Recipes and Cooking Ideas for Homemakers and Amateur Cooks

Bake sale!

My contribution to it…

I want to open a bakery! I’m only half kidding. I would do the night shift of baking, then sleep during the day while someone else sells the stuff. Anyone want to fill out a job application? …Either for baking with me during the night or selling stuff during the day.  Ah, would be so fun! Everyone was in bed by 11:00 last night and I started in the kitchen. The house was quiet (well, quiet except when I’d accidently BOING!BONG! a pan and cringe for the sleeping people!) and I had no interruptions and I dumped the ingredients in the mixing bowl by myself and there was nobody standing beside me hollering, “Up! Up!”. I could just bake to my heart’s content! It was very therapeudic!  At 4:30, the birds started singing. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen the crack of dawn! At 5:30, I went to bed for a couple hours. Then, took the stuff to the garage sale/bake sale, then came home and took a 2-hr nap. I might do that more often because I’d like to put out some baked stuff at the end of the driveway this summer. Some of it, I’ll bake ahead and put in the freezer, but being able to tag stuff with “Fresh-baked this morning” has its advantages!

The 4 different things pictured above are:

Monster cookies… featured here

Apple pie… featured here

Rice crispie roll… featured here
And last, but not least, FUDGE     …recipe invented by yours truly
fudge k

Melt 4 T. butter, 2 12 oz bags milk chocolate chips, and 1/2 c. peanut butter.
fudge1You could use the microwave, too.
fudge2Stir in half a 16 oz bag of marshmallows until melted, then stir in some walnuts (I used a little over a cup). If you want a swirled effect, stir in the mmallows and nuts at the same time, but stop stirring when the mmallows are melting and streaked through, but not totally mixed in. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan and pour in.
Refrigerate until firm. Cut into squares.
fudge5It’s easy, creamy, and delicious!!!

Now, back to the bake sale… Everything sold very well!!!!! Didn’t have anything to bring home. :)  …on second thought… :(


One Response to “Bake sale!”

  1. Melissa K on June 7th, 2008 6:12 am

    Oh, Kay, I just had to tell you that I go through these same feelings of wanting to open a bakery!!! My daughter has been begging me to do it too. For now, I’m content to just be the official baker for all of the family functions. I just don’t like the idea of HAVING to bake every day a whole lot, even if I don’t feel like it. I’m thinking that eventually I would lose my love of baking and it would become a chore!!
    I don’t know about in Wisconsin, but could you make desserts to sell to diners/shops or something? I think that would be ideal, but I can’t do it in NY because of health department regulations (would have to have a whole separate kitchen that passes inspection.) I’m always looking for ways to share my baking. It always makes me feel good!

Chocolate Peanut Supreme

My food group was on for salad and dessert for carry-in at church a few weeks ago. I made a veggie and dip tray and Chocolate Peanut Supreme dessert. I try to make my featured recipes like the recipe says, but the dessert recipe has a substitution in it. But I’m fine with that because it’s an idea you might like to use sometime… you know how when you’re baking cookies and something comes up (like, the baby needs attn, you get to talking on the phone, or you just plain forget about them) and then that batch gets darker, which makes them crunchy instead of soft and bend-able, and nobody wants to eat them? Well, when that batch cools, crush them with a rolling pin and put the crumbs in a bag in the freezer, then when you make a recipe that calls for graham cracker crumbs or crushed Oreo crumbs for the crust, just pull out your ready-made crumbs and use them. Saves you from having to eat dark crunchy chocolate chip cookies!

Chocolate Peanut Supreme   …from the 2000 Quick Cooking cookbook.

1/2 cup chunky peanut butter (didn’t have chunky, so I just used creamy)
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I substituted the above-mentioned cookie crumbs)
1/2 cup sugar (I used about 1/4 cup because the cookies were sweeter than g.c. crumbs)
1 pkg (5.9 oz) instant chocolate pudding mix
3 cups cold milk
1 carton (12 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 cup chopped peanuts (I skipped the peanuts and sprinkled some cookie crumbs on top)

In a bowl, combine peanut butter and butter. Stir in cracker crumbs and sugar; mix well. Press into a greased 9×13 pan.
Prepare pudding with milk according to package directions, spoon over crust.
Spread with whipped topping.
Sprinkle with peanuts.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until set. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 12-16 servings. This was SO good, but I do want to try it the right way sometime (without substitutions)!

And here’s the veggie tray…

Finger Jello fits any occasion!

I saw layered finger jello on misssteph101’s site awhile ago, so I asked her for the recipe. We have our school program/picnic today, and I made it for that. It’s fun and easy and very pretty! Thanks Steph!

Layered Finger Jello

Printable recipe

For each colored layer:
1 3 oz pkg of jello
1 pack (or Tbsp) unflavored gelatin
1 cup boiling water

For the white layer:
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
4 packs (or 4 Tbsp) unflavored gelatin
2 cups boiling water

Mix each layer separately in containers. Let stand till room temperature, stirring occasionally.
Put 1st color in. Put in fridge until firm.
jello3 ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Put a third of the white layer in next. Refrigerate until firm.
jello4 ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
Repeat layers until done.




jello9When all mixtures are at room temp, it takes about 7 minutes till it’s firm enough to put the next layer on. As you can see below, I didn’t let the green get quite hard enough before putting the white on, or the white was still too warm, or both.
Mix and match and have fun!

Diabetic?… To make a sugar-free version, use sugar-free jello for the colored layers. For the white layer, use evaporated milk and 6 packets (or however sweet you want it) of Equal or other sweetener instead of the sweetened condensed milk.

This jello can be so fun! Use it for any occassion…

13jellovalentines.jpg Valentine’s Day: red and white. You can even cut it out with a heart-shaped cookie cutter.


Christmas…red and green (and white). ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

–St. Patrick’s Day… green and white.
–4th of July… red, white, and blue.
–Easter or Spring… pastels (4 colors of jello, and instead of having a white layer, mix 1/4 of the white part with each color, making them a more pastel color).
–School colors… if your school has colors.
–Or to make it more colorful, you can make 2 pans and make sure that the top and bottom colors are all different, then have some flipped over so all 4 colors show. Like this:


10 Responses to “Finger Jello fits any occasion!”

  1. lalaine on May 26th, 2008 11:39 am

    Your recipe shows it takes only a bit of creativity to turn regular things such as jello into something spectacular! I will be experimenting with this soon!

  2. Lakshmi on June 18th, 2008 3:07 pm

    Hi Kay, this is a wonderful recipe. I am planning to make it for a party at my son’s school too. One question – do I need to have a white layer between 2 color layers. Have you tried that? If not, I will try it regardless, and let you know how it goes…

  3. Kay on June 18th, 2008 3:31 pm

    Lakshmi, you don’t have to have that white layer in there. It is just for contrasting looks and some people prefer the taste with that layer included. I hope the jello is a hit! :) Yeah, let me know how it turns out!

  4. lorie on January 1st, 2011 3:20 pm

    Hi Kay, your recipe is great. A co-worker of mine brought these in and I loved them. Every time I asked her for the recipe she could never remember the ingredients. I searched on the internet and found your recipe. I made it and turned out great.

  5. STACY J on February 11th, 2011 11:35 pm


  6. Jeannie Hilbers on December 17th, 2013 7:09 pm

    How long can the finished product be stored in the refrigerator? Thank you.

  7. Kay on December 17th, 2013 11:52 pm

    Jeannie, if you keep it covered, it lasts awhile, not sure how long because I don’t think I’ve ever had it longer than 3 or 4 days before it got all eaten, and it was still great at that point. If it’s not covered, the edges get hard after about 2 days.

  8. Janice Stiller on November 6th, 2014 6:11 am

    love the red, green n white for christmas… you put the white down first, then add red n white n green n white n red again??????? how many pkgs for the christmas one

  9. Kay on November 6th, 2014 8:55 am

    Janice, the recipe for the white layer makes 3 layers, so I usually do 4 colored layers to sandwich the white inside. For the Christmas jello, I do 2 boxes of red and 2 boxes of green… red white green white red white green. And then when you put them out on a plate, flip some so the green is on top and some so the red is… you can get a festive look that way from only one pan of jello. Hope that helps! This jello is always a hit! So yes, please make it! :)

  10. Janice StillerT on November 7th, 2014 7:02 am

    Thank you!! YOUR AWESOME! have a great Day!

Sugar cookies from Great Grandma’s cookbook

Ok, here goes… The Sugar Cookie Recipe!

I’ve never met a delicious sugar cookie. To me, they’re all kinda blah and tasteless and something you have to make at Christmastime. But this one isn’t totally tasteless… it has nutmeg in it!

I don’t actually make sugar cookies, I just use this recipe for fruit pizzacrust. But, there is enough dough left over (after measuring out 20 oz) for about 8 cookies, so I bake those. I don’t have pictures of them and I don’t feel like making a batch just to get pictures.

First, I want to introduce the cookbook to you that this recipe comes from…
cookbook1 …it is my most prized possession in my entire cookbook collection. It was given to me by my grandma (the one who makes the brown sugar pie) and she got it from her mother, so it was my great-grandmother’s cookbook! It was given to Great Grandma in 1943. I feel extremely privileged to now own it and it’s on my list of top 10 things to quick grab if there would be a fire. There is hand-writing in it… like notes written beside recipes, variations on things like strawberry shortcake and split pea soup and check marks written beside some recipes, probably her favorite ones. Also, tucked in hit-n-miss are a bunch of loose recipes, mostly written on regular scratch paper, but there’s a tapioca recipe written on a deposit slip that has my great grandma and grandpa’s names on it and a chop suey pickles recipe written on a piece of old wallpaper.

Vanilla Sugar Cookies

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten light
1 Tbsp. cream
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Cream shortening and add sugar gradually, beating until creamy. Add the beaten eggs, cream, and vanilla, and beat well. Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Put through Alumilite Cooky Press onto Viko Aluminum Cooky Sheets. Bake in a hot oven, 400, for about 10 minutes, or until light brown in color.

I think this aluminum Viko stuff is/was a specialty thing, kind of like Pampered Chef is… I have a couple Pampered Chef cookbooks and the directions always specify using their products for mixing, scraping, measuring, etc too.

One of my all-time favorites

I’ve been craving fruit pizza ever since it got warm outside. It’s such a good summer dessert!

Fruit Pizza    …from the Taste of Home 2nd Edition cookbook, with some personal preference changes by me

1 pkg (20 oz) refrigerated sugar cookie dough …I make a cookie dough from scratch, then measure out 20 oz.
fp1 I think homemade is tastier… my recipe (featured here) has nutmeg in it.

1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 carton (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed

Mandarin oranges
I’ve never put kiwi in. There are other fruits I like better. Here’s the order and fruits I use: mandarin oranges and grapes, bananas, strawberries cut in half, pineapple (fresh, not canned! it’s the best!!), blueberries, mandarin oranges, bananas, and one marichino cherry in the middle. I vary the order sometimes, but it’s always those fruits.

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
Pinch of salt

Pat cookie dough into an ungreased 14″ pizza pan.

Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until browned; cool.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spread over the crust.
Arrange the fruit on top. In a saucepan, bring sugar, OJ, water, lemon juice, cornstarch, and salt to a boil, stirring constantly for 2 min or until thickened. Cool; brush over fruit. I make the glaze and let it cool while the crust is cooling. I’d think if you’d put the fruit on, THEN make the glaze, that the bananas would be brown by the time it’s cooled. As soon as I get the first ring of bananas on, I glaze them. Then I put the rest of the fruit on and glaze the whole works. I use a pastry brush.
Store in refrigerator. Yield: 16-20 servings.
fp6  Now tell me, are you in the mood for fruit pizza?


2 Responses to “One of my all-time favorites”

  1. megan on April 2nd, 2010 7:06 am

    omg this sounds good!!! im going to have to try this soon!!

  2. Flag Fruit Pizza on June 28th, 2014 12:04 pm

    […] recipe was kind of a mix from a few site, but most from Kitchen Scrapbook. She suggested waiting to place the fruit on the pizza until the glaze was made and cooled. This […]

All-in-one Taco Salad

Tried and True

Not a new recipe. Just one that’s so good, you’ve gotta have it!  It’s from the Derstine cookbook .

Taco Salad

1 lb hamburger
1 chopped onion
Salt and pepper
2 cans chili beans
Taco salad seasoning, 1 envelope
Lettuce, chopped (I use about 2 heads)
4 med tomatoes, diced
8 oz cheddar cheese, grated (I use taco cheese or Mexican cheese)

Sprinkle on crushed taco chips
2 c. oil
2 c. sugar
3/4 c. vinegar
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 c. ketchup

Fry hamburger, add rest of ingredients, serving over lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. Blend dressing thoroughly. I do an all-in-salad side dish out of this recipe. When we were on food committee at church, I got the idea from one of the ladies (actually she’s one of the Derstine’s who compiled the cookbook) who makes it whenever she’s on for salad.

Pictured below is a half batch. Fry the hamburger and onion. Add taco seasoning and salt and pepper. Drain the beans a little and put them in a large bowl.
Put in the hamburger mixture next.
Put cheese over that (the hamburger should be cold so the cheese doesn’t melt).
Put diced tomatoes on next (forgot to take a picture).
Then the lettuce.
Then the crushed chips (again forgot a picture). I make the chip layer at least 1/2″ deep. At this point, you can put the lid on and it can be refrigerated for at least a couple hours. Mix all the dressing ingredients in the blender.
Toss the salad and mix the dressing in (I don’t use quite all the dressing). Serve immediately.
taco5  Forgot a finished product picture, so this is what was left after the meal. Leftovers are not good… If you make it for lunch, the lettuce will be wilty and the chips will be soggy by suppertime. If served as a side dish, I’d say a whole batch would serve about 25 people. We had grilled brats and hot dogs with it… I know, kinda mixing all-American with Mexican, but that’s what we were in the mood for.


One Response to “All-in-one Taco Salad”

  1. Church Envelopes on April 13th, 2008 9:33 am

    I was researching the same thing when I saw this.. I can not agree more – but I am still going to look for a better source

Italian Bread Wedges

Tired of scones by now?

This recipe is taken off of ilovecooking’s site. She has progressive pictures too, but I’ll put mine on anyway in case you don’t get over to her site. She posts new recipes pretty often (with pictures) and it’s very interesting!

Italian Bread Wedges

1 T. dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 t. sugar
*edit* 2 Tbsp oil, sorry! Thanks, kanadian_mom!
1 t. salt
2 1/2 to 3 cups flour
1/3 cup Italian salad dressing
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. dried oregano
1/4 t. dried thyme
dash pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (I used more.)

In mixing bowl dissolve yeast in warm water and sugar. Let stand 5 minutes. Add oil, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough.. Knead until smooth and elastic. (I do this in my kitchen-aid.) Place in greased bowl, cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 40 minutes. Punch dough down. Press onto greased 14 inch pizza pan.
Spread with salad dressing. Combine seasonings. Sprinkle over dressing. I mixed the seasonings in the dressing before spreading. I figured it would get more evenly seasoned that way. I also used creamy Italian dressing (instead of regular) because that’s what I had on hand.
Top with cheese.
Bake at 425 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.
I usually cut into 16 slices. Serve with pizza sauce for dipping. These look good and are good! It’s made alot different than pizza as far as the sauce and seasonings, but it’s amazing how much it tastes like pizza! It’s easy to make and looks very nice to serve. Yum!

And here was the rest of our meal… fried chicken breasts, cooked veggies.


I always run across scone recipes in my cookbooks and wanted to try them sometime, but didn’t know how or when to serve them. The recipes didn’t give any tips except ‘serve warm’. I guess you’re just supposed to automatically know!   Anyway, after a little research and asking questions, I got a few tips. So here’s the ones I made, although in my research I found out that chocolate chip scones are too American. I want to try some that are more authentic sometime. They’re kinda like fancy biscuits.

Chocolate Chip Scones   …recipe from an Easy to Bake, Easy to Make recipe card.

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400. Grease a baking sheet. Combine flour, sugar, b. powder, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until coarse crumbs form. Stir in cream until a dough forms. Stir in chocolate chips.  Knead dough gently on lightly floured surface 8-10 times. Pat dough into an 8″ round, about 1/2″ thick.
Cut round into 8 wedges with a sharp knife. Place on prepared baking sheet. I put the chunk of dough on the baking sheet, THEN shaped it into an 8″ round.
scones2  At the bottom of the card it said “Helpful Hints: If you prefer soft scones, arrange the wedges on the baking sheet so they are touching each other. For scones with crispy edges, place the wedges about 1 1/2″ apart on the baking sheet.” I thought soft would be better, Shannon thought crispy would be better. So, that’s why they’re arranged like they are, that way we’d have some of each.

Bake scones until golden brown, 20-25 min.
Serve warm. Tips I got were to split them apart and spread butter and/or jam in them and to put whipped cream on top. I did the butter and whipped cream… didn’t know if jam would go with choc chips.
scones4  I know, I should have a cup of tea sitting beside the plate. These were really good! Easy to make too. Another note on the recipe card was “For biscuitlike scones, do not knead dough. Drop dough into 8 mounds on prepared baking sheet. Bake about 20 minutes.” So, I guess they’re not necessarily all wedges. 


Note: On the post before, I forgot to say where the recipes came from. The Broccoli Casserole and the Pudding Pumpkin Pie both came out of the 2006 Quick Cooking annual cookbook.

The Making of a Birthday Cake for the Teacher

Posted on March 29, 2007
Filed Under Birthday cakes

What a day! I got up this morning and mixed up some frosting for a birthday cake for one of the school teacher’s birthday party this afternoon.

The first thing that happened is that I splattered red food coloring on my housecoat (bummer, no more fun baking before getting dressed)… then things got worse from there. I was piping roses onto toothpicks and this being I think my first time doing that, you can imagine how good it went! I soon lowered my standards on how nice the roses had to look and the whole rose-making process went faster from there.

I went out of the kitchen for about 2 minutes for a bathroom break when Lexi said, “Mom, Tiffany got into the sugar. Oh, now she dumped some on the floor. Mom, can we play in it?” I came back to the kitchen as soon as I could and this is what I found…

They were both licking sugar off the floor! Lexi said, “This sugar isn’t very good not on anything, but we like it anyway.” They were so sticky, so I put them in the tub while I cleaned up the floor (not like I had alot of extra time for that!). The sugar, by the way, is stored in a canister in that bottom drawer in front of them.

I had to run to Walmart because I wasn’t sure I had enough powdered sugar for all the frosting I was going through, plus I had to get ice cream, chips, and drink yet to round out the party. I got Lexi some popcorn chicken at the deli for her for lunch and as I rounded a corner in the store, I felt myself step on something at about the same time Lexi said “Oh, no!” 3/4 of her chicken had spilled and went down thro’ the holes in the cart and they were all laying on the floor behind me. I hurry picked them up, not looking around at other shoppers.

When we got home, Tiffany was kind of clingy, so while I was trying to carefully write “Happy Birthday Miss Hershey”, she was tugging at my skirt. Poor girl hadn’t had much of mom all morning. And while I was carefully and meticulously putting the flowers and leaves on, Lexi (who was standing on a chair beside me) would once in awhile lean on my shoulder and say, “That looks very beautiful!” How can you say “DON’T BUMP ME!!!” after something like that?!

Anyway, I had to leave by about 2:00 and I got done with the cake at 1:53, so it was a rush of changing the baby, getting on shoes and jackets, getting everything out to the car and when we got to the school, I got everything around, ready to go, and was as cool and composed as could be on the outside, but on the the inside it felt like I was still in high gear. On the way to the party, just out of the blue, Lexi said, “Mom, you are a very good mom.” Oh, I love that girl!!!! I said, “Oh, thankyou. Sometimes it seems like I rush us all around so much and forget to be nice.” She said, “Yeah, you do, but you’re still a good mom.”

So anyway, here’s the making of the cake…

I did the roses on toothpicks, then poked the toothpicks down thro’ a grater and a colander and pulled them out the bottom. Then, I put the roses (still on the colander and grater) in the fridge to get hard, then transferred them to a plate.

Putting the ribbon on. I had always wanted to try that, and it worked great. I did it right after frosting the sides so the ribbon would stick.

The bow is separate, stuck on there with a dab of frosting.

A bit of trim and some writing. The cake is starting to look promising, even though things are hectic around here.

The roses are placed on… I think I made too many, but put them on anyway.


leeanne8.jpg And here is our top notch 1st grade teacher.

As I was at the party among all the excitement, trying to relax inside, I realized that some things in life just aren’t worth getting stressed over. Things like a totaled kitchen waiting at home and the horror of the girls licking sugar off the floor and the spilled popcorn chicken and the bumps and tugs while decorating a cake. There’s more to life… like excitement, laughter, friends, and those 2 sweet girls I can call my own.

Meal of recipes

I haven’t been taking much time to cook lately… just stuff like open-faced pork chop sandwiches, ravioli and applesauce, stromboli, and tonight we had baked sweet potatoes and grilled ham and salad. No new recipes and no good ones that haven’t been already featured. I’m a very sporadic cook, so I’m going into my reserve of meals that I made in a cooking streak and didn’t have time to post. Here’s one of them…

Pigs in Blankets

There are different ways of making these, but here’s how I did it…

1 can refrigerated crescent rolls
24 Li’l Smokies

Separate rolls and cut each roll into thirds (you can also cut them in half if you like more bread per weiner, then it would be 16 Li’l Smokies instead of 24).
Starting at a wide edge, roll a Li’l Smokie up in it. Put on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for about 12 minutes.

Very good! Quick snack if company is coming. Children love ’em, too!


Broccoli Casserole

2 pkgs (16 oz each) frozen broccoli florets
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
1 1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 can (6 oz) french-fried onions

Cook broccoli according to package directions; drain well. In a large saucepan, combine the soup, sour cream, 1 cup cheese, and 1 1/4 cup onions.
Cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until heated through. Stir in the broccoli. Pour into a greased 2 qt baking dish.
Bake, uncovered, at 325 for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and onions. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Yield: 6-8 servings.

I made a half batch for us. This stuff is SO good!!!! I went a little heavier on the french-fried onions and also used mozzerella and reg cheddar in place of the sharp cheddar (sharp cheese is NOT my thing!).


Pudding Pumpkin Pie

1 egg white, beaten
1 reduced fat graham cracker crust (8 inches)
1 cup cold fat-free milk
1 pkg (1 1/2 oz) sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
1 can (15 oz) solid pack pumpkin
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups reduced fat whipped topping, divided

Brush egg white over crust. Bake at 375 for 5 min. or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix. Stir in the pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Fold in 1 cup whipped topping. Pour into crust.
Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Cut into slices; dollop with remaining whipped topping. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 8 servings. 1 piece = 180 calories.

mealpie2(That color change is the difference between no flash and flash… it doesn’t change colors once it’s refrigerated! LOL) I couldn’t have told this was a diet pie. Could probably be made though with non-diet ingredients. It was really good! Nicely spiced. Will definitely make again!


3 Responses to “Meal of recipes”

  1. Ali on April 18th, 2008 2:17 pm

    A twist on the traditional pigs in a blanket is to use a sheet of puff pastry, cut it into thin rows, then cut from the other angle to make small rectangular pieces. Wrap around a little smokie and bake at 400-f degrees for about 17 minutes. :)

  2. Marie on April 22nd, 2008 11:06 am

    Do you think I could use asparagus instead of broccoli for the broccoli casserole?
    I stumbled on your site and love it!I love recipes.Quick,easy,and healthy ones especially.I hope you dont mind.I am going to subscribe to you right now.LOL

  3. Kay on April 23rd, 2008 1:31 pm

    I very seldom cook with asparagus, but it seems like it would work. Worth a try anyway! If you try it, let me know how it turned out. :)

“Mom, how do you make… ?”

From my mom…

Easy Cinnamon Biscuits (not sure of the real name, if there is one)

2 7.5 oz cans Pillsbury biscuits (10 biscuits per can)
2 handfuls brown sugar
8 oz Cool Whip

Grease 9×13 pan and put biscuits in.
Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon on top.
Spread Cool whip on top.
biscuits3Looks more like a dessert now, doesn’t it?
Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes.
biscuits5  These are great!!!!! There’s a goo at the bottom and next time, I’m planning to add some pecans on top before putting on the Cool Whip. They take very little time to assemble, plus no rising time. Very good! Keep on hand for a warm breakfast on busy mornings!

From my mom-in-law…

Yum Yum Pudding

60 Ritz crackers
1 stick butter
2 qt vanilla ice cream
2 boxes instant vanilla pudding
1 1/2 cups milk

Crush crackers. Mix with melted butter. Spread out in a 9×13 pan and bake at 350 for 5 min.  (I made a half batch for us, so used a smaller pan here and should’ve used a smaller bowl later!)
Beat softened ice cream. Add milk and pudding. Put crumbs in the bottom of a serving dish, saving some crumbs to sprinkle on top.
Pour ice cream/pudding mixture over crumbs.
Top with remaining crumbs.
Store in refrigerator (not freezer).  Yum is right! I didn’t remember having it before and as I was making it, I was so tempted to add some chocolate for an extra layer. Glad I didn’t because it was so good!!!! Lots of buttered toasted crackers!

Saturday night PIZZA!

Here is a pizza dough recipe that I tried last night. I copied it off of madisonsmom2’s site from awhile ago. There is oregano in the crust and I thought I could actually taste it… but if that was just my imagination, it seems like a neat idea anyway! 

1/4 C. oil
1 egg

Mix these 2 together and add:

1/8 C. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. hot water   


Dissolve 1 pkg yeast in 1/2 C warm water and then add and mix.

Mix in:
3 – 3 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. Oregano

Knead 15 minutes (Whew! Definitely got my exercise in with that!) and let raise 1 hour. Madisonsmom2 says, “I roll mine into a cookie sheet
pizza1   pizza2
and spread the pizza sauce on
and bake it 20 min. Add the rest of your ingredients
and bake till the cheese is melted. Happy eating.”
pizza10  I baked the crust w sauce at 375 for 20 min, then I thought maybe I should’ve had it at 400, so I upped it to 400 while putting the toppings on, then baked it for about 15 more min. Perfect crust!!!! I put it on a 16″ pizza pan. We ate 1/2 of the pizza (it was huge), so the rest is in the freezer for another meal. 

Valentines Meal 2007

I know this is now very out of season, but…

Featuring: Our family Valentines meal (for a bit of history, go to the next page to the Feb 11 post).

Cupid breadsticks
Robust Italian Salad w tomato roses
Red hot salad
Broken Glass Salad
White Chocolate Mousse
Cheesecake (regular and mocha)

Here’s the action…
vtines action

Breadsticks… it’s Pillsbury popable breadsticks, shaped into hearts and arrows. Don’t ya love the towel? That would be Kris’… she’s crazy about coffee. She made the breadsticks…
vtines bread

Lasagna… We all brought ingredients for the lasagna and Kris put it together. She put a heart shaped tin foil piece on before putting the last layer of cheese on. Then when it was done baking, Seth took the tin foil off and this is how it looked…
vtines lasagna

Robust Italian Salad… I made this…
vtines salad
The tomato roses were easier than I thought they’d be. I discovered the secret is to peel the tomatoes as thin as you can. Here’s a closer up of a rose…
vtines rose

Red hot salad… Galyn made it. (She also made a sugar-free cherry delight for Tom for dessert, which I don’t have a picture of)…
vtines redhot salad

Broken glass salad… Kris made it…
vtines broken glass salad

Punch… Bruce and Sheila made the punch… I brought strawberries for the goblets (actually an idea off of th3rdtimesacharm’s site)…
vtines punch

White Chocolate mousse… Kris made it…
vtines mousse

Cheesecake… these were set between each couple and we shared them. There were also regular round cheesecakes for the unmarrieds and for seconds. Bruce made all the cheesecakes…
vtines cheesecake

Candy baskets on the table… I think Sheila did those… actually, most of the decorations are Sheila’s…
vtines candy basket

A place setting…
vtines table setting We ate by candlelight. Partway thro’ the meal, Sheila put more candles on.  There is always no end to jokes from the guys about not being able to see what they’re eating, etc. Last year, Tom and Shannon got their cell phones out, lit the little screen, and propped them up beside their plates for extra light. It’s actually plenty bright. Dad says he likes it because it saves on electricity and heating. That’s the type of things we have to put up with from the guys.

Mom is busy with school teaching, so this year Sheila, Galyn, Kris, and I did the meal, but it was at Mom and Dad’s house. Dan and Jan couldn’t make it because they just had a baby. For those of you who know our family, but are wondering who Seth and Kris are… they’re ‘part of our family’. They fit right in and it would seem very weird without them!

Are you a busy mom/wife/person?

Posted on March 1, 2007
Filed Under Easy meals

And, oh yeah , that’s right, you have to cook too!

Well, here you go…

This meal takes about 5 minutes of your time 2 1/2 hours before supper, then you don’t need to do anything else till about 15 minutes before suppertime!!! And the clean-up is a snap!

Turkey loaf
Baked potatoes
Cooked veggies
Brown & serve rolls
quick meal (Bird’s eye view because the others were already sitting down.) That’s iced tea in the glasses.

2 1/2 hours before suppertime , turn the oven to 350, take the turkey loaf out of the freezer, get it out of the box
quick meat1
and slide it in the oven. Then, get as many potatoes as you need, scrub them under running water, wrap them in tin foil,
quick pot1and put them in the oven. quick oven   Yeah,ok, admit it, your oven isn’t always clean either!

15 minutes before serving, get the brown & serve rolls out of the cupboard and put them on a baking sheet.
quick rolls  Turn the oven up to 425. Get a bag of frozen veggies out of the freezer and get them to cooking. Take the potatoes and meat out of the oven
quick meat2 and put the rolls in. Get the kids to set the table (that’s why the silverware is set wrong).While the rolls are baking for 8-10 min, get out the tea, butter, jelly, ketchup, sour cream, and serving dishes. Dish up the potatoes, meat, and veggies. Call everyone to the table while you get the rolls out. And there’s your supper!

Note: There is also condensed gravy in with the meat, plus directions to make more. I do that if I’m serving mashed potatoes with it.

This meal cost me about $5 or $6, plus we had leftovers, so it’s not like you pay alot for it for as quick and prepared as it is. I actually mixed up a batch of cookies and slipped a pan of them in the oven when I took the rolls out. During the meal, I got them out and by the time we were done eating, they were cool enough to eat. A can of peaches (or other fruit of choice) completes the dessert.


On another note: I’m curious what you all do for bread at each meal.

What I do is have fresh-baked bread/rolls/breadsticks at pretty much every meal. I lean on the popable cans and brown and serve pretty hard. In the popable cans, you can get crescent rolls (our most popular), breadsticks, and French bread. I’ve tried the frozen dinner rolls, but they never get right for me. Frozen bread dough works though. I do make biscuits from scratch. (Yeah, I know, wow.)  Confession: I actually haven’t taken time to try yeast breads of any kind since you guys left all those great helpful tips! But, someday I want to… I just think I should really have more than just a little hand mixer to do it though.

When I was still at home, we always just got out the loaf of bread, stacked some pieces on a plate and that was our bread. On Sundays, we’d usually have fresh-baked homemade rolls though. I don’t know if that’s still what Mom does or not.

So, I know from before that alot of you are pros in making yeast breads… what type of bread do you put on the table each night? Or do you not have people in the family that will holler if there’s no bread on the table?


One Response to “Are you a busy mom/wife/person?”

  1. Ali on April 18th, 2008 2:21 pm

    I really love the Pillsbury brand bags of frozen Southern style biscuits. Especially served warm with honey and butter. They are my absolute favorite kind of premade biscuit ????

Scalloped Taters

This is a slow cooker recipe that I did in the oven. From the 2006 Quick Cooking Annual Cookbook.

1 pkg (2 lbs) frozen cubed hash brown potatoes
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. butter, melted, divided
1/4 cup dried minced onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
3/4 cup crushed cornflakes

In a large bowl, combine hash browns, soup, milk, cheese, 1/2 cup butter, onion, salt, and pepper. Pour into a greased 5-qt slow cooker. Cover and cook on Low for 4 1/2 to 5 hours or until potatoes are tender.  Just before serving, combine the cornflake crumbs and remaining butter in a pie plate. Bake at 350 for 4-6 min or until golden brown. Stir the potatoes; sprinkle with crumb topping. Yield: 12 servings. I baked this (covered) right along with the meat loaf… Bake at 350 for 50 minutes. Spoon glaze over meatloaf (and put cornflake crumbs on potatoes). Bake 10-15 min longer. I also stirred the potatoes before putting the crumbs on.
potatoes1The potatoes turned out GREAT! We liked them. They were nothing outstanding, but just another good way to fix potatoes.

Serve potatoes with:
Glazed meat loaf
Crescent Rolls
potatoes w meal  Note: I made the glazed meatloaf again (featured about 5 posts before this), this time with carrots. I would NOT recommend the carrots. They didn’t seem to go with meatloaf in looks or taste. I crossed out that ingredient on the recipe in my cookbook.

Dessert idea to keep on hand

I can’t believe that I just got done sitting and watching a Strawberry Shortcake cooking show   It’s on a video that Lexi was watching. What’s even scarier is that I’m tempted to try one of the recipes!!! There was ice cream pie, fudge, cookie pops, and ice cream cone cupcakes. So, if I do try the fudge featured by Angel Cake, I’ll quietly do it in the privacy of my own kitchen and not tell you all.


Got a dessert idea here. Something easy to keep on hand. And VERY easy to make! It’s a trifle using an angel food cake, pie filling, and Cool Whip, plus cream cheese and powdered sugar if desired. I do it with or without the crm cheese & p.sugar.

1 angel food cake mix
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
8 oz Cool Whip
1 can fruit pie filling, any flavor

Bake angel food cake mix according to the directions. Let it cool at least one hour. Rip about 3/4 of it in pieces and put some in the bottom of a trifle bowl or regular dessert bowl.
Beat cream cheese with powdered sugar. Fold in Cool Whip. Spread some of the mixture on top of cake pieces (or just use Cool Whip).
Spread any flavor fruit pie filling on top of Cool Whip mixture.
Repeat layers. You can garnish the top with extra Cool Whip and/or filling.
trifle4  …Blueberry
trifle5  …Cherry

Sunday Lunch

Glazed Ham
Mashed Potatoes
Dinner Rolls

Glazed Ham … recipe from the 2006 Taste of Home Annual cookbook

1 fully cooked bone-in half ham (8 – 9 lbs)
3 Tbsp. whole cloves
2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice or fruit juice of your choice
2 tsp. ground mustard

Place ham on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Score the surface of the ham, making 1/2″ deep diamond shapes; insert a clove in each diamond.
ham 1
Bake, uncovered, at 325 for 2 hours.   For glaze, combine brown sugar, juice, and mustard; spoon some over ham. Bake 30 min longer or until meat thermometer reads 140, basting occasionally with remaining glaze. Let stand for 15 min before slicing. Yield: 16 servings. I didn’t get a picture of the ham  before lunch , so here it is after lunch…
ham 2This was really good and really easy!!!!

Extra Good Mashed Potatoes … recipe from Fix It And Forget It cookbook

5 lbs potatoes, peeled, cooked, and mashed
8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3 tsp onion salt OR garlic salt (I used onion powder, I’d go a little scant on it next time)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. butter, melted

Combine all ingredients. Pour into slow cooker. Cover. Cook on Low 5-6 hours. The potatoes may be prepared 3-4 days in advance of serving and kept in the refrigerator until ready to use.
potatoes These were also very easy and would be well worth your time! Yum! With all the stuff in it, it doesn’t need gravy.

Cream Cheese Cake Roll

This is dessert that we had for supper last night with the Martins. It’s sorta made up, although there is a tweaked recipe involved. Kinda weird with all the recipes around here, to make something up.

We’ll call it…
Cream Cheese Angel Food Cake Roll   … well, that sounds sorta long… maybe Cream Cheese Cake Roll
would be better.

Angel food cake mix

Mix according to directions. Pour HALF of it in jelly roll pan. Add 1/8 cup cocoa to the other half. Mix well and pour into the other end of the pan. Spread both to meet evenly in the middle … 2 spatulas, one in each hand, would be good here (that’s why there are no pics of this process… my hands were full and the 2 people able to take pictures were taking Sunday aft naps  ).
Bake for about 18 minutes. Get it out of the oven and flip it over onto a towel or parchment paper or something.
Let it cool a few minutes, then roll it up and let it cool about an hour (that’s how long I did and it seemed to be about right).     Unroll and spread with cream cheese filling (the stuff left over from making the Raspberry Cream Cheese Rolls (Dec 11, 2006 post)… you didn’t forget about them, did you?!   Then, spread with Danish dessert …recipe taken from the Derstine cookbook.

1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 cups juice or water
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup jello, any flavor
1/3 cup sugar

Heat to boiling 1 cup liquid. Combine jello, sugar, and cornstarch. Make a paste of it with remaining 1/2 cup liquid. Stir into boiling juice until thick and clear. Cook about 1 minute. I did it to here, then added about a cup of strawberries pureed in a food processor (because some people at supper just like the ‘goo’ and not the ‘chunks’). When it was chilled, it wasn’t as thick as I wanted it (I was afraid it would just run down off the top of the roll), so I put about a 1/2 pack of unflavored gelatin into 1/2 cup boiling water, mixed it in and when it was chilled, it was thicker. Anyway, here’s the rest of the written recipe for Danish dessert if you ever want to make it for something else: Pour over mixture of drained canned fruit and chill well. For delicious strawberry danish dessert, add 2 to 3 cups frozen strawberries.

Roll the cake back up.
Cut it where the 2 colors meet. Put the 2 rolls side by side on a round platter. Pour rest of Danish stuff on top…. why am I telling you all this, you can see it on the pictures!
Now it’s time for the Cool Whip… just do something fancy with it. I opted for the zigzag-it-across-the-top technique, then I still had some left over in my ‘decorator bag’ (which was actually a plastic 1 gallon storage bag with the corner snipped off), so I just made little piles, one on each end.  Yeah, whatever, but hey, it worked. The dessert got licked clean and I heard some good compliments on it. I also heard comments about the chocolate one looking like meatloaf with ketchup and sour cream on top! They were making jokes about how it would be a good April Fools thing… serve it with potatoes and watch people’s reaction.  So, my advice would be not to mess around with the cake mix and just leave it all white.


Valentine’s Day is this week!

Posted on February 11, 2007
Filed Under Cakes, Holiday cooking, Salads

I just thought about it that I should’ve done a little Valentine’s meal in advance in case anyone wants ideas. For as long as I can remember, Mom made a heart-shaped meal every Valentine’s Day. Even after we children started getting married, it has stayed a tradition and we still get together for it. It’s often heart-shaped meatloaf, scalloped potatoes with heart-shaped potato slices on top, salad with heart-shaped cheese and meat in it, bread slices cut out in heart shapes, red punch, candy favors and jellos beside each plate, and a chocolate cake with caramel and white mtn icing. But, we’re not stuck on the same menu. One year we made heart-shaped pizzas. Here are a couple pictures of the table from the last couple years. I didn’t have good pictures of the food… I wasn’t into food photography then yet.   When we have our meal this year, I’ll be sure to get good pictures and put them on here.
vtines05 2005
vtines06 2006
Krista and Lexi with their Valentine chocolates from Grandpa.


And now for a couple recipes…  We had carry-in/fellowship meal/potluck at church today. I, wanting to be in the Valentine’s mood, made a couple things that were red and pink. I was on for salad and dessert.

Easy Cottage Cheese Salad    …From the Magnolia Cookery cookbook.

This is not kidding when it says ‘easy’! Here are the ingredients:
salad ingred A can of pineapple, a 3 oz box of jello (any flavor), a carton of Cool Whip, and a carton of cottage cheese.
One thing that makes it easy is that everything is all measured for you because you use it all.
Mix cottage cheese with dry jello. Mix well. Let set 5 min. Drain juice from fruit, then add to cottage cheese. Fold in the Cool Whip. Best when refrigerated 1 hour before serving. I really like this stuff!!!! But, no other comments from the other people in this household, please… they don’t feel quite the same about it as I do.
salad done

Red Velvet Cake     …From an Easy to Bake, Easy to Make recipe card

2 1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 c. buttermilk
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 Tbsp. red food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cans (16 oz each) prepared cream cheese frosting, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350. Coat the bottoms of two 9″ round cake pans with cooking spray. Place 1st 6 ingredients into large bowl of electric mixer. Mix on low speed, scraping bowl, until mixture resembles moist crumbs. Add eggs, buttermilk, vinegar, red food coloring, and vanilla and mix on low speed until dry ingredients are moistened. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  (I wish I would’ve taken a picture of the unbaked batter, it looks pretty neat.)   Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Remove cakes from oven and cool in pans on wire racks for 10 min. Turn cakes on to racks to cool completely. Stir frosting in cans to fluff the contents. With a spatula, loosen cakes from pans. Invert one layer onto plate.
red1 You can tell part of it is cut away… I do that to make it as level as possible. Plus, it gives some extra cake to make crumbs to go on top.  Spread with 2/3 cup frosting. Place second layer on top.
Spread top and sides with remaining frosting.
 It is SO good! People rave about it every time! It’s moist and soft. I usually make my own cream cheese frosting, but this time (because I like to try to make things as accurately as possible to feature on here) I bought it, like the recipe says. And, it just isn’t as good as homemade frosting!

I thought about baking it in heart-shaped pans, but didn’t then. If you make it for V-tines Day, you could do that OR bake it regular, then cut out heart-shaped pieces with a cookie cutter, then layer and frost them for individual serving sizes. That would look kind of cute sitting beside each plate.

A Meat & Potatoes Meal

Parmesan Potatoes
Glazed Meat Loaf
Crescent Rolls
mp meal

Parmesan Potatoes   …This recipe was given to me by my friend Karen from MS. She said it’s one of their favorites and I can see why, esp the top layer! Her husband does a lot of grilling, too. Thanks for the recipe, Karen! (She doesn’t have a site, but she visits here.  )

4 medium potatoes, thinly sliced, peeled too
1 sm onion, thinly sliced in rings (Karen said she doesn’t add quite that much, so I didn’t either)
3 T. butter, melted
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt, pepper, 1/8 tsp. garlic powder (Karen said ‘or seasonings of choice’, but I used these)

Place 1/2 of the potatoes in greased pan (9×13 or smaller).
mp potato1

mp potato2 

Top with onion rings

mp potato3 

and remaining potatoes; drizzle with butter. Sprinkle with parmesan and seasonings.
mp potato4

Bake uncovered at 450 for 25 min or until potatoes are soft and brown.

Very good!!! Will definitely make again! I made a half batch so we wouldn’t have leftovers.

Glazed Meat Loaf   …This recipe comes from the 2006 Taste of Home Annual Cookbook.

2 eggs, beaten
2/3 c. milk
1 1/2 c. (6 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1 c. crushed saltines (about 30 crackers) I used Ritz crackers.
1 c. finely shredded carrots (um, I skipped the carrots, didn’t feel like shredding them)
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 lbs lean ground beef
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. ketchup
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, cheese, saltines, carrots, onion, salt, garlic powder, and pepper.
mp meat1

mp meat2 

Crumble beef over mixture and mix well.

Yeah, I know, doesn’t look too appetizing at this point, huh?
mp meat3 

Shape into a loaf. Place in a greased 9×13 baking dish. I made a half recipe and just put it in a loaf pan.

mp meat4

Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 50 minutes.
mp meat5 

For glaze, bring the brown sugar, ketchup, and mustard to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 3-5 min or until heated through. Spoon over meat loaf.

Bake 10-15 min longer or until meat is no longer pink and a meat thermometer reads 160. Drain; let set for 10 min before slicing. Yield: 12 servings.
mp meat6  Ok, I FINALLY found my meat loaf recipe! Over the last several years, I’ve tried recipes hit-n-miss and they all tasted sorta blah. (Same with poor man’s steak.) This one is SO good! It is so moist and flavorful. Sometime, I might even try it with the carrots.  

mp salad  And a picture of the salad … because I always think salads are so pretty. I have a few menus that I make for company and will add this meal now.  


3 Responses to “A Meat & Potatoes Meal”

  1. Terry Wasson on May 4th, 2008 6:09 pm

    I shop at a small Mennonite store not far from where I live. I buy flour and staples for bread making. The last time I was there I noticed a donut mix and a package of raspberry filling. Do you have recipes for either of these products? I love the smell of yeast and bread rising. Do you have a sweet roll recipe for the filling? I would appreciate any help you can give. Thank you.

  2. Kay on May 5th, 2008 3:16 pm

    Here is a recipe: Raspberry Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

  3. Alicia on May 13th, 2008 7:01 am

    I made this for supper last night and it was so good! Thank you for the recipes!!

Snack Time!

Here is the perfect snack. We make it alot! And we have also made it for company. It’s a knock-off of an appetizer we had at a restaurant. We call it…


Turn the oven to 400.
No measuring here… Cover a plate with tortilla chips (not more than 1 or 2 chips thick).

nachos2  Then cover the chips with a layer of cheese (we use pizza cheese or mozzarella cheese).
nachos3  Repeat the layers.

nachos4Whether the oven is preheated or not, put the nachos in the oven. Leave in till cheese is melted to your liking. This is how it looks after about 7 minutes.

nachos5And this is how it looks after about 10 minutes.
Serve with salsa and sour cream.

Sometimes we do these variations: Add sliced jalapeno peppers on top. Sprinkle crushed red pepper on top.

If you’re doing it for a group , use a cookie sheet instead of a plate. Also, we have Corelle plates, but we don’t use them in the oven. Our Coke plates are about twice as thick and it was an experiment the first time to see if it would break or melt but it works fine… why don’t we just use a small baking sheet? I don’t know.

I have a meat and potatoes meal done, pictured, and ready for posting, so you can expect that later this week.

And, as usual, thanks so much for your encouraging, fun, helpful, humorous, and interesting comments! You guys are great!!!

Bread-making… sigh!

I am so impressed with good bread-makers. Mom used to make it all the time. I should try it again, I guess. Maybe I get discouraged too easily. Anyone have any good tips for an amateur bread-maker like me (other than ‘just use frozen bread dough’)?

Maybe you’re wondering what goes wrong. Dinner rolls are a problem for me too. Tough, don’t raise well, too airy in the top half (huge air pockets), and they don’t even taste good, just sorta blah.

Soup & Sandwiches

ss meal

This was a very easy meal to make! I’ve had my eye on these sandwiches and have been wanting to try them for awhile. The domestic part of me gets a kick out of making soups from scratch, altho’ we don’t have soup very much. I’m more used to popping open a can when we do have soup, so there’s something kind of ‘fun’ about starting with raw potatoes and carrots! 

Quick and Easy Italian Vegetable Beef Soup    …This recipe comes from the Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook , all the recipes use a crockpot.

1 lb ground beef or turkey, browned and drained
3 carrots, sliced
4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
15 oz can diced Italian tomatoes or 2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
6 oz can Italian-flavored tomato paste
4 1/2 cups water (I put in only about 3 cups to cut down on the broth, I like soups full of stuff without a lot of broth)
1 quart beef broth

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover. Cook on high 6-8 hours, or until potatoes and carrots are tender. So easy. I had it in the crockpot by 10:00 a.m. and didn’t have to touch it till supper… well, ok, I couldn’t help but stir it now and then. It made about 12 cups, fit nice in my 4 qt crockpot. It was a good hearty soup. We liked it.
ss soup

The Ultimate Grilled Cheese    … This recipe comes from the 2001 Annual Quick Cooking Cookbook.

1 pkg (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup mayonnaise ( I used a little less than 1/2 cup the second time and that tasted better)
1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup (4 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp seasoned salt
10 slices Italian bread (This isn’t with the regular bread, at our grocery store anyway. It’s over by the bakery.)
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, softened

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and mayo until smooth. Stir in cheeses, garlic powder, and seasoned salt. Spread 5 slices of bread with the cheese mixture, about 1/3 cup each.
ss sandwch1Top with remaining bread. Butter the outsides of sandwiches; cook in a large skillet over medium heat until golden brown on both sides. Yield: 5 servings. I buttered the bread, put the bottom piece in the skillet, then put the stuff on, the put the other buttered piece on top… seemed like it would be a little less handling and a little less messy that way. We had one left over and it was really good reheated in the oven! I made this meal Wed evening and it tasted like too much mayo in these sandwiches, so when my sis-in-law Liz came over yesterday, I made them again and put less mayo in and it was better. We had some of the leftover soup and Liz brought salad to go with it. Anyway, Shannon and I really liked these sandwiches (I’ll let Liz speak for herself ). It was a nice variation from reg grilled cheese.
ss sandwch2

This tip was in a “Sandwich Secrets”  section in the same cookbook:  “Here’s a hurry-up way to make grilled cheese sandwiches for a crowd: Prepare the sandwiches as you would for the griddle, but place them all on a cookie sheet instead. Bake in a 350 oven for 5-8 minutes on each side until they’re golden brown.” I just saw that tip, so I didn’t get a chance to try it yet, but I plan to do it next time I get the chance.

On a different note: On the last post, someone commented on my smooth top range and wondered how I like it… I absolutely love it! I’ve had the other and this is much better… no getting down in under burners to clean and there’s a cleaning solution you get with the smooth top that works like a charm. My mom and dad built a new house and got new appliances. Mom got a smooth top and really likes it too. I’ve heard that it’s not good for them to do alot of canning on them, but that’s not an issue for either of us. I didn’t know that about the cast iron, ski_n_beach_bum. That’s interesting.

So, let’s hear from you… which do you like best, what are the pros and cons, or maybe you prefer gas over electric?

“Give Me 5 or Fewer”

Golden Potato Rounds
Tortilla Beef Bake
Salsa Strips
Chocolate Ice Cream Syrup

These recipes were all in a row in the “Give Me 5 or Fewer” section in the 2001 Quick Cooking Annual Cookbook . They all have 5 or less ingredients, so it was very fast and easy to throw this meal together. I actually halved the recipes so we wouldn’t have leftovers, if you wonder about how little the dishes look.

Golden Potato Rounds

1 cup crushed cornflakes
1 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
4 med potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/2″ thick
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

In a bowl, combine the cornflakes and seasoned salt. Dip potatoes in butter, then coat with cornflake mixture. Place on greased foil-lined baking sheets.
5potato1Bake at 350 for 55-60 min or until tender. Yield: 6 servings.
5potato2    These were great! They were even better with ketchup. I made this meal last night for supper, and this morning we were driving and just out of the blue, Lexi said, “Mom, those potato rounds were so good!”

Tortilla Beef Bake

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
2 1/2 crushed tortilla chips, divided
1 jar (16 oz) salsa
1 1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded cheddar cheese

In a skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in soup. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups tortilla chips in a greased shallow 2 1/2 qt baking dish. Top with beef mixture, salsa, and cheese.
5bake1  5bake2  5bake3  Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 25-30 min or until bubbly. Sprinkle with the remaining chips. Bake 3 min longer or until chips are lightly toasted.  Yield: 6 servings.
5bake4    The tortilla chips on here gave it a nice crunch. It was very good and SO easy! We liked the salsa giving the zip to it instead of the usual taco seasoning that’s usually in Mexican dishes. A winner!

Salsa Strips

1 tube (8 oz) refrigerated crescent rolls
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3/4 cup salsa
1 cup (4 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
Minced fresh cilantro or parsley

Unroll crescent roll dough and separate into 4 rectangles. Place on greased baking sheets. Spread mustard and salsa on each rectangle.
5salsa1  If you wonder about the crescent rolls in the pan, I halved the recipe, then had 4 rolls left over, so just made reg crescent rolls and sprinkled a little cheese on them too. Bake at 350 for 10 min. Sprinkle with cheese; bake 8-10 min longer or until golden brown. Cool for 10 min. Cut each into four strips; sprinkle with cilantro (or parsley). Yield: 16 appetizers.
5salsa2  These were good, Shannon thought they were really good. My problem was that I don’t like mustard and you could definitely taste it! Next time I’d put on only 1/2 of what it calls for… at least on my half! These salsa strips would be great to serve with a snack for company some evening.

Chocolate Ice Cream Syrup

6 squares (1 oz ea) unsweetened chocolate
3 Tbsp butter (no substitutes), cubed
2 cups sugar
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
Ice cream

In a heavy saucepan over low heat or double boiler over simmering water, melt the chocolate. Add butter; cook and stir until melted. Add sugar alternately with milk, stirring constantly. Cook for 15 min, stirring often.
5choc1  Serve warm over ice cream. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 2 1/2 cups.
5choc2  Editor’s note: If desired, add 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp orange or peppermint extract. Stir into syrup after removing from the heat. As I was making this, I was thinking about that Reeses hard-shell stuff you can buy to go on ice cream and was sure this was the first and last time I’d be making this. But, it turned out so yummy and gooey and fudgey that I know I’ll just have to make it again now and then!!!! Just a tip: Let it sit (before putting it on the ice cream) while you eat, then by the time you’re done eating, it’s not so piping hot and stays on top of the ice cream better without just slipping down the side and melting the ice cream.

Grandma’s Pie

Here is my dear Grandma…

…and here is her delicious pie recipe…

Brown Sugar Pie

1 egg
1 cup brown sugar
2 heaping Tbsp flour (Grandma says by heaping, it means to heap it so much that you have about another whole Tbsp on top!)
2 cups whole milk (Grandma says ‘whole’ is VERY important!)

Beat egg good. (That’s an understatement, one of Grandma’s tips is to beat it like crazy.)  Add sugar and flour and beat some more. Gradually add milk. Pour into 9″ unbaked pie crust. As you can see, it’s very thin batter.
brnsugpie1     Bake at 350 until set, about 45 min -1 hour. Middle will be shaky. Not kidding when it says shaky… we’re talking nearly making waves when you get it out! No, but I always think ‘This will never set up!’ and sometimes it never has .
brnsugpie3Grandma’s brown sugar pies always seem so much better, just the fact that she made them and they came from her kitchen. This pie actually turned out pretty good though. It’s supposed to turn into 2 layers like you see in the piece below, that’s not a mistake! The top lighter layer melts in your mouth and the bottom darker layer is about the consistency of fudge.

So delicious! I ate one piece, then within 10 minutes, I went back for another . You should really try this… it takes very common ingredients and doesn’t take long to make. You can add Whipped Cream if you want, but that’s actually against the rule… one time at a Graber get together, one of my aunts, I think it was, was putting whipped cream on pies and put some on a brown sugar pie and got alot of hassle for it! 

Adding an edit here: Someone asked in a comment about storing it in the fridge… yes, you do. Grandma usually bakes them the same day and they cool, then we eat them at room temp. I actually think it tastes better cold, so I put it in the fridge after it cools… but I have a room temperature piece first! Oh, and you may have caught on already, but this recipe is for one 9″ pie.