Friday, December 19, 2008

Puppy Chow

The technical name for this is Chex Muddy Buddies - but we always called it puppy chow. I only make it at Christmas and it's sooooo good!!!


9 cups Chex cereal (I use Rice - you could also use Wheat or Corn)
1 cup semi-seweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter/margarine
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar


Measure cereal into large bowl and set aside.

Place chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter into microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring between, until melted and smooth. Stir in vanilla.

Pour chocolate mix over cereal and stir until thoroughly coated. Pour into two gallon resealable bag. (I didn't have one of these, so I just used a double layer Wal-Mart bag)

Add powdered sugar. Seal bag and shake well. Spread cereal onto waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container.

You can put this in cute little Christmas baggies to take to neighbors/friends. Yummy!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Creamy Spinach Pasta

I couldn't think of a better name for this. It's yummy, a recipe that I got off a couple that invited us over for dinner.


1 box (1 lb) rigatoni pasta

1 lb ground beef
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 small can tomato sauce (optional)
6-8 oz fresh spinach, stems removed
1 pkg cream cheese
Shredded cheese (I used cheddar/mont jack mix)


Prepare pasta according to package directions.

Brown beef in skillet and drain fat. Stir in spaghetti sauce.

Mix pasta with sauce mixture. If pasta looks a little dry, stir in the extra tomato sauce. (I did!) Pour into greased casserole dish.

Drizzle medium skillet with oil. Saute spinach until it wilts. Drain slightly on paper towels and spread over pasta in the dish.

Pull cream cheese apart and dot all over the top of the casserole. I used about 1/2 the package, but Zac would have preferred I use the whole thing. Do what makes you happy! :)

Top with shredded cheese. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes, till cheese is browned.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Roasted Chicken

Awhile back, I saw Cristina Ferrare on Oprah. She was doing some money saving recipes by showing a recipe for roasted chicken that could be used in multiple recipes. I did the roasted chicken recipe and it turned out to be pretty yummy. I didn't make all of her other recipes (not yet, anyway!) but I was pretty pleased with the chicken. As she suggested, I did two chickens because it goes with my cooking philosphy: If I'm making something time consuming (lasagna, etc.) I might as well make two and have leftovers! If you didn't want to do the whole chicken thing, I think this would also work well with split chicken breasts, then you could pull the meat off those....try it out!


2 whole chickens, about 5 lbs each
6 lemons
A poultry herb mix (I used dried poultry seasoning - Cristine suggests fresh herbs, including rosemary, sage, thyme, parsley and oregano)
1 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup lemon juice (from the lemons - save the rinds!)


Rinse chickens well and pat dry. Remove any inside stuff that might be left. Place each chicken in its own baking dish.

Stuff cavities with lemon rinds and herbs. If using dried herbs, sprinkle liberally inside.

Pour marinade over chickens and rub it in. Top with black pepper and remaining herbs.

Cover with foil and bake in preheated 425° oven for 1 1/2 hours. Remove foil and bake until internal temperature registers 180° and juices are clear.

Isn't it pretty? :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Delights

If you ever wondered who the world's greatest cookie maker is.....

It's my dad. I did not inherit his cookie making ability - mine never turn out as chewy and soft as I want them to. But then I found this amazingly wonderful cookie recipe...

I found this recipe while blog-stalking a friend of Natalie's. Her name is Stephanie and this cookie recipe is the most amazing thing I've ever found. To quote her post: "One thing I really love about this recipe is how beautifully consistent it is. The dough always looks and feels the same - and the finished product is the same every time. I really appreciate the dependability." Took the words right out of my mouth...which leaves room for another cookie. :)


3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves (I've never used this because I never have it)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
2 cups rolled oats
1 pkg chocoalte chips (or raisins, nuts, whatever....about 12 oz of something!)


In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium high speed for thirty (30) seconds.

Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.

Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined.

Beat in the flour. If it gets to be too much for the mixer, then stir it in by hand. (It seems like a lot - just go with it!)

Beat/stir in the rolled oats and chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded teaspoonful onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375° for 7-8 minutes. Cool on the sheet for a minute or two, then transfer to a wire rack or waxed paper. ENJOY!!!
I usually get right at 4 dozen cookies from this recipe.
Oh, yummy....

Forgot to take a picture of the full bowl of dough. Oh, well. It's yummy either way!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Quick Fix Skillet Burrito

I saw this recipe on a few different blogs, but it originated at Kraft Kitchens, an awesome recipe website!! (That's where the picture came from, too) It's yummy and potentially very economical!! I served it with corn on the side and Zac pointed out that the corn would be good stirred in with the beans.


1 lb ground beef
1 packet Taco Seasoning
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup salsa
1 cup water
4 flour tortillas, cut in 1 1/2 inch squares
1 cup shredded cheese
Sour cream, guacamole, lettuce, tomato (optional garnishes)


Brown meat and drain. Add taco season, beans, salsa and water.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 5- 10 minutes, till it starts to thicken.

Stir in tortillas, top with cheese. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes or until cheese in melted.
TIP: Stir the tortillas in a few at a time, to avoid them clumping together.

Garnish with sour cream, tomato, lettuce and guacamole - whatever you wish. We didn't have any of these and it tasted great without!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Homemade chicken pot pie

I got this recipe from a lady at church's blog and adapted it a little. She adapted it from a Better Homes & Gardens recipe. It's yuuuuuummmmy!!! This was my first time making a totally from scratch pot pie and we were all very pleased with the results!!

Chicken Pot Pie


Pastry for 2 pie crusts (recipe below)
1-2 small potatoes, cubed (optional, but recommended)
10 oz. frozen mixed veggies (or the equivalent of fresh veggies)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp thyme
1/8 tsp pepper
2 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup milk
3 cup cooked chicken, cubed (2 boneless chicken breasts)
1 Tbsp dried parsley


Prepare pastry for double crust pie; chill in refrigerator.

Cook veggies to fork tender. If frozen, microwave to thawed. For the potato and any other fresh veggies, cook till fork tender (saute, microwave, boil, whatever).

In a medium saucepan, cook onion and butter till onion is tender.

Stir in flour, salt, thyme and pepper. Add chicken broth and milk all at once. Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly.

Stir in drained veggies, chicken, and parsley. Cook till bubbly.

Assemble 1 pie crust in a 2 qt. pie pan or baking dish.

Pour mixture onto pie crust. Place 2nd pie crust on top and flute edges of pastry and cut slits in top for steam. Brush top crust with melted butter.

Bake at 450° oven for 12-15 minute or till golden.

Pie Crust Double


2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening
6-7 Tbsp ice cold water


Stir together flour and salt.

Using a pastry blender or food processor, cut in shortening till pieces are pea-sized.

Pastry blender:
Sprinkle 1 T. of water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork.
Push moistened dough to side of bowl. Repeat, using 1 T. of water at a time, till dough is moistened.

Food Processor:
Turn on to low setting.
Through feed tube, add water until pastry forms a ball. Turn off immediately.

Divide dough in half. Form each half into a ball.

Flatten into a 6" disc and wrap in plastic wrap.

Put dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to chill. (At least an hour would be better)

On a lightly floured surface, dust the top of the dough and rolling pin with flour. Roll from center to edges into a 12" circle.

To transfer pastry, wrap it round the rolling pin; unroll into a 9" pie plate, being careful not to stretch pastry. With a table knife, trim pastry even with pie plate.

Put filling in pie crust.

Roll remaining dough into a 12" circle. Cut slits in the center to allow steam to escape while baking.

Place pastry on top of filling; trim to 1/2" beyond edge of plate. Fold top pastry under edge of bottom pastry and slightly flatten. Crimp edge of pastry as desired. Brush top with melted butter or egg wash.

Bake as directed in the individual recipe. Cover crust edge with foil during last 10 minutes to prevent over browning.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Asian Stir Fry Sauce

I found this sauce recipe on the back of a bag of Great Value frozen stir fry veggies. And it's gooood and easy! We like asian flavors, so I use these ingredients a lot. If you have never made asian type foods, you should start! If you don't have some of these ingredients, buy the smallest container to try it out. I think you'll find that you like them and will use them frequently - and the shelf life is pretty good on them.


2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp ground ginger (you can buy this in little jars; refrigerate after opening)
1 tsp sesame oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 tsp sugar (optional)
Pinch cayenne (optional)


Mix all ingredients and saute with stir fry ingredients. I usually saute some chicken or other meat till cooked, then add some type of veggie and either pasta or rice. Toss it all with this sauce until heated through. If you make a big batch of stir fry, or if you like sauce, you can always double the recipe.

I know this is kind of a vague recipe, but it's so versatile! If you have rice, use rice. If you have pasta, use pasta. If my directions don't make sense or if I was too vague, ask questions! I love talking about my recipes!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pumpkin Muffins

I've never been a huge fan of pumpkin/spice stuff, but I'm kinda starting to get into it. My sister-in-law gave me the recipe for these muffins and they're pretty yummy!!


1 pkg spice cake mix
1 can (about 15 oz) pumpkin (not pie filling)
1 egg
A splash of water, if needed
1/2 cup (total) optional additions: Raisins, walnuts, chocolate chips or any combo


Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Don't add too much water - batter should be thick.

Spoon into greased 12-cup muffin tin. The cups will be pretty full, but don't worry - the batter doesn't rise a lot.

Bake at 350
° for about 15 minutes. Don't overcook, muffins are always better a little moist in the middle!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Beef Noodle Bowl

This recipe came from a Kraft Foods magazine that I get. You can also check out their website for some super easy recipes. Zac absolutely LOVES the Beef Noodle Bowl. If you have an aversion to beef, go ahead and use chicken. Shrimp might be good, too...ooh, there's an idea...


8 oz. linguine, uncooked
3 cups broccoli florets
2 cups carrots, peeled and sliced (about 3 medium
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 lb. beef sirloin steak, cut into strips
¼ cup Kraft Asian Toasted Sesame dressing
2 Tbsp teriyaki sauce


Cook pasta as directed on package, adding broccoli and carrots to the cooking water for the last two minutes of pasta cooking time. Drain mixture, cover, and set aside.

While pasta is cooking, heat oil and teriyaki sauce in large nonstick skillet. Add meat and cook until browned on all sides, stirring occasionally. Stir in dressing; cook until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.

Toss pasta and meat mixtures in large serving bowl.

I'm really enjoying posting some of my recipes. I wish I could put pictures with them, but I'm not necessarily making them as I post. They are just yummy favorites. Let me know if you try or have any thoughts about any of them.

Lori's Wine Sauce Chicken

Lori made this scrumptious dish for us one night at her house - back when we all lived in Arkansas. hehe She serves it over rice, but it would also be yummy over noodles. It calls for white wine - I keep a bottle of white cooking wine and marsala cooking wine that I use for few different recipes.


6 boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 Tbsp butter
2 cups sauteed mushrooms
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Place the butter or margarine in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Place the chicken pieces on top and add the sauteed mushrooms.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine and heat the soup, milk, Cheddar cheese and garlic powder. Remove from heat and add the white wine and mayonnaise.

Pour mixture over the chicken and mushrooms. Top with slivered almonds and grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Serve over cooked rice or noodles.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Super easy rolls

These easy, yummy rolls are from a Paula Deen recipe. They are the easiest things ever - a little more biscuit-y than normal rolls, but a very easy way to have homemade bread with dinner.


2 cups self-rising flour (this is in your normal grocery store, right next to the all purpose. You can also make your own.)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Optional seasonings (ex: garlic powder, cinnamon/sugar, whatever goes with your meal)


Combine flour and milk. Stir in mayo, until just combined.

Spoon into greased 12-cup muffin tin. Bake at 350
° for 12-15 minutes.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

LOW CAL Zucchini Muffins

I altered this recipe from one that I found on AllRecipes to make it healthier. I'll type the recipe the way I made it, with the original ingredients in parentheses. I scraped the bowl and made exactly two dozen cupcakes....these are sooooo yummy!!!

UPDATE: I figured it up - if you make it my healthy way with walnuts, each muffin is 105 calories. Omit the walnuts and each muffin is 72 calories. Just FYI. :)


3 cups whole wheat flour (original: 3 cups flour)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce (original: 1 cup oil)
1 3/4 cup Splenda (original: 1 3/4 cup sugar)
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 cups grated zucchini, about 3 medium (DO NOT DRAIN - you'll need the moisture)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional, but highly recommended!)


Sift together flour(s), salt, soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Set aside.

Cream together eggs, oil, applesauce, sugar, Splenda and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix well.

Stir in zucchini and walnuts until well blended. Spoon into greased muffin tin. (I use muffin liners and lightly spray those.)

Bake at 325
° for about 15 minutes. DO NOT overbake or you will lose the wonderful moist texture. Remember: if you use any whole wheat flour, your muffins will already be kind of brown - so you can't just look for the 'golden brown' on top.

These are so good. If you think your batter looks a little dry before baking, stir in an extra dollop of applesauce. Some people stir in chocolate chips, but I kinda like them without it. You can also bake this in an 8x4 loaf pan for about 40 minutes. So good.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mamaw's buttermilk poundcake with vanilla sauce

Everybody has one of those dishes that grandma always made. And you loved it. For my siblings and me, it's our Mamaw's poundcake. She used to make a chocolate sauce, too, but the vanilla is my favorite and the one she makes most often. It's super yummy!  (In case you don't know, a tube pan is the kind used for angel food cake.  I usually use a bundt pan, though.)


1 cup shortening
3 cups sugar
6 eggs, separated
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk


Grease and flour your pan.  DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP.  Don't try a spray or some other shortcut.  Grease it and flour it really well.  Or it will stick.  Trust me!

In mixer, blend shortening and sugar.

Add egg yolks, one at a time, blending well after each addition.

Mix in vanilla.

Combine flour, salt and soda. Add to shortening mix, alternating with buttermilk.

Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold into shortening mixture.

Bake in prepared pan at 350° for about an hour, till pick comes out clean. Let cool, serve with vanilla sauce. YUM!


1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Pet milk (evaporated milk)
1 tsp vanilla


Melt butter in saucepan. Remove from heat.
Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
Simmer over low heat, stirring, about five minutes. Serve over poundcake and enjoy your life.  :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Poor Man Tacos

I got this recipe out of a book I got from Christine (I think I still owe her $10 for it...need to ask about that). When she still lived in Arkansas, she worked at Helping Hand as one of their Occupational Therapists; they sold these cookbooks as a fundraiser. Of course, I don't have the cookbook right now because it's in a box somewhere in our storage unit, but I covered the basics and they turned out pretty yummy. This would be a great way to stretch your hamburger meat into two meals and save a little money.


1 lb ground beef (I use 90/10 ground sirloin, but use whatever your tastes/budget allows)
Taco seasoning
1 can chili beans (do not drain!)
5-6 slices Velveeta
Flour tortillas
Shredded cheddar cheese (if you're a cheese junkie like us)
Lettuce, etc. (as desired)


Brown your ground beef with the taco seasoning. If necessary, drain some of the fat and put beef back in pan.

Pour chili beans over taco meat and cook on low until beans are heated through. Top with Velveeta slices and stir until cheese melts.

Serve in tortillas with cheese and whatever other taco toppings you might like.

We had them with just the meat/bean filling and a sprinkle of cheddar. But you can top them however you like. And then have leftovers to do it all again in a couple of days.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Dad's Banana Muffins

My dad got this awesome banana bread recipe from a friend when he was in college finishing his bachelor's degree at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia. The recipe is technically for muffins, but we sometimes just make loaf bread instead. It's super yummy!


1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup mashed banana (about 3)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup nuts (walnuts or pecans)


Cream shortening with sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

Combine dry ingredients. Add to shortening mix, alternating with buttermilk.

Stir in mashed banana and vanilla. Add nuts, if using.

Pour into muffin tin or loan pan(s). Bake at 350° for 20-30 minutes (muffins or mini-loaves) or about 45 minutes (regular loaf). Let cool on rack.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Popcorn from Lori

Here are some more recipes from Lori's blog. One night I saw on her Facebook that she'd made a Popcorn Cake and I asked about it. She posted that recipe and two others that sounded yummy. Let me know if you decide to try them!

Grandma Clever's Popcorn Cake

4 qts. popped popcorn
1 lb small gumdrops (
sometimes we have to use the bigger ones and cut them. That’s pain.)
½ lb salted peanuts
½ c butter
½ c oil (
my gma has ‘salad oil’…. I think that I normally use canola or something like that. Also, you can get away with not using that much - maybe between 1/4 c. to 1/2 c.)
1 lb marshmallows
Buttered angel food cake pan

Add popcorn, candy, and nuts in large bowl.

Melt oil and butter in large saucepan. Add marshmallows. Bring to boil. Pour over popcorn mixture and mix.

Press into pan. Let cool.

Red Hot Popcorn

I also thought I'd post another popcorn recipe. I can't take credit for this one - Kristi found this one and it's so yummy and different. The young women especially liked it! :) I wish that I had a picture for you. It turns out bright red, just like the red hots, and tastes so yummy!

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 c. unpopped popcorn
1/2 c. butter
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
2 (2.25 oz) packages cinnamon red hot candies

Pop popcorn and place in large brown bag (or large Ziploc).

Combine the butter, corn syrup and red hots in a microwave safe bowl or saucepan. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the candies have melted. Pour the hot syrup over the popped corn, and shake bag for 1 minute, until completely coated. Cool and serve.

Caramel Popcorn

This is not your normal crunchy caramel popcorn. It's got real, gooey caramel on top of the popcorn. We used to make this a lot growing up when 'the family' would sit down and watch a movie. SO good. SO easy.

1 c. unpopped popcorn
½ c. butter or margarine
1 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. white Karo syrup

Pop popcorn with an air popper. (
You can also pop it in the microwave in a brown paper bag.) Try to take out the seeds that don’t pop.

Mix butter, sugar, and Karo into small saucepan. Boil 2 minutes and then pour over popped corn.

Cashew chicken

My friend Lori made this for me after I had Abby. I was able to figure out most of the ingredients and made it several times after. Zac had to tell me not to make it again for a long time, if that tells you how many times I made it...

And so I am copying her blog post with the recipe. I don't use bean sprouts, because they kind of freak me out. And I'm lazy, so I usually use spices instead of celery and onion. But what she brought me was amazing, so following the recipe would definitely not hurt. Although part of cooking is making things to fit your taste and your style. So....make some cashew chicken!!

Mom's Cashew Chicken

1 chicken (I use chicken breasts instead of a whole chicken)
12 oz can of bean sprouts
1 can cream of mushroom soup
large can (or 2/3 of a bag) chow mein noodles
1 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. milk
1/4 lb salted cashews
1/2 c. chopped onions

1. Set aside some chow mein noodles (about 1/3 of what you're using). Mix all ingredients together in a medium to large bowl.
2. Spoon ingredients from bowl into a greased casserole dish. Top with the remaining chow mein noodles. Don't worry if they don't fully cover the dish.
3. Bake uncovered for 1 hr at 350 degrees

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

World-famous green chile enchiladas

I came up with this recipe a couple of years ago when I needed to use up some pantry ingredients. They freeze well and, in my experience, make a great meal to take to new moms or other people who need dinner. Amounts will differ, depending on the size of your pan(s). But here are the basics for a 9x13 pan:


3-4 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed/shredded (I cook mine with salt, pepper, and garlic powder)
Taco seasoning
2 cans green chile enchilada sauce
1 can cheddar cheese soup
Flour tortillas
Shredded cheddar cheese


In a medium mixing bowl, toss chicken with a liberal amount of taco seasoning to coat. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine the enchilada sauce with the cheddar soup. Add enough of this to the chicken so that it holds together. Set aside the remaining sauce mix.

Lightly fill the tortillas with the chicken mixture. Line up in greased 9x13 pan, seam side down, until pan is full.

Pour the remaining sauce mix over enchiladas, spreading out to cover ends of tortillas. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.

Bake in a 350° oven for 20-30 minutes, until cheese is golden brown and sauce is bubbly.

Enjoy. Yum!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Fresh strawberry bread

I tried this recipe because I had some strawberries that I REALLY needed to do something with. They were a little too ripe to be eaten plain and I didn't have any Cool Whip to make a fun dessert. So, I got this recipe from Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads that my Dad got me a few years ago. Holy cow, it's yummy!! Zac is a huge fan of strawberries, so of course he loved it and wants me to double the strawberries!! It's a veeeerrry simple bread recipe, so those of you who say bread is too hard - try it!!


1 pint fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
1 3/4 cups flour (bread or all-purpose)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter or shortening
2 eggs
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional - recommend walnuts or pecans)


Preheat oven to 350.

Crush enough of the strawberries to fill 1 cup. Pour into a small saucepan and heat on medium. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Cool. Slice remaining strawberries and chill.

In a medium bowl combine the dry ingredients, except the sugar.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter; then add the eggs and water, mixing until light and fluffy.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing well. Stir in the crushed strawberries and nuts, if using. Pour into greased medium (8 1/2" x 4 1/2") loaf pan.

Bake for 55-60 minutes, till pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes, and then turn onto a cooling rack/towel.

Now, Zac and I are just eating it like it is and it's darn tasty. Mr. Clayton's idea also sounds great - top the slices with softened cream cheese and the reserved, chilled strawberries. Either way, it's definitely "Good Eats."

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Taco ring

I originally got this recipe from a Pampered Chef party. They use it as an advertisement for their pizza stones, but I just use a regular pizza pan. I can't take credit for the above picture, I found it on RecipeZaar. I tried this recipe after the PC party I attended and Zac FREAKED out over how good it was. It's pretty darn scrumptious.


1 lb ground beef
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I like to add more!)
1 pkg taco seasoning
2 pkg crescent rolls
Sour cream
Taco toppings of your choice (lettuce, tomato, olives)


Preheat oven to 375.

Brown ground beef in skillet, drain. Mix in taco seasoning. Stir in shredded cheese and set aside.

On pizza stone/pan lay out crescents rolls in circular/spoked shape with pointed end pointing to outside of stone. You should have an empty circle in the middle; it will look kind of like sunrays.

Spoon beef mixture onto crescent rolls. Pull the points toward the center and tuck into the fat edge of the crescent roll. (Looking at the picture might help this make more sense).

Bake for 20-25 minutes, till crescent rolls are browned.

Put a bowl (or hollowed out bell pepper) in the middle and fill with salsa or sour cream. Mound lettuce, tomatoes, etc. on top of the taco ring.

I suppose you could mix black beans or something in with the meat - but this one is pretty darn good on its own.

Easy red beans & rice

I edited this recipe from my Betty Crocker's "Big Red" cookbook - the greatest cookbook ever! I've just recently started eating beans, since I'm trying to get over my pickiness with food. This recipe is easy and yummy...add some Jiffy cornbread muffins to round it out - YUM!!


1 can (15-16 oz) red kidney beans, rinsed
1/2 pkg of smoked turkey sausage, cut into half-circles
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 cup uncooked regular long-grain rice
1 tsp. salt
2 cups chicken broth (I use water & chicken bouillon)


Cook turkey sausage with garlic & onion powders, till lightly browned. Remove from heat.

Add beans, rice, salt and broth. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Cover and turn heat to very low.

Simmer 14 minutes without removing lid. Remove from heat.

Fluff with fork. Cover and let steam 5 - 10 minutes.

NOTE: Most bean recipes call for using the bean liquid because it has a lot of flavor. However, as Betty Crocker notes, the bean liquid is also what causes the most flatulence (sorry, I had to tell you - it's good info). So, that's why I changed the recipe and used broth instead of water/bean liquid. But, if you want to use it, just add enough water to the bean liquid so that you have 2 cups of cooking liquid.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Enchilada casserole

I found this recipe on All Recipes last week and Zac made it for lunch today. Of course, he changed a few things - wouldn't be a Zac recipe if he didn't!! It was pretty darn tasty...


1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

Taco seasoning (to your taste)

1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce

1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons chili powder

salt to taste

4 (10 inch) flour tortillas, torn into strips

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese


Heat oven to 350 and lightly grease a deep dish pie pan or casserole dish.

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown ground beef with onion and garlic. Drain fat and stir in taco seasoning. (Remember you will be adding more spices in a minute!)

Stir in tomato sauce, tomato paste, cumin, chili powder and salt. Mix well and allow to thicken slightly.

Spoon a thin layer of tomato mix in bottom of pan. Layer tortilla strips, tomato mixture and cheese until pan is full, ending with cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes, until cheese is melted and lightly browned.

Yummy options:
**Zac added about 1/2 a can of drained black beans and 1/2 a can of sweet corn to the tomato mixture. Very good!!
**Next time we make it, I am going to add a layer of refried beans between the tortilla strips and the tomato mixture. (I'll omit Zac's beans and corn). I'll let you know how that turns out!

Welcome to the blog!

I really enjoy trying things in the kitchen. I don't think cooking is really hard, you just have to be a little creative! Since I've gotten married and had a child, I have also learned the benefit of making kitchen time easier with quick recipes or with recipes that can easily be doubled and one half frozen for next week's dinner! I hope you enjoy my blog and try some of the recipes. PLEASE share any good ones that you have, too!!!