Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sausage Garlic Cheese Biscuits


I know that last week I made the Garlic Cheese Biscuits, so I decided to step them up a bit. Kinda like a well rounded breakfast to walk around with.


Sausage Garlic Cheese Biscuits

Ingredients:

3/4 of a roll of sausage (cooked crumbles - you know they also make these pre-made in store)

2 cups of Bisquick Mix (don't be heart broken if you don't have it, you can google and make your own)


2 cups of shredded cheese

1 and 1/3 cup of milk

Garlic Powder.. I put at least 2 teaspoons in.

1/2 minced onion
Minced garlic (I add this...but it is optional)

Instructions:

I mixed all the mix, cheese, garlic powder, minced garlic and onion together, before I added the milk.

When you add the milk, just mix it enough to get everything together.

Place on grease foil (parchment paper is my favorite) and bake at 400 for about 10-15 minutes checking to make sure they brown.

*optional, near the end you can melt butter and brush the tops.

These turned out really good. Made for a quick easy breakfast, all in one. The sausage made it kinda sausage ball tasting, but lighter.

* a tip I learned is while you are mixing your dry and wet, mix just enough to get it incorporated and don't over mix. Then spoon onto parchment paper. This makes them fluffy and easier to get off sheet pan.

If you ever give them a try, leave me a comment.
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To all my friends and family, I am wishing you a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.
I am sure I will have lots to share with you after the holidays, when it slows down.

For all of you, may your hearts be light and find happiness in the moments. Cherish them all, memories are what holds us all together.

For my family, I love you all more than you can imagine. I know I am far away, but that is okay. Like Mom, used to say, "Louise, don't worry about it, we are just a phone call away. And anyway, we are all doing the same thing you are, taking care of family." She kept me from being homesick all the time.

Seems like all that I do, shows a reflection of what she taught me. From loving my family to cooking for them. She left me a wonderful legacy.

When I couldn't figure out how to teach my children anything, she would say, " Just love them, love them more!"

So this Christmas we will do without her. I miss her dearly, but I do know that she is watching over us all. So I will just love them all more.....

Again...

Merry Christmas to all!.






Monday, December 12, 2011

Cheese Garlic Biscuits


Woke up this morning with Cheese Garlic Biscuits on my mind. Wow, I even dream food. I had watched a show, making biscuits and he said one of the ways to make a nice airy biscuit was not to over kneed it. Just to incorporate all the ingredients in and stop. Then drop.

So I decided to give it a try. It worked really well.

Cheese Garlic Biscuits

Ingredients:

2 cups of Bisquik Mix (don't be heart broken if you don't have it, you can google and make your own)

2 cups of shredded cheese

1 and 1/3 cup of milk

Garlic Powder.. I put at least 2 teaspoons in.

Minced garlic (I add this...but it is optional)

Instructions:

I mixed all the mix, cheese, garlic powder and minced garlic together, before I add the milk.
When you add the milk, just mix it enough to get everything together.

Place on grease foil (parchment paper is my favorite) and bake at 400 for about 10-15 minutes checking to make sure they brown.

*optional, near the end you can melt butter and brush the tops.

These turned out pretty good. I guess we all must have been craving carbs. Because the crew here just ate them up.

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We have been getting ready for Christmas around here. Got the house decorated outside and working on the tree. This year just seems to have crept up on us. I am far from being ready. I am really having a good time with my Facebook. I know posting your every move is silly, but I am silly, so why don't I enjoy it. I truly believe you get out of life what you put in into it. If I only touch one person and they laugh or smile, then it makes it all worth while.
So keep up with me on Facebook. This month been throwing out some Christmas Trivia..


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Baked Potato Puffs


I know I promised to post my baked potato puffs. Usually I would take leftover (instant - cause I for some reason couldn't make mashed potatoes if I tried) and mix with an egg, a few tbs. of flour and cheese and then drop into oil. I would always have hot potato puffs. Yes, they were good, but I tried to be good this time.


Baked Potato Puffs

Ingredients:

2 cups or so of leftover potatoes (if they are instant, you might need to add some dry instant flakes to the mix cause they get kinda watery )

1 cup of grated cheese

2 eggs ( I used 3 because I really didn't measure out my potatoes.)

Seasoning (garlic powder, salt, pepper. I also had this cool spice mix from the veggie area at Krogers that was chives, garlic, and some other tasty bits )

Instructions:

For the mix, I mixed everything together (hold back a bit of cheese to sprinkle on top)then I brought the consistency to the batter of a fritter, hush puppy kinda.

Spray a muffin tin (really well) and put in oh, maybe a few tablespoons of the mixture. Top with a bit of cheese.

350 Oven for about 20 minutes.  Be sure to let cool a bit, they will come out easier, without tearing all up.


These were really tasty, didn't even miss that they weren't fried in oil. One of my family even reheated them in the microwave and they were still good.

So another score for me.. Another great leftover save..

If you have any to share, just holler sometime.

 I love recipes and I love sharing.

Ham Salad

Here is hoping that everyone had a great Thanksgiving and that your blessings were over flowing..

We had as usual food upon food. And then some, but I use this opportunity to recreate other meals.

I pride myself on trying to use up all the food stuff I have before I go to buy more. I also try to incorporate what I have and then buy some to go with it. The price of groceries go up and I get more creative.

I had a wonderful teacher, my mother. She would make something out of nothing all the time. It always tasted so wonderful. When I make something she made, it takes me back to being little. Sometimes that is a wonderful feeling that you like to keep.

Today, I had the last bit of ham left from Thanksgiving.

I made Ham Salad. This is really easy and I think it is a great way to change up from a regular ham sandwich.

Sharing with you today..



Ham Salad

Ingredients:

Leftover chunks of ham (I cut mine into smaller chunks to put in my food processor, I sometimes use my Immersion blender, it has a little bowl to hook it to and it is a perfect size.)

sweet relish (add to your pleasing)

mayonnaise (to make it the way you would like your salad, I use very little just enough to hold it all together)

mustard (just a few squirts)

Instructions:

Process your ham done to the chunky texture you like (mine is itty small) and mix with the ingredients. Spread on your favorite bread and enjoy.

* My mother just recently told me that she started to use honey mustard in it. It is very yummy.

This is also good on crackers too.


On the saving note - here are some of the things I did with all my leftovers.

* boiled my turkey carcass and made turkey broth. I froze 6 quarts of that.

* took rest of turkey broth and put in shredded left over turkey, the peas, celery, carrots, onions and any other lonely veggie in the fridge and made a soup mixture. Made the broth really full of stuff.

* from the soup mixture I took out 3 quarts of mostly the mixture and maybe a cup of broth. Which I froze and will make into pot pies in the future..

* finally had atleast 2 quarts left of broth and veggies, which I added noodles and we finally had turkey soup.

*with my ham, I took and cubed it up and put into the snack baggies (I got about 12) and then put into a freezer bag. I then can take them as needed for pizzas, omlets, and salad toppings.

* I also took the time to make 4 turkey tv dinners. I fixed them on the sectional plastic plates I have then sealed a mealed them, plate and all. Pop into freezer.

*with the mashed potatoes I made potatoe puffs in the oven (will post that recipe on a separate post so I can keep them in some kinda order.

So there is what I have been up to..

You????

This spot is saved for a post.. will write it when i can

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lemon Pepper Salmon

I was having a terrible, horrible, terrible day. I was so down and out. Must be those menopausal hormones  combined with the really cold air which turns on that arthritis and leaves me walking like the Frankenstein. 

So I decided that I would cook a very much favorite of mine for my lunch. I am just love salmon. I usually can't afford it too often. I promise I couldn't get such a nice piece at an affordable price in a restaurant either.  A few weeks ago I was in Krogers and found some frozen that was a decent price.

I pulled it out in the morning and by the afternoon it was ready for me to make. So easy that I wanted to share it with you. You don't always have to go to a fine restaurant to find a great dish. It is as close as your refrigerator. The time was less than it would take to order it out.



Oh my, the picture just leaves my mouth watering. Actually made two pieces and fixed my dear husband a plate when he got home from work.

Lemon Pepper Salmon

lemon pepper seasoning (but if you have it I sometimes use a bit of sea salt, lemon zest and juice with grounded pepper) If you use the lemon pepper seasoning go easy, cause it is salty.

olive oil

a slice of salmon

salad greens (come pre-cleaned in a container at store)

balsamic vinegar

Easy Quick Instructions

To make the salmon, I put a generous amount of olive oil in pan and put in lemon pepper seasoning  (I pour all the pan on top of greens and it mixes with the balsamic vinegar on the lettuce, which in turns make a vinegarette)

Drop Salmon down on the oil and lemon pepper in the pan on low heat, Put a lid on. I would say just a few minutes (you can tell the flesh on the bottom start turning white, I wait till it is halfway before I flip it.)
Flip and do the other side. Do watch it, cause it can burn quick

In your bowl, put your salad greens and cover them with a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar. Then add the hot cooked salmon from the pan.

It is soooooo yummmmyyyyyy...

Another picture. I couldn't resist.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Stuffed Bagels



Stuffed Spinach Bagel


Hope this post is finding you and yours safe and well. I am trying really hard to keep finding new things to bring to this blog. I really love to cook, as you can tell. I also find alot of satisfaction in using up what I have. You know with the economy in the pits and I swear that groceries have doubled in price in the last year it is everything you can do to cut back on spending.

One of my favorite places, is the day old bread store. I actually love this place. When I was little we would all go to the swimming pool in Kanawha City and on the way home, my mother would stop in the bread store. She would always get bread, but also had a knack at getting really good bargains on snacks. With 6 kids you had to have some snacks and a bargain was the best. She would get the individual apple, cherry pies and pop them in the freezer. We would just eat them frozen. They are however good also heated for 30 seconds in the microwave. Chocolate donuts and white donuts were frozen too. No matter how much she bought they were all scarfed up for sure.

At my bread store, usually about Thursday, you can get 4 packages of bagels for $5.00 dollars. Same for their grain breads. I usually stock up in the freezer.

The bagels turn out to be what $1.25 for 6. Not a bad deal. My kids like them toasted, cream cheese and jelly. I keep track on whether they are getting eaten and usually when they seem like they have been sitting a few days and no ones eating them. I recreate them.

Let me explain, a great way to use these bagels.

I take a bagel, split in half and push down the inside and even take a bit of the inside and push into the hole, sealing it. It then becomes a boat. A small bowl for any kinda fillings.

Today, I had leftover spinach filling that I had last week, I even had extra that I keep in the freezer. I put about 2 tablespoons into the bagel bowl, sprinkled with shredded cheese and popped into oven.

other ideas:
*fill with scrambled eggs, sausage and cheese
*potatoes and cheese
*taco meat
*you could go sweet and maybe a peanut butter mixed with a bit of cream cheese
*or a pie filling then top with ice cream

These also would make for a nice dinner with a side salad.. I am in love with the greek salad now. So I make that all the time.

If you try this leave me a comment, I love feed back.

Well have a great day...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Corn Dog Maker

I have a new gadget I want to share...






The Corn Dog Maker.

I know, you are probably like me and flip through those magazines and look at all the neat kitchen gadgets, the popcorn machine, the cotton candy, and on and on. Well I decided to try out the Corn Dog Maker. One because my littlest eats a corn dog every morning for breakfast. Before anyone says that is not a very well rounded breakfast, this is always in addition to his other stuff, eggs, sausage and other such breakfast foods.

I posted this also on my other blog, because it can be so handy for anyone. I like it for the kids because it was quick, and very hand size friendly. For even adults it has turned out to be a quick easy meal. Really who doesn't like corn dogs.

Here is how I use it.


For Corn Dogs
(this makes almost the whole pkg of dogs, depends on how much you put in the wells)

1 box of Jiff corn bread mix (prepare like on box)

hot dogs cut in half

Popsicle sticks

non- stick spray.


Instructions:

Cut dogs in half and poke (I put it all the way in) with the sticks

Spray the cooker well. (you must do this each time)

Pour in 1 tablespoon of mix in well, press dog into it (with handle sticking out)

Pour about a teaspoon (or until you cover it) over the dog. This takes practice.

Close Machine ( I wait until the light goes on and off twice)

When cooked lift each out and let cool. They are very hot.

The finished product:


Pretty Right.

* These turned out really good today. I am experimenting with freezing them and see how they heat back up. If this works then it really will be cost effective from buying the already made ones. I will post when I get to try it out.

* Also you can wrap your dogs in a refrigerator biscuit and cook it that way too, they turned our really easy and good. Great for a party.

* You can also make a sweet batter and slip a candy bar inside and cook it. We did this and one you must cut the candy slim and then do the batter under it in the well and make sure batter is on top to complete a whole batter thing going on, so it will stay inside. Also remember to let everything cool, cause it is hot and it will burn bad.

So please if you ever want to try this gadget, It is cool in my books.

I am going to try the donut maker one next..Hahahahha...

So until I post again, enjoy my blog, sign up so I can send you one, and we will be connected..

Take care and have a great day!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Roasted Garlic Potato Soup

I had posted the other day how I would love to try to make a Roasted Garlic Soup. I did make the soup, and to me it was good, to everyone else it was lacking something. My son said it needed something else in it and it tasted like the garlic sauce on a pizza (hmmm, maybe another creation idea ) , my daughter said, maybe over pasta. You really have to like garlic though. I purchased a whole thing of garlic cloves at the Sams. It looks like a long sock, full of white garlic heads of cloves.

To save the rest of the soup, I decided to amp it up a bit and make it more filling. I like the smooth soup, but I think I am a chunky kinda gal.



Here's what I did:

Roasted Garlic Potato Soup

Ingredients:

3 heads of garlic
olive oil
sea salt
foil

3 potatoes (diced with skin on, more vitamins)
1 onion (diced)
2  carrots (15 small ones - diced)
2 stalks of celery (diced)
3 cups of chicken broth
pepper
mashed potatoe flakes (just in case you need to thicken it)

Instructions:

First take a piece of foil (large enough to wrap a head of garlic in (like a bundle). Put some olive oil in the middle with a bit of sea salt. Cut 1/3 off the bottom of the whole garlic bulb. Put in cut side down in the oil and wrap up, leaving just a small opening on top (to vent)  Roast in oven for about 45 min at 350.
(I do this step and then prep the rest)

When your garlic is roasted (you can do this any time, and keep in fridge until you are ready).

Take a soup pot and put in 1/4 cup of onions in with a bit of butter to make tender, add in roasted garlic (just take the whole head and squeeze and the garlic should just pop right out.)

Add chicken broth

Take immersion blender and smooth all this down.

At this point I added the onions, celery, carrots, and diced potatoes (I left the skins on). I bring all this to a boil.

Season and serve.

(If it is not thick enough for you, you can slowly add instant mashed potatoe flakes.)

You have to like garlic to like this soup. I thought this was a wonderful thing. Just remember that if you are a garlic lover, you may want to roast a bit more to smear on some crusty bread. Definately a great meal on a cold day, hearty, filling and cheap to make.. Just not a date night meal.

Enjoy!

Also danger warning: Your house will smell like Roasting Garlic...and make everyone hungry..

Monday, October 24, 2011

Philly Cheese-steak Pizza

Good grief this month of October has come and gone so quickly. I can't seem to keep up.


I hope this post finds everyone doing fine and keeping themselves happy. I hope also that you are enjoying the fall. I just love riding out and looking at the trees changing colors. It is okay here in GA, but in Charleston, WV where I was born and raised, it is very beautiful. My mother used to take us riding up one side of the Kanawha River and back down the other side. We would get to see all the mountains with the beautiful colors. I sure do miss my home, usually alot more that I am getting older.
So be sure to get out and enjoy it all.

We just seem to be having car problems all month. Both cars seemed like having all my money this month. But you gotta have them, but ugh!

We closed up our pool this weekend. I know we tried to go longer, but when you are hitting 46 at night. Weeee sure is chilly getting in. I was only able to go in to my waist and walk a bit. But when it gets colder it kinda leaves me stiff. I guess I would never be able to do an ice bath. Never fear though we had it up the first of April last year, and that isn't all that far away.

I actually made a good go to sandwich this week. The Philly Cheese-steak Sandwich ( I posted the actual recipe on 8/8/2011) When I made this I made two boxes of the steak-ums (my sister had a tip to use actual sliced roast beef from the deli) (I bet this would probably not shred as much or be as greasy)

With the leftover I was actually going to show you how to freeze them individually but it didn't go that way.


I had to borrow a picture, because they ate mine all up before I could find the camera.

Philly Cheese-steak Pizza

Ingredients:

Philly cheese-steak with onions and pepper (recipe on 8/8/2011)
Thin crust pizza (ready made)
cream cheese
provolone cheese slices
shredded motzarello cheese
garlic salt and pepper

Instructions:

Grease pan with a bit of olive oil.
Spread cream cheese onto pizza crust, (spread how you like it, i went a bit thick, but not so much it would just melt off.)
Sprinkle just a tiny bit of garlic salt
Spread out philly mixture evenly
Break up the provone and top pizza
Sprinkle with a bit of motzarello cheese
Sprinkle again a bit of garlic salt and pepper

Bake at 400 until it is all melted. Becareful it is very hot. It tastes best if you let it cool 10 minutes or more. The cheese starts to cool off and has a very flavorful taste.

I made one of these and ended up having to make 2 more. So needless to say, they really liked it.


_____________________________________________________________________________

This week will be Halloween. I hope all your goblins stay safe and please don't eat too much candy.
Much love from my family to yours...
 
 

To-Mater from Cars

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Revisited.."Lazy Mom Lasagna"



I don’t know about you but some days get to be so hectic and I seem to have some really long ones.


This week has been a super long week. Nothing special has happened but, ugh, it sure has been long. It has finally gotten chilly here in Ga. I just love the fall. I love the chill in the night and the sunny cool days. I love bundling up in blankets and fixing hot chocolate for the kids when they come in from school. I love the early darkness that comes in the fall, it kinda quiets the house down.

On those busy days, I just love the crockpot.

Today I made what I call a “Lazy Mom Lasagne” I buy the cheese stuffed frozen raviolis from Sams. They are about 3 inches round, and I like them in the bigger size. I have used the regular small square ones from the store too.

Lazy Mom Lasagna

Ingredients:

½ bag of the frozen large raviolis from sam (two small bags of the square frozen ones of the other kinds)

1 jar of sauce

Here’s another option>

You can sautee ground beef, onions, green peppers, spinach or anything that you would like to put in between the layers of the raviolis.
Today I used cut up Meatballs that I had leftover from my meatball hero sandwiches this weekend.

Instructions:

Pour a bit of sauce on bottom,
then a layer of frozen raviolis,
another layer of sauce (or a layer of anything you want with the sauce)
then a layer of raviolis,
then sauce on top.

I actually do this in the morning about 9 and then turn it on about 12 on low and then turn to warm about 4 and put on a layer of motzerella cheese and it is all ready by 5:30-6:00.

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If you give it a try, I guarantee you will find that it was not any effort at all. I made a salad and heated up some rolls we had laying around.

Good meals don't need to be difficult, and sometimes just a little imagination and leftovers can create a whole new meal.

Today is Thursday and on the menu I am making a "Philly Cheesesteak Pizza" with the leftovers from the Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches I did for lunch on Monday. I will post how it turns out and a another idea to have Philly Cheese-steak Sandwiches at the drop of the hat.

Enjoy the fall weather.. 'till we meet again..




Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Stuffed Pepper Casserole




The beginning of fall always leaves me homesick for my family. I wish that we had been able to choose and live in WV all those years ago, but jobs were slim and we had to pick the next best thing so I have lived in GA and have for many years. I have been through a terrible time with my new hips and finally after 2 years I am now able to be walking a little more. Sadly I haven’t been home in years. I miss my WV home with my mom and family. I take most of my inspirations for my meals from what my older sister cooked and what my mom would make us when we were little. My younger sisters also love to cook and they can really cook. I guess it is just genetic. I just kind of vamp them up to make them my own way for my family. But I always duplicate the love my mom put into them. Sometimes it is just a certain taste or even a smell of something cooking that can levitate you all the way home.

Here is a nice gloomy, cold day kind of recipe.

Stuffed Green Pepper Casserole

Ingredients:

2 green peppers (diced)

½ onions (diced)

1 small can of tomato sauce

1 can of diced tomatoes (juice and all)

½ teaspoon of garlic

½ teaspoon of Italian seasoning (any will do, or just oregano)

1 lb of ground beef (I use sirloin, but you can use turkey too)

3 cups of instant rice (made according to box. I used the brown rice)

Instructions:

In a pan sauté the meat when ready, drain the grease.
Add to it the onions, pepper, and garlic. Sautee until tender.
Next add the can tomatoes, tomato sauce and spices.

Mean while make the instant rice. I do it in the microwave because it is faster.

Pour in Meat mixture into the finished rice (mix well) and pour into a casserole dish.

Squirt ketchup on top (I know it is not very grand, but the taste is what I remember from growing up)

Optional is to sprinkle with a bit of mozzarella cheese.

When ready for dinner, pop it in the oven and warm up for 20 minutes at 350.

It is that stuffed green pepper taste without all the mess.

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As you enjoy the cooler weather, make those comfort foods. They sure do bring you back home.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Baked Potatoes Continued***



Like I promised. Let us revisit those baked potato’s we had leftover and stashed in the fridge I made these with my leftovers.

Double Stuffed Potatoes

Baked Potatoes

½ cup of shredded cheese (actually how much you actually like)

Butter

¼ cup Sour cream (if you don’t have that you can use, a little milk, or even cream cheese)

Spices (salt, pepper, garlic powder, or even a little hot sauce)

Diced onion (if you like onion)

Minced garlic (I love garlic in everything)

Instructions:

Cut baked potatoes in half, and scoop insides out, leaving about ¼ of an inch inside the skin. Put innards in a bowl. If these potatoes are cold then I nuke them with the butter and soften them.

When soften, mash how you like them. I like them kind of lumpy, but you can blend them down. Then put in all the stuff. Use only half of the grated cheese in the mix, saving the rest for the top. If the mix looks too watery you can thicken it up with mash potato flakes. (Always keep handy)

Refill the potato shells, and sprinkle with cheese. 350 for about 20-25 minutes.

These are really good as a side, or as a snack. My kids rip right through them.

Note at the stage before you put them in the oven you can freeze them individually on a cookie sheet, then when frozen pop them all in a freezer bag. To use, unthaw and cook from there. It will take a bit more time.


Baked Potato Soup

Baked Potatoes

Celery

Onion

Bacon bits

¼ stick of butter

Can of evaporated milk (pour in can and refill with water and put in 1 can of water.
1 can of chicken broth. (or a cup of water with 2 chicken bouillons)

Mashed Potato flakes (if it is not thick enough)

Instructions:

Take a soup pot, and put in diced onions and celery with the butter. Sautee until tender.

Potatoes – you can either chunk them skin and all or scoop them out and save the skins for potato skins. Put them in the pot with the veggies. Break some of them up to thicken your soup.

Add the chicken broth, water, and the evaporated milk and bring to a simmer. Salt and pepper to taste.

If it is not as thick as you like you it, you can add a bit of mashed potato flakes.

When warm to your liking.. serve and sprinkle with bacon bits. Green onions are another option..

_________________________________________________________________________________

I hope everyone enjoys this wonderful fall weekend. This time of year I always miss my West Virginia Mountains. So take time and enjoy the moments..

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Baked Potatoes

Fall has officially kicked in. The nights and morning are starting to get chilly. My tummy is hungry for hot comforting food. I think it actually knows it is fall. Been getting out the Crockpot, to start my soups in. I usually try to make a pot a week. Gives me one dinner and then something to have for lunch. If I make it, I can control the calories and the salt. In the end I win, and maybe I will lose a few pounds. Maybe I said.
This week the craving has been potatoes. I always buy a 10lb bag and go from there.

So, let’s talk potatoes

Potatoes are really a great thing as a side dish or even as the main entrée. My family eats them pretty much anyway that I care to fix them.

Last Christmas Eve I threw together a buffet kind of thing. Last year I did a baked potato bar. Baked all the potatoes and then wrapped in foil keeping warm in a Crockpot. I then cut up all kinds of toppings > onions, cheese, bacon bits, and sour cream: and included three warm toppings > broccoli-cheese, chili, and pulled bq pork; in my buffet warmer. They were actually a very big hit. Very filling too.

My most favorite way is to bake them. I also find them a really frugal item in my menus. A really great baked potato can be a vessel for anything else. I like my main potato with just ahh..melted butter, salt and pepper. I am also a skin eater. I love the skin. I am sure that is why I like to bake them.

When I go to baking potatoes I do the entire bag of them. I have been known to bake all 10lbs. I wash them off and poke each one. Toss in olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Pop in oven at 400 and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. At the 45 minute mark, check by poking them to see if they are tender. If they are remove right away. Don’t leave them because they can continue to cook in the oven and they become grainy.

The first meal off the potatoes is usually as a baked potato. Here are some of our favorite potato combos.

Pulled Pork BQ Potato

Pulled Pork already mixed with favorite bq sauce
Diced onions
Ranch Dressing

Be sure to cut open potato and break up the flesh and add butter and then put on topping.

Broccoli Cheese

Broccoli (I steam it ahead of time, for a quicker way, you can buy it in a steam bag)
Ragu cheese sauce (I toss broccoli with a little first and then pour a bit on the potato)

Be sure to cut open potato and break up the flesh, then I pour a bit of cheese sauce on top with butter and work it into my flesh of my potato, then put on the topping..

Chili Cheese

Chili (I always save a batch in the freezer just for this occasion. If you don’t have any on hand,You can always use canned)
Cheese – shredded mild cheddar is my favorite (a slice of American works in the pinch)
Optional: diced onions, sour cream

Be sure to cut open potato and break up flesh. I put in the butter and mix all together then add toppings when I get to the cheese part, I stop, pop in microwave to melt the cheese and then I add the optional stuff.

Those are just our topped favorites, but just thinking quickly, you could do a taco, a sausage and peppers, meatball and sauce, or even mushroom-brown gravy. Gosh, that is all making me hungry.

Now for any leftover potatoes, they can keep in a baggie for at least a week sometimes even longer.

One of my appetizer favorites: You could make a meal also with the potato salad included with it.

Potato Skins

12 baked potatoes
Garlic powder
Sea Salt / Pepper
Bacon (brown and crumbled) (I use real bacon bits)
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream

Optional: diced green onions

Instructions:

Cut each potato in half and scoop out the innards (put these in a bowl to the side) leaving about 1/ 4 of inch of flesh attached to the skin. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil. (I spray the foil so it doesn’t stick)

Sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Sprinkle the bacon on top and then shredded cheese.

Pop in oven at 400 and cook until cheese is bubbly. Serve with sour cream and diced green onions

(If you want to freeze potato skins, so you can make a batch later. I take just the skin part before the toppings and lay them on a cookie sheet, pop in freezer and let them freeze individually and then take out and put in a freezer bag all together. To revive them take out, put on cookie sheet, put on toppings and pop in oven 350 for about 20 minutes, be sure to watch so you don’t burn the cheese.. For holiday, I cut them all in half and then freeze. Then I have a bite size potato skin.)

With the inside of the potatoes, I make other things out of them. One recipe I first want to share with you is:

Baked Potato Salad

Scooped out potato, break up into bite pieces
Celery (diced)
¼ of onion (diced)
A dash of yellow mustard
Mayonnaise (to taste)
Paprika (sprinkle on top, gives color and a bit of taste)

Instructions:

Mix all together and put in fridge to chill.

I will post a few more recipes for leftover baked potatoes. Be sure to look for them coming up.

Enjoy my blog and feel free to leave me a comment. Or drop off your email, so you can receive them in your email.

Take care until we talk again. Enjoy the weather.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cherry Lime-aide







Okay I have to admit that I am a Sonic Addict, if I was allowed to be one. My all time favorite drink that they make is a Cherry-Lime-aide.

So the other day I was fooling around and had a few key limes laying around. Yes, for real, I was into a lime kick, lime sourcream, lime salt for my popcorn. So I was at the Sam's and you know they don't just sell one of anything. I bought a bag of them.

Here's what you need:

6 limes

1 cup of lime juice (don't be quick to put up, I kept adding to make it how you like it)

1 jar of marashino cheeries, juice and cherries

1 cup of sugar

3 quarts of water

Here's how I did it:
(please wash hand well if you do it like i did it.)

Take the 3 quarts of water, pour in sugar.

Cut up limes in half and squeeze ( you really don't get much so I dropped them into the water, and then took my thumb and actually cleaned the pulp and the juice into the water. (this is the part you need your hands washed before you start, unless you need a little dirt with that drink..yuck)

Pour in Lime Juice

Pour in jar of cherries and juice.

Stir well.

It was well worth the work, delicious, on ice. I would even imagine if you indulged it with alchol how much more better it would be...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Kale-Spicy Sausage-Bean Soup



Today is actually to be chilly all week in the morning. Hmmmm, we will see. Cool mornings remind me that it is time for belly warming recipes. Soups are a great way to save money and fill the stomach. I am forever experimenting with ingredients. Trying to find a great way to save money, leaves me with lots of cheaper ingredients that once cooked taste so wonderful. Making soups, leaves me some for leftovers that become a quick lunch.

Today's invention was the Kale-Spicy Sausage-Bean Soup. I mean it didn't have a name but it was soooo good.
You can use your crock pot for this, but it takes a few prep stuff in the soup pot. Today, I made it in the soup pot and then transfered it to the crockpot on warm. It will be eaten on all day.

Kale-Spicy Sausage- Bean Soup

Ingredients:

2 bunches of Kale (wash them and cut out the spine and cut into bite size pieces)

1/2 of a ring of spicy sausage (it contains a lot of calories, but if you cut it in small bite size pieces it goes so much farther and remember it is spicy and it is kinda salty so hold back on salting till the end)

1/2 diced onion

3 cloves of garlic (minced)

1/4 cup of vinegar (you might want to add more, just taste at the end, I like the tartness of the vinegar)

3 cups of water

4 chicken boulion cubes

1 cup of chicken soup (I only use this if I have it)



1 can of bean (rinse them off, I wanted white beans, but I had a can of pinto, they were just as good, just not as pretty as the white would have been with the green Kale) (remember you eat with your eyes, before your mouth, so make it pretty when you can.)

Instructions:

First step is to take sausage, onion and sautee in a pan with a bit of olive oil. When the sausage gets brown, cut the heat off.

Take the water, chicken soup, chicken boulion, vinegar and garlic and add to the pot.
Turn back on and stir around scraping the bottom to get all the flavor.
(at this point you could put right into the crock pot, add the kale and beans, and put on low all day)

When starting to simmer add the kale, simmer on low until tender, then add rinsed beans.

Note: I bought this jar of peeled garlic cloves, so I dropped a few extras in for me. After a bit on the stove, they were like little delightful, sweet garlic bites.

Just had to share, hopefully I won;t be talking much to anyone face to face.

I posted this for those who were asking about what I was cooking.

___________________________________________________________________________________

Fall is upon us, so take every opportunity to enjoy the days ahead. My family is doing well. My oldest is doing her student teaching and it makes me smile at what a beautiful person she has become. My son, Thomas is in his first year of highschool and is really coming into his own person. Patrick is three and of course keeps us all very busy. I, myself, I am walking and all over the place. Gotta get the weight off, but you know what everyday, is a chance to improve ourselves. Just don't ever quit.

Drop me a line anytime.. nylynga@bellsouth...let me know how you all are doing.
Love to all

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Salmon Pattie-Less



Salmon Pattie-Less


I created this recipe, out of desire to have something quick and easy for the kids for dinner. Fish is good for you, salmon has really good stuff in it for your brain cells, and God knows I need that. Since I started making it, the kids ask for it on pasta and rice. They prefer the rice because they mix it in.

In one of my recent blog posts, I addressed the rice cooker. The best way and easiest to cook rice. Minute rice works in a pinch. Also on the same note, not wanting to cheat pasta out of any attention. Rice a roni now makes a three minute (about 4 maybe) pasta that is quick and tastes really good.

I am not always about quick and easy. I also love the taste of food and how to make it my own way. So of course any of these recipes I post you can transpose and make it the way you like it.

This recipe actually came about from my mother’s original salmon patties. I loved it when she would make them for us. So I had to try to duplicate the taste. So here is my version

Salmon-Pattie-less

Ingredients

1 can of salmon

½ diced onion

¼ cup (eyeball what you like) of frozen peas (often I will use peas and carrots)

¼ cup of bread crumbs (or 7 -8 well crumbled crackers)

Olive oil

Lemon pepper seasoning

Old bay seasoning

Instructions

Dice your onion and put in sautee pan with a bit of olive oil,start to soften.

Meanwhile open your can salmon, drain juice into a bowl. Hold salmon in your hand and gentle pull apart. You will find a spine with thin little bones, (I was at a loss for words, don’t really know what it is, do not be intimidated, it is edible and there is no need to freak if you don’t get it all. Just crush it up in the salmon) just pull gently and it falls off.

Put salmon in another bowl and break it up how you like to eat it. I do it small, because they mix it into their rice.

When onion are tender add the salmon and the peas (in the picture, I didn’t add any veggies, I would out, but it turned out good anyway.) in and stir.

Add the seasoning (you can use what ever you like) and then the bread crumbs and add back just enough of the juice to moisten it enough to work with (looks almost like a hash).
>>>>>note: Don’t throw rest of juice out, if you have a cat, let her lap it up, it is really good for their fur and they will love you for it.

At this point is where I add a bit more olive oil and turn the heat up and stir (flip) as it sits it starts to crust on the bottom. Cook until you get it as crunchy as you like it.

I served this on the rice I just cooked with fresh lemon juice squirted on top. It really gave it a kick.


Enjoy my posts? be sure to sign up your email to recieve it directly.

Savor the moments and take a minute for yourself....

Basmati Rice and The Rice Cooker




The Rice Cooker

One of my most favorite things I ever bought for my kitchen was my rice cooker. At the the time I think I got it at the big lots for $8.00. So please look around, sometimes you can find them at a cheap price.
I cant even remember how much it can hold. I also know you can do other things with it.
I personally use it just for my rice. It does all kinds of rice. The favorite here is the basmati rice. I made a big batch, so that I can make the leftovers into fried rice, Spanish rice, or save to put into a soup broth.

I personally like how you don’t have to do anything to it. It does it all, and to beat it all it can keep it warm too. So when those days that I have a million things to do right when I am cooking dinner, throw it together and forget.

Basmati Rice

Take 4 cups of rice and rinse it three to four times. It removes some of the starch and it makes it more fluffier.

Put the rice in the cooker and add 1 and ½ cups of water per cup of rice (this varies with individual types of rice, when I doubt do what it says on the bag. )

Put a few squirts of olive oil in and stir up and turn it on.

When it clicks off and goes to warm it is ready to eat.

I usually add seasoning for it to cook itwith. My all time favorite is garlic powder and chicken boulion. I have been trying the tomato-chicken boulion. It makes a great background flavor when you are making Mexican rice, or Spanish rich.


I hope that you will get a rice cooker, or I have inspired you to dig yours out.
Let me know what you are doing with it. Anything cool, send my way?

As always, much love and be kind to each other.

Tip Tuesday - Pizza

Tip Tuesday

For making great pizza, besides the crust is the ingredients that we all seem to like. We are a supreme kinda family, so it is usually anything goes.

Great tip…

I keep those snack baggies on hand, and when I am cutting up veggies; onions, green peppers, mushrooms, or what else you love.

I portion out a small baggie or two and place to the side.

I do this when I am cooking bacon, sausage, Italian sausage.

If I am not going to make a pizza in a few days, I take all the little snack baggies and put them into a gallon freezer bag and label, pizza.
When I get it all assorted then I make a great pizza.

Walmart has a thin crust pizza, over by the boubolis, that is much cheaper and it turns out great.

(Buying cheese on sale and freezing it is also great for pizza's because it become crumbly after thawing, so you might get a good bargain on cheese on day for you fantastic pizza you are saving to make.)

Enjoy the moment and live your life to the fullest..

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Chili Cheese Tator Tots




Snack Time

I know, no wonder I will never lose weight. In my efforts to keep the dollar at home and make great food for my family. Going out to eat is usually not as good, as when I am in the kitchen cooking.

My mother was always cooking when we were little and I am guessing that it rubbed off on me. My sister's also are always making something good. I wish that I lived closer we could have collaborated and made some wonderful dishes.

My goal with this blog is to share, what I know. I hate waste and I love to do something helpful.

Today it is something as simple as

Chili Cheese Tator Tots

Take your tots and cook them up until brown(I like mine crunchy, and I always make extra for another time)

The chili can just be chili from the can or it can be the chili that I make and put in freezer when I am dividing up the ground beef.

On top of the Tots, I put chili, diced onions, and shredded cheddar cheese and pop into microwave to melt the cheese a bit.

Sometimes, that simple things make the best moments. So enjoy the moments!

Tortilla Pizza









I found these cool tortillas. They have been on the market for awhile and I was at Sam' and decided that I would give it a try. They are spinach, 74 calories, and 12 grams of fiber.



Lunch time post.


Tortilla Pizza

I made these today. I used a new tortilla I found in the store. They were spinach, 74 calories and 12 grams of fiber. So I figured that was off to a great start. Even for the kids I could make this and they would never know what hit them.

I took a sheet pan, put a bit of olive oil on it and then lay two tortillas on it.

They kind of overlapped in the middle.

Patrick said it looked like a race track. So who am I to argue? They already like the looks of it.

I popped it into the oven at 400 degrees until it started to crisp a bit. I figured that way if the topping were a bit wet, it wouldn’t get soggy.

While this first part is working in the oven; I took out of the fridge what I wanted on it. Some little bit of mushrooms, diced onion, pepperoni (turkey – low calories) I also diced this up. I put in a small pan with a bit of olive oil and sautéed until tender.

Next pulled out tortillas and sprinkled with a small amount of the mozzarella cheese and then the toppings. Finishing with the rest of the cheese.

Pop back into oven until melted.

It turned out so good. The baby ate up most of it. I enjoyed it almost guilt free.

* you know thinking about this if you didn't have time to make this, you do it like a Quesadilla and make it quick. Either way they were yummy.

I'm hoping that you enjoy my posts and keep coming back for more.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Loaded Hot Dogs and Baked Beans




Loaded Hot Dogs and Beans

I have been keeping with my menu, but I went a bit wild on the Labor Day weekend. I like any good cook knows, that I don’t like to waste and I must use what we have before I make a fresh new entrée. So here is what’s for dinner tonight:

Loaded Hot Dogs

This is a great way to finish off all of your grilling and cookout stuff.

The coleslaw is left over from the cookout. The chili is made from taking extra meat before I pattied the burgers. The onion is already cut for the cookout as a condiment. I had left over buns and dogs.

So tonight it is the loaded hotdog…I put two on the plate for the picture. In reality I could only eat the one, because I was holding out for the baked beans.

Loaded Dogs

Ingredients:

Hot dogs

Hot dog buns

Mustard

Onion (diced)

Chili

Coleslaw

Instructions:

Load it up..For real..
I am sure some people can really put more on it. Just do it. Make it how you like it.

Now for the real recipes:

Coleslaw

Ingredients:

Shredded cabbage (I buy the pre-cut cabbage in the bag) (I buy the large one so that I can make other things out of it. Cabbage Soup, Lemon Cabbage Mini Pies, Cabbage Roll Casserole, and even for Egg Rolls – I will be posting these recipes soon)

¼ cup of mayo

3 tablespoons of rice vinegar or red wine vinegar (you can use regular vinegar too)

2 tsp of sugar (I use splenda)

Mix all together and let sit. Be sure to stir before serving.


Chili for Dogs

Ingredients:

1lb of hamburger (browned and crumbled small) (when I buy my hamburger meat, I section it into different things to make. I will address hamburger soon in an upcoming blog)

¼ of minced onion

¼ cup of ketchup (or a can of tomato sauce)

Chili spices

Hot sauce (if you want it spicy)

Worcestershire sauce

Blend all these together and let simmer.


As an addition to the meal we are having the baked beans we made for the weekend also.




Amped Up Beans

Ingredients:

2 cans of Bush’s (I like these because they have already been seasoned)

¼ cup of pulled pork (you can buy pre-made bq in the store) (What I do is when I make a pulled pork for dinner I section off 2 small containers for the freezer. They are such a great addition to the beans. It makes it taste like a steak house’s beans) I will address the Pulled Pork recipe in upcoming blogs also.

¼ cup of brown sugar

¼ cup of your favorite bq sauce.

Mix all together and let simmer a little bit.



I guess from the looks of it. I have shared a lot of information. I am going to have to get on it and get these blogs coming faster.

I hope you enjoy my blogs and can find something useful or at least something entertaining.

Tuesday's Tips

Tuesdays Tip:

Tip of the Week:

I am going to try and bring you a tip that I use in my home. It may be for cooking (which is my favorite thing to do) I really doubt I will do well with other idea’s especially laundry or mopping..yucky…


 My top thing I use in my kitchen the most is my grill. My flat grill or my George Foreman grill. When I am finished the one thing I hate to do is clean it.


My Solution:

Easy way to clean is to, while it is hot, place wet paper towels all over the surface that is dirty and let cool. When cool the paper towels kept the gunk soft and lose. Just take another towel and wipe right off.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fried Barbeque Bologna Sandwiches



Fried Barbeque Bologna Sandwiches


Talk about looking for something, when you have no plans on what to fix.

I was really stumped tonight so I began the search for a different kind of sandwich.

Seeing as I had that flat of day old buns (bread store man sold them to me for $.50, bargain. Score!) still left, I had to find something warm that would soften them and I could get the kids to eat them thinking that they were fresh, just for them.

I found in my fridge the two packages of light bologna that I bought this week at Krogers for $1.99. So I started thinking about a favorite of mine that my mother would make us.


One of my Mother's go to sandwiches (for 8 people) was the fried bologna sandwich. Her take on it was to put in the bq sauce.


Fried Barbeque Bologna Sandwiches


Ingredients:

(this is for one sandwich, I never ever cooked for one, so just eyeball the ingredients)


3 pieces of bologna per bun (cut a little slit on both sides to keep the bologna from curling up in the pan)


A slap of butter


A pour of BQ sauce (any that you like, I usually have a half a bottle hanging out in the fridge)


Buns


Instructions:


Melt butter in the pan.


Put in Bologna, cook a bit until it starts to brown.


Pour in what amount of BQ Sauce ( you could also put a bit of hot sauce, if you are a spicey person) you like and coat it real well (watch at this point because it will start to caramelize and will burn.)


When warm, remove and put on the bun.


Take bun top and sop up the rest of the BQ Sauce in the pan. Don't leave any behind.


Be careful when you eat it, because it is hot.


Serve with your favorite chips.


This was a go to dish for a busy Friday.


I hope this post finds everyone happy and healthy.


Please have a safe Labor Day weekend.


Drop me a line anytime..share with me your favorite dish.


Have a great weekend. Much love from my family to yours..

Recipe Index (updated 9/1/11)

Baked Ziti 8/30/2011
Blue Cheese and Homemade Potato Chips 5/20/2011
Broccoli and Chicken 8/17/2011
Cabbage Soup 6/7/2008
Chicken Spinach Soup 4/12/2011
Chinese Hot and Sour Soup 2/8/2011
Corndog Casserole 10/7/2010
Crash Potatoes 10/31/2008
Crockpot Lasagna 10/1/2007
Crockpot Philly Cheese Sandwiches 8/1/2008
Éclair Pie 7/8/2011
Egg Drop Soup 2/8/2011
Fast Instant Rice Cups 8/14/2008
Fried Green Tomatoes 8/10/2011
Fried Pickles 2/13/2011
Fried Raviolis 8/26/2010
Garden Pasta Alfredo 7/8/2011
Gyro Wrap 10/28/2008
Lemonade Pie (Neely’s) 5/3/2010
Mamas Pasta (breakfast pasta) 2/22/2011
Mini Breakfast Cups 8/21/2008
Mini Panini 10/28/2008
Mom’s Egg Salad 1/19/2011
Moms Macaroni and Cheese 8/16/2011
PBJ on the go 4/23/2010
Perogies 5/10/2011
Philly Cheese Steak, Onions and Pepper 8/8/2011
Pickled Beets and Eggs 7/15/2008
Potato Pizza 11/9/2007
Potato Skin 3/18/2010
Pulled Pork Potatoes 8/30/2010
Rice Cooker 8/17/2011
Sausage and Peppers 7/3/2008
Sausage Biscuits and Gravy 8/19/2011
Sheppard’s Pie 5/14/2010
Singles Servings / Sloppy Joes/ BQ Sandwiches 4/28/2011
Sloppy Joes 4/28/2011
Soda Cake 2/3/2011
Spinach Pie 10/7/2010
Spinach Pizza / Spinach Mix 4/5/2011
Split Pea Soup 1/27/2011
Stromboli 9/7/2010
Stuffed Cheese Sticks 7/20/2008
Sweet Fried Wontons 8/26/2010
Taco Soup 1/16/2011
Yellow Slaw 6/7/2008

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Baked Ziti




This is a quickie,

For those nights when dinner needs to be that way. Quick, easy and tasty.

With the amount of ingredients it made (3) 8x8 containers. They ate two for dinner and one to put up in fridge for warm ups later. If it makes it that long, sometimes I catch them eating it cold.

You can always just do it smaller.


Baked Ziti

Ingredients:

2 boxes of Penne Noodles

3 cans of four cheese sauce (or any you like)

1 small container of ricotta cheese

1/2 bag of mozzarella cheese

Instructions :

Boil your noodles (I like ours just a bit before done, I don't like mushy pasta)

Drain noodles and put in a bowl, pour in sauce, ricotta cheese and stir all up.

Put into a baking dish, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

Pop into the oven until melted.

*note if I am really in a hurry, I put it all back in the pot and stir in the mozzarella cheese and serve that way.


Yummy with a salad, a complete meal. Other ideas would be to drop in some meatballs, sausage or any kind of meat.
*I just re-read this and thought, you know a bag of thawed drain spinach added to this would be wonderful. I just love spinach.

Hey, let me know if you try it..

Always like a good comment

Much love to you all!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sausage Gravy and Biscuits -day 4



On day 4 of this menu, I kept it pretty simple. One of my family's favorite is Sausage Gravy over biscuits. Might be a southern thing, but don't knock it until you try it. Even I use alot of shortcuts. Sometimes, this is just not enough time in a day.

There a few ways to do the gravy.

Sausage Gravy

3 pkgs of white gravy mix or peppered gravy mix (the kind that just add water)

1 pkg of sausage

1 cup of milk

3 tbs of butter

salt and pepper

Instructions:

Easy Way:

Brown and crumble up the sausage in a deep pan.
When brown start making the gravy from the package. It usually says boil one cup water and then mix, mix in 3/4 cup of cold and add. I pour in three cups water into the hot cooked sausage and then mix the cold water with the mix.
Don't forget you are using 3 pkgs so you have to use 3x's the stuff and then a cup of milk.
Add the butter and start stirring until thicken. If gets too thick add more milk. This makes quite a bit. I just put it up and it gets used on the rest of biscuits, toast, or potatoes.

The still Easy Way:

Brown and crumble up the sausage in a deep pan.
When brown you start the gravy.
Put in 3 tsp of butter (I just eyeball it) and then add flour..usually 3 tbs to start and make a roux.
Cook a few minutes then start adding milk. I add about 4 cups and keep stirring until thick.
You decide, if not thick enough I add a bit more flour. Be sure to season with salt and pepper.

I serve this on biscuits. I use the already frozen Pillsbury Biscuits. Homemade would be great, if you got the time. Bisquik also has a good recipe on the box. They don't need to look pretty.


For the rest of this meal, I had left over baked potatoes and sauteed them with onion and garlic. I also made everyone a cheese omelet. A complete filling meal. I even have leftovers for the weekend.

So I am still keeping with my menu and no trips to the store, yet...I hope I make it through the weekend. Staying on track is hard on the weekends.

Have a great weekend and like I always say, Seize the moment, enjoy life...until we talk again. Much love to all!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hot Dogs and Fries - day 3

Hey day 3 of my 6 week menu.. nothing to special to write about.

Hotdogs and fries.

I always make a few small containers of chili when I am making my big chili. I just get it before I had the beans. I season it a little spicy and then put in small containers in freezer. When I have hotdogs, I just pop it out. Also really great on fries and tator tots..

Today I had to go to the dentist again, this time was just to get the crown put on. Guess what it didn't fit and they had to again, novacaine me. I am so afraid of needles, so need-less I sat there and cried my eyes out.

After that agonizing few moments, they had to make a re-impression. With that goopy blue stuff. So my mouth was full of that stuff, her hand and of course I started to gag. I gagged and gagged and you can only imagine.. I have no dignity anymore. I am 50 and have had 3 children, so my bladder isn't want it is supposed to be... well, I was protected, but it was 3 gags...oh the shame...too, much info.. I know, but if me sharing makes anyone else feel better, then it is what is.

So to cut this tirade down and climb back into my pitty boat... I will say bye for now....a good diet coke and a moment of quiet and I should be back on my game..

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Broccoli and Chicken with Basmati Rice



Broccoli and Chicken with Basmati Rice

Day 2 of my Menu

I have begun my 6 week quest of following my menu. Staying away from the store; In turn I save money, gas and time. More time to work on my blog. I can only guess how much we like that. I hope!

Last night on the menu was my Chinese version of Chicken and Broccoli. Sounds a bit complicated but I wanted to show you all my shortcuts to make it.

Chicken and Broccoli

Ingredients:

3 chicken boneless breasts

1 large bag of frozen broccoli

2 cups of chicken broth (or 3 cups of water)

5 chicken bouillons

Soy sauce

Tsp of minced garlic

½ cup cold water with 2tsp of cornstarch mixed (another word for slurry)

* this made a huge pot. All 6 of us ate and I even put up a few servings. The rice left me with about a quart left over. I turned it into fried rice with black beans for lunch on Wednesday.

To Preparing to make:

I take the bag of broccoli out of the freezer and leave on the counter to thaw. If you use straight from the freezer I would recommend thawing in micro or steaming until partially tender.

The chicken I pop in the freezer an few hours in the morning until it is a bit frozen; it makes it much easier to cut. Cut it thinly and let finish thawing.

Instructions:

Put the frozen (thawed) broccoli into a large soup pot. Pour in 2 cups of chicken broth (or the three cups of water), add in the chicken bouillon. Start to cook broccoli until just almost tender.

In another pan put some olive oil and drop in the chicken sauté until tender.
Combine the two; the chicken and the broccoli in the same pan. Drop in your garlic and a few tablespoon of soy sauce. I use tongs so not to break up the broccoli. Bring to a boil and add in your cold water slurry with the cornstarch and stir gently. Cook until it thickens a bit.

I serve this on white basmati rice.

*THIS IS A MUST HAVE ITEM IF YOU LOVE RICE *

Rice in a Rice Cooker

I love my rice cooker.

Take 4 cups of basmati rice and put in bowl of the rice cooker. Rinse the rice, three times. Then add 6 cups of water and a few drops of olive oil (keeps it from sticking to bad on the bottom) stir up and turn on. The rice cooker will turn itself off and it is perfect every time.


I hope you enjoyed my quest and even give it a try.
Any feedback is appreciated.

So for now.
Enjoy the moments and try something new, go outside that box. I promise you the door is always open…

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

6 Week Menu August 15th - August 26th

Okay I am posting my wonderful menu for the next 6 weeks, Yes, you heard me 6 weeks. I am hoping that we can stay on this path. Groceries are getting more expensive and I am needing a plan. Except for the need for dairy, fruit, and veggies, I think I got this covered. With the 150.00 I spent yesterday and my pantry I am going to try to keep to this plan. I plan on sharing some of my recipes. If you are interested please continue to read my blog.

Hey be sure to follow me. Just put in your email and it will send every time I blog. I am thankful for those that do take the time to read my blog.

I am also working on a new sister blog, all about raising, playing and loving kids. I have had hands on for the last 20 years and I have a few ideas to share. Crafts, food, learning and down right get your hands dirty and play. I hope to get it up and running soon.


So here is the beginning to a 6 week regime in my house..Let the games begin...

Monday: Ham / macaroni cheese/ baked beans (bq style)
Tuesday: Chicken and broccoli / rice
Wednesday: Hot dogs / fries/ baked beans
Thursday: Sausage gravy/ biscuits / potatoes/fried egg
Friday: Hamburgers/ tator tots
Saturday:
Sunday:

Monday: Tuna melts / tomatoe
Tuesday: Omelets / bagels /
Wednesday: Spaghetti casserole / salad
Thursday: Pork chops / fried rice/apples(sautéed)
Friday: Pizza / digorno
Saturday:
Sunday:

Monday: Shepherds pie
Tuesday: Hashbrowns / eggs/ toast
Wednesday: Ziti and meatballs/ garlic bread
Thursday: Meatloaf / mashed potatoes/veggie
Fridayday: Hot dogs / chili cheese tator tots/veggie
Saturday:
Sunday:


Monday: Jumbalaya / fried green tomatoes
Tuesday: Breakfast burittos/fruit salad
Wednesday: Baked ziti / salad
Thursday: Baked Chicken/stuffing/greenbeans
Friday: Chicken sandwiches / fries/ veggie
Saturday:
Sunday:


Monday: Chicken pot pie
Tuesday: Breakfast casserole / gravy
Wednesday: Stuffed shells / salad
Thursday: Pork butt/ potatoes/green beans
Friday: Sloppy joes / corn
Saturday:
Sunday:



Monday: Chicken tetrizini
Tuesday: Sausage gravy and biscuits
Wednesday: Shrimp alfredo
Thursday: Chicken spinach tortellini soup
Friday: Copy Cat "Subway" sandwiches
Saturday:
Sunday:


For breakfast and lunch, it is what is hanging around at the house.
Breakfast is usually and egg buritto, egg sandwich or a sausage biscuit.
Lunch can be as simple as a tuna sandwich to a good cup of soup. The kids just love the Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich and Doritos on it.

On Saturday and Sunday I usually use up the leftovers, sandwiches or a pick from all our appetizers meals. We also have a breakfast on Saturday and Sunday and usually an appetizer meal later.

Here is a list of my appetizer meals, these are made with what is in the house at the time.

Appetizers

Blue cheese chips
Tators in bacon
Cream cheese wontons
Egg rolls
Perogies
Pigs in the blanket
Chili on tator tots
Wings
Corn dogs
Potatoe skins
Cheese sticks
Stromoboli
Double stuffed potatoes
Potatoe skins
Chicken nuggets
Cheese sticks
Hummus
Pita pizza

So that is the start of my meals. Enjoy reading my posts, try out my recipes, comment, I love a good feed back. If you have a great recipe you want to share send it my way.
Be sure to leave your email so you can follow me..

So until we read again.. enjoy the moments, enjoy the challenges that life holds for you...

Mom's Macaroni and Cheese


Mom’s Macaroni and Cheese

**Notice the fine china..** Day One on My Menu

My mom raised 6 children. Holy cow, what a job! I have only 3 at home and I could only imagine 6 mouths to feed. Planning and creating 3 meals a day, groceries and snacks..it is overwhelming to give it so much thought. I do know however that my mom is one of the best cooks around and she passed all her cooking genes on down to her 4daughters. I am constantly looking, and experimenting with different dishes and treats. My mom always made sure that we tried all kinds of stuff.

I am sure my love for the different vegetables comes from her and my father. My father every year would start in February and turn over his garden, he had two large spots, probably 10x12. He would till over that hard soil and break up the clumps. Then he would revisit it again at planting time, tilling it all up by hand, with a pitch fork and a hoe. Then he would plan and plant, tomatoes, corn, peppers, cucumbers and anything else he could squeeze in. We also had two different kinds of grape vines, 3 apples trees, pear trees, a peach tree and loads of raspberries. My mom would take everything he grew and make great meals, and with the rest she canned. One summer she made grape juice, I can still taste it, and you can’t buy that in a store. The raspberry jam was to die for; she never kept it too long. Tomato sandwiches, cucumber sandwiches, such simple yet so delicious during the warm summer months.

There were many meals that meat didn’t even make an appearance. Not sure we even missed it. One of her go to meals was macaroni and cheese. Not sure where she picked this recipe up from. My memory is short, and she always tells me, but I seem to be harassed by my children and I lose my chain of thought. I am again posting this one because it was so simple and so quick.


Macaroni and Cheese

1 lb box of elbows (I like elbows cause it just the right one for the job)

2 cups of shredded mild cheddar (you can use sharp for more flavor, Velveeta I don’t think is just not enough cheesy flavors)

1 stick of margarine

3 tablespoon of flour

3 cups of milk

2 tsps of yellow mustard (this was my addition, gave it a bit of a bite)

Instructions:

Cook and drain the Macaroni.

In a saucepan, melt the stick of margarine, add the flour and make a roux.
Add the milk next and stir till blended.
Next add the cheese and stir until melted and slightly thickened.
Grease a casserole dish and pour in cooked macaroni and then pour the sauce on top.

Top with buttered bread crumbs, crumbled potatoes chips or extra cheese. (Make sure you topping covers it all so you don’t get the hard cooked pieces of pasta, unless you are one of those that like to eat it)

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes

Makes a wonderful fulfilling meal. I made a cucumber, tomatoes salad. Toss them with a bit of olive oil, vinegar and a touch of basil from my garden. Yummy.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fried Green Tomatoes - Farmer's Table






Fried Green Tomatoes and my new favorite place: The Farmer’s Table

This weekend I happened upon a great new find, for Douglas County, GA.

They are on facebook: The Farmer's Table be sure to check them out.

It has all kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables. Got some homemade goodies in there too. It is open Monday – Friday 8am-6pm. I recommend dropping by an checking it out.

I have been driving by and noticing that a sign was up, and then noticed it was starting to get some stock in and getting organized. A few days later I saw the open sign and lots of vegetables showing out front. So I decided to stop. The people inside were friendly and very helpful. The store inside was neatly packed with all kinds of goodies too. Boiled peanuts were cooking and the smell was tempting. They had some home packed goodies. The sample that I was offered was for the fixings for a pecan pie, all in a jar. Unfortunately I had just had a visit to the dentist and couldn’t sample. But when I can, it looked delicious.

The first time I went I bought a seedless watermelon (around 5 bucks), 4 green tomatoes and 3 red tomatoes. Ended up walking out just paying short of 7 dollars total. Talk about a bargain. And let’s talk about fresh.

The watermelon was delightful. Nothing is better than cold, sweet, dripping watermelon on a hot summer day and you know it is hot here in Georgia.

The green tomatoes made into fried green tomatoes. They were so firm and cooked up so well. I am going to share the recipe with you in a minute, so get your pens out. Yummy!

Today we went again to this wonderful place, I guess by now you can tell I love fresh fruit and vegetables fresh from a garden. I bought 6 yellow corns, 6 white sweet corn, 8 green tomatoes, and again walked out only paying 6 bucks. The corn was so good and so sweet. We had to pick numbers to see who got that extra piece.

I took 4 of the green tomatoes and made fried green tomatoes again. Again, yes you heard me, my kids hate tomatoes and they requested this. I serve it with ranch dressing. I have 4 left to make, and I am trying to decide whether I want to share them or not…that remains to be decided.

Since it turns out to be a hit I just wanted to share this quick recipe with everyone.

Fried Green Tomatoes (easy, quick)

4 firm green tomatoes (this made about 14 pieces) (I cut them into about ½ slices)
2 eggs (this is to dip the tomatoes in)
1 box of jiffy corn muffin mix (keep this dry, this is the coating)
1 tablespoon of season salt
Canola oil (or oil to fry in)

Instructions:

In a bowl mix the jiffy mix with the season salt.
In another bowl beat two eggs.

Slice the green tomatoes (I like mine kind of thick so about ¼ to ½ inch was good)
Now stop and prepare the oil. (Use about ¼ inch of oil)

NOTE> each batch must have a clean pan. I found that the leftover coating would get hot quick and burn, before you could add the new batch. I suggest either a big pan or use two pans. I used only about ¼ inch of oil, that way I could pour it out and start a new batch.

In a bowl mix the jiffy mix with the season salt.


In another bowl beat two eggs.

Dip the tomatoes slice in the egg and then into the cornbread mix and then lay in the hot oil. (Watch these get brown fast) When brown on one side flip and do the other. Place on paper towels to drain, while you make the next batch.

I know you could just make one batch, but at my house one is never enough. So just give in and do the two you won’t regret it.

Tonight’s dinner was fried green tomatoes and fresh corn. Yummy….

Can’t wait to go back the Farmers Table and see what is next on this season’s menu.

So look, try new things, get out there. There are many neat places to experience.
Enjoy the moments.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Philly Cheese Steak (something like it)

Let’s Beat this Heat together.

Wow, what a summer. We are sweltering here in Georgia. I am hoping this blog post finds everyone happy and healthy. I am constantly trying to stay up on the ideas that come to mind that are helpful for my family and then of course I want to share them with you guys.

I tried this summer, get this: dehydrated watermelon. Blah. Stupid Idea, not worth the time and effort.

I think that there is something grand to a great big ole piece of cold, sweet, dripping watermelon in this kind of weather. Not shoe leather. Oh well, if it had to be done, I did it.

Now on to the next great idea! Will share it for sure.

Today, I am sharing another quickie idea for the summer. I just did this, this weekend and it was a hit.

Philly Steak style sandwich with Peppers, Onions and Cheese.

Turned out to be a great meal for the moment and another freezer ready quick meal (sandwich) for those on the go.

I make these in a big batch so I have some to put in the freezer for another time. You can just put the leftovers in freezable containers for so many or you can use my individual idea anytime.

The recipe is really simple.

Philly Steak Style Sandwich with peppers, onions and cheese.

Ingredients:

2 boxes of Steakums. (I use those but I am sure there are other ones, I looked for Generic)(I break these up and add a bit of garlic to them and brown them up. You could leave them whole. I usually break them so I can get them done with less mess.) (I have done them on my grill and kept them in their whole shape, but I find in the long run, they get eaten so fast it really doesn’t matter)

2 onions (cut long ways, so they kind of like a petal like, not diced)

2 green peppers (julienned)

Cheese (we used shredded mozzarella; you can use the shredded cheddar to get more of Philly Cheesesteak taste)

Sub rolls (I have used hamburger rolls in a pinch and even hotdog buns to give it that sub look)

Instructions:

In one pan:

Sautee the peppers and onions in a bit of butter and olive oil. (The olive oil keeps the butter from burning)Sautee them till they are soft (they start to make the kitchen smell incredible)


In the other pan:

Cook the steak-ums (until they aren’t pink anymore, either way you prefer. Left whole or broken up). When finally browned, add the peppers and onions to this pan and toss together. Now you have the main sandwich mixture.

For eating at this time you can prep the buns with mayonnaise and place mixture on and put the cheese on top. I wrap each on in foil so it can steam and the bun is soft. They turn out yummy every time.

For freezing individually:

Take a cookie sheet and line with wax paper. Place the steak, pepper and onion mixture and place a portion (to fit a sub sandwich roll, is what we use) and then top each with a slice of cheese you like (we use mozzarella or provolone) Lay the cookie sheet in the freezer and let these individual things flash freeze. Remove and wrap individually in wax paper and slide into a gallon freezer bag. When the time comes you take one out, microwave for a few minutes, till cheese melts and place onto a fresh sub roll. I always take mine and roll up in foil and let sit a few minutes so it will steam up and soften the roll. Yummy!


This is a really good idea for a quick meal, with less mess and trouble. Already made and ready to go.

I have 3 children as you all know and they are hungry 24/7 and I really like knowing what is in what they eat.

Well I am off to find a new something to cook, or try to cook.

Every day is a new day to try something new. Taste, smell, feel, and do new.

So all my friends get out there and do one thing today, which makes you smile.

Enjoy the moments.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Eclair Cake



Éclair Pie

This recipe is taken from my sister. It is one of the easiest, which is straight up my alley. It is really great, the only complaint I have is the wait. I know patience is a virtue. With this dessert is best to wait at least 24 hours, because the pudding softens the graham crackers, making it almost exactly like a cold éclair. Loved this in the summer most of all, because it is cool and creamy.

Éclair Pie

Ingredients:

Graham crackers (enough to cover the bottom of a 9x13 pan and for a top layer)
Instant vanilla pudding (2 small boxes)
Chocolate icing (1/2) can. I Nuke it to make it ice easier)

Instructions:

Put a layer of graham crackers (whole, and then pieces to fill the whole bottom of pan)
Mix pudding as per instructions and then pour on top of bottom layer of graham crackers
Put another layer of graham crackers on top.
Ice the top of chocolate icing. (nuke to make it easier to spread)
Put in refrigerator for atleast 24 hours.


I had to post this to my blog so that I can share it. I love to share my life, my love and my thoughts with all my readers. Enjoy this as much as I enjoy sharing it.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer.

Thursday, May 12, 2011



Okay, I know, I have to get a new camera, this one is so crappy, my picture is so blurry. I am going to keep it on there though, you can see a little of the colored pasta. It actually was so very good.

Bargain! Bargain!

I have been posting on my Facebook all day.. The Kroger’s in my area was running a mega sale and Ronzoni pasta was on it. I bought, and had enough coupons that it was actually free; 50 boxes of Ronzoni pasta. The Garden Delight, the Healthy Harvest (whole wheat one) the Quick Cook, and the Smart Taste brands. I went to Ronzoni web site and it will let you print two sets of the four types of pasta from each computer. We had three computers and therefore I ended up with 6 sets of the four coupons. I also had an extra quick cook from the paper.

For their sale of the $5.00 mega deals,you must buy in sets of ten. Each coupon was for 2/1.00. Their sale price after the mega deal left them at .49 cents a box; combined with the 2 for 1.00 made it literally free. Yay! For me. Elizabeth and I loaded up 50 boxes, we felt like the coupon lady on the TV’s. We also go some other good deals which I will share in a minute.

Here is the Ronzoni site:
http://ronzoni.newworldpasta.com/pasta_coupon.cfm (if the link doesn't work you can paste into your browser)


Kroger is also selling Kraft cheese slices; I found a coupon for them also for a 1.00 off. They were selling for 1.79 and that left me with .79 pack of cheese. I also printed out 6 of these.

Here is the cheese one:
http://savingdollarsandsense.com/2011/01/20/kraft-cheese-coupon.html

Kroger is also selling: The smart ones (weight watchers) for 1.38 and 1.88, you can go to their site and print one for 1.00 off of 5. Remember in the Mega Deals you must have quantities of 10.
Capri sun drinks were 1.49.

I think that is all the good deals that we got.

So back to this 50 boxes of pasta. Well tonight we tried the fettuccine Garden Delight (a whole serving of veggies in one plate.) The kids loved it. I actually borrowed the recipe from the box. I wanted to share with you the first of many, (I am sure with all the pasta I have)

Garden Pasta Alfredo
(From the Ronzoni box) (I actually stretched it and used two boxes and it worked great, you know I got plenty to go around.)

Ingredients:

Meat: (you can pick your favorite, or just go vegetarian)
Chicken chunks
Shrimp
Ham chunks

Sauce:
8oz cream cheese
2tsp of butter
2 cups of milk Garlic (or garlic powder)
Parsley (just a bit)

1 box fettuccine

Directions:

Cook the Pasta.

While the pasta is cooking put in another pan all the other ingredients to make the sauce, stirring and heating until it and melts together. Pour over cooked pasta and mix well. Let sit for a few minutes (it thickens) and be sure to serve with grated parmesan cheese and pepper.

In my effort to save money, use healthy ingredients I think this also would be good with brocolli,or veggies chunked and sauteed and put in it. You could also use a low fat cream cheese and skim milk. I think the possibilities are endless.

So there it is the one of many. I guess my mission is to keep that pasta moving.

I wanted to get this posted so, if any of you need pasta or is just looking for a good freebie, you still have until Saturday, May 14, 2011.

So keep reading my blog, I am on a mission to use this pasta and use it well. So also try when I can to keep you up on my bargains.