Kitchen Scrapbook

Recipes and Cooking Ideas for Homemakers and Amateur Cooks

“Mom, how do you make… ?”

From my mom…

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

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

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

From my mom-in-law…

Yum Yum Pudding

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

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

Saturday night PIZZA!

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

1/4 C. oil
1 egg

Mix these 2 together and add:

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


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

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

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

Valentines Meal 2007

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

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

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

Here’s the action…
vtines action

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

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

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

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

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

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

White Chocolate mousse… Kris made it…
vtines mousse

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

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

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

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

Are you a busy mom/wife/person?

Posted on March 1, 2007
Filed Under Easy meals

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

Well, here you go…

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Scalloped Taters

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

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

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

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

Dessert idea to keep on hand

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


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

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

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

Sunday Lunch

Glazed Ham
Mashed Potatoes
Dinner Rolls

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cream Cheese Cake Roll

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

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

Angel food cake mix

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

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

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

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


Valentine’s Day is this week!

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

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


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

Easy Cottage Cheese Salad    …From the Magnolia Cookery cookbook.

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

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

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

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

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

A Meat & Potatoes Meal

Parmesan Potatoes
Glazed Meat Loaf
Crescent Rolls
mp meal

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

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

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

mp potato2 

Top with onion rings

mp potato3 

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

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

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

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

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

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

mp meat2 

Crumble beef over mixture and mix well.

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

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

mp meat4

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

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

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

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


3 Responses to “A Meat & Potatoes Meal”

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

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

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

    Here is a recipe: Raspberry Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

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

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

Snack Time!

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bread-making… sigh!

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

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

Soup & Sandwiches

ss meal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Give Me 5 or Fewer”

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

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

Golden Potato Rounds

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

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

Tortilla Beef Bake

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

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

Salsa Strips

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

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

Chocolate Ice Cream Syrup

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

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

Grandma’s Pie

Here is my dear Grandma…

…and here is her delicious pie recipe…

Brown Sugar Pie

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

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

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

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

Anybody on a diet? This meal is for you!

445 calories… including dessert! Not bad!

diet meal

Garlic Chicken Kiev
Chewy Pizza Bread
Cauliflower and Broccoli
Strawberry Pie

These recipes (except the caul and broc, that’s just cooked frozen veggies) all come from Betty Crocker’s Eat and Lose Weight Cookbook . After each recipe is a chart with as much info on it as you’d find on a nutrition label. I’ll just list the calories, carbs, and protein. If you want more info than that, let me know.

Garlic Chicken Kiev

3 Tbsp reduced calorie spead, softened (I used low-fat butter, half the calories of reg butter)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives or parsley (I used 1/2 Tbsp of each)
1/8 tsp garlic powder
6 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (1 1/2 lbs)
2 cups cornflakes, crushed (about 1 cup)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk or skim milk

Mix spread, chives, and garlic powder, shape into rectangle, 3 x 2 inches. Cover and freeze about 30 min or until firm.     Trim fat from chicken. Flatten each chicken breast half to 1/4-inch thickness between wax paper or plastic wrap.     Heat oven to 425. Spray square pan, 9 x 9 x 2 inches, with non-stick cooking spray. Cut chives mixture crosswise into 6 pieces. Place one piece on center of each chicken breast half.
diet chic1  Fold long sides of chicken over chives mixture; fold up ends and secure with toothpick.
diet chic2  …yeah, as simple as that! Ha! It took me a long time to make these things and I used up to 4 toothpicks per piece! In a perfect world, chicken breast halves would all be shaped the same and be 4 ounces each!      Mix cornflakes, parsley, and paprika. Dip chicken into milk, then lightly and evenly coat with cornflake mixture.
diet chic3  Place chicken, seam sides down, in pan. Bake uncovered about 35 min or until chicken is no longer pink in center.
diet chic4   6 servings. Per serving: 190 calories; Carbohydrates, 9g; Protein, 25g        These tasted great! Nice and moist chicken! The fresh spices (or is it herbs?) give it lots of flavor! I’ll know more what I’m doing next time and hopefully the whole folding thing will go smoother and faster!!! Will definitely make again!

Chewy Pizza Bread

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup regular or non-alcoholic beer (Since I didn’t have beer on hand, I used Diet Coke)
1/2 cup speghetti sauce
1/3 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
Chopped fresh basil leaves, if desired (I didn’t do that)

Heat oven to 425. Spray round pan, 9 x 1 1/2 inches, with non-stick cooking spray. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Stir in beer just until flour is moistened.    Spread dough in pan. Spread speghetti sauce over dough. Sprinkle with cheese.
diet bread1  Bake 15-20 min or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle with basil. Serve warm.
diet bread2    6 servings. Per serving: 145 calories; Carbohydrates, 29g; Protein, 4g      If you keep in mind that this is a diet dish, it’s actually very good! The problem was that there was too little cheese, but that’s diet for ya! I guess we’re just too used to stuff loaded with cheese… refer to previous post! I was surprised about this bread. I thought it would be biscuity, but it was actually more like regular raised bread, only more dense. It’s very filling, too. By the way, the Diet Coke seemed to work great as a substitute!

Strawberry Pie with Meringue Crust

2 egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar
1 pkg (1.1 oz) vanilla fat-free sugar-free instant pudding and pie filling
1 cup skim milk
1 1/2 cups frozen (thawed) reduced-fat whipped topping
1 pint strawberries (2 cups), sliced

Heat oven to 275. Spray pie plate, 9 x 1 1/4 inches, with non-stick cooking spray. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in medium bowl with electric mixer on high speed until foamy. Beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time; continue beating until stiff and glossy. Do not underbeat. Spread mixture evenly on bottom and halfway up side of pie plate. I put it to the top of the pie plate instead of halfway up.
diet pie1  Bake 40 min. Turn oven off; leave meringue in oven with door closed 1 hour. Finish cooling meringue at room temperature.
diet pie2     Beat pudding and pie filling with milk about 45 seconds, using wire whisk. Fold in one cup of the whipped topping. Layer half of the pudding mixture and half of the strawberries in crust; repeat.    Cover loosely and refrigerate till firm, at least one hour, but no longer than 8 hours. Run knife around edge to loosen crust. Top each serving with some of the remaining 1/2 cup whipped topping. I put the 1/2 cup Cool Whip on top right away and garnished it with a strawberry so that it would look more attractive sitting on the table during supper.  Cover and refrigerate any remaining pie.
diet pie3  8 servings. Per serving: 85 calories; Carbohydrate, 16g; Protein, 2g       This is just tops (for a low-cal dessert). The crust is great (meringue goes good with this pie), but it’s not too sturdy when you try to get pieces out of the pan. It kind of crumples up with the pie server sliding under it, so you don’t really end up with a picture-perfect piece. But the taste with fresh strawberries makes up for it! Yum!

By the way, one serving of the veggies was 25 calories . Not sure of the other specs on it.

Wet Burritos

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

Wet Burritos

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

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

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

What is your kitchen colors/theme?

Posted on January 13, 2007
Filed Under Tidbits

23 answers… very entertaining and interesting! Some were written humorously  and some ideas are very original and creative. Thanks alot for participating!!!!!! Here they are:

“I have one spot of everything .  Maybe I should get professional help…”

“I do apples so its red, green and I have added some accents of black to.”

“My kitchen has white walls.  The curtains are  blue, yellow, and white flowers with green leaves.  I made the curtains from the centerpieces that were on our tables at our wedding. That is about all I have as far as a theme.”

“yellow/sunflowers and it was inspired because we remodeled an old house that came with quaint yellow counter tops and yellow appliances… thankfully they all croaked.”

“dark weird looking olivish color and I really do like it. This may sound weird but all the accents are a dark country red. There is no bulkhead so the top of the cabinets are open and I have baskets, stars, old jars filled with beans, a watering can, an old bowl, red and white beady things and stuff like that up there. That’s my favorite part of the kitchen, the stuff I can stick along the top. :)”

“no color theme, but I have old kitchen ‘tools’, etc. Our house is a very old log house, and our kitchen used to be the back porch, so one wall in our kitchen is the old log look! That goes pretty well w/ our decor. 🙂

“Do you know what color “Butte Rock” is?! ha I actually would call it “Pumpkin Spice”. I like fruit , and there’s fruit on my china, so I have some fruit pics on the walls and also some of the fruit china and some antique fruity-looking pieces are displayed in a corner cabinet. Accent colors are green and blue. The soffit is stenciled with this verse: “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” ”

“we redid everything just a few months ago. The cabinets were once an ugly dark brown stain- we painted them white, then sanded the edges off a little to give it an antique look . The walls we painted dark red, the countertops are the old ones ( tannish/brownish color) , and the floor is dark tan. It looks MUCH better in my opinion! I’m sticking with the country-style look with stars, antique-looking things, (plaques,etc). I’m sticking in a few black accents here and there, too.”

“oak cabinets with a ginger glaze, dark handles and a Victorian looking faucet , white trim and light tan walls.  No decorations.  I don’t really know what I want to do.  I’m kind of thinking bright bold Aztec colors, but how does that go with the faucet?”

“mostly neutral, with dusty rose accents .  I have golden-pecan stained oak cabinets with a little rail around the top (open area above), where I have baskets, jar candles, greenery, and those jars filled with flavored vinegars and vegetables.  Oh, there’s a rooster cookie jar, too.  The solid surface tops are white with specks of color in them–the dusty rose, Williamsburg blue, etc.  I have rose-colored Tupperware canisters and rugs the same color.  My appliances are black and stainless steel .”

“my kitchen is done in grapes . I have a grape/ ivy wall paper border, grape valances at the windows and grape canister set and other grape nic-nacks.”

“My kitchen is apples . I love it! I have collected a lot of apple things from Home Interiors over the last number of years. Mostly at yard sales or things I “earned” from having a party. I use the red and country blue, though, rather than the green.”

“I have a coffee theme and also a few little “fat” chefs. I love coffee shops and Starbucks so I decided to do my kitchen along that line. I have little coffee signs on the walls and empty mocha bottles and coffee cans sitting in the window.”

“My kitchen is black & white with sunflowers !”

“My kitchen in the house we just move out of was oak and white farmhouse style with yellow and red apples. It was so bright and cheerful. But I am going with an entirely diferent theme in the new house. It is going to be kinda old world vineyard look. Light and dark cabinetry with tile. the colors are aged stone, kinda sage/olive green and burnished red, with an olive and herbed oil theme.”

“ivy & birdhouses for now, who knows what it will end up being, I move to much! 🙂 But sometimes I’m fooled for a minute and think my kitchen theme is junk mail, stray toys, and stuff (sitting on my counter….waiting…)!!!”

“For the “theme colors” in my kitechen just ask Freida…. it’s a very bad multi-colored wall paper theme :(

“My kitchen and dining room are red.  Like a dark brick red .  I decorate with teasets/china and also antiques.”

“My kitchen? It is galley style with limited wall space so there is no theme, simply green . The backsplash is a dark “Riverbank” and the cupboards are Very pale “sitka” or something.”

“My kitchen started out as blueberries and strawberries , but since that was a hard theme to find, I soon ended up using a fruit theme – with berries still be the main theme.”

“We have a clock with cows on it and a wooden cow face shape given to me by a dear friend many years ago. (I used to collect cows.) I have a wooden decoration on my counter that talks about apple pie with vanilla ice cream and caramel. Having had that combination before – and loving it! – I couldn’t pass up that decoration.”

“right now it has fruit wallpaper (which isn’t that bad but it is not me at all) and then I have lots of sunflower decorations(what my old kitchen was). So it doesn’t look all that great but I hope to redo it one of these days.:)”

“I have a coffee theme.Also I love the enamelware things to…but this kitchen is smaller than the last.I’m still figuring out how to get my old stove in the kitchen!”

Just a few comments: The grapes kitchen brought back memories… that’s what my kitchen was in our first house after we got married. My sister has a coffee kitchen and gets lots of compliments on it. I loved the ‘junk mail, stray toys, and stuff’ comment… so true! Should see my kitchen sometimes, seems like that type of stuff is more over-powering sometimes than Coca-Cola! My mom has apples… they live on an orchard too. Someone mentioned a rooster cookie jar… my aunt has rooster decor in her kitchen. I always thought that was so neat and original. The old kitchen tools one with the log wall, I’d love to see! Can’t tell you enough how interesting this was to me! I hope you found it interesting too!



Now, to spark some nostalgia… What certain dish does/did your Grandma make that you love or that she’s well-known for?

It seems like Grandmas often have something like that, and they should, what with all their years of experience!   The first thing I thought of was my Grandma Graber’s brown sugar pie . I love it and she makes it about every time the family gets together because everyone is crazy about it. My cousin can make it perfectly now and it turned out perfect for me the last time I made it! Grandma gave us some tips (like beat the eggs like crazy and get it out of the oven while it’s still a little jiggly), which really helped… I flopped that pie so many times, just ask Shannon! He had never heard of it before. Maybe you never did either. I’ll have to feature it on here… and hope it gets right again *fingers crossed*!

When I asked Shannon about his grandma, right away he thought of 1 thing from his one grandma and 2 things from his other grandma. One of the things was pig stomach . Ever have that? It was a new thing to me, but it’s very good!

So, let’s hear about your grandma’s cookin’!

No Bake Cookies

Liz put this recipe on her site and when I saw it, I got hungry for them and just had to make them! Liz is my sister-in-law and we have 9 1/2 month old babies born 2 days apart. I made these cookies for scrapbooking day and they were a hit among the children! One thing that was so nice about them is that they’re fast… about an hour after I decided to make them, I was putting them in a container to go! Another nice thing is that they use very common staple ingredients.

No Bake Cookies

Part A:
2 C. sugar
3 T. cocoa
1/2 C. margarine
1/2 C. milk
Dash salt
Part B:
3 C. quick cooking oats
1/2 C. peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Bring part A to a rapid boil.
Boil for 1 minute; then add ingredients in Part B.  (Have B ingredients measured and ready to dash into cooked mixture.)  Mix well and working quickly drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper.  I used Liz’s idea and added chocolate chips, but they melted, but oh well, at least there was extra chocolate flavor!
Yields 4 dozen wonderful candylike cookies.  A special treat to make on a hot day.
They look wet when you first drop them on wax paper, but as they cool, they harden, and one way to tell they’re ready is that they lose their shiny look. They’re so good!!!!


We love cheesecake! It is one of the best desserts out there! I’ve made lots of cheesecakes, all of them great, and just tried another one last weekend. This recipe comes from Easy to Bake, Easy to Make . It’s a collection of recipe cards that come in the mail (with a bill, of course) to put in a recipe box they give you. They have some great recipes, including a red velvet cake that’s to die for. I should make it again just to get pictures to feature it on here so you all can taste it! There are also some ‘main dish’ cards that I have set aside to try sometime.

Classic New York Cheesecake

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 Tablespoons sugar
3 Tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

4 pkgs (8 oz each) Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
1 Tablespoon vanilla (yeah, that’s right, Tablespoon… I know, sounds like alot)
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs

Mix crumbs, sugar, and butter; press onto bottom of 9″ springform pan.

Bake @ 325 for 10 min if using a silver springform pan. Bake at 300 for 10 min if using a dark nonstick springform pan. I baked Lexi’s along with mine at 325 for 7 min.

Mix cream cheese, sugar, flour, and vanillla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Blend in sour cream. Add eggs, mixing on low speed just until blended. Pour over crust. (Lexi said, ‘It would be messy to pour, so it would be better to spoon it.’ ).
Bake at 325 for 65 to 70 min or until center is almost set if using a 9″ springform pan. Bake at 300 for 65 to 70 min or until center is almost set if using a 9″ dark nonstick springform pan. I baked Lexi’s along with mine at 325 for 40 min.
Run knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cake (forgot to do this step, so that may be why it cracked) ; cool before removing rim of pan. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
cc5  We covered the little one with caramel and covered the big one with strawberry pie filling. I know, where’s the chocolate?!

Variation: Want to make a chocolate cheesecake? Just add 1/2 cup cocoa powder to the recipe above. This particular one is topped with ganache, fresh raspberries, and chocolate curls.
chocolate raspberry cheesecake


One Response to “Cheesecake!”

  1. cathy on June 11th, 2009 12:39 pm

    I remember my mom making these 50 years ago!! I used to make them for my kids too.

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

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

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

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

Blueberry Muffins

recipe muffins

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




Farmer’s Market Soup

recipe soup

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





Chicken Pot Pie

recipe potpie

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





Apple Pie

recipe pie

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







Open-faced pork chop sandwiches by my husband

A guest appearance!

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

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

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

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

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

Step 2: Grill over hot coals.

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

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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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

An entire meal of recipes

Ham in a Hurry
Easy Potato Pancakes
Crescent Rolls
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!),
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

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.

Iced Tea and Cookies


Lexi (my dau, just turned 4) and I made some cookies last night. She seemed to sort of need some “mom time”, so we put Tiffany (9 mos) to bed, Shannon (my husband) had a late hockey game, and Lexi and I had alot of fun baking. Baking with her is interesting… She dumped all the ingredients in the bowl, except the eggs, of course. It always amazes me how the mixing bowl can be 10″ across and the measuring cup is 2 1/2″ and she still dumps part of the sugar, flour and choc chips over the edge onto the counter!!!!   She also decided we should wear “cookie baking beads”. She had some in her toybox, so we each wore them… you can see hers on a picture.

This recipe comes from the Mrs. Field’s Best Ever Cookie Book . Did you ever see “Mrs. Fields” in a mall (cookies, candy, etc.)? Well that’s her. This cookbook is written by her, Debbi Fields. Her store/bakery has been going for over 20 years. Shannon got the cookbook for me for Christmas 2 years ago.

Double-Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

6 oz, semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened (I didn’t use unsalted because I only had salted, maybe I should’ve omitted the 1/4 tsp of salt then)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
12 oz milk chocolate chips (about 2 cups)
24 – 30 whole shelled peanuts (we used 55 because that’s how many cookies we had)

Preheat the oven to 300. In a double boiler, melt the semisweet chocolate over hot, not simmering, water. (My microwave worked great for this. ) Set aside to cool to about room temperature.   In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, combine the sugars, then add the butter and beat until well combined. Add the peanut butter and beat until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until just combined. Add the flour mixture and the milk chocolate chips and beat until no streaks of flour are visible.      Pour in the melted chocolate
cookie1 and mix partially with a wooden spoon until marbleized. Drop the dough into 3-Tablespoon mounds (that would be huge, I made them smaller), 2 in apart, onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Top each with one whole peanut. I thought the one peanut thing was kinda ‘yeah, whatever’, but it turned out to be a really fun job for Lexi.
Bake for 23 min, or until just set but still soft. Cool on the cookie sheet for 30 seconds, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: About 2 dozen. M ine made about 4 1/2 dozen.
cookie3   These taste GREAT, but they beg for a glass of milk! I prefer chewy cookies, these are kinda dry. Maybe it’s because they bake so long at a lower temp. They don’t melt down into a flat cookie… however you put them on the cookie sheet is how they’ll look when they come out of the oven, so I smashed them down a little before putting them in the oven, after the first batch came out and I saw that’s what they do. Another thing, semisweet chocolate chips are not my thing… if semisweet was the only chocolate, I would not be a chocoholic. Chocolate would tempt me about as much as, let’s say, raisins (I like them, but nothing special.), so next time, I’d do ALL milk chocolate in these cookies.


I’m also going to feature a tried-and-true recipe here. Iced tea . I try to keep it on hand in the fridge. If I do, we go thro’ at least one pitcherful a day. It’s so easy and fast… in about 10 minutes, you can go from no tea anywhere around to drinking a cold glass of iced tea. For the taste, it’s comparable to meadow tea , if you know what that is. When I first started making it, I thought it wasn’t as good as meadow tea, but was well worth it for less work and time being put into it. Now that I’m used to it, I like it better than meadow tea. My mother-in-law makes it too and I forget who started making it first, so I’ll give her credit in case it was her.  Maybe we don’t even make it quite the same anymore, I haven’t compared notes with her on it lately.

Iced Tea

Put a coffee filter in a coffee maker (sometimes little pieces of leaves somehow get out of the tea bags, so the filter catches them then). Put 1 Mint Medley tea bag in it.
tea1Fill the coffee pot with water to 8 cups and pour into coffee maker. Turn it on and run it thro’ just like you’d be making coffee. While that’s being made, put a little over 1/2 cup of sugar into a 2-qt pitcher. When the tea is done, pour it into the pitcher (I don’t know if piping hot liquid is good for a pitcher, but I’ve used the same 2 Pampered Chef pitchers for this for a few years and they’re holding up great… putting in a plug for Pampered Chef, you’d love the plunger thing to stir it with too). Stir it to disolve the sugar,
tea2 then fill it up with ice
tea3 to within 1″ of the top. Stir till ice is about all gone. It’s cool, but not cold by this time, so if we drink it right away, we serve it “on the rocks”, as my dad would say.
tea4  I really need a lemon slice to put on the side of this mug!

By the way, if you rinse out the coffee pot and filter holder thing right away each time, you can make coffee and tea in the same coffee maker and the tastes don’t cross over… at least WE don’t notice a coffee taste in our tea anyway.


Also, the ‘What’s your kitchen theme/colors’ is SO interesting! In a couple weeks, I’m planning to compile a post with excerpts from all your comments (anonymously… people will have to go back and read the comments if they want to see who said what) on what your kitchen is. So, I’d still love to hear more!


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

Steak and Cheese Stromboli

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

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

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

What style and flavor of stromboli do you make?


2 Responses to “Stromboli”

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

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

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

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

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

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

    great job and thanks!