Recipes and Cooking Ideas for Homemakers and Amateur Cooks

Chipotle in a Bowl

Posted on January 24, 2014 
Filed Under Chicken and Turkey, Main dishes

chipotle in a bowl serving

This is one of my favorite foods at the moment. I’m not even sure why I like it so good. I mean, it’s basically just rice, beans, and chicken, which doesn’t sound all that exciting. But man, it is so GOOD!!! It must be the cumin. Or cilantro. I don’t know, but I just had it yesterday and I’m craving it again. I wonder how many days in a row I could eat it before I’d get tired of it.

So, please make it.

Don’t let the list of spices, herbs and steps make it look daunting.

I’ll be honest, it is kind of time-consuming to make. But all casseroles and soups are. ……..When I say that sentence in a conversation, it’s like I want to ask myself “Did I yell that? Or why did everyone perk up and half the people are wildly talking over each other disagreeing with me?” Every time I say that, people come up for air defending it because “casseroles are so quick” and “just throw together a soup”. It will forever be a mystery to me why I seem to always be standing alone on the casseroles-and-soups-are-more-time-consuming island. I just realized that I’m off on a bunny trail here, but I’ll follow it a bit more and tell you why I feel the way I do… in case you’re coming up for air too. ????
There are so many steps to all-in-one dishes… you fry the meat, you cook the noodles, you chop the veggies, you sauté them, you make and thicken sauce. You mix it together, add more things, and then you still have to bake it, stir it, or cook it.
When it’s all separate, you bake/fry/cook it, and then it’s done and ready to put on the table.
Maybe I’m a bit biased because I prefer to cook the “separate” way, partly because that’s how I grew up, partly because Shannon often grills the meat if it’s separate, partly because I’m always stumped about what to put on for side dishes because all the food groups are in the main dish, and partly because you can taste each food better. Ok, let’s bring this bunny trail back over to the main trail again.

I’m just sitting here wondering why I’m putting a plug in for “meat & potatoes” meals when what I’m posting is an all-in-one meal! Ha.

Yesterday when I made Chipotle in a Bowl, it seemed to go extra fast because… 4 of my friends were sitting on bar stools around my island (the one in my kitchen, not the opinion one up there that I stand alone on :) ) and we were all chatting the morning away with cups of coffee. I wish they’d come sit around my island every time I’m cooking. It takes something already enjoyable… cooking … and makes it even more enjoyable… cooking with friends and coffee! ????

Chipotle in a Bowl …from the cookbook Simple & Satisfying

1 1/2 lbs chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
Marinade chicken in seasonings for at least 4 hours. Fry in oil until done.
chipotle chicken

2 Tbsp. oil
2 cups rice
1 c. chopped onion ( I go a little easy on this.)
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. chicken soup base
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 – 2 Tbsp. cilantro, fresh is best
4 cups water
Fry rice and onion in oil, then add remaining ingredients. Simmer until rice is soft. I’ve never timed this, I’d say it’s about 1/2 hour. I just go by when the water is gone.
chipotle rice

2 cups cooked black beans (I use canned. A couple of my friends say dry ones that you soak yourself are better. I want to try that next time.)
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
3/4 tsp. lemon pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 – 2 Tbsp. cilantro
Simmer bean ingredients together for 10 minutes.
chipotle beans

2 cups sour cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I use Mexican blend.)
Tomatoes or salsa
Ranch dressing

Put rice in a greased casserole dish, then top with black beans and chicken. Spread sour cream over chicken and top with cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Serve with remaining toppings.
chipotle ready to layer

chipotle layering

chipotle layer cheese

chipotle in a bowl dish

This recipe is great as is. The only thing I’m going to try changing sometime is using only half the rice. I think it’s a bit of an overkill for how little chicken is in the recipe, even though I really like rice.

We all love this. It’s just bursting with flavor and it’s not too spicy for the kids.



8 Responses to “Chipotle in a Bowl”

  1. Arla on January 24th, 2014 7:28 pm

    I’m with you, Kay. Casseroles are complicated and time consuming…I mean unless you get your kicks out of food prep. What is easier than plain old meat and taters?

  2. Charlotte Graber on January 24th, 2014 10:44 pm

    Yes, casseroles are time consuming. This recipe looks easy though. I’m on the lookout for new recipes and gonna try this one.

  3. Kay on January 25th, 2014 10:29 am

    Ahhhh, I guess I’m not alone on the island after all!

  4. Sharon on January 25th, 2014 10:51 am

    The thing about casseroles is they can be mostly done ahead of time–all the prep work is beforehand, instead of juggling several things at the last minute. Maybe that tricks some people into thinking they are fast? :-) This recipe looks so good! We do a similar thing with taco meat instead of chicken & just plain cooked rice, but these spices and seasonings with chicken sound amazing. On the list to try. (when I have time :-) )

  5. Liz on January 30th, 2014 11:55 pm

    It sounds good. This does have more things to make before you put it together. I like make ahead things sometimes so that it’s not so much at the last minute. But meatballs and some kind of cut up potatoes work for doing ahead too. Plus loads of other recipes.

  6. Jo Hershey on February 3rd, 2014 7:01 pm

    This looks like something that could become a favorite around here! I like soups & casseroles if they can be made ahead of time but I agree, a lot of work. And dishes. :(

  7. Sheila on February 10th, 2014 6:00 pm

    I’m with you on casseroles and soups not being a quick meal. And, like Jo said, they make alot of dishes! Of course, the dirty dishes aren’t as much of an issue now that I have a dishwasher. :-) This looks like a recipe I would love! I’m going to have to try it sometime.

  8. Shannon on February 14th, 2014 10:26 pm

    Oh that yumminess again. :) I’ll come sit and sip anytime you want to cook! :)

Pioneer Woman’s Sloppy Joes

Just recently, Shannon said, “You oughta put some meat on Kitchen Scrapbook again.” As I thought about it, it did seem like it had been awhile, so just for kicks, I checked… and was surprised… in the last 27 posts, the only thing with meat in it on here was Haystacks! And that’s not a dish where the meat is really monopolized on. So, here we go, something with meat… a main dish, for something different. I know it’s not a CHUNK of meat, but hey, there IS meat here.

One main dish in 27 posts shows you a bit where my interests lie. I don’t churn out full course meals as often as you might think. I like cooking meals, I really do. But you know what I LOVE? Baking, desserts, decorating cakes, and playing around with food. It’s hard to do fun stuff with main course dishes. And main course dishes are necessary… the sweet things aren’t… and we all know that somehow there’s always more fun and passion in unecessary things. I should add in a clause here about meat… I’ve heard and seen enough from the guys I’m around that I DO understand that there is fun and passion in smoking and grilling chunks of meat… but I don’t know a flippin’ thing about doing it, so I’m quite happy to stay on the eating end of it rather than on the fire end of it. :)

This is the first time I’m posting one of Pioneer Woman’s recipes on my site, even though I’ve made quite a few of them. One I still need to try is the cinnamon rolls. I just need to see for myself that it’s just as good or better to sprinkle on white sugar instead of brown sugar just before rolling them up. When I do try them, I think I’ll do some with white and some with brown… and compare. The best part of all that is that it entitles me to TWO cinnamon rolls. ;) Anyway… why am I talking about cinnamon rolls?! Back to the thing of posting a Pioneer Woman recipe on my site… It’s sorta like what’s the point because it’s already posted in much more finery and humor already on her site. It’s not that I feel threatened by her… because you can only feel threatened by people or things that are in your league. ;) So, here is the link to the recipe on her site: Pioneer Woman’s Sloppy Joes. And in case you don’t feel like clicking to go over there, I’ll post it here, too.

I actually just grabbed my cell phone to take pictures of these because, well, my camera battery needed charged. :roll: Also, I made a half batch, in case the quantity in the frying pan looks small to you… you know what I thought of right now, I should’ve made a full batch and put half of in it the freezer for another meal!


Pioneer Woman’s Sloppy Joes

2 Tbsp. butter
2 1/2 lbs ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 cup water
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. chili powder (more to taste) I actually cut back on this because I wasn’t sure how much kick it would give it.
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (more to taste)
Worcestershire sauce, to taste
2 Tbsp. tomato paste (optional)
Tabasco sauce (optional; to taste)
Salt; to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Kaiser rolls

Add butter to a large skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add ground beef and cook until brown. Drain most of the fat and discard. Add onions, green pepper, and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, or until vegetables begin to get soft. Add ketchup, brown sugar, chili pepper, dry mustard, and water. Stir to combine and simmer for 15 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste.

Also add tomato paste, Worcestershire, and Tabasco if desired. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Spread rolls with butter and brown on a griddle or skillet. Spoon meat mixture over the rolls. And then I added a slice of provolone cheese and put it under the broiler for a few minutes.


These are hands down THE BEST sloppy joes I’ve ever made or eaten! Dancing with flavor. I backed up the spicyness a little and I think it was just right… in my world, sloppy joes aren’t supposed to be spicy. But a little zing was perfect. So, anyway, this will now be my sloppy joe recipe unless I find another one to kick it out of 1st place.

In other news, we’re grilling tonight. Not sure what we’ll grill, but I think I’ll feature it in the next post, whatever it ends up being. The meats we have on hand to choose from are: burger, chicken breast, fish, and a 1.14-lb sirloin steak. Oh, and when I say “we’re grilling”, I am, as usual, using the term ‘we’ very loosely.

What are you grilling tonight? And feel free to use the term ‘you’ very loosely. ;)


15 Responses to “Pioneer Woman’s Sloppy Joes”

  1. Lydia Jo Martin on July 7th, 2011 2:48 pm

    hmmm… I never made this recipe of PW either. Looks good. I do, however, make her cinnamon rolls all the time. They are like fail proof. But then, I was never very good at making the all yeast kind. The last time that I tried a new recipe for cinnamon rolls they got horrible and I threw the whole pan into the pasture. Wouldn’t you know we got company that evening and the guys were looking around and they saw the cinnamon rolls in the meadow. I died! How embarrassing. Now, I’m going to go see if you have a sweet roll recipe that I should try.

  2. Shannon on July 7th, 2011 2:53 pm

    Awww, Kay to the rescue for something for supper. :) Think I’ll give it a shot if you say it’s good.

    I did the very same thing with the cinnamon rolls. Could not stand to just use white sugar so I did some of both. Can’t quite remember but I think the white was almost better for some reason. Try it yourself and I’ll see what you think. :)

  3. Audrey on July 7th, 2011 3:03 pm

    We are having leftover grilled foods tonight. Chicken and red potatoes.

    We bought a wood pellet BBQ grill about 2 months ago and we are LOVING it. We grill so often. And I love it because it involves Jeremy and no kitchen clean up either!

    Those sloppy joes look awesome!

  4. Cheryl Weaver on July 7th, 2011 3:13 pm

    I just made sloppy joes for lunch and I’m waiting on the man to arrive so we can eat them. I love the idea to broil the cheese. Otherwise I’m quite happy with my recipe which comes from the Byers cookbook. Its worked for fifteen years now.

  5. Freida on July 7th, 2011 3:49 pm

    I can not wait to try these sloppy joes. I liked the recipe I had good enough, but these look better. I just might try them for supper.

    What are we grilling? Next up is tin foils or grilled pizza.

  6. carmen on July 7th, 2011 4:30 pm

    looks divine!! I’m h.u.n.g.r.y!!

  7. Kay on July 7th, 2011 5:32 pm

    Jo, I HOPE you found these raspberry cream cheese cinnamon rolls in your sweet roll search! I make them alot and always keep donut mix on hand just for them. Glad to here PW’s rolls are fail proof! :) LOL about the guys finding your rolls in the pasture! That just made my day!

    So, Shannon, white is better in those rolls?! Now I HAVE TO try them because that still blows me away. Oh yeah… I have an open mind about it… why would you ask? :lol:

    Aug, yep, anytime you can skip kitchen cleanup and get out of making part of the meal, it’s a good thing! Your wood pellet grill sounds like a plan… charcoal briquets are NOT cheap! Oh, maybe wood pellet aren’t either.??? ;)

    Cheryl, can’t beat a faithful-for-15-yrs recipe! But broiling the cheese will only make it better! :)

    Freida, I was just looking at some tin foils recipes this afternoon… we’ve done a little of that for veggies, but I want to do more. Grilled pizza is something we’ve never done. I don’t get how the toppings get hot without burning the crust.??? :eek:

    Carmen, I’m hungry too! And I still don’t know what we’re grilling… gonna decide when Shannon gets home. Obviously, nothing that needs marinated. :lol:

  8. Liz on July 7th, 2011 11:21 pm

    We (using the term loosely as you do) grilled fresh sausage tonight. Meat that came from Lancaster, PA. Or from somewhere in there.
    Sloppy joes look good. I should try them sometime. I have no favorite recipe – it’s called dumping in stuff till it tastes right.

  9. Beth on July 8th, 2011 8:19 am

    We’re having sloppy joes today, but I think there are only 6 ingredients in the recipe we use. This looks like a lot of work! Most people would probably think our Schlabach family is blah, because we (also used loosely) rarely cook with onions or peppers. :) All because our Dad didn’t like them.

  10. Michelle on July 8th, 2011 5:18 pm

    You always make me hungry! I always just dump stuff when I’m making sloppy joes. I should try a recipe sometime so they start turning out consistently. :) And we’re having hot dogs tonight. Because we were going to burn our brush pile. And now it rained. AGAIN.

  11. Sharon on July 8th, 2011 11:22 pm

    tonight we (and usually I use that term loosely, but I really did it, because Troy was tired and napping) grilled steak cubes, onions and mushrooms. I chunk the steak into kebab-size cubes and do the veggies the same, then marinate them a bit, throw them on our grill tray, and they are so good! I like steak that way cause it gets done faster and is much easier for the children to eat. I love adding zucchini to the above veggies, too, but didn’t have any today. Those sloppy joes sound great! Did you really add all that garlic? No wonder they were good. :-)

  12. Karen B on July 9th, 2011 12:39 am

    Made these tonight…YUMMY! I think toasting the buns made them wonderful. We quit eating sloppy joes cause they are so blah…..not these!

  13. Kay on July 9th, 2011 11:17 am

    Liz and Michelle, you guys just dump? My hat’s off to you! I do not do that in cooking! But I admire people who do! ;)

    Beth, if you use minced garlic and onions, it doesn’t take much extra work… the peppers still need to be diced, but it’s worth it cuz you know how I LOVE peppers! :lol:

    Sharon, I thought of doing that exact thing with that 1.14 lb sirloin! We made chicken breast salad then, but we’d have probably just brushed them with olive oil and seasoned them because there was no time for marinating… although it sounds like you didn’t marinate ‘em for very long. I love kabobs.

    Karen, you tried them! Ahhhh, love when people do that! :cool:

  14. Aurelia on July 9th, 2011 11:49 am

    Ok Kay, I read your post and had an instant craving for cinnamon rolls. (I bet you thought I was going to say sloppy joes!!) So, last night I mixed up 1/2 batch of PW’s cinnamon rolls, stuck them in the fridge overnight and rolled them out and baked them this morning. AHHH, what a tasteful experience!!!! Dave classified them as AMAZING!!!! They will definitely be a go to recipe, though they do take a bit of time to mix up til you let the dough rest a couple of times. I love reading your posts.

  15. Leah Anderson on August 29th, 2011 6:38 pm

    I made these tonight! I had all the ingredients except the provolone cheese – so I used shredded mozz. These are hands down the best Sloppy Joes Ive ever tasted! Manwich doesnt even come close! Love your blog!

    Thanks for sharing!


Posted on April 28, 2011
Filed Under Easy meals, Main dishes

I’ve been hungry for haystacks since February. Yeah, I know. You’d think I’d have made them before now, what with being in charge of the food around here and all! :roll: How I know it was February is because for a couple weeks in a row, the church bulletin had “Haystack Supper Fundraiser: Friday eve, Feb 25″ in the Upcoming Events section for this area. Seeing that every week got me more and more in the mood for them and THEN we ended up not going to the fundraiser! So, to make a long story short (after I already told the long story), last night was the night, and I finally got my haystacks craving satisfied. Man, I could dig my fork into this pile all over again!


Haystacks are kind of a ‘to each his own’ thing, so there’s not really a set way to do them… the components vary and the order of stacking varies. So, I’ll just show you how we like them and you can tweak it from there. I use the term ‘we’ loosely because I’m the only one who likes rice on it and the tomatoes are not very popular among the little people around here.

Speaking of rice, the rice totally flopped last night. I mean really. Rice. How hard can it be… get it to boiling in a pan and then let it simmer for 45 min WITHOUT lifting the lid, then when time’s up, you lift the lid and there is your rice, magically perfectly done, fluff it with a fork and put it on the table. Well, *ahem*. I now know what happens when you accidently put in too little water. The magic doesn’t happen. Half of the grains are fluffily cooked and half of them look like you just dumped them out of the bag and half of them look partially cooked— ok, I think I got too many halves here, but you get the picture. I noticed it when I was about to dish everything up, so I put more water in, cranked the burner to High and cooked the rice like crazy for about 10 minutes. It worked ok and was soft enough to eat.

Here are the components to our haystacks. We thought of salsa later, so that’s missed on the picture.


Here’s the order I layer it in:
— Corn chips, slightly crushed (you can also use crackers, but I like the extra flavor and crunch of chips)
— Rice
— Meat mixture (brown hamburger with onion, then add a packet of taco seasoning and a can of kidney beans)
— Cheese sauce (1/4 cup melted butter, 2 Tbsp flour, 1 cup milk; bring to boil, then stir in 1 cup cheddar or Velveeta)
— Lettuce
— Diced tomatoes (can also open and drain a can of diced tomatoes, a handy time-saver tip from my friend Linda Y.)
— Shredded cheese
— Salsa

Maybe there is something I miss that would make haystacks even better, so if you make them different than this and if you feel like it, I’d love to hear what variations you do to haystacks!


While I was making this, I was thinking that this would be a good meal option for those it’s-4:30pm-and-I’m-staring-in-the-fridge/freezer/cupboards-for-a-menu-inspiration moments. Or maybe you guys never do that… I do it more often than I care to admit. Anyway, I think I’m going to keep this meal option on hand from now on… The rice takes very little time to get it to simmering, the meat would be fast (especially if it would be already browned in the freezer), cheese sauce takes very little time and the rest of the stuff is basically just putting it on the table… which the kids did last night. Actually, this meal isn’t far away from the kids totally doing!

Speaking of which, my goal this summer after Lexi gets out of school is to perfect about 5 good, but easy enough, meals that the girls can do by themselves. Then, once in awhile, I can say, “Hey, you guys go make ____________ for supper, please.” ???? Haystacks may just be on that list.

Not sure what’s up next, but it’s seems like f.o.r.e.v.e.r since I’ve made or eaten sinful chocolatey richness, so I see that in my future for this weekend. And since I have to feature it on here in order to make it ‘legal’, that might just be coming up next……….


26 Responses to “Haystacks”

  1. Connie Stoll on April 28th, 2011 11:11 am

    We love haystacks for family get-togethers! We use crackers and corn chips, rice, meat sauce with beans seperate because there are always those who don’t like beans.:) Onions, sunflower seeds, tomatoes, lettuce and for a quick cheese sauce use canned cheddar cheese soup with some milk. Yum! Your post made me want some!

  2. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary on April 28th, 2011 2:19 pm

    Oh we call these Frito Pies. I was looking for the haystacks saying, maybe they are coming up after the Frito Pies, lol. I guess it’s a cultural things. We never added rice though. Great addition!

  3. Shannon on April 28th, 2011 2:27 pm

    Now guess who’s hungry for haystacks! ????

  4. Larinda High on April 28th, 2011 2:33 pm

    We do Ritz crackers, rice, meat with chilli beans, lettuce, tomatoe, onion, green olives(a must have at this house), salsa, sour cream, cheese sauce, jalopeno pepper rings. We had hay stacks at our wedding:) We LOVE haystacks! I don’t make them near often enough. I often make them for the youth, or when I have company. It’s a very easy Sunday lunch for company!!

  5. Larinda High on April 28th, 2011 2:35 pm

    OOPs! I forgot to add chips…and it must be corn chips not dorito type chips:)

  6. Kay on April 28th, 2011 2:52 pm

    I’m lovin’ these new ideas!
    I always thought the corn chips take the place of the crackers… never thought of them in addition to the chips! :)
    Raw onions and green olives wouldn’t go over good with any of us here, but the sunflower seeds, sour cream, and jalepenos will definitely need to be added to the table next time!!
    I like the idea of using cheddar soup for cheese sauce and mixing chili beans with the meat… Larinda, do you not add taco seasoning to the meat/bean mixture then? That would be great… one less ingredient. ????

  7. Monica on April 28th, 2011 4:42 pm

    A haystack is NOT complete without crushed spicy nacho Doritos and homemade French dressing. :) Yeah, I’m weird, I know. :) :)

  8. Cheryl Weaver on April 28th, 2011 4:59 pm

    We had them last night too. One thing that my children WILL notice if it is missing is black olives. I like pepperoncinis on mine, too. And yes, the homemade French dressing is a MUST!

  9. Kay on April 28th, 2011 7:42 pm

    Wow, more ideas of stuff that all sounds good! Twila, chopped nuts? That actually sounds GOOD! I love nuts in salad.
    Karen, great idea to use refried beans… we had a bit of complaining about beans last night. ????
    You guys and your homemade French! :) I don’t even know how to make that! I’d be glad if you’d want to post a recipe here! Wonder if it’s like the ‘Tally-Ho’ my mom used to make.???
    Lorene, thanks much for the rice tips! Rice is always sort of blah to me, and how you said to do it almost sounds like it could have a little flavor if you’re not careful! ????
    Sandra, I did the butter really quick and no, they didn’t get soggy… did you do them right out of the oven? as in, at first they were almost too hot to hold. Not sure what else you could do different, unless it would’ve been the brand of the butter??? I used Land o Lakes, but you may have, too.

  10. Karen on April 28th, 2011 6:02 pm

    We like corn chips and doritos mixed…mushrooms,olives, jalepenos,hot salsa,sour cream or ranch….depending who you are, plus what you had. I mix refried beans with my meat/taco seas. mixture, that way the non bean eating ones don’t notice! =)

  11. Lorene Miller on April 28th, 2011 6:12 pm

    What lovely blogs you always post! Just a note on cooking rice…I learned from my sister who was a missionary in C.A. that if you put a tablespoon of oil in pan and stir fry the raw rice till it is a little brown before adding water it helps to get that stir fried fluffy rice that doesn’t stick together. After you add the water, bring to boil then turn down as low as possible. In 15 min. it will be perfect if you don’t lift lid. I always add some chicken base to the rice, but that is not a must.
    Thanks for giving me ideas!

  12. Liz on April 28th, 2011 6:29 pm

    Ok, now I’m hungry for haystacks!
    Like your updated profile pic too.

  13. Twila on April 28th, 2011 6:40 pm

    I like to add diced celery, somehow just adds a nice flavor. And we usually start with crushed crackers and also add the nacho chips somewhere along the way! I also like it with pork and beans but the kids don’t, so I don’t usually bother. My original recipe from 25 years ago also has chopped nuts as the very last item.

  14. Sandra Hershey on April 28th, 2011 7:16 pm

    Yeah i have a new meal for next week!!..I have made it before and but the kids never seemed to like it when they were little.
    I did make your yummy donuts…they were a hit!! Great for sunday morning breakfast!!Next time I need to a double batch:)
    Kay, i do have a question…when you rolled your donuts in the butter…mine got i skipped that and rolled them in the cinn mix,they were ok.Did I do something wrong?

  15. Amy Burkey on April 29th, 2011 7:41 am

    We make the haystacks with Doritos, and the meat sauce is made with chili beans instead of kidney. And we just use real grated cheese and no cheese sauce. And I’m the only one who eats rice with it.:( Which is sad…. About rice. I’ve learned a few fun things. Always buy rice that says parboiled on the pkg. For rice that I’m using to eat with things mexican I like to put something tomatoey in for part of the liquid and add some cumin and other seasonings. For rice just to eat with pork chops or fish I like to throw in some real butter and dill, mint, cajun, and a little garlic and onion pwd and some lawrys when it’s done boiling…put it in in the “fluff with fork” process. It’s really good. And to cook the rice so it always turns out? simmer 10 min in hot liquid and then pour off excess water and put the lid back on with a wet towel to seal the lid good and simmer again for 10 more minutes. It fluffs beautifully. make sure you have a thick bottomed pan though and you will have a little crust over the bottom of the pan. Anyhow, enjoyed all these good ideas for haystacks..taco salad…whatever you call it! :)

  16. Arla on April 29th, 2011 3:44 pm

    I made haystacks for the Graber family once and didn’t have enough of it. I coulda died of embarrassment. Seems like desert took care of it, but those completely clean bowls and kettles was scary to me. Do you remember that, Kay? I would guess it’s one of our favorite meals around here summer or winter. And we use beans and rice too besides the meat. Cheese sauce is our pick for cheese, and we like onions,lettuce, ranch and salsa if I have it on hand. Lance uses hot sauce on his, and not many of us likes the tomatoes.

  17. Eleanor on April 29th, 2011 10:21 pm

    This was interesting. And my husband pretty much has a standing order for haystacks any time I want to make them. We do Doritos instead of corn chips and add salsa, sour cream and French dressing and usually just use cheese instead of cheese sauce.

  18. Sandra Hershey on April 30th, 2011 9:55 am

    Thanks Kay!..I did do it right when they were hot..but i never thought that it may be the butter.I used that could be it:)..They were still a hit!

  19. Kay on April 30th, 2011 11:37 am

    More rice tips! Thanks alot, Amy!!!

    Oh, Arla, I can just feel it… running out of food, but no, I do NOT remember that! At least it was just the Grabers… or should I say Oh no! and it was the Grabers of all people! ???? I have 3 major fears when it comes to serving a meal… something flopping, someone finding a hair, and not having enough!

    Eleanor and whoever else suggested Doritos, good idea. Seems like they’d add more flavor than corn chips!

    Sandra, I was more just grasping at straws… I don’t know if brand would’ve made a diff or not. The recipe actually calls for margarine!

  20. Freida on April 30th, 2011 11:48 am

    Nobody mentioned instant rice? That makes the meal even quicker. :)

    Our haystacks consist of taco meat mixture w/ chili beans, rice, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese sauce, chips, (for hubby) crackers (for me), salsa, and ranch dressing or my homemade french island dressing. Yumm! Now I’m hungry! Me thinks this will make a delicious Sunday lunch tomorrow. ????

  21. Tonya on April 30th, 2011 6:42 pm

    We do crackers, rice, taco meat, dorito chips, shredded cheese, lettuce, cheese sauce, salsa, olives, sour cream, tomatoes. We love them too and I don’t make them nearly as often as I should.

  22. Judi on May 3rd, 2011 4:18 pm

    I make a variation of this. I start with refried beans, seasoned beef, tomatoes, onions, cheese and sour cream. We then scoop it all up with corn chips. Yum… just had it last night.

  23. Jan on May 4th, 2011 7:22 pm

    Need another rice tip? I fry mine in a little oil, then dump in the water (slightly less than asked for)and some salt. I cook it until the water level is down to the rice level and then shut it off. I peek in all I want to. You have to so you can check the level. Let it set there for about twenty minutes or so and the water will continue to be absorbed. The end result is not sticky, undercooked, or overcooked. One of the few foods Dan is picky about is rice and he is proud of mine! I am cooking rice right now (Yes, for haystacks) and almost forgot to shut it off. ????

  24. amber on May 5th, 2011 3:30 pm

    i now know what we’re going to have for dinner.. :)

  25. Larinda High on May 10th, 2011 6:49 pm

    Yes, we still add Taco seasoning to the meat…it’s a must:) the spicier the better!

  26. Shannon on May 19th, 2011 2:32 pm

    Some GREAT ideas now that mine is all made! ha :) It will pass but it’s not great.

    I posses those same 3 fears when cooking! Failure, hair and not enough. Tonight I’m worrying about not enough because it’s the youth group and I have no idea how much they eat.

Burrito BLT Wraps – Cooks in Training #8

Posted on June 23, 2009
Filed Under Cooks in Training, Main dishes


I’m trying to decide if this should even be a Cooks in Training post.

Reasons it should be:
1. Lexi and Tiffany made them.
2. The recipe comes from the Kids Cook! cookbook.
3. There is no kettle or baking involved.

Reasons it should not be:
1. What. a. mess!!!!!!
2. There is a sharp knife involved.
3. Next time we have these, I’ll make them myself.

I don’t want to give the impression that the Cooks in Training posts aren’t usually messy. ???? It’s just that this one struck me as extra messy. Maybe it was because the floor around their chairs looked confetti-covered. Maybe it was because they were handling bacon (read: grease) twice. Maybe it was because when they wrapped their wraps up, the tortillas ripped and the filling was falling out and trying to fix the problem only made it worse. :)

Oh well, we all have our bad days in the kitchen. And these little cooks are no exception. The wraps tasted great, which is what matters. And it was a nice variation from a regular BLT sandwich. Which is not a bad thing either:
blt1.jpg   Mmmmmmmm! Yum.

This recipe has everything all diced up and mixed together, but it would probably be easier and quicker to just leave the ingredients whole and layer them in the tortilla.

Burrito BLT Wraps …from Betty Crocker’s Kids Cook! cookbook

8 slices bacon
1 large tomato
2 cups shredded lettuce
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (6 oz)
1/3 cup mayo or salad dressing
6 flour tortillas (8″-10″ across)

Put a paper towel on a microwavable plate. Put 4 bacon slices on top of paper towel. Add another paper towel and put on 4 more bacon slices. Put another paper towel on top of bacon. Microwave on High for 4 – 6 minutes or until bacon is crisp. Break it into pieces (after it cools, of course).

Chop the tomato into small pieces.

Put the bacon, tomato, lettuce, cheese, and mayo in a bowl. Toss together. Spread the BLT mixture evenly over the tortillas.

Fold up the bottom 1/3 of each tortilla, then roll it up.



And here they are! In all their messy beauty. The pretty toothpicks were a bit hit. ????

Whenever I think of BLT wraps, I think of one time when one of my friends said that one day, the whole family was working outside and suppertime rolled around and she made BLT wraps and cut up some watermelon and took it out to the picnic table for them to come and get it whenever. I just thought that sounded so summer-y.


4 Responses to “Burrito BLT Wraps – Cooks in Training #8”

  1. Mary Faith on June 23rd, 2009 10:16 am

    These look so good and I’m sure will be a big hit with my boys. I’m off to make some for lunch! :)

  2. Freida on June 23rd, 2009 10:58 am

    Would it help to warm the tortilla shells before filling them? Don’t know- Just thought that might help to keep them from falling apart. I want to try these sometime. They look so delish! I LOVE BLTs!!!

  3. Michelle on June 23rd, 2009 12:24 pm

    Your girls are going to be awesome cooks some day! You are a great Mother to let them start cooking/making stuff so young. I’m afraid I’m going to be jealous of you when they are ten and all you have to do is say go make supper and it is made. :-) I guess I’ll have to do my homework… but I don’t like messes!

  4. Jan on June 23rd, 2009 1:59 pm

    looks good, think i’ll add this to leftover chicken noodle soup and suppers done!

Chicken Cheese Melts

Posted on April 27, 2009
Filed Under Chicken and Turkey, Main dishes

Sometimes I feel stuck. In a rut. With cooking, that is. Well, other things too, but we’ll just stick with cooking. ????

I have a certain style of cooking and I don’t deviate from it much. I want to change that. Maybe doing some more ‘Out of my Comfort Zone’ foods would be a good idea. I don’t make stir-able casseroles. Pretty much the only all-in-one casserole type things I make are wet burritos and lasagna. Other than that, it’s sandwich-type things (like these melts) and most of the time it’s meat, potatoes/pasta, veggies, and rolls. And I pretty much use the same seasonings too. So, this evening for supper, I was browsing a cookbook for new recipes and passed up the Chinese Beef and the Sirloin Squash Shish Kabobs and landed on something ‘safer’ like Chicken Cheese Melts. I use way more chicken breast than any other meat and I never buy the dark meat unless I get a whole rotisserie chicken. Other meats I keep on hand and regularily use are ham, ground beef, beef roasts, and bacon. And that’s pretty much it. Other kinds of meat are very rare. Over the summer (think, more grilling), I buy pork chops, brats, and steaks.

Do you think I need a bit of help here with diversity? :)  What’s your style of cooking? I’d love to hear it! Tell us in the comment section!

Meanwhile, here is a recipe using exotic ingredients like chicken breast, butter, cheese, and bread. Just kidding about the exotic part. This recipe comes from my newest cookbook, which I’ve owned for a little over 48 hours now… What’s Cookin’, compiled by the Schlabach family. Makes it more fun because I’m good friends with some of these Schlabachs. And I like seeing their names under a recipe now and then.


Chicken Cheese Melts

1 cup chicken, cooked and chunked (I used more like 1 1/2 cups, you can never go wrong with more meat ???? )
1/4 cup margarine, melted (I used butter)
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. parsley flakes
Shredded cheese

Saute onions in margarine briefly.

Mix together all ingredients.

Put on slices of French bread or any other bread. I used hamburger buns. And toasted them first.

Top with cheese.

Bake at 350 until cheese is melted. The cheese was melted after about 5 minutes, but then I turned on the broiler because I like cheese to have a bit of browning on top.
These, by the way, got rave reviews and were thrown into the ‘Yum! Make again!’ category. And they were easy and fast too, esp since I pulled chunked up fried chicken breast out of the freezer.

Now, I wanna hear about your this-is-the-norm-for-me cooking. Also, do you plan menus? I’ve seriously thought of doing that. Seems like that would eliminate the 4:00 p.m. staring in the fridge/freezer/cupboards/cookbooks for a supper idea!


15 Responses to “Chicken Cheese Melts”

  1. Cheryl on April 27th, 2009 11:21 pm

    Last week I made a Chicken Tetrazzina which was basically a chicken spaghetti. I thought it was good and I asked Dan if he liked it. His reply, “I don’t talk like that. :)”” Okay. All this to say casseroles aren’t a big hit here.

  2. Twila on April 28th, 2009 5:27 am

    I don’t really plan out menus specifically, but something that has helped me is I kind-of have certain things I make on nights of the week. For example, on Wednesday night we always have soup and some kind of bread. On Thursday nights I make some thing using chicken. Monday and Tuesday nights can vary, but usually on one of them I use ground beef, and the other one I use steak or pork chops,sometimes using the grill. Friday evening is usually something simple like grilled hamburgers and fries, or tacos. Saturday evening is always pizza. Sunday, roast beef (I have alot of meat, so for some people this might not work) Or if we have to many leftovers we eat those. (Yes,leftovers for Sunday lunch!)
    This has really helped me, because usually the week before when I get my groceries I’m already thinking into the next week.
    I enjoy your site, and have used quite a few of your recipes!

  3. Wendell on April 28th, 2009 6:05 am

    My normal cooking style would be hot dogs, and on a daring morning a scrambled egg, but then I am a guy with a bad case of culinary illiteracy. Though I think sometime if I really want to impress my girlfriend with a special high class meal I just might be able pull off the Chicken Cheese Melts. :)

  4. Rene on April 28th, 2009 6:33 am

    Those look great!! My normal mode of cooking is like you — several tried and trues that are relatively safe. I work outside the home (ugh) so many times I’m looking for something fast that will just fill the need. Right now while I’m caring for my husband 24/7 after his transplant I’m needing to cook for his eating abilities and right now that’s soft food which means lots of pasta with very mild sauces. It’s also kind of strange to only be cooking for 2.

  5. Shannon on April 28th, 2009 6:59 am

    Same old, same old here. Generally when I try something new, they turn up their noses at it unless it has the basic ingredients that I use in most everything else. I think I’ll try these soon. They look fast, easy and good!

  6. Freida on April 28th, 2009 7:06 am

    These look like my style- fast, easy, and good. :) I love to try new things, but my family doesn’t as much, so we try to find a balance. I stick with the basics, with a few different things stuck in every now and then. :)

  7. Kelly on April 28th, 2009 7:43 am

    Hi Kay!
    First off, I ALWAYS meal plan. It keeps our grocery bill down, which is important for us. Every meal during the week is planned, and weekends consist of leftovers or a treat at eating out.
    I blog my menus/meal plans every Monday morning, if you are looking for ideas.
    I plan my menu Friday night or Saturday morning, then make a grocery list, farmer’s market list, and walmart list. Then DH goes to the grocery store, and I do farmer’s market and walmart. Honestly, most of our stuff comes from the farmers market — fresh fruit, veggies, dairy, meat, etc. Grocery store is for pantry items, and walmart for toiletries and paper products.

    Since I love blogging, I try to make at least 1 new recipe per week. It can be a lunch for me at work, or a dessert for my co-workers, or a dinner, but at least 1 new recipe. That helps me incorporate new things all the time. Admittedly, sometimes they’re flops, but sometimes they’re pure deliciousness!
    We eat pretty similar to you as far as meats, etc, but I just try to find new ways to eat those things.
    I’ve learned I DON’T like at-home-chinese-style food. It just isn’t as good. I also don’t like most vegetarian meals, or anything with soy or tofu. So I just try to adapt the meats and veggies we already love into new things. I’ll post some of the new items I’ve made recently that were delicious to give you some ideas.

    Finally, I use my vegetable steamer all the time. I steam fresh veggies and toss them with olive oil, or lemon juice, or whatever, and it makes us new, healthy sides all the time. We eat a lot of broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, potatoes, peas, etc. Pretty standard veggies!

    Spicy Honey Chicken (grill recipe, so the hubby can make it!):


    Saucy Baked Chicken:

    Cafe Rio Pork (this one is truly amazing and delicious):

    Crockpot Ranch Pork Chops:

    Southwestern Potatoes (great side!):

  8. Aug on April 28th, 2009 10:23 am

    Well, as you know, I do plan menus, kind of off and on. But it sure if nice to know what you are making that night instead of the midafternoon going through cookbooks, starting at the refrigerator, etc.

    I like to try new things but I would say about 1/2 of the time they are not a hit with my family and two times lately they would hardly even eat what I made. Kind of hurt my feelings just a little, cuz I try to make things I think they will like.

    I usually do my menus on a 6 week rotation and then when I am kind of tired of that 6 week menus (maybe I would do it 3 or 4 times) then I’ll make up a new one. The way that I kind of narrow down what to pick for menus is that I divide it up by the meat part of the meal and then fill in from there. Like, I plan one meal with pork, one meal with chicken, one with hamburger, one with ham slices, one breakfast meal and one no-meat meal. Like soup or english muffin pizzas, or this crock pot lasagna stuff that uses ravioli.
    But recently I found that site called “Recipe Zaar” and so I’ve gotten lots of new recipes from there. I’ll just put in chicken for the ingredient, put main dishes, takes less than 60 minutes and I’ll look through what comes up.

    But, if you’re “stuck in a rut” and that works out well for you and your family, then hey, whatever works. I think sometimes Jeremy would say he’d rather have me “stuck in a rut” than trying all of this new stuff. But I think, “How would I ever find these wonderful new recipes if I’m afraid to try stuff??”

    By the way, do you know that Jeremy is pretty closely related to the Slabaugh’s (his Dad was Ada’s son) and that I even have some recipes in that cook book??

  9. Melissa K on April 29th, 2009 5:25 am

    Don’t really have a “normal” cooking style. I love to try new recipes, but have a house full of very picky eaters (even my hubby!) so I’m kind of limited. I do make out a menu every week. otherwise, I can’t think of anything and we end up with sandwiches or cereal or something!!
    Also, there are quite a few blogs that I regularly follow to get new meal ideas. There are tons of great blogs out there!

  10. Kay on April 29th, 2009 8:26 am

    This is really interesting! :) I like all your thoughts, tips, and ideas.
    Thanks for the recipe links, Kelly. Yeah, I knew you plan menus… some week I oughta just do your menu. ????
    Aug, I saw a recipe in that cookbook for Eclair dessert w your name under it, wondered if that was you.
    Ha, Cheryl, sounds like you’ve got a ‘meat&potatoes’ man, too. :)
    Twila, your rough menu planning is kinda like my mom used to do. I remember chicken on Tues nights, breakfast on Wed nights, and pizza on Sat nights, and i forget what the other ones were, but she kinda had a plan with certain types of things on certain days, but the actual dishes would vary.
    Glad to see there are some like me too, including some nights you can’t think of anything, so it’s kinda just eat whatever. ????

  11. Debbie on April 30th, 2009 11:11 am

    Those look like total comfort food to me. So delicious!

  12. Christy on May 2nd, 2009 7:21 pm

    My cooking style is lots of Mexican and Italian. Those are our two favorites and the easiest for me to slap together. We used to grill once a week, but don’t have a grill anymore. I miss it!

    I have already done the certain type of food per day thing. Funny thing is, I rotated startch instead of meet. Like Monday might have been rice, Tuesday potatoes, Wednesday pasta:) One day was leftovers or whatever, one day grill, one pizza-ish something and the other day?

    When I got married, my sister wrote up a list of probably 75 menu ideas. I still refer back to it when I get stuck in a rut. Or then I’ll try a new recipe. Or make one up; that would be the most likely.

  13. Roxanna on May 12th, 2009 3:36 pm

    mMMMMMMMM…I’m trying these sandwhiches tonight AND the Southwestern Potatoes from Kellycooks! Can’t wait for supper! Thanks Ladies!

  14. Priscilla on May 13th, 2009 6:47 pm

    Hi Kay! I just discovered your site and have spent the last hour (at least) just browsing. So interesting! Katie made your berry mandarin salad for the sewing today, & it was delicious! These Chicken Cheese Melts look really good…I will try them sometime soon.

  15. Judi on June 4th, 2009 12:36 pm

    These look yummy! I’ll have to try them

Grilled Chicken Sandwiches

Posted on March 9, 2009
Filed Under Chicken and Turkey, Grilling, Main dishes

Hi again! It’s been awhile! The ‘famine’ on here doesn’t mean we haven’t been eating! It means that the last 2 weeks have been abnormal weeks as far as cooking goes, with company and then being busy with a booth at a Home and Garden show. Not a cooking show booth, by the way. ????
We were selling these:
Anybody need a beautiful cedar gazebo in your yard?

I do love those little cooking show booths at shows though, even though the chefs always use the same lines and the same jokes. It just amazes me how they can talk AND cook at the same time! I think I’m a bit too absent-minded for that. And the cookware that cooks stuff without water… Wow! And the food doesn’t burn… Wow! I have a hard enough time WITH water! Tonight while we were making supper, I even burned a piece of toast (not in water though… see, that’s what happens when I cook without water)! Yeah, WE were making supper, not ME… because it involved grilling and that is my husband’s territory.

Here, I’ll show you what we ate tonight:

We’re always trying to think of new things to do with grilled chicken breast besides chicken breast salad, shishkabobs, or just eating it plain w bbq sauce. This sandwich is actually along the lines of the Open-faced Pork Chop Sandwich that is a specialty around here.

Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Chicken breast
Provolone cheese (or cheese of choice)
Barbeque sauce OR dijon mustard

Toast the bread. Season and grill the chicken, then chunk it up.


Assemble in this order: Toast, chicken, bbq sauce or dijon mustard, cheese, toast.





Microwave for about 1 minute, 2 min if you’re doing 2 sandwiches.
And… enjoy!


Mmmm, so good and so easy and so quick and not much cleanup!

Wouldn’t you just like to snitch a piece? It’s flavored SO good and is nice and juicy! Not sure what seasonings he used.  Edit: He just said he used Cajun Black’n seasoning from the Bayfield Spice Company in Rhinelander, WI.


6 Responses to “Grilled Chicken Sandwiches”

  1. Shannon on March 9th, 2009 8:34 pm

    Oh I am so ready to get the grill out again. Haven’t had time so far and I’m afraid it’s gonna get cold again. These sound good!!

  2. Sandra on March 11th, 2009 9:17 am

    Hey I saw the famous daves bbq sauce..the best!!This looks so good!I grew up on sandwiches so this looks great!

  3. Monica Y on March 13th, 2009 9:51 am

    Oh those look good!! My little grill is just begging to fired up again!! I can hardly wait. Were you at the Home and Garden Show in Columbus?? I love walking around looking at all the stuff…..but we didn’t make it there this year. If I’d a known–maybe I would have went and looked you up!! :)

  4. Monica Y on March 13th, 2009 10:00 am

    By the way, I’d take one of those gazebos. Sadly, it’s not in our budget. :(

  5. Freida on March 16th, 2009 9:55 am

    Oh yum… This gets me in the mood for summer! We do grill occasionally in the winter,tho. Its too hard to stay away from it all winter long. Gonna try these!

  6. Audrey Miller on March 17th, 2009 1:44 pm

    These look really great and totally look like something that we would eat. Yeah, I am getting pretty hungry right now. Keep the posts coming because I always enjoy looking/reading through your recipes. I know it takes a lot of time for you though.

Petite Pizza Puffs

Posted on February 23, 2009
Filed Under Main dishes, Snacks

Once again, I’ve attacked my pile of loose recipes, which grew since the last time I got it out back when I did this post. I went thro’ and categorized them all and am planning to be cooking alot from them the next while and will either paste them into my ‘blank’ cookbook or pitch them. In order to keep them, they’ve gotta be ‘would definitely make again’ quality. If it tastes good, is easy to make, and looks good, then it’s a keeper. If only two of those three qualities are true, then I make a decision of whether those two outweigh the other one and still keep it.

So, here’s the recipe I chose out first and I’ll tell you at the end if I kept the recipe or threw it away. Yeah, I chose a recipe that starts with the word ‘petite’!!!???!! When I think of ‘petite’, I think of things like little dainty delicate teacups with little BREAKABLE saucers under them. And I usually shy away from anything like that because I get all thumbs when I’m around those types of things.


Petite Pizza Puffs …recipe comes from a card that came with my Pampered Chef Cut-N-Seal.

Printable recipe

12 slices pepperoni
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped mushrooms
2 Tbsp. pizza sauce
1 pkg. (10 oz) refrigerated pizza crust

Preheat oven to 375. In Small Batter Bowl, combine pepperoni, cheese, mushrooms, and pizza sauce. Roll out pizza dough to 11″x15″ rectangle, using Dough and Pizza Roller. Cut 12 circles in dough using Cut-N-Seal.

Using Medium Scoop, place 1 scoop (2 Tbsp.) pepperoni mixture in center of 6 circles, spreading slightly.

Place second dough circle on top. Lightly seal edges with fingers; seal with Cut-N-Seal.

Place on flat Baking Stone. Bake 15-17 min or until light golden brown.

Serve with additional warm pizza sauce, if desired. Yield: 6 pizza puffs
I put a little more cheese on top and put them back in the oven for a couple minutes. Not sure why, I guess I just thought the tops looked a little plain or something. And more cheese is a good thing. ????

And there you go. Petite Pizza Puffs. Simple as that.

Or not!

So, the question: Will I keep this recipe? Yes, and decide for sure after I make them again. I saw afterwards how I should’ve done it to make it easier. How I did it was quite time-consuming and what a mess! I tried to assemble them on the stone and you cannot pick up a circle of thin sticky pizza dough and keep it from shrinking or ripping or losing its round shape. I should’ve assembled them right where I cut out the circles (which is how I think the recipe means that it should be done), then the whole puff may have been easier to move onto the stone. I should’ve also used some flour underneath the dough before rolling it out.

The taste was all there (I mean, really, how can you go wrong with those ingredients?). And the finished look was great.

So, here is the recipe. They really are perfect for something snacky or a lunch. Go ahead and try it and let me know some tips if you have any. If you don’t have a Cut-N-Seal, a round cookie cutter and a fork or your fingers oughta work fine.


5 Responses to “Petite Pizza Puffs”

  1. Andrea on February 23rd, 2009 12:48 pm

    MMMmmm! Those look like a tasty lunch item! I am always up for new lunch ideas!

  2. newlyb on February 23rd, 2009 2:21 pm

    These look so yummy! What a great alternative to regular pizza night.

  3. Katrina on February 26th, 2009 3:48 pm

    Yum! My boys would love these!

  4. linda on March 2nd, 2009 3:17 pm

    Thought I might as well comment here since your kaylouann site is badly neglected! Your comments made my day! I love getting comments from you. And, btw, Thankyou Thankyou foy the b-day money. I am properly horrified that I never told you sooner. Belated Thankyous are by far one of my worst traits. I saved it for that perfect thing “just for me” and after freezing our ____ off at the Birke we walked Mn. Street where I stumbled onto this really cool “coffee” sign at the Pavilion. Ever go in there? I love the store but they are usually a little pricey. Well, it was marked down to $8 so I nabbed it, brought it home and set it on my dining room ledge and now love it! Would love to sit and blab with you. Ever coming up here again? Heard you’re liking it really good down there. Am so glad you do but still miss you up here. We can’t even get motivated to scrapbook w/out you.

  5. Roxanna on March 9th, 2009 3:58 pm

    Hope everything is okay with you-haven’t had an update for awhile! I can’t say much cause I’ve let mine go, but you are much more dedicated so just worried about you and yours!

Super Pizza Subs

Posted on October 30, 2008
Filed Under Main dishes

I’m not just being gushy about the pizza subs by adding the word ‘super’ in the title… that’s actually the official name of them in the cookbook that I got the recipe out of, which is the 2001 Quick Cooking annual cookbook. They do live up to their name, though, and the ‘super’ in the title is very fitting.

Another fitting name would be Meat Lover’s Sub, what with having 4 different kinds of meat on them.

The recipe called for 6 9″ sub rolls. What I had was 7 6″ sub rolls… don’t do the Math because the inches won’t hold out. (If any perfectionists out there wonder why I had a 7-pk of rolls instead of an even #, it’s because I had stolen one out of there before to make a sandwich because I was out of bread.) I know this is one of those things that you can just throw together and don’t need a recipe for, but I wanted to follow the recipe (ingredient-wise) to see if I thought the ingredients went well together and then I’d add or delete stuff from there.

Super Pizza Subs

Printable recipe

6 submarine sandwich buns (about 9″), split
1/2 lb. bulk Italian sausage, cooked and drained
1 lb. shaved deli ham
1 can (8 oz.) pizza sauce
1 lb. sliced mozzarella cheese
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
36 mild banana pepper rings
2 pkgs. (3 1/2 oz. each) sliced pepperoni
1/4 lb. thinly sliced hard salami

I toasted the buns first because I thought a little extra crunch would be nice. On bottom half of sandwich buns, layer sausage, ham, pizza sauce, cheese, onion, banana peppers, pepperoni, and salami. Replace tops. Wrap each sandwich in heavy duty foil; place on baking sheets. Bake at 425 for 12 – 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 servings.











They were great! Yum! Here’s what I would change though… use more pizza sauce, go easy on the onions, and sprinkle on some Italian seasoning. Or, I’d saute the onions first, then use the full amount… we’re not cracked over raw onions, even though they were baked a little. And then if I’m sauteing onions anyway, I’d throw some sliced raw mushrooms in the pan too. ???? By the way, if you notice that the one sandwich in the front on the far left didn’t get all the ingredients, it’s because that one is for my picky little eaters to split.

I served them with chips and then had fresh warm apple pie (recipe posted here) and ice cream for dessert…



12 Responses to “Super Pizza Subs”

  1. Shannon on October 30th, 2008 12:54 pm

    Awww they look good. Might have to try them tonight since I’m slap out of ideas. You helped me the other night with baked oatmeal, I just forgot to tell you. :) Now if you’d just post every day! :)

  2. Shannon on October 30th, 2008 12:56 pm

    Umm, your from OH now aren’t you? Your bio still says the land of snow. ????

  3. Michelle on October 30th, 2008 2:43 pm

    Hmm.. The subs look delicious!! I might have to try them sometime.

  4. JoAnn on October 30th, 2008 3:12 pm

    I’ll be trying these, too!

  5. Ruthie on October 30th, 2008 5:26 pm

    Yum! I will put the missing ingredients on my shopping list. =)

  6. Monica on October 30th, 2008 5:51 pm

    MMMM! They sound yummy!! I’m gonna try it sometime, but right now I have no sausage, ham, salami, or cheese!!

  7. Traci on October 30th, 2008 7:40 pm

    I think I just gained 15 pounds……

  8. lisa on October 31st, 2008 12:23 am

    it’s 12:25 a.m. in montana. can you make me one right now? i’m hungry and they look like just what i’m hungry for!

  9. Jo on October 31st, 2008 8:39 am

    Yum, those are making me hungry. It doesn’t help that I haven’t had breakfast. But those look really good!

  10. Berneice on October 31st, 2008 12:48 pm

    Pizza for supper here tonight, but if I had buns it would be pizza subs! They look scrumtious!

  11. Judi on November 11th, 2008 12:57 pm

    omg those looks delicious!! I love a sandwich that you have trouble putting your hands around. And those ingredients are exactly what I like. Next time tell your picky eaters that you’re going to send theirs to other needy families…well, maybe not needy, but more appreciative.

  12. bjuliette on January 9th, 2009 9:08 am

    I just tried your recipe today and wanted to say thank you, because it was really tasty! :)

Microwave Mac ‘n’ Cheese – Cooks in Training #3

Posted on July 18, 2008
Filed Under Cooks in Training, Main dishes

Whenever there’s a microwave recipe, I usually shy away from it. Here’s the reason. It’s because of my microwave… sounds like a good reason, huh? My microwave is a half-pint. I can’t fit a 9×13 pan in it and when my girls were babies on bottles, I always had to lay the 8-oz bottles down to warm up the milk because they wouldn’t fit in there standing up. The size isn’t the only reason. The other reason is that it takes SO long to cook stuff in it. We joke that the microwave has only one setting and that’s DEFROST. True, it does have only 1 setting, but it is a bit hotter than defrost. It takes forever to boil water and it literally is faster to throw a pan of water on the stove rather than do it in the microwave, like when I make finger jello. But the microwave works great for warming up serving-sized portions and thawing meat, but other than that, I don’t use it for general cooking. Oh, I guess I do cook half a bag of frozen veggies in there sometimes.

But, you can’t beat the deal we got on it. We got married about 12 years ago (in fact our 12th anniversary is in a couple weeks) and a little bit after we got married, we realized we need a microwave, so we found one at a pawn shop for $25 and it’s still the same one we use today. Not sure why it doesn’t give out! Here it is:

Anyway, having said all that, I decided to try a microwave dish. For the Cooks in Training foods, I don’t like to use the stove because my little cooks might burn themselves, even with adult supervision, but the microwave is fine. So, here you go, a food that kids like… and made by them.


Microwave Mac ‘n’ Cheese  …taken from the 2000 Quick Cooking cookbook

Printable recipe

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
2 cups hot water
1/3 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup chopped onion (I had to do some fast talking to get that in there because I couldn’t sneak it in! I said we wouldn’t put in as much as it says, we only put in a couple tablespoons)
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. ground mustard
1/3 cup flour
1 1/4 cups milk
8 oz. process American cheese, cubed (we used Velveeta)

Hmmmm, I may have to outlaw the aprons! We don’t really plan ahead and suddenly decide to cook or bake and away they dash for the aprons, putting them over whatever clothes they already have on! In this cooking session, Tiffany’s combo clashes even more than usual. :(


In a 2-qt microwave-safe dish, combine the first 7 ingredients. Cover and microwave on high for 3 1/2 minutes; stir. Cover and cook at 50% power for 4 minutes or until mixture comes to a boil, rotating a half turn once. (I didn’t rotate at all because my fashionable microwave has a turntable, and it still works.)


Combine flour and milk until smooth; stir into macaroni mixture.


mac-n-cheese5.jpg  Yeah, I was watching this process very closely, and it was one of my duller knives. Velveeta is soft… a butter knife may have even worked.


Add cheese. Cover and cook on high for 6-8 minutes or until the macaroni is tender and sauce is bubbly, rotating a half turn once and stirring every 3 minutes.  Yield: 4 servings.



This was really good, although I’ve tasted better made-from-scratch macaroni and cheese. I missed the buttered crumbs that are usually on top of macaroni and cheese. This definitely beats the stuff from a box though and got rave reviews by the girls. Plus, Lexi thinks it’s more fun to eat food that they made themselves.


3 Responses to “Microwave Mac ‘n’ Cheese – Cooks in Training #3”

  1. Shannon on July 18th, 2008 7:10 pm

    Hum, wonder what all I could get them to eat if they cooked it by themselves! :)

  2. Freida on July 18th, 2008 8:17 pm

    You need a new microwave! :)

    Tucker saw this and says- “MMMM, that looks yum. I wish I could taste it. ” My kids love mac and cheese. I’ll have to try this one.

  3. Barb on July 20th, 2008 7:26 pm

    I am going to try this for sure. My children love macaroni and cheese. I usually just make it as I go so it will be good to have a recipe to go by, and to be able to do it in the microwave is even better.

Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas, only 4 ingredients!

Posted on July 9, 2008
Filed Under Chicken and Turkey, Easy meals, Main dishes

The title actually sorta gives away what most of the ingredients are! Cheese (actually a can of cheese soup), chicken, and if it’s quesadillas it’s gotta have tortillas, and water. I got this recipe off of the soup can. Southwest Style Pepper Jack soup.
It was kind of hard to find… have you ever stared and stared at shelves, just knowing it was there, but you couldn’t lay your eyes on it? I did that with this. I did it in the jello section looking for watermelon gelatin too just lately, but that’s for another time and another post. There is a difference though… with the watermelon gelatin, I was only hoping it was there, with the soup, I knew it was there.

The reason I knew it was there is because my sister-in-law Liz makes these quesadillas and she said Marketplace has the soup, but Walmart doesn’t. After I finally found the soup, I immediately looked on the label to see if the recipe was there and sure enough, it was. Then, I wondered HOW, out of all the soup can labels there, Liz found this soup and tried this recipe. And it was a hit with the family! Wonder how much more I’m missing out on by not trying other soup can label recipes.

There are 4 more recipes on the back (you have to cut the paper off of the can on the specified line and flip the paper over to see them, this is not something you should be doing in the store before purchasing). I think it’s the manufacturer’s trick to getting you to buy more… you can’t see the other recipes till you get home and cut the paper off of the empty can before throwing it away. Then some of the recipes grab you and “Southwest Style Pepper Jack soup” goes right back on your shopping list. The other recipes are: Nachos Grande, Cheesy Pepper Jack Tacos, Mexican Meatloaf, and Cheesy Southwest Potatoes. I’ll bet some of those would be good too. Especially the nachos, meatloaf, and potatoes. They all have 5-7 ingredients. The reason you don’t need many ingredients is because this soup has got LOTS of flavor and kick.


Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas

Printable recipe

1 lb. boneless chicken breast halves, cubed
1 can Campbell’s Southwest Style Pepper Jack soup
1/4 cup water
8 flour tortillas (8″), warmed (I used 9″ tortillas, and only 6 of them)

Preheat oven to 325. Cook chicken in nonstick skillet until done and juices evaporate, stirring often. Add soup and water and heat through. Shannon grilled the chicken on the grill while I mixed and heated the soup and water. When the chicken was done, I chunked it up and mixed it into the soup.

Spoon about 1/3 cup chicken mixture on half of each tortilla to within 1/2″ of the edge. Moisten edge with water.

Fold over and seal. Place on 2 baking sheets (or 1, in this case). Bake 5 min. or until hot. I baked them for 7-8 minutes, until I saw a bit of browning.

Cut into wedges and serve with salsa. And/or sour cream. I ate mine with sour cream. It was spicy enough without the salsa.

Just delicious for something so simple! If you have a full-time job and need to come home and make supper, this would be a good thing for the main dish! It takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. For a quick idea of something to serve with it, how about tortilla chips and applesauce. Or peanut butter pie (I’m so hungry for peanut butter pie!). Or ice cream. Or something else cold and creamy to cool the mouth. Tiffany’s take on the quesadillas after a couple bites was, “I don’t wike da spicy.”


10 Responses to “Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas, only 4 ingredients!”

  1. Esther on July 10th, 2008 7:54 am

    yum!! They look good. We have a quesdilla maker that makes making quesdillas fun but i was wondering is this mixture kinda runny from the pic it looked like it was. Our thing closes tightly and i was wondering if i try if everything will get squished out? Keep the good recepies coming! I love your site. I finally found doughnut mix after lots of searching now i can finally make those raspberry things.

  2. Monica on July 10th, 2008 9:19 am

    MMMM!! They sound yummy!! I’ll have to try them.

  3. Shannon on July 10th, 2008 3:32 pm

    Sounds good. My girls would say the same things Tiffany did. Nothing spicy here!!

  4. Kay on July 11th, 2008 7:54 pm

    Esther, wow, I’d be making quesadillas all the time if I had a quesadilla maker. :) Yeah, the filling is kind of runny, but there’s enough chicken in it to keep it from running out, at least when they’re made this way. Not sure what it would do in a quesadilla maker. Might work to put less water in the soup.

  5. Liz on July 12th, 2008 4:15 pm

    Just FYI I didn’t find that recipe by myself. I think my mom got if off one of those adds in Readers Digest that is advertising for Campbells. She served it to us and that is how I found out about it. I sometimes think the same thing of how many recipes are out there that I don’t even see because I am not looking at recipes on the containers.

  6. anxiety on January 19th, 2009 6:01 am

    I just tried your recipe today and wanted to say thank you, because it was really tasty! :)

  7. Jennifer on May 25th, 2010 6:10 am

    I tried this last night and it was yummy! I substituted salsa for the water and added onions to it. We ate them up! Thanks!!!

  8. penguinracing on August 7th, 2010 2:13 pm

    I loved this receipe, and my step kids actually do too. I found the receipe on the label of the soup can. Too bad can’t find it anymore, no substitue found yet

  9. P.J. Scott on April 26th, 2014 12:11 pm

    I’ve spent the last 2 weeks searching for Campbell’s southwest style pepper jack soup and canops and Wegman’s’t find it anywhere. I live in Western NY (Niagara County) and have looked at Tops and Wegmans. Anybody know how I can locate this flavor?

  10. Cassandra on October 14th, 2014 7:27 pm

    I have looked for the last 2 years for this soup and can’t find it anywhere. It looks like Campbell’s isn’t making it anymore. If anyone finds a substitute flavoring, please let me know. This was so good and so quick and easy to make!! Miss it!

Memorial Day, Charcoal, Cheeseburgers and Gold

Posted on May 22, 2008
Filed Under Beef, Grilling, Main dishes

Hey! We’ve got a guest writer! Since I am not the griller around here (thankfully!), it seems fitting that I also shouldn’t be the writer of the grilling posts, right? So, here is my husband Shannon:

Did you read in the news this week about the restaurant on Wall Street in New York that serves a $175.00 cheeseburger? Yup, you read right, $175.00! It is Kobe beef topped with foie gras, exotic mushrooms and golden truffle mayonnaise. Golden truffle mayonnaise is made from chopped black truffles, truffle oil, and gold flakes. Gold as in “silver and gold”.  So let me get this straight… Some chef in New York decided it would be a good idea to make his gold watch into Miracle Whip? Wow. Remind me not to leave the Midwest.

This is not that burger.

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial line between spring and summer (or if you are from up here in Wisconsin, the line between winter and summer).

Cheeseburgers sizzling on the grill… What could be a more sure sign of summer than that?

Cheeseburgers are such a basic food that you don’t even need a recipe. But here is my recipe, just the same.


2 pounds fresh ground beef. Not too lean, 80/20 would be good. I used 85/15 this time. If they don’t have enough fat, they will fall apart on the grill.

1/4th cup chopped onion.

1 chopped jalepeno. Use as much as you like. We like a bit of kick.

BBQ sauce. Your favorite brand.

Lawry’s seasoned salt. Put in as much as you prefer, but don’t be scared to use quite a bit. I use about 2 teaspoons (that is completely a guess, I have never measured). :)

1/4th teaspoon coarse ground pepper.



Combine the ground beef, onion, jalapeno, 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce, Lawry’s, and pepper in a mixing bowl.


Shape into patties. This is hand work, no Pampered Chef burger shooter or other cheating! This is a cheeseburger, keep it simple. I made 4 patties this time, but that makes pretty big burgers. Depending on your group, you may want to make them smaller.


Using a brush, brush a light coat of BBQ sauce on the patties. This is not for flavor as much as to carmelize the suger in the BBQ sauce for a nice “crust”. It may actually work better to do this step just a minute before they come off the grill.



Grill on a charcoal grill. I almost don’t want to put times here because each grill will differ in temp. I grilled them for about 6 minutes on each side. DONT LEAVE THEM ON TOO LONG! Seriously, the most common way to ruin a good burger is to overdo it. A little pink in the middle is perfect.


Put cheese on. Leave on grill for an extra minute to melt the cheese. I used provolone cheese. The buns must be grilled.


Dress to taste. I like tomato, lettuce, Bread and Butter pickles, ketchup, and mustard.


Ah, now that’s a “God bless America” cheeseburger! Serve with extra napkins.

While you are enjoying your good honest cheeseburger this weekend, remember to feel sorry for some guy out in New York whose self esteem is so low that he needs to eat a $175.00 cheeseburger with jewelry in it, just to prove he can.

Me again: Well, after a grilling post like this, I’m going to close my kitchen for the weekend and be outside. Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! See ya Tuesday!


13 Responses to “Memorial Day, Charcoal, Cheeseburgers and Gold”

  1. esther on May 23rd, 2008 12:32 am


  2. Shannon on May 23rd, 2008 6:38 am

    Those look good enough to eat. :) I’m a dumper and pourer kinda person when I make hamburgers. All kinds of things go in but I’ve never put jalepeno’s in mine! Not sure that would go down well here. :)

  3. Berneice on May 23rd, 2008 7:21 am

    Yummy. Tell me does gold melt that easily? I think someone had too much money or was going to confinscate the gold! :)

  4. Arla on May 23rd, 2008 7:29 am

    Wow, Shannon, I think I’ve heard it all, now. Ridiculous comes to mind. Your hamburgers sound yummy although I believe I’d better omit the peppers. BTW, that’s an ordinary charcoal grill I’m seeing on the picture, right? Is there an advantage of a charcoal grill over a gas?

  5. Kay on May 23rd, 2008 8:10 am

    Yup, it sure is a charcoal grill. The classic Weber kettle grill. I also have a gas grill that comes in handy when we are in a hurry. Why charcoal? I can think of three reasons: 1.The flavor is better when a burger or steak is grilled over a bed of coals. 2.Most consumer level gas grills don’t get hot enough to sear a steak properly. 3.I just enjoy the primitive process of starting a fire and making food over it.
    On a side note, the Weber Kettle grill is not an expensive grill, but it does a wonderful job compared to some cheap ones I have used. The basic design of the Weber has not changed since 1952. Shannon (I wonder what I need to do to get my own user name on here)

  6. Jo on May 23rd, 2008 9:09 am

    My dad has always grilled over charcoal…my husband’s family believes in gas. The proof is in the pudding—-er, the burgers & steaks. My dad’s beat the ones on the gas grills hands down. Our own gas grill finally kicked the bucket & we replaced it w/ charcoal—ah, much better!
    My mouth is watering over those burger pics. We’ll be wading into some of our own this wk/end & I can’t wait!

  7. Michelle on May 23rd, 2008 3:06 pm

    Ahh- my mouth is watering! Can I come to your house this weekend? That sandwich looks so good!!It probably doesn’t help matters that I’m really hungry right now. We’re going out to eat tonight and I just might have to order myself a cheeseburger.

  8. heidi on May 23rd, 2008 3:12 pm

    ooohh this looks really good..minus the jalepenos sorry im not a big pepper fan. the rest of it sounds mighty yummy might have to try this recipe this weekend. now im so hungry for a burger. =)

  9. Karen on May 23rd, 2008 10:35 pm

    Loved this post. It made me smile. Milt does all the grilling around here and does it on a small charcoal Weber grill….and declares that charcoal is WAY better then gas….and that Weber’s are WAY better then any of the cheaper makes. The food he makes is wonderful….one of the many reasons I like summer. We have yet to hit 70* here in the Icebox of the Nation. Maybe this weekend??!!!

  10. Patsy Clairmont on May 24th, 2008 6:56 pm

    Okay, so now I am a Shannon fan! I love your info, humor, pics, and recipe.

    You rock!

    Thanks for the smiles and the yummy burger!

  11. Amber on May 27th, 2008 11:59 am

    Awesome looking burger! I think i know what we’ll have for supper! Doesn’t hurt that burgers are my husbands’ fav. food. :)

  12. Amber on May 29th, 2008 3:17 pm

    To make them even better…put mushrooms under that cheese! YUUUMMMM!!!! :)

  13. Kay on May 29th, 2008 3:30 pm

    Great idea, Amber! Can’t believe we didn’t think of that… we put mushrooms on about everything! I’m assuming you mean sauteed, at least I think that would be best.

Chicken Squares, er, I mean Rounds

Posted on May 15, 2008
Filed Under Main dishes

At least mine didn’t turn out square! And there’s nothing else square about them except the chunked up chicken, so I’m pretty sure the ending shape was supposed to be square. But, I don’t want to get hung up on trivial details. The taste, of course, is what’s most important and that passed with flying colors! Although, depending what you’re talking about, square versus round would not be a trivial detail… for example, the tires on your car or the boxes you’re stacking.

Three things were just going on in my kitchen simultaneously (none of which were the chicken squares, so why am I writing this?)… I just got done doing the first major step of this week’s “Out of My Comfort Zone” recipe that I’ll post Friday p.m. or Saturday a.m. (by major, I don’t mean major like butching a chicken). I also just got done making layered finger jello for the school picnic tomorrow. And I just got done making a pumpkin roll, also for the school picnic. We’re supposed to bring 2 things and the hot dogs and hamburgers will be provided. If we’d have a beautiful warm day tomorrow like today was, that would be so perfect. Can you believe that we’ve already had to cancel the school picnic ball game because of snow?! And then the next year, we go home sweating and sporting sunburns! That’s Wisconsin weather for ya!

Now, back to our chicken squares. This recipe is taken from the 500 Years in the Kitchen cookbook. Isn’t that just a catchy name for a cookbook? I’d say they added up a group of women’s years in the kitchen. Or maybe they figured up how long it took to make each recipe, added it all together, and discovered that if you’d make every recipe in the book, starting with the 1-2-3-4-5 Spare Ribs on page 1 and ending with Vanilla Foaming Bath Oil on page 136, that it would take you 500 years. Ok, just kidding on that one. It would make more sense that the ladies’ years of cooking would be added up because it was compiled by the Badger Women’s Club from Hayward, WI. Wisconsin is called the Badger State, if you didn’t already know that. I know it because I live here, but I might not otherwise. I know a few others too though, like the Sunshine State and the Buckeye State and the Keystone State, but that’s pretty much it. I’d do better on states and capitals, just so you know I’m not a total geography dropout!

Chicken Squares

1 3-oz pkg cream cheese
2 Tbsp. butter
2 cups chicken, cubed
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. onion, chopped
1 8 oz. carton crescent rolls
3/4 cup seasoned croutons

Tip: Fry the chicken rather than cooking it… tastes better.

Mix together everything except the crescent rolls and croutons. I mixed everything else first, then added the chicken.

Separate rolls into 4 rectangles. Press perforations to seal. Spoon a half cup of meat mixture onto each rectangle. Or just divide it out evenly among them, that’s easier.

Pull the 4 corners of each rectangle together and twist slightly to seal.

Brush tops with melted butter.

Dip in crushed croutons. Huh?! Dip them? Wouldn’t the chicken stuff fall out? Sprinkling worked great.

Bake 20-25 minutes at 350. And here they are, just out of the oven.

We had sugar snap peas and applesauce as sides.

squares9.jpg  It bugged me that the ‘cut-away’ view pictures all got blurry, but here is one anyway. I hope it doesn’t make you rub your eyes or squint.

These were great! Just great! My usual How-would-you-rate-this? question to Shannon got a “Make again, for company’ rating. So, come on over, we’ll serve you some chicken squares rounds.

Are you kind of curious about those 1-2-3-4-5 Spare Ribs? Me too. I wasn’t curious about the bath oil recipe since I can buy that at Walmart, plus I don’t even know what glycerin is, but I had to read the ribs recipe… it’s ribs plus 5 other ingredients (sherry, soy sauce, cider vinegar, sugar, and water), which make the sauce. You cook the ribs in the sauce for 40 min covered, then uncover and turn it on High and stir till no liquid remains. Doesn’t say how long it takes till the liquid is gone. Maybe 500 years or so.


11 Responses to “Chicken Squares, er, I mean Rounds”

  1. Sharon on May 16th, 2008 7:02 am

    I bet they’re supposed to look square when you bring up the four sides over the chicken. But, who cares, they still look neat and sound delicious! I bet they’d be really good with leftover grilled chicken, too.

  2. Monica on May 16th, 2008 8:02 am

    These sound really good! I’m going to try them sometime. I pretty much like anything that has cream cheese in it!

  3. Michelle on May 16th, 2008 9:05 am

    I’ve made these before and they’re really good! By the way I made the mexican lasagna and I will definatly be making it again! It was delicious!

  4. Lisa on May 16th, 2008 9:30 am

    Wow those look good. I am a little confused on one part of the recipe. It called for croutons, but I see you used what I think looks like breadcrumbs. Were they seasoned breadcrumbs? Seems to make sense to use those, cause aren’t breadcrumbs just crushed croutons really?? LOL

  5. JoAnn on May 16th, 2008 10:53 am

    I’ve made these before, too, only my recipe calls for a gravy made of cream of mushroom soup and milk to pour over the top–they are yummy! And for supper last night I made your recipe for El Paso Casserole–we loved it, and it was so easy!

  6. Kay on May 16th, 2008 11:35 am

    Lisa, yeah, I did use seasoned bread crumbs. I figured they’d be about the same as crushed seasoned croutons.

    Michelle and JoAnn, thanks for the feedback on the Mexican lasagna and El Paso. I always like to hear when people try a recipe and what they thought of it. :)

  7. Denise on May 16th, 2008 12:06 pm

    We loved the Mexican Lasagna when I made it this week. And the El Paso Casserole looks easy and good. Plan to make it sometime. As far as these chicken “rounds” go, I’ve made something similar to that, although I had no recipe. It was something my mom had made and as far as I know she had no recipe either. Now that I make it I add a few seasonings that my mom never added. Anyway I’ve always used each crescent roll seperately. And usually I used chicken I had canned. Then I added cream cheese, pepper, seasoned salt, garlic powder, liquid smoke, and chopped onion.
    I like the butter and seasoned crumbs idea. Thanks!

  8. Tamara Merritt on May 16th, 2008 1:58 pm

    YUM. I have been thinking of making this with some turkey I smoked that is already cooked in the feezer a la FoodSaver..

  9. Bobbi on May 16th, 2008 7:17 pm

    I can’t wait to try this recipe this week. I made your peanut butter cookies this week and they were fantastic. My husband and kids went crazy over them. I also made your seven layer cookie bars they are to die for. I just came across your blog about 5 days ago and just love it.

  10. Rene on May 16th, 2008 10:09 pm

    I love your site!! I’ve been reading it for a couple weeks and will definitely be trying out some of your recipes very soon. This one looks especially good! Thanks for all the time and effort you put into your site. It’s better than any cookbook I own and I have a lot (at least my dear hubby says I do!!) :-)

  11. Bill Beck on May 17th, 2008 8:59 am

    YOU ARE A BEST OF BLOG FINALIST!!! Congrats on making it to the final round and remember to tell everyone you know to head on over to to vote for your site. Oh and don’t forget to enter our Exclusive Lijit Contest for another chance to win some fantastic prizes. Winners will be announced June 2nd so gather up your faithful followers and tell them you want to be one of this year’s Best Of Blogs!

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    Project Mgr.

Creamy and cheesy – El Paso Casserole

I hope there aren’t alot of perfectionists reading this site… for more reasons than one! I am the total opposite of a perfectionist. This post will be sort of along the lines of playing “Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti” on a piano without playing the last ‘Do’. I have progress pictures, but not a finished product picture.

The reason for that is because I don’t make this unless I’m making hotdish for a fellowship meal at church. So, I have pictures of it up until we left for church, then no more. And I don’t have the guts to go in the kitchen and take pictures and get strange looks from the food committee people. I and my family are used to me taking pictures of food. In fact, I literally take more pictures of food than I do of my own kids! The only time most people take pictures of food is when it’s the 4th of July and they just took a mean steak off the grill or when the baby stuffed his mouth too full or got applesauce or speghetti all over the place or when it’s a birthday and your 3-yr-old is blowing out candles on a birthday cake. But wouldn’t you think it a bit strange if you were on the food committee and someone would come to the kitchen, stir a regular ol’ hotdish, take a picture, sprinkle toasted bread crumbs on, and take another picture? It’s not exactly the definition of a Kodak moment.

El Paso Casserole

1 lb. 2 oz. Velveeta cheese
1 1/2 lbs. ham
1 lb. noodles (I use the homemade Amish noodles, as opposed to regular brands)
White Sauce:
11 Tbsp. butter
2/3 c. flour
5 1/3 c. milk (I always use whole milk)
Buttered bread crumbs or cracker crumbs, browned in oven

Cook the noodles and dice the cheese and ham.


Bring the white sauce almost to a boil in a pan. Mix the noodles, ham, cheese, and sauce all together and dump into a 4-qt. crockpot. Fits perfectly.

Turn on High till you leave for church. At church, turn it on Low for the 2 hours till lunchtime, stirring several times. Just before serving, sprinkle browned crumbs over the top. You’ll have to use you imagination for how it looks, but it looks about like it does on the last picture, only the sauce is yellower from the cheese chunks that have melted and been stirred in. Then the crumbs go on top. It tastes really good! And it’s so creamy!

If you want to do it in the oven, bake it (covered) at 350 for 1/2 hour, then stir, put buttered crumbs on top and bake another 10 minutes.


7 Responses to “Creamy and cheesy – El Paso Casserole”

  1. Emily on May 12th, 2008 2:43 pm

    I showed your site to my husband and got lots of Ohhh… Mmmmmmmm… That looks good! Then he said see if we can meet for dinner some time! I will be trying several of your recipes! Thank you


  2. Michelle on May 12th, 2008 6:34 pm

    The casserole looks really good! I really enjoy checking this site in hopes of finding a new recipe to try. Keep up the good work and am looking forward to the next post.

  3. Lisa on May 13th, 2008 6:35 am

    This is one dish my hubby and kids would go crazy for. They love ham and noodles. My mother in law sends me Kluski noodles from Ohio, have you heard of them? We can’t find them here in RI. It may be a good thing, cause I would be buying them all the time!

  4. Sharon on May 13th, 2008 7:16 am

    Bummer! I should have tried this on Sunday! Sounds good!

  5. Shannon on May 14th, 2008 1:07 pm

    Umm this looks good, and easy too. :) I’ll have to try it.

  6. Tamara Merritt on May 15th, 2008 4:21 pm

    YUM! NO fat calories I am sure ????

  7. Alicia Whittaker on May 19th, 2008 3:05 pm

    Thank you for this. I made this for a lunch when we had 70 people together and it was gone at the end of the lunch!!!

Let’s make it Mexican!

Posted on May 5, 2008
Filed Under Desserts, Main dishes

Today is Cinco de Mayo. I’m not going to go into that and show my ignorance in history. I do, however, know that it’s not Mexico’s independence day… For a long time, I thought it was because ours is “Fourth of July” and I thought maybe that’s the format for independence holidays, using the date and putting the number first. Ok, now I’m showing some ignorance! Let’s get to the food.

One of the lines often used to describe Mexican food is ‘south of the border’. We live about as far north as you can get without being a Canadian, so around here if you use that term, you’d be most likely referring to the Canadian border, not the Mexican border. So, I’ll stay away from using that line.

The first  recipe today comes from a Country Woman magazine, the Jan/Feb 2007 issue, to be exact. I was glad to see a couple of the things at the end of the recipe having ‘optional’ at the end. Guacomole: I’ve tried it, with an open mind, and I just cannot eat the stuff. Avacados are the same way. I got a Cobb salad one time and ended up picking out all the avacado and setting it aside. Black olives: they’re ok, I don’t mind them in stuff, but I don’t eat them on purpose.

Don’t be expecting Mexican crusine here… I don’t eat REAL Mexican food except at restaurants. I love Mexican food! I get cravings for it, so it’s unfortunate that we live 1 1/2 hours away from a Mexican restaurant, not counting the fast food ones like Taco Johns. Closest I come to making Mexican in my own kitchen is Wet Burritos, Steak Fajitas, Nachos, and now today:


Mexican Lasagna

1 1/4 lbs ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced (I used the stuff from a jar, featured at the end of this crabmeat post)
2 cups salsa
1 can (16 oz) refried beans
1 can 15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (10 oz) enchilada sauce (I stared and stared at the shelves at the store till I finally found enchilada sauce!)
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies
1 envelope taco seasoning
1/4 tsp. pepper
6 flour tortillas
3 cups (12 oz) shredded mexican cheese blend, divided (I unded up using a bit more, maybe 4 cups or so)
2 cups broken tortilla chips
Sour cream, sliced ripe olives, guacomole, and chopped tomatoes, optional

In a large skillet, cook beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in salsa, beans, enchilada sauce, chilies, taco seasoning, and pepper; heat through. Here’s a picture before it got stirred. The hamburger is almost covered, but you should be able to see all the different ingredients so far, except the onion and garlic that’s already fried w the hamburger.

And here it is all mixed together. Looked like a tremendous amount of meat mixture for only 6 tortillas!

mex-lasagna3.jpg  Spread 1 cup sauce in a greased 9×13 baking pan. Huh? Sauce? What sauce? There was no sauce in the ingredient list that doesn’t get mixed in and it calls the meat stuff ‘meat mixture’. But, I assumed it meant the meat mixture for the sauce anyway.
mex-lasagna4.jpg  Layer with 2 tortillas,

mex-lasagna5.jpg  a third of the meat mixture,

and 1 cup of cheese.

Repeat layers. Top with remaining tortillas and meat mixture. The pan will be FULL.

Cover and bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese and top with tortilla chips. Bake 10-15 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. I always like when recipes say that… gives me time to take pictures.

Garnish with sour cream, olives, guacamole, and tomatoes if desired. Yield: 12 servings.

I was a bit leary about this stuff because of all the ingredients in the meat mixture, but it was really good! I’d make it again. Also, I think I’ll try tweaking the Wet Burrito recipe to incorporate some of the ingredients that are in this meat mixture. The chips on top added a nice crunch. We also ate it with chips and Lexi thought it was funny that our chips were our forks, then we’d ‘eat our forks along with the bite’. It’s got some kick to it… made our noses run. It’s very filling for no more than you eat.

And for dessert, we had:

Mexican Fried Ice Cream

1 pt. vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup crushed Corn Flakes
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. sugar
1 egg
Oil for deep frying
Whipped cream

Scoop out 4 balls of ice cream.

Return to freezer. Mix crumbs, cinnamon, and sugar. Roll frozen balls in crumb mixture and return to freezer.

Beat egg and dip frozen balls in egg, then roll again in crumbs. (I had to make more of the crumb mixture, most of it was used up the first time I coated the balls.)

Freeze until ready to use. For thicker coating, repeat dipping in egg and rolling in crumbs. I did the extra coat. When ready to serve, heat oil to 350. Place 1 ball in oil. Fry for 1 minute. They floated, so I turned them with a fork a few times.

Remove from oil and place on dessert plate. I set it on a paper towel first to soak up some of the oil.   Drizzle with honey and top with a dab of whipped cream. Fry remaining balls one at a time. Balls will be crunchy on the outside and just beginning to melt on the inside. Yield: 4 servings.
I couldn’t help but put chocolate on a couple of them instead of honey. Crazy thing was, chocolate lover that I am, the ones with honey were much better!



As Dora the Explorer would say, “Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, delicioso!”

This was fun to make and of course tasted great, but I don’t know that I’d go to the bother of making it again. It was kind of time consuming for only 4. It did settle my curiosity though that yes, you can put ice cream in hot oil for a whole minute, with only an 1/8″ wall of crust between the ice cream and oil, and not end up with a big melty oily mess. We were all pretty amazed.

Well, I need to go clean my kitchen and empty my sink. I mean, sinko. Oops, I mean, cinco.


5 Responses to “Let’s make it Mexican!”

  1. Andrea on May 5th, 2008 9:56 am

    Yum, yum, would love to eat some of that fried ice cream again! But I just don’t want to bother with all the preparing! :-) I will have to try that lasagna! Sounds good!

  2. Freida on May 5th, 2008 10:51 am

    You’ve got a friend on the guacamole and black olives. We are big huge fans of Mexican food, but the real stuff always tastes better. The lasagna looks good though. Did you ever make the fried ice cream dessert?? It tastes the same and it is so much easier!

  3. Shannon on May 5th, 2008 11:17 am

    Ummm. Sounds wonderful. For awhile Eric thought he moved to mexico I made so much mexican food. :) I tried to cut back on it, but this stuff looks good so I might have to try it. I always wondered about the fried icecream. Good to know. :)

    I make my own enchilada sauce. Like it much better then the canned stuff and it’s fairly easy. I use it when I make regular enchilada’s.

  4. Aimm on May 5th, 2008 1:36 pm

    Yep, sure does look tasty!

    Kay, a week or two ago I was looking for a Rainbow Ribbon Jello Salad . . . (I thought you had put one on your blog a long while ago and) So I came here to look for it . . . Anyway I couldn’t find it . . .could you email it to me?


  5. amy on May 7th, 2008 4:23 am

    That fried icecream looks like a picture out of Taste of Home or something. I am sure if I tried it they wouldn’t be round balls and the icecream would be melting all over. Okay, I am a pestimist.

BLTs, Fresh Strawberries, Marbled Brownies, and Summer!

Posted on May 3, 2008
Filed Under Cookies and bars, Main dishes

Two of my favorite foods in the summer… BLT sandwiches and sliced fresh strawberries with sugar.



You know those hot days when you still need to eat, but just the thought of sitting down to a cooked meal makes you sweat. BLTs fit the bill like nothing else does… it’s substantial, but not hot. And the fresh strawberries, you can’t get much more summer-y than that. Unless you eat watermelon, out in the yard, with juice dripping off of your elbows. Oh, and don’t forget about fruit pizza… that’s gotta be the ultimate summertime dessert! Makes me hungry for some now.

But, so far, I can only dream of summer… while eating my BLT and fresh sliced sugared strawberries in the house. Looking outside at the lawn that is varigated green and brown, lightly coated with snow from last night. Sighing at the thermometer that has a hard time pushing up past 55. Trying to picture the bare trees with green leaves on them again. Bending over my flower bed, looking for a sign of life from the bare spot where my tulips usually eventually show up. Telling my girls that yes, don’t you remember, it does get warm enough to run outside barefoot and with no jacket.

Here in northern WI, we’re always chompin’ on the bit for Summer to get here, but it pretty much always comes at the same time… that last snow in May (I doubt the one last night was the last), gardens being planted the end of May, several frost scares. But when our summers get here, they are BEAUTIFUL! Just perfect. That’s why we brave the ice and snow and sub-zero weather for months, just so we can get those 3 months of summer. It’s all worth it. And if you ever want to come see for yourself, don’t forget your boat… we’ve got lots of lakes around here!

Back to those BLTs…
Shannon and I were talking about BLTs several days ago and I got such a craving for them and couldn’t get them out of my mind until I made one. Yeah, cravings like that can come when you’re not pg!
So here it is.
Nothing fancy. And they’re quite easy to make. Bacon, lettuce, and tomato layered between 2 pieces of toast with mayo on them. Now did YOU get a craving for one? 🙂

And the fresh strawberries,
strawberries3.jpg  they’re going on sale pretty often at Marketplace, so I can’t resist keeping them around.

I wash and cap them (or it it uncap? decap? decapitate? whatever, take the stems and caps off), and then slice them with an egg slicer. Works great!
Then, sprinkle them generously with sugar, stir them, let them sit for at least 5 minutes, stir them again, and eat. Ok, I know you didn’t need those instructions.

Speaking of cravings that you can’t ignore… I saw these on Cookie Madness on Friday and HAD to make them. Here they are.
Try them! They are SO good! They’re called ‘Marbled Peanut Butter Brownies’ (that’s a link to the recipe). And her pictures are awesome… they make you feel like you could pick the cookies right off the computer screen. These bars taste like a candy bar. Peanut butter and chocolate. Don’t let the multiple steps scare you off. The directions are easy to follow. And they’re well worth the effort! Mmmmmmm!!!  I found Cookie Madness just recently. You will be glad to have the link. It’s a goldmine of all kinds of cookie/brownie/bar recipes, plus some other recipes and tidbits too.

Have a good weekend! And look for a couple Mexican recipes coming up on Monday… Cinco de Mayo.


11 Responses to “BLTs, Fresh Strawberries, Marbled Brownies, and Summer!”

  1. Denise on May 3rd, 2008 12:52 pm

    Looks so good. I also got so hungry for a BLT that I bought stuff for it too. As far as the strawberries. The local strawberries from Lousianna (hardly anyone grows them around here, apparently they do not grow well) are already over for the year. Was so good a couple of weeks ago to have fresh strawberry pie, shortcake and just simply crushed strawberries with sugar over ice cream. And fresh local tomatoes probably will soon be in although mine in the garden just have 1 or 2 blossoms on. And you say you get hot in the summer. I say you don’t know what hot really is till you live down South :-) I’d love your summers but I like our longer fall and spring. Can’t have it all, so guess I’ll be content where God has me placed.

  2. amy on May 3rd, 2008 12:56 pm

    Those brownies sound wonderful except I made chocolate crinkle cookies today and my stomache aches from all I ate! :( I can’t wait for tomatoes and strawberries. NO snow here,but plenty of wind.

  3. Monica on May 3rd, 2008 1:28 pm

    Mmmmm, I love BLT’s!!! Sadly, tho, I have to eat them by myself because my husband hates tomatoes!! He’s not a big meat eater and I don’t think he’d be too fond of a Bacon and Lettuce sandwich either!! I was trying to come up with some kind of sweet thing to make for this weekend and those Peanut Butter Brownies look like just the thing!! I think I’ll try them!! Can’t wait for those Mexican recipes!!

  4. Mama Bear on May 3rd, 2008 2:54 pm

    Hi! I just had to give a shout out to a fellow Menno! :) I’ve been lurking your blog for some time now and just right now realized you are Mennonite! Me too! :)

  5. Liz on May 3rd, 2008 4:09 pm

    I actually don’t ever remember having a BLT sandwich. Add a hamburger to the mixture and I am pretty sure I had that. I guess I must really be from the back sticks. I am glad you clarified that about the cravings.=) The bars look good too. I’ll have to check them out. Off to wondering how BLT’s do taste…

  6. Anna on May 3rd, 2008 5:45 pm

    My favorite sandwich is a club sandwich, but your blt might make me switch. That’s one good looking sandwich!

    Thanks for trying to brownies. I kept mine in the refrigerator overnight and found they taste even better the next day.

  7. Shari Ellen on May 3rd, 2008 6:21 pm

    My girls would have fun making the fruit pizza with me. It’s so beautiful and colorful. We just had BLTs for lunch on Friday – for the first time since last summer.

  8. Freida on May 4th, 2008 2:30 pm

    Oh wow, that all looks so good. My husband is not a huge fan of BLT’s, so I hardly ever make them. But I do love them. Our strawberries are looking good now, so I’m excited about eating them fresh from our garden in a month or so. :-) I imagine your summers are well-looked forward to and appreciated a lot, but I too am glad we have our spring and fall. Sorry, but I think Ohio is better. :-)

  9. Patsy Clairmont on May 4th, 2008 4:48 pm

    Where did you get such healthy looking tomatoes? Way too early in MI to find yummy tomatoes…but you’ve triggered fond childhood summer memories of these two-fisted sandwiches. And the aroma of bacon frying makes me levitate. Then add a touch of Miracle Whip to the trio and I’m a happy girl (ok ol’ girl).

    You know what? Tomato season or not your pictures have talked me into it–tonight is officially BLT night.

    Thanks for the motivation and the wholesome blog.

  10. Lisa on May 4th, 2008 5:32 pm

    Ok now you have me craving a BLT (hold the T for me please). Those P-Nut Butter brownies are a must make. If I didn’t already have my Mothers Day menu planned for next weekend, I would be making those….oh well there is always the next weekend.

    Oh that fruit pizza is a must make too!

  11. Shannon on May 5th, 2008 11:04 am

    I HAVE to make those brownies. :):) I’m not a tomoatoe eater so the BLT’s are out for me!

Same pizza ingredients, different look

Posted on April 30, 2008
Filed Under Main dishes

Whenever Saturday evening rolls around, my cooking brain always automatically thinks pizza-crust-pepperoni-cheese thoughts. Maybe it’s because I was raised with pizza every Saturday night. So, whether it’s pulling a frozen pizza out of the freezer or calling 1-800-WE-NEED-SOME-PIZZA-DELIVERED or going out for pizza with friends or whipping up something from scratch, we somehow usually end up with pizza of some sort on any given Saturday night. If it’s a pizza from scratch night, it might be Real Stromboli (pizza variation instructions at the end of the recipe), Quick Stromboli, Saturday Night Pizza, or Redneck Double Pizza (honestly, we only made this once!).

Sometimes I feel in a rut with my cooking. Like right now. And I don’t mean just with the Saturday night pizza thing. I mean with all my cooking. Whether it’s Sunday-lunch-pot-roast or fried chicken breasts (which we have at least once a week and I really should feature sometime), it seems I kind of make the same type of things way too often.

I automatically skip over recipes that I’m not used to the ingredient combinations or that take ingredients that I’d need a dictionary for. Dishes like: Dark Chocolate and Pine Nut Crostata, Hawaiian Seafood Chowder, Rhubarb Chili Cubano, Artichokes with Tarragon Butter. I mean, really, wouldn’t you skip over the Rhubarb Chili Cubano, thinking “How could rhubarb and chili ever belong in the same dish?!”? That recipe, by the way, comes from the latest Country Woman magazine and from reading over the recipe, I saw that it is in fact regular chili with rhubarb in it!

So, anyway, I’m going to get out of my comfort zone and make myself try one recipe every week that gives me some apprehension and raised eyebrows. Who knows, I may discover that apples baked with cheese is good or that I really do like fruit in my lettuce salads.

But for today, I’ll stay in my comfort zone. Surrounded by the ingredients we know and love.

This is actually an experiment of rolled pizza… a variation in looks of regular flat pizza and quick stromboli. We had this last Saturday night. I’m quite sure I won’t make it again because it didn’t turn out as beautifully swirled as I thought it would. So, why am I featuring it then? Mainly so you know that things flop in my kitchen and because I still think it’s a neat idea and maybe you can offer suggestions to make them more attractive… there will be some troubleshooting going on at the end of the recipe.

Pizza Roll

1 refrigerated Pillsbury pizza crust
Pizza sauce
Shredded cheese
Parmesan cheese

swirls1.jpg   Roll out pizza dough into a rectangle.

swirls2.jpg   Spread with pizza sauce.

swirls4.jpg   Sprinkle with some cheese.

swirls3.jpg   Chop up pepperoni

swirls5.jpg   and put on top of cheese.

swirls6.jpg   Add more cheese and Parmesan cheese.

swirls7.jpg   Starting at a long side, roll up like a jelly roll.

swirls8.jpg    Spray a bit of cooking spray on a sharp knife and cut the roll into 1″ thick pieces. Lay cut side down on baking sheet.


swirls9.jpg  They looked pretty messy, so I gave up on the swirl effect and sprinkled some cheese on top.

swirls11.jpg   Bake at 400 for 15 – 20 min or until browned.

Now, what to do different… I still think they could be an attractive thing to serve, esp for an evening snack when you have company or something. They, of course, tasted really good, but the appearance had much to be desired.

What should’ve I done different?
— Were the toppings too thick?
— Would’ve a stiffer dough done better (like frozen bread dough thawed)?
— Should’ve I skipped the extra cheese on top? Would’ve the swirls looked less messy after baking?
— Are you rolling your eyes, thinking ‘Just make regular pizza, for crying out loud!’?
— Would cutting it with a string (instead of a knife) make them look neater?

Ok, now I need to start looking for an out-of-my-comfort zone recipe… I don’t think I’ll have to look too far. I’ve got that Country Woman magazine sitting here on my computer desk.


7 Responses to “Same pizza ingredients, different look”

  1. Lavonne on April 30th, 2008 1:22 pm

    I think they look wonderful, as in yummy!! ???? I wonder what would happen if you baked them on a lower temperature? I know my oven seems to be extra hot and I aften bake at a lower temp than called for. Have a good one! BTW, I’m enjoying your website! ~Lavonne

  2. Judi on April 30th, 2008 1:59 pm

    I love pizza any way you slice it, but I wonder if you baked it first as in a stromboli – only rolled- then slice it after it cools for just a second. They would still be spiral looking. And I liked your idea of adding more cheese – maybe after baking, slicing then add cheese like you did and pop back in the oven til melted???? Hope YOU try it again and let us know lol

  3. Julie on April 30th, 2008 3:44 pm

    You could always make them without the sauce and then have the sauce for dipping. That might make them look a little neater.

  4. Christy on May 1st, 2008 6:43 am

    I think this is worth working out the wrinkles. They would be a hit party food, for sure. Looks like you have some good suggestions already. ^^^

    And way to go on trying new things. :) I love trying new recipes, but I often get scared of strange sounding combinations as well. I’m finding out it’s worth it though. Who would have thought strawberry spinach salad would be good??? But it’s delicious! I would have never thought a peach or mango salsa could be good, but it has a nice…sweet/tangy flavor.

  5. chelsa on May 1st, 2008 12:50 pm

    we had crockpot pizza last night, easy and still tastes good

  6. Twila on May 1st, 2008 12:59 pm

    I make something similar, only I use frozen bread dough, and I slice it after baking. Also no sauce, we just dip it when we eat it, like we do stromboli.
    And hopefully you’ll come up with some interesting new recipes for us! I made a coleslaw this week that had grapes and apples in it. It was pretty good, but of course next time I’d tweak it a bit.

  7. Lori on May 5th, 2008 7:18 am

    I think they look great as is- I like food that’s a bit “rustic” looking. No need for it to look absolutely perfect. And I’ll bet they tasted great!:-)

Stromboli tonight! But, oops, forgot to thaw bread dough.

Posted on April 11, 2008
Filed Under Main dishes

Oh well, there’s Pillsbury pizza dough in the fridge. I’ll try that.

And it worked!


It was 30 minutes till our normal supper time and I was leafing thro’ cookbooks. I went for the Quick Cooking cookbooks because there’s always a 30-minutes-till-mealtime section in those, and if that ever described where I was at, it was right then. But, the problem was always that my hamburger wasn’t already browned, my veggies weren’t already chopped, my eggs weren’t already beaten… I need a section titled I-just-walked-into-the-kitchen-and-did-no-prep-ahead-and-it’s-30-minutes-to-mealtime.

This stromboli (almost) would fit into that category. I timed myself this evening. It was 35 minutes from everything still in the fridge to eating. And I was even taking step-by-step pictures, which actually takes more time than you’d think. And the mushrooms weren’t washed or sliced ahead of time either.

My oven might preheat slower than most (it takes almost 10 minutes to go from 0 – 400), but the first thing I did was turn the oven on, then got the pizza dough, Parmesan cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms, and cheese out of the fridge and the Italian seasoning and the baking sheet out of the cupboard. And by the time the oven beeped that it’s up to temp, the stromboli was about ready to go in the oven. This stromboli is nothing fancy, no neat sealing it shut or hiding the seams or anything. Actually, maybe it’s even a slam to stromboli to call it that. Maybe it could even be called a calzone. What is the difference anyway?

Ok, I just stopped a bit and put ‘stromboli define’ into Google… the first 2 definitions were an active volcano on an island in southern Italy! Finally, I found the food variation. Then I looked up calzone. Seems like the main difference is the size… calzone is serving size and originated in Naples. Stromboli originated in Philadelphia. But, they’re both meat and cheese enclosed in dough. So, there’s your history lesson/cooking lesson for the day.

35 Minutes to Mealtime Stromboli

1 13.8 oz can Pillsbury refrigerated pizza dough
8 oz pepperoni
5 fresh mushrooms
3/4 cup pizza sauce
Italian seasoning
8 oz shredded cheese (ok, I actually used a little more… finished out a bag, plus the 8 oz bag, but who cares, there was actually no recipe, I’m just making up amounts here so it looks good and qualifies as a recipe)
Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. melted butter


Spread the pizza dough out in the pan. Sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese.


Put pepperoni on one half, leaving about a 1/2″ space along the edge.


Wash and slice mushrooms and put over pepperoni.


Sprinkle on some Italian seasoning and spoon pizza sauce over.


Add the cheese.


Flip other half of dough over toppings and pinch edges together to seal.

Bake at 400 for 20 – 25 minutes, depending on how browned you like it. Brush melted butter on top right after it comes out of the oven


Sprinkle with some more Parmesan cheese.


And call everyone to the table.


18 Responses to “Stromboli tonight! But, oops, forgot to thaw bread dough.”

  1. barb on April 12th, 2008 7:32 am

    That stromboli/calzone looks wonderful, I am for sure going to try it, but I have a question. What did you serve with it. Thats where I’m always having trouble deciding. What to go with main course????

  2. Shannon on April 12th, 2008 9:16 am

    Oh, it looks divine and I could eat a couple helping right now. Maybe that’s what I’ll make for supper only I have no prefab dough, nothing frozen. Guess I’ll have to make my own. (Unless I can hint around long enough about going out to eat) :)

  3. LaVonne on April 12th, 2008 9:27 am

    wow, that looks delicous!! Will definatly have to try that! I enjoy reading all your diffrent recipes. Have a good weekend!

  4. Audrey on April 12th, 2008 10:29 am

    I was just going to tell you how much I love your web site. I usually check it out when I see through Xanga that you have added. I love the way you describe all of the steps and add your little comments in very every day terms, and how you make things work even if you don’t have all of the right ingredients. That stromboli looks VERY good…I think our family would like it. Anyway, just an encourageing note that I think you do a GREAT job with this web site.

  5. Jo on April 12th, 2008 10:41 am

    Saturday nights are usually pizza night for us, but that stromboli (or whatever it is) looks better than pizza. Only 3 problems: I have no dough, no white flour, no cheese, & no mushrooms. Oops, that’s 4 problems. Bummer. Oh, for a grocery store across the street…!

  6. amy on April 12th, 2008 10:56 am

    Yummy!! We love stromboli and I have kind of forgotten about it. Thanks for reminding me.

  7. Kay on April 12th, 2008 10:58 am

    Barb, that is one the reason why I don’t make all-in-one casserole type dishes very often… I like to have at least 3 different dishes on the table and I never know what to put with the all-in-ones either. I usually have one or 2 of these sides with stromboli: salad, breadsticks, or applesauce.

  8. Elmina on April 12th, 2008 11:15 am

    This looks absolutely wonderful!! I will have to try that using my pizza dough recipe. If I were serving this, I’d add a tossed salad and applesauce to the menu, and have ice cream for dessert. I really love your website, and all your great ideas.

  9. Farrah on April 12th, 2008 2:48 pm

    I just read the other comments on here and had to chuckle. I have NO PROBLEM with one dish meals on the table! In fact, I love them! Reduces dishes and work so I can spend more time doing things I love, like playing games with my family. Hee-hee! Actually, forget “on the table.” I like one dish meals straight out of the pan on the stovetop. We dish the plates up and bring them to the table. It probably helps us not overeat, too, having to walk all the way into the kitchen for seconds. The only time we put food on the table is when we have company. However, we all eat together and do not watch TV at all. So long as we get in a meat, veggie, and starch I’m happy! Who cares if it’s all in one pan, so long as it tastes good!

    I am not much for pizza, but I am saving this recipe, because my son and Hubby would love it! Enjoyed all your comments and pictures! The history lesson was perfect, because when I asked Hubby if he likes Stromboli, he asked, “What is that?” Haha!

  10. Sassy Mama Bear on April 12th, 2008 4:01 pm

    Looks scrumptious! Definitely something we have not done in a long time. I would mention that a fun thing to do is make individual versions of these so everyone can have their favorite toppings inside. Salad, and my husband’s famous homemade garlic breadsticks are our usual sides when we have calazones.

  11. Katie Mast on April 13th, 2008 9:36 am

    THanks for another great recipe. I will need to try this one to. I just want to tell you I tryed your meatloaf one the other day and i got so many raves over it. My husband said “now that is a good meat loaf”. I knew when i read that “you finally found your best meatloaf” I had to try it. It was great, thanks. I replaced my old one with this.

  12. The Apron Queen on April 13th, 2008 6:57 pm

    Late making my rounds. Sounds delicious! Do stop by. I’ll save you a plate of my Just Peachy Cobbler. ????

    For your daily dose of vintage goodness & a bit of silliness, stop by Confessions of an Apron Queen, the home of Vintage Thingies Thursdays</a

  13. Menu Plan Monday « Beanish and Other Languages I’m Learning on April 13th, 2008 8:59 pm

    […] Wednesday: Stromboli  […]

  14. Heidi on April 14th, 2008 12:01 pm

    yumm this looks so good. i will definetly have to try this. thanks for sharing these great recipes with us!

  15. Kim on April 16th, 2008 6:04 pm

    I made this for supper tonight. It was delish! Thanks for sharing the idea!

  16. Mary Faith on April 18th, 2008 8:38 pm

    I made this tonight for my sis. and brother-in-law. He told me, “You can make this stuff many more times before you leave. It is awesome!” (I’m here helping them since my sister had her baby.) I actually made three of them and they were all devoured. lol That fed about 12 people. Next time they want me to make four of them. :) One thing I added was Canadian bacon and that was really good too! I loved how simple and quick it was, too. Thanks for the recipe. :)

  17. Judi on April 21st, 2008 12:14 pm

    My maintenance man (aka hubby) doesn’t like pizza and I love it. I’m going to try this and see what he thinks.

  18. Kitsune on May 27th, 2011 4:44 am

    I asked a chef at a local restaurant what the difference was and he said it’s close to the same, but the stromboli is supposed to be folded across the top(or bottom) and closer to in thirds, smaller, and with cheese. The Calzone has more “extra” bread and is generally the semi-circle shape, while Stromboli is rectangular.
    Your Stromboli definitely looks rather yummy!

Steak Fajitas

On a more serious note…

This dish, on the other hand (as opposed to the last post), graces our table quite often.

Even the kids love it… at the end I’ll show you how to make it kid-friendly!

Did you ever have steaks on the grill?
They were just delicious, but you had 1 steak leftover… now, what to do with it.????  If you keep it, it might get tough when you reheat it.  If you throw it away, it might bug you that something you spent good money one just went in the trash.  Here’s what I do: Slice it thin and put it in a bag in the freezer. Then, the next time you make fajitas, pull it out and add it to the other meat.

Steak Fajitas

1 lb or so of thinly-sliced steak (I either buy it thinly sliced or slice a couple steaks up. If I have any left over from grilling, I add that too.)
1/3 each of a green, yellow, orange, and sweet red pepper, sliced into strips (Or 2 or 3 colors, whatever you have on hand.)
1/2 of an onion, sliced and separated
Shredded lettuce (I don’t keep shredded lettuce on hand, I just cut it thinly off of a head of lettuce.)
Tomatoes, cut up
Shredded cheese
Sour cream

Spray the skillet with cooking spray or use oil, depends on if you want it more healthy or not. I’ve done it both ways.  Add the steak, peppers, and onion. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper and seasoning. I use Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Meat Magic seasoning .
About 15 minutes before serving time, turn skillet to about 300. Cover. Stir about every 3 minutes. Fry for about 12 minutes total or until it looks done. While it’s frying, get the other things around… cut the tomatoes, shred the lettuce, etc. Stack tortillas on a plate with a paper towel between each one. Microwave until warm and soft, about a minute or so.


Now you’re ready to eat! How’s that for a ready-in-15-minutes meal! …which is one reason why I like it. If your supper time varies (like ours does), you can get everything cut up and in the skillet awhile, then it’s pretty fast from there. And now, for the kid-friendly version… Cut 3 1/2″ circles out of a tortilla.

Fill it and roll up.
Fits in their hands nice and works great,
until they start playing with it!

There are a bunch of different variations to making fajitas, I’m sure. We don’t have the fried rice and refried beans and guacomole (ok, I can’t make that word look right, where’s my dictionary?!). All that stuff would make it more complicated, plus we don’t really like 2 or 3 of those things.

The Redneck Double Pizza

Food becomes part of our culture…

There are foods that so many people like that they become an icon. For example, if I were to tell you to fill in the following blank with a food name, many of you would have the same answer. As American as_______  .  

See, most of you said apple pie. Apple pie has somehow captured the taste buds of enough people through the generations to become something we are all aware is part of our culture. What other foods would meet this criteria? Cheeseburger?  Fried chicken? BBQ? (not grilling, the real slow cooked over a fire kind). We are talking about foods that have stood the test of time. The food I am featuring today is not one of those foods.

In fact, I introduce to you an entree that barely rises to the level of food:

2 frozen pizzas (the thin kind)
Shredded cheese

Flip the one pizza upside-down on top of the other one.
Top with cheese and pepperoni.
Bake at 450 till cheese is melted and edges are browning.
Slice and serve.

Yup, this one will definitely go in the “other” category. Right over there next to the moon pies and green ketchup.

P.S. I guarantee you that there is a guy in your household who has looked at those skinny frozen pizzas after you’ve baked them and has thought about taking both of them, flipping one on top of the other and making a sandwich…

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. 

“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.

Wet Burritos

This recipe came from my mother-in-law. It’s really good!!!!! Try it!

Wet Burritos

1 lb hamburger
1 sm onion
1 pk taco seasoning
1 can refried beans
8 soft tortillas (9 inch)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cups sour cream
8 oz grated cheese

Fry hamburger with onion. Add seasoning and beans. Put 1/8 of meat mixture in each tortilla. Roll up. Mix mushroom soup and sour cream. Put 1/2 of it into greased 9×13 pan. Put rolled tortillas in next,
burritos2 then put rest of sauce on top, then the cheese.
burritos3  Bake at 350 for 40 min.
burritos4 Serve with sour cream and salsa. It’s so easy to make! With good babies and all, you can go from nothing to eating within an hour! In the 40 minutes it’s baking, you can easily get the rest of the meal around.

We had crescent rolls and salad with it.
burritos salad  I make my own croutons instead of buy them because I don’t like the hard ones that you can’t stab with a fork. It’s so easy… just take a couple pieces of bread, cut them into chunks with a pizza cutter. Put some melted butter in a pan (however much you want, I usually do around a Tablespoon, maybe a little less), then dash a few spices in, like oregano, basil, and onion power, or garlic powder. Throw the bread cubes in and mix them around till they seem to be pretty much coated with the butter. Put the pan in the oven for about 10 minutes, more if you want. Sometime during that time, I take the pan out and shake it around a little to try to get some of the croutons to flip over. They have a crunch, but yet you can stab them with a fork. Perfect!!!

Totally “off the wall” recipes (sorry to those of you who don’t like puns… I couldn’t help myself)

Posted on January 8, 2007
Filed Under Breakfasts, Main dishes, Pies, Soups

Blueberry Muffins
Farmer’s Market Soup
Chicken Pot Pie
Apple Pie

If you remember my cookie baking/candy making post, the kitchen that we were at had the neatest wallpaper!!!!
recipe wall   It was in the kitchen at Sandra’s (xsenergyo5) church. Sandra, have you guys ever tried them? The wallpaper has 4 recipes repeated on it. So, I took pictures of each recipe and made them. I hope you can read them ok… I’ll see how it looks after it’s uploaded and if I can’t read them, I’ll type them out. *Edit*…I just checked to see if I could read them and it’s a little hard, but if you click on the picture, it opens a new window that it’s bigger and more readable in.

Blueberry Muffins

recipe muffins

Some notes: I didn’t know what double-acting baking powder was, but my baking powder in my cupboard said ‘double-acting’ on it, so maybe all baking powder is?????    I also just used my regular nutmeg from my spices instead of getting a nutmeg and grating it for ‘freshly grated’. I used frozen blueberries, not fresh, but I think fresh would be better and not as juicy, so I want to make it sometime with fresh. The batter was more of a cookie dough consistency, which kind of surprised me, but the muffins were great!!! Some of the best I’ve had! They were moist and dense, which I like! We loved them!!! I will definitely make these again!!! Now for the pictures…




Farmer’s Market Soup

recipe soup

Some notes: I used baby carrots and figured 9 would equal one big one. I’ve never in my life peeled a tomato before! What a juicy mess! I put just enough water in to come up to the level of the veggies, they weren’t totally covered… that way it wouldn’t make alot of broth.  Um, now for what we thought of it… I thought it was good in a but-I’d-never-make-it-again way. I made a half batch and was glad I did because I had the whole thing to myself! It sure is healthy though!!!! It took a long time to cut up all those veggies!





Chicken Pot Pie

recipe potpie

Some notes: After it simmered for 20 minutes, I thought the broth didn’t seem thick enough, so I put in an extra tablespoon of flour. I missed a picture of the chicken/veggie part of the pot pie before putting the dough on top. For the biscuit dough, I used a recipe that was very good, but it ended up sort of limp and sticky and hard to work with, so the pot pie ended up looking pretty messy. I used all but about 5 biscuit’s worth of the dough (the recipe took 2 cups of flour to give you an idea of the size batch it was), so then I just baked those biscuits and served them with the meal. We really liked this! It was good and flavorful. Not sure if I’d make it again, just simply because it took awhile to make and we don’t do much in the way of casserole-type dishes. But I would definitely recommend it!!!!





Apple Pie

recipe pie

Some notes: Too many apples! I used a 9″ deep dish pie plate and as you will see, it was piled high! I cut up 8 and used probably 6 apples, and they were medium sized, not huge. I used Golden Delicious mainly because that’s the only kind I recognized (and I used to live on an apple orchard! ). I used brown sugar. Before the height of this pie scares you off, it’s not actually that huge. The crust stays up and the apples settle, as you can see in the last picture after we took a couple pieces out. This pie was absolutely tops! The winner of all the “wall” recipes! I will definitely make it again. Great flavor and so perfect warm with a serving of ice cream!!!







Open-faced pork chop sandwiches by my husband

A guest appearance!

Grilling is my husband Shannon’s specialty. He’s got some pretty mean stuff coming off the grill sometimes! YUM!!!! One of those things is the open-faced pork chop sandwich . I asked him if he could make a ‘guest appearance’ on this site to feature them. He agreed to do it… so, here he is…

I can’t believe I am being a guest writer on Kay’s blog. Further, I can’t believe I am actually sitting down with my laptop to write about a pork chop.

As you will see, this is not a complicated recipe. As with nearly all of my food prep related endeavors, this recipe centers around the charcoal grill.

Ingredients: Boneless pork chops, white bread, provolone cheese, BBQ sauce, seasoning.

Step 1: Season pork chops to taste. I use Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Meat Magic seasoning or a Cajun seasoning.

Step 2: Grill over hot coals.

porkchop1 To an internal temp of 160. Pork, unlike steak, should not be done medium or rare unless the intended audience has a particular affinity for food born illness.

Step3: While chops are grilling, toast one piece of bread for each chop.


Step 4: P ut a piece of the sliced provolone cheese on the toast (I know this is a technical and difficult process but stick with me here).


Step 5: Cut the chops into strips a little over 1/4 th in. thick.


Step 6: Put strips of chop on the piece of toast and cheese, using the grab and plop technique.


Step 7: Pour boiling hot BBQ sauce over the chop and cheese.


This is really where a lot of the flavor comes from. I use Famous Dave’s Rich and Sassy BBQ Sauce . If you haven’t had Famous Dave’s you should at least give it a try. {Side note: “Famous” Dave Anderson has a lake home on Round Lake about 3 miles from where we live. I have had the chance to meet him on several occasions including one night after midnight when I stopped into our local grocery store and he was shopping at 12:30 in the morning. Dave started Famous Dave’s of America restaurant chain and later was appointed by President G.W. Bush as the head of the Borough of Indian Affairs in Washington DC. (an agency with over 10,000 employees) end side note}

Where was I? Oh yeah, make sure the bbq sauce is very hot so it melts the cheese. Serve as an open faced sandwich. The 2 mistakes I have made when making these are 1. Leaving the meat on the grill too long till it is too dry. And 2. Not putting enough BBQ sauce on top.

Well that’s it. See, I told you it was a simple recipe.

May you always be surrounded by good friends and great food.


In researching how to make stromboli about 6 years ago, I found there are alot of different variations out there (different kinds, different shapes, braided tops, spiral-rolled, etc. So, I experimented with it and here is the result… a recipe of my stromboli, tried and true, we love it! I’ve only ever made 2 different kinds… pizza and steak. Tonight was steak.

Steak and Cheese Stromboli

1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
14 oz pkg thinly sliced beef Philly steak
Montreal steak seasoning  *edit* or seasoning of your choice
1 tsp. oil
1 green pepper
1/2 of an onion
Handful or 2 of sliced mushrooms
3/4 cup pizza sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese

Put the oil in an electric skillet and turn to 300. Cut up green pepper and onion into approx. 1 1/2″ x 1/4″ pieces and fry for a few minutes, stirring often`. Add steak and sprinkle steak seasoning on it
strom1 and fry a few more minutes until no longer pink. Throw the mushrooms in and stir it.
strom2Put it on simmer while you roll out the bread dough into a rectangle about 12″ x 8″ x 1/2″. (This measurement is a wild guess, by the way. ) Spread pizza sauce on it.
strom3Then spoon meat mixture on it, then put cheese on top.
strom4Now, the dreaded part… getting it closed.   Pull the edges up around to the middle (the edges are usually fatter, so it’s got some extra to give) and pinch to seal. Then seal the ends too. If any holes break open, patch them up, or the problem will magnify as it bakes! I always have one hole somewhere somehow.
strom5Then flip it over onto the pan… a quick smooth maneuver would be good here.   Butter the top with very soft butter or melted butter and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
strom6 Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

To make the pizza variation , trade the steak, seasoning, oil, grn pepper, and onion for an 8 oz pkg of pepperoni. Then if your taste buds allow, sprinkle some crushed red pepper on the cheese before closing it up. It gives it extra zip.  Do everything else the same. No frying involved though… that’s handier.

What style and flavor of stromboli do you make?


2 Responses to “Stromboli”

  1. Amber on April 3rd, 2008 10:43 am

    We love the pizza kind, too and also ham and cheese with mustard smeared on the dough. If you want to try something different to close your dough: spread the toppings down the center and leave about 3-4 in. on either side. Make cuts in the dough about an inch apart on either side. ‘Braid’ the dough strips over top of toppings and brush with egg whites and sprinkle with sesame seeds. :) Love your site!

  2. Tom Barrett on November 23rd, 2008 6:10 am

    Kay, I want to say thanks for the really nice recipe and the great, step by step pictures.

    I’m a fan of anything “Cheesesteak”, and I do make Steak and Cheese Stromboli’s using a puff pastry dough sheet.

    But yours looks great, and I love the idea of putting sauce in the dough.

    great job and thanks!