Monday, November 21, 2011


Turkey (my family buys 10 lbs for now)
4 onions, 1 of them sliced into rings or slivers, the other 3 cut into chunks
full head of garlic cloves
2 sticks of butter, softened
lots of fresh rosemary, 1/2 c or more plus stems for cavity, chopped into little bits
lots of fresh sage, at least 20 leaves, plus full stems for cavity, chopped into little bits
salt & pepper
poultry seasoning
roasting pan
electric thermometer (invest in a good one with a 20% Coupon at Bed, Bath, & Beyond)

I make my basting butter the day before. My kids and I go pick the fresh herbs from the school where I used to teach. It has become a neat tradition. Then I chop the herbs into tiny bits and mix with the 2 sticks of softened butter. You can also use pressed garlic cloves and seasonings. Using a rubber spatula, I scoop the butter into the bottom of a baggie and with my hands, I smoosh the butter to the bottom and try to shape it into a log. Refrigerate overnight. Thanksgiving/Christmas morning, remove and slice into 1/4" disks to place under the skin of the turkey.

I saw on 'The Chew' where you can actually season and butter baste the turkey the night before so that Thanksgiving morning you can just fill the cavity and start the oven.

We buy our bird at least 5 days before Thanksgiving/Christmas. We put it in the fridge to start defrosting on Saturday before Thanksgiving (allow 24 hours for every 4 lbs). A 12 lb bird should take 3 days to thaw, but recommendations are to allow an extra day just to be sure. It's safe to keep a thawed bird in the fridge a day or two. If you find it still frozen TG morning, fill clean sink with cold water. Place bird in and change water every 30 minutes.

1. Open the bird (7 am at our house) and remove neck and giblets pack. Discard if you're not using them. Preheat oven to 325.
2. Gently slide your fingers between the skin and the meat, loosening the skin so you can place your butter disks inside. Do this all over the entire bird.
3. Place the butter throughout the turkey and pat it down a bit. Save some to rub on the outside of the skin or use oil. Salt and pepper the outside. We also use poultry seasoning.
4. Put one onion (cut into rings or slivers) onto the bottom of the roasting pan. Place the bird on top. Shove the other onions (chunked) and peeled garlic cloves inside the cavity. I also place any leftover herb branches. If possible, reclamp the legs.
5. Place the thermometer probe into the meatiest piece of the thigh, not touching any bone, and set it to 180 degrees.
6. Place the turkey in the oven.
7. If turkey is browning too quickly, you may loosely cover with a foil tent.

Last year our 11 lb bird took 5 hours.

Roasting times according to Better Homes and Gardens magazine at 325 degrees:
8-12 lbs......unstuffed: 2 3/4 to 3 hours stuffed: 3 to 3 1/2 hours
12-14 lbs...unstuffed: 3 to 3 3/4 hours stuffed: 3 1/2 to 4 hours

Click here for leftover ideas.
Click here for stuffing recipes.
Click here for pie recipes.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Skinny Greek Chicken for Crock Pot

by Skinny Crock Pot on Facebook
Total Time: 5 Hours

1 Lemon, Juiced
4 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 Cup White Wine
1/4 Cup Chicken Broth
1 tsp Dill
1 tsp Rosemary
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Whole Chicken, Broken into it's Respective Pieces

1.Add all the ingredients with the exception of the chicken to the marinade.

2. Mix up well.

3. Add in the chicken and coat all the pieces completely.

4. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 6 hours.

5. Serve over noodles with sauce from the slow cooker spooned over the noodles and a little feta and olives for good measure.

In my opinion: This was good. I love using a whole chicken, it save so much money and you can use the leftover chicken for other recipes.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Halloween Treats

My hubby made these hot dog mummies. Just cut strips out of crescent roll dough and wrap them around the dog. Bake according to directions.

Aren't these the cutest little juice boxes?

The best way to make these witch's hats is to use some icing to place a ring of icing onto the perimeter of the kiss and pressing it down on the the cookie.


32 oz Plain Non-fat yogurt
1 lg package (20 oz) saffron rice
6 servings instant rice
3-4 medium potatoes (peeled & thinly sliced-about 1/4")
3-5 large chicken breasts, enough to cover bottom of 10x13" baking dish.

Preheat oven to 350 and spray 10x13 baking dish.

1. Cook rice halfway (if using instant, follow directions and let sit on stove about 3 minutes).
2. Boil the yellow rice halfway and drain.
3. Boil chicken until just cooked through (8 minutes for thin chicken).
4. Spread yellow rice onto bottom of 10x13" dish.
5. Lay potato slices on top, placing thinner potatoes in the middle. 6. Place chicken on top of potatoes.

7. Mix yogurt and white rice in pot you used to cook the rice.

8. Spread white rice mixture over the chicken and cover with foil.

9. Cook for about an hour. Test doneness by stabbing potato with a thin knife.

10. If you have a serving platter larger than the 10x13, cover the dish with the upside down platter and invert. Otherwise, cut and serve from the baking dish.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Freezer to Crock Pot Beef Peperoncini Sandwiches by Krazy Coupon Lady

Since this is a recipe you can make ahead and freeze, buy double or triple of the first 3 ingredients. Make all at the same time, and freeze until you are ready to cook.

2 lb Chuck Roast- don't buy the cheap meat, it does make a difference
16 oz jar peperoncinis
1 packet Good Seasons Italian Seasoning (dressing)

Swiss or Provolone Cheese
Hoagie Rolls

1. Add all 3 ingredients into a Gallon Size Freezer Bag and put in freezer. When you are ready to cook this, put first 3 ingredients in Crock Pot and let it cook for 8 hours on low.
2. Shred meat and serve on rolls or hoagies with Swiss or Provolone cheese. Yum!

In my opinion: This was sooo good. I think I could eat it weekly. We will definitely need a bigger roast next time.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

from a friend who cooked this and stocked my freezer when I was going through a major transition

1 lb chicken cooked and shredded
1 c chicken broth
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can green chile enchilada sauce
10 corn tortillas, quartered
1 c Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
2 T sliced jalapenos, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350. Combine chicken, broth, soup, and 1/2 of the jalapenos and mix until smooth.
2. Lightly coat a 9x13 baking pan (or 2 8x8)with nonstick spray.
3. Layer the bottom of the baking dish with 1/2 of the tortillas. Spread half of the chicken soup mixture on top of the tortillas and sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese.
4. Repeat layers. Top with enchilada sauce and the rest of the cheese and jalapenos.
5. Freeze or bake uncovered 30 minutes or until bubbly.

In my opinion: I loved this and am excited to have another freezer meal.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Herbed Chicken with Wild Rice (Crock Pot)

by Taste of Home
1 package (6 ounces) long grain and wild rice mix
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (5 ounces each)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 cup water
3 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon

1. Place rice in a 5-qt. slow cooker; set aside seasoning packet. In a large skillet, brown chicken in oil and butter. Add to slow cooker. In the same skillet, saute mushrooms until tender; place over chicken.
2. In a small bowl, combine the soup, water, bacon, herbs and contents of seasoning packet. Pour over top. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until meat is tender. Yield: 6 servings.

In my opinion: This was yummy. It was a great change from the normal chicken slow-cooker recipes. It was full of fall flavors.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Pork and Pineapple Kabobs

by Kraft
1/2 cup KRAFT Original Barbecue Sauce
2 Tbsp. GREY POUPON Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 lb. boneless pork loin, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
1 cup green pepper chunks (1 inch)
1/2 cup red onion chunks (1 inch)

1. MIX first 3 ingredients in large bowl. Reserve 1/4 cup for later use. Add meat to remaining sauce; toss to coat. Refrigerate 15 min. to marinate.

2. HEAT grill to medium-high heat. Remove meat from marinade; discard marinade. Thread meat onto skewers alternately with pineapple, peppers and onions.

3. GRILL 12 to 14 min. or until meat is done, turning occasionally and brushing with reserved sauce.

In my opinion: We really liked this recipe. It was the first time we've grilled pork and we were pleasantly surprised.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Swiss Steak Supper (Crock Pot)

by Taste of Home
1-1/2 pounds beef top round steak
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 medium potatoes
1-1/2 cups fresh baby carrots
1 medium onion, sliced
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Italian diced tomatoes
1 jar (12 ounces) home-style beef gravy
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

1. Cut steak into six serving-size pieces; flatten to 1/4-in. thickness. Rub with seasoned salt and pepper. In a large skillet, brown beef in oil on both sides; drain.
2. Cut each potato into eight wedges. In a 5-qt. slow cooker, layer the potatoes, carrots, beef and onion. Combine tomatoes and gravy; pour over the top.
3. Cover and cook on low for 5-1/2 to 6 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with parsley. Yield: 6 servings.

In my opinon: This was a pretty good meal. It needed something else....just not sure what.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chicago-Style Steak with Blue Cheese Butter

by Kraft
1/2 cup A.1. CHICAGO STEAKHOUSE Marinade
2 beef T-bone or Porterhouse steaks (3/4 lb. each), 3/4 inch thick
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 Tbsp. ATHENOS Crumbled Blue Cheese
1 Tbsp. finely chopped green onion

1. POUR marinade into large resealable plastic bag. Add steaks; turn to coat. Seal bag. Refrigerate 30 min. to marinate.

2. MEANWHILE, mix butter, cheese and onion until well blended; cover. Refrigerate until ready to use.

3. PREHEAT grill to medium heat. Remove steaks from marinade; discard marinade. Grill steaks, uncovered, 10 to 12 min. for medium-rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally. Remove steaks from grill. Remove bones; cut steak into thin slices. Top with the butter mixture

In my opinion: This steak was delicious. The butter added flavor and pizazz. Can't wait to have it again.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Cool Crayons

from The Ultimate Book of Kid's Concoctions

broken crayons
heavy paper cups
assorted candy molds
oven mitt

1. Remove all paper from crayons and sort by color in heavy cups.
2. Place one cup of crayons in microwave. Cook on high 4-6 minutes or until the crayons are completely melted.
3. Using an oven mitt, have an adult carefully pour the melted crayon wax into the molds. Throw the used paper cup away.
4. Place the candy molds in the freezer for 20 minutes until the wax is hard.
5. Pop Cool Crayons out of molds and color.

Crystal Rock Garden

from Ultimate Book of Kid's Concoctions

1 small sponge
4 T salt
2 T water
2 T liquid bluing
food coloring
rubber glove

1. Cut a sponge into several small pieces. Place sponge pieces into a small plastic or glass bowl.
2. Put on rubber gloves, sprinkle 2 T salt, water, and liquid bluing over the sponge pieces. Allow the concoction to set for 24 hours.
3. Sprinkle the remaining 2 T salt over the sponge pieces. Allow the concoction to set for an additional 24 hours.
4. Repeat step 2. Then add a few drops of food coloring to each sponge piece. By this time your crystal flower garden should be starting to bloom.

You can use cotton balls, coals, or porous brick pieces in place of a sponge to create your Crystal Rock Garden.

Garden Stones

old bucket
8 c quick-setting cement
shallow cardboard box (11"x16" is best)
stick or wooden spoon

1. Mix cement and 2 c of water together in a bucket until the mixture is the consistency of oatmeal. Add more cement or water if necessary.
2. Pour the mixture evenly into the cardboard box. Your cement should be at least 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick.
3. Take and old ruler and rake across the top of the cement until smooth. Wait 5 minutes.
4. Place your hands or feet into the wet cement and push down 1-2 inches to make your impression. Immediately rinse your hands/ feet with water.
5. Use a stick or pencil to write your name, age, or date in cement.
6. Let the cement dry 48 hours. Tear away the cardboard box and place your stone in your backyard or garden.

NOTE-Personalize your stone by adding seashells, toys, marbles, coins, dominoes, jewels, etc...

Spray Chalk

from The Ultimate Book of Kid Concoctions

4 T cornstarch
1 c warm water
4-6 drops food coloring
1 small plant mister

1. Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl.
2. Pour the spray chalk mixture into a small plant mister. Shake and spray.
3. Avoid clogging by shaking the plant mister before each use.

3-D Puffy Sand

from The Ultimate Book of Kid Concoctions

1/3 c flour
1/3 c water
1/3 c salt
2 1/2 T tempera paint
1/2 T sand
Plastic squeeze bottle

1. Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
2. Add water and tempera paint. Mix until well blended.
3. Carefully pour the mixture into a plastic squeeze bottle.
4. Let finished paintings dry 24 hours or until hard.

Place 3-D Puffy Sand into a cake-decorating bag and use different tips to create cool effects and textures.

Sand Castle Clay

from The Ultimate Book of Kid's Concoctions
You can create sand castles and sand sculptures that are permanent.

1 cup sand
1/2 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup liquid starch
old pot

1. Combine sand and cornstarch in an old pot.
2. Add liquid starch and mix.
3. Cook the mixture over medium heat while stirring constantly. Eventually, the mixture will thicken and turn to dough.
4. Remove the pot from the stove and let the clay cool.
5. Remove clay from the pot and knead it for 20 to 30 seconds before using.

Jewel & Gem Goop

From The Ultimate Book of Kid Concoctions

1/2 c white glue
2 c rock salt
6-8 drops food coloring

1. Mix rock salt and food coloring together. Add glue and continue mixing for 2-3 minutes.
2. Mold and sculpt Jewel & Gem Goop, using your hands.
3. Place Jewel & Gem sculptures on a piece of cardboard to dry. Drying time will vary depending on size and thickness of your creation.

I haven't made this yet, but I found this blog where someone else has.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cotton Clay

From The Ultimate Book of Kid Concoctions

3 c cotton balls
2 c water
2/3 c flour
5-7 drops food coloring

1. Tear cotton balls apart into small pieces. Mix water and cotton together in a medium saucepan.
2. Slowly stir in flour. Continue stirring and cook over low heat for 5-7 minutes until the mixture begins to stiffen.
3. Remove saucepan from heat and place the Cotton Clay on a thick cloth towel or several layers of paper towels to cool.
4. Allow Cotton Clay sculptures to dry 24 hours or until hard.

Instant Finger Paints

from The Ultimate Book of Kid's Concoctions

1/4 c liquid starch
1 T powdered tempera paint
Freezer paper (paint on shiny side)

1. Pour liquid starch and tempera into a small bowl.
2. Mix until well blended.
3. Use plastic margarine tubs with lids to store finger paints for future use.

For more "Fun with Kids" click here.

Magic Bubble Paint

from Ultimate Book of Kid's Concoctions

2 t clear liquid dish detergent
3 T water
1/4 c powdered tempera paint

1. Mix cleardish detergent, water, and powdered tempera together in a small, shallow bowl. If you are using a concentrated dish detergent, 1-2 more T of water may be necessary.
2. Using a straw, gently blow into the paint mixture until a dome of bubbles forms.
3. Capture bubble prints by placing a piece of paper on top of bubble dome.
4. Repeat the process, using several different colors of bubble paint.

For more "Fun with Kids", click here.

Invisible Ink

from Ultimate Book of Kid Concoctions

2 T pure lemon juice
cotton swab

1. Pour lemon juice into a small glass or plastic dish.
2. Soak one end of the cotton swab in the lemon juice.
3. Use the lemon soaked end to write a secret message or draw a picture on a sheet of paper.
4. When you are ready to view your secret message, have an adult hold the sheet of paper near a light bulb or over a toaster. The heat source will slowly turn the lemon juice dark brown and reveal the message.

For more fun ideas with kids, scroll down and find "fun with kids" on the right hand side.

"Funny" Putty

from Ultimate Book of Kid's Concoctions

1 T liquid starch
2-3 drops food coloring
2 T white glue

1. Mix white glue and food coloring together in a small bowl.
2. Pour liquid starch into a second small bowl. Slowly pour the glue mixture on top of the liquid startch.
3. Allow the concoction to stand for 5 minutesor until the glue absorbs the liquid starch.
4. Remove putty from bowl and knead. (Note: At first this mixture may look as if it's a mistake, but it isn't. The more you knead the putty, the better the consistency will be.)
5. Store funny putty in a plastic Easter egg or plastic bag.

-Press putty down on newspaper comics or pictures printed with an ink jet printer. Slowly pull the putty off the paper. The picture will transfer onto the putty.

For more fun concoctions, go to the label "fun with kids" in the right hand column.

Bathtub Finger Paints

from Ultimate Book of Kid Concoctions

1/3 cup clear, mild liqid dish detergent
1 T cornstarch
food coloring

1. Mix liquid dish detergent and cornstarch together in a small bowl until blended.
2. Pour the mixture in equal parts, into several sections of a plastic ice cube tray.
3. Add 1-2 drops of food coloring to each section of the tray and mix with a small spoon.

Scratch & Sniff Watercolors

from the book The Ultimate Book of Kid Concoctions

1 T unsweetened powdered drink mix
1 T warm water
several small containers (muffin tims work well)

1. Mix water and drink mix together in a small bowl. Repeat this step several times, using various flavors of drink mix to create different colors of paint.
2. Allow finished works to dry overnight before scratching and sniffing.

**Freeze any leftover paint into ice cubes to use for ice cube painting.

Gooey Gunk

from the book: The Ultimate Book of Kid Concoctions

Solution A:
1 cup water
1 cup white glue (Elmers works best)
food colouring

1. Mix all the ingredients for solution A into a bowl and stir well.

Solution B:
1 1/3 cup warm water
4 teaspoons Borax

2. In a separate bowl, mix ingredients for solution b until Borax has completely dissolved.

3. Slowly pour solution A into solution B. DO NOT MIX!

5. 4. Sort of roll the combined with your hands until a solidified, loose, jelly like dough has formed. Lift the jelly like dough and place on the counter leaving the liquid in the bowl. Knead on the counter. Gunk will be very loose at first but will firm up.
6. Store in a sealed container.

Tip: Use red liquid tempera paint/food coloring to create lava gunk, green to create slimy gunbk, or black to create tar gunk.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Amy's Artichoke DIp

2 cans marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
1 c real mayonnaise
1 c parmesan cheese (not the sprinkle kind for pizza)
worcesteshire sauce to taste
hot sauce (like tobasco) to taste

Mix ingredients in a baking dish. Bake at 350 until browning on top or bubbly.

I got this recipe from a friend. My husband doesn't like artichokes so I get this all to myself...and believe me, I can eat it all by myself!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fake Lasagna Make ahead and Freeze

Plan on buying twice the ingredients and a few 8x8 foil freezer dishes if you want to stock your freezer.

1 lb frozen cheese ravioli
1 lb ground beef
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1/4 c parmesan cheese
1 c mozzarella

1. Brown meat and drain.
2. Pour frozen ravioli into 9x13 baking dish.
3. Top with meat then pour sauce over the meat. Sprinkle with parmesan and then mozzarella.
4. Cover and bake for 45 minutes or write baking instructions on top and freeze.
5. Uncover and bake another 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

In my opinion: This dish was made for me by friends and I loved it. I think your kids will, too.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cheesy Broccoli-Potato Soup by Betty Crocker

1 carton (32 oz) Progresso® chicken broth
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 bag (12 oz) Green Giant® Valley Fresh Steamers™ frozen chopped broccoli
2 cups milk
1 1/3 cups Betty Crocker® Potato Buds® mashed potatoes (dry)
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese (4 oz)
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 In 3-quart saucepan, heat broth, onion and frozen broccoli to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2 Stir in milk and dry potatoes until well blended; stir in remaining ingredients.
3 Heat over low heat about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until hot and cheese is melted.

In my opinion: This was a super simple soup. It was a good soup.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Berry Berry Cool Pie by Eagle Brand

1 can (14 oz.) Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 cups assorted fresh berries (raspberries, blueberries or blackberries)
1 tub (8 oz.) frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
1 Keebler® Ready Crust® Graham Pie Crust

1. In large bowl combine sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice.

2. Stir in berries. Fold in whipped topping. Spread in crust.

3. Freeze at least 5 hours or until firm. Let stand at room temperature for 30 to 40 minutes before cutting. Garnish as desired.

This pie was delicious and a very refreshing treat for our hot summer days.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Slow Cooker Southwest Chicken Nachos by Betty Crocker

1 package (16 ounces) mild Mexican pasteurized prepared cheese product with jalapeƱo peppers, cut into cubes
3/4 cup Old El Paso® Thick ’n Chunky salsa
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 package (9 ounces) frozen cooked Southwest-seasoned chicken breast strips, thawed and cubed
1 container (8 ounces) Southwest ranch sour cream dip
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
12 ounces large tortilla chips

1 Place cheese, salsa, beans and chicken in 3- to 4-quart slow cooker.
2 Cover and cook on Low heat setting 3 to 4 hours, stirring halfway through cooking, until cheese is melted and mixture is hot.
3 Stir in sour cream dip and bell peppers. Increase heat setting to High. Cover and cook about 30 minutes or until mixture is hot. Serve over tortilla chips. Topping will hold on Low heat setting up to 2 hours; stir occasionally.

In my opinion: These were good nachos. This was a good deviation from the normal chicken or ground beef Crock Pot recipes.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Cranberry, Apple, and Sausage Stuffing

I am not sure where I originally got this recipe, but it can be found on Food Network's website. I LOVE this recipe!

8 tablespoons (1/2 cup or 1 stick) butter, UNsalted
2 medium onions, finely diced
3 cups chopped celery, (about 6 large stalks)
6 cups coarsely chopped leeks, (about 12) or onions
4 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 pound breakfast sausage or Italian sausage, casings removed, optional
6 teaspoons poultry seasoning
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves, (about 4 sprigs)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves, (about 6 leaves)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, (about 4 to 6 sprigs)
2 cups dried cranberries
1 box stuffing mix (NOT cornbread) (recommended: Pepperidge Farm)
2 cups (1 pint), or less vegetable stock
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt the butter in a large skillet and saute the onions, celery, leeks, apples, and sausage, breaking up the sausage as you cook. After about 10 minutes, add the poultry seasoning, fresh herbs and dried cranberries. Add the dried stuffing mix and moisten with the vegetable stock. Season stuffing mix to taste. Place into a buttered casserole dish and bake for 45 minutes.
3 qt pan was too small...this makes a lot!

This was fabulous! It has become our favorite.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Make ahead and Freeze Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice Casserole

This is another dish my friends made to fill my freezer when I was going through some tough times at home. It is fabulous!

1 lb. chicken, cooked and shredded
2 c chicken stock
1 3/4 c uncooked rice
3 1/2 c water
2 10 oz pkgs. frozen chopped broccoli
3/4 c onions, chopped
3/4 c green pepper, chopped
1 c. celery, chopped
4 T margarine
8 oz Velveeta
1 can cream chicken soup
1 can cream mushroom soup
1 3oz can chopped mushrooms, opt.

1. Cook chicken, rice, and broccoli as directed on packages.
2. Saute onions, bell peppers, and celery in margarine.
3. Drain broccoil and combine with chicken, cheese, sauteed vegetables, undiluted soups, and mushrooms.
4. Fold in cooked rice and turn into a 4 qt casserole dish (or 3-4 small freezer dishes and cover with foil label foil with baking instructions).
5. Bake in a 350 oven for 30 minutes.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Slow Cooker Jambalaya by Betty Crocker

1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
2 medium celery stalks, chopped (1 cup)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 can (28 oz) Muir Glen® organic diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups chopped fully cooked smoked sausage
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper sauce
3/4 pound uncooked peeled deveined medium shrimp, thawed if frozen
4 cups hot cooked rice

1 In 3 1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker, mix all ingredients except shrimp and rice.
2 Cover; cook on Low heat setting 7 to 8 hours (or High heat setting 3 to 4 hours).
3 Stir in shrimp. If needed, reduce heat setting to Low; cover and cook on Low heat setting about 1 hour longer or until shrimp are pink and firm. Serve jambalaya with rice.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Beef Enchilada Casserole (Make ahead and Freeze)

I was going through a hard time a few months ago and some precious friends from church called and said they were going to stock my freezer. And they did! This is one of the many wonderful meals they blessed me with.

2 lbs ground beef
10 corn tortillas, quartered
1 sm can evaporated milk
1 can red enchilada sauce
1 can cream of mushroom
1 can cream of chiken
1 lb Velveeta, cubed

1. Brown meat in a deep skillet and drain excess grease.
2. Add canned ingredients and cheese cubes and allow to melt.
3. In a 4 qt casserole dish (or many small freezeable pans), layer the ingredients starting with the 1/3 of the sauce then 1/2 of the tortillas. Repeat layers ending with sauce. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes or until bubbly...or cover with foil and label the top with the directions:

thaw completely
bake 30 minutes or until bubbly at 350

In my opinion: This was a great dish, I will be making it soon to restock my freezer for nights I'm too busy running kids to dance and soccer practice to cook.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes with Applesauce by Betty Crocker

6 medium (2 pounds) sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups applesauce
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped nuts, toasted

1 Place sweet potatoes in 2- to 3 1/2-quart slow cooker. Mix remaining ingredients except nuts; spoon over potatoes.
2 Cover and cook on low heat setting 6 to 8 hours or until potatoes are very tender.
3 Sprinkle with nuts.

In my opinion, I thought this was a good recipe. My husband, the sweet potato expert, said they were too sweet for him.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My Cut-out Cookies (double batch)

2 c butter, softened

3 c sugar

2 eggs

2 t vanilla extract

2 t almond extract

5 1/2 c flour

4 t baking powder

2 t salt

1. Preheat oven to 400. In mixer bowl, cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy.

2. Beat in eggs and extracts.

3. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt; add to butter mixture a little at a time, mixing after each addition. At this point, I divide the dough in two and place in large sealable bags.

4. Roll out dough and use cookie cutters to make your favorite cookies.

5. Bake 6-7 minutes. Cool completely before decorating.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Oven Fried Chimichangas

2/3 cup picante sauce or 2/3 cup your favorite salsa
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 green onions, chopped with some tops (about 1/4 cup)
6 (8 inch) flour tortillas
2 tablespoons margarine, melted
shredded cheddar cheese, for serving
chopped green onion, for serving
picante sauce, for serving

1 Mix chicken, picante sauce or salsa, cumin, oregano, cheese and onions.
2 Place about 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla.
3 Fold opposite sides over filling.
4 Roll up from bottom and place seam-side down on a baking sheet.
5 Brush with melted margarine.
6 Bake at 400°F for 25 minutes or until golden.
7 Garnish with additional cheese and green onion and serve salsa on the side.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Easter Cupcakes

These are the original pictures posted by Betty Crocker that go with the cupcakes my kids made yesterday.

The lamb was extremely difficult to do, especially for my little ones.

You need:

Pre-made cupcakes, I made lemon

Pre-made Icing

Yellow coconut

Green Coconut

Jellybeans or Pastel M&Ms or speckled eggs

Brown, red, and orange M&Ms for eyes and beaks

Easter sprinkles


any other candy you'd like Handle for basket (we used pipe-cleaner)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Easter Cupcakes

I found the cutest cupcake ideas on Betty Crocker's website. Tonight I threw caution to the wind and put out M&Ms, marshmallows, chocolate morsels, green coconut, yello coconut, and 8 different sprinkles and let my kids each create 6 cupcakes.

Spring Scrub Down by Paula Deen

Ways to Clean with Baking Soda
Mix it with warm water to clean the inside of the fridge or other appliances.
Blend 4 parts baking soda and 1 part Borax for a nonabrasive scouring powder.

Ways to Clean with White Vinegar
Add 2 to 3 tablespoons to your dishwasher detergent to cut the grease on dishes.
Make a paste of vinegar and baking soda to clean a stainless steel sink.
Mix it with water, and run it through the coffeepot for a good inside-out cleaning.
Freeze vinegar in ice cube trays, and grind the cubs in the sink disposal.

Ways to Clean with Lemons
Sanitize wooden cutting boards by rubbing them with lemon juice, then let them set overnight. Wash and rinse.
Use lemon juice on chrome faucets and appliances, then buff ‘til they shine!
Sprinkle the cut side of a lemon half with salt, and use it to clean the inside of copper cookware.
Cut a whole lemon in quarters, and grind it in the garbage disposal to disinfect and deodorize it. (Paula’s favorite!)

“I always keep plenty of lemons, vinegar, and baking soda in my kitchen because they pull double duty- I can cook or clean with ‘em!” - Paula

Freshen the Fridge
Paula says four simple steps make this big job more manageable.
1. Pull out all the food and throw away out-of-date items
2. Wash drawers and shelves, and then wipe down the interior with warm soapy water.
3. Use soap and bleach (and latex gloves!) to clean and sanitize the drip pan, if you have one, underneath the fridge.
4. Vacuum any coils in the back or underneath.

Grease Be Gone!
The grimiest cleaning jobs in the kitchen are the exhaust fan blades, housing, and filter; underneath the stop top; and the oven. For these jobs, Paula finds that the fastest way to cut the sticky mess is to squirt the surfaces with Greased Lightning, an all-purpose cleaner originally created to help mechanics mop up car grease. Just wear latex gloves, and grab a roll of paper towels to wipe away grease. Then wipe with a damp sponge and dry.

Cleaning with Ketchup?
Rubbing ketchup on dirty copper-bottomed pots will restore the shine.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Resurrection Rolls (Empty Tomb Rolls)

I found these on Catholic Icing's blog and can't wait to try them.

Ressurrection "Empty Tomb" Rolls by Catholic Icing Canned Crescent Rolls Small bowl of melted butter Small bowl of Cinnamon/Sugar Mixture Large Marshmallows **Before beginning, melt your butter, preheat your oven to the temperature on your crescent roll can, and cover your pan in parchment paper or aluminum foil, because the melted marshmallows can get messy!

1. Give each child a marshmallow, and tell them it represents Jesus. Have them dip it into the melted butter, and then roll it in the cinnamon sugar. These represent the oil and spices used to prepare Jesus' body for burial. 2. Now give each child a crescent roll, and have them wrap up the marshmallow tightly, pinching it closed as much as possible. The roll represents the linen cloths that Jesus' body was wrapped in. 3. Place your rolls into the oven, which symbolizes the tomb. Bake according to package directions, and pretend it has been 3 days! ;-) 4. an "empty tomb". Isn't that cool?! Jesus has risen! Alleluia, Alleluia! :-)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Someone at work made these and had them in the lounge for a Relay For Life fundraiser. They were so yummy.

1 box of little saltines minis or (16 ounce) package unsalted saltine crackers
1 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 (1 ounce) package dry ranch salad dressing mix

Just toss all of it around for a while until the oil is soaked up at the bottom! :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Irish Cream Poundcake by Paula Deen

Irish Cream Pound Cake with Irish Cream Glaze

1 1/2 - cups butter

2 - cups firmly packed brown sugar

1 - cup granulated sugar

5 - large eggs

3 - cups all purpose flour

1 - tsp baking powder

1/2 - tsp salt

3/4 - cup whole milk

1/4 - cup Irish cream liqueur or Irish cream syrup

Preheat oven to 325.

Spray a 12 cup fluted pan with not stick spray with flour.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs one at time, beating after each addition. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.

Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk., beginning and ending with flour mixture beating after each addition. Stir in Irish cream. Spoon batter into prepared pan, and bake for 1 hour and 15 - 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.

Drizzle Irish Cream Glaze over cake. Garnish with mint leaves and strawberries if desired.

Irish Cream Glaze

2 cups confectioners sugar

3 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur

Combine sugar and Irish cream whisking until creamy. Drizzle over cooled cake.

It took a little more than 3 T. of the Irish cream to get a good consistency. Just keep adding until you get it the consistency you want. You can also use a little milk instead of adding more irish cream liquer or flavoring. In my opinion: This was DE-lish! I really loved the glaze. I hate to admit it, but this is definitely a heavy/dense cake so be prepared to share!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Grilled Corn with Feta Cheese

recipe by The Neelys
4 ears sweet corn, husked and silks removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Seasoning salt, recipe from Grilled Sweet and Tangy Pork chops
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 lime, juiced, plus 1 lime, quartered, for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup crumbled feta

1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
2. Rub the corn with olive oil and season with seasoning salt, to taste. Grill the corn until it's charred, on all sides, rotating for about 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, mix the mayonnaise, chili powder, cayenne, lime juice and salt and pepper, to taste, together in a small bowl. Remove the corn from the grill and brush the hot corn with the mayonnaise mixture. Arrange on a platter and sprinkle with the feta cheese. Serve with lime wedges on the side.

In my opinion: I absolutely loved the flavor of the chili-lime sauce. It may be too spicy for small kids. It was hard to get the feta cheese to stick to the corn so next time I will try brushing on the mayonnaise mixture, adding the feta, and wrapping the corn in foil before placing on the grill. We served these with the Sweet and Tangy Grilled Pork Chops.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Grilled Sweet and Tangy Pork Chops

recipe from The Neelys
4 (1 1/2-inch thick) center cut bone in pork chops
Neely's Seasoning Salt, recipe follows Sweet and Tangy Glaze, recipe follows

1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
2. Season the pork chops lightly on both sides with the Seasoning Salt. Remember, we aren't rubbing the chops.
3. Grill the chops for 5 to 7 minutes per side. Brush them with the Sweet and Tangy Glaze the last 5 minutes of grilling. Internal temperature should register 145 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the chops from the grill to a serving platter and allow them to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Seasoning Salt:
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

Mix the salt, onion powder, black pepper, garlic powder, celery seed, cayenne, and smoked paprika in a small bowl. Reserve a small amount for the Grilled Corn with Feta Cheese recipe. You can store the remaining Seasoning Salt in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Sweet and Tangy Glaze:
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup tablespoon real maple syrup
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 dash hot pepper sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, mix together the apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire, and hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and refrigerate if not using immediately.

In my opinion: These were delicious! We served it with the grilled corn with feta cheese. Oh, my! I loved the corn.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Shamrock Milkshake

Picture from Kraft

Mint chocolate ice cream

1. Add both ingredients and blend until desired consistency.

Leprechaun's Fizz

Lime sherbet
lemon-lime soda or ginger ale

1. Scoop out sherbet into cups
2. Pour soda over the sherbet!

These were so simple and really made the kids happy!

Leprechaun's Kiss

1 square BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate,(or green candy melts) melted optional
2 cups boiling water, divided
2 pkg. (3 oz. each) JELL-O LIME Flavor Gelatin
1-1/2 cups cold water, divided
Ice cubes
1 cup thawed COOL WHIP
Whipped Topping Decorations: assorted St. Patrick's sprinkles and candies
1. DRAW heart design or write Valentine's Day message in each of 8 (6-oz.) clear plastic cups by piping chocolate onto insides of cups. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm.
2. ADD 1 cup boiling water to 1 pkg. gelatin mix in medium bowl; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Stir in 1 cup cold water; pour into cups. Refrigerate 1 hour or until gelatin is firm.
3. MEANWHILE, add remaining boiling water to remaining gelatin mix; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Add enough ice to remaining cold water to measure 1 cup. Add to gelatin; stir until thickened. Stir in COOL WHIP; spoon over gelatin layer in cups. Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm. Decorate as desired.