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Showing posts from September, 2009

Rhonda's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

My son needed cookies for a team dinner yesterday so I decided to surprise my husband and bake his favorite ones.  This recipe originally came from my cousin Rhonda.  I have made a few minor personal adjustments to it.  I brought them one day to my boss where I used to work. After that, whenever I would ask for days off, she would tell me I could have them only if I brought her these cookies (minus the chocolate chips; she was allergic).  She was really only kidding, but to be on the safe side I usually obliged.  These are light colored soft cookies.  I have had people tell me they could not get them to flatten.  You need to make sure that you melt your butter and mix the time indicated.  They are worth the extra time.  Enjoy!! Rhonda's Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies 1 lb. butter, melted 2 cups white sugar 2 cups brown sugar 4 eggs 2 tsp. vanilla 4 1/2 cups flour 2 tsp. baking soda 2 tsp. salt 2 cups chocolate chips 5 cups oatmeal Combine butter, sugars and beat for 1

Menu Plan Monday

I cannot believe it is fall already. I actually love fall; the changing colors, crisp mornings and so far beautiful days. (I hear the weather will change this week.) So now that you have heard about the good things in my life, I must confess sadly, that I went over my grocery budget. To my credit, last week I found some really good buys on pantry items that I use all the time. So I stocked up. My pantry was getting quite bare. I actually feel good about those purchases, but it is still hard to admit defeat. It is a good thing that October starts soon so I can start over with a clean slate. I have changed my menu this week a bit, to minimize what I need from the grocery store. I am hoping I do not have to go at all.  It is also a really crazy week. Monday : Hamburgers Tuesday : Crescent Chicken Bundles Wednesday : Taco Soup Thursday : Picnic Night Friday : Homemade Pizza Saturday : Random Night Sunday : Roast I am going to try a new recipe I found for Black and White Brownie

Pizza Pasta

You will  notice a trend lately in the pasta dishes in our household.  My son is running Cross Country right now and likes pasta the night before a meet.  Pizza Pasta was his personal choice for this week. It was also perfect for my daughter who came home from school saying, "Feed me meat. I need meat." Hopefully she is having a growth spurt. This is a great dish.  The recipe makes 2  9x13 pans.  So you make two and freeze one for later.  It freezes very well.  One Christmas I made several in the foil pans, froze them and gave them to my relatives as gifts.  They loved it.  Pizza Pasta Makes 2 9x13 pans. If you don't want to make 2 half the ingredients. 1 1/2 lb bow tie pasta 1 lb sausage 2-3 jars spaghetti sauce 1 package Canadian Bacon or 1/2 lb cooked and diced ham. 1/4 lb sliced pepperoni 6 Tbs. Parmesan cheese 1 lb grated mozzarella cheese *optional: onions, mushrooms & olives 1. Cook Pasta until al-dente. Do not overcook. Drain and set aside. 2. Cook

Spinach Salad

I have taken this salad to potlucks and always get requests for the recipe.  I have always taken home an empy bowl.  Spinach Salad 1 bag baby spinach or regular torn into small pieces 1 lb bacon cooked until crisp and broken into small pieces. 1/2 cup cashew pieces 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese Poppy Seed Dressing Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. 2/3 cup oil 1/3 cup sugar 1/3 cup red wine vinegar 1/4 tsp. mustard 2 tsp. diced or grated onion 1 Tbs. poppy seed 1/2 tsp salt Wash spinach and place in a bowl.  Add cashew pieces, grated parmesan and bacon pieces on top.  Toss salad just before you are ready to serve.  Otherwise things will get soggy. You can either mix the dressing in the salad or serve on the side. (If I am serving this to a group I toss the dressing in the salad just before serving.  When I serve it to my family I serve the dressing on the side.  So if there are leftover I can save it for later.) *I usually add a little

My Favorite New Gadget

When my parents came to visit they bought me a Quesadilla Maker. They claimed my brother had one and loved it.  I admit I was a bit skeptical at first, but after the first time using it I was hooked.  It is so cool and simple.  It is compact and does not take up hardly any room.  So I don't have to worry about where to store it.  I would have never bought one for myself, so I am very thankful that my sweet parents did cause I LOVE IT!  Last night we made Chicken Quesadillas.  Each child made their own so they could customize it.  Spray the inside with cooking spray before you make the first one.  Then they won't stick. Mine had beans, chicken & onions Can't forget the cheese! Or the top. (I have forgotten the top a few times, not a good situation) Close the lid.  Within a couple minutes voila' the finished product.  Cut with pizza cutter.  See how awesome it is.  Then we dipped them into the salsa I canned earlier this month.  I am excited to try differe

Chicken Rice Casserole

Chicken Rice Casserole 2 cups cooked chicken diced 1 cup celery 1 package long grain and wild rice mix (cooked) or 1 cup plain cooked rice 1 can of mushrooms 1 Tbs. chopped onion 1 Tbs. lemon juice 1 can cream of mushroom soup 1 can water chestnuts,  diced Mix together all the above ingredients.  Pour into a 9x13 casserole dish. Topping: 1/2 cup butter, melted 1 cup crushed corn flakes 1/2 cup sliced almonds Mix together and sprinkle on top of casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. *If using plain rice add 1/2 tsp. salt. * One time I made this and did not have any corn flakes.  So I substituted crushed Cheese Nibs.  My family really liked it.  So now I use hald corn flakes and half Cheese Nibs for the topping.  Unfortunately I was out of corn flakes this go around and used crushed Corn Chex instead.  No one seemed to mind. Also I was out of almonds. I missed them. They really add to the flavor.  I obviously did not check my pantry items before making m

Endless Hours in the Kitchen

I really need help from this Kitchen Angel, who seems to looks just a little frazzled herself. That is how I felt after y esterday, I spent from 2:00 pm to 9:00 pm in my kitchen.  I really did not even leave it.  It got me thinking about the time I spend in the kitchen each and every day. The time we as women spend each day. Atleast it got me thinking and my time spent was not wasted.    I: *Grilled chicken.  Enough for last nights dinner and Wednesday.  I cut it all up so it is ready for the Quesadillas. *Cooked my hamburger so all I have to do is throw it in the sauce for the team dinner today. * Cut up veggies to marinate for my husband to take to work in his lunches.  (His favorite way to eat veggies). *Diced an onion so it is ready to go when it is called for this week. *This is really unrelated, made a batch of Jelly.  My first.  *I need to add cooked and cleaned up dinner. My goal is by doing these few things I can reduce the amount of time spent in the kitchen the next

Menu Plan Monday

This week I had to change a few things due to a few added events.   The nice thing though was with a plan it made it simple. That is what I like.  So here is my plan for the week: Monday: Chicken Rice Casserole Tuesday: Penne Pasta - Feeding HS Cross Country Team Wednesday: Quesadillas Thursday: Picnic Night Friday: Pizza Pasta Saturday: Random Night Sunday: BBQ Chicken You can check out more menus at Organizing Junkie.

Malibu Chicken

  I wish I could take credit for this delicious semi-homemade entre.  My good friend & I came up with this recipe based on a dish we liked at a local restaurant.  It is a great quick main dish. Malibu Chicken chicken tenders ham lunch meat swiss cheese Cook chicken tenders according to package directions. Place a slice of ham on each piece of chicken. Place piece of swiss cheese on top of the ham. Place back into oven only long enough for the cheese  to melt on the top. We serve it with mustard dipping sauce. Mustard Dipping Sauce 1/2 cup Miracle Whip 1 Tbs. Mustard 1 1/2 tsp. sugar Mix until well blended.  Adjust the amount of each ingredient to fit your family's taste. *My kids who dislike mustard love this sauce..(Go figure??) *Sometimes I add 1 tsp. of Balsamic Vinegar to the mustard sauce. *I have not tried it yet but, I would think this would be equally good with unbreaded chicken tenders. Enjoy!!

Dreamsicle Salad

When I served this for dinner tonight my kids commented, "wow we never have dessert".  I would not thought of it as a dessert, but I am all right with them thinking that.  This is light, fluffy and reminds you truly of a dreamsicle.  It makes a really big bowl.  The recipe says that it serves 10-12.  Sorry my picture is not that great and does not due this salad justice. Dreamsicle Salad 2 (3 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding 1 (3 ounce) package orange Jello 1 1/2 cups boiling water 1 (22 ounce) mandarin oranges, including the juice 1 (16 ounce) container whipped topping. Combine the pudding, Jello and boiling water.  Stir until completely dissolved.   Add the mandarin oranges with the juice.  Fold in the whipped topping.  Refrigerate. *I have used several different Jello flavors and fruit combinations.  My family has liked them all.  I think their favorite was strawberry. 

Double Chocolate Cookies

Making cookies today was not in the plan, but life never seems to go as planned. It did made my kids happy when they walked in the door and smelled cookies. Which was nice. When really I needed a dessert to take to someone and quick.  So I turned to my favorite quick and delicous cookie recipe. It actually falls into the Semi-Homemade category, because they are made out of a cake mix.  At first I was hesitant to try this my experience with cake mix cookies had not been the best but these are soooo good.  Soft and chewy.  Cake Mix Cookies 1 pkg chocolate cake mix 1/4 cup melted butter 1/4 cup milk 1 egg 1 cup chocolate chips. Mix ingredients and scoop onto a cookie sheet.  Bake 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. * I do small cookies and bake for 8 minutes and then leave them on the cookie sheet for an additional minute after taking them out of the oven. *I have tried other flavors of cake mixes and chocolate is my favorite. You could do alot of different combinations of cake mi

Veggie Lasagna

It turned out that I was wrong. It does happen quite often.   Both my husband and son ate the veggie lasagna last night.  They both commented that it was pretty good.  They both ate a separate times and both said that it is good but not as good as regular lasagna.  My husband added that the broccoli had too strong of a taste.  So maybe it was just me or possibly it got better with age. My point is; everyone has different tastes.  I am just relieved that all my work was not for nothing. Veggie Lasagna 10-12 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained (I only used 9) Veggies: 1 small onion diced 4 Tbs. olive oil 1 bunch spinach, cleaned and torn to dersired size. 1 medium zucchini, sliced 2 cup broccoli, chopped 2 cups carrots, thinly sliced. Saute onions in oil until transparent. Add remaining vegetables and saute until slightly tender (about 8 minutes). NOTE: You can use almost any vegetables in this dish; choose those that are your family's favorites. Filling: 2 lbs cottag

"NRN" New Recipe Night

I first tasted veggie lasagna at a football banquet. I only got a little bit and later had regrets of not taking a little bigger piece. It had great flavor and another twist to the original lasagna. I found out later that one of my son's friend's dad had made it. I always meant to get the recipe but never did. So when I found one, I finally got up the nerve to try it out. I was hoping it will be a good change in getting my kids to eat veggies and also satisfy my meat loving husband. The Verdict: I don't know what I did wrong, but  the veggie lasagna was not that flavorful. It happened that the girls and I were the only ones home for dinner and they ate a little bit. There were no complaints, which was a good thing.  This took alot of time and was not cheap to make.  Due to my conclusions, I probably will not make it again.  So I am not posting the recipe at this time. I did have it typed up and ready to go.   With "NRN" (new recipe night) you win some and lose

Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf

For some reason, I had forgotten about this recipe and have not made it in quite a while.  It is a good twist on meatloaf in general.  Both my husband and kids love it.  It takes a little bit of time in the initial prep work, but well worth the  effort. Cheese-Stuffed Meatloaf 1 1/2 lbs ground beef (I used 1 1/4 lbs this time) 1 egg 1/2 cup Italian or plain breadcrumbs 1 jar pasta sauce 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 1/4 cup diced onion 1 Tbs. Parsley (optional) Parmesan Cheese In a large bowl combine ground beef, 1/3 cup pasta sauce, egg and bread crumbs.  Line a 13x9 casserole dish with plastic wrap.  Shape the beef mixture into a rectangle covering the bottom of the dish. Cover with 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley(if desired) Leave at 3/4 inch border around the edges. Roll starting at long end jelly roll style.  Use your plastic wrap to help you roll. Remove plastic as you roll it up. Press all ends together. Bake 350

Menu Plan Monday

My husband recently went over the budget and has challenged me to keep the grocery budget under $700 a month.  He actually went about it the RIGHT way. The competitive side of me is always up for a CHALLENGE. Our grocery budget also includes; personal hygiene, school lunches, basically anything you can purchase at the grocery store. Last month I spent $765 and that was feeding 7 extra people for a week.  So I am telling everyone so I can keep myself in check.  At the end of the month I will give you an update on how I did.   One way I plan to save money is to get back on making a menu.  It helps in more ways than one.  I hate the "what am I going to cook for dinner?" hectic thought at 5:00 pm.  Or I don't have all the ingredients and must run to the store. This keeps me from doing both. Takes a little stress off.  I actually have planned the rest of September and all of October.  For me it just works better.  I try to shop for two weeks of meals at a time.  Then on the

Auntie K's Banana Bread

I had some overly ripe, ok they were black, bananas so I decided to do something productive with them and make some banana bread. This recipe is from my Aunt Karen, who is an awesome cook.  It is so moist.  I have found the more ripe the bananas are the better the bread. I got busy and cooked this batch a tad too much! Banana Bread 1 cup butter 2 1/2 cups sugar 4 eggs 1 cup sour cream 4 cups flour 1 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. vanilla 4-5 mashed bananas 1/2 cup nuts (optional) Cream butter and sugar; add eggs, bananas, sour cream and vanilla.  Mix dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes.  Makes 3 loaves.

White Chocolate Popcorn

I was reminded today of a recipe that I posted on my family blog, back in December. It is so good that it really belongs here.  WARNING:It is addicting!! Enjoy and Thanks! White Chocolate Popcorn Mix 3 bags micowave Kettle Corn (or butter flavored. I like to mix 2 kettle and 1 butter) 9 squares almond bark (or 2 bags of white chocolate chips (12 oz)+ 3 Tbs. Vegetable oil) 2 cups small pretzels 2 cups mini marshmellows 2 cups Cheerios 1 cup M&M's 1 square milk chocolate Mix popped corn, pretzels, marshmellows & Cheerios in 2 large bowls.Melt chocolate in micowave for 2 minutes stirring after one minute.Continue until melted. Pour over popcorn mix and stir until well coated. Pour onto wax paper or cookie sheets and sprinkle M&M's over the top so they can stick before it completely cools. Melt the milk chocolate in a small baggie, cut a hole in the corner and drizzle it over the top of the mix. Let cool and break apart a little. *I have since added some

No Bake Cookies

This is one of the recipes my husband insisted I get from my mother-in-law June. These cookies have become a family favorite. My sister insists that I make them for her when she visits. No Bake Cookies 2 cups sugar 1/2 cup milk 1 cube butter 3 Tbs. cocoa or 2 semi-sweet chocolate squares Mix together in sauce pan. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add: 1/2 cup peanut butter dash of salt 1 tsp vanilla 3 cups oatmeal Mix well and quickly. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Allow to cool and set up. A quick and easy treat!! A quick famlily fact: My dad has another name for these cookies...Gorilla Poop. If you know my dad this is no surprise.

Crock Pot Turkey Breast

This is the perfect easy Sunday meal. I found it in a ward cookbook. I prepare the turkey Saturday night right in the crock part. Put it in the fridge. Then Sunday morning I put it in the crock pot, turn it on and we are good to go. Crock Pot Turkey Breast 1 turkey breast 1 medium onion 1 rib of celery 1/4 cup melted butter 1 pkg. dry onion soup mix 1 cup chicken broth Wash turkey and pat dry. Place onion and celery into the cavity formed by the ribs. Place in a large crock pot and pour melted butter over top of turkey. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and dry onion soup mix. Pour chicken broth around the turkey breast. Secure lid and cook for 8 hours on low. The turkey is always moist and has great flavor. The broth makes good gravy, which is a plus. This recipe is linked to Dining With Debbie:Crock Pot Wednedays .  Check out some great recipes at Debbie's Blog.

Crusty French Bread

Well, it appears to be a bread week. This time I had another purpose for making it. The bread was an object lesson and handout for the Young Women, whom I have the privilege of teaching this week. It is very fitting because I actually received this recipe from a Young Women's activity. So the credit goes to my friend Elizabeth who taught me how to make this great french bread. FRENCH BREAD 2 cups water 1 Tbs. Yeast 1 Tbs. Olive Oil 1 Tbs Sugar 2 tsp. salt 5- 5 1/2 cups flour 1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Allow yeast to proof (about 10 minutes). 2. Add salt, oil and 3 cups flour; beat for 2 minutes. 3. Slowly add 2 to 2 1/2 cups more flour just until you get a stiff dough. 4. Knead until smooth and elastic. 5. Put a greased piece of plastic wrap over the top of your mixer, the best you can. 6. Every ten minutes; take plastic wrap off and mix the dough for 1 minute. Recoverwith wrap. Do this for 1 hour. 7. Divide dough in half (or for how many loaves you want). 8.

Grandma's Rolls

Sorry to post bread recipes back to back. I had to make these last minute for a church function. This recipe was given to me by my good friend Michelle. So even though it is not actually my grandma's recipe it reminds me so much of hers. There is a lot of steps, but well worth the effort! Grandma's Rolls In a saucepan, combine: 2 cups milk 1/2 cup butter 1/2 cup sugar Bring to a boil and let cool. (important to let cool) In a small bowl combine 1 cup lukewarm water 2 Tbs yeast 2 tsp sugar Set aside and let dissolve. Add: 2 1/2 tsp. salt 3 beaten eggs 8-10 cups flour When the milk mixture has cooled to lukewarm (or cooler), pour into mixer. Add 4 cups flour, the yeast mixture(I let this dissolve right in my mixing bowl), salt and beaten eggs. Beat until smooth. Add flour a little at a time while mixing until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl but is not stiff. (It usually takes 9-10 cups for me). Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap that has been s

Parmesan Knots

This is a quick easy way to disguise canned biscuits. Parmesan Knots 1/4 cup vegetable oil (or olive if you prefer) 2 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese. (I just use the Parmesan in the can). 1/4 tsp dried parsley 1/4 tsp dried oregano 1/2 tsp garlic salt dash of pepper 2 cans refrigerated biscuits In a small bowl, combine oil, cheese, parsley, oregano, garlic salt and pepper; set aside. Roll each biscuit into a 6" rope. Tie in a knot. Place on greased cookie sheet. Brush with the Parmesan mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes. Brush with mixture again and bake 3 more minutes or until golden brown. This is a pretty versatile recipe. You can change it up to make it what your family likes. You can omit the parsley and oregano or add more if you like. You can also substitute garlic powder for the garlic salt.


This recipe came from Kraft Bake-off Winners. Chick-Be- Quicks 3/4 cup crushed canned french fried onions. 1 Tbs. flour 1/4 tsp. seasoning salt 1 can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls 2 chicken breasts cut up into 16 pieces. 1 egg, beaten Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheet. In a small bowl combine french-fried onions, flour and seasoning salt; blend well. Place beaten egg in a separate bowl. Separate dough into 8 triangles. Cut each in half lengthwise to make 16 long triangles. Dip chicken into the beaten egg and the coat with onion mixture. Place one coated piece on wide end of each triangle: roll to opposite point. Place point side down on greased cookie sheet. Brush tops with remaining beaten egg. If you like you can sprinkle them with sesame seeds. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or cold. I double this recipe to feed my family of six. Hoping for a few leftovers. I serve them with: Sweet & Sour Dippin