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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Seafood Veggie appetizer

This is a recipe I invented years friend had mixed some frozen mixed veggie side dish with some mini shrimp and fake crab sticks and it tasted good, so I enlarged it with fresh vegetables and added some of the sauce below to eat it with crackers as an appetizer.  I have made it a lot for gatherings and people love it.  I have one of those tomorrow at work and I know that a lot of people will most likely bring Christmas sweets, so I thought a veggie thing might help us not all go into a diabetic coma.  I just have some club crackers on the side, or Ritz, for them to eat with it. 

16 oz size of artificial crab meat chunks chopped up finely.  (you can also add some deveined mini shrimp)
1 cup finely diced fresh broccoli..I mainly use the heads and not the thicker stems
1 cup finely diced fresh cauliflower
2 green onions chopped finely
2 carrots peeled and grated

1 cup Miracle Whip salad dressing
1/4 cup Western dressing (you can add a little more if it seems to salad dressingy)
1/4 cup milk
some salt and pepper to taste
Whisk all together until creamy and smooth, pour over the veggie mixture and toss until well coated.  taste for seasoning..this is where I add more salt, pepper or western dressing.  sprinkle with paprika for color.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cherry Almond Bread

We all exchange little holiday gifts at work this time of year.  I have made this bread in the past and brought it in and it is gone within literally minutes, so this year I thought I'd make everyone a mini loaf with a pretty red ceramic mini loaf pan it was baked in because it looked so festive to me.  The bread calls for red maraschino cherries, but at Christmas I mix them with the unflavored green ones if I can find them to make it ever more word in my vocabulary only.  I hope they bake okay in the oven..might have to rotate them or bake them longer..we'll see..keeping my fingers crossed. 

Here is the can make 8 mini loaves or 2 regular sized loaves with it..I always use the disposable aluminum mini loaf pans (and rewash them), because it bakes better in them and they pop out easier.


mix in the order given..I use the hand mixer once I get everything in the bowl to make sure it's blended well and then add the cut up cherries and almonds and hand stir those in..

2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1 can Solo almond FILLING, NOT PASTE-you will find it by the poppyseed filling etc
1/4 cup of the juice drained from the cherries
1 regular size can (12 oz) evaporated milk

1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup maraschino cherries cut up in smaller pieces-I use a scissors

spray pans with cooking spray (I usually cut a piece of parchment paper to fit in the bottom so it doesn't stick when removing, but if you spray it good it should be okay.)  Bake at 325 degrees for 45-60 minutes or until center is baked-test with a toothpick-shouldn't come out gummy.  Let them cool for about 20 minutes on a rack before trying to remove from pans and loosen sides with a butter knife.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

School Lunch Pizza Burgers

I used to make these pizza burgers a lot when the kids were all home..they were quick, made a lot and the kids loved them.  I actually got the recipe from my husband, Dave, who showed me how to make them.  He got the recipe from his high school cafeteria recipe book the cooks had made for a fund raiser at Cooper High School.  He said it was the only recipe that was any good in the cookbook, so hard to say how many were sold.  What's funny is they just "revived" it from the archives and had another printing made just last summer for an anniversary celebration..He graduated in "69, so maybe it was a 50th?  Anyway, you don't have to buy the cookbook to get the one good recipe, because here it is..


1 pound good hamburger browned and crumbled finely, salt and pepper, (fork work good to smoosh it) and some finely chopped onion fried with it. 

add:  one 6 oz  can tomato paste, 1 tsp sugar sprinkled over the whole thing, 1 tsp garlic powder , and 3/4 tsp Italian seasoning stirring well to combine evenly.  Taste and add a little more salt and pepper if needed.   Remove from heat.  stir in 1 cup shredded American cheese, about 1/2 lb.  try not to stir it too much so it has chunks of cheese throughout.  I shred it from a block, which seems to be harder to find, but deli's usually have it and they can cut you a chunk.  (I got mine at walmart after searching for the block of Kraft/ Bongaard's etc and not finding it).  Take slices of thin white bread and spread the mixture over it to the edges. (You can also use halves of hamburger buns)  Lay on a sheet of aluminum foil in a 425 degree oven until the top and underneath side of bread is slightly toasted..about 12 minutes?  Careful..they are hot, so use caution..

you can play with these too adding olives, pepperoni etc..whatever you like on pizza will work..

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Joe's Date Bars day

Joe loves date baked goods.  He used to love when his Grandma made date cookies, but I don't think I have any of her recipes so his date fix from me is date bars.  Dates have gotten a little bit pricey just like everything out there these days, so I only bought an 8 ounce package and made an 8 x 8 pan of them today, half the recipe that fits in a 9 x 13 pan, but it will be enough to pacify him for a few months, (I think), especially when I have lots of cleaning and decorating to do for Christmas and I am not making a lot of headway, it seems, and took the time today to make them.  I didn't feel the best today when I woke up, headachy and my stomach was weird, but things improved as the day went on so I baked them. 

Here is the recipe:


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Second Sunday Shawl Done

Today I finished my second Sunday Shawl that someone from my workplace ordered for her mother-in-law for Christmas.  I must say this one took me much longer to do than my first one.  I really have found that I am not a person who could mass produce products..I think it's because the curiosity to see what it looks like and to see if I can even do the pattern is over, so it's just not as much fun for me and I slack off..not sure what that says about me, but it's a fact nonetheless.  Anyway, I was afraid it was going to be kind of boring because she wanted the main body of it in blue as it's her mother-in-laws favorite color, but I think it turned out quite pretty if I say so it is..
and here is a close up of the border

Will there ever be a third?   We'll see....


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Old Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup

This is my husband, Dave's, favorite soup.  It seems like a lot of friends are getting bad colds, sore throats etc, so I decided I should get prepared for it hitting our house soon and made a batch of my homemade chicken noodle soup.  I am off from work today and you definitely need a day off to make this because it takes time.  I also make the noodles which are very easy to make for it because that's his favorite part.  I am the opposite and like tiny thin noodles in my soup, but every so often I make it like he likes because I am just that's how it goes..


(I use my double cooker with the strainer in it-nice to just pull out the chicken and other additions so easy, but you can just use a big heavy kettle and remove everything from the broth too if you don't have one.)

Fill kettle about half full of water, put in strainer part and add clean whole chicken, 1 small diced onion, 2 carrots chopped large, and 2 stalks celery chopped large..don't need to be fancy, this is just for the broth and will be thrown later on anyway..2 bay leaves, salt and pepper well.  bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to a low simmer and let it cook until the chicken legs are falling away from the chicken, a couple of hours or so..remove the chicken to cool a little and throw the other items away.  set the broth aside so some of the fat rises to the top and then skim that off.  after skimming, put the broth back on the stove and add two cleaned and small diced carrots, 2 stalks of celery finely diced and a little finely diced onion, salt and pepper to taste and 4 bouillon cubes or chicken base (about 3 Tablespoons)..after the chicken has cooled enough to easily handle, remove it from the bones toss the skin and any extra fat or icky parts.  then chop and add most of it, or all of it if you want tons of chicken into the broth.  Add the noodles (recipe below) or whatever kind of noodle  you prefer, cooked until they are tender.  eat. 


1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon oil
1 egg, beaten

In a small bowl, combine flour and salt, blend well.  Make a well in the center, add water, oil and egg.  gradually work flour into the liquid to form a dough.  on a floured surface knead until dough is smooth, about 2-3 minutes.  form into a disk and wrap in plastic or a ziplock baggie and let rest at room temp 1 hour. 

on a lightly floured surface roll dough out as thin as possible into a rectangle.  starting with shortest side, roll up into thirds.  cut into 1/4 inch slices, unfold slices and cut on the fold lines, or into size you like.  drop noodles into soup.  after soup returns to a boil cook uncovered for 5-10 minutes or until noodles are tender, stirring occasionally.  *This makes a big batch and they expand, so you might want to only use half or so of the batch, otherwise you will have chicken hotdish with the leftovers..


Friday, November 28, 2014

Lacie Oatmeal Cookies

Sometimes I just get tired of chocolate..I know that sounds unbelievable, but it's true.  This time of year from October until after the first of the year, it's nothing but Chocolate in some shape, size or form, to the point that I just need a change of pace from it..that's when I make these cookies..they are definitely free of chocolate yet definitely good cookies!  They are in a 4H cookbook from the early 70's and I have been making these for 40 years now.  I also like that they have all my favorite things in them, oatmeal, butterscotch, pecans and coconut.  They are just the thing with a cup of flavored coffee for me.  They are also a good way to use up some small bags of leftover ingredients in your cupboards from your previous baking.  I just pulled them out of the oven and already ate two and they passed the "remembrance" test for hitting just the right spot..


1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup soft shortening-Crisco
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat above ingredients with a mixer, then add:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon baking powder

Beat with a mixer and stir in by hand:
1 cup coconut
1 cup quick oatmeal
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 small bag butterscotch chips

form into balls, about 1 Tablespoon of dough.  press down with a glass bottom dipped in sugar.  (12 per cookie sheet-they spread out).  Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Hamburger Vegetable Soup with Barley

Since last Sunday was our kick off for Thanksgiving and I stuffed myself that day and every day since with heavy meals, plus it's really cold today, I decided today was a good soup day to lighten it up a little around here and to get some needed vegetables and broth in our bodies.  Therefore, I made a big kettle of my hamburger vegetable soup with barley.  This also works great for leftover roast beef shredded and cut up if you have that.  We didn't go anywhere today since we celebrated already, so it had a chance to simmer for a while and made the whole house smell good.  I usually try to make some homemade bread to go with it, but since it was a day off from work and a "slug" day for me, there is no warm bread to go with it, unless they want to make toast from store bought bread!  It tasted soooo good to me for dinner!  My tummy still feels warm inside and I am full, but not stuffed and bloated which feels really great!  Here's how I make it..

Hamburger Vegetable Soup with Barley:

1 lb lean hamburger-the high fat hamburger just makes it really greasy, even with draining to me.
1/2 large onion diced finely
2 -3 stalk celery cute finely
3 carrots, cleaned and diced finely
1 large can whole tomatoes..I remove any "hard" pieces and squash them with my hand when I put them in the kettle..I also add the juice from the can.
1 small can whole kernel corn
1 regular can pantry cut green beans cut in half
a handful of frozen peas
Beef base (I use Better than Bouillion beef base in the jar) 4 Tablespoons.  You can substitute beef bouillon cubes-4-6
1 quart of water
1/2 cup catsup

In a large stock pot, brown hamburger that is seasoned with salt and pepper, onion and celery until cooked through.  Add rest of ingredients and simmer until all the vegetables are tender.  Then add 1/4 of a medium head of cabbage that has been finely chopped and 1/2 cup of quick cooking barley.  Simmer another 1/2 hour until done.  Taste for seasoning..add salt and pepper and a little sprinkle of sugar if needed and can also add more beef base if needed. 

Hamburger Milk Gravy

I am not sure if this is something served mainly in Minnesota or not, but I do know that I never see it on menus anywhere.  I've been eating since I was a kid and all the people of my age group pretty much know what it is, but it must have died out for the next generations because a lot of them never heard of it.  That's such a shame because I think it is really good and versatile besides, quick and low cost besides.  Serve it up with some mashed potatoes and a salad or green beans, peas etc and you have a satisfying hearty meal.  I made it tonight with some green beans and some raspberry jello with raspberries and cool whip for a side/dessert and the guys really liked the meal.  It's kind of a throw stuff in the fry pan from memory dish, but here goes..

Hamburger gravy, my version:

in a large fry pan add:
1 lb. hamburger
1/2 of a small onion diced finely
1 large stalk celery diced finely
a little salt and pepper

brown hamburger, onion and celery, covering and turning to low until all the veggies are tender.  uncover and shove mixture to one side, tipping fry pan so any drippings drain to one side..add 1 Tablespoon butter.  once melted add 1/4 cup flour mixing it into the drippings and butter until a thick paste.  Add whole milk (about 2 cups) slowly into the paste whisking until incorporated.  lower fry pan and mix in the hamburger mixture.  Add 1 Tablespoon beef base, or 2 beef bouillon cubes, 1 Tablespoon Western Dressing,  1/2 tsp celery salt, black pepper to taste and a dash of salt.  Keep on lower heat until thickened and warmed through.  Serve over mashed potatoes or even buttered toast.

NOTE:  You can change this up using leftover chicken or turkey and substitute chicken base or bouillon also. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thanksgiving Scalloped Corn

This is one dish that I only make on Thanksgiving..mainly because it makes a lot and it is all gone at the end of the meal.  I can't say it's my favorite thing to eat as a leftover, and if I wanted to make it for a regular meal I guess I'd have to figure out how to make it smaller which is too much work.  Thus, it's the Thanksgiving Scalloped Corn recipe..I made it today per the family request and it was empty once again, so I am posting it because it's a family favorite of ours.  It came out of a cookbook from my one of my coworkers and her golf league.  It's a small cookbook, but every recipe I've tried is a good one!

Scalloped Corn: 
1 (16 oz) can creamed corn
1 (16 oz) can kernel corn (drained)
1/2 cup butter or margarine melted (I use butter)
1 pkg Jiffy corn muffin mix
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 cup sour cream

Combine all ingredients reserving 1/4 cup of the Jiffy corn muffin mix.  Combine well and put in a baking dish.. Mine is a 12" round size.  sprinkle with the 1/4 cup reserving mix.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until it's slightly browned and springs back a little when touched in the middle.  Mine took 45 minutes..depends on the size pan you used for time..

Early Thanksgiving

We are having our family Thanksgiving today early since one family had other plans for Thanksgiving on the actual day.  It will be at my daughter Kim's house, and she will be making the turkey over there, so I am making a more "travelable" meat..the ham.  Since I made this ham my kids, especially grandson, Kyle, insist that this is the only ham we serve..I tore the recipe out of a Country Living magazine, so am posting this for you as well as myself in case it gets too damaged or destroyed to read in the future.  The glaze is the best!  I didn't think Cola (I use Coke) would make any kind of decent glaze, but it really does.  Can't wait to have some today!  I am going to try scanning the page so you can see the picture of it done..I have never been able to capture it because they start carving it immediately once it's done and there is never time!  Here goes.  Oh, and just in case you are wondering, because I did, you leave it uncovered the whole time until you let it rest at the end, then cover it with foil (after taking it out of the oven).

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Boot Cuffs for Alana

Alana, my granddaughter, asked me to make her some crocheted boot cuffs some weeks ago because I gave her some Bear Paw boots for her birthday, plus she likes to wear dress boots the last few years.  She went as far as to search pinterest for a free crochet pattern for them and sent it to my Pinterest account.  Anyway, I did print it, but pretty much ignored it because things have been so busy lately.  Today, since there is snow on the ground and snow in the air, I decided it was a good day to try making them.  I actually didn't like the pattern she gave was really written poorly and after barely starting it I did a search online and found one that is easy, cute to me anyway, and written pretty well.  I got one done and hope to finish the second one yet tonight.  I used some leftover yarn I had from the shawl I just made..I like it, it's a dark gray with a tweedy texture, but soft.  If anyone is interested in the pattern, let me know and I will post the link..

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Deb's yummy Serbian Soup

My neighbor in the cube next to me has brought this soup in for potlucks a couple of times.  It is so great when the weather is cold like it is right now.  I just crave it and made a batch tonight so I could freeze some for my lunches at work.  It really warms up your whole insides and it's filling besides.  A meal in one kettle!

Deb's Serbian Cabbage and Smoked Sausage Soup:

In a large kettle:
melt 2 Tablespoons butter
add 1/2 small onion finely chopped and 2 minced garlic cloves..
cook until tender.

1 can drained kidney beans
6 cups water
2 teaspoons beef bouillon or comparable
1 smoked sausage circle (I used beef smoked sausage) diced in small pieces
2 cups diced potatoes
(I added one diced carrot for color)

simmer for 15 minutes

then add:
1/4 cup catsup
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
2 cups diced cabbage-(she uses the cole slaw mix in the bag)

simmer an addition 15 minutes or until cabbage is tender enough. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Blueberry Muffins

The 3 grandkids are here this weekend-actually 2 last night and Alana will be here this afternoon, so when I woke up this morning the thought of something from the oven for breakfast would taste mighty good with a glass of milk for the kids (and me and Dave!), so I looked through my set of Pine to Praire (love those cookbooks!) for a recipe for blueberry muffins since I had some in the freezer.  I chose this recipe because it 1) actually called for frozen blueberries and 2) it had cinnamon in it and cinnamon sugar topping it off-and we all LOVE cinnamon, especially warm out of the oven.  It made a small batch of muffins-I made 9 smaller ones, but would make 6 large ones with a little more baking time. 

Here's the recipe:
Combine 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, 2/3 cup brown sugar, 1 egg, and 1/3 cup milk until well blended.

add: 1 cup flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp salt just until incorporated. 

Stir in 1/2 cup frozen blueberries (I would try to use the wild blueberries which are tinier, although I used the regular sized and they were fine if that's what you find at your store only.  I just like the little berries spread throughout better.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes in a sprayed with Pam or greased muffin pan.  remove when still warm and dip tops in melted butter (the other 1/2 stick) and then in cinnamon sugar. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Jodi's Mac and Cheese

I just got this recipe from my friend, Jodi, and tried it tonight for supper..let me tell you, I have made zillions of recipes for mac and cheese and didn't like any of them as much as Kraft Mac and Cheese from the box, but this one is GOOD.  It's so simple that I was wondering about it, but glad I took the leap of faith and went for it. 

All she does is cook enough macaroni to feed you family..I cooked a few cups of elbow macaroni..about halfway or so..mine said cook 11 minutes and I cooked it about 6-7 minutes.  drain.  in a buttered casserole dish start making layers with the macaroni, shredded real Kraft American cheese (I used slices because I had them) -do not use velvetta- and dots of butter.  I made three layers ending with the cheese and butter on the top.  pour a can of evaporated milk-must be evaporated milk-over the mixture.  LIGHTLY salt and pepper the top.  the cheese has salt in it remember.  Bake at 325 for one hour.  YUM.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Reading pillow for Sam

As I've stated previously, my granddaughter is working on a new quilt for her bed..I decided to make her a big reading bed pillow because she likes to read before she falls asleep or play with her kindle in the mornings while she wakes up, thus needs something big to "prop" herself up if she's anything like her grandma.  I used some cuddle fleece so it would be nice and snuggly for the main body (pain in the tush to work with) and used some of her fabric she had left for the back and letter on the front with chocolate pom-poms for a little cuteness.  The color is pretty off on these pictures..the letter is actually a darker brown and has aqua swirls in it and it's much deeper and bluer than it looks for the fluff..but anyway I like the end results and I am sure she will too.  The second picture is truer to color..  I am bringing it up to her later today with a pot of her favorite wild rice soup recipe from Byerly's..her real birthday was yesterday, so today will be more laid back and a little extension of her special day for her from me..

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Taconite Tator Tot Hotdish

This recipe is a step up in flavor from the basicTator Tot Hotdish that was a stable when we were younger!  it gets it's kick from adding some garlic and Pepper Jack Cheese and I think it's the best!  It's actually from a contest some of the Senators had in Minnesota with a hotdish cook-off and Amy Klobuchar won..I am making it tonight for dinner with some salad and biscuits.  I usually make half the recipe because I don't like a ton of leftovers these days and instead of using a can of each soup I use the Campbell's mixed can of soup called cream of chicken/mushroom instead and still use the pound of hamburger because we are meat lovers around here.  Here is the link to the recipe.  Try it, I think you will like it!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Woullet's Brownie Enormous recipe

It's a chilly morning-frost on the rooftops and so, since I haven't baked since the rush of birthday baking occurred, I decided today I would bake some brownies and warm up the kitchen and also sooth Dave's sweet tooth for his evening/bedtime snack with them this week.  I love this recipe.  It's quick, doesn't take a ton of ingredients and is chewy, dark with chocolate and he loves walnuts in his brownies.  The recipe doesn't call for frosting, but I always top my brownies with frosting..these I topped with the Hershey's cocoa recipe on the back of the box (I make half the recipe)..simple and fluffy if you beat it..some people like to thin it with coffee to make more of a mocha frosting on the brownies, but I am a purist with ALL chocolate flavor. 

Here is the link to the recipe for the brownies:

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Beef Stroganoff

This recipe is actually one I got from my husband, Dave, when we were dating.  (back in the days when he was trying to impress me), which he did, with his cooking.  Somehow, he seems to have decided he "likes my cooking better" and for the last 20 years or so it's me that makes it and does 99.9% of the cooking.  Wonder how that happened?  Anyway, it's the requested entrée for Kim's 40th birthday party tonight and I am posting the recipe for those of you who want another easy, yet elegant and delicious main course.  I don't know anyone who doesn't like this, at least so far, when I've made it. 


1 Sirloin steak..the size can vary depending on how many people you are serving and their appetites..I usually use about 1-1/2 lbs for the 3 of us, but my son loves it, so it should normally feed 4 adults with normal appetites easily.  I freeze it slightly so it's easier to slice into thin bite size pieces, trimming off all the fat and grizzle that you can. 

Heat a little oil and butter in a large frying pan.  Dust the sirloin slices in flour, shaking off excess, salt and pepper them and brown them on both sides in the pan, making a couple batches if necessary..remove and set aside in a dish.

Scrap pan if necessary and add a little more oil and butter.  Slice a peeled yellow onion thinly into rings, add to the warm pan and cook slowly until they are softened and carmelized.  add a small can of sliced mushrooms and cook until slightly browned also.  At this point you can also add 1 tsp of minced garlic being careful not to burn it.  I also have used just powdered garlic to taste.

Dump the browned meat back into the pan.  Add 1 can of beef consommé (Campbell's carries it) and let simmer until meat is totally cooked on low heat.  (about 10-15 minutes.  Add sour cream, about 3/4 to 1 cup, depending on your taste, and serve over buttered egg noodles, cooked per directions.

Jello Poke Cake

Tonight we are having a little celebration for my daughter, Kim's, 40th birthday with the family.  She picked the menu of beef stroganoff, sides, and this jello poke cake, that I usually make with strawberry jello, in an orange jello flavor.  I bought some rainbow sherbet to go along with it because the kids and Kim really like sherbet too.  Although it's super pretty cut, I am posting the finished product since I don't know if I will get a shot of it cut in the feeding frenzy tonight.  The jello makes streaks of color and flavor through the white cake, so it's pretty as well as delicious and light..


Bake a boxed white cake according to directions on box.

While it's baking mix 1 small box of jello, whatever flavor you choose, and 1-1/2 cups of BOILING water until dissolved..set aside. 

Once cake is baked, set on a cooling rack and punch holes all over the top with the end of a wooden spoon or something about that size, almost to the bottom of the cake.  Pour the jello mixture over the holes.  Let cake stand until completely cool..then:

Mix small pkg of vanilla instant pudding and 1-1/2 cups cold milk together with a mixer or whisk until completely incorporated and thickened.  Add 1 small bowl of cool whip and fold in.  You can tint it or add well drained fruit to it if desired.  spread on top of cake and chill until set and ready to serve. 

You can use a chocolate cake and chocolate pudding with raspberry jello or do a lot of variations with the cake, jello and pudding in this and they are all yummy..

Monday, October 13, 2014

Mini meatballs, for spaghetti or mini/maxi subs

I am posting this recipe, even though it's not mine, because I really like it.  It's probably the easiest meatball recipe I have ever used and you can make as many as you want, freeze them and use them for whatever you want for a quick meal when you are busy.  I, so far, always have used them for spaghetti and meatballs, but I am sure they are really good in subs like the recipe calls for, and would be good even in Swedish meatballs with a gravy over mashed potatoes..will have to try it sometime.  In fact I was thinking of making them and using them in my hamburger milk gravy instead of the crumbled hamburger to try that out.  I made them tonight for dinner and just used jarred Prego sauce which I always add a small can of tomato sauce and a little sugar to because it's pretty strong to me, and cooked some angel hair pasta and called it good, and it was good!  I like to let my spaghetti sit for 15-20 minutes mixed together before serving it so it soaks in the sauce more.   Here is the link to the recipe..I usually like to add a little fresh parmesan and finely chopped onion in my version, plus a little extra garlic..oh, and I like to use italian bread crumbs..well, it's kind of the same recipe?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Treats for Alana's 12th Birthday Party with friends

Alana, my granddaughter, is having her friend party, 15 of them, tonight with pizza, macaroni and cheese, beverages of course, and so I volunteered to do the treats..I have been feeling nostalgic lately for some reason and decided to do old fashioned fall party food, except for the rainbow cupcakes..don't think they had those back then, but I am sure the girls will think they are fun.  I made the cupcakes and frosted them with marshmallow frosting (a favorite of Alana's), the old fashioned caramel apples with the kraft caramels, using heavy cream to thin it out a little and a dash of salt, over granny smith apples, and popcorn balls that I remember the way we used to make them way back when when we weren't afraid of corn syrup etc.  I added some pink food color, M & M's and honey roasted peanuts..they turned out good, not at all like rocks, and tasted good (I may have licked the bowl)..I think the assortment turned out cute and tasty looking..thinking they will think the same thing!
Here is the LINK for the recipe for the popcorn balls in case anyone is interested.. you can throw in whatever you want besides the popcorn-I was worried about the M& M's melting, but they seemed to do ok generally.  I used the microwave kettle corn and made sure there weren't any seeds in it. is the recipe for the Marshmallow's really good on chocolate cake-tastes like Whoopie pies.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter -room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 jar (7-1/2 ounces) marshmallow fluff
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a bowl beat with electric mixer, butter and pwd sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the marshmallow fluff and vanilla and continue beating until well combined..

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sunday Shawl

I have been wanting to crochet again more and although I have a project in progress already, my snowflake afghan I started earlier this year, I had seen this a few weeks back and decided to make it.  It's called Sunday Shawl by The Little Bee and I really liked it because it was different.  Anyway, I had today off from work and finished it, that is all except weaving in my is my finished product..

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes with Ham

ANOTHER cool day and chilly in the house, but not chilly enough to start a blazing fire in the porch as I am trying to finish a shawl I fell in love with (I have no business crocheting right now, I have a trillion, well  not quite, projects that need to be finished and started before this) and didn't want to "bake" out in my favorite chair out there, so I decided to make something in the oven for supper.  Thus, it's cheesy scalloped potatoes with ham for dinner tonight.  This is a pretty quick and easy dinner..just toss together a salad to go with it and you are all set with a balanced meal that didn't require a ton of work or time.  Here goes..


Peel and slice about 6-8 potatoes, depending on how large they are..put in a larger casserole dish.  dice about 1/3 of a large onion finely and add it to the dish.  The dice about 1-1/2 to 2 cups of ham and toss that in too.  kind of mix it all together with your hands.

Next: in a medium kettle over medium to medium high heat mix together:

8 ounces of Velvetta cheese (I sometimes use Velvetta Mexican if I am in the mood for more kick to it)
1 cup cheddar cheese-I use mild
1 can Campbell's cream of celery soup
1/4 cup Miracle Whip-sounds strange but it gives it some tang
a little salt and pepper
1 pint of half and half

heat until all of the ingredients are melted and creamy, stirring constantly so it doesn't scorch on the bottom. 

When ready, pour over the potato mixture evenly.  cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1-1/2 hours..I uncover the last 1/2 hour so the top browns a little. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Oven (or crockpot) Beef Stew

Chilly weekend, grandkids over, we all need to sew, embroider and crochet, so..time for beef stew..


3 lbs stew meat (I usually buy a roast and cube it up, discarding any sinewy or fatty stuff.)
1 cup chopped celery
1 med onion, chopped
3 cleaned and chopped carrots
4 medium potatoes cut in chunks
1 can beef bouillon soup
1 can Golden Mushroom soup-Campbells
1 can water
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup quick tapioca
salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in a roaster, cover, or crockpot, stir together to incorporate.  Bake at 250 degrees for 5-6 hours or on high for 8 hours in crockpot.  Do not peek. 

French Dressing (homemade per Wyndmere, North Dakota cookbook)

I've been making this French dressing for sister, Diane's old hometown, Wyndmere, created a cookbook for their centennial celebration and I was lucky enough to get one.  The recipes in it are awesome, and this became a family favorite of ours.  I also made a batch of this last night for the grandkid sleepover because my son, Joe, was also there for dinner and loves it as much as I do.  I just used mixed greens and some croutons and tossed them in this dressing and it was delicious. 


1/2 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 cup catsup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp onion powder or 1 Tbls grated onion

Put all the ingredients in a blender or mix very well until well bleneded (I just put in a tight container and shake)

Homemade BBQ sauce for ribs and chicken (Nettie Boudreau's recipe)

The grandkids were over last night and they all love my BBQ'd ribs, so made up a batch..Kyle kept saying "I just love that sauce!" so decided to post my mother-in-law, Nettie Boudreau's, sauce recipe on here..the copy I have is getting all faded so better post it before I can't read it anymore anyway!


1 small can tomato sauce, 8 ounces.
1/3 cup catsup
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp yellow mustard
3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/8 cup cider vinegar
a few shakes of onion and garlic salt (can use a little chopped onions instead of onion salt)
salt and pepper (small amount)
1/8 cup vegetable oil

Put in a smaller kettle, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.  I then put it on low and start basting ribs or chicken about 30-45 minutes before ready to serve..can serve extra sauce on the side if desired.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Six Ingredient Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

It felt like a tomato soup day today since fall is in the air and I was in a hurry and wanted a quick supper..I have made this soup lots of times and vary it all the time..sometimes I add a little carmelized onion, sometimes some carrots for more heartiness, but it's always good.  Tonight my guys had hotdogs with it, but I have made grilled cheeses or just crackers.  I, myself, just like a good chunk of bread with butter to dip in it!

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
-I got the recipe from Taste of Home a while back, but changed it a little to suit my tastes.

2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes (or fresh, peeled, cored and finely chopped tomatoes to equal about 2 quarts). 

1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth.  (I used "Better than Broth chicken base-about 2 heaping Tbsps and add 2 cups of water-can add more base later if you think it needs more flavor).

18 fresh basil leaves, rinsed and finely chopped (I also have mixed fresh with a little dried).

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup butter.

In a large saucepan, bring the tomatoes and broth to a boil, reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add basil and sugar.  Reduce heat to low; stir in sugar and butter, salt and pepper to taste.  serve when butter is melted. 

*If you like really creamy soup you can blend before adding the cream and butter. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Turkey,Cranberry (or cherry) Pasta Salad

It's definitely Fall here in Minnesota, but I am still craving pasta salads and am trying to squeeze in all the summer dishes I can before the snow flies and I start craving hearty, hot soups again.   I ran across this recipe in my stash and decided to give it a try today since I was running to the grocery store anyway and could get the ingredients.  I think it turned out pretty tasty, so am posting it for others who love their  pasta like me.  Hope you like it too.


1 (12 ounce package bow tie pasta (Farfalle)
1 (6 ounce) pkg dried cranberries or cherries
3 cups leftover turkey, torn up or cubed small (I bought some turkey tenderloins and cooked them)
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup red onion diced small (I used 4 green onions chopped finely)-I think I would leave this out next time-I like onion, but wasn't that crazy about it in this for some reason.
3/4 cup prepared creamy poppyseed dressing (I wanted less fat/calories so used a fat free brand)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

I cheated with the cranberries and walnuts and just used some of the blends they have for salads with the cherries and walnuts already in it.

Prepare pasta according to package directions; rinse with cold water and drain.

In a large bowl combine cooled pasta, cherries, turkey, celery and onion.  Toss with dressing until coated. 

Refrigerate covered several hours or overnight.  Toss with walnuts before serving.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Granddaughter, Samantha Rae, wants to make a quilt for her room

My granddaughter, Sam came into some money via her paternal grandpa (he bought Kyle, my grandson, a gun so gave Sam cash to compensate the deal) and she decided to redo her room into a more "grownup (she's 12) aged room to take her through her teen years.  Her room had been done in pastels with flowers etc with the white furniture look.  She also has decided she does not like flowers anymore in her décor.  Her and her mom, my daughter, Shellie, scoured through the internet and found a zig-zag/chevron type pattern that suited her fine.  She also decided she wants to make her quilt for the room with my help.  She did make her first quilt this late summer for a 4H project, a patchwork doll quilt that she tied and she did a really precise job on it, so I said ok..let go for it!  Yesterday we went shopping for the fabric, and after at least an hour or more and a few tears here and there..tears/smiles/tears/smiles..(like I said she's 12) we finally settled on the following fabric and we were both very happy..(step 1 and 2 of the process done!  More will follow as her room takes shape (and probably more tears/smiles/tears/smiles...

Sam has been putting in some more time into her quilt..she spent the weekend and got all her rows made and laid out to sew together now..still lots of work ahead, but at least now she can see how the finished quilt will look! 

and finally the rows and border is on..ready to go to the quilter to sandwich the top, batting and backing together! 

The quilt is back from the machine quilters home..I love the stitch design she used..circles like the ones in the brown fabric.  so cute on it!
 Today, 2/1/15, Sam can finally get her binding and label on her quilt.  Below are pictures of the steps she took (for her 4H booklet) to make and put on the binding.  She will have lots of hours coming up to hand sew it down on the backside of the quilt, but she did get the label sewn down on the back so that one step further she is done with! 

First we had to cut the binding fabric in 2-1/2 inch strips (we cut 8 of them)
Then they had to be sewn together in one continuous strip by putting the right sides together and diagonally sewing them..

Then had to trim off the  1/4 inch

Then opened it up so it was a straight piece of fabric again and on to next strip to add on the same way until all were added..

Then Sam had to iron the seams flat and fold it all in half for a doubled binding

Then she had to fold one end in and close it again

and lastly had to find the middle of the quilt bottom, lay the raw edge of the binding strip even with the edge and start sewing it down about 3-4 inches past that point..the corners were a little more complicated, but no picture taken of those..

 Sam, sewing down the binding and her room is finally finished with her new quilt on her bed! 3/16/15

Ta DA!!!