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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.