4th of July Flag Watermelon Bowl

Posted on June 30, 2014
Filed Under Holiday cooking, Side dishes

Probably most of you fit into 2 categories: rolling your eyes at all the red, white, and blue food and having “just grill me a juicy brown cheeseburger!” type of thoughts OR looking for red, white, and blue food ideas because you’re hosting or taking food to a 4th of July party.
This post is for the latter category. ????
If you want a cheeseburger, read this post instead (hmmm, not a bad idea actually, after looking at it to put the link here, makes me kind of hungry for a cheeseburger now!).

I bought a watermelon the other day. Among a few other fruits. It’s summer. I think there’s a rule that you need to have fruit on hand at all times during the summer. Or maybe it’s just a personal preference.
With the 4th of July coming up, I was also trying to think of something 4th of July-ish to make, just because I like excuses to play with food… ha. I always think of raspberries or strawberries (red), bananas (white), and blueberries (blue) when I make patriotic food. I wanted something different, and that’s when I thought of my watermelon I had just got. Watermelon actually has 2 of those colors! So, anyway, I ended up making a flag in the rind and used the watermelon for a fruit salad bowl.

4th of July flag watermelon bowl

I’ll show you how I did it. I’m sure this has been done before and there might be a better way, but this way was easy and quick. It was quick because I’m not a perfectionist. ????

Slice off an area of green, the size you want your flag to be. Just a thin slice, you don’t want to go deep enough to see any red! Not to sound mom-ish or anything, but be careful with this step! The rind is tough and slippery and while I was doing it, my knife slipped aaaaaaaand… I’m currently sporting a cut on my thumb from it.

Next, section off a box in the upper left corner for the star section. Then cut stripes. Slice underneath the stripes. Where the red stripes will be, cut the ends and you’ll be able to lift the white rind out and tada! red stripe.
I know, I had to cut off a white stripe so I could get my knife in there, then I just secured it back on with toothpicks.

4th of july flag watermelon bowl1

For the star section, I cut divots with the end of a vegetable peeler and then stuck blueberries in… some of them tucked snugly in and some of them had to be pinned in with a toothpick.

4th of july flag watermelon bowl2

4th of july flag watermelon bowl3

And there you go, a patriotic watermelon. :)

To make a bowl, cut a thin slice off of the bottom so it has a flat spot to sit on.
Scoop out the watermelon (but don’t get too close to the back of the flag, it needs to stay solid red there).
Now, fill your homemade festive American bowl with fruit salad.
It could be any fruit mixture… I just added blueberries and bananas to the watermelon to keep it red, white, and blue, and cut a few stars out of some watermelon just for fun.

4th of july watermelon bowl

Comments

One Response to “4th of July Flag Watermelon Bowl”

  1. Jan on August 8th, 2014 4:25 pm

    That is so cool! I know I’m a month behind, but it’s still cool! I want to do that sometime when I get big! :-)

Olive Garden Salad

Olive Garden Salad

Posted on April 14, 2014 
Filed Under Salads, Side dishes

olive garden salad2 kitchen scrapbook

Have you ever had the salad at Olive Garden? What they lack in breadstick perfection, they make up for in salad (my opinion). We love this salad and it often accompanies our meals when we have Lasagna, Spaghetti & Meatballs, or Parmesan Chicken.

There are 7 ingredients: Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, pepperoncini, shredded mozzarella cheese, croutons, and dressing. Parmesan cheese is optional. This salad tastes exactly like one you’d get at Olive Garden.

Here’s why.

I think in any salad, the secret is the dressing. For this salad, I’ve tried dressing recipes that were named “Olive Garden Dressing”, but none of them tasted quite right. Sure, they were good, but not AS good. So, here’s my secret: I go into our local Olive Garden and buy a bottle of dressing. ???? It’s $5.49 with tax (and I never know whether or not to tip when it’s just a quick no packaging carry-out item, so sometimes a do and sometimes I don’t). It may be slightly more expensive than other dressings, but you can make 3 salads with one bottle. And it tastes perfect every time AND you don’t have to make dressing every time you make the salad. I heard it’s available at Sam’s Club now. I wonder if it’s the real thing. Does anyone know? I just might have to get some there and do a taste test.

Olive Garden Salad ingredient list came from studying my salad one time at the restaurant, quantities are my personal preference

1 bunch Romaine Lettuce
2 Roma Tomatoes, seeded and each cut into 8 chunks
1/2 cup sliced Black olives, or a 2.25 oz can, drained
15 mild Pepperoncini
1 heaping cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 heaping cup Croutons
3/4 cup Olive Garden Dressing

olive garden salad ingredients kitchen scrapbook

I always drain the olives, pepperoncini, and tomatoes on paper towel for awhile before putting them in the salad.

Wash lettuce. Dry and rip into large bowl. (A lettuce spinner has been on my wish list for about 5 years, but every time I have some extra spending money to blow on kitchen stuff, I decide drying lettuce leaves with paper towel will be fine after all, and end up getting more “toys” for cake decorating instead.) Edited Dec 2014: I am now the proud owner of a Pampered Chef Salad Spinner! I. love. it!!! :)

Put all ingredients into a large bowl and toss.

olive garden salad1 kitchen scrapbook

Dump into serving bowl and serve.
For how many this serves:
If using as a side salad, I make a half batch for our family of 5 (and the girls eat about as much as an adult would, even the 3-yr-old).
If using as a main dish with grilled chicken on top, I make a whole batch (as a main dish, the girls don’t eat quite as much as an adult would).
In both cases, there’s usually a serving or two left over.
For company, I make one batch for every 10-12 people.

olive garden salad kitchen scrapbook

We had this for lunch yesterday and there was a serving of leftovers. Because this salad keeps better than some dressing-mixed-in salads, I put the leftovers in the fridge. I ate it for supper (5 hours later) and the lettuce was still crisp and crunchy. I think it might keep better because it’s a low sugar dressing and doesn’t make the lettuce soft.

Speaking of lunch yesterday, here is a variation for serving this salad. It’s commonly thought of as a side salad, but once in awhile, we like to switch things up from our regular chicken breast salad and use Olive Garden salad for the salad part instead. (By the way, our regular chicken breast salad is featured here almost 3 years ago, but we still do it exactly the same, and still make it often, especially in the summer.) Anyway, we switched it up yesterday and used Olive Garden salad… simply fill a plate with the salad and put a sliced perfectly-seasoned-and-grilled-by-Shannon chicken breast on top.
olive garden salad with chicken kitchen scrapbook

Comments

5 Responses to “Olive Garden Salad”

  1. Shannon on April 14th, 2014 1:08 pm

    Love this salad too. To save you a stop, I buy this dressing at Walmart. :)

  2. Kay on April 14th, 2014 2:03 pm

    Are you serious, Shannon? I do most of my shopping at Meijer and so seldom go to Walmart, which is probably why I haven’t seen it.
    And is it the exact same thing? For some reason, I’m kind of skeptical about it… maybe because I can’t believe that they’d sell the real thing to stores. I’m going to get some at Walmart the next time I go to town and do a taste test, and then edit this post to add my opinion of how it compares. ????
    Thanks for the info… because as I wrote that in the post about Sam’s Club, I wondered if my card was still in date.

  3. Rosalyn on April 14th, 2014 3:26 pm

    Yum! :) Makes me wish I’d have all of this on hand for easy fixing tonight!

  4. Freida on April 14th, 2014 3:44 pm

    Yeah, Walmart has the dressing. I’m pretty sure its the real thing-the bottle looks exactly the same. And now view am hungry rir this salad!! Yum!

  5. Jan on April 14th, 2014 4:40 pm

    I’ve tried to make some of the Copy Cat dressings, too, and they’re not the same. They’re good, but not the same. Olive Garden salad is absolutely the best to be found anywhere.

Baked Potatoes with Kosher Salt

Baked Potatoes with Kosher Salt

Posted on December 21, 2013 
Filed Under Side dishes

Short and sweet.
That’s what this post is going to be.

I just want to show you the very best way to do baked potatoes.

Step 1: Rub them with oil of your choice. I use light tasting olive oil for almost everything in cooking. The exception is cake mixes… I use vegetable oil for that. I’ve never tried olive oil for that, not sure why not.

Step 2: Sprinkle coarse kosher salt on all sides of the potatoes.

baked potatoes

Step 3: Bake them.

baked potatoes with kosher salt

Step 4: Eat them. And enjoy the saltiness and crispiness of the skins. My 3-yr-old decided she doesn’t like the skins… so I get to eat hers. :)

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts.

Do Not:
— use tin foil if you don’t like crispy skins… it reacts with the salt.
— bake for 3 hours at 275 (yes, I tried this one morning while we went to church), think salty hockey pucks.
— put them directly on the oven rack… unless you want to clean a bunch of salt off of your oven floor.

Do:
— Bake them at 400 for 1 hour.
— Bake them at 350 for 1 1/2 hours.
— Bake them on a cookie sheet or pan, uncovered.
— Serve them to company.

Comments

2 Responses to “Baked Potatoes with Kosher Salt”

  1. Shannon on February 14th, 2014 10:17 pm

    Eric loves the crispy salty skins of restaurant potatoes. I’m gonna try them like this next time. First I need to invest in some of your Light Olive Oil. :)

  2. Kay on February 18th, 2014 11:36 am

    It works with any oil, Shannon. Light Olive Oil is just the best! Ok, that might be an opinion, but it seems like a fact. ????

Drizzled Chocolate Fruit Kabobs, plus How to Keep Banana Slices from Browning

These fresh fruit kabobs drizzled with chocolate are the perfect item for adding a bit of beauty and pizzazz to the table without a lot of time-consuming work. You can’t beat that, right? So, keep it in mind next time you need to take food somewhere. It doesn’t even require a fork so it works for “bring finger food” occasions. These particular ones were made for my husband Shannon to take to a company potluck at his office at Keller Williams Real Estate.

chocolate drizzled fruit kabobs1

There is no recipe, just use any kind of fruit you want to… They all work great. Well, except apples. Apples sometimes split when you put them on the skewers. If you’re using apples, the thinner the skewer the better. Just for the record, apples and chocolate go together awesomely! Is awesomely a word? I figure as long as you know what a word means, it doesn’t really matter if it’s technically not a word. ????

Chunk up/slice all the fruit that gets chunked or sliced. Take stems off of fruit that gets de-stemmed. Toss fruits that get brown with lemon juice (more on that later).

In other words, before I start threading them on skewers, I like to have them all ready to go.
Then, start poking fruit on until: 1. Fruit is gone, 2. Skewers are gone, or 3. You have the desired amount.

fruit kabobs

After the fruit is all on the skewers, put about a half cup of chocolate chips or candy melts in a sandwich bag, but don’t seal shut. Put it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Flip it over and microwave it for 20 second. Work the bag with your hands and put them in for 10 seconds. Do this until all the chocolate feels smooth and no chunks are left.

I need to get back in my zone… that zone where I automatically remember to take pictures at each step! I was having too much fun and just kept rolling instead of stopping for pictures.

Now, you’re ready to drizzle. Put the kabobs all really close together so less drizzle lands on the table. Snip a little corner off of the bag and just scribble back and forth over the fruit. Then immediately separate them or else the chocolate will harden and pull drizzles off of its neighbor.

Put them on a plate. Garnish if you want to.
lemon rose chocolate leaves
Here are tutorials on the rose and leaves, in case you want to make some:
RoseChocolate leaves
The rose tutorial is actually for making a tomato rose, but it’s the same technique.

Now, about the bananas and keeping them from browning.

Lemon juice is the secret here. I did a little test where I checked them after 3 hours and after 6 hours. A little after the 6-hour mark, my girls came home from school and I let them eat my experiment for an after school snack… and then thought of it later that I should’ve tested the bananas longer, like 24 hours. But what I did learn is that lemon juice works its magic for at least 6 hours, and that was the info I needed because unless they have to set/freeze/marinate/etc, I rarely make things more than 6 hours ahead of time. Maybe that’s because I’m a procrastinator.

So here we go, the experiment. The pictures above were taken right after I made it, where even a fresh banana would still be looking good. The pictures below were taken 3 and 6 hours afterwards.

3 hours after being tossed with lemon juice:
banana slice browning2
From left to right: uncovered room temp, covered room temp, uncovered refrigerated, covered refrigerated, covered frozen, and a fresh slice.
The fresh slice is NOT 3 hours old, it’s just there for comparison. The frozen one is thrown in there for fun… it actually has no lemon juice on, it was peeled and put into the freezer right away and is probably more like 3 months old.

6 hours after being tossed with lemon juice:
banana slice browning3
The middles are starting to get a little brown, but are still fine.

What I was surprised was that between all the lemon-juiced ones, there was pretty much no difference! I’m glad about this tidbit because it gives flexibility. Here is a closer up. They all stayed firm too, no mushiness.
banana slice browning1

chocolate drizzled fruit kabobs

Here come the Holidays… make some of these pretty things!  It’s a delicious, healthy snack to set out on the snack table (with the chocolate covered Ritz crackers, cookies, red-green-silver-foil-wrapped Hershey kisses, and party mix).

Comments

4 Responses to “Drizzled Chocolate Fruit Kabobs, plus How to Keep Banana Slices from Browning”

  1. Twila on November 22nd, 2013 11:30 pm

    These look yummy. I’m wondering where you found the short skewers, or did you cut skewers in half. If you cut them in half, what did you cut them with so the ends didn’t splinter?

  2. Kay on November 23rd, 2013 12:55 pm

    Twila, I get the short ones at Meijer, Hobby Lobby, JoAnns, or Michaels. Are you close to any of those stores? I was out of them at the moment, so for these I used the longer ones. I cut them with a wire cutter… makes a nice clean cut, no splinters. :)

  3. Shannon on December 5th, 2013 1:43 pm

    I miss your posts! :)

  4. Kathleen on September 17th, 2014 12:12 pm

    Can fruit kababs been frozen and them dipped. If so what is the shelf life in a freezer before the fruit gets mushy? Would it be ok to eliminate the lemon juice if the kababs were frozen?

Chipotle Deviled Eggs

Posted on April 9, 2011
Filed Under Garnishing, Side dishes

Is this recipe made up, you wonder?
Yep, it is.
All because I fell in love with some chipotle mayo from Yutzy’s Farm Market and I use it on everything that I think it might possibly go with.

We had a fish fry last night. One of the couples from church (Jr. and Darla) go up to Lake Erie to fish every year. Then, they clean the fish. And then, they GENEROUSLY share them with us. I know. We’re privileged. And we realize it and are very grateful.

They and their kitchen helpers fry/bake the fish (there’s some of each) and make a big roasterful of scalloped potatoes and do pork chops for anyone who doesn’t like fish. Then, the rest of us bring salads and desserts. It’s quite a spread… the row of food tables is roughly the length of an airport runway (give or take a few hundred yards) and is lined down both sides with food food food. Good stuff! I’m wishing right now that I’d have taken my camera along to take a picture of it.

So, anyway, I was trying to decide what to make in the salad category. I just got a new Dessert Decorator, and it HAD to be something that I could use that for. The decorator was a just-for-anyhow gift from my husband, which are THE best kind of gifts.

So now, we’re only eating soft foods that can fit thro the decorator… but hey, at least we’re eating pretty stuff. ????

I made twice-baked potatoes a couple days ago and piped them into the shells with the decorator, but then I had a problem. I hadn’t thought of the cheese. So it was forfeit cheese and see the beauty or have potatoes with yummy melty cheese on top. The cheese won. Oh well. I still had fun doing it.

Anyway, back to what to take to the fish fry, I thought of Deviled Eggs.

deviled-eggs.jpg

And while I was getting the yolks out of the whites, I thought of my beloved Chipotle mayo and decided to throw some of that in there. Next time, I’d add more… it adds a little kick and I didn’t want to add too much kick for some unsuspecting person at a church fish fry who doesn’t like kick.

Chipotle Deviled Eggs

12 eggs
3/4 cup mayo (use less if you prefer a stronger egg yolk taste)
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. Roasted Chipotle Mayonnaise (more would be better ???? )
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Hard boil the eggs. Peel and cut in half. Put yolks in a food processor; set whites on a serving tray.
dev-eggs1.jpg

Running the yolks thro’ the food processor makes for a creamier filling. After there are no chunks left, add the rest of the ingredients. Pipe the filling into the egg white shells. (Side note: sometime, try piping egg filling into an egg white with one hand WHILE holding still enough to take a picture with the other hand :) )
dev-eggs2.jpg

Here’s a little tip: when you’re getting the last of the filling out of the bowl, it’s nice to have one hand to hold the bowl and one hand to use the scraper, putting the filling right into the decorator as you’re scraping. This leaves no hand to hold the decorator so… prop it in a cup.
dev-eggs3.jpg

dev-eggs4.jpg

deviled-eggs5.jpg

If you want to garnish the tray with tomato roses, but don’t know how, this link is for you: How to Make Tomato Roses.

Coming up in the next few posts: Tiffany’s ladybug birthday cake, Fun play-with-your-food Spring-themed stuff, and Donut Muffins.

Comments

6 Responses to “Chipotle Deviled Eggs”

  1. Arla on April 9th, 2011 9:52 am

    Kay, I’m so glad you’re back here at your scrapbook!
    My family would be terribly awed if I were to follow in your footsteps and create in the kitchen. I have no clue! So you inspire me, thanks.

  2. Christy on April 9th, 2011 12:49 pm

    They look pretty and I really like the idea of adding the Chipotle kick!

  3. Ruthie on April 9th, 2011 2:28 pm

    Wow! They look so good! I’m going to have to try the processor next time, mine are always kind of lumpy. I would be the one that doesn’t want the kick. =) The tomatoes look lovely! Your whites are so white, no dark edges. Good looking dish!
    Do you ever sprinkle paprika over them?

  4. Celesta on April 9th, 2011 6:38 pm

    The eggs were lovely. I would surely have tasted them for the chipotle flavor, but there were none left when I got to go through the line! I admired the tomato roses. It has been too long since I made them. Love your blog!

  5. Judi on April 11th, 2011 12:19 pm

    The eggs look great, but I was amazed at how easy your directions are for the tomato roses. I’m definitely going to try those soon.

  6. Sheila on April 13th, 2011 9:50 am

    That second to last picture is so cool! My children love deviled eggs and beg me to make them. I hardly ever do, though, just for our family. But, lucky for them, there is a family from church that almost always brings them to snacks and carry-ins. I fill my eggs with a decorating tip, too. It’s a little more bother to transger the filling to a bag or decorating tool, but I think it goes faster when you get to filling them.

Supper by a 6-yr-old — Cooks in Training #9

Posted on September 22, 2009
Filed Under Chicken and Turkey, Cooks in Training, Desserts, Side dishes

Lexi made supper tonight.

lexis-meal.jpg

Her menu was:
Crunchy Chicken Tenders
Easy Mac n Cheese
Trees with Cheese
Puddin’ Cones

There were only 4 ingredient spills. The only help Lexi accepted was finding some of the right ingredients and measuring cups/spoons and reading the recipe (“because it’s faster if you do it and I don’t know all the words”) and a couple times, handling hot stuff. I did tell her when to do stuff so it would all get done at the same time. I also gave her lots of tips and how-to’s, but she did the actual work. She did very well, actually better than I expected.

Now and then, Tiffany (3) crossed her arms, put on a scowl, and whined, “Mom, she won’t let me dump that in. I don’t have ANYTHING to do!”

I was planning to blog as it was going on, but I was kinda busy with damage control. :)

She loved doing this meal! I believe we have a cook in the making. ????

Crunchy Chicken Tenders … recipe from Betty Crocker Kids Cook cookbook

3/4 cup cornflakes cereal
1/2 cup flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/3 cup buttermilk or milk
1 pound uncooked chicken breast tenders, not breaded

Heat the oven to 400. Line a 9×13 pan with foil.
lexi41.jpg

Spray the foil with cooking spray.
Put the cereal, flour, salt, and pepper in a plastic bag. Seal bag closed. Use a rolling pin to crush the cornflakes.
Pour the milk into a bowl. Dip chicken in milk.
lexi5.jpg

Drop milk-coated chicken, a few pieces at a time, into cereal mixture. Seal bag closed. Shake bag to coat chicken with cereal mixture. Put the coated chicken in the pan.
lexi6.jpg

lexi7.jpg

Spray chicken with cooking spray. Throw away any leftover cereal in the bag. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until coating is crisp and chicken is no longer pink in center. Makes 4 servings.

Dishing it up…
lexi8.jpg

lexi9.jpg Good stuff! We ate them with bbq sauce. I realize I didn’t get a picture of the rolling pin part… they had great fun with that!

Easy Mac and Cheese …recipe from Betty Crocker Kids Cook cookbook

Water
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni or small pasta shells
1 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese or American cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground mustard (I had to talk her into putting mustard in!)
1/4 tsp. pepper

Fill a 3-qt saucepan about half full with water. Bring to a boil. Add pasta to water.
mac1.jpg

Heat to boiling again. Boil uncovered for 8-10 minutes, stirring often with a wooden spoon. Drain pasta (put a colander in the sink and pour the pasta into it). Put drained pasta back into saucepan. Add butter, milk, cheese, salt, mustard, and pepper to pasta.
mac2.jpg

Stir with spoon until mixed. Cook over low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring a few times, until cheese is melted. Makes 4 servings.
mac3.jpg

Dishing up. This was a bit wild! Whoosh! and it was all in the serving bowl in about 2 seconds. Pretty amazing that some didn’t land on the floor!
mac4.jpg

mac5.jpg

Trees with Trees … recipe from Betty Crocker Kids Cook cookbook

1 1/2 pounds fresh broccoli (I just had her use a bag of frozen broccoli florets.)
3 Tbsp. water
6 oz process American cheese loaf
1/3 cup milk
1/4 onion salt
1 drop red pepper sauce, if you like (she didn’t like ???? )

Microwave the broccoli and water till hot and crisp-tender. Melt the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan or microwave. Stir with a wooden spoon until the cheese is melted and mixture is smooth. Drain broccoli and put it into a serving bowl. Pour hot cheese over broccoli. Makes 6 servings. I didn’t notice it at the time, but in all the photographing, I missed the broccoli, all except the dishing it up!
broccoli1.jpg

broccoli2.jpg

broccoli3.jpg

Puddin’ Cones … recipe from the 2003 Quick Cooking annual cookbook

This is what sparked the whole idea of making supper. Her cousin Krista made these for dessert when she made supper one time and Lexi saw a picture and wanted to make them too. Krista, you’re her hero!

1 1/2 cups cold milk
1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) instant vanilla pudding mix
3 envelopes whipped topping mix (when Lexi read this, she said “Envelopes?! What do envelopes have to do with cooking?”)
8 cake ice cream cones (about 3 inches) She used only 6.
Chopped nuts, jimmies and miniature colored baking chips or topping of your choice

lexi1.jpg

In a mixing bowl, beat milk and pudding mix on low speed for 2 minutes.
lexi3.jpg

Blend in whipped topping mix; cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Spoon 1/4 cup into each cone; sprinkle with toppings. Yield: 8 servings. I just told her to fill the cones, not to measure. When the pudding mixture was gone, there were only 6 cones used, which I think is better because they look more like ice cream cones if they’re heaped a little.
puddin-cones1.jpg

puddin-cones2.jpg These were good, altho’ not as good as real ice cream. She made them right before she dished up the food and till we got done eating and were ready for dessert, the cones were starting to get a little soft already. So, they should not be made too much in advance!

Comments

9 Responses to “Supper by a 6-yr-old — Cooks in Training #9”

  1. Katrina on September 22nd, 2009 7:15 pm

    It all looks de-lish to me! Wow, great job daughter(s) and Mom!

  2. Aug on September 24th, 2009 10:45 am

    That is great that she is learning to cook and loving it! I think that letting them help with they are young goes a long ways towards them liking it later! And she has a great teacher to learn from, so that always helps!

  3. Ruth on September 24th, 2009 8:37 pm

    I’m impressed! She didn’t just open a box and stick it in the oven, but she made it from scratch. She did a great job. You deserve credit, too, because you let her do it even though you could have done it a lot faster and easier.

  4. Rhonda H. on October 2nd, 2009 8:50 am

    I love to see kids learning to cook – particularly since I’ve done a lousy job at teaching my own. Granted, I have 3 boys with pretty much zero interest in cooking, but it’s always good for them to know how to do the basics.
    Also, I made two pans of your pumpkin cream cheese squares this week and had requests for the recipes from two different people, so I sent them links to your site. So yummy!

  5. Marie on October 3rd, 2009 3:12 pm

    She did as good of a job as anyone! I’m very impressed – looks delicious!

  6. Stephaine @ Geezees on October 8th, 2009 12:51 pm

    Wow, i am so impressed…it’s so good to see kids cooking! And everything looked so yummy!

  7. Tilt on October 13th, 2009 3:31 am

    This dinner looks amazing!
    I especially love the ice creams!

    Congratulation to the little chef!

  8. Cheryl on November 7th, 2009 10:08 am

    I love that your kids help out! Do they enjoy doing so? Did you ask if they wanted to be involved or did they offer? The pics are making me hungry!! Tell them great job:)

  9. Linda on November 7th, 2009 10:02 pm

    Just curious if you have come across this site http://partycupcakeideas.com. I think your girls would have fun. :)

Herbed New Potatoes

Posted on July 20, 2009
Filed Under Easy meals, Side dishes

If you want quick-n-easy, here you go. These would honestly fit into a “30 minutes to mealtime” category. And 20 of those minutes is the potatoes cooking, so that’s some free time to fry some chicken, make a salad, or whatever else is for dinner. All you do is peel a stripe around the potatoes, throw them in a kettle to cook, then 20 minutes later, toss them with a butter and herb mixture and put them on the table.

This is one of those recipes I clipped a long time ago. Well, I didn’t technically clip it, I scribbled it down. When I have a clipped recipe, sometimes I can tell where they came from, but when I just wrote it, it’s only a guess. Maybe it was out of a magazine in a doctor’s office or somewhere (because, you know, I’d never rip a recipe out of someone else’s magazine!). I’ve seen this potato recipe in my stash of clipped recipes pretty often, but never tried it… maybe because it’s so hard and complicated. Just kidding.

Anyway, this recipe is definitely a keeper. It’s simple enough for a regular weeknight meal, but dressy enough for Sunday company. As I wrote that part about being dressy, I wondered what I thought makes it dressy and I guess it’s because of the peeled stripe around it and the parsley garnish. ????  We ate these with sour cream, but I wish I’d have thought of Ranch dressing. I’ll bet that would’ve been really good with them too!

And here’s the recipe:

Herbed new Potatoes

12 small new potatoes
4 tsp. butter
1 1/3 tsp. dried parsley (or 1 1/3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley if you prefer)
1 1/3 tsp. chives
Fresh parsley for garnish

Peel 1/2″ strip around center of each potato. Place in cold water in saucepan. Boil potatoes about 20 minutes or till done. Don’t overcook.
herbed-potatoes1.jpg

Drain and cover. Melt butter and stir in chives and parsley. Pour over potatoes and toss to coat. Spoon potatoes into bowl and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately. Serves 4. Variation: Can also sprinkle with bacon or finely minced greeen onions.
herbed-potatoes2.jpg

Oh, and about ripping a recipe out of someone’s else’s magazine… *ahem* … Confession: I did one time several years ago at an oil change place while waiting on my car to get done. But only that one time. Seriously. ???? I forget, but I probably didn’t have a pen and paper on me. It was a garlic biscuit recipe of some sort, but not these Red Lobster ones.

Change of subject now: This article hit the news last week. ???? By Melissa Dutton for the Associated Press: http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/story/5579539/ I guess now you’ll know what Lexi’s 7th birthday cake will be. :)

Comments

6 Responses to “Herbed New Potatoes”

  1. liz on July 20th, 2009 10:17 am

    Way to go with the news article! Wondered if you were going to leave a link on here. Are you still going to talk to us commoners?:)

  2. Jo on July 20th, 2009 10:49 am

    Reminds me of a TOH recipe from years back. On Friday, Titus dug up a few new potatoes from his garden…and I have parsley growing in my raised bed, and chives in the fridge…so I might have to try your recipe sometime this week. Nothing beats the taste & texture of new potatoes! Mmm. my mouth is watering. :-)

  3. Ruthie on July 20th, 2009 11:14 am

    Wow!! You are now officially famous!! Even to the point where they call you “Martin”!! I’m a little worried, with Liz. Are we good enough for you now? =) You might have to let us know by baking a cake for us….. hee hee The potatoes are a good example of taking a plain, easy dish and adding a few ingredients to dress it up nicely. Very nice.

  4. Rosalyn on July 20th, 2009 11:56 am

    This is interesting, finding this on here…just this very weekend I found this recipe in an old TOH magazine, the picture looked almost identical to yours. :)
    I can’t wait to make this, we love new potatoes!! :)

  5. Kay on July 20th, 2009 12:36 pm

    Ok! So this recipe must’ve been copied out of a TOH magazine!!! I have some of the TOH annual cookbooks, I should see if it’s in there. ????

  6. Charlene on July 21st, 2009 5:46 am

    I was looking for recipes to use with my new potaotes, I will def be trying this one.

Broccoli Au Gratin

Posted on June 29, 2009
Filed Under Side dishes

While we were eating this at lunch today and someone said, “I’ll take some more broccoli”, the person passing it said, “It almost seems wrong to call it broccoli”. Getting your vegetables by eating this broccoli dish is kinda like getting a fruit by eating strawberry jam. ???? Besides the broccoli, this has: sour cream, Parmesan cheese, buttered toasted crumbs, and cheese. I don’t think I need to tell you whether or not it was good!!! We’ve got a winner here. A recipe that will be repeated in this household.

Another reason that this recipe will be repeated is because it’s fast. I made it for lunch today. When we got home from church, I hadn’t done anything ahead of time for this. It took a couple minutes to cut up the head of broccoli, then during the 7 min that it was cooking, I toasted the crumbs, measured the sour cream and Parmesan cheese, and grated the Swiss cheese. It took a minute to throw it together in the dish and then several minutes under the broiler. So, from start to finish, about 15-20 minutes total. Not bad. And I could’ve even saved a couple minutes by cutting up the broccoli earlier.

I don’t know where this recipe comes from… it’s an anonymous clipped recipe in my mammoth clipped-because-I-want-to-try-it-sometime recipe collection. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever get thro’ them. The reason I wonder that is because I think I keep clipping them faster than I’m trying them! Beside the recipe, it says, “Meal Ideas: Baked ham, oven-roasted potatoes, broccoli au gratin, apricot tart”. Our meal was: Beef roast, herbed new potatoes, broccoli au gratin, crescent rolls, and fresh strawberry pie.

Broccoli Au Gratin

1 large head broccoli (about 1 1/2 pounds)
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup bread crumbs I always use cracker crumbs when a recipe called for bread crumbs. They’re tastier.
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese

Trim broccoli; cut off florets. Peel stalks; cut into 1″ chunks. In a saucepan, bring one inch of water to a boil over high heat. Add broccoli stalks; cover and cook for 2 min. Add florets; cover and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 min. Drain.
Melt butter in small skillet. Add crumbs and stir until coated with butter and toasted.
broc1.jpg

Combine sour cream and Parmesan. Stir in the broccoli. Pour broccoli mixture into a baking dish.
broc2.jpg

Sprinkle with bread crumbs and Swiss cheese.
broc3.jpg

broc4.jpg
I don’t know if you can tell it, but at this point is when I thought of it that there’s no salt in this recipe, so I sprinkled s&p over it. Oh, and the cheese… I didn’t measure it so I could put more on. :)

Broil until cheese melts. 4 servings. 4 servings is right… we had 3 adults and 2 kids and we had just a teeny bit left over.
broc5.jpg

Comments

2 Responses to “Broccoli Au Gratin”

  1. Sharon on June 29th, 2009 7:10 am

    This looks good. We like broccoli at our house and usually eat it plain. by the way, about the salt–there’s already salt in the cheese and sour cream (and the butter & crumbs), so that’s probably why no salt.

  2. Wendell Martin on July 18th, 2009 7:39 am

    Wow how can someone even make broccoli look good?

Ants on a Log – Cooks in Training #4

Posted on January 15, 2009
Filed Under Cooks in Training, Side dishes, Snacks

Well, our little cooks are back! Actually, they never went anywhere and have been quite busy in the kitchen, it’s just that they haven’t been making recipes on their own lately. One reason I know they’ve been in the kitchen is because I’m often tripping over their little chairs that they stand on.

It seems like a hassle, the way they have to move their little chairs around while working in the kitchen… put them in front of the sink, climb up and wash their hands, get down, move the chair over to the cupboard, climb back up, etc. I do wonder how it would be to be working in the kitchen and the counter is at eye level though, so I guess it’s worth all the moving around.

The food I’m featuring here barely merits calling it a recipe. But, we got it out of a cookbook and it was in recipe form, complete with amounts. We got a kid’s cookbook (a Betty Crocker cookbook named Kids Cook!) for Lexi for Christmas. She loves it. She often gets it off of the cookbook shelf and sits around looking at it and saying, “Mom, we should try this!” So, one time I told her she could pick something to make sometime soon because we’re going shopping and we should see first if we need any ingredients. And THIS is the recipe she picked. It is called:

Ants on a Log (Gag! Who ever named them that?!)

Celery
Peanut butter
Raisins

I’ll spare you the recipe details and let the pictures and video show you how it’s done. Or how it WAS done anyway, maybe not how it oughta be done (there was a bit of licking fingers by the 2-yr-old). One nice thing about the mini cooks making this is that it didn’t involve the oven or stovetop or mixer. It did, however, involve a sharp knife for a little bit, but that was closely supervised, and when we were done with that step, everyone still had all fingers intact.

ants1.jpg

ants2.jpg

ants3.jpg

ants4.jpg

And here it is in action:

Comments

7 Responses to “Ants on a Log – Cooks in Training #4”

  1. Joanna on January 16th, 2009 6:50 am

    I love Lexi’s comment,” I can’t believe we are having peanut butter for supper!”

    I agree with the name???Ants on a log????

  2. Monica on January 16th, 2009 8:06 am

    I’m with you on the “tripping over chairs in the kitchen”!! Megan likes to be in on the action, too, and often wants to stand on a regular table chair and it’s so big that I can’t get to the counter!! I’m trying to teach her to use her “Dora” step stool, but it’s not quite as high and she can’t see as well!! Cute post with the videos!!

  3. denise weaver on January 16th, 2009 9:10 am

    Cute post! Loved the videos. Cody also loves to help me in the kitchen. But I’m not sure I would trust him too far with a jar of peanutbutter and a table knife. Who knows where the peanut butter would end up. His favorite part of helping me is when I’m finished mixing something up and I let him lick off the spoon or beaters before it goes in the sink or dishwasher. He’s always right there asking for a taste before I’m even done.

  4. Liz on January 16th, 2009 10:00 am

    Way to go with the videos!

  5. Janice on January 16th, 2009 10:14 am

    Cute videos!

  6. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary on January 17th, 2009 7:51 am

    How adorable! Your girls are too cute. I remember making ants on a log with my Mom when I was young.
    What a great memory your making.

  7. Judi on January 21st, 2009 3:39 pm

    Too cute. I’m really looking forward to little Peanut helping me in the kitchen. She’s only 18 months old though and not quite old enough. Looking forward to it though cause I can see how much fun you’re having.

Baked Mozzarella Sticks

Posted on January 8, 2009
Filed Under Side dishes, Snacks

Ok, so I get an F on making mozzarella sticks! About half of them had melted cheese running out. The taste, though, gets an A+!

I’ve had an eye on this recipe for awhile and I’d buy string cheese and before I got them made, the string cheese got eaten, so I’d buy another pack of string cheese, and it would get eaten again, and so on. String cheese is a great snack, especially if you need a snack on the run… the pieces are individually wrapped, so you don’t have to waste time putting it in a snack bag or anything.

Just to clear the air a bit, in case you’re wondering why I’m posting non-diet things, I did figure out how many calories these little things have… it’s 80. 80 calories each and they’re only about 2″ long! And you can eat one in 2 bites. :( But it is a really yummy 2 bites!

mozz-sticks6.jpg

Baked Mozzarella Sticks

2 packages (5 oz each) string cheese
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 large egg whites
2 Tbsp. water
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (I used cracker crumbs)
1 tsp. dried oregano (I think next time I might try Italian seasoning instead)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. melted butter

Marinara sauce

This is the cheese I used…
mozz-sticks1.jpg

Remove cheese from packages; cut each cheese stick in half crosswise.
mozz-sticks2.jpg

Combine flour and cornstarch in a shallow dish. Beat egg whites and water in another shallow dish until well mixed. Combine bread crumbs, oregano, and salt in a third shallow dish. Coat cheese with flour mixture. Dip into egg white mixture, being sure to coat thoroughly, including ends. Coat with bread crumb mixture.
mozz-sticks3.jpg

Dip into egg whites and bread crumbs a second time, being sure ends are coated. I ran out of the egg white mixture AND the crumb mixture and had to make more. The flour mixture looked like it barely had a dent in it! Place on ungreased baking sheet.
mozz-sticks4.jpg

Freeze at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 400. Drizzle cheesesticks with melted butter. Bake until crumbs just begin to brown, 5-7 minutes.
Oh, no!!! Cheese all over the place!
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Here is what happened: I totally forgot the ‘drizzle melted butter over them’ part and took them out of the freezer and put them in the oven. When they were in for about 5 min, I suddenly remembered the butter! So, I got them out and drizzled butter over them. At that point, no cheese was showing. I put them back in for another 5 min so they could brown and this is what they looked like when I got them out again. I thought of waiting and making them again before featuring them, but decided you might as well know that I make plenty of mistakes (some of which I can hide though ???? ).
Serve warm with marinara sauce.
mozz-sticks7.jpg

This recipe came from an Easy to Bake Easy to Make recipe card. A tip on there is: “Since these must be frozen before baking anyway, keep several batches in the freezer and bake them whenever you need a quick snack.” Sounds like a great idea for spur-of-the-moment company! Or if you need a quick side dish to go with a meal. Last night, I served them with Hearty Hamburger Soup (to be featured later) and biscuits.

Comments

12 Responses to “Baked Mozzarella Sticks”

  1. Mama Bear on January 8th, 2009 11:29 am

    Oh I don’t even care if cheese leaked…I LOVE mozzarella sticks, great recipe, I’m bookmarking!!!

  2. Rosalyn on January 8th, 2009 1:12 pm

    Yummy! Mozzarella sticks are one of my favorite appetizers! ???? In the past I’ve just taken the easy way out and bought them in the box (TGI Friday brand is delicious)

    But…now I can make them w/o spending alot of extra money on them! :)

  3. Freida on January 8th, 2009 1:53 pm

    Oh wow, these look fabulous!! You may make these sometime when we come. ???? hehe.

  4. Shannon on January 8th, 2009 2:24 pm

    ummmm, I love mozerella sticks. I never have cheese sticks on hand but I think I’ll get some and make these, esp if you can just bake them instead of deep fry them!!

  5. Monica on January 8th, 2009 7:21 pm

    Yummy!! I could eat some right now. I love the idea of keeping them in the freezer for a spur of the moment snack. I’ll have to try that!!

  6. Berneice on January 8th, 2009 9:29 pm

    Another cheese stick lover here. You know that day you are planning to come here… you could bring these! :) I also like the baking instead of deep frying! Healthier ????

  7. Marilyn on January 9th, 2009 5:20 am

    oh those look so good, am defintely going to make some! :-)I also like the idea of baking the cheesesticks instead of frying ’em. :-)

  8. Melissa K on January 9th, 2009 6:11 am

    Kay,
    These look yummy! I make cheesesticks here too, but my recipe actually uses Bisquick and ends up being more like a breadstick with cheese inside. We all love them!! If you’re interested in that recipe, I’ll be happy to pass it on. It’s also not low calorie so I’m thinking maybe you want to wait on this one and, like me, try to avoid those types of foods for a while!!

  9. My First Kitchen on January 10th, 2009 7:38 am

    Hi, Kay! Thanks so much for stopping by! I love mozzarella sticks and have always heard that freezing them is the key. Looks like you have it all covered! I wanted to answer your question about flax seed. I’d definitely grind it before you sprinkle it on things; it’s tough to chew, at least for me. :) Enjoy the PBJ, and I hope to see you again!

  10. Katrina on January 11th, 2009 9:17 pm

    Yum. Great idea!

  11. Judi on January 21st, 2009 3:41 pm

    Gotta love the oozing cheese. mmmm

  12. Terra on April 16th, 2009 6:42 pm

    If you put the string cheese in the freezer until you’re ready to make them, the cheese doesn’t melt so fast, so it won’t leak out like that. I’m gonna try your recipe. Sounds great.

Mom’s Potato Salad

Posted on October 20, 2008
Filed Under Salads, Side dishes

Because Mom’s is always the best, isn’t it? No matter who ‘Mom’ is.

This potato salad is not my mom’s recipe, it’s just potato salad that’s like hers… just basic potato salad, with no fears of biting into a piece of celery or a pimiento. The reason it’s not her exact recipe is because there is none. She just cooks a few potatoes, cooks a few eggs, and makes the dressing, which is a few dollops of salad dressing, a bit of milk, a squirt of mustard, a scoop of sugar, etc., then she tastes it and adds more as needed.

I think that’s what makes a truly good cook… when you don’t need recipes, yet the food turns out great. My sister Jan inherited that style of cooking, but not me. I do really admire that style of cooking and am impressed when I ask someone for a recipe and they say ‘I don’t actually have one’. But the times I’ve tried to fling it without a recipe, it’s been mostly flops, so I’ll stick to recipes.

This recipe doesn’t have progressive pictures because I wasn’t planning to post it when I made it, but then after tasting it again, I changed my mind because I just love it. But, you didn’t miss much by no progressive pictures, it’s pretty basic.

potato-salad2.jpg

Mom’s Potato Salad

Printable recipe

6 hard boiled eggs, cut up (I put them thro’ the egg slicer one way, then the other)
5 medium potatoes, cooked, then peeled, then cooled, then shredded

Dressing:
1 1/2 cups salad dressing
1 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. vinegar
1 heaping cup of sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup milk

Pour dressing over potatoes and eggs and stir slowly till evenly mixed. Refrigerate. It can be made ahead… it’s just as good or better the next day. Enjoy!

potato-salad1.jpg

Comments

10 Responses to “Mom’s Potato Salad”

  1. Monica on October 20th, 2008 9:10 am

    Mmmmm!! I love potato salad, especially in the summertime. But, I’ll have to say that I like the crunch of celery in mine!! :) And a teeny tiny bit of really fine onions.

  2. Barb on October 20th, 2008 9:45 am

    Kay, I am soooooo glad you’re back, and getting settled into your new home. I missed your updates and wonderful recipes.

    Potato salad has to be about one of my favorite foods. I do agree with Monica though and would put celery and onion in mine. Although yours looks really good too, just a basic one.

    I have been wanting to make potato salad anyway, so I think I will just make some today since I read your post.

  3. Michelle on October 20th, 2008 9:56 am

    I’m glad your back!!!!!! The potato salad looks delicious, except I like the crunch of celery in mine. I usually add more than the recipe says because I like it so much. Makes me kinda of hungry for some right now…

  4. Judi on October 20th, 2008 12:04 pm

    Your pictured plate looks like what my hubby is making for dinner tonight. I love having a retired hubby.

  5. Freida on October 20th, 2008 12:58 pm

    Ahh, my kind of potatoe salad- no celery OR onion. I’ll have to try this. Probably won’t be till next year sometime, since I hardly EVER make potatoe salad. :)

  6. Joanna on October 20th, 2008 3:05 pm

    I’m w/ you & Freida—definitely no celery or onion crunchies. I actually put a little bit of celery salt & onion powder in mine ’cause I like what it does for the flavor, but I hate the crunch!
    I just ate, but now I’m hungry again…. ????

  7. denise on October 20th, 2008 6:33 pm

    Here’s a little suggestion. My husband doesn’t care for pieces of celery or onion in his potato or macaroni salad, but I like the flavor and don’t want to let that taste out. So I substitute celery salt for half of the salt called for. Then I also add onion powder– a few shakes.( not sure how much cause I’m way too much of an add a little bit of this and a little bit of that type of cook). Anyway, the potato salad does look very yummy. And by the way my husband really likes potato salad made the way I make it. But everybody likes something different so it might not be to your liking. Just thought I’d drop a suggestion. Glad 2 see you are back with us and posting your wonderful recipes. Have a great day!! :-)

  8. cathy on October 21st, 2008 12:00 pm

    I also like onions and celery in mine. I have never heard of putting in milk and sugar..Wouldn’t that make it really sweet?

  9. Ruth on October 26th, 2008 3:16 pm

    Your recipe is a lot like mine except I want celery and onion in mine, and I run the potatoes and eggs through a grater. I was surprised how much sugar goes into a good salad dressing, and it doesn’t taste sweet either, just good.

    We moved in the last year, after living at one place for the 20 years of our marriage. It is quite a chore!! I’m still unpacking and trying to find places for some of my things. I like to keep my seasonings and herbs in alphabetic order on several lazy susan type thig-a-ma-jigs.

  10. Lorrie on March 29th, 2009 7:48 pm

    I have a few favorites of potato salad, but this sounds interesting. I’m going to try it and see. Thanks!

Glazed Baby Carrots

Posted on June 12, 2008
Filed Under Side dishes

I’ve always wanted a recipe for this. I’ve tried recipes, but they never taste like the ones you get at restaurants, like Perkins and Cracker Barrel. Not long ago, Mama’s Southern Cooking posted this recipe. So, last night, I tried them. They were perfect! Tasted just like I hoped they would!

So, now, these will be added to my list of veggie dishes to make for meals. Tiffany (2) will be glad about that. She ate a serving spoonful, then said, “Mo’ caccots”, ate another serving, and asked for more! She ate 3 servings! They are not low-calorie by any means, but man, are they ever good!

Glazed Carrots

Printable recipe

2 pounds of fresh baby carrots
1/2 cup of butter
1/3 cup of sugar, or 1/2 cup of honey (I used sugar)
1/2 teaspoon of salt

In a small pot, add the carrots and cover with water. Bring to a boil.
carrots1.jpg

Reduce heat, cover and simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Drain. Set aside.

In a saucepan, melt the butter and the sugar.
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Add the carrots and salt. Saute over medium-low heat until carrots are fork tender.
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This could take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes depending upon the size of your baby carrots.

carrots5.jpg Mmmmmmm! Delicious!

Here is the rest of our meal. I’ll post the other 2 recipes too (breadsticks and chicken), but for lack of time right now, that will be in later posts. That chicken is awesome. It’s breaded, fried, and topped with cheese and speghetti sauce. I make it now and then, but haven’t featured it yet.
carrots6.jpg

Comments

12 Responses to “Glazed Baby Carrots”

  1. Amber on June 12th, 2008 11:38 am

    Looks like a recipe that similar to what i use, except I use Brown sugar and add a teas. of ground mustard. I need to make them again, they’re one of our favorites!

  2. Mary Faith on June 12th, 2008 12:55 pm

    I LOVE your printable recipe option. Can you do that easily enough to do it all the time??? :)

  3. Shannon on June 12th, 2008 1:08 pm

    Hum, must say if I ever made this my family just might boot me into WI. ????

  4. Kay on June 12th, 2008 2:13 pm

    Amber, brown sugar sounds like a good idea… I’m going to try that next time.

    Mary Faith, yeah, I’m planning to do the printable recipes all the time from now on and little by little, add them to past posts.

    Shannon, ha, try the carrots! I’m fine with the others booting you to WI. :)

  5. fran’s kitchen on June 12th, 2008 3:14 pm

    I am so gald to have this recipe. I absolutly love Cracker Barrels glazed baby carrots. If I can make them at home that is even better.

  6. Mama on June 12th, 2008 4:26 pm

    I’m so glad you enjoyed them Kay! I’ve been making them for years and I never have any leftovers!

  7. Michelle on June 12th, 2008 6:15 pm

    Thanks for adding the printable recipe feature!

  8. Jo on June 12th, 2008 8:14 pm

    Applause to you for the printable recipe feature! Thank-you, thank-you! And another thank-you for the glazed carrots recipe; I’ll definitely be using it sometime (hopefully soon). We all love carrots here.

  9. fran’s kitchen on June 12th, 2008 9:31 pm

    I made the crrots tonight and they were awesome.
    No leftovers here either.

  10. fran’s kitchen on June 12th, 2008 9:32 pm

    Carrots, not crrots!

  11. Elvida Yoder on June 13th, 2008 7:36 am

    They look yummy! I have a recipe that uses a packet of dry Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix. I have given that recipe so many times cuz it is always a hit…just cook the carrots (1 lb.)until tender as you like, then in a seperate skillet melt 1/4 cup each of butter and brown sugar, add the cooked carrots and dressing mix… cook and stir 5 minutes. They are delicious! They are also easy to make for larger dinners and have been served around this area in those instances.

  12. Ruth on June 15th, 2008 4:29 pm

    I make the glazed carrots using brown sugar, and adding approximately a teaspoon of prepared mustard. It gives the carrots just a little zip. If you can taste the mustard, you’ve probably added too much. I’m not a great mustard fan, but I rarely make the carrots without.

It’s a beehive… honey and all!

Posted on March 5, 2008
Filed Under Breads Biscuits and Rolls, Side dishes

beehive1.jpg

These buns have tempted me for awhile now and this afternoon, I finally gave in and made them. And it was just as fun as I thought it would be, they turned out just as cute as I expected they would be, and they tasted just as good as I hoped they would be! Things don’t always go that well in my kitchen! With things that have no chocolate involved anyway.

I just realized that I LOVE honey. Almost every evening for supper, we have hot fresh rolls or bread of some sort and it’s always good ol’ strawberry jam that goes on the table. Well, these rolls are loaded with honey inside and out and they were so good! We may just deviate from the jam now and then. That reminds me of apple butter. We love apple butter too, my husband especially does. I’d like to find a good recipe and make it sometime, but I’m afraid it just couldn’t measure up to the stuff we had at Der Dutchman’s in Sarasota, FL. That’s what I always think of when I think of apple butter. Actually, I also remember my mom making it when I was young, I should ask her for her recipe.

Anyway, why am I talking about apple butter?! Back to the beehives…

Beehive Buns …taken from an Easy to Bake Easy to Make recipe card

1 envelope (.25 oz) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105F – 115F)
2/3 cup warm milk (105F – 115F)
1/2 cup honey, divided
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) plus 2 Tbsp butter, softened, divided
1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 -3 3/4 cups flour (I ended up using only about 3 cups because the dough seemed plenty stiff)

Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 min. Stir in milk, 1/4 cup honey, and 1/4 cup butter. Stir in salt and enough flour to form a soft dough. Knead dough on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, 6-8 min. Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in a warm place until almost double in size, about 1 hour. Lightly grease baking sheets. Punch dough down; divide in half. Roll each half into a 6″x12″ rectangle. Cut 1″ strips from long edge of each rectangle.

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Curl each strip into beehive shape with a wide base and narrow top onto prepared baking sheet.
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Cover lightly; let rise until almost double in size, about 15 min. Preheat oven to 375. Bake buns until golden, 15-20 min.
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Combine remaining honey and butter in a small saucepan. Heat until butter melts. Brush warm glaze over buns. Remove from baking sheet; place on wire racks. Yield: 1 dozen.
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These seriously are SO good! And it was nice to have a variation in shape and taste.

The rest of our meal was a rotisserie chicken (done at the local grocery store), carrots and dip, and oven-crisp potato wedges. The potatoes were also a new recipe, so I’ll add them here too.

Oven-Crisp Potato Wedges …from a misc recipe card in my stash of loose recipes

1 1/2 lbs small red potatoes
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 tsp. finely minced garlic
3/4 tsp. coarse salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 525. Quarter potatoes and place in large bowl.Drizzle olive oil over potatoes and toss. Sprinkle seasonings over potatoes; toss to coat well. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with vegetable cooking spray. Arrange potatoes on prepared baking sheet.
potatoes1.jpg
Roast for 20 min, stirring once or twice during cooking. Raise heat to broil. Broil potatoes until crisp, watching closely not to over-brown, about 1-2 min. Serves 4.
potatoes2.jpg

I made a half batch and I also baked them at a different temp because I needed the oven for the beehive buns too. I baked them at 375 for about 40 min, then broiled them while glazing the buns. Worked great.

We liked these potatoes ok, but they were nothing special. We ate them with ketchup. I’ll probably make them again sometime, but they won’t be on the ‘definitely make again’ list like the glazed meatloaf is… that meatloaf is probably the new recipe on this site that I make the most often. It is hands down the BEST meatloaf I have ever had… without the carrots, that is!

Comments

11 Responses to “It’s a beehive… honey and all!”

  1. Carol on March 5th, 2008 11:12 pm

    Those Beehive Buns look absolutely delicious! I’m gonna have to try them sometime-I think my kids would love them.

  2. Freida on March 6th, 2008 8:14 am

    They look wonderful! Anything honey related is good in my opinion. WE are bread lovers too, so I really think we would all like them.

  3. Christy on March 6th, 2008 8:17 am

    Ummmm, I love honey butter. The buns look delicious!!! I usually bomb anything made with yeast, but I’m still tempted to try these.

  4. Shannon on March 6th, 2008 9:06 am

    The buns look very yummy, might have to try them. Eric really likes honey so I think he’d like them. -It looks funny to see people’s real names on the comments instead of their xanga name. :)

  5. Jo on March 6th, 2008 10:11 am

    Agreed with you on the meatloaf recipe–that’s my stand-by, too. Only I’ve tweaked the glaze to make it more of a sweet-n-sour flavor. One of the highest compliments I’ve ever gotten from my husband was that my meatloaf beats his Mom’s hands-down. ????
    The rolls look yummy and sound better!
    And one more thing—I have a recipe for Parmesan Potato Wedges that are DELISH. Want to try it?

  6. Kay Martin on March 6th, 2008 1:11 pm

    Yeah, Jo! I’d love to try them! We like potatoes as a side dish better than pasta or rice, so I’m always looking for new things to do with them so it’s not the same old thing every time… which is why I tried those up there. :)

  7. Heidi on March 6th, 2008 1:15 pm

    the beehives are so cute. i will have to try those sometime as well as the potatoes. they looked yummy, and potatoes are our fav side dish as well. love the new site. =)

  8. Gina on March 6th, 2008 3:24 pm

    You did a great job on those be hives, their very cute and look delicious. Apple butter, I love the apple butter made from zuchine. But prefer it because it is not as strong of a flavor as real apple butter, so depends what you like.

  9. Sharon on March 12th, 2008 2:57 pm

    These look delicious, you reminded me that I should dig out the honey more often. Strawberry jam is our main staple, as well as apple butter. The best apple butter (according to me) is my grandmother’s cooked-over-an-outdoor-kettle variety, and my uncle still makes and sells it. This past fall I wanted to try to make some, and found this method,
    http://quiltofgrace.blogspot.com/2007/10/apple-butter.html
    tried it, and it turned out great! There’s always the faster make-it-in-the-oven method with applesauce, but I don’t like that stuff as good…

  10. Sharon on March 12th, 2008 3:08 pm

    Okay, now I’m stuck on apple butter: This recipe
    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/All-Day-Apple-Butter/Detail.aspx
    looks about the same and gives more details on amounts of ingredients.

  11. Cheryl on March 12th, 2008 8:02 pm

    I made those rolls. Oh delicious. I tripled the batch and only glazed one pan. My children are fussy about sticky hands. I will keep that recipe.

An Entire Meal of New Recipes

Tired of looking at roses? Me too! Time to dust off this site again and put something fresh on here.

I’m going to feature a full meal today, a napkin folding post soon, and hopefully some inspiration will come by the weekend for some Thanksgiving ideas!

This meal is taken out of the 2003 Quick Cooking Annual Cookbook on pages 8 & 9… I know, I’m like a broken record, Quick Cooking cookbook this, Quick Cooking cookbook that. I just love those cookbooks, and you know why? Because they have PICTURES!!!!

Pepper Jack Meat Loaf

1 egg or 1/4 cup egg substitute (I used an egg)
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 to 1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1 cup (4 oz) shredded pepperjack or monterey jack cheese, divided (I used all pepperjack cheese.)

In a lg bowl, combine the egg, bread crumbs, onion, salt, and pepper. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Press half of the beef mixture onto the bottom and halfway up the sides of a greased 8″x4″x2″ loaf pan. Sprinkle 3/4 cup cheese over meat to within 1/2″ of sides.
meatloaf1
Pat remaining beef mixture over cheese.
meatloaf2
Bake uncovered at 350 for 50 – 55 minutes until meat is no longer pink and a meat thermometer reads 160. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 5 min longer or until cheese is melted.
meatloaf4
Let stand for 10 min before slicing.
meatloaf3Yield: 6 servings. We really liked this! It was good for something different, although I still prefer meatloaf with ketchup stuff on top. That pepperjack cheese really gave it some kick. Lexi (who is 4 and a picky eater) said it’s too spicy. Tiffany (who is 19 mos and eats anything) chowed it right down. We ate it with ketchup.

Potato Chip Potatoes

6 medium potaoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
3/4 cup crushed potato chips, divided
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

In a bowl, combine everything, except 1/4 cup of potato chips; toss to combine.Transfer to a greased shallow 2 qt baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining potato chips. Bake, uncovered at 350 for 40 – 50 min or until potatoes are tender.
potatoesYield: 6 – 8 servings. This was good, but nothing special. We ate it with ketchup because it was kinda blah without anything. It’s a good way to use up those last broken up chips at the bottom of the bag.

Creamy Pea Salad

2 pkgs (16 oz each) frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup diced cheddar cheese
1/2 cup diced mozzarella cheese
1 medium onion, chopped (onion AGAIN!)
1 cup mayo or salad dressing
Salt and pepper to taste
4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

In a bowl, combine everything except the bacon; mix well. Refrigerate until serving. Sprinkle with bacon.
pea saladYield: 6 – 8 servings. Ok, I’m not even gonna pretend… this was NOT at all good! I don’t like cold peas or raw onions, but I decided to be open-minded and give it a shot, thinking maybe the other ingredients would make it good. None of the others liked it either. I ended up fishing out and eating the cheese and bacon and threw the rest away.

Chocolate Cherry Angel Cake

1 pkg (16 oz) angel food cake mix
1/3 cup finely chopped maraschino cherries, well drained
1 square (1 oz) semisweet chocolate, grated  I put an ounce (at least an ounce ) of milk choc chips in a food chopper.
GLAZE:
2 Tbsp. butter (no substitutes)
1 square (1 oz) semisweet chocolate Again, I used milk choc… I try to stick to the recipe, but with chocolate, whenever I use semisweet like the recipe says, I always end up saying ‘next time I’ll use milk chocolate’. So I’m just going to start always using milk choc the 1st time.
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 to 5 tsp. maraschino cherry juice
Maraschino cherries and fresh mint, optional

Prepare cake mix according to directions. Fold cherries and chocolate into the batter. Pour into an ungreased 10″ tube pan.
cherrycake1Bake at 350 for 40 – 45 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert pan; cool completely. Run a knife around sides of cake and remove from pan. In a saucepan, combine butter, chocolate, and corn syrup. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Stir in confectioners’ sugar and cherry juice until glaze reaches desired consistency. Drizzle over cake.
cherrycake2
Garnish with cherries and mint if desired.
cherrycake5Yield: 12 servings. YUM!!!! This tasted as good as it looked! If you like chocolate covered cherries, you’ll like this! Shannon doesn’t like cherries and he even kinda liked it. It would be GREAT for around Christmas time too… doesn’t it look sorta Christmas-y?
cherrycake4

Italian Bread Wedges

Tired of scones by now?

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

Italian Bread Wedges

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

In mixing bowl dissolve yeast in warm water and sugar. Let stand 5 minutes. Add oil, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough.. Knead until smooth and elastic. (I do this in my kitchen-aid.) Place in greased bowl, cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 40 minutes. Punch dough down. Press onto greased 14 inch pizza pan.
wedge1
Spread with salad dressing. Combine seasonings. Sprinkle over dressing. I mixed the seasonings in the dressing before spreading. I figured it would get more evenly seasoned that way. I also used creamy Italian dressing (instead of regular) because that’s what I had on hand.
wedge2
Top with cheese.
wedge3
Bake at 425 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.
wedge4
I usually cut into 16 slices. Serve with pizza sauce for dipping. These look good and are good! It’s made alot different than pizza as far as the sauce and seasonings, but it’s amazing how much it tastes like pizza! It’s easy to make and looks very nice to serve. Yum!

And here was the rest of our meal… fried chicken breasts, cooked veggies.
wedge5

Meal of recipes

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

Pigs in Blankets

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

1 can refrigerated crescent rolls
24 Li’l Smokies

Separate rolls and cut each roll into thirds (you can also cut them in half if you like more bread per weiner, then it would be 16 Li’l Smokies instead of 24).
mealpigs1
Starting at a wide edge, roll a Li’l Smokie up in it. Put on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for about 12 minutes.
mealpigs2 

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

———————————————————————————————————————-

Broccoli Casserole

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

Cook broccoli according to package directions; drain well. In a large saucepan, combine the soup, sour cream, 1 cup cheese, and 1 1/4 cup onions.
mealbroc1
Cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until heated through. Stir in the broccoli. Pour into a greased 2 qt baking dish.
mealbroc2
Bake, uncovered, at 325 for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and onions. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Yield: 6-8 servings.
mealbroc3 

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

———————————

Pudding Pumpkin Pie

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

Brush egg white over crust. Bake at 375 for 5 min. or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix. Stir in the pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Fold in 1 cup whipped topping. Pour into crust.
mealpie1
Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Cut into slices; dollop with remaining whipped topping. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 8 servings. 1 piece = 180 calories.

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

Comments

3 Responses to “Meal of recipes”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scalloped Taters

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

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

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

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

Sunday Lunch

Glazed Ham
Mashed Potatoes
Salad
Dinner Rolls

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Meat & Potatoes Meal

Parmesan Potatoes
Glazed Meat Loaf
Salad
Crescent Rolls
mp meal

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

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

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

mp potato2 

Top with onion rings

mp potato3 

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

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

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

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

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

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

mp meat2 

Crumble beef over mixture and mix well.

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

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

mp meat4

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

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

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

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

Comments

3 Responses to “A Meat & Potatoes Meal”

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

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

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

    Terry,
    Here is a recipe: Raspberry Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

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

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

Soup & Sandwiches

ss meal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

“Give Me 5 or Fewer”

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

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

Golden Potato Rounds

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

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

Tortilla Beef Bake

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

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

Salsa Strips

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

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

Chocolate Ice Cream Syrup

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

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

An entire meal of recipes

Ham in a Hurry
Easy Potato Pancakes
Crescent Rolls
Broccoli
Peach Freeze

ham meal

This meal is taken from the 2007 Taste of Home Annual cookbook. I added cooked broccoli (because it was on the picture with the ham and potatoes) and crescent rolls. I made it one evening last week and didn’t take time to post it then.

Ham in a Hurry   …the actual recipe with the meal is Ham with Pineapple Salsa , but beside the recipe is a box that says, “Ham in a hurry  …If you can’t take the time to make the salsa for the ham w pineapple salsa, just sprinkle a little brown sugar over the ham. Then top it with crushed pineapple with its juice before popping the ham in the oven.  You can also make an easy, delicious glaze by blending apricot preserves with some mustard, lemon juice, and a dash of cinnamon. Simply heat the glaze in a pan and brush it on the ham during the final minutes of baking.” I did the brown sugar/pineapple variation (it was very good! And easy!),
ham1
ham2  then broiled it with the Ham w Pineapple Salsa directions. Here is that recipe if you want to try it. I might try it sometime, but I didn’t this time because I only had 2 of the 6 ingredients on hand and also I thought the brown sugar one sounded better.
Ham with Pineapple Salsa
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple, drained
2 Tbsp orange marmalade
1 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
2 tsp lime juice
2 tsp chopped jalapeno pepper
¼ tsp salt
1 bone-in fully cooked ham steak (1 ½ pounds) Mine wasn’t quite that big.
For salsa, combine the 1st 6 ingredients into a small bowl; set aside. Place the ham steak on an ungreased rack in a broiler pan. Broil 4-6 inches from the heat for 8-10 min or until a meat thermometer reads 140, turning once. Cut into serving-size pieces; serve with salsa. Yield: 4 servings.
Editor’s Note: When cutting or seeding hot peppers, use rubber or plastic gloves to protect your hands. Avoid touching your face.

Easy Potato Pancakes
3 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
2 Tbsp flour
2 eggs, beaten
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1 ½ tsp water
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
Place the hash brown potatoes in a strainer; rinse with cold water until thawed. Drain thoroughly; transfer to a large bowl. Add the flour, eggs, butter, water, and salt. Mix well.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Drop the batter by 1/3 cupfuls into oil;
ham potato1 fry until golden brown on both sides. Drain the pancakes on paper towels. Yield: 4 servings. (It makes 5 pancakes.)
ham potato2 We had a problem knowing what to put on them because they seemed bland without anything. My mom used to make something like that for breakfasts and we ate them w syrup. I tried syrup, but it didn’t seem right. Ketchup didn’t seem right either. So, if I make them again, I might try to jazz them up with chopped peppers or spices. Tiffany LOVED them! I cut one up and she ate it as a finger food.

Crescent rolls
I’ll feature them this time. We have them a lot and it’s always Lexi’s job to make them.
ham rolls1   You can see what kind they are (maybe?) by the empty can sitting there. Baking instructions are on the can. I’d recommend these if you aren’t sold on them already! 
ham rolls2

Broccoli
This was just frozen broccoli florets, cooked and salted.

Peach Freeze
2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
1 1 /3 cups frozen unsweetened peach slices
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
In a blender, combine ingredients;
ham peach1 cover and process till smooth.
ham peach2  Pour the mixture into small freezer-safe dessert dishes; cover and freeze until serving. Yield: 4 servings
ham peach3  This is a winner! Easy to do and very refreshing! But I’ll probably just make it in the summer mostly… it was almost too refreshing for a snowy evening in WI! The cinnamon in there is what makes it great, I think.

Fire up the grill!

I’m going to feature our supper last night. Some of us around here have been sick, so suppers haven’t been happening much this week… until last night. We made up for it then!!!!

Grilled Shrimp & Mushrooms
Stuffed Baked Potatoes
Grilled New York Strip Steak
Sauteed Mushrooms
Texas Toast
Veggies & Dip

Our friends who came over last night supplied the steaks… these are, incidently, the same friends I mentioned a couple weeks ago who brought hot ready-to-eat carry-out pizzas over for supper. Anybody else have friends like that?

Grilled Shrimp & Mushrooms

55 large (not jumbo) shrimp
Butter
Lawry’s seasoning salt
Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Meat Magic seasoning
Sliced mushrooms

There is actually no recipe for this… it was created by Shannon. He doesn’t measure ingredients or anything, but I know that it uses pretty much butter and less mushrooms than shrimp. Thaw the shrimp under cold running water. Mix the shrimp, butter, and seasoning all together in a bowl and skewer it on skewers, putting a mushroom on now and then.
grill shrimp
Grill it till browned. You can either serve them on the skewers or slide them off in to a bowl. Serve with cocktail sauce. So delicious! They cool quckly, so it’s a good idea to put them in a bowl that’s been heated up or eat them right away… or both.
grill shrimp done

Stuffed Baked Potatoes (also known as Twice Baked)     This recipe comes from a Weber Gas Barbeque Cookbook (came with our Weber grill).

3 lg baking potatoes
3 Tablespoons softened butter or margarine
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon fresh snipped chives
2 Tablespoons grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup broccoli florets

Wash and dry potatoes. Prick with fork. Bake until done, about 1 hour. (Mine took 1 1/2 hours @ 400, but they were BIG). Halve potatoes lengthwise. Carefully scoop out pulp, reserving 4 shells. (I just cut the top 1/4 off, then let the shell pretty thick. It doesn’t break as easy then when your scoop out the pulp.)
grill shells
Mash potatoes with butter while still hot. Blend egg yolks and sour cream; mix with potatoes, chives, and salt. Mound mixture into reserved shells
grill filled potato
and place in a foil pan.
Place pan in center of cooking grate of gas grill (over indirect/medium heat) and cook until potatoes are heated through, about 20 minutes. Top each potato with cheese and continue to cook until cheese has melted. Garnish top with cooked broccoli florets before serving.    I usually do them in the oven instead of the grill… bake on ungreased cookie sheet @ 375 for 20 min, then top with cheese, bake 5 min longer. Garnish top with broccoli.
grill done potato

Grilled New York Strip Steak

4 12-oz. New York Strip Steak
Lawry’s seasoning salt
Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Meat Magic seasoning

Again, no actual recipe here, but this is how Shannon does it… Trim fat off,
grill trim
then let set till room temperature. Put seasoning on just before putting on the grill. Don’t put seasonings on ahead of time because the salt in them pulls out the moisture. In a charcoal grill, over to the one side, have HOT coals piled up almost up to the grate. The heat should be so intense that you can’t hold your hand there, even for a second. Sear the steaks there for about 1 1/2 minutes, then flip over to regular coals to finish grilling.
grill steaks  How long it takes depends on how much heat there is. Grill until steaks reach an internal temperature of 145 – 150. We like A-1 sauce with our steaks… ok, Ruthie, just some of us do.
grill steaks done

And, you can’t have steak without…
Sauteed Mushrooms

1/4 cup butter
2 8-oz cartons whole mushrooms, washed

I don’t know an actual recipe for this, but this is how I do it… When butter is about all melted in frying pan, put mushrooms in. Fry over medium/high heat stirring and flipping pretty often until they look darker and smaller and done… not sure exactly how to descibe it, ya just kinda know.    Line a bowl with paper towel and scoop mushrooms into bowl. Then, pull the paper towel out from under them and serve them in the bowl. (The paper towel gets rid of some extra grease.)
grill saute mshrm

Texas Toast

Loaf of French bread
Lots of butter
Garlic powder

Again… this is just how we do it. Slice the loaf on an angle into 1″ thick pieces. Spread butter heavily on both sides. Sprinkle garlic powder on top… less for this kind of meal, more for an Italian meal.
grill toast
Put under broiler for a few minutes, but don’t forget about it or you’ll be reminded by smoke curling out of the oven… been there, done that!    When the first side is done, get them out, flip them over, and broil the other side. You shouldn’t have alot of other stuff going on while doing this, like fussy babies or making veggie trays or very involved conversations. Texas toast is what we call this bread, so if that’s an incorrect term, then we’re talking about a different Texas.
grill toast done

Veggie Tray

Baby carrots
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Green Peppers
Ranch veggie dip

Yeah, ok, this was more for healthy looks than anything. The guys didn’t even touch it. It was the only thing on the table not loaded with calories.
grill veg

We didn’t have dessert, but later in the evening, we ate some of the irrestistable Raspberry Cream Cheese Rolls that were left over from when I made them (again already) yesterday morning.

Comments

An entire meal of new recipes!

Posted on December 7, 2006
Filed Under Breads Biscuits and Rolls, Desserts, Seafood, Side dishes

Flavorful Fish Fillets
Dilled Green Beans
Mini Italian Biscuits
Strawberry Yogurt Trifle

1 meal

This past summer, for awhile I was doing the meals they already put together in the Quick Cooking and Taste of Home annual cookbooks. It had kind of (well, totally actually) petered out, so I thought this would be a good time to start it again. I’m going to try to do one every week. This one comes from the 2006 Quick Cooking annual cookbook. I just got this one from one of my friends ( appalolly  on xanga) for my birthday in October.

These recipes always say “Prep/Total Time: 20 min.” or some other little minutes. Three of these recipes say 20 and one says 15 min. From the time I started making supper till it was on the table was an hour and 5 min… not too bad, considering there were a few minor interruptions from the kids. But I do always kinda chuckle at the times they put on recipes!

Flavorful Fish Fillets

1 pkg (18.7 oz) frozen breaded fish fillets
3 T. olive oil
1 jar (26 oz) speghetti sauce
3 T. prepared horseradish
1 cup (4 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese

In a large skillet, cook fish in oil for 4 min on each side or until crisp and golden brown.
1 fish1Meanwhile, in a lg saucepan, combine the speghetti sauce and horseradish; cook until heated through. Spoon over fish; sprinkle with cheese. Cover and remove from the heat. Let stand for 5 min or until cheese is melted. Yield: 4 – 5 servings.
1 fish2
My opinion: Very good! Would definitely make again! Very easy to make! I wasn’t sure about pasta sauce with fish instead of tartar sauce, but it was just tops!!! Way too much sauce though… next time, I’d cut the sauce in half. I served the rest of the sauce with the meal to spoon on extra, but we didn’t really need it.

Dilled Green Beans

1 cup water
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
2 T. chopped onion
2 t. beef bouillon granules
1/2 t. dill seed
2 pkgs (9 oz ea) frozen cut green beans

In a lg saucepan, combine the water, green pepper, onion, bouillon, and dill. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 min. Add the beans. Cover and simmer 8-10 min longer or until beans are crisp-tender; drain. Yield: 5 servings.
1 beans1 Oops! I see I didn’t drain them!
My opinion: Good, but nothing outstanding. Wouldn’t make again. With that much work, esp for a side dish, it should be dancing with flavor. It had extra flavor, but not as much as I was hoping it would.

Mini Italian Biscuits
For those of you who have this cookbook, I added the biscuits in here because I think meals should have 3 things, not counting dessert. This recipe comes from the same cookbook.

2 cups biscuit/baking mix
1/2 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2/3 cup milk

In a bowl, combine the biscuit mix, cheese, garlic powder, oregano, and basil. With a fork, stir in milk just until moistened. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 450 for 7-8 min or until golden brown. Serve warm. Yield: about 3 dozen.
1 biscuits
My opinion: Very good outstanding flavor, but too dry. But then, all my biscuits always get dry, so I would take any advice on making moist biscuits that just melt in your mouth! I’m going to find out if I’m doing something wrong and keep trying these biscuits because they are sooooo good!

Strawberry Yogurt Trifle

5 cups cubed angel food cake
1 carton (8 oz) vanilla yogurt
1 cup whipped topping, divided
3 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 Tablespoon flaked coconut, toasted (optional , I didn’t have any toasted and didn’t feel like toasting 1 tablespoon, so I skipped it completely)

Place cake cubes in a 2-qt bowl.
1dessert1
Combine the yogurt and 3/4 cup whipped topping; spoon over the cake.
1 dessert2Top with strawberries and remaining whipped topping. Sprinkle with coconut. Yield: 4-5 servings.
1dessert3
My opinion: Another keeper! A look at the ingredients tells you that you couldn’t go wrong. I made a half batch. These are the changes I would make next time… I would make 2 layers (cake, goop, strawberries, cake, goop, strawberries, rest of whipped topping) instead of all the cake on the bottom. It’s better to have more cake touching the yogurt part, I think. Also, I would make a little more of the yogurt mixture next time… it just ‘lubricates’ everything nicer.

We both thought this was a very good meal! Especially the dessert and the fish.

Tomorrow afternoon, Lexi and I are planning to make her birthday cake (it’s supposed to be a house). I’ll post it on here then… if we get done before midnight! Also, I’ll put her other 3 birthday cakes from previous years on with it.

Creamy Onion Potatoes

One of our dishes for supper this evening was a new recipe… and a hit!!! Creamy Onion Potatoes . We also had a pork roast done most of the day in the crockpot and served with b-b-que sauce, salad (without homemade croutons, I burned them ), and refrigerated breadsticks (out of a ‘pop-able’ can). A very good supper with little fuss!

Last night we had a very easy meal too! Mondays always get sort of wild for me for some reason, I guess catching up from the weekend. So, Shannon got home and I hadn’t started anything yet, but in about a half hour, supper was on the table… frozen tater tots baked and eaten w ketchup, fried chicken breasts (actually an easy quick diet meat… spray skillet w non-stick cooking spray, thaw frozen chicken in microwave, put it in skillet, season to taste *smiling at that line*, and fry on both sides until not pink in the middle), peas , and refrigerated crescent rolls (out of a pop-able can). I keep those crescent rolls on hand. We just love ’em. You may say that the homemade ones are much better… well, you’ve never tasted my homemade ones! The whole bread realm, let’s just say I need more practice on that!

Back to supper tonight… this recipe is in the Taste of Home’s 2004 Quick Cooking Annual Recipes book. I only took one picture, after it was done. There wasn’t a whole lot of anything interesting going on because there’s not much to making it, so that’s why no step-by-step pictures.

Creamy Onion Potatoes

6 cups cubed red potatoes, cooked
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 carton (16 oz) French onion dip
White pepper to taste
1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese

In a bowl, combine potatoes, onions, dip, and pepper. Transfer to a greased 1 1/2 qt baking dish; sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until cheese melts and potatoes are heated through. Yeild: 6 servings.

s potatoes  In case you can tell, I made a half batch because 6 servings would’ve made way too much.

My take on it: Definitely on my would-make-again list!!!! A good way to dress up potatoes. It was so easy and full of flavor, not to mention attractive… what dish isn’t attractive that’s topped with melted cheese?! 

Just a couple ‘extra’ things here… mgk1102003 , thanks alot for your feedback after trying the banana split dessert! It was fun to hear that someone had tried one of the recipes!      And, misssteph101 , we want your rice crispie roll recipe!   Thanks, vernam06 , for introducing it to us!