Thursday, December 30, 2010

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup with Mushrooms

The Menu:
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup with Mushrooms

The Original Recipe:
This was on Menu4Moms and it uses up the leftovers from the Roasted Sticky Chicken. DELICIOUS!! I love creamy soups. This really hit the spot on a cold night. It was so easy to make, too. I did change it, so my recipe follows.

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup with Mushrooms

■2 cups shredded chicken (from freezer)

■2 cans chicken broth or 4 cups homemade broth*

■1 onion, chopped & sauteed (from freezer)

■1/2 cup wild rice blend

■8 oz. sliced mushrooms

■2 Tbsp. butter

■2 cans cream of mushroom soup

■1 cup milk

■1/4 cup cooking sherry (optional)

■Adobo seasoning

■4 tbsp. flour

Combine first 4 ingredients in slow cooker on high. Saute mushrooms in butter until tender. Add to slow cooker. Once soup is hot, add cream of mushroom soup, stirring until well blended. Season to taste with Adobo. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. One hour before serving, mix flour with 1/3 cup hot water until dissolved and add to soup to thicken. 30 minutes before serving, add milk and sherry

The Way I Made It My Own:
Oddly enough I wanted to do it on the stovetop. I made my own "cream of" soup and it was so creamy and good. Lot's of flavor!

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup with Baby Bella Mushrooms

■2 cups shredded chicken

■6 cups home made broth (from leftover sticky chicken)

■1 onion, chopped

■1 cup wild rice blend

■8 oz. sliced baby bella mushrooms

■2 Tbsp. butter

■1 cup flour

■3 cups milk

■1/4 cup cooking sherry (optional)

■Adobo seasoning (I used about 1 1/2 tsp.)

Combine flour and 1 cup milk, stirring until no lumps appear, set aside. Saute onion and mushrooms in butter until onions are translucent. Add chicken, broth and rice. Cover and cook for the directed time on rice. I used instant wild rice so mine cooked 5 minutes. Once rice is done, add flour mixture and the additional 2 cups of milk along with sherry, stirring until well blended. Season to taste with Adobo. Cook on medium until it bubbles and thickens then turn off and serve. YUM!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Winter Fruit Salad

The Menu:
Winter Fruit Salad

The Original Recipe:
I was browsing Menus4Moms the other day and found a few recipes that looked good. I tried this out on the family and they really liked it. I used pecans instead (it's what I had), and I didn't have the grapes. It was still really good and light. Something to contrast all of those cookies. Ugh!!

Winter Fruit Salad

 2 oranges, sectioned and cut into bite sizes

 2 bananas, sliced

 1 cups seedless grapes, cut in half

 1 can pineapple chunks, drained (reserve juice)

 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

 2 tbsp brown sugar

 whipped cream, optional

Mix fruit and nuts together in a medium sized bowl. In separate small bowl, mix brown sugar and about 2 tbsp of the reserved pineapple juice. Pour brown sugar dressing over fruit and toss to coat. Top with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired. Serve immediately.

Roast Sticky Chicken

The Menu:
Roast Sticky Chicken
(this picture is horrible, sorry, I ran out of daylight and well, it's blurry, but it tastes sooo good!)

The Original Recipe:
My friend April tried this recipe from Menus4Moms and her family loved it. I decided to make it last night, and WOW!! It tasted like I got a chicken out of the rotisserie from the store. It was so good and flavorful. I did the instructions as posted below. I will make this again. It was that good. I am going to use this to make the suggested Chicken with Wild Rice and Mushrooms (and use baby bella's per Aprils suggestion to make it better!)

Roast Sticky Chicken

■1 large chicken -- (roasting)

■1 cup onion -- chopped

■1/2 teaspoon black pepper

■1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

■1 teaspoon white pepper

■1 teaspoon thyme

■1 teaspoon onion powder

■1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

■2 teaspoons paprika

■4 teaspoons salt

In a small bowl, thoroughly combine all the spices (do not include the onion). Remove giblets from chicken, clean the cavity well and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the spice mixture into the chicken, both inside and out, making sure it is evenly distributed and down deep into the skin. Place in a re-sealable plastic bag, seal and refrigerate overnight.

Wednesday Recipes

Notes for Wednesday:

1.After dinner, I like to tear the remaining chicken from the bone and boil the carcass and skin to create a nice broth for Friday's soup. I simmer it for an hour or two and then refrigerate the broth so I can skim off the fat in the morning before starting the soup.

2.Save 2 cups of the chicken for Friday's soup and freeze the rest for use next week.

3.Make a large salad tonight and save half for Friday night. Add croutons, bacon bits, sunflower seeds, and any other "crunchies" as well as salad dressing just before serving each night.

Roast Sticky Chicken

■1 large chicken, prepared on Tuesday-- (roasting)

■1 cup onion -- chopped

You should have prepared your chicken last night with the recipe listed on Tuesday. When ready to roast chicken, stuff cavity with onions, and place in a shallow baking pan. Roast, uncovered, at 250° F for 5 hours. After the first hour, baste chicken occasionally (every half hour or so) with pan juices. (It may take awhile to have pan juices) The pan juices will start to caramelize on the bottom of pan and the chicken will turn golden brown. If the chicken contains a pop-up thermometer, ignore it. Let chicken rest about 10 minutes before carving.

NB: Food safety guidelines do not recommend baking chicken at a temperature this low. Please understand that it is safer to bake chicken at 350° and you may wish to use this safer temperature for less time. Also, I use a roasting bag to prepare this chicken. It cuts down the mess and tastes moist and wonderful.

This recipe was originally created by Mimi Hiller of Mimi's Cyber Kitchen, and this version was actually an adaptation written by Lynn Nelson

Friday, December 24, 2010

Stuffed French Toast

The Menu:
Stuffed French Toast

The Original Recipe:
I was given this recipe from a friend of my mom. I haven't made it yet, but it will be our breakfast on Christmas morning, so I thought I would share. I don't think you could go wrong with this dish at all. I have made other dishes similar, but the addition of the cream cheese to this has intrigued me. I cannot wait for breakfast in the morning. Merry Christmas Everyone!!


8-12 slices bread, cubed, without crust

1-1/2 packages cream cheese, softened

1 dozen eggs

2 cups milk

1/3 cup maple syrup

• Cube bread and put into 9 x 13” dish.

• Cube cheese and put over bread cubes

• Beat eggs, and add milk & syrup

• Pour mixture over bread and cream cheese cubes.

• Cover with plastic wrap

• Refrigerate overnight

• Next morning, bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until done

• Serve with syrup or fruit

• Variations: Use diet bread, lite cream cheese, 1% milk,

Egg beaters, light syrup

The Verdict:
Well, I hadn't had the chance to eat today. I woke up at 2 am with the lovely stomach flu on Christmas Day. My poor 5 year old did as well.  However, the rest of the family said they loved this. I used 14 slices of bread and only 9 eggs, and it apparently turned out wonderful. I couldn't get a picture, nor could I be in the same room as the lovely smell coming from it. What a day!

***I made this dish recently for a church breakfast, and it was delicious!! I recommend using some syrup or thin out some jam to pour over top! YUM! It was really good! I would make it again!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sausage Lentil Soup (Crockpot)

The Menu:
Sausage Lentil Soup

The Original Recipe:
I am not sure where I found this recipe at. I thought is sounded good, and I could use up some of my leftover ingredients for a Christmas gift that I made this year. This soup is great and fast. None of us could stop eating it, and the leftovers were just as good if not more flavorful.

Sausage Lentil Soup

 1 lb. smoked sausage, sliced

 1 lb. (about 2 cups) dried lentils, rinsed and drained

 1 cup ham, diced

 1 medium onion, chopped

 1 small green pepper, chopped

 1 medium carrot, chopped

 2 garlic cloves, minced

 1/2 Tsp thyme

 1/4 Tsp pepper

 1/4 Tsp cumin

 1 bay leaf

 2 cans (14.5 oz. each) beef broth

 2 cans (14.5 oz. each) chicken broth

 2 cups spinach, coarsely chopped

Combine all ingredients except for the spinach in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours or until lentils are tender. Add spinach and cover. Let stand 5-10 minutes or until spinach wilts. Remove and discard bay leaf

The Way I Made It My Own:
I changed a few things to use up some ingredients I had in my cupboards.
Sausage Lentil Soup

 1 lb. Hot Sausage, cooked and crumbled

1 lb. (about 2 cups) dried lentils, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup dried green peas

 1 medium onion, chopped

1 small green pepper, chopped

 3 medium carrots, chopped

 2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 Tsp thyme

 1/4 Tsp pepper

 1/4 Tsp cumin

 1 bay leaf

 2 cans (14.5 oz. each) beef broth

 2 cans (14.5 oz. each) chicken broth

 2 cups spinach, coarsely chopped (I used frozen)

Combine all ingredients except for the spinach in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours or until lentils are tender. Add spinach and cover. Let stand 5-10 minutes or until spinach wilts. Remove and discard bay leaf

Apple Cider Caramels--SUCCESS!

The Original Post : Apple Cider Caramels

I finally decided to give the recipe one more (or 3) try. I did everything per instructions. It still didn't work out for me and was gooey. I scraped everything off of the parchment paper into the pot, boiled to hardball stage, poured it back in the prepared dish and let it sit. It didn't work. Again, I scraped it back off of the parchment paper, boiled it to hardball stage, poured it back into the prepared dish and let it sit. Once again, it didn't work. It almost did. I could at least cut it, but then it would just blob out onto the paper and not hold its form. So I did the above process again, letting it simmer at the hardball stage for 5 minutes and FINALLY... we have caramels!! My only thought is that there is to much liquid in this recipe that it needs to boil for awhile at a low temp to hardball stage. This is the only thing I can think of. Though I didn't get caramels the first time out doing it again, I did get caramels. My husband is very proud of me for my patience and persistence with this recipe. The end result is delicious!

Spicy Italian Chicken

The Menu:
Spicy Italian Chicken

The Original Recipe:
I found this on my favorite cooking site; Babycenter. I was confused about all the juice in the crockpot, and whether I should thicken it, or what I was going to do with it. I thought about adding cream cheese to it to melt and serve it over rice(which would of been delicious). However,  I decided to just add in 1 cup of instant rice to the crockpot, covered and turned it on warm for a few minutes to let the rice absorb. I turned off the crockpot, and it was done. An all in one dish ready to serve. I used fresh veggies, and I added some chicken broth powder for even more flavor.

Spicy Italian Chicken


1/2 cup Italian dressing

1 cup white wine

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp cayenne

1 tbsp Italian dressing mix

1 lb chicken breasts

1 cup sliced carrots*

1 bag frozen broccoli*

*can use a bag of frozen mixed veggies instead

Combine ingredients through cayenne in slow cooker. Add chicken and coat. Add carrots top. Cook on low 4-5 hours. Add broccoli for last hour.
Cooks Notes: I added 1 cup instant white rice the last 10 minutes before eating.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Apple Cider Caramels (or not?)

The Menu:
Apple Cider Caramels
(for my Success in making these click here)

(Ok, so we are starting off good. This is the cream, reduced cider and spices)

(Here you see the sugars and cream, stirring to the first temperature) 

(Now you see everything incoorperated, stirring to that 248 degrees) 

(Looking good. Nice and thick. I think it's gonna work.) 

(The final Product. Oh I am so ashamed. What a gooey mess. As you can see, the tops look nice and thick, but to try and cut and package, now that is where it get's messy) 

(Ah, yes, the final product. At least it tastes delicious and will be a great compliment to vanilla Ice cream!)
The Original Recipe:
Well, I don't normally post my flops, but when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, right? My husband (he is more of the baker/candy maker in the family) and I attempted to make these Apple Cider Caramels. They look easy enough, and we have made caramels before with great success. So, why not? They would be a great addition to some Christmas gifts I am giving this year. Well, then again, maybe not. These were a total flop. We made a double batch the first time. After deciding it wasn't turning out right, I decided to make a single batch to see if I could at least get some caramels out of it (thinking it was the doubling that messed up the first batch). Well, I know we did everything right. Both times. The times must be off on this recipe. It has to be. Right? I mean, it tastes phenomenal, and I kept digging into it with a spoon (oh, treadmill how I need you right now!).

Now don't laugh at me, the great (not) baker that I am, I decided, well, maybe if I heat the oven to 260 (hard ball stage on the candy thermometer), then I can throw it in the oven in the pan and bake it to that temp. until bubbly for at least another 20 minutes. So, I did. Yep, I sure did. It didn't work. Is there any reason why it should have? It got thicker, but the underside of it stayed gooey. Yummy, but gooey. So, after being in the refrigerator until the evening (praying it would thicken to caramels), I tried it again. yep, not only did I do this once, but twice. Yes, I am the great baker (again. not.). Gee, wonder why it didn't work the second time?

So, back to the beginning, when life gives you lemons... I made it in to Caramel Apple Cider Sauce for Ice Cream. Yum! I just scooped it out of the pan into my small canning jars, heated it until bubbly in the microwave and plopped on the lids and listened for the seal to go "POP" and voila, Caramel Apple Cider Ice Cream Topping.

 I meant to do that. :o)

Apple Cider Caramels

Recipe adapted by Our Best Bites from America's Dairy Farmers

2 c. high-quality apple cider (like Simply Apple)

1 c. heavy cream or whipping cream, divided

1 tsp. ground cinnamon*

Pinch nutmeg*

1/4 tsp. allspice*

1 1/2 c. sugar

1/3 c. light corn syrup

1 stick (1/2 c.) real butter, cubed

*If you'd rather, you can use 1 tsp. apple pie or pumpkin pie spice + 1/2 tsp. cinnamon instead of the full teaspoon of cinnamon plus the nutmeg and allspice.

Pour cider into a medium saucepan and boil on high for about 20 minutes or until the cider is reduced to 1/3 c. (keep a glass or silicone measuring cup handy so you can pour it out and back in again if you need to). Set aside to cool.

Line an 8" square pan with parchment paper, making sure to leave about 1" hanging over the edges for easy removal. Spray with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. In a small bowl, combine 2/3 c. cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and reduced apple cider. Set aside.

In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, 1/3 c. whipping cream + enough water to reach the 1/2 c. line on the measuring cup, and corn syrup. Cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Insert the candy thermometer and simmer until the syrup reaches 234 degrees.

Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the cream mixture. Add the cubed butter and stir until the cream and butter are fully incorporated. Return the pan to heat and re-insert the candy thermometer. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the temperature reaches 248 degrees.

Remove from heat and pour the caramel into the prepared pan. Let the mixture cool completely at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Cut the caramels into 1/2" squares and wrap each caramel in wax paper. Store in an airtight container or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks

Friday, December 10, 2010

Peanut Butter Bon Bons

The Menu:
Peanut Butter Bon Bons

The Original Recipe:
This is the recipe the local grade school uses for their Peanut Butter Bon Bons. They are delish and a favorite of the kids. I have to say though, I have started using natural peanut butter and a butter flavored margarine (no cholesterol, etc.) in a lot of these cookies I have been making lately. My stepsiser has been over 2x this week and combined we have made about 40 dozen cookies!!

Peanut Butter Bon Bons

2 lbs. powdered sugar
3 cups creamy peanut butter
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 lbs. chocolate chips, semi-sweet (24 oz.)

Mix the powder sugar, peanut butter and butter together until Incorporated. You can place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes until chilled. Melt chocolate in microwave until smooth. Dip tops of peanut butter bon bons into chocolate. Place in fridge to cool.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Peanut Butter Blossoms

The Menu:
Peanut Butter Blossoms

The Original Recipe:
I am pretty sure a friend of mine gave me this recipe a long time ago. My stepsister and I made at least 30 dozen cookies yesterday. Among them were these Peanut Butter Blossoms. Tis' the season for baking cookies! They turned out really well. They are one of my boys favorite cookies.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

4 tablespoons milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

(Hershey Kisses or Mini Peanut Butter Cups)

Cream butter, peanut butter, and sugars. Add eggs, milk and vanilla. Mix well. Add flour, soda, and salt. Mix well. Roll into balls, roll balls in sugar. Bake at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and press a chocolate kiss or mini peanut butter cup into center of each cookie. Cool on wire racks.

Chex Muddy Buddies a.k.a. Dog Chow a.k.a. Trash Mix

The Menu:
Chex Muddy Buddies a.k.a. Dog Chow a.k.a. Trash Mix

The Original Recipe:
This recipe is on the back of the Chex boxes. It is super simple to make. I have never made them before tonight, so I wasn't aware of how easy it really was. While sampling a few of these I could imagine adding in peanuts and some pretzels to the mix. I think it would just give it that salty/sweet fulfillment and make it a great snack.

Chex Muddy Buddies

9 cups Rice Chex®, Corn Chex® or Chocolate Chex® cereal (or combination)

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1. Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside.

2. In 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag.

3. Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Home Made Christmas Present #4 (edible)

The Menu:
 Herbal Seasoned Salt

The Original Recipe:
I saw this while browsing around for another way to make a home made gifts for Christmas. I didn't save the recipe, but I made my own and it is as follows... Now, you can adjust to what you think you would like in your seasoned salt. Like I said, I got this as an idea, and I ran with it in my own way as to what I have still alive in my herbal garden outside...

Herbal Seasoned  Salt

24 oz. Kosher Salt
10 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bunch sage (tear the leaves off, and I would say you would have about 1/2 cup uncut)
4 sprigs rosemarry
1 small bunch  parsley(I tore off about a small handfull)

Remove all leaves from stalks. In food processor, add salt, thyme, sage, rosemarry and parsley, blend until incoorperated and herbs are processed as fine as the salt. Place in a large flat container and let air dry overnight (or longer until it's completely dry.). Store in sealed jars until ready to use.

Oh! and a bonus, here are the tags I used to decorate the jars:

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chewy Molasses Ginger Cookies

The Menu:
Chewy Molasses Ginger Cookies

The Original Recipe:
I found this in a small booklet from a local store. I knew immediately that I wanted to make them for our yearly cookie exchange for church. Of course I had to make a test batch and -- Oh yum! I got 3 1/2 dozen out of the single batch that we made, and they are G-O-N-E all ready!! These are for sure "Santa's" new favorite cookie! I couldn't stop eating them until I finally put the last 4 cookies in my hubby's lunch for today... I cannot wait to make more of these to share!

Chewy Molasses Ginger Cookies

Nonstick cooking spray

1/3 cup margarine, softened

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 egg

1/4 cup dark molasses

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick spray; set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl beat the margarine with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar, baking soda, ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; beat until combined. Beat in egg and molasses. Beat in as much of the all-purpose and whole wheat flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Combine the granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Roll balls in sugar-cinnamon mixture. Place 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 10 to 11 minutes or until set and tops are cracked. Remove from cookie sheet. Cool on a wire rack. Makes about 4 dozen.

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe about 4 dozenCalories50, Total Fat (g)1, Cholesterol (mg)4, Sodium (mg)42, Carbohydrate (g)9, Protein (g)1, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Leftover-Turkey Vegetable Soup with Stuffing Dumplings

The Menu:
Turkey Vegetable Soup with Stuffing Dumplings

The Original Recipe:
Last year I made Turkey Pot Pie to use up some leftovers, it was good, but again, this was much better! yum, Yum, YUM!! This made a wonderful leftover meal, especially with my tastey brined turkey! I think this is what added the flavor!
  I saved the juice/broth from my turkey which was about 4 cups after I made the gravy for Thanksgiving. So, I didn't do the first part of this recipe (with the carcass) since my turkey had all these flavors in it from being brined. I had enough liquid flavor from what I saved. I also didn't make this big of a batch. I eyeballed a lot! ;o)
  I used about 1 1/2 cups of broth and 6 cups of water. I sauteed my carrots, onion, celery and garlic in butter, added the broth and water, added the turkey, some thyme and the corn. From there I followed the dumpling recipe, which was amazing! The best leftovers I have made with turkey! My son who said he didn't like the stuffing on Thanksgiving said this was the best part of the meal last night, hahaaa.. He's so funny about his food, I guess stuffing dumplings are different to him. :o)

Turkey Vegetable Soup with Stuffing Dumplings

Recipe courtesy Wes Martin

.There's probably no better way to empty that overstuffed post-Thanksgiving refrigerator than a hearty soup. Using the turkey bones to make a broth for the soup is the best way to get every penny's worth from your bird. If your leftover stuffing is chunky and rustic, finely chop it to make these delicate dumplings.

Prep Time:15 minInactive Prep Time:--Cook Time:1 hr 30 minLevel:


6 Servings. Ingredients

•Carcass from one 12-14 pound roasted turkey, picked clean

•2 large onions, one quartered and one chopped

•4 peeled carrots, 2 coarsely chopped and 2 sliced

•4 stalks celery, 2coarsely chopped and 2 sliced

•6 garlic cloves, 4 smashed and 2 chopped

•1 bay leaf

•10 whole black peppercorns

•1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

•2 large eggs

•6 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more as needed

•1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed

•Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

•2 cups leftover stuffing

•2 sprigs fresh thyme

•2 cups shredded leftover turkey meat

•1 cup leftover corn kernels


Put the turkey carcass, quartered onions, coarsely chopped carrots and celery, smashed garlic, bay leaf, and peppercorns in a large stockpot and add enough cold water to just cover, about 2 quarts. Bring the water to a boil, and then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook for 1 hour. Remove from the heat and strain the solids from the broth. Pour the liquid through a fine mesh strainer and reserve; you should have about 10-12 cups broth.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the eggs, flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and some black pepper together until smooth. Add the stuffing and mix until well combined; cover and reserve.

Wipe the stockpot clean with a paper towel. Heat the oil in the pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook until soft and translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the sliced carrots and celery, thyme sprigs, and reserved broth and bring to a simmer; cook vegetables are just soft, about 10 minutes.

Roll level tablespoons of the dumpling mixture into balls with wet hands (see note) and drop into the simmering soup; cook until dumplings float, 3-4 minutes. Gently stir in the turkey meat, corn, and season with salt and pepper, and simmer until heated through. Serve immediately.

Note: Moistness of stuffing can vary; if the dumpling dough is too soft to roll, add flour a teaspoon at a time until it is firm enough to hold its shape while rolling.


Brined Herb-Crusted Turkey with Apple Cider Gravy

The Menu:
Brined Herb-Crusted Turkey with Apple Cider Gravy
(Hey! Who was picking at my turkey!?!)

The Original Recipe:
  My typical Thanksgiving Turkey is never this good (always good, but not as good as this one!)
  I found this on This was the best turkey we had in all my Thanksgivings. It was moist, it had flavor, and it made leftovers that make awesome meals!! I cannot say enough about this turkey. I seriously couldn't stop eating it. All morning... day... and night! Ugh, I was so full of turkey! I think the dark meat had the best flavor! Even the kids began to pick at it again right before bed! It was funny.
  Now then, I didn't make the gravy listed with this turkey recipe. I did use all the wonderful drippings though for leftovers and to make our own gravy with. I just added about 2 tbls. cornstartch with water, mixed until no clumps, and then added about 2 cups of turkey juice to it for my gravy. It was so flavorful, too!
  I used a 25lb. turkey and a 5 gallon buket to brine it in! It was perfect.

Brined Herb-Crusted Turkey with Apple Cider Gravy

Recipe courtesy Anne Burrell

.Prep Time:1 hr 0 minInactive Prep Time:48 hr 0 minCook Time:4 hr 0 minLevel:


8 to 10 servings. Ingredients


•7 quarts water

•1 quart apple cider

•3/4 cup kosher salt

•1/3 cup granulated sugar

•1 large onion, diced

•1 large or 2 small carrots, diced

•3 ribs celery, diced

•1 head garlic, cut in 1/2 equatorially

•1/2 bunch fresh rosemary

•1/2 bunch fresh sage

•6 bay leaves

•1 (12 to 14 pound) turkey, free range organic is great!

Herb crust:

•1 bunch fresh rosemary, leaves finely chopped

•1 bunch fresh sage, leaves finely chopped

•3 sticks butter, room temperature

•Kosher salt


•1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice

•1 large or 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

•2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice

•4 cloves garlic, smashed

•2 Granny Smith apples, cut into 1/2-inch dice

•5 bay leaves

•1 cinnamon stick

•1 bunch thyme

•Kosher salt

•1 quart chicken stock, divided

•2 cups apple cider, divided

•1/2 to 3/4 cup all-purpose flour


Special equipment: butcher's twine

To brine the turkey: Combine all of the ingredients for the brine in a large container. Add the turkey and let it brine in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.

To prepare the turkey for cooking: Remove the turkey from the brine the night before roasting and pat it thoroughly dry with paper towels. Combine the rosemary, sage, and butter for the herb crust in a small bowl. Season, to taste, with kosher salt. Work the butter under the skin of the turkey and massage it into the breasts and the legs. Massage the butter on the outside of the skin as well. Tie the legs together over the breast so they will protect it during cooking and help keep it moist and juicy.

Gravy preparation: Put the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, apples, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and thyme in a roasting pan and season with salt. Arrange the turkey on top of the veggies and refrigerate overnight UNCOVERED! Yes, that's right, uncovered. This will help the skin dry out and become really brown and crispy. Make sure that there is no raw food near the turkey in the refrigerator. After refrigerating overnight, the turkey is ready to go in the oven.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Put 2 cups chicken stock and 1 cup apple cider in the bottom of the roasting pan. Roast the turkey in the preheated oven until the skin gets really nice and brown, about 40 minutes. Lower the oven heat to 350 degrees F for the remainder of the cooking time. Baste the turkey every 30 minutes or so and add more stock to the roasting pan, if needed. Cook about 17 minutes per pound. Once it gets to the proper color, tent the turkey with aluminum foil to prevent it from getting too dark.

Remove the turkey from the oven when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the turkey registers 160 degrees F. Make sure that the thermometer is not touching a bone when doing the reading. When the turkey has reached the proper temperature, remove it from the roasting pan to a cutting board and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. Cover loosely with aluminum foil.

Strain all the veggies over a bowl to separate them from the stock/mixture. Discard the veggies. Skim off the fat and add it to the roasting pan. This is the fat for the roux. Put the roasting pan over 2 burners and over a low heat and whisk in the flour. Cook until the mixture looks like wet sand, about 4 to 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in the remaining 1 cup apple cider, remaining chicken stock and the stock/cider mixture. Cook until the mixture has thickened and reached a gravy consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Pour into a serving pitcher or bowl.

Carve the turkey, transfer to a serving platter and serve with the gravy.

Cook's Note: Don't fight over the drumsticks.

Give thanks for such a great turkey!!!


Friday, November 19, 2010

Home Made Christmas Present #3 (non-edible)

The Menu:
Cinnamon Ornaments

The Original Recipe:
This recipe is flying all over the internet. I had someone give this to us as a Christmas gift one year, and I still have it. They are very sturdy and smell wonderful. I thought that these would be a great gift for the teachers, bus driver, and Sunday school teachers this year. I had all the ingredients right at home!

Cinnamon Ornaments

Mix 1 cup cinnamon and 1 cup applesauce with 1 Tablespoon of white glue.  You want a consistency that can be rolled with a rolling pin but not quite as sticky or it will stick to your counter!  Sprinkle counter with cinnamon and roll out dough and cut with cookie cutters.  Cut a hole in shape with the straw so you will be able to hang them.  Let dry about 24 hours.  They shrink as they dry.  Cut lengths of gold thread, make loops and hang. they will keep their scent for a few years.  Refresh scent with cinnamon fragrance oil.

* My notes:
I thought it would be adorable to have 1 small star and 1 other larger shape together. I tied a ribbon on a small star and then looped over to the other shape (christmas tree, gingerbread man, large star, and snowman). This way they can hang it over their tree and have 2 ornaments hanging down.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Home Made Christmas Present #2 (edible)

The Menu:
Friendship Soup Mix in a Jar

Finished Product

The Original Recipe:
I found something similar on, but I formed my own. I made some tonight, and I thought it was delicious. It reminds me of vegetable soup. Yum!
I am going to put the finished jar of soup in a basket, along with the tomatoes and carrots and a pack of corn muffin mix to have a complete meal for the people I am giving it to. I think it's gonna turn out to be a wonderful gift basket, not to mention a really great fast meal where there is no prepping or chopping of veggies!

Friendship Soup Mix in a Jar


1/2 cup dry split peas

1/4 cup beef bouillon granules

1/4 cup pearl barley

1/2 cup dry lentils

1/4 cup dried onion flakes

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. garlic powder

½ tsp. celery seed

2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning

1/4 cup uncooked long-grain white rice

2 bay leaves

1/2 cup uncooked alphabet pasta


1. In a 1 1/2 pint jar, layer the split peas, bouillon, barley, lentils, onion flakes, Italian seasoning, celery seed, rice, and bay leaves. Wrap the pasta in plastic wrap, and place in the jar. Seal tightly.

2. Attach a label to the jar with the following instructions:

1 (32 ounce) can diced tomatoes, 1 can carrots, 2 quarts water.


1. Remove pasta from top of jar, and set aside.

2.Add 32 oz. tomatoes, 2 quarts of water, and soup mix.

3.Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.

4.Cover, and simmer for 45 minutes.

5.Stir in the pasta and carrots(rinsed and drained), cover, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pasta, peas, lentils and barley are tender

*Optional to add cooked ground beef or cooked stew meat or cooked ground pork

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Home Made Christmas Present #1 (non-edible)

The Menu:
Home Made Bird Feeders

(front view)
(Side View)

The Original Recipe:
Well, we are tight on money this year, and I have a lot of "crafty" ideas floating around in my head as to what we might be able to make for the grandparents this Christmas. Gifts from the heart! It's always a joy to have a 13 (almost 14) yr. old boy help with crafts *eye roll.* My smallest boy is 5, and so he needed a bit of help. I helped him. That left my 13 yr. old boy to help my 7 yr. old boy, and my 8 1/2 yr. old boy on his own to do his bird feeder. My 13 yr. old decided it was much to much "work" to help his brother and no longer wanted to make one of his own. To Bad! He had to make one anyway. It is sloppy at its best, but it is still so cute and he just slaved on it all afternoon to finish. I get a chuckle at thinking how easy these really were. I am also very impressed with our project and how they turned out. Our grandparents are bird watcher/feeders and these gifts are going to be great for each of them.

What you need:

Empty Juice bottles-- We used Juicy Juice bottle which were the perfect size.
1 medium bottle of glue
fat craft paint brushes
Collage paper
wire hangers
scissors and/or craft knife
bird seed

How to make:
Make sure your juice bottles are rinsed and dried out.
Also peel the label off of the outside.

Now, I used a scrapbooking craft knife to cut out rectangular holes on each side for the birds to get in to eat. You don't want it to high up, just high enough for them to bend down and find the food. You don't want them nesting inside.

Next, make a hole below the food hole on each side for a stick/branch to go through so the bird can perch on each side.

After that, make a smaller hole up on each side. This is where you will undo your hanger, stick it through the holes and then redo it to be able to hang.

Ok, so next we want to tear the collage paper into medium pieces. Lots and lots of medium pieces.
Once that is done  you will mix your glue with some water in a small cup. I would say 1 tsp. of water to 1 tbls. of glue (you might have to double/triple, etc.). It should be thin enough to spread over the bottle with out really dripping.

Next you paint some glue on your bottle, then you take a piece of paper and stick it on the glue and then paint more glue over the paper gently so that it adheres nice and flat. Do this until the bottle is covered and you see no plastic peeking through. Don't cover the holes though. If you do, gently poke back through them.

After all is covered up with pretty paper and nice and dry, go ahead and use clear spray paint to seal the whole thing together (and it makes it weather resistant, too).
 You can then add your sticks and hangers, fill with bird feed and now you have great Christmas presents, not only for your grandparents but for the birds, too!

(Oh, and I am leaving my cap untouched. I might have the kids paint it, but I want the grandparents to be able to open it, stick a funnel in and fill the feeder with food.)

Monday, November 08, 2010

Pepper Jack Potato Soup and Crockpot Cheesy Potato Soup

The Menu:
Crockpot Cheesy Potato Soup

The Original Recipe:
My friend April gave this recipe to me. Actually, she made it and gave me some to eat! It was soooo good. I love spicy things and this one had a nice kick but not overwhelming. So, I got the recipe. Of course, my kids don't like spice, so I made this a different way (which follows this one!) that is perfect for the whole family...

Pepper Jack Potato Soup

3 strips of Bacon (crisp and crumbled)
1 tbls. olive oil
1/4 medium yellow onion, diced
1 garlic clove
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 red bell pepper
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
2 cups russet potatoes, cubed
3 tbls. cup butter
3 tbls. cup flour
1 (12 oz. can) evaporated milk
8 oz. pepper jack cheese
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground thyme

heat oil in soup pot on medium heat. Add onions, garlic, carrots and bell peppers; cook and stir until the onions are soft. Add the broth and bring to boil. Decrease the heat and simmer about 20 minutes or until carrots are cooked.
Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in a medium sauce pan until they are tender (about 10 minutes). Drain and add to the soup with the bacon. Wipe out the pan if necessary and use for the next step.
Melt the butter over low heat. Add the flour and turn the heat up slightly and whisk until the mixture is bubbly. Add the milk whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. Add to the soup. Stir in cheese and continute to stir until melted. Do not boil. Add salt, pepper and thyme. Serve.

The Way I Made It My Own:
This was so good that my 13 yr. old had 2 bowls!! This is a great alternative to the above!! A great cheesy potato soup for sure! I love how easy it was to adapt to the crockpot. I know, there is still some work at the end, but it's worth it! I have tried and tried to add the slurry in with my cream soups in the crockpot, but they always turn gritty on me. I am not sure why. So, a quick 3 minutes  to whisk up the slurry before we eat isn't a big deal to me. It turns out great every time!

Crockpot Cheesy Potato Soup

5 strips of Bacon (crisp and crumbled) (I used turkey bacon)
1/4 medium yellow onion, diced
1 garlic clove
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 red bell pepper
1 1/2 cup chicken broth (or I used 2 pkt.s sodium/msg free bullion powder and 2 cups water)
5 medium white potatoes, cubed
3 tbls. cup butter
3 tbls. cup flour
1 (12 oz. can) evaporated milk ( I used Fat Free)
8 oz. Cheddar cheese
1/2 block cream cheese ( I used low fat)
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground thyme

In Crockpot combine potatoes, broth, carrots, onion, peppers and garlic. Cook on low 8 hours (or until carrots and potatoes are tender).

After potatoes and carrots are tender, melt, on the stove in a saute pan, the butter over low heat. Add the flour and turn the heat up slightly and whisk until the mixture is bubbly. Add the milk whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. Add the cheeses to the mixture. Stir into crockpot, whisking it in.  Add salt, pepper and thyme and crumbled bacon.  Stir and Serve.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan

The Menu:
Broiled Tilapia Parmesan

The Original Recipe:
I can't think of any other way to make this other than written. It is so good! My husband just raved about it while eating it tonight, so I know it must be a keeper to make again!  I served it with some stuffing and corn as sides.
I know I found this on the Babycenter CFYF board a long time ago...

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan


2 pounds Tilapia fillets

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup Butter, softened

3 tablespoons Mayonnaise

2 tablespoons Fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp Dried basil

1/4 tsp Ground black pepper

1/8 tsp Onion powder

1/8 tsp Celery salt


Preheat your oven's broiler, and grease a broiling pan, or line with aluminum foil. In a small bowl, mix together the

Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise, and lemon juice and season with dried basil, pepper, onion powder, and celery

salt, mix well and set aside. Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fillets over, and broil for a couple more minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven, and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side and broil for 2 more minutes, or until the topping is browned, and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to over cook the fish.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Texas BBQ Sloppy Joes

The Menu:
Texas BBQ Sloppy Joes

The Original Recipe:
I found this on cassiecraves.blogspot. It is really good. I did a few things differently, but it is a definite keeper to make again. I get tired of plain old sloppy joes, so this was a nice change!

Texas BBQ Sloppy Joes

adapted from Tried-and-True Cooking with Heidi

1 1/3 pounds lean ground beef

1 onion, chopped

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies

1/2 cup ketchup

1 cup bottled barbecue sauce

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 package frozen garlic Texas toast

1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1. Brown ground beef and onion in large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 8 to 10 minutes or until beef is no longer pink; drain well. Return to skillet.

2. Stir in tomatoes with green chilies, ketchup, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, prepare Texas toast according to package directions. Serve beef mixture over Texas toast; sprinkle with cheese.
The Way I Made It My Own:
I just changed a few little things to make it a bit easier for a quick supper. I wanted it to not be so runny, too so I cut out the tomatoes. We just ate them like regular sloppy joes with some augratin potatoes and corn as sides. A keeper to make again for sure!
Texas BBQ Sloppy Joes

2 lb.s pounds lean ground beef

1 tsp. onion flakes
1 can diced chilies
1/2 cup ketchup

1 cup bottled barbecue sauce

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1. Brown ground beef large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 8 to 10 minutes or until beef is no longer pink; drain well. Return to skillet.

2. Stir in green chilies, ketchup, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce, onion flakes and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook 10 minutes.

3. Serve on Buns of your choice.

Alfredo Sauce

The Menu:
Alfredo Sauce

The Original Recipe:
I have combined recipes over time to create this yummy lower fat alfredo sauce.

1 can fat free evaporated milk (or low fat half and half)
2 tbls. flour
3 tbls. butter (I used low fat margerine)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup cooking sherry (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cup parmasean regiano cheese

Melt butter and garlic in saute pan to melt butter, stirring the garlic around. Add flour and stir to combine. Slowly add milk, whisking until smooth, add wine. Bring to a slow bubbling boil and whisk until thickened. Add cheese and stir to combine. Serve overtop any pasta dishes that requires a yummy white alfredo sauce!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Balsalmic Glazed Porkchops

The Menu:
Balsalmic Glazed Porkchops

The Original Recipe:
I have had this in my files for a long time. I do believe they came from the Cooking for your Family board on They are good. Not your everyday porkchops, and defiantly easy enough and tasty enough to make again.

Balsalmic Glazed Porkchops


6 Boneless pork chops

3 t Lemon juice

¼ c Balsamic vinegar,

1 t Worcestershire sauce,

2 t Honey,

2 t Dijon mustard

2 t Vegetable oil

½ t Salt

¼ t Pepper


Combine first 5 ingredients to make glaze. Place chops and glaze in a crock-pot and cook on low for 5-6 hours.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Slow Cooker Irish Potatoes (Side Dish)

The Menu:
Slow Cooker Irish Potatoes

The Original Recipe:
I found this on crockpot365.blogspot, again. She has had some great recipes that I am in need of this time of year--crockpot recipes!! These were great. At first I was thinking, why not just cook them at supper time in some boiling water to soften them and then add the rest of the seasonings... but I found that doing it in the crockpot all day it was less hassle when it came down to fixing supper. I made my Country Fried Cube Steaks for supper which takes up some time and space. I loved that there was not an extra pot on the stove tonight. Delish and a definite, will make again!

Slow Cooker Irish Potatoes-side dish

The Ingredients.

serves 8 to 10

2 1/2 pounds potatoes, cut into wedges (I used Russet, and didn't peel; red would work great too)

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon dried parsley

2 green onions, sliced

3 teaspoons dried dill

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (might want more to taste if you use unsalted butter)

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

The Directions.
Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Put the cut potatoes and water into the slow cooker (READ this carefully! only potatoes and water so far!).

Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain the accumulated liquid and put the potatoes back in the crock. Toss potatoes with melted butter, lemon juice, sliced green onion, and all seasoning.

Keep potatoes on the warm setting and serve right out of the pot

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pioneer Dinner Slow Cooker Recipe

The Menu:
Pioneer Dinner Slow Cooker Recipe

The Original Recipe:
Total Winner! I found this on Crockpot365.blogspot the other day.. Oh man!!! This is the best supper we have had in awhile. It was so good. I like this better than stew!! I used Hillshire Farms Smoked Beef Sausage. It was a bit fattening, but it tasted so yummy and comforting! The kids had this meal gone in no time tonight!

Pioneer Dinner Slow Cooker Recipe

The Ingredients.

serves 6

4 large carrots, peeled and chopped into 2-inch chunks

1 yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped

4 brown baking potatoes, chopped in 2-inch chunks (I don't usually peel)

4 Italian-flavored sausage, sliced in 1-inch pieces

1 cup beef broth

The Directions.
Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Layer the ingredients into your cooker in this order: carrots, onion, potatoes, and sausage. Pour the broth over the top. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or until the vegetables have reached desired tenderness.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Unbelievable Apple Pie

The Menu:
Unbelievable Apple Pie

The Original Recipe:
I have so many apples!! I found this recipe online at, and I do think it turned out well. It needed a liquid mixed in with the apples. It didn't say to add any liquid and my pie was drying out. I had to think fast and I actually added some water to the top of my pie while it was baking! YIKES!! It turned out well though, but I have a way to make it better. The Way I Made it My Own follows this one... much better!!

Unbelievable Apple Pie

Prep Time: 20 mins Total Time: 55 mins Serves: 1 Ingredients

1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust
3 -4 cups granny smith apples, sliced
1 (3 1/2 ounce) packages coconut cream pudding mix or 1 (3 1/2 ounce) packages French vanilla pudding mix


1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
 1 teaspoon cinnamon


In mixing bowl, combine apples and pie/pudding mix; toss to coat well.

Place in unbaked pie crust.

In small bowl, mix all topping ingredients until it's crumbly.

Sprinkle over apples and bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes until topping is golden brown and pie is bubbly.

(Try different pudding mixes and fruits for different flavors) I serve it with a scoop of butter pecan or rum raisin ice cream.

The Way I Made It My Own:
Ok, so this is the way this pie should be made!!
Don't forget to make my Home Made Pie Crust to go with it!
Unbelievable Caramel Apple Pie

1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust

5/6 baking apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin

1 (3 1/2 ounce) package butterscotch pudding

1/8 cup apple juice (or water)


1/4 cup butter, room temp
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup quick cooking rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 teaspoon Apple Pie Spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice)


In mixing bowl, combine apples, juice and pudding mix; toss to coat well.

Place in unbaked pie crust.

In small bowl, mix all topping ingredients until it's crumbly.

Sprinkle over apples and bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes until topping is golden brown and pie is bubbly.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Home Made Apple Pie

The Menu:
Home Made Apple Pie

The Original Recipe:
Well, I usually make this amazing Cranberry Apple Pie every year for Thanksgiving. I have never really made my own apple pie before, though. So, I figured I would give it a whirl since I have all these apples on hand! I used my Home Made Pie Crust which is just perfect for this recipe!

Home Made Apple Pie


6 Apples, peeled, cored and thin sliced

1/2 cup Packed brown sugar

1/4 cup All-purpose flour

1 tsp. Lemon Juice

1 1/2 tsp. Apple Pie Spice (cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg)

4 pats of butter for top on apples


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a pie plate with pastry.
 Combine brown sugar, flour, lemon juice, apple pie spice; add the apples. Mix thoroughly. Turn filling into the pastry lined pie plate. Add 4 pats of butter to top of apples. Cover with top crust. Crimp edges. Cut slits in top crust. Bake for 1 hour, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling bubbly.


The Menu:
Home Made Applesauce

The Original Recipe:
Well, I think this is the easiest recipe you could possibly follow.

Home Made Applesauce
I took about 6 dozen apples, peeled and cored them and threw them into a large pot. I added about 4 cups water to the bottom of the pot, and then cooked the apples until boiling for about an hour until they were all mushy. I then took out my immersion blender and blended away until all I had left was applesauce! I used a variety of apples from my dad's apple trees. I know there were Johnathon apples, McIntosh, Red Delicious, and a few other red ones. It needed no sugar, but I will add some cinnamon in the future when we eat it. I froze 30 cups in gallon sized freezer bags to use later on.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Zesty Crockpot Meatloaf

The Menu:
Zesty Crockpot Meatloaf

The Original Recipe:
No, I didn't take a picture. It was gone before I remembered that I needed one! I have got to share this recipe. This is the best meatloaf I have had. I LOVE the fact that it was done in the crockpot. I think from now on I will always cook my meatloaf in the crockpot. How easy this was! I think I can use any of the meatloaf recipes I have, and it will work just fine in the crockpot. It is soooo much better than heating your house up with the oven especially when it is hot outside! What a time and energy saver!

Zesty Meatloaf

2lbs ground beef

2 eggs

1 package dry onion soup mix

2 cups oatmeal

1/4 cup ketchup/Worcestershire sauce mixture (1/2 of each combined)

Mix all but two tablespoons of the sauce into a bowl and mix evenly. Form into a "loaf." Toss into Crock Pot and glaze top with remaining sauce mixture. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

I usually make additional sauce (it's SOO GOOD) for dipping when the meatloaf is served. This recipe is delicious, easy and not at all like traditional meatloaf. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Peanut Butter- Coconut Pecan Fudge (with Variations!)

The Menu:
Peanut Butter- Coconut Pecan Fudge

The Original Recipe:
This came from a friend of mine, Judy. She is a genius! This is the easiest fudge recipe you will ever make! I guarantee you will never mess with other fudge recipes ever again. You can make any type of fudge that you want using this recipe! I chose Coconut Pecan because I didn't want Chocolate since I knew I would eat it all before my husband even got to try it! It lasts longer this way! Trust me.

Peanut Butter- Coconut Pecan Fudge (with variations!)

1 (10-16 oz) jar Natural Peanut Butter
1 Jar of Coconut Pecan Cake Frosting

Heat Peanut Butter in microwaveable safe bowl until creamy (heat 1 minute, stir, heat 1 more minute and it should be good), stir in frosting and mix until creamy smooth. Pour in greased 9x9 brownie pan. Place in refrigerator until hardened into fudge. Cut in squares and serve!

*Variations: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Frosting, Peanut Butter and Peanut Butter Frosting, Nuttella and Chocolate Frosting... The variations are limitless as long as you love "Nut" Butter and Cake Frosting!!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Weekly Supper Planning

Well, I am back on the ball with a meal plan this week. We have been incredibly busy lately with school starting and soccer!!

Weekly Supper Planning

Monday- Chili and Rice, Salad

Tuesday- Cream Cheese Chicken(new recipe), Mashed Potatoes, Veggie

Wednesday- Kowboys Tuna Helper

Thursday- Sausage & Wild Rice

Friday- Chicken Patty Sandwich, French Fries, Corn

Saturday- Zesty Meatloaf , Baked Potato, Kowboy's green beans

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus with Homemade Pita Bread for chips

The Menu:
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

The Original Recipe:
I had some red peppers to roast, and I had most of the ingredients to make hummus, so I figured, why not some roasted red pepper hummus!

First I roasted the red peppers.
Roasted Red Peppers

Line a baking sheet with foil. Spray with olive oil. Cut red peppers in half and deseed. Place oven rack into top position in oven. Turn broiler on high. Place red peppers, skin side up, on baking sheet and spray both sides with oil. Broil for 10 minutes (checking in between to make sure not overly burnt), until skins start to char. Turn over and roast for 3 minutes. After charred immediately take out and place in an airtight container for 10-15 minutes. Skins should peel right off, and use as recipes direct. I cut the rest of mine into strips, places separately on the cookie sheet and froze, then added them into a ziploc baggie for later use.

The Original Recipe:
I found this on my favorite board. This is a great basic recipe. The Way I Made It My Own follows.


Rachel ~ burns_toast


2 (15 ounce) cans garbanzo beans

1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)

6 tablespoons lemon juice

3 garlic cloves, pressed

1 teaspoon ground cumin

salt and pepper


Drain beans and reserve the liquid when you do so. Blend beans, along with the other ingredients and 1/4 cup of the liquid. Process until the mixture is smooth. Add liquid until the desired consistency is reached. Adjust seasonings along with more cumin, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

The Way I Made It My Own:
YUMMY!!!!!!! 'nuf said!
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus


2 (15 ounce) cans garbanzo beans

2 tbls. Natural Peanut Butter (if you do not have tahini)

6 tablespoons lemon juice

3 garlic cloves, pressed

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

3 Roasted Red Peppers (yes, 3 whole roasted peppers)

salt and pepper


Drain beans and reserve the liquid when you do so. Blend beans, along with the other ingredients and 1/4 cup of the liquid. Process until the mixture is smooth. Add liquid until the desired consistency is reached. Adjust seasonings along with more cumin, lemon juice, salt and pepper if needed.

The Original Recipe:
I found this pita bread recipe awhile ago and was just scared to make it. Well, I finally gave it a whirl, and it wasn't to bad. I am a horrible baker. I don't like to measure, and I love to change recipes. Well, you can't do that when baking! They turned out fairly well! I even got the little pocket in some of them. You have to let them cook for 3 minutes on each side in order to cook the whole way through. I set the timer for each.

( I don't know if you can see it or not, but on the left, is one open showing the pocket. The ones on the right, I cut up to make pita chips out of them. I baked them at 350 degrees for about 3-4 minutes on each side to make them crispy, so I could use them to dip in my hummus!)

Pita Bread

Makes 8 flatbreads


3 c. flour

1 1/2 c. boiling water

1/4 c. potato flour OR 1/2 c. potato flakes

1 1/4 tsp. salt

2 Tbs. vegetable oil

1 tsp. INSTANT yeast


Place 2 cups of the flour into a large mixing bowl (or Kitchen Aid). Pour the boiling water over the flour, and stir till smooth. Cover the bowl and set the mixture aside for 30 minutes. This process will cook out some of the starch, making the bread very soft and pliable.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the potato flour (or flakes) and 1 cup of the remaining flour with the salt, oil and yeast. Add this to the cooled flour/water mixture, stir, then knead for several (5-7) minutes to form a soft dough. Add additional flour only if necessary-- The dough should form a ball, but will remain somewhat soft. Let the dough rise, covered, for 1 hour. (Note: Since this is a flatbread, the dough will not rise very much due to the small amount of yeast-- But it should still rise noticeably.)

Divide the dough into 8 pieces (each around 3-4 oz.-- I use my kitchen scale for this), cover, and let rest on an oiled surface for 15 to 30 minutes. Roll each piece into an 8-inch circle, and dry-fry them (fry without oil) on a griddle or frying pan over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until they’re flecked with brown spots. Adjust the heat if they seem to be cooking either too quickly, or too slowly; cooking too quickly means they may be raw in the center, while too slowly will dry them out. Stack the cooked bread in between a soft, clean towel to keep them warm and soft. Serve immediately, or cool before storing in a plastic bag.