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!

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!

3-4 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!