Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Baked Ziti

This is a family favorite during the holidays. Mom also likes it because it feeds a crowd!

1 lbs of dry ziti
1 onion chopped
1 lbs of lean ground beef
2 jars (26 oz each) of spaghetti sauce
6 oz of Provolone Cheese, sliced
1 1/2 cups Sour cream
6-8 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 T of grated Parmesan cheese

1. Boil pasta according to package directions. Drain.
2. In a skillet, brown onion, and ground beef over medium heat. Drain grease
3. Add spaghetti sauce and summer 15 to 20 minutes
4. Layer in a greased 9x 13 dish; half the ziti, provolone, sour cream, 1/2 sauce mixture, remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese, and remaining sauce.
5. Top with Parmesan cheese.
6. Bake at 350 degrees uncovered 30 to 40 minutes.

Let set 5 minutes before serving.

Make 8 to 12 servings

Monday, December 20, 2010

Birthday Bash 2011

Well, today the girls will have their 6th and 8th Birthdays. It is hard to believe that they are getting that big. As we do every year, we will have a birthday party with the family for them. I thought this was the year I was going to order pizza and be done with it, but the other night Clay asked them what they wanted for their birthday dinner. When they made their request, it seemed reasonable. So, here is this year's menu. I'll have to post a picture of the cake later.

Grilled Chicken Breast (marinated in Italian Dressing) and BBQ Chicken Legs

Crock-pot Mac and Cheese

Green Beans

Rudolph Cake

Lazy Lasagna

This recipe is one we tried at the last cooking class. The girls loved it! It was super easy, and meatless. It will be put into the rotation at the Gordon house. It would also be a great freezer meal.

1 package of frozen spinach
1 small onion, chopped
1 (28 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
3 lbs of cheese ravioli
4 cups of mozzarella

Ready In: 1 Hour 20 Minutes Servings: 8
DIRECTIONS: 1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

2.Brown the onion in a skillet. Pour in spaghetti sauce and simmer 5 minutes.

3.In a 9x13 inch baking dish, spread enough sauce to cover bottom and put a layer of ravioli down end to end.

4.Spread a layer of sauce, spinach, and cheese just like you would with regular lasagna. Keep layering and finish with sauce on top.

5.Bake uncovered in a preheated oven for 1 hour. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Gift Ideas- Cookies

Snickerdoodle Mix in a Jar

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups sugar

Layer all ingredients in Jar Or vacuum seal bag.

Attach Tag:

Makes about 5 dozen cookies

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs
1 package Snickerdoodle Mix
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Cream butter/sugar, adding eggs. Add mix and blend till well mixed. Shape dough into 1" balls & roll in cinnamon & sugar. Bake 2" apart on ungreased baking sheets in 350F oven for 15-18 minutes.


M&M's Cookie Mix

1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup M&Ms® plain chocolate candies
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder

Combine all ingredients in Jar (in Layers) Or vacuum seal bag.

Attach Tag

1 Jar Mix
3/4 cup softened butter
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla;

Combine all in good size bowl & mix well. Drop by big spoonfuls on greased baking sheets & Bake in 350 F oven for 12-14 minutes.

Gift Ideas- Muffins

Apple Muffin Mix

2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup chopped dried apples

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Place the mix into an
airtight container. Makes 1 package.

To Use:

Apple Muffins
1 package Apple Muffin Mix
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 400 F and grease 12 muffin tins. Stir all ingredients
until they are just blended. Do not overmix. Spoon the batter into greased
muffin pans, filling 3/4 full. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden


3 Grain Muffin Mix

5 cups Whole Wheat Flour
2 cups Oat Bran or Quick Oats
5 cups Unbleached Flour
3 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Nutmeg
6 tsp. Baking Powder
2 tsp. Baking Soda

Blend Together and divide evenly into 4 pkgs.

Attach Tag:

3 cups Basic Muffin Mix
1/2 cup Oil
1/2 to 1 cup Sweetener (Honey, Maple Syrup, etc)
1 cup Fruit or Vegetable Puree (Pineapple, Apple, Carrot, Zucchini, Sweet Potato, Banana, Berries or Apple Sauce)
1/2 to 1 cup Milk
1 to 2 Egg(s)
1/2 to 1 cup Nuts, Raisins, Seeds or other Dried Fruit

Combine all ingredients. Do not overmix. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Gift Ideas- Drinks

Here are some more gift ideas for the holiday season. Here are two drink recipes that look great in a small container or mason jar. I remember my parents receiving the Friendship Tea mix as gifts growing up. I personally LOVED it!

Rich Cocoa Mix
1 cup milk powder
1 cup powdered coffee creamer
1 cup sugar
½ cup cocoa powder

Mix well and store in a labeled container.

To make cocoa, use about 1 tablespoon mix per 1/4 cup steaming hot water added, or up to 5 tablespoons per regular mug

Friendship Tea Mix
1 (18 ounce) jar Tang breakfast drink (orange flavor)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup presweetened lemonade mix (such as Countrytime )
1/2 cup instant tea
1 (3 ounce box ) apricot Jell-O
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves

Combine all ingredients in zip-lock or vacuum seal bag (or jar!), whatever container you prefer.

To Use: add 2-3 Heaping Teaspoons per cup of mug of Hot Water

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Gift Ideas

This year I am working in more of my gifts reflecting us and our values. One way I have found to do that is by making homemade foods/ mixes for friends and family. I work hard to make sure we eat most of our meals around the table together. I try to use whole ingredients, etc. Here are some recipes that I have tried and will be giving. One way you can prepare them is in a quart mason jar, but they way I have decided to prepare them is in a quart Ziploc bag. Then, I am putting each bag in a Christmas lunch sack with the recipe inside. Tie it off with a tag and you have a cute presentation. I will post a picture later.

Alphabet Country Soup Mix in a Jar
(one bag of beans will make 4 batches)

1/2 cup split green peas
1/2 cup barley
1/2 cup lentils
1/2 cup raw rice
2 tbsp. parsley
2 tbsp. onion flakes
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
2 tbsp. beef bouillon
1/4 cup alphabet noodles
Twist macaroni noodles

Layer peas, barley, lentils, and rice in 1 quart jar, pressing down after each layer. Then layer parsley, onion flakes, salt, lemon pepper and beef bouillon just around the edges, then also putting the alphabet noodles just around the edges of the jar (so the alphabet noodles can be seen by the gift receiver. Then fill the rest of the jar with macaroni, being sure to press down as much as possible.

Instructions for tag:
Empty contents of jar into a large pot, then add:
3 quarts water
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
1 cup shredded cabbage
2 cups of tomatoes
Simmer until vegetables are tender.

Potato Soup Mix in a Jar

Ingredients for Jar:
1 3/4 cups instant mashed potatoes
1 1/2 cups dry milk
2 tbsp instant chicken boullion
2 tsp dried minced onion
1 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp tumeric

Combine in bowl and add to quart jar, sealing tightly.

For Potato Soup place 1/2 cup of Potato soup mix in bowl, then add 1 cup of boiling water. Stir or whisk until smooth. Serve immediately.
Hearty Bean Soup Mix in a Jar
(each batch makes 8 bags of soup mix)
1 pound dried navy beans
1 pound dried pinto beans
1 pound dried Great Northern beans
1 pound split peas
1 pound yellow split peas
1 pound dried black-eyed peas
1 pound lentils
1 pound pearl barley
1 pound dried red beans

In a very large container, combine navy beans, pinto beans, great Northern beans, split peas, yellow split peas, black-eyed peas, lentils, barley and red beans; mix well.

Divide evenly into 8 jars, pressing down on mix and secure lid.

Attach recipe to jars for gift giving.

Hearty Bean Soup Mix:
2 quarts water
1 ham hock
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced

Soak 2 cups Hearty Bean Soup Mix in enough water to cover, for 8 hours or overnight.
In a large soup or stock pot, bring 2 quarts water and ham hock to a boil. Reduce heat then simmer for 20 minutes. Remove ham hock. Add soaked beans, salt, pepper, diced tomatoes and green chiles, onion and garlic. Bring to a boil again, skimming foam off the top. Reduce heat, cover and simmer hearty bean soup for about 1 hour, until beans are tender.

Red Beans and Rice Mix

1 T. dried bell pepper flakes
1 T. dried minced onion
1/2 t. dried minced garlic
2 t. seasoned salt
1 bay leaf
1 t. sugar
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1/2 t. celery seed
1 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. crushed red pepper

Red Beans and Rice Mix
2 C. dried red beans
1 C. uncooked long grain white rice

In a small bowl, combine seasoning ingredients. Place in a small, sealable plastic bag or container. Fill a pint canning jar with red beans. Fill a sealable plastic bag with rice.

Recipe to attach:
Red Beans and Rice Mix
2 C. red beans (included)
1 ham bone
Seasoning mixture (included)
1 C. uncooked rice (included)
2 C. water
1 t. salt
1 pound spicy smoked sausage, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

Wash beans. Place in a Dutch oven; cover with water and soak overnight. The following day, add ham bone and seasoning mixture. If necessary, add additional water to cover the beans. Cook, partially covered, over medium-low heat 3 to 4 hours.

Barefoot Contessa's Roasted Turkey Roulade

Every year we fry a turkey for Thanksgiving, and then we bake a turkey breast. A couple of weeks ago, I was watching the Barefoot Contessa's show and I saw her make this recipe. It was a recipe that I knew I had to try as as soon as I saw it! It was heavenly. It was also very easy. You could easily make the dressing without stuffing the turkey breast. This is a recipe that I will be doing again.

3/4 cup large-diced dried figs, stems removed
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup Calvados or brandy
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups diced onions (2 onions)
1 cup (1/2-inch-diced) celery (3 stalks)
3/4 pound pork sausage, casings removed (sweet and hot mixed)
1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
3 cups Pepperidge Farm herb-seasoned stuffing mix
1-1/2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 extra-large egg, beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 whole (2 halves) turkey breast, boned and butterflied (5 pounds)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Place the dried figs and cranberries in a small saucepan and pour in the Calvados and 1/2 cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage, crumbling it into small bits with a fork, and sauté, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes, until cooked and browned. Add the figs and cranberries with the liquid, the chopped rosemary, and pine nuts, and cook for 2 more minutes. Scrape up the brown bits with a wooden spoon.

Place the stuffing mix in a large bowl. Add the sausage mixture, chicken stock, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and stir well. (The stuffing may be prepared ahead and stored in the refrigerator overnight.)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place a baking rack on a sheet pan.

Lay the butterflied turkey breast skin side down on a cutting board. Sprinkle the meat with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Spread the stuffing in a 1/2-inch-thick layer over the meat, leaving a half-inch border on all sides. Don’t mound the stuffing or the turkey will be difficult to roll. (Place the leftover stuffing in a buttered gratin dish and bake for the last 45 minutes of roasting alongside the turkey.) Starting at one end, roll the turkey like a jelly roll and tuck in any stuffing that tries to escape on the sides. Tie the roast firmly with kitchen twine every 2 inches to make a compact cylinder.

Place the stuffed turkey breast seam side down on the rack on the sheet pan. Brush with the melted butter, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and roast for 1-3/4 to 2 hours, until a thermometer reads 150 degrees in the center. (I test in a few places.) Cover the turkey with aluminum foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Carve 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve warm with the extra stuffing.

Roasted Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes

This was my Thanksgiving sweet potato side this year. The taste of the roasted potatoes gave a nice contrast to the other sides more traditional to Thanksgiving. It would be a great side dish to pork tenderloin or grilled chicken.

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup orange juice
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, toss together sweet potatoes, parsnips, bay leaf, oil and salt and pepper and then transfer to a large roasting pan. Roast, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden brown, about 1 hour; discard bay leaf. Meanwhile, whisk together juice, honey and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced and thickened, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in pecans and set aside.

Transfer vegetables to a platter, drizzle honey-pecan mixture over the top, garnish with parsley and serve. Add salt as needed.

Spicy Chicken Tomato Soup

At work a couple weeks ago, the operators asked me to eat some soup that they had made. In fact I tried to come home and duplicate it. It's not quite the same, but it's a good start. Here's the basis that I used, but this is one you can very creative with.

Serves 8.

  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) Chicken Broth
  • 3 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 2 cups (or more) assorted vegetables (I used frozen green beans, frozen corn, fresh carrots, fresh potatoes)
  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) tomato puree
  • 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Directions
  • In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the first 13 ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. (I had to cook longer to get the carrots and potatoes soft enough)

Sliced Barbecue Pork Tenderloin

I also made BBQ Pork Tenderloin for the Ark/LSU football game. This was very easy and the flavor was good. I had buns out so that people could make sandwiches, but everyone just ate the meat alone. You could do either.

This is a recipe to serve 4, I doubled it.

BBQ Sauce--

  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, (optional)

  • Whisk together all ingredients.

    Pork Tenderloin--
  • BBQ Sauce (recipe above)
  • 2 pork tenderloins, 12 to 16 ounces each
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

  • Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Divide Quick BBQ Sauce between two bowls. Use one for basting the raw meat; reserve the other for serving with sandwiches.
  • Place pork on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Brush generously with sauce. Roast, basting occasionally with sauce, until an instant-read thermometer registers 150 degrees, 18 to 25 minutes.
  • Thinly slice pork; serve on rolls, accompanied reserved sauce.
  • Oven Baked Beans

    • I made these for a get together we had over the weekend for the Arkansas vs LSU football game. I got lots of compliments on the flavor of these. I will definitely be making these again!

    Serves 8

    • 8 bacon strips, diced
    • 1/2 large onion, chopped
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup ketchup
    • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 2 teaspoons prepared mustard
    • 4 (15 ounce) cans pork and beans (I used Bush's Original)

    1. In a skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels to drain. Saute onion in drippings until tender; drain. Stir in the brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and mustard until blended. Stir in pork and beans; heat through.
    2. Transfer to a greased 3-cup baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until bubbly and mixture reaches desired thickness.

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    THANKSGIVING !?!?!?!

    Well, I can't believe it! Two weeks from today we celebrate Thanksgiving. We will celebrate twice this year. Once with Clay's family, and then with my family on Saturday. I haven't decided what to serve at the meal for my family, or what to make for Clay's family's Thanksgiving. so, I have a question for everyone? What must you have at the thanksgiving table. For me, turkey and dressing are a must! However, after that I am okay with switching things up. What will you be serving this year?

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    Mexican Pizzas

    8 (6 inch) Flour Tortillas, cooked into crispy tortillas
    1 cup refried beans, prepared
    1 pound ground beef, chuck, raw
    1 package of Taco Seasoning
    salt to taste
    pepper to taste
    4 tablespoons salsa
    1 cup Mexican Cheese Blend, grated, prepared
    1/2 cup Roma tomato, fresh, small chop
    4 teaspoons cilantro, fresh, rough chopped

    1.To make Crispy Tortillas: Place all 8 tortillas directly on the oven rack of a 350 degrees F oven and bake for 4-5 minutes. Remove from the oven and reserve on your work surface.
    2.Heat the 1 cup of refried beans for 1 minute in the microwave to get hot and reserve for the recipe build.
    3.Season the ground beef with salt and pepper and saute for 8 minutes in a non-stick pan, drain, mix in taco seasoning, and reserve hot for the recipe build.
    4.To build 1 Mexican Pizza: Place 1 crisp tortilla on work surface.
    5.Evenly spread tortilla with 1/4 cup hot refried beans.
    6.Evenly top refried beans with 1/4 of the cooked ground beef.
    7.Top ground beef with second crisp tortilla and evenly spread 1 heaping tablespoon of salsa over the tortilla.
    8.Evenly top the pizza sauce with 1/4 cup grated Mexican cheese blend and 2 tablespoons chopped tomatoes.
    9.Repeat steps 1 through 5 for remaining 3 servings.
    10.Place all 4 pizzas, at one time, in 350 degrees F oven on a cookie pan/flat pan, and bake for 2 minutes to melt the cheese. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro evenly over the top of each pizza. Serve each pizza whole.

    Friday, October 29, 2010

    All Day Vegetable Soup

    I got a call at work this morning that Hannah was running fever. So after hastily making sub plans, I picked her up at school. I found I had the whole day at home. I decided to make my mom's all day vegetable soup. This is one of the recipes that reminds me of childhood. It is total comfort food. This is the first time I have attempted the soup, because it is one I have been too scared to try myself. I still don't know if it will taste the same, but I am glad to report it is looking the same. When mom gave the me recipe, I learned that she got it from her mom, who learned it from her mom. So it is a four generation soup, from as much as I can gather. This is a soup that you start in the morning and let cook all day. I will tell you- it is worth it!

    1 big stew pot
    2 lbs of stew meat
    1 onion
    2 28 oz cans of diced tomatoes
    5 small cans of tomato sauce
    4-5 potatoes, bite-size
    1 bag of frozen vegetables
    1 cup of uncooked noodles


    1. Fill a stew pot about 3/4 full of water. Put in onion, meat, and lightly salt. Cook uncovered on medium to low 1/2 a day, or until the pot has only 1/3 of the water left.

    2. Once meat, onion and water are cooked down, add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, potatoes, and frozen vegetables. Cover and simmer 2-3 hours.

    3. One hour before serving add 1 to 2 cups of macaroni. Soup will thicken as it simmers.

    Serve with warm bread.

    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    Foil Wrapped Veggies

    • 1 large sweet potato, thinly sliced
    • 1 Vidalia onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
    • 1/2 pound fresh green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
    • 1/2 teaspoon of Mrs. Dash seasoning
    • Dash of salt
    • Dash of olive oil

    1. Preheat grill for high heat.
    2. In a large bowl, combine the sweet potato, Vidalia onions, green beans, and seasoning. Stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper to coat.
    3. Using 2 to 3 layers of foil, create desired number of foil packets. Brush inside surfaces of packets liberally with remaining olive oil. Distribute vegetable mixture evenly among the packets. Seal tightly.
    4. Place packets on the preheated grill. Cook 30 minutes, turning once, or until potatoes are tender.
    Place in the oven at 425 degrees for 45 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

    Cooking Class 2

    Last weekend, I had the second cooking class at church. There were ten ladies, and one brave gentleman. We had a great time! The theme last week was homemade comfort food. So, here are recipes for this time:

    Homemade Meatloaf

    Homemade Chicken Nuggets

    Teryaki Meatballs with Pineapple

    Twice Baked Potato

    Foil Wrapped Veggies

    Monday, October 4, 2010

    Season of Soups

    Fall is here! I am trilled that we are coming on a cold season. It is the season of soups. To jump start the season, here are some our favorites to try this year.

    Potato Leek Soup

    Taco Soup

    Cream of Tomato Soup

    Meatball Dump Soup

    Short Rib Stew

    Home Made Soup Mix

    I love soups in the winter time. I find comfort and ease in cooking and eating them. This recipe I found this summer. I really like it. I really like the idea of the homemade soup mixes because I know what is going in to the mix. If you look at store bought soup mixes, they are filled with sodium and preservatives. This- you mix, you store, you serve. The other reason I like it is because it is ready to go at a moment's notice.

    For this recipe you can purchase 1 bag of split peas, 1 bag of barley, 1 bag of lentils, and 1 bag of rice. One bag of ech can be purchased for less than $1.50 each. One bag can make four mixes. You make the mix listed below, and then you have four to pull out as needed.

    1/2 cup split green peas
    1/2 cup barley
    1/2 cup lentils
    1/2 cup raw rice
    2 tbsp. parsley
    2 tbsp. onion flakes
    2 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
    2 tbsp. beef bouillon
    1/4 cup noodles

    Mix all of the ingredients into a quart size bag. Keep dry until ready to use.

    Day of cooking:

    Empty contents of bag into a large pot, then add:
    3 quarts water
    2 stalks celery, chopped
    2 carrots, sliced
    1 cup shredded cabbage
    2 cups of tomatoes

    Simmer until vegetables are tender, 30 to 45 minutes.

    Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

    Comfort food. . . we all have the foods that bring comfort or remind us of childhood. This recipe reminds me of my grandmother, Liz Stauffer. I don't remember her making it often, but the smells (pungent as they are) remind me of her. The girls and I had a good laugh when we came in the door and house smelled of cabbage. They also really enjoyed the meal. I am so impressed with what they will try now. Anyway, here's to comfort food. :)

    4 large carrots, peeled and cut into matchstick pieces
    10 baby red potatoes, quartered
    1 onion, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
    4 cups water
    1 (4 pound) corned beef brisket with spice packet
    1/2 head cabbage, coarsely chopped

    Place the carrots, potatoes, cabbage, and onion into the bottom of a slow cooker, pour in the water, and place the brisket on top of the vegetables. Pour the beer over the brisket. Sprinkle on the spices from the packet, cover, and set the cooker on low.

    Cook the brisket for about 8 hours.

    Sunday, September 26, 2010

    Vegetarian Korma

    We love Indian food, and I love trying new vegetarian meals. This one fit the bill for both. The whole family really enjoyed it. Using the curry powder is cheating a bit, but it made it a quick meal. I left out the cashews for our house, but I would recommend adding them for the crunch. This will be added to our Indian and vegetarian recipes.

    1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 small onion, diced
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    2 potatoes, cubed
    4 carrots, cubed
    1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced
    3 tablespoons ground unsalted cashews
    1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
    2 teaspoons salt
    1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
    1 cup frozen green peas
    1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
    1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
    1 can of Lite Coconut Milk
    1 bunch fresh cilantro for garnish

    1. Boil potatoes and carrots in water until tender.
    2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and cook until tender. Mix in ginger and garlic, and continue cooking 1 minute. Mix potatoes, carrots, jalapeno, cashews, and tomato sauce. Season with salt and curry powder. Cook and stir 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
    3. Stir peas, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, and cream into the skillet. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Garnish with cilantro to serve.
    Serve over rice and a side of bread.

    Saturday, September 25, 2010

    Dinner Party Serving 14

    This weekend Mom was kind enough to serve a Birthday dinner in my honor. She served 14 people a lot of delicious food while being budget conscious. Here is the menu:

    Grilled Chicken Breast
    Asparagus Casserole (my fav)
    Mashed Potatoes
    Cooked Carrots
    Three Bean Salad
    Fruit Salad
    Chocolate Pie
    Banana Cream Pie

    Grilled Chicken Breast:
    -10 lbs Frozen Chicken Breast
    -Bottled Marinade of your choice
    Divide the frozen chicken breast, and put into 2 large Ziplock bags. Pour your favorite bottled marinade over the frozen chicken in each bag the day before cooking. Store in the refrigerator for about 1.5 days so the chicken has time to thaw. During that time turn the bags a couple times to keep the marinade over the chicken.

    Asparagus Casserole:
    This is a family favorite that we have at holidays, but it is good anytime.
    -2 cans all green asparagus (pieces are good)
    -6T butter
    -3T flour
    -1/2 cup bread crumbs
    -1 cup grated cheese
    -1 1/2 cup milk
    -Salt and pepper to taste
    -Hard boiled eggs (about 5)
    Brown butter in a skillet, do not burn, add flour and brown a little more. Add milk and half of the cheese - let boil until thick. Add the the liquid from the asparagus one can to the skillet mixture then bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Chop the asparagus (into 2-3 inch pieces) and mix well. Pour in a well buttered baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, sprinkle the rest of cheese on top and serve at once. Add hard boiled eggs prior to baking. This was made the day before the dinner and kept in the refrigerator until time to bake.

    Mashed Potatoes:
    -5-6 lbs Yukon Potatoes
    -1 stick butter
    -8-10 oz of sour cream
    -Salt and pepper to taste
    Cook potatoes in the microwave or on stove and drain the water. Add ingredients and use mixer (hand or stand mixer) and mix until smooth. These were made 3-4 hours before the party. They were then put into a buttered crock pot on warm. Cover with the lid and they will be ready to serve when you need them.

    Cooked Carrots:
    -2 lbs carrots
    Peel carrots and cut into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces. Put into salted water and cook on stove until tender. When tender, drain off water. Add butter to taste (about 4 tablespoons). Add a small amount of sugar (about 1/4 to 1/3 cup). This can be made ahead of time and kept in refrigerator to be heated up before dinner.

    Three Bean Salad:
    Bought a large jar of three bean salad at the supermarket. Poured in serving dish.

    Fruit Salad:

    French Bread:
    -2 loaves French Bread
    -Garlic Powder
    Cut in 1/2 length wise. Open and put melted butter onto entire length of both pieces. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Put pieces back together. Wrap in foil. Bake in 400 degree oven for 10-15 pieces. Cut loaf into pieces after it has been heated. (From Rachael Ray Show). The bread was prepared the day before and heated right before serving.

    We will add the dessert recipes another time.

    Thanks Mom! It was delicious!!

    Sunday, September 19, 2010

    Meal Planning September 19- 25

    Well, I am back to to planning. In fact, after a month off of my meticulous planning, I was able to sit down today and plan out the next month. I planned five nights a week for the next four weeks. There was a feeling of relief as I did it. I also plan to do one new recipe a week this month. It doesn't seem so daunting to do one a week.

    Sunday Night:
    Shredded chicken and black bean burritos with homemade salsa, topped with green onions, diced tomatoes, and black olives.

    Monday Night:
    Crockpot Roast Beef with new potatoes and carrots

    Tuesday Night: (Meatless)
    Egg and Cheese Frittata

    Wednesday Night:
    Chicken Pot Pie

    Thursday Night:
    Mexican Casserole

    Chicken Pot Pie- Sandra Lee Version

    Hannah was watching Money Saving Meals last weekend and saw this recipe. She then recorded the episode, so I could later watch and make her this meal. I was thrilled that she wants to help with the meal planning. It definitely helps to have them involved. They try more, too.

    I liked this recipe because it uses thyme, which has the same flavoring as my mom's recipe. I doubled it this week. It was very easy, and the house smelled wonderfully! I substituted the peas with green beans since that was what was in the freezer.

    • 1 box pie crust
    • 1 whole (4-pound) chicken , cut into parts
    • 5 cups water
    • Salt
    • 1 tablespoon canola oil
    • 1/2 medium onion, diced
    • 3 stalks celery, diced
    • 2 carrots , sliced
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
    • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
    • 1 cup frozen peas
    • 1 tablespoon milk

    Prepare the pie crust according to the package directions. Divide it into 4 equal portions, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
    Put the chicken breast in a medium pot and cover with 5 cups of water.
    Bring to a boil over medium heat and add salt, to taste. (Reserve the legs and thighs for the Round 2 Recipe Chicken Cacciatore.)

    Simmer until the chicken is completely cooked through, skimming any fat that rises to the surface, about 20 minutes. Remove chicken, to a cutting board and when cool enough to handle remove the meat and dice into 1/2-inch cubes. Reserve the broth the chicken was cooked in. (Set aside 1/2 cup for Round 2 Recipe Chicken Cacciatore.)

    In a medium pot heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, salt and pepper, to taste, and cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour, poultry seasoning, and thyme and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly pour in the reserved 4 1/2 cups of chicken broth, whisking to remove any lumps. Add the chicken and peas, bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. (Reserve 2 cups for Round 2 Recipe Chicken Noodle Casserole.)

    Divide the remaining mixture between 4 (14-ounce) ramekins. (Alternately, the pot pie can be made in 1 (9-inch) pie pan.)

    Roll out the 4 pieces of pie dough to 1/4-inch thick rounds. Brush the edges of the ramekins with milk. Cover each ramekin with a piece of dough and press around the edges to seal. Cut a steam vent in the top of each piece of dough and brush with milk. Arrange on a baking sheet and bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling, about 40 to 45 minutes.

    Sunday, September 12, 2010

    Cooking Class

    Hey everyone-

    I took a hiatus with the start of school. I have not gotten into the swing of things again with the start of school. I am patiently waiting for things to settle in, and it just hasn't happened yet. I started a new project today at church, too. I volunteered to teach a cooking class once a month. We ended up with 13 ladies, and one brave man. We made 7 different recipes tonight in a 2 1/2 hour time frame. It was chaotic and a hell of a lot of fun. Our theme tonight was "Take -Out Recipes" They were things we eat out, but are easy to make at home. Below are all the things we made tonight.

    Chinese Take-Out

    Chicken Fried Rice (1 serving)
    • 1 cup of fresh frozen peas, defrosted
    • 3 T of peanut oil
    • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
    • 1 T of minced garlic
    • 3 to 4 cups of cooked rice
    • 1 cup of cooked chicken, diced
    • 1/4 cup of cooking sherry or white wine
    • 2 T of soy sauce
    • 1 T of sesame oil
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1/4 cup of mince scallion (optional)
    1. Put 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. A minute later, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften and begin to brown, five to ten minutes later. Lower the heat if needed. Using a slotted spoon, take the onions out and transfer them into a bowl.
    2. Add the peas to the skillet for a minute or two, or until hot. Add them to the bowl.
    3. Put the remaining oil in the skillet, followed by the garlic. About 15 seconds later, begin to add the rice, a bit at at time, breaking up any clumps and tossing it with the oil.
    4. Return the onion and the peas to the rice. Add the wine and cook, stirring for about a minute. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil, and chicken, then taste and add salt and pepper.
    5. Turn off the heat, stir in the scallion, and serve.
    Baked Vegetarian Egg Rolls (3 servings)
    2 T of vegetable oil
    1 T of sugar
    3 T of Soy sauce
    2 T of white wine or cooking Sherry
    1 14 oz. block of firm tofu
    1/2 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1 cup shredded carrots
    1 bunch of green onions chopped
    16 oz of shredded cabbage
    1 package of egg roll wraps
    Heat vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add tofu and carrots; cook 5 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons soy sauce, cooking sherry and sugar, and pepper to taste. Then, stir in cabbage mixture and let reduce for 2 minutes. Cover and chill 15 minutes.
    Place 1 egg roll wrapper at a time onto work surface with 1 corner pointing toward you (wrapper should look like a diamond). Fold lower corner of egg roll wrapper over filling. Fold in corners.
    Moisten top corner of wrapper with water; roll up jelly-roll fashion. Repeat procedure with remaining wrappers, tofu filling, and water.
    Lightly coat egg rolls with cooking spray, and place, seam side down, on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Turn egg rolls over half way through cooking process.

    Pizza Take- Out

    Basic Pizza Dough Recipe (2 servings)
    • 1 package active dry yeast (2 teaspoons)
    • 1 cup warm water (105° to 115°, no more)
    • 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus a little for coating

    How to make pizza dough from scratch:
    1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Set aside and follow the instructions below for the method you choose.
    By hand: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the olive oil and yeast mixture into it. Stir until it begins to form a ball, then turn it out onto a clean, floured surface and knead for about 4 or 5 minutes.

    In a mixer: Using a dough hook, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the liquid ingredients and mix on low until the dough begins to clump around the dough hook. Remove and knead as above.
    Whichever method and pizza dough recipe you've chosen, your pizza dough should be a smooth, elastic ball.

    2. Lightly oil the ball and the inside of a large glass bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, cover, and let it rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour. For better crust, punch down the dough, reshape into a ball and let it rise again. You can refrigerate or freeze the dough at this point.

    3. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions, about 12 ounces each. Roll each portion into a ball, then, working on a lightly floured surface, stretch the dough and work it with your fingers or a rolling pin to form an 12- to 16-inch circle. (Let your guests prepare their own.) The outer edge of the circle should be a little thicker than the body, forming a rim. Add toppings.

    4. Transfer to a pizza pan or pizza stone. Bake in a 500° pre-heated oven until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted, 10 to 13 minutes, or perhaps a little longer if your oven does not reach 500°.
    Pizza Sauce (3)
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
    • 1 can of tomato paste
    • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
    • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • Up to 1 cup of water, depending on desired thickness
    1. In a large saucepan, saute garlic in oil until tender. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until sauce reaches desired thickness. Sauce may be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen, once cooled.


    Mexican Take-Out

    Salsa (2 servings)
    • 1 1/2 cans canned tomatoes with juice
    • 3 fresh jalapeno peppers, chopped
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 1 lime, juice of
    • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
    • 1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley
    • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    1. Mix ingredients together for a chunky salsa or blender for just a few seconds for chunky salsa or a bit longer for a smoother texture
    Tortilla Chips
    • Twelve 6-inch corn tortillas (preferably white)
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • Fine salt
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
    Brush both sides of the tortillas with the oil. Stack the tortillas and cut the pile into sixths to make chips. Spread the chips out in a single layer on two large baking sheets and season with salt. Bake until golden brown and crisp, rotating the baking sheets once, about 12 to 15 minutes. Serve.


    Top It Off with Dessert

    Mini Apple Turnovers
    If you are looking for a smaller alternative of a great apple pastry either for a small snack, for finger food or to make for your children one snack that won't disappoint are Mini Apple Turnovers. Mini Apple Turnovers are made similar to traditional turnovers, except they are about half the size. Great for almost any time of the day, these mini treats are easy to make.

    1 large pastry sheet
    2 large apples, Red Delicious, Granny Smith, etc
    2 tablespoons of sugar
    1 teaspoon of cinnamon
    Optional toppings, limited only by your imagination: powdered sugar, walnuts, chocolate syrup
    Lay out large pastry sheet and slice into 8 equal sized sections. Slice the two apples into thin slices in a bowl. Mix with sugar and cinnamon. Next spread the apples, cinnamon and sugar at the center of each pastry sheet. With a brush, wet the edges of the pastry dough and press them closed, leaving small pockets for the filling.
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place the turnovers in the oven; cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and decorate with powdered sugar, walnuts or chocolate syrup if you wish. This recipe yields eight servings.
    Apple Turnovers are very versatile. They can be served as a breakfast pastry, an afternoon snack, or a dinner dessert. You can add an unlimited amount of ingredients to them to vary the taste ever so slightly. Some options include honey, cinnamon and nutmeg, black and blue berries, sliced strawberries, serve ala mode (with a scoop of your favorite ice cream), served with fresh whipped cream, granola, etc. There are numerous ways to serve up this dish; you will find that your family will appreciate this simple recipe almost every week of the year.

    Friday, August 6, 2010

    Bridesmaid Luncheon

    Hi. Let me re-introduce myself. I'm the other sister. :) I've been absent from the blogger world for a little while and there are a few things I want to post. So I'll start with posting about the Bridesmaid Luncheon that my mother and I hosted for one of my long-time and dear friends Janet Phan Rehberg. The wedding was in Fort Smith, so my mom was kind enough to open up her house to us. When I was planning the menu for the shower I really wanted to have a meal that was fresh, girly and fresh.

    Here are all the girls and the table--

    • Quiche - From Creative Kitchen (this qualifies as's hard to serve a quiche when males are invited)
    • Nana Rolls (these don't qualify as fresh, maybe a little girly, but mostly just delicious!) I will have to post this recipe at another time.
    • Fresh Fruit Salad (this is fresh and girly)- nothing fancy here. Just lots of different fresh fruits chopped up and mixed together...great for summer. It included peaches, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, and grapes.
    • Fresh Green Salad (fresh and girly) - I used a recipe from Tyler Florence that is below:
    This recipe says it serves 6. When I made it I put it on salad plates and for 10 ladies I used 2 bags of fresh mixed was just enough.


    • 8 to 10 cups (about 1 pound) mixed greens (mesclun, mache, watercress, baby arugula, dandelion; include hydroponic lettuces, sprouts and shoots - pea shoots)
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 lemon, juiced


    Wash and dry greens, place in a large bowl. Add chives and season with salt and pepper; drizzle over about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss well to coat. Squeeze lemon juice over the greens and toss again. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve immediately.

    I also served a "Signature Drink" as some of the shows call it. I modified a recipe that I found on the Martha Stewart Website. It was really really good...If I had these ingredients at my house right now I would probably make one. Oh..I also topped the drink with fresh mint from Mom's garden. It was a good "fresh" touch.

    I could not find Pear Nectar, but I did find ApricotNectar and it was great!

    Drink Up: Pear and Cranberry Bellini

    Serves: 8

    1 cup pear nectar

    1 cup cranberry juice

    1 bottle Prosecco

    In a small pitcher or large measuring cup, combine juices. Pour 1/4 cup of juice mixture into eight champagne glasses.

    Top with Prosecco or other dry sparkling white wine.

    And here's another picture of the wonderful ladies! Janet is in the blue top in the middle. I'm so proud of her for all her accomplishments...she is a super smart electrical engineer with an MBA...but most of all she's a great friend!!! I'm so happy that she found such a great guy to enhance her already great life!

    Sunday, July 25, 2010

    Yard Salad

    This recipe came from a friend. It looks delicious. I am going to try it with grilled chicken. It looks like a great summer treat!

    Yard Salad from Netta Schultheis

    1/2 English cucumber
    1 cup of grape or cherry tomatoes
    1 red or yellow bell pepper (I actually used 1/2 red and 1/2 yellow for more COLOR!)
    1/2 red onion, peeled
    6 ribs of celery (especially the leafy tops)
    1 1/2 cups frozen white corn kernels, defrosted and drained
    1 1/2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained
    1 tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
    1 small lemon, juiced
    1 tsp. Hot Sauce (I used Tapatio) If you want more spice, you can always add it to your dressing after you taste it.
    1/2 cup V-8 juice
    1 sprinkle garlic salt
    1/4 tsp. paprika
    1/4 cup Olive oil
    1 avocado sliced

    1. Cut the cucumber, tomatoes, pepper, red onion and celery into bite sized chunks and toss into a big mixing bowl. Add your drained corn and black beans to the bowl.
    2. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, hot sauce, V-8, garlic salt and paprika. Whisk around and slowly add the olive oil.
    3. Pour the dressing over your salad and toss.
    4. Serve with a few slices of avocado on top (You don’t want to toss your avo with the salad b/c then it will get all mooshy and you know how I feel about mooshy!)

    Turkey Noodle Casserole

    1 pkg broad egg noodles
    1 lb ground turkey
    1 14-oz can corn
    1 can cream of mushroom condensed soup

    Cook egg noodles according to instructions, drain. Meanwhile, brown turkey in a skillet until brown and fully cooked. Drain any grease. In a bowl, combine all ingredients, then turn into a freezer container. Freeze (may want to allow it to come down to room temperature before placing in freezer.

    On cooking day, thaw completely in fridge (take it out the night before or morning of). In a preheated 350F oven, cook for 30-45 minutes, or until bubbly and completely hot throughout. Serve!

    *add a chicken stock if dry when reheating


    1/2 lb. flat noodles
    2 tbsp. butter
    1 c. scallion, chopped
    1 tbsp. oil (sesame preferred)
    Soy sauce
    Garlic powder
    Cook and drain noodles. Saute scallion for a few minutes. Add noodles and seasonings to skillet. Toss. Add soy sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

    Add vegetables: carrots, cabbage, water chestnuts, bean sprouts or a can of Asian vegetables from the store in a pinch

    Add tofu, chicken, pork, or beef

    Easy Frittata

    I have had some eggs in the fridge for a while. We haven't been using them for breakfast, so I wanted to have a breakfast for dinner meal. I found this recipe on It isn't a site I use often, but this one is a basic recipe with tons of taste. Clay and the girls really liked it, too. Clay told me he likes it better than quiche, and he likes quiche. I went to the grocery store today and forgot to buy the bacon. Luckily, I had some smoked turkey sausage in the fridge so I added that as an option for cooking. It gave it a great taste, but the biggest taste factor was the basil. It added great smell and taste!

    5 whole Eggs
    4 Egg whites
    2 Tbsp. Water
    1 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
    1/2 cup chopped seeded tomatoes
    4 slices cooked, crumbled bacon or smoked turkey sausage
    1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

    HEAT oven to 350°F.

    Beat whole eggs, egg whites and water with whisk in medium bowl until blended.

    STIR in 1/2 cup cheese, tomatoes, bacon and basil. Pour into greased 9-inch pie plate.

    BAKE 25 min. or until puffed and golden brown. Sprinkle with remaining cheese; bake 5 min. or until melted. (Took longer than the 30 minutes)

    Kraft Kitchens Tips
    How to Make Mini-Frittatas
    Prepare egg mixture as directed; pour into 12 (2-1/2-inch) muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 20 min.; sprinkle with remaining cheese; bake 3 to 5 min. or until melted. Makes 6 servings, 2 frittatas each.

    Meal Planning Week of July 24- July 30

    I hope everyone has had a great couple of weeks. We spent last week on vacation. We had a great time on what I am calling our "Gulf Tour 2010." I will write about that later this week. The one sad note for when we returned however, was we lost everything in our deep freeze this week. Sometime during the week the electricity went off, and for some reason the freezer outlet did not reset. BOOOOOO! It was the one thing I didn't ask our house sitter to check- I will from now on! I will be emptying it out tomorrow- right before the garbage truck comes. I refroze everything, because I didn't want to deal with the mess. I will throw it out frozen. Back to meal planning. However, I actually enjoyed my meal planning this week. It was nice to have had a break. I went to the store shopped and shopped for week. I came home and cooked a couple of the meals, and put one in the freezer. So, time to start again.

    Saturday Night Rotisserie Chicken with rice, sauteed green beans, and salad.

    Nice comforting meal to come home to. The chicken was already cooked, everything else was on hand. Took a few minutes to prepare.

    Sunday Night Breakfast for Dinner Frittata with biscuits, and fruit cocktail

    Monday Night Meatless Monday Vegetable Lo Mein and Egg Rolls

    Tuesday Night Meatloaf with mac and cheese and fresh steamed broccoli

    Wednesday Night Turkey Noodle Casserole* with sauteed onion, squash and zucchini

    Thursday Night Apricot Chicken* on rice with green beans

    Friday Night Grilled Chicken with Yard Salad

    *put one in the freezer

    Friday, July 16, 2010

    Farmer's Casserole

    This is a great breakfast casserole that will feed six. It is also a recipe to increase by a dollop to feed more. This recipe needs to be chilled overnight, or for several hours before serving. It can also be frozen.

    3 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes (24 oz. bag)
    1 1/2 cups of cheese (cheddar or Monterey jack or combination)
    1 cup of diced meat (Canadian bacon or sausage)
    1/4 cup green onions
    4 beaten eggs (1 cup frozen egg product)
    1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
    1/4 t pepper
    1.8 t of salt

    Grease a 2 quart square baking dish. Arrange potatoes evening in bottom of dish. Sprinkle with cheeses, ham or sausage, or green onions. In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, pepper, and salt. Pour egg mixture over potato mixture in dish. Cover and chill, or freeze.

    Thaw completely. Bake uncovered in a 350-degree oven for 40-45 minutes or until center appears set. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Cheese can be sprinkled on top during the last 15 minutes of baking.

    Tuesday, July 13, 2010

    Crispy Baked Fish

    4 fish planks (usually Tilapia or Orange Roughy)
    1/2 Cup Milk
    2 TBS Parmesan Cheese
    4 TBS Bread Crumbs
    1/4 tsp Paprika


    Preheat Oven 450 degrees

    On plate mix cheese, breadcrumbs and paprika.
    Dip fish in milk, then dredge in breadcrumb mixture.
    Arrange fish on baking sheet that has been lined with foil and sprayed with Pam.

    Bake 10 minutes at 450 degrees

    Meal Planning July 11-15

    Well, our trip to Houston is over. I don't know about you, but after a vacation it is almost comforting to me to get back into the normal routine of things. That being said, as of this morning there was no milk, or meat, or much of anything in the house. So, after a bit of meal planning the girls and I headed off to Kroger. That in itself is stressful. There is only so many times I can handle saying. . . "No, we are not getting that." But, it is done now, and I can sit down to look at the week of meals.

    Sunday Night Pasta and Red Sauce
    We got into Fort Smith about 7:30 from Houston, and mom pulled out a box of pasta and sauce. It was a great way end to the day. She used the new line from Giada that you can find at Target. It was really tasty.

    Monday Night Pizza- cheese and hamburger
    I would call it comfort food after a long trip. :)

    Tuesday Night Pork Tenderloin, fresh green beans, sauteed okra and tomatoes, rice, and bread (frozen bread dough from Kroger)

    Wednesday Night Enchilada Casserole (straight from the freezer) with refried beans and corn on the cob

    Thrusday Night Grown-ups Out (both girls are going to a sleepover- Bless you, Tricia)

    Friday Night Panko Breaded Tilapia, squash, and Couscous

    Saturday Night Crockpot Chicken with carrots and onions - Left overs: chicken salad

    Vacation Meals by Tracie

    We went to Houston this last weekend to visit my sister Tracie. There is nothing better, to me, than to be on vacation and still get home cooked meals. That is exactly what Tracie provided. Tracie, however, did not like the pressure of my post from last week, when I said I would post meals this week. :) So here is a rundown of what we had while in Houston. If you end up entertaining for a long weekend, this would be a perfect menu.

    Thursday Night- sandwiches on the road

    Friday Night Grilled Chicken, Fresh Bread, Grilled Corn on the Cob, and Fresh Green beans. (Great, huh?)

    Saturday Night Chicken and Beef Enchiladas