Monday, December 22, 2008


This is a favorite recipe for the kids. The first time I made it, we were watching the cousins overnight a few years ago. We had their mother tell them they had to eat whatever I made for dinner. A few hours later they asked what we were having and I said Octopus. They knew they had to eat it and were very fearful. I kept them out of the kitchen while I cooked. You should have seen the relief on their faces when I brought their plates out!!!!!
a box or two of mac and cheese (whatever you like, however much you need)
hot dogs
Take hot dogs and cut, starting 1/4 of the way down, cut in half, then turn and cut in half again, then again and again until you have 8 legs (I can never do this right and most of mine end up with 7 legs).
Make mac and cheese.
In large pot, cook cut hot dogs. When they're cooked the legs will curl up.
Put the mac and cheese on the plate, top with hot dogs standing up.
I've heard of adding blue food coloring to the mac and cheese also to make it look like water.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/3 cup white sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 bag chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly butter muffin tins or place paper cupcake holders in pan and set aside.
Beat together the cream cheese, egg, sugar and salt. Stir in the chocolate chips and set aside.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Beat until well combined. Batter will be thin.
Fill muffin cups 1/3 full with chocolate batter. Top each one with a spoonful of cream cheese mixture.
Bake for 30-35 minutes.
These were soooooo delicious! I don't like cream cheese all that much in my desserts but it didn't really taste to cream chessey.

Monday, November 24, 2008


MONDAY...amazing chicken & mac n cheese
TUESDAY...meatloaf & mashed potatoes
WEDNESDAY...leftovers or order out for pizza
THURSDAY...herbed turkey, mashed potatoes, whipped sweet potato casserole, butter brown sugar carrots, corn, rolls, devilled eggs, cranberry sauce, apple pie, pumpkin pie, chocolate pie
FRIDAY...chicken taco pie, mexican rice
SATURDAY...butter chicken, cheesy hashbrowns
SUNDAY...french toast, bacon

Monday, November 17, 2008


MONDAY...chicken nuggets, mac N cheese
TUESDAY...American homemade hamburger helper
THURSDAY...tacos or leftovers
. squares
SATURDAY...butter chicken, cheesy hashbrowns
SUNDAY...french toast and bacon

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Nicole's question answered

Nicole asked what American hamburger helper was like.

I have a base recipe of 1 to 1 1/2 lbs ground meat (I usually use turkey, but beef would be fine);
8oz tomato sauce, 16oz pkg of noodles, spices, and 1 1/2 cups cheese.
For American, I use tri-color rotini noodles, cheddar cheese, and I used McCormick hamburger spice, maybe about 2 teaspoons.

For Italian, I would use penne noodles, mozzarella, and italian seasoning (basil, oregano) and add a little parmesan and ricotta.

For Mexican, I would use probably penne noodles, taco cheese (or pepper jack), and taco seasoning.

You cook the noodles and brown the meat. Add the spices to the tomato sauce. Add this to the meat mix and fold in noodles. Add cheese and heat until melted.

That's it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Monday....homemade hamburger helper, american style;
garlic breadsticks
Tuesday....french fried onion/ranch meatloaf;
mashed potatoes
Thursday....not sure, either out for tacos or leftovers
for AC and me squares chicken with potatoes
Sunday.....spaghetti pie; garlic bread

Monday, September 29, 2008


I could NEVER make fried chicken before. I just really sucked at it. Until I found this recipe. It is now one of our family favorites!!
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning (I didn't have any so I used basil and oregano)
3 cups vegetable oil
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
chicken..the recipe calls for a 4-lb whole chicken, cut into pieces; I used 4 boneless, skinless breasts
In a medium bowl, beat together the 1/2 cup milk and egg. In a resealable plastic bag, mix together flour and spices (I didn't use a bag, I used another bowl and dredged the chicken). Place chicken in bag, seal and shake to coat. Dip chicken in milk and egg mix, then once more shake in bag with flour. Let sit for 10 minutes.Reserve 2 tablespoons of flour mixture.
In a large skillet, heat oil to 365. Place coated chicken in the hot oil, and brown on all sides. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking chicken until tender, about 30 minutes (with the boneless breasts it was more like 20). Remove chicken from skillet and drain on paper towels.
Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the frying oil. Over low heat, stir in 2 tablespoons of the reserved flour mixture. Stirring constantly, cook about 2 minutes. Whisk in chicken broth, scraping browned bits off bottom of skillet. Stir in 1 cup milk, and bring all to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Serve immediately with the chicken.

Monday, September 22, 2008


3 lbs country style boneless pork ribs
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon salt
2 bottles of bbq sauce, your choice (I usually use the cheapest stuff I can find)
Place ribs in a large pot with enough water to cover. Season with spices. Bring water to a boil and cook ribs until tender, 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 325. Pour some bbq sauce to barely cover bottom of 9x13 inch pan (I use disposable metal ones, but you can use glass). Remove ribs from water and place in pan. Cover with rest of bbq sauce. Cover with foil and bake for 1 - 1 1/2 hours.


Monday...chili dob bake, oven fries
Tuesday...fried chicken w/gravy, mashed potatoes
Wednesday...pasta bake, garlic bread
Thursday...taco nite
Friday...salmon burgers
Saturday...I'm going out with my high school girlfriends!!!
Sunday...we'll be at an Angel's game

Friday, September 19, 2008


This is one of our absolute favorites!!!
3 cups ziti
1/2 lb Italian sausage links
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 teas. salt, divided
1/4 teas plus 1/8 teas pepper, divided
2 cups milk
1/2 cup parmesan, divided
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups (16 oz) ricotta
1 cup shredded mozzarella
Cook pasta, drain, place in large bowl. Cook sausage in a skillet; drain and cut into 1/2 inch slices; add to pasta. In a saucepan, melt butter. Stir in the flour, 1 teas salt and 1/4 teas pepper until smooth; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup parmesan. Add to pasta and sausage. In a bowl, combine egg, ricotta, and remaining parmesan, salt and pepper. Add to pasta mix and stir to combine. Sppon into a greased deep casserole dish and sprinkle with mozzarella.(I usually stir a little of the mozzarella into the pasta also). Bake, uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Goes great with a side of garlic toast.

Monday, September 8, 2008

MENU PLAN MONDAY chicken and hashbrowns meatloaves, mashed potatoes
Wednesday...cheesy baked chicken, parmesan potatoes
Thursday...not sure yet, we'll have to see when AC's game is over
Friday...potato salmon patties, mac N cheese
Saturday...we have a funeral in the afternoon so we'll probably eat out
Sunday...bbq garlic ranch chicken, mac N cheese

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


(a day late because I was off yesterday)
Monday...we had leftovers lemon chicken, garlic rosemary potatoes
Wednesday...steak pizziola, baked potatoes
Thursday...not really sure, AC has his first football scrimmage and I don't know when we'll get home.
Friday...pesto rubbed chicken, baked basil fries
Saturday...carne asada, spanish rice, jalapeno poppers, stuffed mushrooms, jalapeno popper dip and tortilla chips
Sunday...bbq garlic ranch chicken, parmesan potatoes

Monday, August 25, 2008


Monday....bow tie chicken, garlic bread
Tuesday....lemon herb crust sole, garlic pasta
Wednesday....cheese chicken nuggets, parmesan potatoes
Thursday....Taco Nite
Friday....beef stroganoff (special request)
Saturday....filet mignon (haven't figured out rest of menu yet)
Sunday....Papa John's chicken alfredo pizza (my bday meal)


(adapted from Taste of Home)
2 cups shredded hash browns (I used Simply Potatoes non-frozen)
4 oz cream cheese, softened (I used onion & chive flavor)
2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoons milk, divided
8 sausage links, slightly browned (I used maple flavor)
1/2 cup baking mix (I used Bisquick Heart Smart)
2 eggs
dash nutmeg
1 cup cheddar (I used fat-free)
Place hashbrowns in 9" pie plate. In small bowl, mix cream cheese, 2 tablespoons milk, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread over hashbrowns. Arrange sausage on top in a wagon wheel pattern. Whisk baking mix, egg, milk, and nutmeg together. Mix in cheddar cheese. Pour between sausages. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.

Monday, August 18, 2008


I made this last night and AC said it was the best chicken ever! He didn't even use ketchup or BBQ sauce!!! It was super simple, too.

4 or 5 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 tablespoon honey
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
1 pinch dried sage
Place chicken in gallon size, zip close plastic baggie. In bowl, whisk together all other ingredients. Pour into bag with chicken. Put in fridge for 1 hour at least.
Discard marinade. Grill for about 5 minutes each side, or until juices run clear and it looks like it's done inside.


Monday....meatball hash and mashed potatoes
Tuesday....taco bake
Wednesday....baked ziti
Thursday....Taco Nite
Friday....breaded tilapia, mac n cheese
Saturday....out (we'll be at an Angels game)
Sunday....slow cooker chicken and dumplings

Monday, August 11, 2008


Monday...chicken cheese tortilla crisps
Tuesday...cheeseburger pasta
Wednesday...spam alfredo, homemade garlic bread
Friday...ranch tilapia, mac N cheese
Saturday...we'll be out
Sunday...bbq garlic herb chicken

Monday, August 4, 2008


This was the last meal I made for T's bday week. I had never made it before so it was a new challenge for me. I didn't taste it , but he said it was "great!"
1 egg
1/2 cup flour
2/3 cup flat, warm beer
1 1/2 teas. baking powder
1/4 cup flour
a shake or 2 of garlic powder AND onion powder
2 cups flaked coconut
24 or so shrimp, deveined and shelled
oil for frying (enough to completely cover the shrimp)
In medium bowl, combine egg, 1/2 cup flour, beer, baking powder, garlic powder and onion powder. Place 1/4 cup flour in separate bowl, and coconut in another separate bowl (you've got 3 bowls going now). Hold shrimp by the tail and dredge in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in egg/beer batter; allow excess to drip off. Roll shrimp in coconut, and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oil to 350 degrees in a deep fryer. Fry shrimp in batches. Cook, turning once until golden brown (it took about 5 minutes or so for each batch). Using tongs, remove shrimp to paper towls to drain.


Monday--chicken hash
Tuesday--chicken fried steak strips, mashed potatoes
Wednesday--pizza pasta, homemade garlic bread
Thursday--Taco nite
Friday--potato salmon patties, mashed potatoes
Saturday--hopefully Carne Asada, but I'm not sure yet

Monday, July 28, 2008


Tomorrow is T's birthday so in honor of that, I've planned my menu with his favorite dishes:

Last night: S.O.S., crockpot mac n cheese
Tonight: taco pie
Tuesday: Pruda's chicken casserole (strawberry rhubarb pie for dessert)
Wed: cheeseburger joes
Thurs: Taco Nite
Fri: coconut shrimp

Thursday, July 24, 2008


2 Tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pinch garlic salt
1 pinch cumin
1 pinch black pepper
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2-3 limes, sliced
Oh, seems I forgot one of the main ingredients:
2 Tablespoons Tequila

(please ignore the shot glass and the fact that the bottle is half empty)

(But it sure does make all this cooking alot more fun)

Whish together the lime juice, tequila, olive oil, garlic salt, cumin, and pepper in a bowl until well blended. Pour into a large resealable plastic bag; add the shrimp, seal bag and turn to coat evenly. Refrigerate 1 to 4 hours.

Drain and discard marinade from shrimp. Place on soaked wooden skewers, alternating with lime slices. (Sometimes I add some pineapple chunks into the mix.)

Grill until shrimp turn pink (about 5-7 minutes per side).

(This time I didn't skewer them like I usually do. I had just bought a handy dandy bbq basket and I put them in there loose and grilled them.)



(I'm sensing a theme here)

1 Cup margarita MIX

2 Tablespoons tequila

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon white sugar

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/4 cup vegetable oil

bacon (if you want)

and these:

T and I had filet mignon. I made sirloins for the kids.

Combine all ingredients (except the bacon and steaks) in a bowl and whisk well. Pierce steaks with fork. Place steaks in a resealable plastic bag. Pour marinade in and coat. Marinate in fridge for at least an hour. Discard marinade. Wrap bacon around steaks and secure with toothpicks. Grill.

Let me tell you, the filet mignon with this marinade melted in our mouths. It was heavenly!!


Another staple of any of our bbq's is this hot sausage that we get from the butcher.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008



1 eggplant, cut into 3/4 inch slices (I forgot this)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into squares
1 zucchini, sliced
4 fresh mushrooms, stems removed
4 Tablespoos olive oil
4 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons basil
2 teaspoons minced garlic

Place veggies in medium bowl.

In another bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, basil and garlic.

Pour mixture over the veggies, cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Alternate veggies on skewers. Cook on gril 2-3 minutes per side, or to desired doneness.



I had this every day in Jamaica. It's kinda like a deep-fried dumpling.

1 1/2 cups flour
3 Tablespoons cornmeal
1 Cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
Stir together flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, and baking powder.
Add the teaspoon of vanilla to the cup of water.
Add a small amount of water in to the flour mixture, work in with fingertips. Keep adding small amounts of water until it becomes a firm dough which is only slightly sticky (you won't need to add the whole cup). If it gets too sticky to work with, add more flour.
Cover and leave stand for 30 minutes.
Take a small piece, knead in your hand, and roll into small sausage shape.
Cover each Festival in a mixture of flour and cornmeal.
Deep fry until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.



This was the easiest part of the dinner:

Monday, July 21, 2008


I cooked so much on Saturday night and had soooo much fun doing it!! I took pictures of everything and will try to share the recipes this week.
Let's start with the appetizers:
Here are the ingredients:
3 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled (I just use Bacon Bits)
8 crimini mushrooms
1 Tablespoon butter
3 Tablespoons chopped onion
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 400.
Remove mushroom stems. Set aside caps. Chop the stems. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Slowly cook and stir the chopped stems and onion until the onions is soft.
In a bowl, stir together the mushroom stem mix, bacon and 1/2 cup of Cheddar. Mix well and scoop the mix into the caps.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Here's the finished product:



I make this so often I don't even have the recipe anymore.

20 jalapenos, seeded and sliced in half lengthwise
8oz cream cheese
1 1/4 cups shredded cheese (any kind you want..cheddar, peperjack)
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tablespoons bacon bits (or 3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled)
red pepper flakes to taste (which I forgot this time)
bread crumbs (I usually use roasted garlic flavor)
Mix cream cheese, shredded cheese, bacon bits, garlic, and red pepper flakes together. I use my hand mixer. Fill each pepper half and put on baking sheet. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.
Bake at 200 for 10 minutes for hot, 15 minutes for medium.

I bought this guy just so I could take a picture of him.


Tomorrow I'll post the recipes for the side dishes: Festival, mac N cheese, and marinated grilled vegetables.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I got this recipe from It was so easy to make that KT did it mostly all by herself. It was a BIG hit, especially with the kids.


1/2 cup hot fudge ice cream topping, warmed
1 tub (8 oz.) Cool Whip, thawed, divided
1 pkg. (4-serving size) Jell-O Chocolate Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
8 Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, chopped (about 1 cup) **I crushed ours**
12 vanilla ice cream sandwiches, unwrapped

Pour fudge topping into medium bowl. Add 1 cup of the Cool Whip; stir with wire whisk until well blended. Add dry pudding mix; stir 2 minutes or until well blended. Gently stir in chopped cookies; set aside.

Arrange 4 of the ice cream sandwiches, side-by-side, on 24 inch long piece of foil; top with half of the Cool Whip mixture. Repeat layers. Top with remaining 4 ice cream sandwiches. Frost top and sides of dessert with remaining plain Cool Whip. Bring up foil sides. Double fold top and ends to loosely seal packet.

Freeze at least 4 hours before serving. Store leftovers in freezer.