Sunday, November 30, 2014

Crab Rangoon Dip

This recipe was on Facebook and just looks wonderful!  I LOVE Crab Rangoon, although it is usually not made with actual crab meat in restaurants, but this looks amazing!

Janet JayCee Cheshier with Brenda Taylor

Crab Rangoon Dip - A party favorite!

2 cups crab meat
16 oz. cream cheese (2 blocks)
1/2 cup sour cream
4 green onions, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp lemon juice

1. First, soften the cream cheese in the microwave for about a minute.
2. Chop your green onions. Add them and your two cups of crab meat .
3. Add the sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, powdered sugar, garlic powder and lemon juice.
4. Mix all the ingredients and bake for 30 mins at 350 degrees. Serve hot with chips or fried wantons or pork rinds.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Daisy Braid Bread

This is a braided sweet bread by Cyndi Ingle who has been making it for 38 years at this point.

November 24, 2010 at 9:15pm

6 cups flour
2 ¼ oz. pkgs. dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup margarine (1 cube), softened at room temp
1 1/2 cups very hot tap water
2 eggs, at room temperature
vegetable oil
2 aluminum pie pans

1. Combine 2 cups flour, yeast, sugar and salt in large bowl. Stir well and add soft margarine. Add hot tap water all at once. Beat with mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes.
2. Add eggs and 1 cup more flour. Beat with mixer at high speed for 1 minute.
3. Stir in remaining flour with a wooden spoon. Turn out on floured board in a ball. Knead 5-10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
4. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and let rest 15-20 minutes. Punch down. Divide dough in half.
5. Roll each half into a long rectangle. Cut each into 3 strips. Pinch the edges of the strips together to make ropes. Braid and turn the ends of the braid together, joining them and pinching dough to make a round daisy shape.
6. Oil pie pans. Place round loaf in each pan and brush oil on top of loaf. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough overnight (can befrom 2 hours to 48 hours).
7. Take bread out of refrigerator and let sit while you preheat the oven. Bake at 375° for 30 to 35 minutes. Bake it on the next to the lowest rack in your oven. I always check the bread at 30 minutes and look at the bottom of the loaf to be sure it is all brown and not doughy looking (my oven always takes 35 minutes). Remove the bread from the oven and rub the top with margarine all over. Cool on a rack. 
Makes 2 loaves.

Argan Oil Cuticle Cream Recipe

I found this recipe at Mountain Rose Herbs. They have great recipes to make using herbs and Essential Oils. This is one that I definitely will be trying.

Keeping your hands and cuticles well hydrated is the first defense against cracking, peeling, and possible infection, as well as the key to keeping them looking great! If your cuticles are not well moisturized, they are more prone to break, crack, and thus become more vulnerable to bacteria. Maintaining well hydrated cuticles is what keeps them under control as well.

So instead of trimming, try this weekly routine: soak nails in warm soapy water, pat dry and then gently push your cuticles back (with something soft) and slather on some of this cuticle ointment. You can also keep a tin of this cuticle cream in your bathroom, on your nightstand, in your kitchen, and even at your desk to apply throughout the day. You might find that your cuticles are less of a problem, with the added benefit of fewer hang nails, and an overall improvement in nail health.

Pressed from the fruit kernels of the Moroccan Argan tree, Argan oil smells lightly nutty (not as much as neem), is so incredibly light, and absorbs quickly into the skin, making it a perfect cosmetic oil for your face, hair, or nails! I like to use it knowing it will absorb quickly and that I won’t get everything around me (especially my face and clothes) super greasy! You can also massage this ointment into brittle nails to help nourish and strengthen them naturally. - See more at:

2 Tbsp organic Argan Oil
2 Tbsp organic Sweet Almond Oil
1 TBSP + 1 TSP Beeswax Pastilles
2 Tbsp organic Shea Butter
A couple drops of Vitamin E oil

Essential Oil Blend
20 organic Australian Sandalwood Essential Oil (preferred) or organic Lavender Essential Oil
10 organic Tea Tree
10 organic Sweet Orange

1. Place a small to medium sized pot of water (2-3 inches) on the stovetop, over low-medium heat.
2. Place butter, oils, and beeswax into a small Pyrex measuring glass and hang on the inside edge of your pot of water.
3. Stir occasionally until butter and wax are fully melted together in the oil. Remove from heat.
4. Stir in essential oils and vitamin e oil.
5. Quickly pour into 5-6 1/2 oz tins.
6. Place lids loosely onto containers and allow to cool.
7. Once completely cool, place lids all the way on containers, make a label and enjoy!

Australian Sandalwood Essential Oil: Sweet, woodsy, softly floral, and delicately robust. Good for dry and chapped skin. A grounding essential oil sure to boost your mood.

Tea Tree Essential Oil: A classic medicinal with a sharp, earthy, herbaceous scent. A great essential oil to keep your nails in their happy healthy state.

Sweet Orange Essential Oil: Uplifting, citrusy, and sweet. The aroma of sweet orange is cheerful and the oil is naturally antibacterial to keep your nails feeling clean and fresh all day long.

- See more at:

Thursday, November 27, 2014


December 2, 2010 at 12:33am

This recipe comes from Cyndi Ingle who I met in the mid 1990's back when we were still on dial-up and a V.90 modem was amazingly fast!!!! LOL

1 1.75 L (half-gallon) bottle inexpensive vodka

4 oz instant coffee (Folgers is best)

8 cups sugar

3 cups hot water

2 1/2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise

5 empty fifth bottles, pretty decanters, or decorative bottles all with tight fitting caps or stoppers

Mix sugar and water together in a large pan, heat over medium high heat until it comes to a slight boil and the sugar is completely dissolved (as in a simple syrup). Mix instant coffee with enough boiling water to make a paste and dissolve the coffee, then add to sugar water and stir until completely dissolved. Let cool. Stir in vodka. Use a funnel and pour equally into 5 empty fifth bottles, pretty decanters, or decorative bottles. Cut vanilla beans in half lengthwise. Tie a thread to the end of each half and suspend one in each bottle of Kahlua. Cap the bottles and let stand for 6 to10 days. Enjoy!


Inexpensive vanilla beans can be found at: and also at Costco, 5 beans per tube, 2 tubes per package.

I always make 2 batches of this recipe using an 8 oz. jar of instant coffee and two half-gallons of vodka. This makes 10 full bottles of kahlua, which works perfect with one tube/package of 5 vanilla beans, each split in half.


Smith & Kerns: In a tall glass with ice, 1 1/2 shots kahlua, cola/diet cola, top with half & half

Smith & Wesson: Same as above, plus a shot of vodka

Alternate Smith & Wesson: Use vanilla vodka

Black Russian: 2 oz. vodka, 1 oz. kahlua over ice in a short glass.

White Russian: 2 oz. vodka, 1 oz. kahlua, splash of half & half or heavy cream, over ice in a short glass.

More online:

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Pomander Ball Cleanser

OMG! This smells wonderful and works very well! a 1-2 punch for sure!

(adapted from a recipe from Barbara Lucks)
Not only does this preparation clean but the essential oils disinfect and provide a natural, festive fragrance.
1 teaspoon Sweet Orange or Mandarine essential oil
a few drops of Clove Oil and Cinnamon Leaf oils
1 teaspoon washing soda
2 teaspoons borax
1/2 teaspoon liquid soap or detergent
2 cups hot water (to dissolve the soda and borax)

Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake to dissolve and blend the minerals. You can spray this cleaner onto a surface then leave it for 15 minutes before wiping it off, to give the essential oils antiseptic qualities time to work. Makes 2 cups.

It will leave your house smelling like an old-fashioned, clove studded pomander ball!

Taco Soup

{Slow Cooker}
1 pound ground beef 
1 small onion (or half of a large onion), diced 
1 (15 oz.) can beef broth 
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained 
1 can pinto beans, undrained 
1 (15 oz.)can kernel corn, undrained 
1 packet taco seasoning 
1 packet dry ranch dressing mix 
1 cup water

In a pan, brown and crumble ground beef along with diced onion (season with a pinch of salt & pepper). 
Drain excess grease. 
Put ground beef and onion mixture in slow cooker. 
Add in diced tomatoes, corn, pinto beans, beef broth and water. 
Stir in packets of ranch dressing mix and taco seasoning. 
Give it all a good stir and set on low for 6 to 8 hours. 

Serve with toppings such as crushed corn tortilla chips, sour cream, Mexican cheeses and chopped green onion.

MY NOTE:  Man was this good!!!
I put sour cream and shredded cheese in it too when I served it. I like the creaminess of the sour cream.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Casserole

Found this over at the Country Cook.  I really like her recipes!
The Country Cook: Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Casserole {Slow Cooker or oven}
1 (32 oz.) bag frozen tater tots
1 (3 oz.)bag bacon pieces
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup milk
salt & pepper, to taste

Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
Layer half of the frozen tater tots on the bottom of the slow cooker.
Sprinkle with 1/3 of the bacon pieces.
Now top with 1/3 of the shredded cheese.
Add diced chicken on top. Season with salt & pepper.
Now add 1/3 of the bacon pieces and another 1/3 of shredded cheese.
Put the rest of the frozen tater tots on top.
Finish with the remaining 1/3 cheddar cheese and remaining 1/3 of bacon pieces.
Pour 3/4 cup milk all over the top.
Cover and cook on low about 4-6 hours.
Note: Some slow cookers run at different temperatures. If you are using an older slow cooker (older than about 6 years old), your cooking time may take longer. Newer models run a bit hotter so keep an eye on this around the 4 hour mark. You want to make sure the chicken is cooked thoroughly (to 165F degrees).

Cook's Note: This recipe is designed to be made in a slow cooker. If your only choice is to make it in the oven then you will need to thaw partially thaw the tater tots first. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Then layer ingredients into baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about an hour to an hour and a half.

Also, use any kind of bacon you want with this. If you have some fried bacon or microwave bacon - that all works just fine too!

MY NOTE:  I thought it was a bit dry in the oven.  Probably more moist in the crock pot!

Liquid Laundry Detergent No Grate

Laundry Detergent No Grate  3 Tablespoons Borax  3 Tablespoons Washing Soda (I use 6 T due to extremely mineralized water)  2 Tablespoons Dawn Dish soap  4 c very hot or boiling water  use 1/4-1/3 c per load

3 Tablespoons Borax
3 Tablespoons Washing Soda (I use 6 T due to extremely mineralized water)
2 Tablespoons Dawn Dish soap
4 c very hot or boiling water

use 1/4-1/3 c per load

MY NOTE: I added 1 ½ T Downy Unstoppables for a great scent.

2ND NOTE: I really like this for towels better than the one with Fels Naptha because it leaves no residue in the towels that I use for mirrors and such!

Dog Biscuits (Milk Bone Copy)

Yeah...this is for the furries...It came from

3/4 cup hot water
1/3 cup margarine
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
3 cups whole wheat flour

Variation: increase margarine to 1/2 cup and add 2 teaspoons sugar In large bowl pour hot water over the margarine.
Stir in powdered milk, salt, and egg.
Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time.
Knead for a few minutes to form stiff dough.
Pat or roll to 1/2 inch thickness.
Cut into bone shapes.
Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes.
They will dry out quite hard.
Makes about 1 1/4 pounds of biscuits.
Costs around 30 cents per pound.

My friend's note is that she adds a little beef buillon to this...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Captain Morgan Sweet & Sour Chicken (Shrimp)

This was originally a shrimp recipe but as I am allergic to shrimp, I make chicken!  I got this while watching a low budget TV show called RVTV for RVers.  Check out this breakdown in the difference between restaurant Sweet & Sour Shrimp and this version:
Calories 330/110
Fat Grams 23/4
Cholesterol 160/160
Sodium 1,928/300
I assume the Cholesterol is from the shrimp since it is the same in both.

Serves 2:
1/4 c Brown Sugar
4 oz Spiced Rum II like Captain Morgan Spiced Rum)
Louisiana Hot Sauce to Taste (I use Great Value brand)
2 Small Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut in 1/2" squares
1/8 tsp Cornstarch with a few T Spiced Rum

In a small pan over med high heat, combine brown sugar and 4 oz spiced rum until sugar is melted.
Now, add the meat.
Cook until the meat is done--it won't take long.
Combine cornstarch and a little spiced rum in small cup until smooth and add to pan to thicken sauce.

Serve over choice of cooked rice or add to salad as they did in the RVTV episode.
My NOTE:  I like to serve over rice cooked with vegetables such as carrots or broccoli or peas.  Well, pretty much any type of rice!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Biscuits & Gravy Casserole

The author says This makes for an awesome easy breakfast for the gang...

1 pound sausage
1 1/2 ounces pork gravy mix ( 1 package of Pioneer Brand Peppered Sausage Gravy Mix )
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
to taste salt
to taste black pepper
1 Can (8 oz) biscuits ( 1 can Pillsbury Grands Biscuits )


Preheat oven to 350 degree's. 
Take a 9x13 pan and spray it with Pam or whatever you like to use. 
Then take the Biscuits and it into 1" pieces and line bottom of pan. 
Brown Sausage and scatter over biscuits. 
Sprinkle with Cheddar Cheese. 
Whisk eggs and milk with a pinch of salt and pepper and pour it over the pan. 
Make Gravy mix per package directions and pour over. 
Bake in the oven for about 30-45 minutes.

Grandma's Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce

• 4 cups (8 slices) cubed white bread
• 1/2 cup raisins
• 2 cups milk
• 1/4 cup butter
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 2 eggs, slightly beaten
• 1 tablespoon vanilla
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Sauce Ingredients:
• 1/2 cup butter
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
• 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
• 1 tablespoon vanilla

Directions for Pudding:
Heat oven to 350°F. Combine bread and raisins in large bowl. Combine milk and 1/4 cup butter in 1-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat until butter is melted (4 to 7 minutes). Pour milk mixture over bread; let stand 10 minutes. 
Stir in all remaining pudding ingredients. Pour into greased 1 1/2-quart casserole. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until set in center. 
Directions for Sauce:
Combine all sauce ingredients except vanilla in 1-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens and comes to a full boil (5 to 8 minutes). Stir in vanilla. 
To serve, spoon warm pudding into individual dessert dishes; serve with sauce. Store refrigerated -Fashioned Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Grandma's Chicken & Rice Bake (Copy Cat of Stouffers)

This one looks yummy too!  It makes enough to make 2 pans of recipe so that you can cook one and freeze one for later.  MY NOTE:  We do LOVE the Stouffer's Chicken and Rice Bake!  This was a recipe that was done at Mommy's Kitchen as a blog promo for Progresso soup.  I would use the chicken soup and skip the Progresso Mushroom soup.  Since there is actual cheese added to the recipe, I might not add the cheese soup either.

6 - chicken breasts, cooked & cut in pieces or use rotisserie chicken
1/2 - cup butter or margarine, separated
1/2 - cup chopped onion
2 - carrots, peeled & diced
1 - cup frozen peas or peas & carrot mix
4 - cups cooked converted or brown rice (converted rice is par boiled rice)
1 - 18 oz can Progresso cream of mushroom soup
1 - 10.5 oz can cream of chicken soup or
2 - cans cream of chicken & omit mushroom soup
1- 10 3/4 oz can cheddar cheese soup
2 - cups milk
1 - 8 oz package Kraft Shredded Three Chesse Blend or regular cheddar cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 - cups Panko bread crumbs
3 - tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, Cook the rice first according to package directions. You will need 4 cups cooked rice. Cut the chicken breasts into smaller size pieces for even cooking.

Drizzle some olive oil into a large skillet. Heat up a skillet or grill pan. The skillet needs to be nice and hot.

Add the chicken pieces and pan fry until golden brown on each side and the chicken is cooked through. Cook the chicken in batches so you don't crowd the skillet. Set the chicken aside.

In a separate saucepan melt 5 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the diced carrot, onions and peas. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent in color. Set veggies aside when done.

In a very large bowl add the cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken, cheddar cheese soup and milk. Stir together;

Add shredded cheese, chicken, cooked veggies and rice. Gently mix everything together. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour mixture into two 9x11 inch pans (I used disposable roaster pans from Walmart). In a small bowl melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and mix with the bread crumbs.

Sprinkle bread crumb mixture evenly between both casseroles. Place in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Cook until mixture is bubbly and the topping is golden brown.

To Freeze Casserole: Wrap unbaked casserole with glad press and seal or plastic wrap, and then wrap with on layer of aluminum foil. Date the casserole and freeze.

To cook Frozen Casserole. Remove casserole from freezer, thaw and bake at 350 degrees for 40 - 45 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and heated through.

Recipe Yields: Two 9 x 11 inch casseroles.

This version was done by a Freezer Club and is the one on which the above was based I believe:

4 cups cooked converted rice (like Uncle Ben's)
3-4 chicken breasts
1/4 onion
1 tsp garlic powder (or equivalent in minced garlic)
4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp flour
3 cups whole milk
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 can of cream of chicken soup
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups frozen peas & carrots
2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1/2 tsp salt

Cooking Directions:
Cut chicken into a bite-size pieces then fry in skillet with onion and garlic until done. Set aside.
Cook rice, according to package directions, so to have 4 cups when done. Be sure to use converted rice, it works better.
In a large dutch oven, melt 4 Tbsp butter and wisk in 4 Tbsp flour. Mix for one minute.
SLOWLY add milk to pot, letting it thicken and fully blend in with butter/flour before adding another cup. Stir constantly until mixture is thick and bubbly. This step will take a while, be patient, it's worth it.
Add 3 cups of sharp cheddar cheese to milk mixture until it's melted in. Then stir in 2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper & can of cream of chicken soup. Mix well, then add veggies, chicken and rice.
Mix Panko & 1/2 tsp salt in a sandwich bag.
Do nothing with 2 T of butter.

Freezing Directions:
* Let cool and pour into gallon freezer bag.
* Freeze up to 3 months

Reheating Directions:

Thaw in fridge overnight.
Pour mixture into a greased 9x13 pan, and be sure oven is preheated to 350 degrees.
In clean bowl, melt 2 T of butter and pour into sandwich bag that has panko mixture. Mix well (shake and use your fingers).
Sprinkle panko mixture over top of casserole.
Bake casserole, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes, until it's bubbly and gold brown.

* Serves 8-10

Almond Glaze

1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 tsp. almond extract
2 Tb. water
4 drops of food coloring

Stir all ingredients until smooth.
Pour 1 teaspoon of glaze on each sugar cookie.
Use the back of the teaspoon to spread glaze evenly over cookie.
Let glaze dry.

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies with Almond Glaze

I just found these on FaceBook and they look SO GOOD--And ALMOND GLAZE???? Oh yeah!!!! Gotta try them!

1 cup sugar
1 cup margarine or butter, softened
3 oz. package of cream cheese
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg yolk (reserve white)
2 cups all purpose flour

Blend together sugar, margarine, cream cheese, salt, almond extract, vanilla, and egg yolk with mixer.
Mix in flour until well blended.
Roll into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for two hours.
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Roll out dough, one third at a time, on a lightly floured surface.
Using a cookie cutter dipped in flour, cut out cookies as close together as possible.
Place the cookies one inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
To prevent breaking, move cookies to and from baking sheets with a wide spatula or pancake turner.
Leave cookies plain or, if desired, brush with slightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with colored sugar.
Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until bottoms of cookies are a light golden brown.
Cool completely.
{Note from author: My mom always told me the most important part of making sugar cookies was to take them out as soon as they were even slightly brown on the bottom, or not at all. I took mine out before they had even browned and left them on the cookie sheet to cool. That made them extra soft and delicious.}
If desired, use the almond glaze below.

Almond Glaze:
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 tsp. almond extract
2 Tb. water
4 drops of food coloring

Stir all ingredients until smooth.
Pour 1 teaspoon of glaze on each sugar cookie.
Use the back of the teaspoon to spread glaze evenly over cookie.
Let glaze dry.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Connecticut Beef Supper

When hubbs and I got married, the ladies of my home church got together and wrote out some of their favorite recipes and then presented them to me as a gift.  My Sister-In-Law, Carol, contributed this one and it is quite tasty as I recall.  Doesn't this look pretty (the picture is from a 1971 Betty Crocker Recipe Card!) and sound perfect for a cold evening?

Serves 6-8

2 T Shortening or butter
2 lb Stew Meat in 1" cubes
2 lg Onions, sliced
1 c Water
2 lg Potatoes, thin sliced (or 4-5 med potatoes)
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 c Sour Cream
1 1/4 c Milk
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1 c Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 1/4 c Wheaties, crushed (or other Corn Flakes)

Melt shortening & cook meat ad onion until meat is browned and onion tender.
Add water, heat to boiling.
Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 50 min.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Pour meat into large baking dish.
Arrange potato slices over meat.
Stir soup, sour cream, milk, salt & pepper together & pour over meat & potatoes.
Sprinkle with cheese and cereal.
Bake uncovered 1 1/2 hr, til potatoes are tender.

This is the original handwritten recipe from Carol

This is another version of it that I found at It is similar, but a bit different. This one uses ground beef rather than stew meat and doesn't use any onions or shortening.


1 lb. ground beef, browned with onion
2 lg. potatoes, thinly sliced (I use more)
1 can mushroom soup
1 1/4 c. milk
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/4 c. Wheaties or crackers, crushed
1 c. sour cream
1 tsp. salt
1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

Pour beef into 9 x 13 inch pan.
Arrange potato slices on meat.
Stir together soup, sour cream, milk, salt and pepper.
Pour over potatoes.
Sprinkle with cheese and crumbs.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or until potatoes are tender.

Ham Cheddar Chowder

I got the original recipe when I was in High School from my teacher.  He won an award from the St. Louis Post Dispatch that year with it I believe.  This is not his recipe but it is close for sure!  His definitely had Onion but I don't recall any carrots in his, so I am starting with this one and going forward to change it as best I can recall.  So, out with the carrots and in with some onions!

I found this recipe at My Gluten Free Kitchen and she's right!  It really IS GF!  Go figure!  My teacher was ahead of his time!  :)  One of these days I will find his recipe and compare to the way that I remember it!  Until then, I am gonna punt!

My GF Kitchen says:  This soup freezes well and reheats well on the stove. I like to make a double batch and freeze half for another night a few weeks later. You may prefer adding additional milk when reheating the leftovers to thin the soup out a bit.

Serves: 8

1¾ cups water
2 cups peeled, cubed Butter Gold or Yukon Gold potatoes (cubes about ½" to ¾")
½ cup sliced carrots (I buy shredded carrots and chop those in thirds)  I am replacing this with 1 med onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
¾ tsp. garlic salt
½ tsp. pepper
¼ cup butter
¼ cup cornstarch
2 cups milk
2 cups (8 oz.) sharp cheddar cheese (cubed or shredded)
2 cups frozen or fresh corn
1½ or 2 cups cubed ham (fully cooked)
One stick butter or Margarine--I use butter

In a large pot, melt a couple of T of butter and sweat the onions and garlic.
Bring water, potatoes, carrots (onions), and garlic to a boil. 
Stir in salt, garlic salt, and pepper.
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are tender. 
Add the ham cubes and frozen corn. 
Reduce heat to lowest setting.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter, then whisk in the cornstarch. (the original recipe did not use cornstarch, rather it thickened from the potatoes but did use the butter!)
Add the milk to the butter/cornstarch mixture and whisk together. only if you are using this...otherwise, just mush up some of the potatoes, being careful to leave some large chunks as well!
Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.
Add cheddar cheese cubes or shreds and stir until melted.
Pour creamy contents of medium saucepan into the large pot of ham and vegetables. Heat through over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until read to serve. 
Taste a little to see if you would prefer additional seasonings.

MY NOTE:  I will be changing this as shown in the red.  I also intend to make it in a crock pot and will cook it on low for 7-8 hours on low setting.

November 9-15, 2014

The weather forecast is to start around 80 degrees on Monday and then on Tuesday the temps will fall off a cliff as a polar vortex (or Calgary Clipper, or Artic Avalanche or whatever) come blowing in and dropping the temps by more than 20 degrees for daytime highs overnight!  Yikes!  We may actually get to freezing 

Taco Crescent Pie

Grandma's Rice or the CopyCat Stouffer's Grandma's Rice Version which looks slightly creamier and more like what we have had in the past and is made with chicken instead of ground's really hard to mess up a rice casserole though!   :)

Ham Cheddar Chowder
This was a recipe from one of my teachers in High School.  The recipe is easy and the chowder is oh so good!  Yep!  Pulling this one out for a cold day!

Connecticut Beef Supper
When I got married, the ladies of my home church put together some of their favorite recipes as a gift.  This one was given to me by my Sister In Law, Carol in that batch of recipes.  So, this is another blast from the past!

Grill Day!!!!!  Burgers and fries--yep!  :)

This week, the yummy I am thinking of comes from the Hannah Swensen Mystery Series by Joanne Fluke.  This one is from the Key Lime Pie Murder.  I bring you....Cappuccino Royales!  They had me at coffee... :)  Yeah--well, I didn't get those baked last week, so I am going to make them this week...

Cottage Cheese Pudding with Fresh Cranberries

I found this over at Cupcakes and Crinoline. She calls this a pudding but it really looks to be more of a custard or cheesecake type of dish. It does look good for Thanksgiving as a side or dessert though! Cottage Cheese Pudding with Fresh Cranberries

16 ounces of cottage cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 cup milk
3 egg whites
nutmeg and allspice
1 cup of fresh cranberries

Preheat oven to 350°.
Strain cottage cheese over a container in cheese cloth. When almost fully strained mix with salt, flour and sugar.

In a separate bowl beat egg yolks. Add milk and mix well then beat into cheese mixture.

Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into cheese mixture.

Gently fold in cranberries.

Place mixture into baking dish and sprinkle with a little bit of nutmeg and allspice.

Place dish in pan of water and bake for 1 hour.

*recipe adapted from Southern Food

Note from author: Serve with Reddi-wip (just kidding but you can if you want!)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Grandma's Rice

I found this over at Tracey's Kitchen.  Tracey says:  The picture doesn't do this justice. I love casseroles, especially ones with rice and ground beef. This one I found a few months ago and made it tonight to bring to a friend who is a new mom. The recipe can be found at but after making a few of my own modifications (like omitting olives and bacon), I'm writing out the details here.  My Note:  I just might have to add the bacon back in!  She mentions that you stir in the cooked rice but doesn't tell how much to add.  I think about 2-3 cups cooked rice should be about right.  I think this may be the original recipe she alludes to and it calls for 6 strips of crumbled bacon.

1 pound ground beef

6 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled (opt)
1/3 cup chopped onion (I used dried minced onion)
1/2 cup shopped green pepper
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 bag frozen corn
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt (optional) - I omitted
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1 tsp melted butter

4 c cooked rice


Cook the beef, onion and green pepper in a large skillet over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
Stir in the cooked rice, tomatoes, corn, chili powder, garlic powder and (optional) salt. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
Add 1 cup of cheese, stir until melted.
Transfer to a greased baking dish (I used 9 x 13-in). Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Toss bread crumbs with the melted butter and sprinkle over the top.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.We like eating this with french bread. Enjoy!

Quick Chili Powder

I found this over at Tracey's Kitchen.    I like to have substitute recipes on hand--just in case...The author said: I was making a recipe today and found out I didn't have any chili powder. I did a little searching on the internet and found a quick way to make it with my own ingredients.

1 tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp garlic powder

Instructions:Mix everything together and store in an air-tight container.

Upside Down Pizza

I think my eyeballs rolled back in my head with the first bite & then it got better!  This is lick the pan good!
This recipe came from E-Mealz.  I subscribed to the for a few years.  They really helped me get going with the menus and helped to widen our set of recipes so that we weren't eating the same few dishes all of the time.  This is one of our favs from their menus!  I also made it using my freeze dried food storage.  I will put both recipes on here...use whichever works for ya!  :)

1 1/2 lb Ground Beef
1 c Chopped Onion
12 oz Spaghetti Sauce
1 c Sour Cream
8 oz Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
8 oz Crescent Rolls (I use Low Fat and that works fine!)
2 cloves Garlic, minced (I added this because we LOVE garlic!)


Brown Ground Beef & Onion in skillet; (I added a couple of cloves of garlic to it!); drain fat.
Stir in spaghetti sauce.
Cook over low heat, stirring often--10 min.
Spoon mixture into 9x13 inch dish (I used 8x8)
Top with sour cream & cheese.
Unroll crescent rolls & place over cheese.  (sometimes I unroll the pinch the seams together to make a single crust and sometimes I just take the triangles and piece them together over the top of the dish depending on my mood)
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Freeze Dried (Thrive) Food Storage Version

3 c Freeze Dried Ground Beef
1 c Fresh Chopped Onion
2 cloves Garlic, minced
3 T Thrive Tomato Sauce in 12 oz water (which has all of the basil and spices included--to the consistency of Pizza Sauce--let it sit for a bit)
1 c Sour Cream
8 oz (c cups) Mozzarella Cheese
8 oz Crescent Rolls (I used reduced fat)
1/4 c Warm Water

Mix up the Tomato Sauce and let sit while gathering and combining the rest of the ingredients.
Put 3 c dry Freeze Dried Ground Beef in bottom of pan.  
Add fresh chopped onion & garlic; stir together to combine.
Pour Tomato Sauce mixture over all.
Add 1/4 c warm water over all & stir a bit.
Layer 1 c Sour Cream over the top.
Layer 8 oz Mozzarella Cheese.

No need to hydrate beef ahead.  It will hydrate as it cooks.

Unroll crescent rolls & place over cheese.  Sometimes I pinch the seams together and sometimes I just take the triangles and piece them together over the top of the dish, stacking them to fit. 

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20-25 min.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Calico Bean Soup

I originally got this recipe as one of those jar gifts. You know the ones, you get the dry ingredients with a recipe so that you can add the wet stuff and you have a nice meal? Yeah? Well, this one turned out so well, I had to have the full recipe and Linda Bisbee was kind enough to supply her version it back in 1983 when Jim was at the Wichita Surgical Group! Wow! That's been a while! :) I also received this recipe from Nancy Basquez (who actually supplied the jar version) from Haverhill Christian Church. I actually like her recipe better and because it is the fast one (boil water, soak beans for 1 hour and then cook rather than the soak the beans overnight) and it has more spices like the bell pepper, I am actually using hers. So, here we go...

1 1/2 c Bean Mix (I just buy the 15 bean mix at the store in the plastic bags in the dry bean aisle.)
2 1/4 qts Water
2 C Cubed Fully Cooked Ham
1 Can Stewed Tomatoes
1 Med Onion, Chopped
1 Med Green Pepper, Chopped
1 Clove Garlic, Minced
2 tsp Salt

Seasoning package (she provided the seasoning package attached to the jar and didn't give the ingredients for that! Darn! Well, we will wing it shall we? So, we can try this one that I found at
Spice mix for bean soup:
1 teaspoon 
chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon chopped dried onion
1 teaspoon dried bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
NOTE:  Several Recipes also add Chicken Buillon or Chicken Stock--yeah!!!! I'm doing THAT!!!
(NOTE: several of the recipes online also add 1 tsp Cumin which sounds good too! Go crazy! Enjoy!)
NOTE:  just thinking here that there is no need for the dried onion, bell pepper and garlic powder when you are already using those fresh, right?  Try it both ways...what the heck!
Place beans in Dutch oven or soup kettle; add water to cover by 2 in.
Bring to a boil; boil for 2 min.
Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour.
Add 2 1/4 qts water; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until beans are tender.
Add ham, tomatoes, onion, green pepper, garlic and seasoning;
Return to a boil.
Reduce heat; simmer for 45-50 min.

Yield 16 servings (about 4 qts)

May be refrigerated, covered. Improves with age!

For a change of taste try polish sausage, German or Italian sausage in place of Ham.

A little note from me: I use a crock pot as well. Just put it on High for 4-6 hrs or low for about 8 hours and it will be great!

PS Here is the ingredient list for Linda's version just in case you want to try that one instead...
1 1/2 c Bean Mix (I use the 15 bean mix that you get in a plastic bag at the store).
2 qts Water
1 Lg Onion, Chopped
1 Clove Garlic
1 Ham Bone
1 lb Ham Pieces
1 Can Tomatoes
Juice of 1 Lemon

Monday, November 3, 2014

Crockpot Bacon Ranch Pasta

3 Garlic Cloves, inced
1 pkg Ranch Dressing Mix
1-1075 oz can Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1 c Greek Yogurt or sour cream
1 lb boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts
1/2 c Real Bacon Bits
3 c Pasta

Place Crock Pot Liner in crock pot or spray insert with non stick cooking spray.
Place chicken breast in liner.
Mix cream of chicken soup, greek yogurt, garlic and ranch dressing mix, bacon bits in small bowl.
Pour over chicken.
Cook on high 3 1/2 hours or on low for 6-7 hours.
When chicken is done cook pasta according to directions
Serve with chicken mixture.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Cinnamon Leaf Crisps

Cinnamon Leaf Crisps ... So yummy! 

cut shapes out of flour tortillas, 
dipped in melted butter, 
coated with cinnamon and sugar and 
baked on parchment covered cookie sheet at 
350 for 14 or 15 minutes.

Taco Crescent Pie

This "Taco Crescent Pie" is one of those recipes that uses a few convenience items to make something a little more special than just tacos, which I love also, for supper. This is also very filling. You can add a salad or some refried beans and rice and dinner is served! I also like to serve this with taco toppings so each person can top their own as they wish or for those like my husband, who doesn't like all of that 'stuff', leave it plain! Here is what you will need for this:


1 can refrigerated crescent rolls
1 lb. ground chuck (or ground beef)
1/4 cup onion, diced fine
1/2 cup taco sauce or salsa
1 envelope of taco seasoning mix
dash of hot sauce (optional)
1/2 cup water
2 cups crushed tortilla chips, divided
2 cups shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese blend, divided
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray a deep dish pie plate lightly with nonstick spray. 
Unroll the crescent rolls and arrange them in the pie plate with the pointy end to the inside, forming a crust. 
Press the seams together as you go and press them up the sides of the pie plate.

In a skillet brown the ground chuck along with the diced onion until the beef is done. 
Drain any excess grease. 
Add the taco seasoning mix, salsa or taco sauce, and water. 
Add a dash of hot sauce if you like spicy. 
Bring up to a bubble, then turn heat down to low to just simmer for about 5 minutes!

Sprinkle 1 cup of the crushed tortilla chips in the bottom of the pie plate over the crescent rolls.

Sprinkle with 1 cup cheese.

Pour the taco seasoned beef over the cheese and spread the 1 cup sour cream over this.

Sprinkle the top with the rest of the cheese and the other cup of crushed tortilla chips! 

Place in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until brown and bubbly! 

Remove from oven and allow to sit for about 5 minutes before slicing.

My NOTE:  I wonder if this would work well for a bubble up recipe?