Saturday, December 22, 2007

Grandma M&M's Cranberry Salad

1 bag fresh cranberries (you can also use fresh frozen berries)
1 Small box raspberry jell-o
1 Cup sugar
2 apples peeled, cored, and diced (I like to use Honeycrisp. They contrast beautifully with the tart cranberries)
1 C. chopped walnuts (optional...Grandma always makes one with and one without nuts)

Put cranberries in the food processor & chop until fine. Stir sugar into cranberries & let dissolve. Prepare jell-o according to package directions less 1/2 cup of water. Combine all ingredients & pour into 8x11 glass dish. Refrigerate until set, preferably over night.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Semi-Sweet Sugar Balls

Here are the chocolate balls I promised on my Traditions post several weeks ago now...sorry for the delay!

These were always made by my Nana, who lived in NY. We always loved it when she came out for the holidays, and it was made even more special by her incredible commitment to teaching my siblings and I all about our Italian heritage...making the best ever dishes that she grew up eating for special occasions and specific holidays...If I can weasel the recipe out of Daddy, I'll post the Meat Pie for Easter...mmmmmmm, that makes my mouth water thinking about it!!!

Prep to Serve: At least 24 hours ( read on to see why )
Serves: As Many as you decide you can part with...I don't share these so well...

12 oz SEMI-SWEET chocolate chips
3 Tbsp Corn Syrup
1/2 C Orange Juice
2 1/2 C Crushed Vanilla Wafers
1/2 C Confectioner's Sugar
1 C finely chopped nuts (Optional We never add the nuts because we just don't like nuts in our food...unless it is baklava)


Melt chocolate over low heat (I use my double boiler so it doesn't burn). Remover from heat, add corn syrup and orange juice. Combine Vanilla wafer crumbs, sugar and nuts. Add to chocolate mixture, and mix well. Chill in refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Form mixture into 1 inch balls, and roll in more confectioner's sugar. Layer in a tin, or plastic container with wax or parchment paper between layers. Cover tightly and ripen in fridge for at least 24 hours. The longer they sit, the better they taste, but don't forget you made them!!!

Quick Fudge (should be called the BEST EVER!!!!)

Prep to Serve: 24 hours for best results
Serves: as many as you want to share it with!


12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Vanilla

Melt chips in milk over low heat. (I use my double boiler for best, creamy results)
Remove from heat, add salt and vanilla. BLEND WELL.
Spread into a buttered 9 inch square pan (I buy the disposable foil ones each year). Cover with plastic wrap or foil, and chill until firm (about 3 - 4 hours, give or take). Cut into SMALL pieces. (We're talking no bigger than 1/2 inch squares people...)

Thursday, December 6, 2007


Need a new way to serve your meatloaf?

Looking for that perfect serving size..

Why not try putting your mixture into greased (PAM) muffin tins.

I've been doing this now for about 4-5 months. Saves on cutting it up..It's easy to put on the plates. Bakes down to just the right serving size. It's also perfect size to put in freezer safe bag to freeze individual servings.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Tator Tot Casserole

This was a favorite when my kids were younger and it was cheap too. It freezes well and can be reheated in the oven or microwave.

1 lb of lean ground beef
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 can (fill soup can) of milk
1/2 bag of frozen tator tots
1/2 bag of frozen peas
3 oz of cheese (optional)

Brown ground beef and drain. Combine soup and milk, mix thoroughly. In a 13x9 pan mix ground beef, soup mixture, tator tots and frozen peas. Sprinkle cheese on top (Optional) Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and let set for 5 minutes before serving.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Chocolate Almond Candy

This recipe was from a neighbor of my Grandmas in the 1960's who was from Europe. Gram made these every Christmas for us and for the last 4 years we've (mom and I) have been making them now.

In a bowl Mix together with your hands works best.
  • 2 cups coconut
  • 1 cube of butter
  • 4 cups nut meats chopped medium fine. (I use almonds..One year I did use walnuts for a different flavor)

Next add

  • 7 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla (may need to add more depending on your preference)
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk

Thoroughly mix with your hands. Take mixture and roll into small balls and place onto wax paper in rows.


On the stovetop, heat a double broiler with a Block of Parafin Wax and 12 oz of chocolate chips (I've also used peanut butter chips and butterscotch chips) together. Thoroughly mix well.

Use a toothpick or some use a nail and dip premade balls into chocolate and place back on wax paper to harden.

Freezes Well. Place in a tin lined with wax or parchment paper, stack and place wax or parchment paper over the top before placing tin lid on. These were made for Temera (Farm Fairy) and Bruno last Christmas. See Link

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Peppermint Ho-Ho Cake

I used to make this cake years ago (as in I haven't made it for about 8 years) minus the peppermint and called it a "hoho cake" in reference to the white filling, chocolate cake, and chocolate glaze resembling a giant Hostess hoho cake. For some reason I came up with the idea to try it with the addition of peppermint flavoring and crushed candy canes in the fluff. It's very refreshing this way. It wasn't until I started typing the ingredients that I realized the whole "hoho" thing means something different for Christmas. Ya know... Ho-HO... as in what the big guy says... anyway... Put however much peppermint you like in it. Here's hoping everyone likes it at the toy drive at church tonight!!

1 chocolate cake mix (and ing. to bake cake)
1 container chocolate frosting
12 candy canes (pulvarized to bits in the blender)
1 8 oz. block of cream cheese (softened)
1 stick of butter (softened)
3 C powdered sugar
1 8 oz. tub of cool-whip (thawed)
peppermint flavoring to taste

Mix cake mix and bake. Set aside to cool. While baking and cooling, mix together the cream cheese, stick of butter, powdered sugar, and peppermint really well with a mixer. Add peppermint a little at a time, (they have different strengths depending on which one you use) and take a little taste after mixing in. You can always add more, but you obviously can't take any out. I add about 3/4 teaspoon of the one I use. Then slowly FOLD in the cool-whip until all is fluffy! Put in fridge to get cool and thicken a bit.

When cakes are cooled and filling is thickened a little, slice the cakes in half horizontally, so you now have four layers of cake. Place first layer on cake stand or plate, spread 1/3 of peppermint fluff close to edges (not completely, as it will ooze when you add more layers on top) and then sprinkle crushed candy canes all over. Repeat this two more times. After last layer is placed on top, place in fridge to chill for an hour or so. After cake has cooled, place frosting in microwave for 15 seconds at a time until pourable. Pour frosting over top of cake and let it "ooze" over the top and down the sides. Sprinkle more candy canes over the top and put back into fridge to stay cool!! Enjoy!!

Oh yah! Be sure your top layer of cake isn't wider than the rest of the layers, because if it is, then all the chocolate glaze drips off the sides and pools at the bottom instead of running beautifully down the sides as it's supposed to! Yes, that's what mine did up there, but oh well, we'll it eat anyway!!

Friday, November 30, 2007

And A Little Holiday Cheer: Monkey Bread

In my house, we have but one real holiday tradition. We make Monkey Bread every Christmas eve and that is what we eat Christmas morning before, during and after gift opening. I have seen recipes for Monkey Bread that use refrigerated biscuits, and while I'm sure that it's a heckuva lot easier than my recipe, I like the tedium of my way. I found this recipe in a Martha Stewart magazine way back when... and though I cheat for the whole dough rising part (I make the dough in my bread maker), I'll write the recipe as written and not how I do it!

For the Bread:
1/4 c. warm water
1/4 c. granulated sugar, plus a pinch for yeast
1 package yeast (this is roughly 2 1/4 tsp if you use the jarred yeast for the breadmaker)
2 tbsp shortening (plus more to grease pan and bowl)
3/4 c. milk, warmed
1 tsp salt
1 large egg
3 1/4 c. flour

For the coating:
1 stick butter, melted
3/4 c. light brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 c. nuts, chopped (We never include the nuts, actually - and it's still good)

For the Icing:
1/4 c. milk
2 c. powdered sugar

1. Put warm water and pinch of sugar in small bowl. Sprinkle yeast over top. Stir, let yeast soften and dissolve. About 5 minutes.

2. Place shortening, warm milk, sugar, salt & egg in mixer bowl. Grease bundt pan and a medium bowl.

3. Once yeast is dissolved and foamy, add it to mixer bowl; mix well with dough hook. Slowly add flour. Knead on medium-low 1 minute or by hand 5 minutes. Place in the greased bowl; cover with plastic. Set dough in warm place and let rest 20 minutes.

4. Make coating: Put melted butter in a bowl. In another bowl, mix brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts; sprinkle 2 tbsps nut mixture in Bundt pan. Cut dough into 1/2 inch pieces. Roll into balls.

5. Dip balls in butter, then roll in nut mixture; place in prepared bundt pan.

6. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise about 1 hour or until doubled in size.

7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 30 - 35 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes in pan.

8. Turn bread out of pan; cool 20 minutes on rack or plate.

9. Make icing: in small bowl, stir milk into powdered sugar. Drizzle over bread.

*Random note: This is the first year I actually have a bundt pan. I've always used an angel food cake pan. IF you use an angel food pan, put a cookie sheet underneath it - I've had years where the buttery mix oozes out, drips and the smoke alarm goes off. Not good. This year I'll be using my bundt pan now that I finally have one.

Beef & Beer Chili

I made this for dinner the other night and 75% of the household liked it (my five year old was the lone holdout because she doesn't like beans...).

1 1/2 c chopped red onion
1 c chopped red bell pepper
8 oz lean ground beef (Though we used a whole pound and it was fine...)
2 minced garlic cloves
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 (19 oz) can red kidney beans, drained
1 (14.5 oz) can no-salt added diced tomatos, undrained
1 (14 oz) can low-sodium beef broth
1 (12 oz) bottle beer
1 tbsp yellow cornmeal
1 tbsp fresh lime juice

Combine first four ingredients in large dutch oven over med-high heat. Cook 5 minutes or until beef is browned, stirring to crumble. Stir in chili powder, cumin, sugar and salt; cook 1 minute. Add oregano and next 4 ingredients (through beer) to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in cornmeal; cook 5 minutes. Stir in juice.

Yield: 4 servings.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Henry David's Favorite Squash Soup

***I found a recipe for squash soup in the Canadian Reader's Digest, tweaked it to suit the contents of my pantry, and out came a thick soup that Henry David adores. I like it so much that I don't have to drown it in cheese and crackers, which is my usual reaction to most soups. This freezes well, so it's an easy thing to make in the fall and use up all year long. The way I make it is totally healthy too, so you can feel free to eat that chocolate bar afterward if you like.

Olive oil
1 Yellow Onion, roughly chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, roughly minced
2 T. Freshly Grated Gingerroot
1/2 to 3/4 tsp. Ground Cumin
1 Butternut Squash (about six cups), peeled and cubed
2.5 c. Vegetable Broth (recipe on that included in notes)
4 Carrots, peeled and chopped into 2" pieces
Juice of 1 Orange (fresh is best here)
Juice of 1 Lemon (fresh is best here)
1 tsp. Grated Orange Zest
Salt (kosher & regular table salt)
Black Pepper

Kitchenware Needed:
*Steamer pan with lid
*Food Processor
*Good vegetable peeler (I like the Good Grips model.)
*Knives & Cutting Board
*Hand Juicer & Strainer

1. Peel and cut squash into 2x2 chunks. Place in steamer pan, sprinkle with a bit of salt, and cover. Cook until pieces are easily pierced with a fork. Do this in batches until all squash is cooked, and place already cooked squash in a bowl until all is cooked. (It takes me two batches, and they each take about 10-12 minutes.)

2. Peel and cut carrots. Place them in small saucepan filled with 2.5 cups of water. Heat over medium-high heat until pieces are easily pierced with a fork. (I cook this the whole time I'm doing all the squash.) It is VERY IMPORTANT to reserve the water from this once the carrots are cooked. I'll explain why in a bit.

3. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onions and garlic. Cook and stir until onions begin to soften, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in gingerroot and cook for another 30 seconds or so.

4. Add squash and carrots to onion mixture and stir. Transfer in small batches to food processor. Process until completely smooth. Empty each batch into crockpot, and begin again until all batches of veggies are processed smooth.

5. Stir in cumin, orange juice, lemon juice, grated orange zest, about 1/2 tsp. of salt, and 1/2 tsp. black pepper to mixture in crock pot. (I strain the juice to capture any small seeds. Leave crockpot off at this point.)

6. Let's use the carrot water to make the vegetable broth. Roughly chop up three ribs of celery, one zucchini, and one orange pepper, and add to water. Sprinkle in about 1 tsp. kosher salt and a little pepper. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 15 minutes. (I usually get this going while I'm in the middle of step four.) Get a strainer handy. Pour broth through the strainer into the crockpot, making sure all the veggies go into the strainer and only the broth goes into the crockpot. Toss the veggies in the compost pile or the trash. Stir crockpot mixture until well-combined.

7. Cook on low for 1 to 2 hours. Serve with whatever you would like. Makes about 2.5 quarts. (Last night we each had a big bowl, plus I filled two quart-sized containers for the freezer.)

Each serving is about 100 calories, has less than 2 g. of fat, about 3 g. of protein, 20 g. carbohydrate, and about 3 g. fiber. It is yummy and healthy. Believe that from someone who was afraid of squash and cooked carrots until her 30's. It really is that good.

Monday, November 5, 2007

italian crock-pot pork chops

about 2 lbs boneless pork chops
1 can italian diced tomatoes
1 can chicken broth
1 can water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 yellow onion
seasonings to taste (salt, pepper, garlic salt, italian seasonings, etc...)

Throw all ingredients into crock pot. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4. Serve over egg noodles or rice. Approx. 4 servings.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Spicy Veggie-Beef Soup

I found this recipe in a Southern Living Slow-Cooker Cookbook. But my mom in law's crock pot was too small, so I simmered it in a regular pot all afternoon. It was a hit... it's almost like a bean-less chili, which is a good thing because my hubby doesn't like beans and refuses to eat them.

1 pound ground chuck
1 onion, chopped (I used a red onion)
2 (28-ounce) jars tomatoes, peppers, and spices pasta sauce
1 10 1/2 oz. can condensed beef broth, undiluted
1 1/2 c water
1/2 c dry red wine (I used sutter home merlot)
1 14 1/2 oz. can garlic and olive oil petite diced tomatoes, undrained (I used italian seasoned, generic brand)
1 10 oz can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained (I used mild)
1 16 oz package frozen mixed veggies, thawed (I didn't thaw them first, they did just fine)
1/2 tsp pepper (really, does anyone measure out their pepper? I just ground a bunch into it.)
1 heaping tsp minced garlic (not in original recipe, I added it)
several dashes of italian seasoning to taste

  • Cook beef and onion in a large skillet, stirring until beef crumbles and is no longer pink, drain well.
  • Combine beef mixture, pasta sauce, and remaining ingredients in a 5 qt slow cooker
  • Cover and cook on high 6 hrs or low 12 hours. Makes 4 quarts.
Goes great with grilled cheese sandwiches or garlic-cheese bread. And saltine crackers, for those who prefer to chew their soup and not sip it (like my hubby). My 2 year old loved it, too.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Homemade Goo-Goo's

Well, I'm finally getting around to posting a recipe on here. Yeah me!!! Anyway, these are really easy and really good. I just made them this morning, actually after I got to work, to take to a dinner tonight. There are some perks to a family owned and operated business. It takes about 15-20 minutes and then of course chill time. So here goes:

1 24oz. pkg of chocolate almond bark (can also use white)
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
3 cups rice krispies
1 can of cocktail peanuts
2 or 3 cups of miniature marshmallows

Melt almond bark in microwave according to package directions. Add the peanut butter and stir until well blended. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until well coated with the almond bark/peanut butter mixture. Drop by heaping spoonfuls on wax paper lined pans. Let harden. I like to put them in the freezer. If making ahead, cover and store in the fridge.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Hunter Style Chicken

This is what I'm making tonight. 15 minutes of prep and 15 minutes to cook. Voila! Dinner!

Serves 4

8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps halved and thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 1/3 cups canned crushed tomatoes
3 strips orange zest, cut 3 inches long and 1/2 inch wide (I'm opting out of the orange zest this time, but it is really good)
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks

In a 2 1/2-quart microwave-safe dish with a lid, combine mushrooms, garlic, oil, and 1/4 cup water; season with salt and pepper. Cover, and microwave on high, 2 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes, orange zest, rosemary, cayenne, and chicken until combined. Cover; microwave on high until chicken is just cooked through, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove orange zest, and serve.

**Edited to add... I could not find boneless, skinless chicken thighs so I substituted boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead. I also used plain sliced mushrooms and not shitake. The verdict? STILL yummy! I do suggest serving over a bed of rice or pasta, though.

***One more edit... The chicken is not pre-cooked before microwaving. It does not come out rubbery at all, and I was skeptical the first time I made it. But it really does work!

Ground Beef Enchiladas

I made these last night... Totally sinful. And delicious!

Serves 4 -6 depending on the appetite

1 tablespoon shortening
1 pound ground beef
3 tablespoons flour
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 tablespoon chili powder
Salt, to taste
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
12 corn tortillas
1 pound longhorn cheese, coarsely grated
1 large onion, finely chopped

Melt shortening in heavy skillet. Add the ground meat and brown. Sprinkle meat with flour; mix in skillet. Add tomato sauce and 1 cup water. Mix 1/2 cup water with the chili powder to form a smooth paste; add to the meat mixture. Add salt to taste and garlic powder. Cook over medium heat, uncovered, until it is of gravy consistency. Cover and simmer over very low heat. Add more water if the chili gravy becomes too thick.

Dip tortillas one at a time in the hot chili gravy with a wide metal spatula. The tortillas will become pliable almost immediately, which will make rolling the enchiladas easier. Soaking too long will cause the tortillas to fall apart.

Place a good sprinkling of grated cheese and minced onion and about a tablespoon of the meat mixture to one side of the center of the tortilla. Roll tortilla tightly around the filling and place loose side down in a glass casserole baking dish. For best results place the enchiladas in a row with sides touching.

When all enchiladas have been formed, pour the remaining hot chili gravy over all, and sprinkle generously with grated cheese, and top with chopped onion. Bake at 350 degrees F until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Farm Wife's Potato Soup

One day, a few years back, I called home to get QM's potato soup recipe. Daddy answered & when I asked him for it he said, "Got a pen & paper? Ready? OK, you take potatoes...and you make soup." Very helpful, that one. So I dug out a cookbook & wasn't happy with that recipe either. Instead I got everything I thought would be good & threw it in a pot. This was the end result.

5 lbs of potatoes, peeled, diced, cooked, & drained
4 Tbs butter
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 small red/yellow onion, diced
4-5 shredded carrots
2 cups cubed, cooked ham
3-4 c. ham broth*
3-4 c. milk (more or less to taste)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 pint heavy cream (opt.)

Saute the onions and celery in the butter until they begin to cook through (become translucent). Mash potatoes slightly. Combine all ingredients and bring to a slow boil. Simmer until everything is cooked through. Ignore your husband's comments about how his potato soup is much better and enjoy.

*When ever I cook a ham I reserve the liquid from it. When cool, I skim (or in most cases, scoop) off the fat & freeze the rest to use in soup.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

"Legendary" Fruit Casserole

Thus named for the restaurant I worked in during my late teens/early 20's. We served this & it was a HUGE hit. Most people were offset by the idea of a warm fruit casserole, but if you think of it like a cobbler it's much easier to deal with! And this is not for the diabetic among you!

4 C. Crushed Pineapple (canned)
4 C. Diced Peaches (canned)
4 C. Brown Sugar
4 C. Crushed Club Crackers
1 Stick Melted Butter or Margarine

Drain fruit. Layer 2 C. of each fruit, followed by 2 C. brown sugar, then 2 C. cracker crumbs. Drizzle 1/2 the butter over top and repeat. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Serve warm or cold (I prefer warm).

This makes enough for a pot luck dinner or a large group. While we served it as a side dish, it's excellent served with vanilla ice cream as a dessert.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Super Easy Chicken thingy

Okay, I don't actually know what the recipe is called, I don't even know the exacts of it but I do know it was good and how I made it, I made it from a description a lady I know gave me of it. And it tasted like Thanksgiving to me. It was very yummy.

So I have deamed it the Super Easy Chicken Thingy

2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 box of stuffing (I used stovetop)
2-4 slices of swiss cheese
1 can of Cream of mushroom or Cream of Chicken soup

Pour Stuffing into a sprayed casserole dish, and mix in soup. Place chicken breasts on top and top them with slices of swiss. Bake at 375 until chicken juices run clear.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Indian Chicken

Prep Time: 10 - 15 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Serves: 8 adults

8 - 10 skinless chicken thigh/leg combos
6 C canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans) mashed
2 C baby-cut carrots (I use the baby carrots from the store and run them on the chop setting of my food processor to save time)

For the sauce:
1 1/2 C Chopped Onion
3 garlic cloves, minced (buy a jar, and keep it in the fridge for time savings)
3/4 C low or nonfat sour cream*
3/4 C plain nonfat yogurt
5.5 oz tomato paste
1 C chicken broth*
1/2 C EVOO
2 Tbsp curry powder
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 C frozen peas

Preheat oven to 400. Lay chicken pieces flat in a 13X9 casserole. Evenly spread the chickpeas and carrots over and between the chicken.

In a large saucepan, saute onions and garlic in the EVOO until onions are translucent. Add remaining sauce ingredients and stir over low heat until mixture is well blended. Pour sauce over chicken, chickpeas and carrots.

Bake for 1 Hour.

* You can use whatever fat content, sodium content of yogurt, sour cream and broth you'd like. The original recipe was a "healthy" version using low-sodium organic broth, nonfat sour cream and yogurt that were also both organic.

Not sure how this would freeze because of the dairy products, or how it would be made-ahead and reheated...haven't tried it yet!

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Prep Time: about 5 minutes
Serves: 4 (I imagine that for the kids, you might be able to squeeze this into 6 servings)


1 C Canned Pumpkin
1 C Milk
2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1/3 tsp Nutmeg
2/3 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla
1 C ice


Blend everything but the ice until smooth. Add ice, continue blending until thick and creamy.

Optional - top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Steamed Potatos

Last night, I made my family's favorite potato dish. This is so easy and yummy! The leftovers are good cold and reheated.

1 Large Russet baking potato cut into a 1/4 to 1/2 inch dice
1 Large Sweet potato cut into a 1/4 to 1/2 inch dice
1 Small yellow onion coarsely chopped
3 pinches Renaissance Rub

*I found this three years ago at my local H-E-B grocery store. They no longer carry it, but I still have at least 2/3 of the tin left. A little goes a long way!! The $6 price tag did alarm me at the time, but it has been a great investment.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add EVOO. I probably use three tablespoons for this recipe. Put the potatos and onion in the pan. Sprinkle the Renaissance Rub over the entire concoction. Stir it around. Add 1/2 cup water. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low to low. Let cook until the potatos are done but not soggy (for me this means about 15 minutes).

I have to say this. I hate sweet potatos and very nearly did not try this dish when it was presented to me several years ago. I am so glad that I did. My husband is also a sweet-potato hater, and he didn't want to try this, either, but I talked him into it. We both love the dish. It is super easy to throw together in a hurry and is now one of our go-to sides. I even made this at Thanksgiving to rave reviews!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Poor Man's Stroganoff

I've never made this ahead and frozen it, so I don't know if it can be done or not. It is simply too easy to throw together at the last minute, though!

This recipe is one of my all-time favorite childhood recipes. We'd have it for dinner one night, then eat the leftovers cold out of the fridge the next day! I altered the recipe just a bit to be more healthy, but if you want to make it "full fat" then go for it!

1.5 pounds super lean ground beef (I used 96/4)
1 medium onion, diced
1 small can of mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1 Tbsp. flour
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup (I used 98% fat free), plus 1/2 to 3/4 can water
1 8oz. carton sour cream (I used fat free)
1 Tsp. Paprika
Garlic powder, salt, pepper to taste
1 12oz. package egg noodles

Brown meat and onion over medium heat in a large skillet. Drain fat. Sprinkle with flour. Add mushrooms, soup, sour cream, and spices, stirring well. Add water to thin out sauce to desired thickness. Cover and simmer on low heat for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Prepare egg noodles according to package directions. Drain and return to pot. By this time the sauce has simmered for long enough. Remove from heat and combine with noodles.


Nicole’s Fiesta Dip

I had this for the first time two weekends ago and made it myself on Saturday.

This recipe is a great thing to bring to a party and it will go a very long way... Four adults have been eating it non stop for three days.

2 Cans of White and Gold Corn (drained)
1 Can of Black Beans (rinsed)
1 Can of Black Eyed Peas (rinsed)
1 12 oz. package of Pico de Gallo*
4-5 tbsp salsa*
2 Large Hass Avocado
Salt and Pepper- to taste
Creole Seasoning (Zatarain’s or Tony Chachere’s)
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

*We used Hot Pico and medium-heat salsa. The brand doesn't matter, just go with the spice and brands you like best!!!

Empty all canned goods in a large bowl. Make sure all beans are rinsed and corn is drained of liquid. Add whole package of Pico de Gallo, salsa, and EVOO. Cube up the two large avocados, and then season the dip with the salt, pepper and Creole seasoning. Seasonings and salsa will depend on the desired taste.

Serve with tortilla or pita chips. Enjoy!!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

French Toast Casserole

Okay, so I've been on the sidebar since two days after this started and as of yet have not added my two cents! I came up with this about a month ago when it was "breakfast soufle'" night and I really didn't want it, but had all the eggs and the loaf of white bread (ewwwwww), and diced ham to use up. This is the one and only time you will see white bread in my house!! My family loved it and so did I!Enjoy!

1 loaf white bread, torn into small pieces
1 dozen eggs, beaten
1 C milk,
2 8 oz blocks cream cheese, diced
2 C chopped ham (I buy the bag already chopped)
1/4 C sugar (I use raw)
vanilla and cinnamon to your taste
maple syrup

Combine all ingredients except maple syrup and pour into 9X13 dish with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees "until done"! I think it baked about an hour or so, but it may have been more or may have been less. I just kept setting my timer for 15 minutes until it was done so I lost track! I'm bad about that!! This stuff smells amazing while it cooks! Serve with maple syrup on top and fruit on the side! Yum!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Chicken Spaghetti

I haven't been posting much at all, and I have a ton of recipes to share... I'm setting aside tomorrow to go through my files and share what's been successful lately.

I'm in need of a creamy chicken spaghetti recipe. I've tried several out there, but none are up to snuff. Any ideas?

Simply yummy

Breakfast Casserole

1 lb. pork sausage
6 eggs
2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
4 to 6 slices bread
1 C. grated cheddar

Cook sausage and drain well. Beat eggs and add milk, salt, and mustard. Fit bread into greased 9 x 13. Spread sausage over bread and sprinkle cheese on top of sausage. Pour egg mixture over everything. Refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Serves 8.

Sometimes I will add a small can of diced green chillies and some southwest seasoning to this to give it some spice. This is great to make when you have a brunch or breakfast guests.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Unbeatable Banana Bread

2 C flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 C (1 stick) butter, softened
1 C sugar
2 eggs, room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 med to large very ripe bananas
1/2 C sour cream
Sift dry ingredients together in a small bowl. In a large bowl, cream sugar & butter together then add eggs one at a time mixing between each addition until well combined, then add vanilla & mix. Set aside. In another bowl mash the bananas & mix in sour cream. Into the butter mix, add 1/3 of the dry mix & stir in with a wooden spoon*. Add the rest of the ingredients in this order: 1/2 the banana mix, 1/2 the remaining dry mix, the rest of the banana mix, the rest of the dry mix, any add-ins desired (I like to put in dried cranberries or dried berry mix). Line loaf pan with waxed paper leaving enough to drape over the sides. Pour batter into pan & bake at 325 for 75 minutes or until bread tests done with a toothpick. Set bread on cooling rack for 20 minutes, then use waxed paper to pull it out of the pan. Peel paper from sides of the bread & allow it to cool completely before slicing.
*mixing with the wooden spoon prevents over mixing & keeps the bread from becoming chewy.
This is my favorite breakfast! Oh, and I rarely let it cool completely before I cut into it...can't wait that long!

Spicy Meatloaf

1/2 lb of ground beef
1/2 c finely ground bread crumbs
1 egg
1/2 lb of mild Italian sausage
1/2 T of Worcestershire Sauce
1 t of Tabasco Sauce
1/8 c of dried onion

Mix above ingredients together. Spray a bread loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Put meat mixture into bread loaf pan and put into 375 oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes.

(We've frozen this after making it and then put it in the oven at 200-250 to reheat it) Kids love this as leftover and make meatloaf sandwiches.

Meat Balls & Mushroom Soup

1 lb of lean ground beef (can be substituted for ground chicken/turkey)
1/2 c bread crumbs
1 egg
2 t of garlic powder
1 t of oregano
1/8 c diced or minced onion

3 T of cooking oil
1/4 c flour

Combine ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, garlic powder, onion and oregano, and roll into balls the size of walnuts. Heat oil in skillet until hot. Roll meatballs into flour and place in hot oil. Cook until meat is thoroughly cooked through careful to rotate sides of meatballs.

1-10oz can of cream of mushroom soup.
1-10oz can of milk (optional)

I heat a can of mushroom soup without the milk (it's thick) until a slow boil. Some may not like it that thick and wish to dilute it with milk.

I serve meatballs and gravy over rice or boiled potatoes or mashed potatoes. Spices (oregano, garlic) and onions are optional.

Buttermilk Pancakes that Will Rock Your World

This is my dad's recipe for buttermilk pancakes - it is his adaptation of the Betty Crocker recipe. There are a few ingredients that are marked as OBWC - this stands for "Optional But World Class" - that's my dad's designation. I have to say I don't include them, but dad does when he makes them, and they are SUPER good.

Into a mixing bowl put:
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup wheat bran
1 heaping Tbsp cornmeal (OBWC)
1 heaping Tbsp cream of rice (OBWC)
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

And stir up real nice until everything is mixed just the way you like it...


Into your blender jar put:
2 eggs (or 1 egg and up to 2 or 3 egg whites, it's a protein thing)
1 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp vegetable oil (says my dad: "or butter but NOT MARGARINE! It'll clog your veins and make any circulatory activities much more difficult with the passing years. Trust me on this one... or's your breakfast.")

Whirl it around until the color is uniform.


Pour the liquid into the bowl with dry ingredients and mix lightly.

AND NOW - make sure your frying pan is nice and hot. Film the pan with oil (that's per dad - I use cooking spray, and they come out fine... )... Add about 3 tbsp of batter to the pan for each pancake.

Cook like you would cook pancakes (seriously, I can get specific, but I'm tired of typing!)

Enjoy your breakfast!!!

Yogurt Crunch

I make this for breakfast every once in a while.

1 container of flavored yogurt
3/4 c cheerios

In a small bowl combine cheerios and flavored yogurt. Serve with fruit.

Breakfast Burritos

Prep Time:2 minutes
Cooking Time: 4 minutes
Serves 1

1 carb-right tortilla
1/2 c egg beaters
1 wedge of laughing cow lite
2 slices of morning star veggie bacon
1/4 c sliced/diced mushrooms

Spread laughing cow lite onto tortilla. Cook veggie bacon according to directions and crumble after cooling Cook egg adding mushrooms and crumbled bacon. Remove and place on tortilla. Can serve with salsa, hot sauce.

Substitutions can be made and additional veggies can be added if desired. I sometimes substitute the veggie bacon with veggie sausage.

Chocolate Gravy

Okay, I admit it, I haven't been reading much but it has been really busy and I've had a cold. So I don't even know what recipes are before this one. But I'm stoked about this new blog Farmwife has started and I want to be an active part of the community. So when I got Farmwife's email giving this weekend's assignment, being the ever the good student, I wanted to get one in before I forgot, and as soon as I hit "publish" I'm going to go read the rest and try to get caught up here at blogspot.

This is one that some may say "eeeewwww" to (I think, my in-laws do). But like FW's husband eating icecream on chili - it is our family tradition to eat biscuits and chocolate gravy for breakfast on special occasions. I personally love the stuff. So without further adu... here's the L-family recipe for chocolate gavy.

1 c. sugar
2 Tbls. cocoa
1 Tbls. plain flour
1/2 c. milk
1 Tbls. margarine

Mix first 3 ingredients. Add milk. Cook like fudge 'til mixture begins to thicken. Add 1 tablespoon margarine and mix well before serving. Serve hot over buttered biscuits.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

Yes. I love sandwiches. I do, I do, I do.

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 2 lbs)
salt n pepper
1 onion, finely chopped (so so sad, my Hubby hates onions, so I don't get to use them)
4 cloves finely chopped garlic
1 1/3 cups BBQ sauce
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
Hot pepper sauce
6 kaiser or french rolls, split
6 oz shredd monterey jack cheese

Season chicken with s&p and place in heavy pot with the onion, garlic and about 1 1/2 cups of water. Add the BBQ sauce, vinegar and a few drops of the hot sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through - about 15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the sauce and shred with two forks.
Boil the sauce, skimming occasionally, until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add shredded chicken to the sauce and heat through. Spoon mixture onto the rolls and top with cheese.

Super Easy Black Bean Soup

When fall and winter come, I like nothing more than whipping up a batch of soup for dinner and just having the warmth of comfort food in every bite. Yum. I LOVE soup. I especially love this recipe for Black Bean Soup - basically because it's SO easy! I have yet to find out how it freezes - I have a container of it in my freezer, but haven't tried thawing it out yet. Typically, I serve this with either corn muffins or crushed tortilla chips.

1 cup jarred fresh tomato salsa
2 15.5 oz cans of black beans, drained & rinsed
2 cups chicken broth (this is about one can - I tend to use the low sodium version)
Sour cream for garnish - optional

Heat salsa in a large sauce pan over medium heat, stirring frequently for about five minutes. Stir in the beans and the broth, then heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool slightly, then spoon half of the soup into a blender and puree {NOTE: Since the soup will be steaming, do NOT put the lid on tightly, vent it a tiny bit or the pressure will make the top pop off the blender and soup fly anywhere... not that I know that from personal experience or anything.} Return the pureed soup to saucepan and heat thru. Serve with sour cream and additional salsa, if desired.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Homemade McMuffins

My family loves McDonald's but I decided to make it at home instead. Cheaper. This recipe is to make one.

1 English muffin (toasted)
1 t butter/margarine
1 slice of Canadian bacon or we make ground sausage patties
1 egg
1 slice American cheese

I set my burner on medium and spray Pam in a non-stick frying pan. I got these for my birthday last year from the kids. See picture below:

I spray these (egg rings) with Pam as well. Cook egg until done. On side of pan I heat the slice of Canadian Bacon. During this time I toast my muffin and butter it, putting the cheese on it to melt then Canadian Bacon or Sausage and egg.

Ranch Bacon Chicken

Ok I just created this tonight. I didn't have a recipe but threw it together and it worked. Kids and hubby absolutely loved it.

Bake 375
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 40-45 minutes
Serves 4

1 c finely ground bread crumbs
3 T of ranch dressing mix
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3-5 T crumbled bacon

In shallow bowl or plate, mix ranch dressing mix and bread crumbs. Wet chicken with water on both sides. Dredge chicken through crumb mixture. Place in 13x9 non stick pan (or any non-stick pan) Sprinkle bacon over chicken and place in oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Chicken comes out tender and juicy.

Since is the first time creating this I don't know about freezing, but I couldn't imagine it hurting since you are using water to wet the chicken vs. egg or milk.

FarmWife's Chicken Pie

1 cooked chicken or 4 cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 Family size can of Veg-All Original Mixed Vegtables, drained (or two small cans)
1 small can cream of chicken soup (I use 98% fat free)
1 small can cream of celery soup (again, 98% fat free)
1/2 C. milk
salt & pepper to taste
2 boxes Jiffy Cornbread Mix prepared according to directions

Shred chicken & combine with soups, milk, salt & pepper, and Veg-All in medium sized bowl. Spoon mix into 9x13 baking dish and top with cornbread mix. Bake at 425 for approx. 30 minutes or until cornbread is baked through and golden brown.

**Notes: I realize this is not a traditional pot pie (my kids shortened it to 'chicken pie'), but we love the cornbread topping. In the original recipe it says to ONLY use Jiffy or Martha White cornbread mix. I've never tried it with anything else.

**When ever a recipe calls for cooked chicken, I put a whole chicken in the crock-pot with enough water to cover the night before and cook it on low all night. The next day I pull the meat off the bone and use it in place of chicken breast. I think it gives a slightly richer flavor, and is much cheaper.

In fact, I'm getting ready to put this in my oven now.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Taco Soup

First of all I love this site. Very good for the beginner or expert cooker.

I don't know how to add it to the side, but it looks good! I love the pics.

Taco Soup

1lbs of Ground beef
2 medium Onions chopped
2 Cans of Tomatos- One Rotel and one plain- I use my homemade salsa sometimes for this.
1 can of Corn
1 can Hominy
2 Can of Chili beans
1 pkg of Taco Seasoning
1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch Buttermilk Dressing Mix
Tomato juice

Brown Meat and onion, drain off any grease, add to a big pot. I usually put the taco and Ranch packets in first. Add all other ingedients and do not drain the corn, hominy, chili beans or tomatos. Add as much tomoto juice as you like. We like it soupy here. Bring to a boil and serve.

Depending on how spicy you like things you can use more rotel to make it spicy. It is suitable for kids at the current receipe. When I use my homemade salsa it is spicy.

Serve with Fritos, Doritos, and shredded cheese.

Casserole Freezing Tips

I was thinking about our various situations, and the things we all may be doing, and thought this might help some of you, if you're not already doing it!

Again, from the mouth of my mother!

We would always take out all of our 13x9 pans, line them plastic cling wrap, and then with enough foil to be able to fold over and seal(or just with foil, your call), then make a multiple batch (depending on how many pans you have - we had 4), and split the ingredients equally among the pans. Once they were full, we'd fold over the foil and seal, then write on it what it was, and the cooking instructions, and put all the extras into the freezer. After they were frozen ( 8 - 12 hours ), we'd simply turn over the pan, and have a 13x9 casserole all wrapped up, ready to be cooked at a later date! This would then free up the pan for use another time, or to do another batch of a different casserole!

You can now get the 2 gallon and bigger zip top plastic bags, which provide an even better and longer lasting protection. You can simply slip your frozen, foil covered casserole into the bag, write on the bag, and stand or stack them up.

When you're ready to use, simply take the frozen casserole out, pop it into the pan still in the foil, and bake according to your directions! The greatest part in my mind??? The easy clean up after dinner that night! The foil means the pan may just need to be rinsed out, not scrubbed!

Chicken Noodle Casserole

This is a recipe my mom stumbled over in a magazine ages ago, that we've morphed according to our own family's appetites and time commitments. It doesn't need much in the way of side dishes, unless you want a salad, or some applesauce. It can be frozen before baking, and makes great leftovers for lunch or dinner, as long as you can reheat it!

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Serves: 4 or more


8 oz egg noodles
2 C cooked, shredded chicken*
1 medium onion, diced
1 16 oz bag frozen mixed veggies (peas, carrots, green beans is a good mix)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 C shredded cheese
1 C bread crumbs

Pre-Heat oven to 350. In a large pot, cook noodles, drain. While the water is coming to a boil for the noodles, and they're cooking, in a large bowl, mix together ingredients 2 - 6 and set aside. After the noodles are drained, mix those into the bowl. Gracefully dump the contents of your bowl into a 13 x 9 casserole, cover with foil, and pop into the oven for 45 minutes. After 40 minutes or so, melt a couple TBSP of butter, and mix into the bread crumbs. (They should be somewhat moist, so they will sort of clump together.) Remove the foil from the casserole, sprinkle the bread crumbs over top, and put back into the oven UNCOVERED for 15 minutes, or until the bread crumbs are golden.

* the chicken can be replaced with the canned corned beef, or drained tuna. I've never used ground beef or stew meat, but would probably change the celery soup for mushroom if I were to use beef.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Sandwich Thing

This is not an actual recipe, just something we do in our house...

We don't have a fancy-schmancy panini maker - but who doesn't love a hot sandwich with melty cheese?! Sometimes, it doesn't get much more fun that a cool looking grilled cheese made in the waffle maker, or a hot turkey and cheese that we've faux-panini'd on the Foreman grill.

Typically, I buy crusty rolls or bread (depending on what floats your boat - I love most bread, pretty much - but am partial to French and sourdough), pick the cheese that floats your boat (Hubby loves provolone, me - not so much), and the meat...

It's super fast. Super easy. And yummy.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Baked Hot Wings

This is what we are having tonight. It is very yummy and customizable.

This recipe is best made fresh, but you can use frozen chicken as long as you defrost it first.

1 to 2 pounds chicken wings (I prefer to buy the drumettes)
1/2 cup Louisiana hot sauce
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
Garlic powder to taste
Salt/Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375
Put wings, hot sauce, vinegar, and spices in a large zip-lock bag.
Seal bag and shake it gently to coat wings.
Let marinate for at least 20 minutes (the longer they marinate, the better, though).
Line a baking sheet with heavy-duty foil.
Arrange wings in a single layer on the baking sheet.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until juices run clear.

This is a fast, easy go-to main dish that is fun to eat and a variation from the standard baked chicken.

Company Carrots

My friend, Kathryn, made this for one of her "get Sara married off" dinners. While the eligible bachelor didn't prove to be a success, this side dish was indeed a delicious success. I've made it many times. I don't imagine it would freeze well, but it does reheat very well in the oven on an oven-safe plate covered with foil.

Time: 10-15 minutes prep, 45 minutes baking
Serves: 4-6 adults
Degree of Difficulty: Easy

4-5 large carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/2"x1" matchsticks
1/3 cup real mayonnaise
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
salt and pepper
coarse wheat or spelt bread crumbs*

1. Preheat oven to 350. Heat a medium sized pot about half full of water on the stove to almost boiling. Peel and cut up carrots according to above description. Put carrot pieces in water and let cook for about five minutes.

2. Meanwhile, chop up your onion and place in a small mixing bowl with mayonnaise. Drain carrots and add them to onion mixture. Stir well, and add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Smooth mixture into an ungreased 5.25"x9" glass baking dish. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top. (I use a generous amount, making a 1/4" covering over all.) Drop small pats of butter randomly across the top.

4. Cover with foil. Bake in 350 oven for 30 minutes covered, and 15 more minutes uncovered. Remove, let cool a minute or two, and then serve. Goes great with any roast meat dish, mashed potatoes, and a green vegetable.

*I make my own bread crumbs with leftover pieces of my bread. I simply slice the bread, put several slices on a cookie sheet and stick it in a 350 oven for about five minutes each side. I turn it once. Then I break it up into pieces, toss it in my food processor with the regular blade, and pulse until the crumbs are fairly smooth and uniform. I store it in a ziploc freezer bag in our freezer, and always have some handy for any recipe. This is a great way to use the last of the bread if it's a bit stale or if you just want to make a fresh batch (or if you have kiddos who refuse to eat the heels).

Friday, September 28, 2007

Enchilada Casserole

Prep Time : approx 30 minutes
Cook Time : 30 minutes

Serves : 4 and up depending on your family's appetite


1 package of your favorite flour tortillas
1 pound of Colby, Cheddar, or a Cheddar/Jack blend, shredded
1 can Old El Paso Enchilada sauce (your heat choice)
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can Cream of Mushroom or Celery Soup
1 C milk
onion (fresh, powder, or minced all work the same)
1 pound ground beef*


In a skillet, brown ground beef, adding salt, pepper and onion to your taste. Drain and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the soups, milk, and enchilada sauce.

In a 13 x 9 baking pan, spread a small amount of the sauce mixture. Add one layer of tortillas, to cover the bottom of the pan ( I use 1 whole, and 2 halves to cover more of the pan, with the broken edges at the 9 inch edge, with the whole one in the middle). Spread half of the ground beef on the tortillas, cover with 1/3 to 1/2 of the cheese, saving about 1/2 cup or so for the very top. Spread with sauce mixture, covering the entire layer well. Repeat with another layer. For the third layer, simply spread with sauce mixture, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

I serve with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced olives, sour cream, salsa.

I've never tried freezing this because of the milk and the cream soups, but it does store in the fridge and tastes better as leftovers... :)

* you can substitute cooked, shredded chicken

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Feta Burgers

Servings: 8


8 servings Hamburger Buns
2 pound 85% lean/15% fat raw ground beef
2 Tbsp fresh oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup Athenos Reduced Fat Feta
8 oz mushroom(s)


Combine ground beef, oregano, garlic, feta and mushrooms and form hamburger patties. Grill or Broil.

My Family absolutely loves these. I serve them on whole wheat hamburger buns with a bit of mayo.

All American Burgers

This is what I made for dinner tonight. They were really good, almost too moist for the grill.

All American Burgers
Perfect for year round grilling, this easy recipe honors the classic burger with delicious, mouthwatering flavor.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Makes 4 servings.

1 pound lean ground beef
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon McCormick® Grill Mates® Hamburger Seasoning
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
4 slices Cheddar or American cheese (optional)
4 hamburger rolls
8 slices cooked bacon (optional)

1. Mix ground beef, ketchup, Hamburger Seasoning and Worcestershire sauce in bowl. Shape into 4 patties.
2. Grill over medium heat 4 to 6 minutes per side or until burgers are cooked through (internal temperature of 160°F). Add cheese slices to burgers 1 minute before cooking is completed. Toast rolls on the grill, open-side down, about 30 seconds.
3. Serve burgers with bacon slices on toasted rolls. Garnish with desired toppings and condiments.

I added liquid smoke, maybe a teaspoon. I also used Colby Jack cheese instead and I used a steak seasoning I had on hand.

One-Pan Whiskey Chops

This is a fav at our house. If you don't want to add the whiskey you can use apple juice instead. The alcohol does burn off while you are cooking it though.

One-Pan Whiskey-Flavored Pork Chops

2/3 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 (6-ounce) bone-in center-cut pork chops, trimmed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
1/2 cup whiskey
Preheat oven to 300°.
Combine the first 6 ingredients in a small bowl.
Sprinkle pork with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork; sauté 5 minutes on each side or until golden. Remove pork from pan. Add onion and mushrooms to pan; sauté for 3 minutes. Carefully add whiskey to pan; cook for 1 minute or until liquid almost evaporates. Stir sour cream mixture into pan. Return pork to pan; spoon sauce over pork. Wrap handle of skillet with foil. Cover and bake at 300° for 1 hour. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 pork chop and about 1/3 cup sauce)CALORIES 310 (28% from fat); FAT 9.6g (sat 3g,mono 4.5g,poly 1.1g); PROTEIN 29.5g; CHOLESTEROL 71mg; CALCIUM 16mg; SODIUM 546mg; FIBER 1.3g; IRON 2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 24.3g

Fresh or frozen & a few other questions

Qm suggested (and I agree) that we tell if our recipes can be frozen or if the must be made fresh. It might be good to put that on a lable for your posts.

Also, if you have a web site you frequent for cooking tips, let me know and I can add a link list to our side bar.

Happy cooking!

Brownie Cookies

Yummy cocoa cookies are really not too bad for you - are soft and brownie-like... and for fun, you can add chunks of candy (This is a great way to use up leftover Halloween candy! I've made these with M&Ms, Snickers, and Butterfinger).

1 c all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
4 tbsp butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour & baking soda in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, cocoa, egg and vanilla until well blended. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop heaping teaspoonsful of dough 1.5 inches apart onto a cookie sheet lightly greased with cooking spray. Bake 12 minutes, then cool for 4 minutes before removing cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.


Easy Ginger Chicken

Prep Time : 30 minutes
Serves 4

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
4 teaspoons soy sauce (low sodium, if available)
1 tablespoon gingerroot, grated (*or less)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (or rice vinegar)

Put all ingredients in a large zipper-topped plastic bag and place in the fridge; mush it around periodically. It should marinate a couple of hours, at least.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dump the whole bag (not the bag though) into an 8-inch square baking dish; cook chicken till done, about 20 minutes or so, depending on size and thickness of chicken pieces.

*Very gingery. If you don't like too much ginger, feel free to decrease the amount.

Low Carb SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Serve with Asian Coleslaw (using coleslaw mix from the produce department, add mayo and rice vinegar to taste-a ratio of about 3:1 and a touch of chopped cilantro, if you like) and steamed broccoli.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Add angel hair pasta tossed with toasted sesame oil and garnished with sesame seeds.


Prep Time : 30 minutes
Cook Time : 2 hours or more to your taste
Serves : this was a double batch for our family of 7, but you'll know how much your family cut in half or double as you need!

2 lbs Ground beef, browned and drained
Onion Powder
Gebhardt's Chili Powder (available at my Safeway)
2 31 oz cans Kuner's Chili Beans (your choice on heat level)
2 30 oz cans of Tomato Puree
2 4 oz cans Tomato Paste

In a large stockpot, combine the Puree and Paste adding one can of water for each can of tomato product. Add beans, with juice, and beef. Add anywhere from 2 - 6 Tbsp of the chili powder (according to your heat level). Add salt, pepper and onion powder to taste (I add anywhere from 1-2 Tbsp each depending on my mood). Bring it to a boil, turn it down and let it simmer for at least one hour. The longer this chili cooks, the better it fact, it tastes even better the next day!!!

Serving Suggestions:
Simply enjoy with your favorite chili fixin's


Prep Time: 50 Min.
Bake Time: 40 min
Oven Temp: 375
Serves: 12

4-5 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
2-10 oz cans of your favorite enchilada sauce (I use ole el paso mild)
4 cups of shredded Mexican cheese, or cheddar
1 package of flour tortillas

Boil Boneless, Skinless Chicken breasts until done. Wait till cooled and then shred chicken to small shredded pieces.

Take shredded chicken, 1 can of enchilada sauce and 1/2 of the cheese and mix together.

Spoon mixture onto flour tortillas and roll tortillas into a burrito. (Do not close ends off) Place into a 13x9 greased pan (I spray mine with pam). If any mixture is remaining I put mine over the top of the enchiladas. Open 2nd can of enchilada sauce and drizzle over the top. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top. Place aluminum foil over top of pan and bake in a 375 oven for 35 minutes. Remove Foil and bake an additional 5 minutes. Remove and let stand.

I serve with refried beans or Spanish rice, sour cream, and salsa. Family really loves this one and I taught Farm Fairy how to make this one for Bruno. It's now one of their favorite dishes.

You can substitute chicken for ground beef if you want for something different. (I've made it both ways.)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Picadillo Egg Rolls

Servings: 8 Preparation Time: 20 min Cooking Time: 25 min Level of Difficulty: Easy

Packed with the wonderful flavors of cumin, almonds, tomatoes and raisins, these beefy egg rolls make great Mexican tapas. Serve them with mango or peach salsa for full effect.


3 sprays cooking spray
1 medium shallot(s), minced
1 small garlic clove(s), minced
1/2 pound uncooked lean ground beef (with 7% fat)
1 medium tomato(es), diced and drained (about 1/2 cup)
4 tsp canned tomato paste
2 Tbsp raisins
2 Tbsp slivered almonds
1/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cumin
8 egg roll wrapper(s)
1/2 cup salsa


Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Add shallot and garlic and cook over medium heat for 30 seconds; add beef to skillet. Brown beef, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon to break beef into small pieces, about 5 minutes; drain off all liquid. Stir in tomato, tomato paste, raisins, almonds, salt, pepper, cinnamon and cumin; simmer for 3 minutes to blend flavors.

Place an egg roll wrapper on a flat work surface with the corners set vertically (pointing up and down like a diamond shape). Arrange 3 slightly rounded tablespoons of filling down the center of wrapper, leaving 1/2 inch at the bottom and top.

Fold the bottom of the wrapper to the center, over the filling. Gently, but firmly, fold the left side of the wrapper to the center and then fold in the right side. Fold the top of the wrapper down to cover filling and seal any loose ends with water; repeat with remaining ingredients.

Place filled wrappers on prepared baking sheet; lightly spray surface of wrappers with cooking spray. Bake until wrappers are golden brown, flipping once, about 16 minutes. Yields 1 roll and about 1 tablespoon of salsa per serving

I make this for the hubby and kids, they like dipping it in sourcream and salsa. I serve this with tortilla chips and spanish rice sometimes refried beans.

Mustard-Dill Chicken in Foil Packs

Servings: 4Preparation Time: 8 minCooking Time: 25 minLevel of Difficulty: Easy

Cooking this dish in foil helps steam the chicken so it stays moist. Not a fan of dill? Try another spice, such as curry or hot paprika.

1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 Tbsp dried dill weed
1 pound uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, four 4 oz pieces


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine mustard, yogurt, garlic salt and dill in a small bowl; thoroughly coat chicken with mustard sauce.

Tear off 4 sheets of aluminum foil that are large enough to wrap each chicken breast individually. Place a prepared chicken breast on each piece of foil; gather foil loosely around chicken and fold over to seal.

Place foil packs on a nonstick baking sheet; bake for 20 minutes. Using oven mitts and keeping your face away from steam, open foil. Broil chicken on foil until lightly browned and cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes more. Yields 1 piece of chicken per serving.

Freezing and thawing instructions: If freezing, bake chicken for 20 minutes only. When foil packs are cool to the touch, place in plastic freezer bags and freeze. When ready to use, thaw chicken in the refrigerator, remove foil and cook at 350°F until chicken is golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes.

I've made this many times and it is requested from the kids. Our local Farm Fairy even has given this rave reviews. I serve this with mashed potatoes, and green beans.

Welcome to the Farm Kitchen

In the past I've posted recipes on my other blog and borrowed recipes from other blogs. I thought it would be nice to have a central location to share what we're cooking up. If you're intrested in joining us, please leave a comment. The more the merrier!

To start the party I thought I'd share our favorite summery drink while it's still warm enough to enjoy it.

Fruit Tea

3 Cans Pineapple Juice
4 Gallons Tea
1 Cup Lemon Juice
2 Quarts Hot Water
11 Cups Sugar (yes, you read that correctly. Eleven cups of sugar. This is a Southern thing)

Dissolve sugar in hot water. Combine all ingredients in a 5 gallon drink cooler & serve over ice (do not add ice to the cooler as it will water it down too much).

If you're not trying to hydrate a small country, you can cut this way down. I tend to use one can pineapple juice, 3 Tbsp. lemon juice, and enough sweet tea (1 cup sugar to 2 quarts tea) to top off a gallon jug. The pineapple flavor is stronger, but we still like it.