Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Eclair Dessert

This dessert is YUMMY and SUPER EASY to make!!

**This best when you make it about 12 hours or so before you need to serve it. When making it ahead of time, it allows the crackers to soften up.

You will need:
3 c. milk
2 small boxes of French Vanilla instant pudding
8 oz. whipped topping
1 box of graham crackers (you will use most of the box…not all)
1 container of milk chocolate frosting

Whisk together milk and pudding mix for a few minutes. Fold in the whipped topping.

In 9x13, layer:

Graham crackers
1/2 of the pudding mixture
Graham crackers
Remaining pudding mixture
Graham crackers
Frosting (I usually microwave this for about 20-30 seconds to get it softer/thinner so it is easier to spread)



Sloppy Joe Sandwiches

I know Sloppy Joe is probably something most people know how to make, but I have always been a lover of the taste of Manwich. I've tried several Sloppy Joe recipes and haven't found anything that I've loved as much as Manwich. Well, due to the lack of coupons and my stockpile dwindling, I ran out of Manwich. I went on the hunt and found this recipe on Allrecipes.com. It tasted so good, my 7 year old ate two sandwiches! ;)

You will need:
1# ground beef
1/4 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. chopped green bell pepper
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 t. yellow mustard
3/4 c. ketchup
3 t. brown sugar
salt & pepper, to taste
Hamburger buns

Brown the beef, onion and green pepper. Drain off the grease.

Stir in the garlic powder, mustard, ketchup, brown sugar and salt & pepper. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for a bit. (The recipe said to simmer for 30 minutes...I know I did not do that.)

Serve on hamburger buns.

ENJOY!! :)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hamburger Pie

Yep...another ground beef recipe. This recipe was super easy and tasted really good too.

You will need:
1# ground beef
chopped onion, to taste
seasoned salt & pepper, to taste
1 bag frozen green beans, cooked (I used one of those microwaveable bags)
1 can of tomato soup
mashed potatoes (I made enough for the 5 of us)
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Brown the ground beef with the onions. Drain off the grease. Add salt & pepper. Stir in tomato soup and green beans until mixed well. Pour into an 8x8 baking dish.

Spread the potatoes over the top and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

ENJOY!! :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mexican Casserole

I forgot to take a picture of our dinner tonight but it was really good just VERY spicy (according to the rest of my family). I didn't think it was too bad but I'm a little more tolerant of that sort of thing. ;) I used a "hot & spicy" taco seasoning packet so I think that was where the kick came from.

In efforts to use up some more ground beef, I made this recipe. I've made something similar to this dish with chicken here. Chicken or beef are both delicious!

You will need:
1# ground beef
1 can of Rotel
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 bag of Doritos or generic form, crushed
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

Brown & drain the ground beef. Over low heat, add Rotel, taco seasoning, cream of chicken soup and some water (I filled the empty soup can halfway). Heat this through and stir until well blended.

In a 9x13, layer half of the crushed chips, half of the meat mixture, and half of the cheese. Repeat the layers.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes.

**I was going to add some refried beans into the meat mixture but I realized I didn't have any. I thought black beans would be good...my family would not! I think corn would also be a good thing to add in but again, my family would not care for it. I did make corn on the side and added it in myself. I thought it was good!! :)


Monday, April 16, 2012

Pizza Casserole

I'm not a huge beef person...especially ground beef...but we went in with some family and bought 1/3 of a cow because my husband loves it. And now we have LOTS of ground beef crammed into our little freezer! So I'm on the hunt for recipes that use ground beef. I was searching on Pinterest for some ideas and put this together:

For an 8x8 dish, you will need:
1/2 bag of egg noodles
1 jar of Ragu traditional spaghetti sauce
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4# ground beef
pepperoni slices

Cook noodles and drain. Brown the ground beef and drain off grease.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Layer with the following:

Spread about 1/2 c. of spaghetti sauce into bottom of dish.
Half of the noodles
Half of the ground beef
Half of the cheese
Half of the noodles
Half of the remaining sauce
Remaining ground beef
Remaining sauce
Remaining cheese
Place pepperoni on top (as many as you'd like)

Bake for 30 minutes.

*If you have bigger eaters, you could double this and make it into a 9x13. If your family likes pepperoni, I think it would be good to layer it into the casserole, rather than just on top.

ENJOY!!! :)

What are your favorite recipes with ground beef?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Chicken on a Ritz

You may also know this recipe as Poppy Seed Chicken...SO GOOD!!!

My family has been making this recipe for a while now. We found it in a church cookbook a long time ago. It is a recipe from our pastor's wife at the time, my sweet friend Karen (Miss ya!). My mom uses it a lot when we have our whole family together because it is SUPER easy and everyone loves it!

You will need:
6 pieces of chicken (boneless, skinless)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 c. sour cream (light works just fine!)
1 sleeve of Ritz (or generic form of) crackers, crushed
1 stick of butter, melted
2 t. poppy seeds

Place chicken in a 9x13 baking dish.

Combine cream of chicken soup and sour cream; stir well (you can thin this mixture with a little milk if you'd like). Spread this mixture over the chicken pieces.

Stir crushed crackers and melted butter together and sprinkle over the chicken.

Sprinkle poppy seeds over the top.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 1 - 1 1/2 hours.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Candy Dish Cake!!

Have you made one of these cakes yet? I've seen them all over different recipe blogs, Facebook and Pinterest.

My son's Cub Scout Pack did a Cake Bake this week. They use this as a way to raise money for the pack by auctioning off the cakes. The goal is to do something fun and creative. J & I did a lot of searching for what we could make and this was the cake he decided on. It was super easy!! :)

You will need:
1 chocolate cake mix PLUS ingredients to make cake
1 1/2 - 2 containers of chocolate frosting
5 Giant Kit-Kat bars
1 medium sized bag of M&M's

Mix up the cake batter and pour into 2- 8 or 9" round cake pans and bake. Cool cakes and then remove from pans.

Place one round cake layer on a plate--frost the top and sides with frosting. Add the 2nd layer and frost the top and sides.

Break the Kit-Kat bars into sticks and place around the outside of the cake. Sprinkle the bag of M&M's over the top and YOU'RE DONE!!!

If you'd like you can tie a ribbon around it to spruce it up a bit.

ENJOY!!! :)

Monday, April 9, 2012


I have made these several times now and we really like them!! I make a bunch of them ahead of time and freeze them. A very quick & easy meal!!

You will need:
2 cans of refried beans
1 c. salsa
3 c. cooked chicken, chopped (I have also used 1# ground beef, cooked and drained)
3 c. shredded cheddar or mexican blend cheese
flour tortillas (about 16 or so...depends on size of tortilla)

I combine the beans, 1/2 c. salsa, meat and 2 c. cheese in a large bowl and stir it all together until it is mixed well. Then I spread the meat/bean mixture into the center of the tortilla and roll it up. Place them in a pan, spread remaining salsa over the top and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or so.

When I freeze these, I just roll up the burritos and place in a ziploc freezer bag. When I am ready to bake, I pull out what I need and put in a baking dish and let them thaw in the refrigerator. When I am ready to bake, I spread 1/2 c. salsa and sprinkle with about 1 c. cheese over the top and put in the oven.


*I adapted the recipe for these a little bit from Money Saving Mom.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Cake

We're not huge on cake around here so we always try to find something a little different to serve in place of cake at parties. The boys went on a search and found this to serve at their birthday party...

Delicious and so easy to make!!

You will need:
1 pkg. Chips Ahoy! (or generic form of) chocolate chip cookies
1/4 c. margarine, melted
1 c. hot fudge
1 1/2 quarts of vanilla ice cream
chocolate syrup
caramel syrup
canned whipped cream
maraschino cherries

Freeze crust for 15 min.

Crush half of the cookies into crumbs. Mix the crumbs with the melted margarine. Press into the bottom of a pie plate. Stand the rest of the cookies up around the edges of the pie plate. Spread the fudge over bottom crust and freeze for 15 minutes.

While crust is freezing, pull out your ice cream so it can soften a bit. When the crust is ready, scoop ice cream over the crust (I saved 4 scoops for the top) and smooth it out with the back of a spoon. Then place the 4 scoops of ice cream on the top. Drizzle with chocolate and caramel syrups. Place a cherry on top of each scoop of ice cream and place whipped cream around the edges. Place in freezer until ready to serve.

(Makes 1 cake)


*adapted this recipe from allrecipes.com

Friday, April 6, 2012

Bada Bing Pork Chops

I made these as a freezer meal a little while back and we had them last night for dinner. I thought they were pretty good in the oven, but they would be much better on the grill!

You will need:
1 c. Italian salad dressing
1/2 c. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 c. applesauce
1/4 c. hot pepper sauce
1 lime, juiced (I used about 1/4 c. bottled lime juice)
6 pork chops

Mix all ingredients together (except pork) in a bowl. Pour over pork chops and let marinade for 6 hours or overnight.

Grill until no longer pink. (Or, remove pork chops from marinade and bake in pan at 400 degrees for about 40-45 minutes.)

*To freeze, I combined all of the ingredients in a freezer bag and froze. I pulled the pork chops out the day before I needed them and let them thaw in the refrigerator and they marinated as they thawed.

I found this recipe on allrecipes.com
The author recommends using the leftover marinade for basting (after boiling it)...I did not do this. I thought they had a pretty good flavor without that step.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Up until recently, I had a huge stockpile of taco seasoning...but with coupons not being as available as they once were, my stockpile dwindled and I had no more taco seasoning packets left. So, I gave the homemade version (found here) a try and I thought it tasted really close to store-bought! It is made with ingredients I already had on hand so I didn't need to buy a thing to do it! :)

You will need:
1/4 c. chili powder
1 1/2 t. onion powder
1 1/2 t. garlic powder
1 1/2 t. cumin
1 1/2 t. oregano
1/2 t. paprika
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper

Mix in a small bowl and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Use 2 rounded tablespoons in place of one taco seasoning packet.

*The author of this recipe also suggested if you like it a little spicier, then you could add 1 t. of red pepper flakes. I did not do this but will probably try it next time.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Resurrection Rolls

*I posted this last year...fun to do with the kids and a great way of teaching the kids about what Easter is REALLY about!!

Looking for something fun to do with your kids this weekend? I found this online last Easter and thought I'd give it a try. The kids had a lot of fun doing it. You can tell the Easter story while you make these...it is a great tool for keeping the kids thinking about the true meaning of Easter and have fun while doing it. It's not all about bunnies and such...it is about SO MUCH MORE!!

You will need:
1 package crescent rolls
melted butter
large marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Give each child a triangle from the cresent rolls.
The cresent roll represents the cloth that Jesus was wrapped in.

Give each child a marshmallow.
This represents Jesus and His purity.

Have child dip the marshmallow in melted butter.
This represents the oils of embalming.

Dip the buttered marshmallow in the cinnamon and sugar.
This represents the spices used to annoint the body of Jesus.

Wrap the coated marshmallow tightly in the cresent roll
(not like you would normally roll a crescent rolls but bring the sides up and seal the marshmallow inside)
This represents the wrapping of Jesus’ body after death.

NOTE: I would recommend covering your cookie sheet with waxed paper, parchment paper or foil because even though they were wrapped up pretty well, the marshmallow still did leak out and got the cookie sheet pretty messy. So if you want to opt for a quick clean up...try lining your cookie sheets with something!

Place in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes.
The oven represents the tomb.

When the rolls have cooled slightly, the children can open their rolls (cloths) and discover that Jesus is no longer there,


The marshmallow melts and the crescent roll is puffed up,
but like the tomb - IT IS EMPTY!

You can read about the true meaning of Easter and some of the events that lead up to it in The Bible, Matthew 26 - 28. Also in Mark 15 & 16, Luke 23 & 24 and John 19 & 20.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sugar Cookies

The other day I was on the hunt for a sugar cookie recipe and found this one on allrecipes.com. I adapted it a little bit because I knew my kids would not eat the pecans that it called for. Instead, I added peppermint crunch baking chips that I found on clearance after the Christmas season...YUM!!! These cookies are somewhat "delicate". They crumble fairly easily; but are tasty!! The kids LOVE them!!!

You will need:
1 c. powdered sugar
1 c. brown sugar, packed
1 c. butter
1 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
4 1/2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 t. cream of tarter
1 bag of peppermint crunch baking chips (these are seasonal)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream together sugars, butter and oil. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking soda, salt and cream of tarter (you could combine these in a separate bowl and then stir in...I always skip this step in my baking and they turn out just fine). Mix in the baking chips.

Roll dough into balls (about the size of walnuts) and place on cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.


**These cookies are very oily...I think I'd try and cut back a bit next time.

**I'm thinking you could use crushed peppermint candies and vanilla baking chips in place of the peppermint crunch and these would be just as tasty!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Ranch Chicken

This was DELICIOUS!!! Our whole family really liked it!! AND it was REALLY EASY to make!!

I think I found it on Pinterest...but I can't be sure.

You will need:
6 pieces chicken (I used 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts and cut each in half)
1 c. corn flakes, crushed
1 c. shredded parmesan cheese
1 pkg. of dry ranch dressing mix
1 stick of butter or margarine, melted

Combine corn flakes, cheese and ranch dressing in a bowl.

Coat each chicken piece with butter and then roll to coat in corn flake mixture. Place in baking dish. I had a little leftover of the corn flake mixture so I pressed it onto the chicken. Then I drizzled the leftover butter on top of the chicken.

Bake at 400 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until chicken is done.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Corned Beef & Veggies

So Tim happened to notice that Corned Beef Brisket was on sale in the Meijer ad. He requested that I make a Jigg's Dinner...I really didn't know what that required exactly. I had an idea...but have never ate or made it before, nor I have I ever bought corned beef. I bought the meat and then went on a recipe hunt to see what other people did. I came across a lot of different ideas. I just decided to go simple and went with what I found here.

You will need a large crockpot. I used a 5 quart crockpot and it was FULL!!! The lid wouldn't even fit on right until the cabbage cooked down a little bit.

You will need:
Corned Beef Brisket (I bought one that was low sodium)
Red Potatoes (I used 7)
Baby Carrots (I used about 1/2#)
Cabbage (I used whole head)
Salt & Pepper

Place the corned beef in the bottom of the crockpot. Sprinkle the seasoning packet (that came with the meat) over the meat. Cover with water (I used about 3 1/2 c.). Then add red potatoes (I put them in whole w/ skins), carrots and cabbage (chopped) on top. Then I sprinkled salt & pepper over the top.

I cooked on high for about 5 hours and then turned it to low for the remaining amount of time (about 3 1/2 hours). I thought it was perfect!

I was pleasantly surprised and it was delicious! The kids didn't seem to mind it either (as long as we didn't make them eat the cabbage!).


Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I found this recipe on allrecipes a while back and we really like it...SO MUCH better than those box mixes we used to buy!! ;)

You will need:
1/2 c. butter
2/3 c. white sugar
2 eggs
1 c. buttermilk
1/2 t. baking soda
1 c. cornmeal
1 c. flour
1/2 t. salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8x8 baking dish.

Melt butter in medium sized bowl. Stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk and baking soda and stir into mixture. Stir in the cornmeal, flour and salt. Pour into baking dish.

Bake 30-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Tip: I don't typically have buttermilk on hand so I usually make my own! You can do this by putting 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (or white vinegar) in a measuring cup and then filling it to the 1 cup line with regular milk. Let it stand for about 5 minutes and you're all set!


Monday, March 5, 2012


I made these a while back and I thought they were really good! I found the recipe on Happy Homemaker Cindy

*I did not take this picture. I found it on the internet...but this is what they do look like!

You will need:
2- 8 oz. pkgs. of cream cheese (I used neufchatel)
1 pkg. dry ranch salad dressing mix
1/2 c. minced sweet red pepper
1/2 c. minced celery
1/4 c. red onion, chopped
flour tortillas (burrito size)

With a mixer, mix cream cheese and dressing mix until smooth. Add in the veggies. Mix well. Spread about 1/2 - 3/4 cup on tortillas and roll up tightly. Place on plate and refrigerate a couple of hours. Slice & serve!

**You could change these up and add black olives, use green onion instead of red, add shredded carrots, chopped cucumbers...make them with whatever you have on hand and to your preferences!

ENJOY!! :)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork (or Chicken)

I made this recipe for the first time back when I did my freezer cooking session. The sauce was different than what I'm used to (more sweet than spicy), but my kids REALLY liked this...so much so, that two of them wanted it cold in their lunches for school! So the next day, I sent them with cold pulled pork sandwiches and they thought it was the greatest lunch EVER!!

Not sure where I found this recipe but apparently it is even Weight Watcher friendly...which is good, because I've been starting to feel guilty for my recent posts of French Toast Casserole, Homemade Donuts and S'more Brownies!

You will need:
1 1/2 # pork roast or chicken breast
1 c. tomato sauce
1/2 c. ketchup
2 T. plus 2 t. brown sugar (not packed)
2 T. plus 2 t. cider vinegar
2 t. garlic powder
red pepper flakes, to taste

Place all ingredients, except meat, in the crock pot. Stir until well mixed. Add meat and coat with sauce.

Cook on low for 7-8 hours, until meat is fully cooked.

Shred meat with two forks and mix well into sauce so it is well coated.

You can eat this plain or serve on hamburger buns.


*This works well to cook ahead and then freeze so that when you need it you just have to pull it out, thaw and heat up for a quick meal!

French Toast Casserole

Pretty tasty--the kids LOVED it!! I don't typically do big breakfasts on school days but yesterday was supposed to be a mom/grandma breakfast for two of my kids. At first I didn't think I was going to be able to go. So I decided I'd still make it special but do something at home. Plans changed and I was able to go, but we decided we'd still stay home. So I made a French Toast Casserole and had picked up some mini donuts for them. They thought it was pretty great! This is a recipe that you make the night before you need it, so there is no prep time in the morning!!

For the French Toast Casserole, you will need:
1 stick of butter, melted
1 c. brown sugar
1 loaf of Texas Toast
4 eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
1 t. vanilla
cinnamon & sugar mixture
powdered sugar

Combine melted butter and brown sugar. Pour into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.

Place one layer of bread over butter/sugar mixture. I was able to fit 6 slices of bread.

In a medium sized bowl, beat eggs, milk and vanilla together with a whisk. Pour half of this mixture over the layer of bread. Then sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar mixture (use as much or as little as you want).

Put another layer of bread on top of that and pour remaining egg mixture over the top. Sprinkle with another layer of cinnamon & sugar.

Cover with foil and put in the refrigerator over night. In the morning, pull from the fridge and bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

When it was done baking, I lightly sprinkled it with powdered sugar.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Your Kids Will LOVE You...

When you make these...

I saw this pop up on Pinterest a couple of weeks ago. I've made these before (without the butter), several years ago, and decided to make them for my kids earlier this week as a special treat on their day off from school.

Let's just say...they LOVED them!! They even had fun helping make them!

You will need:
Vegetable oil (enough to fill your pan to about 1/2" deep)
4 T. Butter, melted
Sugar & Cinnamon Mixture
Grands Biscuits (do not use the flaky layered type)

Heat up the oil on medium heat. While this is heating up, cut the centers out of the biscuits. (I used a small star cookie cutter we have.) When the oil is hot, place the donuts in the oil. When the one side is golden brown, flip with tongs and cook until other side is golden brown. When they are finished cooking, place on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.

When the donuts have cooled enough, dip one side in the melted butter, let the extra drip off and then dip in the cinnamon & sugar mixture. Repeat for the other side.

I thought these were best served warm, but my kids thought they were really good the next day too.


S'more Brownies


I made these yesterday...

You will need:
1 brownie mix for a 9x13 pan (plus eggs, water and oil)
6 whole honey graham crackers, broken into smaller pieces (about 1" or smaller)
1 bag of milk chocolate chips
2 c. miniature marshmallows

Make brownie mix according to package directions for cake-like brownies. Bake these at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

While they are baking combine crackers, chocolate chips and marshmallows in a bowl.

When the brownies have baked for 15 minutes, pull them out and sprinkle the cracker mixture over the top. Put back in the oven and bake for 15 more minutes.

Let cool and ENJOY!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Will be back to posting soon...

Just wanted to let you know that I will be back to posting soon. I ended up getting sick for a week and it's taking me a little while to totally recover. So needless to say, meals have been very simple around here and I have not been trying anything new...or even really cooking! Tonight was the most I've cooked recently and it was one of my freezer meals, frozen burritos, so I didn't even really have to do anything!! My family thought it was pretty great though, so I suppose that's a good thing!! It was just WAY better than the chicken nuggets I fed them last night...or the mac & cheese the night before! HAHA!

Hope you've all had a great week!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lemon Chicken

I had my menu plan all worked out but came across a recipe for Lemon Chicken the other day and it sounded good. I had all of the ingredients I needed except for a lemon. I was making a trip to the store anyway so I grabbed a lemon and made this for dinner! I thought it was pretty tasty!

I adapted the recipe a little. You can find the original here.

This is what I did...

You will need:
Zest from one lemon
juice from one lemon
1 heaping teaspoon of minced garlic
2 t. dried thyme
1 t. kosher salt
1 t. ground black pepper
3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut in half for a total of 6 pieces

In a ziploc bag, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Mix these ingredients well and then add chicken; press air out and seal bag tight. Toss chicken around in the bag until well coated with the marinade. Put the bag in the refrigerator and let it marinate for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place in a 9x13 baking dish. Save the leftover marinade.

Bake the chicken for a total of 50-55 minutes. About halfway through the baking time, pour the remaining marinade over the chicken.


Cheesy Potatoes

These are so good!!

You will need:
1 bag of frozen hash brown potatoes (I've used cubes & shreds...either one works!)
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 16 oz. container of sour cream (reduced fat works fine)
1 8 oz. bag of shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c. butter, melted (or if you're like me and think it's going to melt in the oven anyway??...just slice it up and mix it in!)
chopped onion, optional (I probably use about 1/4 - 1/2 cup)
salt & pepper, to taste

Mix all together in a large bowl and pour into 9x13 dish. Bake at 350 for about 45-60 minutes.

Some people sprinkle the top with chip crumbs or corn flakes...I prefer mine without, but it's up to you!


**This recipe is too much for our family to eat at a meal. I usually make the whole recipe, but freeze half of it in a ziploc bag or a glass dish that be put in the freezer. When I am ready to use them, I thaw them and bake according to the directions.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


This is YUMMY!! This also works great to put away as a freezer meal!

You will need:
1 1/2 loaves of frozen bread dough
3 eggs--separate yolks & whites (you will use both)
2 T. Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 t. parsley
1 1/2 t. oregano
1 t. onion powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. pepper
3 T. oil
1 3/4 c. Italian sausage
35 pepperoni slices
8 oz. mozzarella cheese
Italian seasoning

Thaw bread dough according to package directions.

In a bowl, combine egg yolks, Parmesan cheese, parsley, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper and oil.

Roll the dough out on a greased surface to about the size of a large cookie sheet.

*I would recommend transferring the dough to a cookie sheet because it will be easier to move now rather than later when it's filled and heavy.

Spread the spice mixture over the dough, leaving 1" without around the edges.

On one half of the dough, layer with the sausage, pepperoni and mozzarella cheese.

To close it up, bring the side of dough without the meat/cheese over top and pressed the bottom & top edges together to seal.

Once the edges are sealed, beat the egg whites and brush over the top of the stromboli. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.

Bake at 350, 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serve with pizza sauce.

If you want to freeze this, only bake it for 15 minutes (rather than the 30-40), let it cool and then wrap well in foil and freeze flat. When you are ready to serve, thaw completely and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

You will need:

2 # lean ground beef
2 eggs
1 c. dry bread crumbs
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1/2 t. ground ginger
1 t. seasoning salt
1/2 t. black pepper
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
2 t. sugar

1 (20 oz.) can of pineapple chunks, drained BUT save the juice
1/3 c. water
3 T. white vinegar
1 T. soy sauce
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
3 T. cornstarch
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. seasoning salt
a handful of baby carrots
1 large green pepper, cut into chunks

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease baking pan.

For meatballs:
Mix together beef, eggs, bread crumbs, onion, ginger, seasoning salt, pepper Worcestershire sauce and sugar. Shape into 1" balls. Place in baking dish and bake for 10-15 minutes; set aside.

For sauce:
Add enough water to saved pineapple juice to make one cup. In a large pot (I used a stir-fry skillet thing), combine the juice/water mixture, 1/3 c. water, vinegar, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Stir in cornstarch, ginger and seasoning salt till smooth. Cover and cook until thickened. Stir in pineapple chunks, carrots, green pepper and meatballs into the sauce. Gently stir to coat the meatballs with the sauce. Simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until meatballs are thoroughly cooked.

I served over brown rice. SO GOOD!!

For freezing, I made the meatballs but did NOT bake them. I stored them in a Ziploc freezer bag. I made the sauce and added the fruit and veggies toward the end and just kind of stirred them in...didn't cook the 20 minutes. I put this in a separate Ziploc freezer bag.

When it was time to prepare the meal for eating, I baked the meatballs a little longer than stated above because they were still frozen a bit. I brought the sauce to a boil, added the meatballs and then let it simmer for about 20 minutes until it was heated thoroughly and then served.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

No-Bake Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

I was so excited to find this recipe!! Granola bars have gotten pricey lately...plus they've cut the quantity from 10 down to 8. This is a recipe that you can make with your kids--they are easy to make and taste DELICIOUS! Joel & I had a lot of fun making them last night before bedtime. The kids enjoyed eating them this morning after church for their snack.

I found the recipe here.

1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. honey
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
2 c. quick cooking oats (I used Old Fashioned)
1 c. Rice Krispies cereal
1/2 t. vanilla
2 T. mini chocolate chips (I used regular size...maybe about 3-4 T.)

In a bowl, combine oats and cereal together; set aside.

In a small pot, melt butter, honey and brown sugar together over medium-high heat until it comes to a bubble. Reduce the heat and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in vanilla and stir. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well to moisten all ingredients. Pour into lightly greased pan (the recipe called for a 12x8 pan--I used a 9x13) and press to about 3/4" thickness. (Be sure to pack really tight so that they will stay together!!) Sprinkle with chocolate chips and press them into the oat mixture. Cool to room temperature (about 2 hours) before cutting into bars. If they don't seem to stay together when you cut them, put them in the fridge for 20 minutes to harden up a bit. (I had to do this and it worked great!) Store at room temperature.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Marinated Pork Chops

You will need:
3/4 c. vegetable oil
1/3 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. vinegar
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. prepared mustard
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
1 t. dried parsley
1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
6 pork chops (I think chicken or steak would work great too!)

Combine all of the ingredients and marinade pork chops overnight in the fridge.

I baked my pork chops, with the marinade in a 9x13, at 350 degrees for 1 hour. You could also grill, if you chose (discard the remaining marinade if you grill).

*I combined all of these ingredients in a Ziploc freezer bag and froze. I pull the meat from the freezer and let it thaw overnight (the meat marinates as it thaws).

Friday, January 27, 2012

Choco-holic Cake

I found this recipe a long time ago...not real sure where from, but it looks like I tore it out of a magazine. If you are a chocolate lover, you should love this! YUM!!

You will need:

1 pkg. (18.25 oz.) chocolate cake mix
1 pkg. (3.4 ox.) chocolate instant pudding & pie filling mix
1 c. milk
1/2 c. sour cream
4 eggs
2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 bar (2 oz.) Unsweetened Baking Chocolate
1 1/2 c. sifted powdered sugar
3 T. butter
2-3 T. water
1 t. vanilla

For cake:
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 12" bundt pan. Combine cake mix, pudding mix, milk, sour cream and eggs in large mixer bowl. Beat on low speed just until blended. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into pan. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until done (toothpick comes out clean). Cool in pan for 20 minutes. Invert onto wire rack to cool completely. Then transfer to a serving plate.
*If desired, you can add 1 c. chopped walnuts in when you add the chocolate chips.

For glaze:
Melt baking chocolate and butter in saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar alternately with water until desired consistency. Stir in vanilla. Pour glaze over cake.

ENJOY!! :)

Easy Vegetable Soup

This soup is SUPER easy to make!! I usually use canned vegetables because that is what my mom always used, but I'm sure you could use frozen vegetables if you chose. And the great part about this recipe is that you can pretty much change it up to your family's preferences.

I use:
1 can of corn
1 can of lima beans
1 can of cut green beans
4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 c. onion, chopped (used about 1/2 c.)
3/4 c. carrots, chopped
1 c. celery, chopped
1 large can of tomato juice
hot sauce, to taste
salt & pepper, to taste
basil & oregano, to taste

I just throw all of this together in the crockpot and let it cook for the day on low.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

No-Bake Cereal Bars

I have made these no bake cereal bars for quite a while now. They are SO GOOD but I want to WARN you...be sure to make them when you can share with someone!!

Joel needed a treat for Cub Scouts so I decided to make these. I had seen a recipe a long time ago that used Cheerios instead of the Rice Krispies, so I decided to try that this time. Cheerios weren't bad but having them made with Rice Krispies is definitely our favorite!!

1 c. light corn syrup
1 c. sugar
2 t. vanilla
1 c. peanut butter
6 c. Rice Krispies (or Cheerios...I've also used corn flakes)
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1 c. butterscotch chips

Spray a 9x13 pan (for thicker bars) OR a jelly roll pan (for thinner bars) with cooking spray.

Mix sugar and syrup in a large pot/dutch oven and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Mix in the cereal. Pour mixture into the sprayed pan. Press into pan until even (I usually do this by spraying the back of a large spatula and start pressing from the middle out to the edges.).

Melt butterscotch and chocolate chips together--you can do this on the stove top over low heat or in the microwave. Just be very careful not to burn! Frost the bars.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Party Bread

This recipe is one I've had for a while. One of the girls I worked with several years ago brought it to a meeting and it was SO YUMMY! I have continued to make it over the years. Since having kids, I've started to leave the green onions off of half so that they can/will eat it. I've also used this a lot for parties where I've had to take an appetizer or a side...most people really enjoy it!

You will need:
1 loaf of Italian or French Bread (Italian bread is easier to work with)
8-16 oz. of Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded (I only use 8 oz.)
1 stick butter or margarine, melted
2-3 t. poppy seeds
3-4 green onions, thinly sliced

Set oven to 350 degrees.

First cut your bread lengthwise and then crosswise--I usually make two long cuts down the length of the bread and then make several cuts across the width of the bread about 1 - 1 1/2" apart. Place the loaf of bread on a piece of foil that will be big enough to wrap up the bread.

Then shove the cheese into all of the slits in the bread.

Combine the melted butter, poppy seeds and green onions and pour evenly over the bread. Sometimes I'll sprinkle dried basil over the top of the bread.

Wrap the bread up in the foil, place on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Then undo the foil so that the top of the bread is exposed and bake for 10 minutes more, or until cheese is all melted.

ENJOY!!! :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chicken Stuffed Shells

Love this dish! We can get about 3 meals out of this so I divide it up and then freeze what we can't eat in one meal.

You will need:
1 box Jumbo Shells
1 box Stove Top Stuffing (we used Chicken flavor)
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 c. cooked, chopped chicken
1 c. mayonnaise (light works fine)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 soup can of water
1 c. Parmesan cheese

Cook shells according to package directions. Prepare stuffing mix according to package directions.

Add celery, chicken and mayo to prepared stuffing; mix well. Fill cooked shells with about 2 T. of stuffing mixture. Put shells into a 9x13 dish or 2 or 3 8x8's.

Pour soup & water into a bowl and mix with a whisk. Pour soup over stuffed shells. Top with Parmesan Cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes.

To freeze: Cover with foil.

To serve: Thaw completely. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes.

I found this recipe at Freezer Friendz.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


This is our favorite homemade salsa recipe!! I am hoping to make some this week!

You will need:
2- 10 oz. cans Ro-Tel
1- 26 oz. can whole tomatoes (w/most of juice, but not all)
2-6 t. canned, diced jalapenos (6 t. is VERY hot!)
1/2 c. red onion, diced
1 1/2 t. garlic salt
1 1/2 t. cumin
1 t. sugar
2-3 stems of cilantro
juice from 1 lime (I used about 1/4 c. bottled lime juice if I don't have a lime.)

Place everything in the blender (or food processor)and blend well…do not puree!

Chill & serve with tortilla or pita chips.

ENJOY!!! :)

**You can use fresh tomatoes if you have them!! YUM!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I love guacamole! Just made some of this today! YUM!!

You will need:
3 avocados, remove the seeds and scrape out the inside
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/4 c. lime juice
1 t. salt
1 t. fresh, minced garlic
about 1/4 c. red onion, chopped
cilantro--don't really know how much I used...maybe like 6 sprigs, chopped

I put the avocado and lime juice in my food processor (or blender) to get the avocado nice & creamy. I also mixed in the other ingredients (EXCEPT for the tomatoes), to get everything finely chopped and mixed well. Scrape into a bowl and stir in chopped tomato. Chill. Serve with tortilla chips (pita chips are yummy too!).

ENJOY!! :)

*If you do not have a food processor or blender, you can just mash the avocado with a fork, it just won't be as creamy.

Sausage Casserole

This is one of my favorite breakfast casseroles! I found this recipe on allrecipes.com.

You will need:
3/4 of a package of a sausage roll (I used "regular" and added salt & pepper and probably about 1/2 t. of rubbed sage), cooked and drained (I have also used the turkey sausage crumbles by Jimmy Dean.)

3 small potatoes, shredded, drained (I soaked up the water with a paper towel)

1/4 c. butter, melted

3/4 of an 8 oz. bag of shredded cheddar cheese

chopped onion, based on your preference (I probably used about 1/4 c.)

1 c. cottage cheese

4 eggs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8x8 dish with cooking spray.

Stir together potatoes and melted butter. Spread into bottom of baking dish. In a bowl, combine sausage, cheddar cheese, onion, cottage cheese and eggs. Pour over potatoes.

Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour or until done.

*This is half of the original recipe. If you need more, double it and put it in a 9x13. The amount of butter above was the amount for a 9x13...I accidentally forgot to halve it.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

No Bake Energy Bites

I thought I'd make these today because I had everything on hand. I thought they tasted pretty good. I found the recipe at Smashed Peas and Carrots. Update: I just found another version of these here. I'm going to have to try these too!

You will need:
1 c. oatmeal (I used old fashioned oats)
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/3 c. honey
1 c. coconut
1/2 c. ground flaxseed
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips (I used regular sized chocolate chips)
1 t. vanilla

Mix everything in a medium bowl until well mixed. Let chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Then roll into balls and enjoy!

Store in refrigerator for up to a week.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Chicken and Dumplings

Sorry...I always mean to take pictures but I forget. :(

I made Chicken and Dumplings the other night for the first time. It was really good! We all really liked it but I'd probably change a few things. This was a good recipe to start with.

I found the recipe here.

You will need:
4 cups of cooked, shredded chicken
6 c. chicken broth
1 c. water

For the dumplings:
2 c. flour
1 T. baking powder
1 1/4 t. salt
1 c. plus 2 T. milk

Pour chicken broth and water into a large saucepan and bring to a boil on high heat.

To make the dumplings, in a medium sized bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and milk. Stir until smooth and let the dough rest for 5 minutes. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface to a 1/2" thickness. Cut into 1/2" squares (a pizza cutter makes this job very easy!).

Drop each dumpling square into the simmering broth. The dumplings will partially dissolve to thicken the broth to make a gravy. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until thick. Stir often. Add the chicken and cook another 5 minutes. Season with pepper.

I served this with mashed potatoes and green beans.


*Next time I would consider adding celery, carrots and some other seasonings to the broth/gravy portion of the recipe. I'd also cut back on the dumpling recipe, would probably cut it in half but I'm not sure how this would affect the gravy. The dough for these was super sticky...but I also had a "helper" in the kitchen so I may have lost count of the number of tablespoons of milk I added. ;) I'll have to pay more attention next time.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Chicken Quesadillas

Do you have one of these?

I love to make Chicken Quesadillas in it. YUM!!!

You will need:
Burrito sized flour tortillas
Shredded cheese (we prefer a mexican blend)
Cooked, cubed chicken
Tomatoes, chopped
Cilantro, chopped
Green chiles (I used canned--chopped & peeled)

I place the cheese on the tortilla first and then layer all of the other ingredients. I place a second tortilla on top and then put in the quesadilla maker and cook for 4 minutes. So easy and good!

There are so many options for quesadillas. My kids would prefer JUST cheese but I make them eat some chicken in there too. I am also able to get away with cilantro in theirs and NO ONE complains! ;)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Peanut Butter Pizza

We used to make this a lot when I was younger and lived at home. I remember it being really good...my sisters do not remember it at all...neither does my mom...but I KNOW that I am NOT making it up! HA! My daughter received a kids' cookbook and there was a similar recipe in it. It was one of the things she had picked to make. Her recipe called for a few extras that we did not have on hand but otherwise it was the same...and just as good as I remembered it! :)

Peanut Butter Pizza
You will need:
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 t. vanilla
1 egg
1 1/2 c. flour
2 c. marshmallows
3/4 c. chocolate chips

Mix together sugars, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and egg. Add flour. Press into 12" pizza pan or onto stone to make a crust--make a rim around the edge.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

Then sprinkle marshmallows and chocolate chips (M&M's are good too!) on top. Bake until marshmallows brown a bit.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Cheesy Grub Sandwiches

I made these tonight for dinner. Everyone really liked them!! I found the recipe at Real Mom Kitchen. I also made these homemade fries...YUM!!

You will need:
1# ground beef
2 t. McCormick Montreal steak seasoning
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
3/4 c. milk
1 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Brown beef in a skillet with the steak seasoning and Worcestershire sauce until full cooked. Drain off grease (I also rinsed my meat with hot water) and set aside.

In a saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in the flour and cook over medium heat until it turns golden brown. Slowly whisk in the milk and bring to a boil; cook until thickened. Remove from the heat and blend in cheese until melted and smooth.

Add cheese mixture to the beef mixture. Stir until combined.

Serve on hot dog or hamburger buns.

Cranberry Chicken

I found this recipe in our church cookbook. I've passed over it for a few years thinking that maybe some day I'd get brave. In my opinion, it has a strange combination of ingredients. Well, I got brave and I have to say we were all PLEASANTLY surprised! :) And it is super easy to make! Thanks Cathy B. for sharing this recipe!

You will need:
6 chicken breast halves
1 can cranberry sauce
8 oz. Western salad dressing
1 packet of dry onion soup mix

Place the chicken in a baking dish. In a bowl, combine the cranberry sauce, dressing and soup mix; whisk it together. Pour over the chicken. Bake at 250 degrees for 3 hours.

*NOTE: The recipe called for whole berry cranberry sauce. I only had the jellied kind of cranberry sauce in my cabinet so that is what I used. It also said you can use fat free Western dressing.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ham & Cheese Sliders

I have been seeing recipes for Ham Sliders popping up all over the internet lately so I thought I'd give them a try. I made them for our small group last week and I think they were a hit! :)

I pretty much used the recipe I found at Comfy in the Kitchen.

You will need:
1# thinly sliced ham lunch meat (I used Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Smoked Ham)
8 oz. package Swiss cheese slices (I used Kraft Big Slices)
12 larger Hawaiian flavored dinner rolls
1/2 c. butter or margarine
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/3 c. brown sugar

Cut each of the rolls in half so that you can make a sandwich. Make sandwiches with ham and cheese--I used about 4 slices of the lunch meat and half of a slice of cheese. Place these sandwiches in a 9x13 baking dish.

In saucepan on stove top, combine butter, mustard, Worcestershire, poppy seeds and brown sugar. Bring to a low boil. Pour evenly over the tops of the sandwiches.

Cover the pan with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Cinnamon Rolls

I used to have a bread maker when Tim & I first got married. I used it quite a bit. It quit working shortly after we moved here 6 years ago so I'm wondering if it was damaged in the move?? So I've been several years without one. I decided that I would buy one with some money that I received for Christmas. It has been great!! The kids love having the fresh bread and have fun helping make it being it is SO EASY!!

We made these last night for this morning's breakfast. The kids LOVED these!! I found this recipe over at Money Saving Mom.

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm milk
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 egg, lightly beaten plus 2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups flour (Add a bit more if dough seems too wet after first few minutes of kneading in the bread machine.)
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons bread machine yeast

Filling: (MSM doubles this...I did not and my family thought it was plenty)
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup brown sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon milk
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
4 tablespoons (or less) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla

Put the dough ingredients in the bread machine in the order listed and run on the dough cycle. After the dough cycle is finished, roll the dough into a large rectangle and spread it with 2 Tablespoons melted butter and 2/3 cup brown sugar mixed with 1 Tablespoon cinnamon.

Roll up and cut into 10-15 rolls and place in two greased round cake pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes or until browned. Spread the icing on as soon as they come out of the oven.

You can also cover the unbaked rolls with plastic wrap, stick them in the refrigerator overnight, and then bake in the morning. (This is what I did. I had to bake them a little longer than the 20 minutes, closer to 30 minutes.)


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Chicken Salad

I love Chicken Salad! I make it several different ways but this is one of my favorites.

You will need:
2 1/2 c. cooked & cubed chicken (canned chicken works well too if you're in a hurry)
1 c. thinly sliced celery
1 c. red grapes, cut in half (you can use green too...I prefer red)
1/2 c. chopped onions (I've used sweet or red onion)
1/2 c. light mayo
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. cider vinegar
1 1/2 t. yellow mustard
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. sugar
1/8 t. pepper

Combine chicken, celery, grapes and onions together in a bowl. Combine remaining ingredients for sauce and pour over chicken mixture. Refrigerate for an hour or so and serve.

This is super yummy on croissants; but also good on a whole grain bread.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Freezer Cooking Day

With the cheap price of chicken and pork loin this week at Meijer, I decided to do a little bit of freezer cooking the other day. I haven't done this in a long time so it was fun getting a lot of stuff done for future use. A lot of these recipes are new to our family so I'll have to let you know what I think later. ;) I will also post the recipes that do not have links later in another post.

In about 4 hours I was able to make:

New! Cranberry Chicken
New! Cabbage Rolls (2 meals)
Banana Bread (2 loaves)http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif
Chicken Southwest Roll-ups (3 meals)
Beef Southwest Roll-ups (3 meals) Note: I changed the chicken to cooked ground beef.
New! Bada Bing Pork Chops
New! Honey Mustard Chicken
New! Breakfast Burritos (enough for 13 breakfasts)
New! Pulled Pork for Sandwiches (2 meals)

I saved enough plain chicken and plain pork for one meal each. I will choose what to do with these later.

I also had leftover cabbage that I chopped up and put in a bag to freeze. I will use this to throw into some soup some time. I also had some celery in my fridge that was meant for something and I didn't end up using it. So I chopped that up as well and put into two ziploc bags, 2 cups each. I will also use this in soup.

Do you put meals in the freezer for future use? If so...what are your favorite recipes?