i have the best job ever as a stay at home mommy to three handsome young men...thanks to my hard working husband! after a full day with my boys (which i love) i can't wait for my hubby to get home so we can all sit around the table for dinner. it's a very special time for our family so i try to keep it fun and unpredictable! that is why i am on a mission to find new recipes, tweak old ones and share them with YOU!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Honey Cups

I found this recipe in a cookbook and wanted to try it so bad!  I had everything but the cornflakes--but, I always have honey bunches of oats!  So I substitued that and they turned out great!!  I do think that they would hold together a little better with the cornflakes though. Such a great, fun snack to have.  Enjoy!!

4 cups cornflakes (or Honey Bunches of Oats)
1/3 cup butter
1 TB. honey
1/3 cup brown sugar
Muffin tin liners

Melt butter, sugar and honey together until frothy.  Pour over cereal and toss.  Place into liners and bake for 10 minutes at 250 degrees.

Momma's Meatloaf

this is the meatloaf that i grew up eating.  my husband claims that it is not a meatloaf--he may be right (don't tell him), but it's meatloaf to me.  i especially love it because it is topped with potatoes and carrots, making it a complete meal in one!  enjoy!!

1/2lb. ground beef
1/2lb. ground pork
1 egg
small onion, chopped finely
small can of tomato sauce
saltine crackers, crumbled
salt/pepper, to taste

potatoes, washed (i don't peel ours but you can) and sliced lengthwise (about a quarter of an inch thick)
carrots, washed/peeled and cut and sliced lengthwise

combine all of the ingrediants (except ketchup!) using your hands, making sure to blend it all together well.  press into a casserole dish.  squirt ketchup over the top--i don't cover it completely.  put one layer of potatoes and carrots on top--more than one layer will prevent the potatoes and carrots from cooking all the way through.  cover with foil and bake for 1 1/2-2 hours or until potatoes and carrots are tender. 

Enchilada Casser-Ole

This is a new recipe for my family and we LOVED it!!  We eat Mexican dishes often, so I am always looking for different variations.  This one is definitely a keeper!  Enjoy!!

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups salsa
1 can (15oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup reduced-fat Italian dressing
1 pkg. reduced-sodium taco seasoning
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
6 flour tortillas (8in)
3/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
3 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend

shredded lettuce
chopped tomato
fresh cilantro

In a large skillet, cook beef and onion; drain.  Stir in salsa, beans, dressing, taco seasoning and cumin.  Place 2 tortillas on the bottom of a casserole dish coated with cooking spray.  Spread 1/4 cup of sour cream onto tortillas.  Layer with 1/3 of beef mixture and spread 1 cup of cheese on top of that.  Repeat two times.

Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.  Uncover and bake another 5-10 minutes (I usually turn my broiler on for a minute or two at the end to make the cheese bubble).  Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting (I serve mine like you would lasagna).  Top with lettuce, tomato and fresh cilantro! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Creamy Chicken Angel Hair Pasta

 This pasta has been a huge hit in our family!  I found it online (Taste of Home) and tweaked it a little to our liking and we just LOVE it!  Great for company!  Enjoy!!

1 package (16 ounces) angel hair pasta
1-1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes  (I put the frozen chicken breasts into a crock pot in the morning and cook it all day on low--do not add anything!  When it's cooked all the way through, I remove it and cube it and then continue to follow the directions.)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large carrot, diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 cups heavy whipping cream
5 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet, saute the chicken, salt and pepper in 2 tablespoons oil until slightly browned. Remove and keep warm.
In the same skillet, saute carrot in butter and remaining oil for 1 minute. Add onion and saute 3-4 minutes longer or until tender. Add garlic; cook for 1 minute.

Stir in the cream, lemon juice, and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Return chicken to the pan.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta; toss with chicken mixture. Garnish with cheese and crumbled bacon!

Cheeseburger Soup

I think it's safe to say that this is my favorite soup!  It's perfect for cold, rainy days and kids love it!  We like to eat ours with crusty bread (usually sourdough) for dipping!  Enjoy!
1/2 pound ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup shredded carrots
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
4 tablespoons butter, divided
3 cups chicken broth
4 cups diced peeled potatoes (diced small)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
16 ounces Velveeta cheese
1-1/2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup sour cream

  • In a 3-qt. saucepan, brown beef; drain and set aside. In the same saucepan, saute the onion, carrots, basil and parsley in 1 tablespoon butter until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the broth, potatoes and beef; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

  • Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt remaining butter. Add flour; cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until bubbly. Add to soup; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in the cheese, milk, salt and pepper; cook and stir until cheese melts. Remove from the heat; blend in sour cream.

  • Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    frosted sour cream cookies

    oh my goodness gracious are these cookies good!  they will melt in your mouth!  they are by far my new favorite cookie.  and a plus, they are quick and easy!  they are perfect cookies for freezing too!  enjoy!

    1/2 c. butter
    1 1/2 c. brown sugar
    2 eggs
    2 1/2 c. flour
    1 c. sour cream
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. vanilla

    cream butter and sugar; beat in eggs and vanilla.  add dry ingredients and sour cream and mix.  drop (i use a cookie scoop) on a greased cookie sheet.  bake at 350 degrees until center is done (approximately 15 min). 


    1/2 c. butter, melted/browned
    3 c. powdered sugar
    1 tsp. vanilla
    3 T. hot water (i usually have to add more to get it to the consistency that i want!)

    beat ingredients together and frost cookies while the frosting is warm.  if the frosting sets up before you are done, heat it in the microwave a few seconds or over hot water.  if too thin, add more powdered sugar!

    honey pineapple chicken

    oh my goodness, you guys are going to love this one!  i was browsing through a cookbook at my sister's and spotted this one and just knew that it would be yummo!  if you like sweet and sour chicken, this will end up being a favorite!  serve it up on some white rice and a side of egg rolls and dinner is done.  enjoy!

    3 lbs. boneless chicken breasts
    2 T. oil
    1 (20oz.) can unsweetened crushed pineapple, undrained
    1 c. brown sugar, packed
    1/2 c. honey
    1/3 c. lemon juice
    1/4 c. butter, melted
    2 T. yellow mustard
    2 tsp. soy sauce

    In a skillet brown chicken in oil; transfer to crock pot.  Combine the remaining ingredients; pour over chicken.  Cover and cook on low 3-4 hours.  Strain pan juices, reserving pineapple.  Serve pineapple over chicken. 

    Thursday, July 21, 2011

    Zucchini Bars

    You gardeners will LOVE this recipe!  I have heard many of you complaining because you had so much zucchini and didn't know what to do with it all!!  This yummy sweet treat is quick, easy and delicious!  The best part is the amazing cinnamon glaze!  Beware:  you may eat the whole pan in one day :-)  Enjoy!


    3/4 cup butter
    1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
    1/2 cup white sugar
    2 eggs
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
    1 3/4 cup flour
    2 cups grated zucchini

    *3/4 cup nuts (optional)


    1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    2 1/2 TB. milk
    1 1/2 TB. melted butter
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon

    Cream butter and white and brown sugar together.  Add eggs, beat.  Add everything else except the zucchini and blend.  Fold in zucchini.  Pour into a lightly greased sheet pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

    After you remove the bars from the oven mix all of the ingredients for the glaze together.  Pour onto the bars while they are still warm, but not hot. 

    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    chicken tacos

    my mouth was watering for a yummy chicken taco last week so i was determined to figure out an easy way to make them for us to enjoy at home on a regular basis!  i am happy to say that i nailed it on the first try!  we had company that night for dinner (i know, gutsy to try something new) and they LOVED it!  seriously, it couldn't get any easier than this and it is SO juicy. enjoy!

    6 frozen chicken breasts (boneless and skinless)
    2 cans of diced tomatoes with jalapenos and green chiles (i don't remember the brand that i got.  i got it at martins in the canned veggie isle). 
    1/2 tsp. salt
    tortilla shells
    sour cream
    fresh grated mozzarella cheese

    put frozen chicken breasts into crock pot and cook on slow for about 4 hours.  add canned tomatoes with jalapenos and green chilies and cook for about another 2 hours or until chicken starts to fall apart.  take chicken out and shred with a fork.  place shredded chicken into a casserole dish and pour remaining tomatoes and juices over the top (i put enough in it to keep the chicken moist but not too much that it was covered in juice).  add salt, mix and cover until ready to serve.  put shredded chicken on tortilla shell and top with cheese, sour cream and cilantro! 

    campfire baked beans

    this is a perfect dish for camping or grilling!  we love it with roasted hot dogs!  enjoy!

    1/2 lb. ground beef, cooked and drained
    1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled

    set these two ingredients to the side

    1/2 cup bbq sauce (i used sweet baby ray's hickory and brown sugar)
    1/2 cup ketchup
    1/3 cup sugar
    1/3 cup packed brown sugar
    1 tsp. ground mustard
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. chili powder
    1/4 tsp. pepper

     ground beef and bacon that you already prepared
    1 can (16oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    1 can pork and beans
    1 can (16oz) chili beans (do not drain)

    add to cast iron pot and cook over the fire slowly until heated all the way through (or, pour into a 2qt. baking dish and bake uncovered for about an hour at 350).

    top with chopped onion and shredded cheese-optional

    so yummy!

    Saturday, April 30, 2011

    taco pizza

    your kids are going to love this one!  this is one of our 'repeat' dinners :-)  i also love to make this for company...it's always a big hit!  i have made this along with the steak and cheese pizza that i have posted and a varietly of your typical pizzas for larger crowds!  enjoy!

    1 pizza dough (i used canned kind in refrigerator section) OR 2 cans crescent rolls
    1 lb. ground beef
    1 pkg. taco seasoning
    1 c. sour cream
    1 small onion (chopped)
    shredded cheddar or taco blend cheese (i use about 2 bags, we love cheese)
    ranch doritos

    roll out the pizza dough or crescent rolls (we do both of these, i like to switch it up)onto greased baking sheet and bake (as directed) until lightly brown on top and remove.  do not overcook because you will be putting it back in!  set this aside while you brown your hamburger.  drain grease and add taco seasoning and sour cream and stir well.  spread onto crust.  sprinkle with onion and then top with lots of cheese!  crush some ranch doritos in a plastic bag and sprinkle on top.  put it back into the oven and bake until cheese is melted.  i also like to turn on the broiler for a couple of minutes at the end to get it good and bubbly!  serve with all of your favorite toppings....lettuce, tomato, black olives, jalapenos, sour cream and salsa!

    whoopie pies

    here it is, my friends....my all time favorite dessert recipe!  my mouth waters just thinking about them!  there are various recipes for whoopie pies, but this is just about the only one i will eat!  enjoy!

    1/2 c. crisco
    1 c. sugar
    2 egg yolks (reserve whites for frosting)
    5 TB. cocoa
    2 c. flour
    1 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. baking soda
    pinch of salt
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1 c. milk


    1/2 c. crisco
    2 c. powdered sugar
    2 egg whites
    pinch of salt
    1 tsp. vanilla

    preheat oven to 375 degrees.  cream crisco and sugar.  add remaining ingredients and mix well.  use cookie dropper and place onto cooking sheet like you would do with cookie dough.  bake for 8-10 min.  do not over bake!  place on rack or wax paper to cool.  in the meantime, add all of the frosting ingredients and mix.  i often add more powdered sugar to thicken it up a bit more.  refrigerate until cookies are cooled.  frost one cookie and then top with another, making a sandwich!  warning:  have a glass of milk ready :-)

    shrimp dip

    this cold shrimp dip is one of my hubby's favorites!  we love seafood, so this dip is a home run in this family! pretty simple, quick and easy too!  enjoy!

    1/2 lb. cooked shrimp, chopped
    8 oz. cream cheese, softened
    1 bottle cocktail sauce
    8 oz. mozzarella cheese
    3 green onions, chopped
    1/2 green pepper, chopped
    1 small tomato, chopped
    1 c. sour cream
    1/2 c. mayonnaise

    mix cream cheese, sour cream, and mayo.  spread onto large plate or platter.  spread cocktail sauce on top.  layer in this order...shrimp, veggies, cheese.  refrigerate and serve chilled with crackers!

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    butterscotch pudding dessert

    this is unlike any butterscotch pudding that comes from a box!  this dessert is yummy and can be made the night before...one of my favorite qualities of a recipe!  and, it's made in the microwave and virtually impossible to mess up :-) enjoy!


    4 c. milk & 2/3 c. milk
    1/3 c. white sugar
    1 1/2 c. brown sugar
    3 egg yolks
    3/4 c. flour
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

    graham cracker layer

    10-12 graham crackers, broken up (i don't crush them completely, i like a little more texture with bigger chunks)
    3/4 stick butter, melted
    1 c. sugar

    cool whip (small)

    microwave the 4 c. of milk for 5-6 minutes or until boiling.  mix other pudding ingredients in a microwavable bowl and add milk gradually, using whisk.  microwave 1 minute at a time until thickened, stirring each time you check it (i use a whisk).  let cool some, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.  *you can let it cool completely and make the dessert right away*  mix the graham cracker mix together and start layering your dessert in a glass serving dish, graham cracker crust, pudding, cool whip.  i save a little crust and sprinkle on top of cool whip for the top!

    sweet potato casserole

    this would make a fabulous side dish for Easter dinner!  it is the best sweet potato dish i have ever had!  enjoy!

    4 c. cooked sweet potatoes, mashed (i do it with a hand masher and leave it with some texture)
    1/2 c. sugar
    1/2 tsp. salt
    2 eggs, beaten
    1/2 stick butter, melted
    1/2 c. milk
    1/2 tsp. vanilla

    combine ingredients and pour into greased 9x13 casserole dish.  set aside.


    1 c. brown sugar
    1/2 c. flour
    1 c. corn flakes
    1 stick butter, melted

    mix topping ingredients and sprinkle on top of sweet potato mixture.  bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 min.


    this would be a perfect dish for Easter dinner!  i am reminded of this delicious ham because my aunt kay always made it for family gatherings, and she is battling leukemia right now.  i have made this several times and as awesome as it was, it just never quite tastes as good as hers :)  enjoy!

    virginia ham (with bone!)
    large can of sliced pineapple, with juice
    brown sugar

    place the ham in a large roaster.  attach the pineapple to the ham with toothpicks.  sprinkle with brown sugar (about 1/2-3/4 cup) and pour pineapple juice over the top.  cook for 2-2 1/2 hours until ham falls apart.  drain out fat!  *if it seems to dry up while you are cooking it, add a little water or more pineapple juice if you have some.  i don't generally have to though!

    Thursday, April 21, 2011

    pork chops and french onion rice

    i will describe this dish in two words, scrumptious and easy!  and what mom wouldn't want that for dinner?  enjoy!

    1 TB. vegetable oil
    4 bone-in pork chops
    1 can condensed french onion soup (10.5oz)
    1/2 c. water
    ground black pepper
    1 stalk celery, chopped
    1/4 tsp. dried thyme
    1/2 c. uncooked regular long-grain white rice

    heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat.  add the pork chops and cook until well browned on both sides.  pour off any fat.  add the other ingredients and stir.  heat to a boil.  reduce heat to low.  cover and cook for 45min. or until the pork is fork tender and the rice is cooked.  stir rice occasionally while cooking.

    sweet and sour meatballs

    i made the same meatballs for years and years because they were so yummy and then i came across this recipe.  so glad i tried it because they are delicious!  the sauce smells exactly like nang's sweet and sour sauce (for all you nappanee chinese lovers)!  very easy too!

    1 jar sweet and sour sauce
    1/4 c. packed brown sugar
    3 TB. soy sauce
    1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    1/2 tsp. pepper
    3lbs. frozen meatballs (i used to make my own meatballs, but these days i get the frozen :)
    1 med. red pepper, cubed
    1 can (20oz) pineapple chunks, drained

    place all ingredients in a slow cooker and stir gently.  cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours until done. 

    i like to serve these with baked macaroni and cheese or over rice!  also a great dish for company or parties!

    beef enchiladas

    this is one of our favorites!  they are flavorful, simple and delicious!  enjoy!

    1lb. ground beef
    1 pkg. burrito seasoning (taco will work too)
    1 can refried beans (16oz)
    1 can condensed nacho cheese soup (or cheddar)
    1 med. onion, chopped
    1 c. cooked regular long-grain white rice
    12 flour tortillas, warmed (10in)
    1 1/2 c. enchilada sauce (i just use a whole small can)
    shredded cheddar cheese

    preheat oven to 350 degrees.  brown ground beef, pour off extra fat and add seasoning mix.  stir in beans, soup, onion and rice.  divide mixture among tortillas.  roll up tortillas and place seam-side down in baking dish.  pour enchilada sauce over tortillas and cover with cheese.  bake for 20 min. or until enchiladas are hot and bubbling.  (i usually melt cheese and then turn broiler on for a couple minutes..watch close though, it doesn't take long!)

    philly cheesesteak pizza

    this recipe came from rachel ray!  i was hesitant to try it, but boy am i glad i did!  it's a good one...a great twist on pizza!

    3 TB. EVOO
    3-4 large onions, sliced
    salt and pepper
    1 pizza dough (i used a dough in a can, in the biscuit/croissant section)
    flour for sprinkling
    2 c. shredded provolone cheese
    1/2lb. deli-style roast beef, chopped

    preheat oven to 400 degrees.  place large, non-stick skillet over med.-high heat and add EVOO.  add onions and season with salt and pepper.  cook until caramelized, approx. 15-20min, stirring often.  remove from heat and reserve.  roll dough out on baking sheet, brush with EVOO, and bake until almost done.  spread caramelized onion onto dough.  add roast beef and cover with cheese. bake until cheese bubbles and browns (i let the cheese melt completely and then i turned on the broiler for a couple of minutes!  keep a close eye on it though because it doesn't take long). 

    *EVOO=extra virgin olive oil

    oriental chicken dip

    i get a lot of requests for this lip smacking dip!  you won't be able to stop eating it once you start!  enjoy!

    1 c. cooked, shredded chicken (i use canned chicken if i am in a hurry)
    1/2 c. chopped cashews, toasted (in extra virgin olive oil)
    3 TB. green onion, chopped
    1 TB. parsley
    2 tsp. soy sauce
    1/2 c. sweet and sour sauce
    8oz. whipped cream cheese
    1/4 tsp. ginger
    pinch of garlic salt

    spread cream cheese on a large serving plate or platter.  cover with sweet and sour sauce.  combine remaining ingrediants in a bowl and put on top.  serve chilled with crackers!  double the recipe for a larger crowd!

    grape salad

    this yummy recipe comes from my step-mom, val.  it is the best grape salad!  it can even be made the night before...this is magical when you have three little ones!  i had a request for this recipe so i decided to make it my first!  enjoy!


    2lbs. green seedless grapes
    2lbs. red seedless grapes
    8oz. cream cheese, softened (i use whipped)
    8oz. sour cream
    1/2 c. sugar
    1 tsp. vanilla


    1c. brown sugar
    1c. chopped pecans


    beat cream cheese and sour cream.  beat in sugar and vanilla.  stir in grapes and put into 9x13 dish.  mix brown sugar and pecans and sprinkle on top.  smooth.  cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight! 

    i often cut this recipe in half when making it for us to enjoy at home.  you will need the whole recipe when serving to a crowd because everyone loves it!