokes, chopped
8 oz Italian blend cheese
1 TBS minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Mix together all ingredients but half of the cheese in a oven safe bowl or pan. Place in oven and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes cover with remaining cheese & bake till melted and slightly golden

Eat at Home

Pam's Artichoke Dip

This comes from my SIL, she is not an artichoke fan, but loves this dip!

1 can artichokes (plain, not marinated) drained then mashed
1 c mayonnaise
1 c parmesan cheese
garlic powder (to taste) I probably used a teaspoon or more
Stir all together, nake at 350 for 40 minutes

Eat at Home

Impossible Quiche

Wish I knew where this came from – possibly Bisquick box

2 c Ham, cubed
1 sm can Mushrooms, drained
½ c Onion, chopped
1 c Cheddar Cheese, grated
1 ½ c Milk
3 Eggs
¾ c Bisquick
Lightly grease pie plate. Layer in order given up to milk. Mix milk, eggs & bisquick. Pour on top. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.

Eat at Home

The Casserole (Chicken, Tuna, or Turkey)

My “favorite” aunt makes this for any occasion you need to take a dish. It also turns up for Sunday lunch after church, she lowers the temperature while at church and we come home and lunch is ready.

1-2 c Chicken or tuna or turkey (cut up) (amount is what you have)
½ bag Egg noodles (cooked)
1 Sm jar pimento
1 sm can mushrooms, drained
1-2 can(s) Cream of mushroom soup (or Cream of Chicken)
1 can Water chestnuts, drained (optional)
½-1 pkg Seasoning Blend (frozen sm bag of onions, & green peppers)
1-2 c Grated Cheddar Cheese
Pepper to taste
Cook noodles per pkg. Sauté the seasoning mix pkg. Combine all ingredients in bowl- mix together & turn into a greased casserole. Bake at 350 until heated through & bubbling. 30 minutes) if you make this up in advance or make enough to freeze allow additional time for cooking. You can top with crushed potato chips, crushed croutons, or seasoned breadcrumbs if you like.

Eat at Home

Monday, November 14, 2011

Super Easy Chili - 3 Ingredients

This came from At Home My Way, it was quick, easy and good!  Thanks Gina!  This is so easy, a friend's high school son even made it and liked it.

1 ½ lb browned hamburger (drained)
2 cans "chili beans"(not kidney beans or pinto beans but the cans that say "chili beans")
30 oz tomato sauce

Dump all the ingredients in the pot or crock-pot, give it a good stir. You can cook this on top of the stove for 30 minutes to an hour, or cook in the crock-pot on low however long you want (up to 8-10 hours). You can add a packet of chili mix, but this chili is a little more tomato-y and it works fine. The "chili" beans have plenty of seasoning in them and the chili will still be seasoned and taste strongly of "chili".

Friday, November 11, 2011

Gifts from the Kitchen #1

Happy Friday!  I'm going to start a Friday series, Gifts from the Kitchen.  I'll post items you can make and give.  We all like to give a small gift to the people who are special to us, the childrens' teachers, the postman, the list goes on.......  I hope you find something to help you.

I wish I could give credit where it is due - but........ I have had some of these for 20 plus years!  I've given you two breads and two soups and a dessert.  When you add a bread mix, soup mix, and a dessert mix to a basket you have a perfect gift.
              Beer/7 - Up Bread
3 c Self rising flour
1/3 c Sugar
2 TBS Butter, melted
12 oz Beer or 7 –Up
Mix dry ingredients, add butter then beverage. Put into greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 45 – 50 minutes, or until done. It will sound hollow when done.

             Quick Muffin Recipe
1 c self rising flour
1 TBS sugar
1 TBS mayonnaise
Mix thoroughly and spoon into greased muffin tins. Bake about 15 minutes. Makes about 6 muffins. You may add berries, chocolate chips or any other flavoring.

               Chili Mix in a Jar
3 c dried beans (pink, red, or kidney -- sorted).
Put into a jar or large bag.
3 TBS chili powder
2 TBS dehydrated onions
1 TBS garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp salt
½ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
Combine spices and put into a small bag.
         Include in your gift basket:
8 oz. can tomato sauce
2 14oz. cans diced tomatoes in juice
Label: Wash beans. Put into pot with spices. Cook until done, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Meanwhile, brown 1 lb. ground beef (if desired), and drain. Add meat to the beans with the tomatoes and sauce. Simmer to blend flavors.

               Italian Soup Mix in a Jar
½ c dried pinto beans
½ c dried pink beans
½ c dried kidney beans
1 c small pasta, uncooked
1 TBS dried parsley
1 TBS chicken bouillon
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp salt
½ tsp dried, minced garlic
Layer beans in order listed in a one quart wide mouth jar; set aside. Place pasta in a plastic zipping bag; gently pack on top of beans. Secure lid; set aside. Toss remaining ingredients together; place seasonings in a small plastic zipping bag and add to jar. Tie on instructions. Instructions: Set plastic bags to the side; pour beans into a mixing bowl. Rinse with water; drain. Cover beans with water; let soak overnight. Rinse and pour into a 5 quart Dutch oven; add 8 cs water, a 28 oz can crushed tomatoes, seasoning packet, one c sliced carrots, one c sliced celery and one c chopped onions. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 2 hours; uncover and boil gently until thickened, about 35 minutes. Stir in pasta; heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Makes 2 quarts. Gift giving idea: Slip a soup mix inside a new thermos and tie on some mittens...a clever gift for a winter celebration.

                S'Mores in a Jar
1 sleeve graham crackers, crushed
1/3 c brown sugar
1 ½ c mini marshmallows
1 c milk chocolate chips
Layer ingredients in the order listed in one quart, wide mouth jar. Secure lid; attach instructions.
Pour mix into a greased 9 x 9" baking pan; set aside. Whisk 1/2 c melted butter and 2 tsp vanilla extract together; pour over mix. Stir well; pat lightly into pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Cool; cut into squares.

Hamburger Stew

A military friend shared this and we have made it for years!!

1 - 1 1/2 lbs hamburger, browned
3 cans tomato soup
4 – 5 med Potatoes, cut into sm cubes
1 bag baby carrots, cut up into rings
Brown hamburger. In large soup pot, add soup and fill half way with water (probably 5 cans worth). Add potatoes, carrots, and pepper. Simmer until veggies are tender.  Probably could put in the crock pot in the morning and cook all day.  mmm -- may have to try that next time.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Quick Chicken & Dumplings

I made this tonight for a friend who is in labor and she'll have it this weekend when they get home. So good and what a great comfort food!

This is from my SIL Terri.  We do splurge on name brand biscuits.  My guys prefer no peas, so I serve this with a salad instead.  Enjoy.

4 c water
3 c chicken, cooked and shredded
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 tsp chicken bouillon granules
1 tsp pepper
1 – 2 cans buttermilk biscuits
1 c frozen peas, thawed (optional)

Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil over med heat stirring often. Cut biscuits in quarters and roll each into a ball. Drop biscuit pieces one at a time into boiling mixture stirring gently. Reduce heat to low and cover. Allow to simmer 15 to 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Add peas during the last 5 minutes.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The General's Carrot Cake

This came from a General’s wife we were in the Air Force with. This was the General’s favorite cake and she would make and  freeze and pull out when need (or wanted).

2 c flour
2 c sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 ½ c oil
2 c carrots, grated
4 eggs
20 oz can crushed pineapple

Mix dry ingredients, mix wet & add to dry. Pour into greased & floured 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 for 30 - 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

8 oz cream cheese, softened
½ - 1 sticks butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla
1 box powdered sugar
Beat until smooth & frost.

Thuss cake can be made when you have time & frozen. It can be doubled & bake in whatever size you want. Freeze unfrosted.

I've also post this at Ingredient Spotlight at Eat at Home

Mamaw 2’s Applesauce Raisin Cookies

My grandmother always brought me these when we would come home to visit. Sometimes I would even get a care package in the mail.

Sift & set aside,
4 ½ c Flour
½ tsp Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Cloves

Mix until creamy,
1 ½ c Crisco
2 c Sugar
add 1 egg and beat until light and fluffy

Mix together and add to egg mixture
1 c Applesauce
1 tsp Baking Soda

Gradually add dry ingredients. Add 1 c chopped pecans, & 1 ½ c raisins. Mix well & drop by spoonfuls on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 12 – 15 minutes.

This makes a lot of cookies. These will be a soft cookie.

I've also linked this to Ingredient Spotlight over at Eat at Home.

Gifts from the Kitchen

If you are like us when the kids were in school - there were teachers, office staff, school nurse, and others that you wanted to recognize for taking care of them day in and day out. And don’t forget everyone else on your list, mailman, neighbors etc. Of course you can’t buy something for everyone, so gift mixes or pre-made treats are perfect. I was just thinking of this when Tiffany posted these great snack mixes.

I’ll post some mixes I’ve used over the years. I’ll apologize in advance that I can’t give credit to the original owner, some were passed down, some were from friends and some I just don’t know.

Here’s to a Happy Holiday!


Monday, November 7, 2011

Cookie Gun Dough

With the holidays around the corner it will be time to make these.  This my favorite recipe.

1 c Crisco
1 c Sugar
1 Egg
2 c Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
¼ tsp Salt
2 tsp Vanilla
Cream sugar and Crisco. Add vanilla, eggs then dry ingredients. Put in gun & "shoot". Bake at 375 for 7- 9 minutes.

PS  Don't have a cookie gun - watch for them to be on sell half-price after Christmas.  I have been known to buy a couple to have for shower gifts.  What better way to start a new brides kitchen!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tater Tot Casserole

This was and still is Matthew's favorite.  This recipe was given to me when he was in 6th grade. It satisfied boys then and still does today!

1 ½ lbs Hamburger, browned
1 pkg Dry Onion Soup
1 can (4 1/2 oz) Mushrooms, un-drained
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 c Milk
1 pkg Frozen Tater Tots
Mix all ingredients except tater tots and place in greased 9 x 13 pan. Top with tater tots. Bake at 350 uncovered 45 minutes, cover and bake about 30 more until hot and bubbly.  Can be made into 2 8x8 pans and frozen.

Posted to Newlyweds-blog  on Sweet Pea's weekly Linky

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Crab Puffs

I got this recipe from my SIL Donna.
We've made it for more years than either of us probably want to admit too!  These are a "holiday treat" for us.

1 pkg English Muffins
1 stick Butter
6 oz jar Old English Cheese Spread
2 TBS Mayonnaise
6 ½ oz can Crabmeat
½ tsp Lemon Pepper
½ tsp Seasoning Salt
½ tsp Garlic Powder
Cream butter, cheese, & mayo. Add seasonings and mix. Rinse crabmeat & squeeze out water. Add to cheese mixture & mix. Split english muffins and spread with a generous amount of mix. Freeze for 1 hour. Broil until golden, cut into quarters and serve. Best if served warm. Can be kept frozen for months. Great to keep in freezer for unexpected guests.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cranberry Shortbreads

These have become my go to cookie.  They are a little time consuming as you have to roll them into balls.  But my plate always comes home empty!  To me that is the best compliment!

1 ¼ c soft butter
1 c powered sugar
2 ¼ c flour
1 - 6 oz pkg craisins, chopped**
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the flour a little at a time until combined. Stir in craisins. Roll dough into 1 inch balls; flatten with glass dipped in sugar. Bake at 325 for 12 - 14 minutes. **I always run my chopper over the craisins.

ok I  had a linky button for Eat at Home's Ingredient Spotlight - I'll fix it after work tonight sorry :(
Please go to Eat at Home and see other GREAT stufff at Tiffany's B
log Button

Saturday, October 29, 2011

White Popcorn

When we were stationed in Japan, Michelle made this all the time. I finally got her to share before I left.

6 – 8 c plain pop corn
1 block white bark

Pop corn, (I use my air popper or the microwave). Melt the bark (in the microwave or in a double boiler). Put the popped corn in your largest bowl & pour the melted "chocolate" over the corn and STIR!!!!!! Stir until coated, pour out onto wax paper and let "dry" (about a ½ hour).

Friday, October 28, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ingredient Spotlight

It is Ingredient Spotlight Wednesday at Eat at Home - today's ingredient - Tortillas .  I look forward to Wednesday because of this -- but you keep checking back as the list grows!!

I added the Feta Cheese Roll Ups from this blog.  This was the first thing to pop into mind when I saw todays ingredient.

Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

How I Spent My Weekend

I have the BEST Aunt ever!! Yes, she reads this :) ! Last week was my birthday, and she took us and Alma to Austin to the Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School for a "Master Chef" class, “Holiday Food 101.”

We started this “food related weekend” with dinner in Austin at Jasper’s, Chef Kent Rathburn’s (Chef Rathburn beat Bobby Flay in an Iron Chef challenge) restaurant. The staff, service and food were exceptional.

After breakfast Saturday we headed over to Cordon Bleu. What a place. We were greeted by Chef Paul and his Sous-Chef’s (students of the school) of the day. We were given our aprons and told to pick a table. There were four tables of “new students.”  Halfway through preparation of the recipe we were given, you switched tables and had to finish something you hadn’t started.  WHAT A BLAST! We were able to cook a whole meal with the chef and his students. We are still trying to remember all of the techniques that he shared. I recommend that if you have an opportunity to attend a class, it will be exciting and memorable. We were even able to take in the Open House class, “Cupcakes.” We left with another great recipe and a few tips to make great cupcakes.

After a quick trip to the restaurant supply store that was all the talk (we were restrained from a long shopping experience as they were only open for 5 more minutes when we arrived). :(  We headed to San Antonio for MORE food. Saturday evening we walked along the Riverwalk and ate the famous Mi Tierra’s Café of San Antonio. This café has been in business since 1941 and is open 24 hours a day! Again we had excellent service and food.

Sunday morning came and it was time to leave – the weekend was coming to a close. All I can say is it was a great weekend! One I will always remember. There aren’t words to really say Thank You! You are truly the BEST Aunt (and my favorite) and Friend (Alma) a girl could have! Love to you both! XOXO

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Easy Stuffed Shells

Ok, so college football (Gig'em Aggies) was about to start and we still needed dinner!  I was really craving Pasta with Vodka Sauce and remembered I had saved this from Pocket Change Gourmet (thanks Liz and Doug).  After doctoring a jar of Ragu with heavy cream (ok, so I cheated - an experiment that worked!).  A new hit was created!  We will definitely have this again (I will try and freeze a few and see if the cream separates). 
1 box of Jumbo Pasta Shells
1 jar of Spaghetti Sauce
30-36 meatballs, thawed
2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
Cook shells according to directions on box.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Place 1/2 cup sauce to a greased 13x9 baking dish.  Add a pinch of cheese to each shell.  Then add a meatball.  Add remaining sauce.  Sprinkle on remaining cheese.  Cover and bake at 350 for about 35 minutes.  Uncover and continue baking for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Easy Tortellini Soup

Wish I could give credit to the rightful owner for this - but I've made it for YEARS and shared so many times.  This is one of my "go to" meals if I need to take a meal in the winter.

4 c chicken broth
1 pkg refrigerated cheese tortellini (can use dried, 1 ½ - 2 c)
1 can cannellini or white kidney beans
1 can Italian seasoned diced tomatoes
1 ½ tsp dried basil (usually the tomatoes have enough seasoning)
In large saucepan bring broth to boil, add tortellini reduce heat & cook until tender, 5 minutes. Add beans and tomatoes and basil (if adding - I usually taste and add if too bland); heat another 5 minutes or so until hot. Serve with Parmesan cheese on top. (Great for a crowd)  *Browned hamburger or Italian sausage can be added if someone in your house misses meat!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Easy Texas Salsa

4 ½ oz can Black Olives, chopped
4 ½ oz can Green Chilies, chopped
4 ½ oz can El Pato Jalapeno Relish (sm green can at Walmart)
14 oz can Diced Tomatoes
4 Green onions, finely chopped
1 TBS Oil
1 TBS Vinegar
1 tsp Garlic Powder (can use a sm spoonful of jarred chopped garlic)
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Pepper

Combine all ingredient and refrigerate overnight (can be made and used right away - better next day). This makes 1 quart and an empty mayo jar is perfect. This is great in the winter months when tomatoes are not perfect.  My MIL shared this YEARS ago and I can't tell you how many quarts I've made over the years, everyone raves and can’t believe it is made with can tomatoes.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Terri's Pumpkin Bread

3 c Sugar
3 ½ c Flour
2 tsp Baking soda
½ tsp Salt
2 tsp Nutmeg
2 tsp Cinnamon
2 tsp Allspice
2 tsp Cloves
4 Eggs
1 can Pumpkin
1 c Oil
1 c Water
1 c Raisins (optional)

Mix all dry ingredients and liquids in separate bowls. Combine together until smooth. Grease and flour 3 loaf pans. Bake at 325 for 40 – 45minutes. Can be made into mini loaves, bake about 30 – 35 minutes.   This can be frozen, but it never lasts that long in our house!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Banana Bread

1 c sugar
½ c shortening (butter, margarine, crisco)(I used butter)
2 eggs
3 bananas, mashed
2 c flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp salt
nuts or chocolate chips, optional
Cream the sugar and shortening with a mixer. Add the eggs and bananas and mix well. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well blended. Pour into loaf pans that have been greased. Bake 50 - 60 minutes at 350 or until done. Take the loaves out of the pan while they still hot. Makes 2 loaves.

Thanks to Tiffany at for another GREAT recipe!  I had hoped to freeze some for mornings when we are running late and want to still grab something for breakfast - but we ate both loaves within a couple of days!

This is linked to Eat at Home Quick Breads

Monterey Ranch Bread

2 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese, or Cheddar Jack Cheese
¾ c Ranch Salad Dressing
4 Bolillo or Hoagie Rolls, split in half lengthwise to make 8 slices
4 TBS butter, melted
In a bowl, combine the cheese and salad dressing; set aside. Brush slices of bread with butter. Place on baking sheet. Broil in oven 4 inches from the heat until golden brown. Spread with cheese mixture. Bake at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.

Once again I was asked to bring an appetizer for a Labor Day cookout. Knowing the crowd doesn't mind being guinea pigs. I made this on a big loaf of french bread from Sam's with double the "stuff". There were TWO slices left - so I guess it was a hit. I was later asked how do I always seem to find wonderful recipes, I thanked all my internet blog friends! Enjoy!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Faux Fried Ice Cream Sundaes

1 qt vanilla ice cream
3 c crushed corn flakes/cinnamon toast crunch or golden grahams
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
2 tsp of sugar
1 can refrigerated cinnamon rolls (regular, not Grands)
chocolate sauce
Scoop ice cream into 8 – 1/2 cup size rounded balls. Place on baking sheet and freeze until firm, about 1 hour. In a shallow dish combine crushed corn flakes, cinnamon and sugar. Roll the ice cream balls in the corn flake mixture, covering completely. Repeat as needed. Freeze ice cream again, until firm (about 3 hours). When ready to serve make cinnamon roll waffles. Spray waffle maker with cooking spray. Heat waffle maker. Separate dough into individual cinnamon rolls. Place up to 4 cinnamon rolls at a time on waffle maker. Close lid of waffle maker; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until light golden brown. Place cinnamon roll waffle on plate, top with ice cream and drizzle with chocolate sauce.
These were a hit at the farewell dinner for Michael & Abby.  Really though - lightly cook the cinnamon rolls, the first ones were hard to eat. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

We were Test Cooks!!

We can finally say we were test cooks last month for Tricia at   It was exciting to preview the menu!  The homemade chicken nuggets, buffalo chicken rolls and pizza sticks didn't last long, plus the girls at work are dying for the recipes - now I can share.   If the heat wave here (maybe 106 today) in Dallas ever goes away, maybe we'll grill again - it's just too hot to cook or eat!!!
I have already been able to "gift" a meal for a family that needed a little TLC.  I really loved having something to give when the call came - but it was really hard to choose, as all of what we made we wanted to keep.
If you don't follow Tricia, you should.  Her recipes and menus are easy to follow.  Hers is the first blog I open on the first of the month.  Thanks Tricia for all the great recipes!

Eat at Home Giveaway!

Visit Eat at Home for Tiffany's new e-book, Feast in 15, Speed Cooking Weeknight Dinners.


Looking through the Table of Contents just makes me hungry! With it being an e-book you can start cooking right away, or enter her giveaway and try to win one.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Artichoke Salsa

6 ½ oz jar marinated artichoke hearts
½ c black olives
½ c grape tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
2 TBS fresh basil
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste
Drain artichokes, reserving 2 TBS of the marinating liquid. Coarsely chop the artichokes, olives and tomatoes. Place in a small bowl. Finely mince garlic and basil. Stir into bowl along with seasonings and reserved marinade. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving. Serve with pitas, pita chips, tortilla chips or bagel chips.
Ok, for those who know me, I almost ALWAYS have to put my touch on a recipe.  Since I was shopping in a hurry I didn't really read the recipe standing in front of the artichokes and bought plain by mistake, and the grape tomatoes were very unreasonable.  So below is what I really used -----

12 oz plain artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 1/2 oz can chopped black olives
1 can petite diced tomatoes, drained
2 cloves garlic
2 TBS fresh basil
Salt and pepper, to taste
A couple of squirts of fat free italian dressing (enough to bind it together)
I made the day before and let marinate.  We decided this would be wonderful over pasta, served warm or cold with chicken.

Eat at Home

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo

8 oz whole wheat pasta
1 c broccoli
1 lb chicken, cooked and cubed (used 3 chicken thighs)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
½ c milk
½ c grated Parmesan
½ tsp pepper
Cook pasta according to package directions. Add broccoli to the pasta for the last four minutes of cooking. Drain pasta and broccoli. Add chicken. In a separate bowl, mix soup, milk, cheese and pepper. Stir soup mixture in with pasta, broccoli and chicken. Heat through on stove top. Top with extra Parmesan cheese.
Thought I had cream of mushroom - used cream of chicken instead.  I would add more broccoli and at least 1 can of sliced mushrooms.  This has a nice mild flavor and everyone had seconds!!  (that's the best review for something new!!!)

Dreamsicle Pie

8 oz Cool-Whip
2 cartons (12oz total) Yoplait Orange Crème flavor yogurt
1 graham cracker Pie Crust,
Thaw the whipped topping. Fold the whipped topping into the Orange Crème yogurt. Pour the filling into the pie crust. Cover and freeze. To serve: Thaw pie on counter 5 minutes so it's easier to cut. Cut and serve frozen. Put any leftovers back in the freezer. Variations: Make this with any flavor yogurt. Key Lime, lemon, and mixed berry are the best. Use a reduced fat crust and Cool Whip Free and light yogurt only 2 Weight Watchers points per serving. Serves 8.  Not sure where this came from I've had it for years and usually make with strawberry yogurt instead of orange yogurt

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ham Tetrazzini

1 c ham, chopped
1/4 c onion, chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup
½ can water (may need a little more if too thick)
1 c cheddar cheese, grated

Sauté ham and onion in pan for just a minute, until onion is soft. Add soup and water. Mix well. Add cheese, stir until melted. Serve over spaghetti noodles or any shape of macaroni. Frozen ham will defrost will being sautéed.  Serve with a salad and garlic bread.  If making ahead do not add cheese, reheat and then add cheese.

A friend made this for dinner for us over 25 years ago.  It is always on the menu after serving a ham.  We usually chop several bags of ham and freeze.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Terri's Corn Dip

8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 bunch green onions
2 cans mexi-corn, drained
1 -3 TBS mayo (or enough to hold the dip together)
Cayenne to taste

Mix and refrigerate until chilled. Serve cold.
I have a friend that will do anything (almost) for a batch of this.  I always double it so we can eat it and so that she has some after we leave.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Artichoke Bread

1 loaf french bread
1 can artichoke hearts in water, drained
1 TBS olive oil
½ c Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ tsp. pepper
1 c shredded mozzarella cheese
1 gallon freezer bag

Slice bread. In a bowl, combine drained artichokes, garlic, olive oil, Parmesan cheese and pepper. Spread evenly over sliced bread. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Place under broiler for 5-7 minutes or until bread is toasty and cheese is melted and bubbly. Freezing Directions: Prepare as directed above but DO NOT broil. Instead, place on a cookie sheet and flash freeze, then place in a freezer bag, label, and return to freezer. To serve: Place under broiler for 5-7 minutes or until bread is toasty and cheese is melted and bubbly. Servings: 4

Made this for a farewell dinner.  I did (almost) cut through the bread (like scoring).  That made it easy to "pull-a-part".

Eat at Home

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pesto Torte

16 oz cream cheese
1 c butter, softened
1 small jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
10 oz pesto
½ c parmesean cheese
1 c grated cheddar cheese

Beat butter and cream cheese together till smooth and well blended. Stir in the cheddar cheese. In another small bowl mix together the pesto and the parmesean cheese. Line a 10 to 12 ounce size bowl with plastic wrap. Divide the cream cheese mix into three parts and spoon 1/3 of the cheese into the bowl. Top that layer with 1/3 of the tomatoes. Spread 1/3 of the pesto/cheese mix over top of the tomatoes. Repeat the layers using the remaining mixtures. Fold the plastic over the torte and seal well. Chill overnight till firm. Unmold onto a plate and remove plastic wrap. Serve with a crusty bread or firm crackers.. You can also divide this and make two smaller tortes using custard-type bowls.
* I put the sun-dried tomatoes in the magic bullet and chopped to be close to the same size as the pesto.
I took this to dinner and EVERYONE thought I'd bought it!!!
Since it makes two I plan to freeze one - will let you know how it turns out!!!

This is linked to Eat at Home Ingredient Spotlight.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Chicken Divan

2 c chicken, cooked and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 c broccoli florets
3 cans cream of chicken soup
½ c mayonnaise
2 c cheddar cheese, shredded
1 sleeve saltine crackers, crushed
4 TBS butter, melted
Combine the chicken, broccoli, soup and mayonnaise in a 13×9 dish. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of mixture. Combine crushed crackers and melted butter. Spread on top of shredded cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 1 hour. Remove foil for last 15 minutes of baking. This recipe is so easy to double if you’re making it for a large group (or if you want leftovers!). I have also swapped the chicken for leftover Thanksgiving turkey in this dish and it is fantastic!

We used 3 chicken breasts cut up and the small bag of frozen broccoli cuts (cooked for 5 minutes).
This came from a friend while we were stationed in England.  It quickly became a favorite, and a great dish to take  when you have to deliver a meal.

Chicken Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese

¼ c uncooked orzo
3 c grilled chicken breast, chopped
1 ½ c arugula
1 c grape tomatoes, halved
½ c red bell pepper, chopped
¼ c red onion, chopped
2 TBS fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
2 TBS red wine vinegar
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 ½ oz goat cheese, crumbled
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well. Combine pasta, chicken and the next six ingredients in a large bowl. Toss well. Combine vinegar, oil, salt and black pepper in a small bowl, and combine with a whisk. Drizzle mixture over pasta. Toss well to coat. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve warm or cold. (I did end up substituting baby spinach for the arugula and I used fresh mozzarella in place of the goat cheese. However, I did keep the spinach out when I stored it. I didn’t want it to wilt. I will bring the spinach in a separate Ziploc bag and add it when I’m ready to eat it.)

Ok, so Walmart looked at us like we had grown 3 heads when we asked for arugula. We subbed Walmart's Herb Mix Salad Blend and Tomato Basil Feta Cheese (not real fond of goat cheese).  We did chiffon the salad blend to be more the "size" of the salad.  This was quick and easy to put together.  Will be great for lunches for several days.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Homemade Chicken, Ranch and Rice Soup

2 TBS olive oil
1 med onion, finely chopped
2 lg carrots, peeled and sliced
3 stalks of celery, chopped
3 TBS minced garlic
2 lg blsl chicken breasts
1 c dry rice, steamed….comes out to about 3 cups cooked
64 oz chicken broth
1 TBS dry Ranch Dressing seasoning
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
2 TBS Dijon Mustard
1 tsp hot sauce, like Tabasco

Heat oil into a large dutch oven over medium heat. When hot, saute onion, carrots and celery for 7-10 minutes or until softened slightly. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in chicken breast and rice then pour in chicken broth. Stir, then season with ranch seasoning, salt, pepper and add in Dijon and hot sauce. Reduce heat to low and simmer until serving. Taste and season accordingly. 8 servings

We doubled this recipe, but did not double the Dijon mustard (used 2 TBS). We didn't use the Tabasco either. In taste testing we couldn't decide what it needed, so we ended up adding a can of cream of chicken soup, and that gave it the consistency it needed.

Comforting Chicken Noodle Soup

6 c water
1 qt Chicken Broth
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
8 oz uncooked Extra Wide Noodles
2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
16 oz cubed cooked blsl chicken breast
1 c sour cream
fresh parsley (dried works in a pinch)
fresh ground black pepper

In large pot, bring water and stock to a boil. Add carrots and celery and cook about 10 minutes. Add noodles; cook, uncovered until tender, about 10 minutes. Do not drain. Add soup and chicken, heat through. Remove from heat, stir in sour cream. Sprinkle with parsley and pepper to taste. Servings: 15 one cup servings.
OH MY!!!  We used our seasoned chicken broth from our cooked chicken instead of the water and broth.  We missed the sour cream in the recipe when we shopped, but it is awesome without it!!  We had to sit down and sample this as the aroma was divine.  This is just like what Grandma would have made. 

Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 chicken breasts cut into chunks
2 TBS cilantro or (1 TBS dry)
2 TBS taco seasoning
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 sm can green chilies
1 can corn drained (or frozen)
1 c water
1 c sour cream

Combine everything into a saucepan except sour cream. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes or until chicken is done. Take 1 cup of liquid from saucepan and combine it with 1 cup of sour cream-mix and return to saucepan and heat through. Makes 5 cups.

We used cooked chicken and added a can of black beans.

Mostaccioli with Sausage

1 lb Italian sausage rope (we used polish sausage)
1 c water
1 green pepper, sliced (I used frozen veggie mix)
1 med onion, sliced (I used frozen veggie mix)
1 box mostaccioli noodles (we used penne)
2 cans spaghetti sauce
1 lb Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top

Boil pot of water for cooking the noodles. Brown sausage, peppers, and onion in a different large pot. Stir in sauce and water on top of mixture and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 min. Cook noodles al dente and drain. Spread 1/2 of meat sauce into 9x13 pan. Top with 1/2 of cooked noodles and cover with 1/2 of the cheeses. Repeat another layer of each. (Cover and label for freezer meals from here) OR bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Freezer Meal Cooking: Thaw in fridge completely. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes until hot and bubbly and cheese has melted on top.

Ok we made a few modification to this recipe.  We used a frozen mixed veggie mix (carrots, peas, corn, green beans) and used polish sausage instead of italian (plans for the leftover polish sausage).  This looked (and tasted very good and hearty), by adding the mixed veggies it becomes a dish meal.

We are still here!

No we haven't fallen off the face of the earth! Life has just gotten the best of us.

Since we have last posted Pam has moved .3 miles to me (such as in the same neighborhood - 8ish houses away, in the house across the street would have been better – but I’m happy she is so close!).

We both enjoyed having our college boys and their friends over the holidays We really need to cook now, because what they didn't eat, they took back to school!  (We love our boys!)

We have been collecting new recipes to try and since the Dallas area is expecting a sleet/snow storm tomorrow we decided to cook a couple of soups last night after work (yes we are crazy).  In about 2 hours last night we made 4 recipes!  That was chopping, cooking, soup break and clean up!

We “really” have cook in February, as “Mother Hubbard’s Freezer is bare”.

Stay warm!