Monday, December 23, 2013

Fantasy Fudge

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup margarine
2/3 cup evaporated milk
12 oz.(2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips
1 7oz. Jar marshmallow creme
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts

Place sugar, margarine, and milk in a heavy saucepan. Heat on medium, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a rolling boil. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in chocolate chips until melted; stir in marshmallow creme until smooth. Add vanilla extract and nuts, blend well. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan (9 inch pan for thicker fudge); smooth evenly. Cool at room temperature and store covered.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Jenny's Cinnamon Rolls

Grandma's Rolls (Dough)
In a saucepan, combine:
2 c. Milk
½ c. Shortening
½ c. Sugar
Bring to a boil, then cool

In a small bowl, combine:
1 c. lukewarm Water
2 heaping T Yeast
2 tsp Sugar
Set aside and let dissolve and activate. 

2 ½ tsp Salt
3 Eggs, beaten
7-9 c. Flour

When the milk mixture has cooled to lukewarm, pour into mixer (or large bowl).  Add a coup of flour, all the yeast mixture, salt and eggs. Beat until smooth.  Add flour a little at a time while mixing dough until it pulls away from the sides, but is not stiff.
Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Let rise in a warm place until doubled (in the oven with just the light on works well).  Punch down and let double again.
 For rolls: Divide dough in half and place on floured surface.  Roll until ½” thick and cut into circles.  Place on a greased cookie sheet, almost touching.  Let rise 30 minutes (in the oven with the light on, covered). Bake at 257 for 12-15 minutes.

Cinnamon Rolls
4 T Butter, softened or melted
½ c. Sugar
¼ c. Cinnamon
(Mix Cinnamon and sugar together)
Brown Sugar (optional)

Divide dough in half.  Place on a floured surface and roll out to about ¼ - ½”  thick rectangle.  Brush ½ the butter on the dough all the way to the edges and sprinkle with half the cinnamon sugar mixture and some brown sugar if desired.  Roll up starting with wide side and pinch edge to seal well. Using floss or thread, cut into slices.  Place slightly part on greased cookie sheet.  Let rise until doubled (in oven with light on, covered). Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Frost while warm.

Sweet Icing
1 c. Powdered Sugar
1 T Milk
½ tsp  Vanilla
Mix until smooth.  Add more sugar to thicken and milk to thin.

This is just a base recipe,  you will need more for your cinnamon rolls.  I also use this for sugar cookies because you can decorate them and the frosting will harden which makes it easier to store.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Green Chili Chicken

Logan is OBSESSED with this recipe! I got it from my sister-in-law Chelsea Bagozzi, not sure where she got it or if she made it up.

-4 Large chicken breasts cut up (double sauce if you want to use twice as much chicken or it gets dry, also, if I cook this in the crock pot instead of the oven I leave them whole and then shred after it's cooked and add back into the sauce)
-1 can cream of chicken soup
-1can green chilies
-1 cup sour cream

Mix all ingredients except chicken together. Then put chicken and sauce in 9X13 pan and cook in oven on 350* for 40-45 mins or until chicken is done.

If using crock pot mix the sauce and pour over chicken in the crock pot on low.. usually takes just a couple of hours.

Serve with rice.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Reuben Dip

1 c. Sauerkraut, drained
1 (8oz) pkg Cream Cheese
6oz. Swiss Cheese, Shredded
6oz. Corned Beef, diced
2T Thousand Island Dressing

Combine all ingredients and out in low. Stir now and then to blend it all together.

Serve with cocktail rye bread, crackers, or chips.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Ooey Gooey Butter Bars

I made these for Jordan's work today and they didn't even make it until lunch.

1 box yellow or chocolate cake mix
1 stick butter, softened
1 egg

Press into the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan.

Mix until smooth:
I pkg (8 oz) cream cheese softened
2 eggs
1 lb powdered sugar

Pour on top of the first layer.

Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes. The top should be brown. Top with chocolate chips. Let them cool and serve them up!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thai Peanut Noodles

I can't believe I haven't posted these yet! This is one of those meals that I can make last minute because I pretty much always have everything on hand (minus the cilantro, but I can do without that).

It is (once again) from Our Best Bites and it is their Thai Peanut Noodles.  I usually double the sauce and just use lime juice out of a bottle if I don't have fresh.  Dave thinks it needs meat, but we're content with it just how it is!

Thai Peanut Noodles
1/2 c. chicken broth
3 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1-2 tsp. Sriracha chili sauce (1 is mild with a bite, 1.5 is medium, 2 is hot)
1 1/2 Tbsp. honey
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh minced ginger
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
8 oz. Udon or linguine noodles
Chopped green onions
Chopped cilantro
2 limes, cut into quarters
Chopped peanuts
Cook noodles in salted water. In the meantime, combine chicken broth, peanut butter, chili sauce, honey, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk until smooth and remove from heat. Toss cooked noodles with sauce and divide among 4 bowls. Sprinkle with green onions, cilantro, chopped peanuts, and garnish each serving with 2 lime quarters. Before eating, squeeze lime juice over noodles and stir to combine.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Overnight French Toast

I made this for Sunday and everyone devoured it!  I made it with regular bread and served it with maple syrup though she has several other suggestions on her blog.
Overnight French Toast Recipe

Sweet Cornbread

Jordan's Favorite Cornbread recipe!  It doesn't need any extra toppings.

1/2 c Corn Flour
1 1/2 c Flour
2/3 c Sugar
1 T Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/4 c Milk
1/3  c Oil
2 Eggs
3 T Butter, Melted
1 T Honey

Mix dry ingredients together then add in the rest. Mix well. Pour into greased 8" or 9" square pan.  Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.

Bacon Wrapped Orange Chicken

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1/4 tsp Dried Sage
1/4 tsp Thyme
Salt and Pepper
4 strips Bacon, partially cooked
1/4 c Butter, melted
1/2 c Orange Marmalade

Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking dish with foil.

Sprinkle each chicken breast with sage, thyme, salt, and pepper.  Wrap each chicken breast with 1 slice of bacon and arrange tin the pan with the bacon ends tucked under.

Melt together the butter and marmalade in a sauce pan over medium heat and stir until combined.  Pour over bacon wrapped chicken breasts.  Bake, uncovered, for 45-50 minutes. or until bacon is crisp and chicken is done.  Makes 4 servings.

*When I made this for our Bacon Night, I used chicken tenderloins and had equivalent strips of bacon. Then it will only cook for about 30 minutes instead.

From 101 Things To Do With Bacon by Eliza Cross

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

This is an excellent recipe to satisfy a need for a bacon cheeseburger but it's not grilling season.

8 Strips Bacon
1 small Onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 lbs Lean Ground Beef
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1/4 c Evaporated Milk
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
8 oz Colby Cheese, grated and divided
1/2 c Seasoned Breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350

In a frying pan, cook bacon over medium heat until browned; remove and drain on paper towels, when cool enough, crumble the bacon.  Discard all but 1 T of bacon drippings.  Stir in the onions and cook until soft; remove from heat.

In a bowl, stir together the beef, egg, milk, salt, and pepper.  Stir in the onion, 2/3 of the cheese, and all but 1 T of bacon.  Stir in bread crumbs and mix until well blended.  Shape into a loaf and transfer to a loaf pan.  Bake 1 hour.  Drain fat and sprinkle with remaining cheese and bacon.  Return to oven and bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.  Makes 6-8 servings.

From 101 Things To Do With Bacon by Eliza Cross

Four Bean Bake

Here is the Baked Bean recipe I made for our Memorial weekend family gathering.  The original recipe calls for 12 cans of beans so I'll cut it down for you!

1 lb Bacon Ends (or just bacon)
1 large Onion
1 c Brown Sugar
1/2 c Vinegar
1 tsp Garlic Salt
1 (15oz) can Great Northern Beans
1 (15oz) can Kidney Beans
1 (15oz) can Lima Beans
1 (15oz) can Pork & Beans

Cut up bacon and onions in little pieces and fry in a large pot. Drain off grease.  Add seasoning, sugar and vinegar to the bacon and onions.  Simmer 20 minutes.  Drain beans and add to sauce.  Bake 45 minutes at 350 OR cook on Low in a crock pot 4-5 hours.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Angel Food Cake

I LOVE angel food cake!  I got this recipe from Jason Blomstedt's mom when she made it for a picnic.  So yummy!  People think angel food cake is hard, but it's really not.  You just need to know a few tricks.  I serve my angel food cake with strawberries (where you slice them and add sugar to make a "sauce") and homemade whipped cream...never cool whip! 


Whip the following until foamy:
1 1/2 c egg whites (about 12)
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt

Keep whipping/beating and add:
3/4 cup sugar (2 T at a time) until stiff

SLOWLY add (scrape bowl around sides and over the top; I've done on low with beaters):
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract

in a separate bowl, sift 3x together:
1 c flour
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar

add flour/sugar slowly to egg whites 1/4 cup at a time; scrape sides to mix in

bake in ungreased pan--cut w/ a knife to get out bubbles

bake at 375 for 30 to 35 min until tan
cool upside down

  • To make sure your egg whites will beat to a stiff peak your bowls and beaters have to be spotless or they'll never firm up.  Also, not a DROP of egg yolks can be in your whites.  If you get any in them, they won't stiffen.
  • If you're unsure what a stiff peak is, consult the internet or a basic cookbook (I started making angel food cake from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, which has lots of pictures and pointers).
  • I think it works better to use an aluminum pan to bake with, I have a dark, non-stick pan, too, but it doesn't work as well. You can find the aluminum ones easily on amazon or at Williams Sonoma, etc.  I never see them at Walmart or Target, but I could be wrong.  I haven't looked in a while.  I found mine at a garage sale, and it's been awesome!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Broccoli Salad

Toss together:

3 heads of broccoli, washed and cut into small pieces (I used about 1/2 of a Sam's Club bag)
1/2 cup chopped sweet red onion
4 slices of bacon cooked and crumbled (I use real bacon bits from Sam's, about 1/3-1/2 cup)
3/4 cup raisins (I like to use Craisins instead)
3/4 cup sunflower seeds


1 cup Miracle Whip or Mayo (I used low fat)
2 Tbs sugar (I used Splenda)
2 Tbs vinegar (I like apple cider vinegar for this)

Mix all ingredients together well and toss with salad. This makes a coated but not too wet salad; if you like it more moist increase the dressing ingredients by half. You can add extra broccoli, bacon, raisins, and sunflower seeds to your personal preference. Enjoy!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Chicken Pot Pie

As you can tell from my posts, we're still having winter weather up here in Wisconsin, so we're still eating heavier meals for dinner.  This week is supposed to be springy, so I've got lighter meals planned.  Until then, I'll catch up on the recipes we've been eating lately--and that includes Chicken Pot Pie.

This recipe is from the same food blog Marisa introduced me to.  It's pretty easy.  I don't bother making my own crust, although I have before.  I just buy crust from the store.  Sometimes I've used rotisserie chicken, too.  Depending on my mood, I tend to double the amount of potatoes and veggies and then double the sauce ingredients.  It still fits in my pie plate, albeit a big "pie," and then it's nice and moist for reheats.


Sesame Chicken (that I call Orange Chicken)

This is a recipe that Caitlin made for me and mom last summer when we visited her and Ryan in NC.  It's a quick and easy meal.  And, like most Lukes, Caitlin edited the recipe from its original form, and I make it like she did for us.  This recipe originally comes from the Food Network: Sesame Chicken.

I call it orange chicken because of the orange marmelade, and with the changes, there are actually no sesame seeds used. :)  The recipe below is how I (and Caitlin, I think) make it.  If you want to see the original recipe, see the link.

Sesame Chicken (Orange Chicken)

3 chicken breasts, nearly thawed
2 T soy sauce
2 T orange marmelade
1 T rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs and coconut  (I just dump half and half of each, without measuring)
Rice, for serving

  • Preheat oven to 375.  Line a baking sheet with foil
  • Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes
  • In medium bowl (ziploc bag) mix together soy sauce, marmelade, vinegar and red pepper flakes.  Marinate chicken at least 10 minutes and up to 8 hrs in fridge.  (I usually do this early in the day--then it's super fast to put together at dinnertime).
  • In other bowl (bag) mix together panko and coconut.  Drain chicken and toss in flour.
  • Spread chicken on baking sheet (I spray with pam)
  • Bake til chicken is crispy but not dry, about 20 minutes turning halfway through.  Serve with rice
  • I mix up extra sauce (ingredients 2-5) and drizzle over the the chicken and rice when eating.  When I make the extra sauce, I usually triple all the ingredients, except for the soy sauce, which I usually double.

Porcupine Meatballs

This recipe is one of mom's that we ate growing up.  I remember having either these or her Swedish meatballs when I was younger.  I'm not sure if we ate them very often once we moved to Nebraska, so the little kids may not remember them.  I serve the meatballs over mashed potatoes and make extra sauce.  I've found that if you follow the recipe as written the meatballs tend to fall apart, so I've made a few adjustments that work for me.  I'll put my changes in parentheses, so you can decide for yourself how you like it better.

This is another one of those recipes for which I tend to have everything on hand.  That's probably because I always have a lot of tomato soup in my cupboard, thanks to our Sunday lunches of grilled cheese and tomato soup!

Porcupine Meatballs

1 can tomato soup (2 cans)
1 lb ground beef (1.5-2 lbs)
1 c minute rice
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup finely chopped onion (I use the equivalent of dried, minced onions--I think they stick better)
1 tsp salt (I might add more, but don't remember)
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 soup can water (1 can)
1 tsp prepared mustard (2-3 tsp)

Take 1/4 cup of soup, mix with beef, rice, egg, onion and salt.  Brown meatballs in garlic and pam.   Pour off fat, blend in remaining soup, water and mustard.  Cover meatballs, simmer 20 minutes until cooked.

**I add the garlic to the meatballs, not in the pan.
**I take the meatballs out once they're browned and set them aside to mix up the sauce, then add them back in the skillet to simmer with the lid on
**I might add 1/2 cup of the soup to the meatball mix, I can't remember now.  I start with 1/4, and add a little more if necessary so that I have a moist, but not wet meatball.  If it's too dry (especially because of the rice), the meatballs fall apart as you brown and turn them.  Then you end up with browned ground beef in sauce to put over potatoes.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Soft Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe comes from Aunt Stacie, and is a good way to use up a couple of rotting bananas you may have sitting on your kitchen counter.

Soft Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup sugar
2/3 cup shortening
2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup mashed bananas (2)
2 eggs
1 cup (12 oz) chocolate chips

Cream sugar and shortening, add eggs and bananas, then mix in all other ingredients, flour and chocolate chips last.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Bake on ungreased pan.

Bake at 350 degrees, 8-10 minutes

**I find the cookies need a full 10 minutes, even though they look done before then.  If I pull them out sooner, after a few minutes of cooling they start to look quite doughy on top.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Shepherd Pie

A recipe I got @ my wedding shower from the ladies in my ward

1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion (or equivalent dried, minced), chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 can (10.5 oz) condensed tomato soup
2 cans green beans, drained
Mashed potatoes (homemade, instant, refrigerated) 4-6 servings
Grated cheddar cheese or American cheese slices

Brown ground beef with onion in large skillet, drain fat, season with salt and pepper.
Stir in tomato soup and green beans, simmer together 5-10 minutes. Pour tomato, beef, bean mixture into a shallow casserole and top with mashed potatoes. Top potatoes with shredded cheese or cheese slices. Bake in 350 degree oven about 20-30 minutes until casserole is bubbly and cheese is melted.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Easy Baked Tilapia

This is a recipe that Dave and I really like, in fact we're having it for dinner tonight!  This is one meal I taught Dave to make so he can feed himself when I go out of town.  This recipe comes from a food blog that Marisa used to use a lot.  Unfortunately, this lady (Amy Scott) hasn't posted anything recently, because I actually make a lot of recipes from here.

I recognize that not everyone loves fish, and that it's not necessarily affordable for larger families, but it's something that our little family loves to make.  It is also really easy and a no brainer when I can't think of what to make for dinner--I just pull out some frozen fish and veggies and we're good to go!

Here are changes that I make to the recipe.

  • I don't use old bay seasoning, I use a seasoning called "Citrus Grill" that we found at Sam's.  Really, I just dump whatever I feel like on the fish.  Sometimes it's lemon pepper.
  • I just use whatever veggies I have in the freezer.  I found a southwestern veggie mix one time that has corn, bell peppers, etc.  I usually mix that with broccoli, carrots, or whatever else I have.
  • I don't always use fresh lemon.  It is admittedly better that way, but I'll just dump some lemon juice from the bottle if I need to.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Dr. Pepper Chicken

I decided to try something off the web. It was OK but it needed something, I may try it again and tweak it...

4 boneless, skinless chicken beasts
12 oz can of Dr. Pepper
2 tsp liquid smoke
One envelope dry Lipton onion soup mix
1 Tbsp brown sugar

Place all ingredients in a slow cooker on low for 4-5 hours. If chicken breasts are frozen, cut into pieces when able, about 2 hours in, if thawed, cut sooner. When chicken is done, remove from sauce and whisk in 2 Tbsp cornstarch to thicken sauce, about 30 min. Add chicken pieces to heat through. Serve over rice.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tzatziki Sauce (for Sausage Pitas)

This recipe comes from my friend Tiffany Giles.  I'm sure she found it on the internet somewhere, but I don't have an original source.  Dave and I love to make these sausage pitas just like Tiffany did for us one summer when we were watching So You Think You Can Dance and having dinners together.  Oh, good times.  We had great friends in Illinois!  I make the tzatziki earlier in the day, and then it's really easy to put together at dinnertime.  It's a quick, tasty, healthy meal that is perfect for warmer weather (which we are not experiencing--it's supposed to snow here in the next few days).

Tzatziki Sauce

1 (16 oz) container low-fat plain yogurt  (or non-fat greek yogurt and ignore step one--which is what I do)
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded & grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh, chopped parsley (I usually use dried)
1 Tbsp fresh, chopped mint (I don't use unless I feel like buying mint)
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (I use my lemon juice from the fridge)
salt & pepper to taste

1.  Line a colander w/ 2 layers of cheesecloth & place it over a medium bowl.  Place the yogurt on the cheesecloth & cover the colander with plastic wrap.  Allow yogurt to drain overnight.
2.  Lay grated cucumber on a plate lined w/ paper towel; allow to drain 1-2 hours
3.  Combine the drained yogurt, cucumber, parsley, mint, lemon juice, S & P in a bowl.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Sausage Pitas  (probably don't require a recipe, but, here you go):
  • pocket pitas, or the "Greek" pitas like you see here--like you would eat with a gyro
  • 1 package summer sausage, polska kielbasa or turkey sausage (the stuff shaped like a horseshoe in the package), sliced and sauteed in pan until warm and caramelized
  • lettuce
  • tomatoes
  • onion
  • tzatziki sauce
Put everything in the pita and eat.  YUMMY!

Seven Layer Tostada

As you can see, we eat a lot of Mexican food around here.  In fact, Ryan's coworker asked if I was Mexican (obviously she's never met me).  This recipe is pretty self explanatory and doesn't really need a recipe, but here it is anyway.

from Kalyn's Kitchen

Monday, April 8, 2013

Pasta Carbonara

8 oz Penne Pasta
4 oz sliced pepperoni
1/2 c REAL bacon bits or bacon cooked crisply & crumbled
1 (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 (6 oz) can black olives, drained & sliced
1 (15 oz) jar Alfredo sauce
2 tsp dried basil
1/2 c milk
1/2 c Parmesan cheese
1 c mozzarella cheese, shredded

Fill large cooking pot with water and bring to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water to desired firmness. Drain and return to pot.

While water is heating, slice pepperoni into 1/4" strips and fry to remove grease, drain meat on paper towels.

Combine all ingredients with pasta in large pot, heat to blend. Sauce should be somewhat thin, (add additional milk if needed) this will thicken. I usually use extra penne pasta and more sauce for larger amounts. (I showed Bertolini pasta sauce, sold @ Sam's, but it is very salty and I prefer good old Walmart brand).

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Beef Stew

I made Mom's beef stew for dinner tonight, so I thought I'd post the recipe.  Of course, having the oven on all day in the spring made my house a nice 75 degrees, so we made sure to keep the windows open.  By the time dinner was ready it was cool enough outside that we didn't feel weird about eating stew in April!

Beef Stew

2 lbs stew meat
2 onions, chopped
frozen peas (aka, as many as you want)
1 can tomato soup
1/2 can water
1/4 cup pickle juice
3 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
3 carrots, peeled and cut up
1 tsp salt

Mix everything but the peas together and bake at 275 for 5 hours.  Add the peas in the last half hour of baking.

**I almost always double the amount of soup, water and pickle juice.  Usually because I end up with pretty large potatoes and use more carrots and potatoes than the recipe calls for.  I like it a little soupier the first night, because the second night it's nice and thick and even more "stewy"

**Obviously there are no peas in my picture, I didn't have any, so I threw corn in instead.  It was still yummy.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Cherry Coffee Cake

This recipe comes from Mom's recipe box, meaning, she cut it off of the back of the Bisquick container, or out of some magazine, so I have no exact reference for it.  Shelby doesn't remember this coffee cake, but I remember eating it a fair amount of times.  I also remember it being one Marisa really liked.  Don't know if that still holds true today, though. Marisa, are you still a fan (I added pictures when I made this this morning just for you!)? 

I felt like a real food blogger as I took pictures, yet when I mentioned this to Dave he said that only held true if I took a picture of every step.  I figured you guys didn't need a picture of "mix all ingredients together", and that you could figure it out.

Cherry Coffee Cake

4 cups Bisquick (I've used jiffy mix, too, and it works the same)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup margarine, melted
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
3 eggs
1, 21 oz can pie filling (cherry, blueberry, etc)

Mix all ingredients except pie filling & glaze; beat vigorously 30 seconds.  Spread 2/3 of the batter in greased 9x13 pan.  Spread pie filling over batter.  Drop remaining batter by tablespoonfuls onto pie filling.  Bake until light brown 20-25 min at 350.  (Mine always bakes for at least 30 or the center is runny).

Glaze:  Beat 1 cup powdered sugar & 1 to 2 tbsp milk until smooth & of desired consistency.  Drizzle over the top of coffee cake.

**I have also cut this in half and put it in an 8x8 pan.  I use 2 eggs, and just save the extra pie filling in the fridge for something else.  It's pretty hard for me and Dave to eat a whole 9x13 pan by ourselves before it's dry and inedible.

Spam and Cheesy Potatoes

This recipe was one Grandma Hyer used to make with either Spam or leftover cubed ham. You either love it...or not

Enough potatoes peeled and cubed (about an inch) to fill a pan 2/3-3/4 full
Velveeta cheese, about a pound, cubed
One can Spam, diced about 1/2-1 inch cubes
Worcestershire sauce
Onion powder, about 1 tsp

Cover potatoes with water in a large pan, & boil until tender, drain water, return pan to stove with heat off. Add enough milk to cover about bottom inch of pan; add Velveeta and Spam, stir until Velveeta melts. Stir in onion powder and about three shakes of Worcestershire sauce. Add more Velveeta &/or milk to desired consistency and taste.

Sorry there are no exact measurements but it's hard to totally mess up unless you add too much Worcestershire sauce, then it's just a little "tangy".

Pesto Stuffed Shells

I'm sure there are tons of recipes out there for these, but this is what I use from Budget Bytes.  It makes a full 9x13 pan which is plenty of dinner and leftovers for Ryan and I.  I'll even eat them reheated (and I NEVER eat leftovers).

Pesto Stuffed Shells

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Chinese Rice

A cheap recipe I picked up in college and fed the family to stretch the budget.

1 lb ground beef (browned with chopped onion)
1 1/2 c uncooked white rice
1 can cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
1 small onion (or equivalent dried, minced), chopped
1/4-1/3 c soy sauce
3 c boiling water

Stir together all ingredients in a covered casserole dish. Bake one hour @ 350.
Sprinkle chow mein noodles on top if desired.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

I'm making these for dinner tonight.  They're one of our regulars (again from Our Best Bites...).  It's also another good use for the Green Enchilada Sauce.


Friday, March 29, 2013

Peanut Butter Cookies (NOT mom's)

I got this recipe for peanut butter cookies from my friend Martha. They're softer and a little more dense than mom's...

1 c shortening
1 c sugar
1 c br sugar
t vanilla
2 beaten eggs
1 c p butter
2 c flour               
2 t baking soda
2 t salt

not greased, 375 for 10

Coffee Cake

4 c flour
1 c sugar
2 T baking p
1 t salt
2 beaten eggs
1 1/3 milk
2/3 oil
1 c br sugar
4 T flour
8 T cold butter
2 t cinnamon

400’ 20-25

Double, triple, or quadruple the streusel, always.

Mrs. Pardee Chicken

This is from the Little Kids' elementary school librarian. It's great for feeding the missionaries. I always forget it takes so long to bake though...

1 can cream of mushroom soup (10.5 ounces)
1 can of cream of chicken soup (10.5 ounces)
1 can of cream of celery soup (10.5 ounce)
1 box wild rice and herb mix (uncooked)
1/2 cup French dressing
1/2 cup melted butter
Parmesan cheese
slivered almonds
4 – 8 chicken breasts (depending on size) I usually use 8

Mix soup with rice mixture. Place rice and soup mixture into greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Mix French dressing and melted butter. Pour 1/2 dressing and better over rice mixture. Arrange chicken on top of rice. Top with remaining dressing and butter mixture. Bake, uncovered, for three hours at 275°. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and almonds (can leave off). Serves 6-8

Apple Cobbler

While I'm on a dessert kick.

My friend John can't have chocolate so I made him this apple cobbler recipe from Land O'Lakes one year for his birthday. I'd never tried any type of apple baking before, but it's pretty idiot-proof. It turned out great!

Lemon Bars

I use Paula Deen's Lemon Bars recipe here. 


I use powdered sugar for all sugar called for. The first time I made them I did this by accident and didn't like them as much when I made them a second time with the types of sugar she calls for.

I cut back on the crust. It's just gets a bit to thick.

I don't know if this is general knowledge, but I've learned you have to cool lemon bars completely at room temperature. I tried putting them in the fridge once to speed it up and that's no good. Eating them before they've cooled also doesn't work. You really have to wait about 3 hours for them to be perfect. I've made this recipe a lot...can you tell?

Black Beans and Rice

This recipe is from my friend from grad school, Jenika McDavitt.  Sometimes I use this as a side with Mexican/Latin meals, and other times we eat it as the main dish for dinner.  Here is the recipe as Jenika gave it to me:

What you need: 2/3 large white onion, 3 cloves garlic, olive oil, Elkridge summer sausage, bacon optional, 3 cans black beans (undrained), 1-2 cups beef broth, bay leaves.

Saute 2/3 of a large white onion (red onion works too) and 3ish cloves of minced garlic in olive oil until onions are soft.

While that's sauteing, cut up 1 link of Elkridge summer sausage into small chunks (we usually cut the whole link in half lengthwise and then sliced it like a cucumber). Sometimes we might put 1.5 links in to have more sausage because it is so delicious. :-)

If desired, cut up ~6 slices of bacon into small pieces and pan fry, then pat off excess oil. We started leaving the bacon out to make it a little healthier, and we haven't noticed enough of a difference to put it back in. Whatever you want.

Once onions are soft, add sausage (and bacon if you use it) to the onion/garlic pan and saute for another couple of minutes to allow the garlic to flavor the meat directly. The meat is already cooked so no need to leave it in longer, you don't want it tough.

Dump pan into a crock pot, and add:
3 cans of black beans
1-2 cups of beef broth (depending on how long this is going to cook for and how liquid-y you want the beans to be)
2-3 bay leaves

Stir up and leave in crock pot at desired time. When it's done, make sure not to eat the bay leaves! If serving for guests I just take them out altogether at the end. 

Serve over rice.

Tilapia Soft Tacos with Chipotle Cream

This is a really fast fish taco recipe that Dave and I really like.  I generally make it when I have leftover cilantro in the fridge that I need to use up.  I tend to have all the ingredients for these on hand.  That's partly because I like to keep tilapia in my freezer.

One time instead of making the chipotle cream sauce, I found a condiment from Taco Bell at the grocery store called Bold & Creamy Chipotle Sauce.  It is basically an orange colored chipotle sauce in a squeeze bottle.  Having that on hand makes it even easier to make these in a pinch.  Although, I do tend to have chipotle chiles in adobo in my cupboard, too.

Greek Shrimp Scampi

I got this recipe from my bishop's wife in Urbana (Donna Cummings).  It's super fast, and the only ingredient I don't usually have in my cupboard is the feta.  If you don't want any heat, you can omit the red pepper altogether.  Otherwise shake sparingly when you're using red pepper to get the heat level desired.

1/2 pound shrimp
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup diced tomatoes (I usually just use a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes and adjust the other ingredients as necessary--meaning you should technically double the rest)
1/2 cup feta
juice of 1/2 lemon (I've used bottled lemon juice, too)
2 tsp Dill (fresh or 3/4 tsp dried)
salt, pepper, tarragon, red pepper (I've used flakes and powder before)

Saute garlic in oil and remainder and heat until warm.  Serve over couscous.

**I just buy the "done in 5 minute" instant couscous at the grocery store, it's by the rice
**I have used both pre-cooked and raw shrimp (I just keep bags of frozen in my freezer).  If using pre-cooked, thaw and toss in right before eating, just to warm them or they overcook.  If using raw, I still toss in last and simmer until done, only takes a few minutes.

Gold Medal Sizzling Fajitas

These are the fajitas I always make.  They are a Paula Deen, Food Network recipe.  I essentially use the marinade recipe for chicken and then I grill my chicken on our George Foreman. You can use multiple kinds of meat, and the instructions for doing so are in the recipe.

 It's a super quick dinner, actually, and my go-to when I have leftover peppers in my fridge.  Most of the time I don't even bother with guacamole...just cheese and sour cream and sometimes salsa here.  But then again, that's because I always have those things in my fridge!

We were given a tortilla warmer for our wedding, and I have to admit, it makes eating fajitas much more fun!

Chocolate Crinkles

This recipe comes from Judy Bivin (from the 30th ward?)

1/2 cup shortening + 2Tbsp
1 2/3 granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla

2 eggs
2 1-oz squares unsweetened chocolate, melted (6T cocoa)

2 cups sifted, all-purpose flower
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Add flour mixture alternately with milk.  Chill 3 hours.  Form 1 inch balls.  Roll in confectioners sugar.  Place on greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 15 min.

Carrot Cake

This cake is attributed to Aunt Stacie (Stacie Meredith)!

4 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 cups sifted flour
2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon

Add dry ingredients to egg mixture.  Mix well, then add:
3 cups raw carrots (finely grated)
1/2 cup nuts, chopped

**I've always used walnuts if I'm doing nuts, and sometimes I add raisins, although I know that would never fly if Dad were eating the cake.

1 # box powdered sugar (sifted)
1, 8 oz package cream cheese
1/4# butter or margarine
1 tsp vanilla & a bit of milk

If made in a dripper pan only need 1/2 recipe for icing (like a single layer).  Full recipe for a layer cake.  Better if refrigerated first.

**I just realized I don't have any baking instructions for this, I'm assuming 350 until it's done, 30-40 minutes.

Mom's Chili

This is straight from mom.


3 cups dry pinto beans       
1 lb ground beef
6 cups water           
2 tsp salt
2 15 oz. cans “stewed” tomatoes   
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp vinegar           
2 ½ Tbsp chili pwder
2 Tbsp lemon juice           
¼ tsp dry mustard
1 ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce  
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce       
dash garlic powder
1 cup chopped onion      
½ tsp ground cumin
1 cup chopped green pepper       
1 cup chopped celery

    Wash and clean pinto beans; cover with cold water overnight. Rinse beans in a.m. Cover with fresh water to about one inch above beans and bring to a boil, reduce heat to a high simmer and cook until tender. (about 1 ½-2 hrs) Add additional water if needed to keep beans covered. [Option: wash and clean beans, cover with cold water, bring to a boil, cover and remove from heat for one hour. Rinse beans, cover with fresh water and cook until tender.] DO NOT SALT WATER COOKING THE BEANS: THEY WILL NOT COOK BUT STAY HARD.
    Brown ground beef and drain fat, stir in chopped vegetables and cook about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and spices, simmer together. Stir in cooked beans with water they were cooked in. Simmer chili for about three hours or until flavors are well blended.
    I adjust this recipe to taste, adding beef bouillon cubes if it tastes too tomatoey, skipping celery or green peppers if I don’t have them, adding red peppers if I have them. You can add more chili powder if you want it spicier. Adding 1 ½ c of ketchup while simmering makes it more sweet and I used to use this. Like almost anything I cook I tweak it as it cooks. ENJOY!

Chocolate Cake (Dorothy Boyd)

For anyone outside the family reading this, this chocolate cake is AMAZING. Our dad used to make it every Sunday after church because he (and we ) all love it.  We eat ridiculously large portions and never feel guilty.  When asked how much you want, it's typically "Half row or third?"  Just make sure you have milk to go along with it!

And again, apologies.  I don't have any directions, just ingredient list.  That's how we Lukes do it apparently. 

2 cups sugar
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons soda
Pinch salt
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup sour milk
1 cup boiling water

Bacon large loaf pan at 350° for 30 minutes. (*Dad wrote this using his Dragon software and I love that it says Bacon!)  I find that in Nebraska it's more like 40 minutes.

 Butter Chocolate frosting

1/4 cup softened margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch salt
4 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa
1/3 to 1/2 cup milk

Carne Desebrada Adobada (beef tacos)

My roommate Nadine would make this for us when she'd go all out and have a Mexican night. The recipe is what she sent me. The Mexican ingredients can be found in the Hispanic aisle at most grocery stores. The Adobo is the hardest to find. If you can't find it with the Mole, they don't have it. It's NOT the granulated stuff. 

Carne Desebrada Adobada

3-4lbs of meat (chuck roast)
½ onion (sliced into quarters)
3-4 cloves of garlic (cut up into pieces)
1 can of spicy tomato sauce (El Pato)
1 can of Salsa Ranchera (you can put in ½ of the can’s worth as well to make it less spicy. I usually add it all so I don’t have left over, although you can use the left over sauce to put it on the tostadas for flavor.)
1 can measurement of water (8oz?) *I like fill the can of tomato sauce with water and then pour it into the salsa can and then dump it into the crock pot.
3 TBS of Adobo Seasoning (the dark paste in a glass jar, NOT the granulated pale stuff)
3-4 bay leaves
Oregano (1/2 tsp)
Salt (to taste) approx 1 tbsp or less? It’s always an estimate when I add the salt.
Pepper (to taste)

Clean meat by cutting off fat and bones if any. Cut meat into fist  sized pieces. Place all ingredients in crock pot in the HIGH setting for 6-7 hours or until the meat is shredded (dissolved) and smooth. Then it's ready to eat.

Served with corn tortillas.
Nadine served it with just shredded cabbage coated in vinegar, salt and pepper. Sqeeze liberally with lime juice. Serve with sour cream and cheese if you want. I prefer it with just the cabbage and lime. 

Here are what the ingredents look like:

Buffalo Chicken Dip

They made this at the Superbowl party at the dorms every year and I thankfully got the recipe and make it for almost every Husker's game.  (Healthy, I know).  Lately Mom has been making it for our Christmas Eve/New Years Eve feasts!

1 lb. chicken breasts cooked and shredded (I use 1-2 of the giant Sam's size breasts depending on how chicken-y I want it)
1 cup Frank's hot sauce
1/2 cup ranch dressing
8 oz package cream cheese
2 cups shredded cheese

While the chicken is cooking, throw everything else in a crock pot on low.  Add chicken.  If you put it on high, it'll only take about an hour to melt, longer obviously on low.  Just keep an eye on it and switch it to warm or it'll start to burn.

The World Famous Luke Family Dreamsicle Jello!

2 small (1 large) orange jello package
1 cooked lemon pudding package
1 instant lemon pudding package
8 oz cool whip
1 cup milk
Cook lemon pudding according to package directions, place in fridge to cool to room temperature or cooler.  Dissolve jello in 3 cups boiling water.  Mix the lemon pudding together with the jello, place in a 9x13 pan and place in fridge until set (at least 4 hours).  When set make the topping.  Combine the cool whip, instant pudding and 1 cup milk together.  Spread on top of the jello and put in the fridge to set (about an hour).
*And yes, I labeled it as both a side dish and dessert.  We think it's a side, others drift to it as a dessert. :)

Mom's Fudge

Here's how you make fudge:

Buy the Kraft marshmallow creme...follow the recipe on the back for fantasy fudge.  Voila!  Mom might have a few tricks to tell us how she really makes it.  I think she changes the timing and uses chocolate chips, so she has a measurement for that.

Oriental Cole Slaw (Ramen Noodle Salad)

While I'm going through emails, I might as well post the ones Mom and Dad have sent me.  So these are Mom's comments on how she makes it.

1 head cabbage (I use a bag of shredded coleslaw mix)
8 green onions
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup sesame seeds
1/3 cup salted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2-4 pkg Ramen noodles (chicken or oriental flavor)

3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 Tbsp cider vinegar
3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt

Shred cabbage thinly. Slice green onions, include green tops. Toss vegetables w/ dressing and broken Ramen noodles. Marinate several hours or overnight. Add nuts (toast on cookie sheet until lightly browned).  Add seasoning packets from Ramen noodles.

Scalloped Potatoes (aka Funeral Potatoes)

I'm making these for Easter so figured I would post it.

6-8 large potatoes
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 Tbsp minced dried onions
1/4 c melted butter
1/4 c milk
1 cup sour cream
Shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp salt

Boil potatoes in skins until tender, cool enough to remove peels, shred potatoes into a large bowl. Soak dried onions in milk to rehydrate while potatoes are cooking. Mix together melted butter, soup, sour cream, salt, onions, and milk. Blend sauce and potatoes, add cheese to preference (at least 1/2- 1 cup). (Whit apparently says to double or triple the sauce). Top with more grated cheese or buttered crushed corn flakes. Bake @ 350 in greased pan, preferably glass, until heated through and bubbly hot.

Note: extra potatoes can stretch this but it may be more dry, add sour cream, cheese, butter , etc. to consistency you like. You can also just use a package of shredded frozen hash browns, but they have a different texture. Play with it and make it your own!

Monkey Bread

This one also comes from the 30th Ward cookbook from 1991, it is attributed to a lady named Lori Scott...I have no idea who she is. :)

3 cans refrigerator biscuits (10 count)
mix together: 1/2 cup sugar & 1 tsp cinnamon
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (well packed)
3 Tbsp water

Remove biscuits from can.  Cut each biscuit into four pieces. Combine sugar and cinnamon; coat biscuit pieces.  Drop pieces into greased bundt pan.  (I use pam)  Bring to boil the butter, sugar, brown sugar and water.  Pour mixture over biscuits.  bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.  Before "dumping onto plate, cool 3-5 minutes.  To eat, just pull off bits of biscuits. [NOTE: nuts, raisins, maraschino cherries may be added among the biscuits.] Best eaten warm.

Zippy Beef

I don't actually have instructions for this, like most of my recipes, it's just a list of ingredients.  I should write this down as it is exactly in my cookbook and see if you can decipher it.  :)

1 lb ground beef, browned
4 oz uncooked noodles (elbow, that you cook before assembling)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3/4 c milk
2/3 c ketchup
1/4 c chopped green pepper
1-2 T onion (assuming minced here)
1/2 c cheese
potato chips for topping

Mix everything except potato chips together in a casserole dish.  Top with chips and bake until bubbly at 350.

Chicken Delight

5-6 chicken breasts, cooked, cubed
Broccoli--cooked to fill bottom of 9x13 pan
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup miracle whip
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp curry powder

Cover cooked broccoli w/ cubed chicken.  Mix soup, miracle whip, lemon juice and curry.  Pour over chicken.  Sprinkle w/ grated cheddar cheese and buttered soft bread crumbs (crumble approx. 2 slices bread into 1/4 cup melted butter).  Bake uncovered 20-30 minutes at 350 'til hot and bubbly.  Serve with rice.

**I've started halving this for me and Dave and just use an 8x8 pan.  It's enough for two dinners for us and P (P loves it!)  But, sometimes I don't halve the sauce, just the amount of broccoli and chicken.  All depends on how saucy I want it.

Banana Bread

  • 5 bananas
  • 4 eggs (well beaten)
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 c sugar
  • 4 c flour
  • 2 t soda
  • 1 t salt
Beat bananas to a liquid, add eggs.  Cream the sugar and shortening then add banana-egg mix. Sift flour, soda and salt. Pour into 2 well-greased loaf pans.   

Bake at 250 for 90 minutes (until the toothpick comes out clean)

To get the soft crust that we all love, let the bread cool on a cooling rack for a bit, then wrap it in tin foil while it's still warm so all the steam will soak back into the crust making it soft and delicious! 

Blonde Brownies

Our friends laugh when we make these because all three of us are blonde AND Ryan doesn't like chocolate.  They joke and call us racist.  Whatever, these are awesomely delicious!
Cream Together:
  • 1 cup margarine
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 t vanilla
 Add to cream:
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 t soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 cups peanut butter chips
Bake at 350* for 30-35 minutes in a greased 9x13

Thursday, March 28, 2013


Here is what I want (I am home so could ask mom and post them myself I guess...)

Dad's chocolate cake
pasta carbinara
chicken delight
banana bread
blonde brownies
Texas sheet cake
Chocolate crinkles
zippy beef
monkey bread
carrot cake

I'm blanking on other things we ate growing up.

(This is Caitlin - I'm crossing off things as people post them!)

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I originally found this recipe here and me and the kids love them! I get a lot of great recipes from her site. She makes them with whole wheat flour and I've just always used regular white flour.

I use her suggestion and freeze extras, then my kids can have pancakes on days that I'm too lazy to make them. :)

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 beaten eggs
2 cups milk, buttermilk or sour milk*
4 tablespoons melted butter (you can also use oil or coconut oil, but we prefer butter)
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl. Combine the eggs, milk and melted butter in a separate bowl.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add egg mixture and chocolate chips. Stir until just moistened.

Cook on a greased pancake griddle. Serve immediately or cool and freeze.

To freeze: Lay cooked and cooled pancakes on a baking sheet and stick in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour (until frozen). Remove from pan and place in airtight freezer bags or containers.
To thaw: Take desired number of pancakes out of freezer bags and heat one to two at a time in the microwave for one to two minutes. Or, place on a baking sheet and cook in a 350-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until heated through. Serve immediately.
Makes around 10 regular-sized pancakes. I usually double or quadruple the recipe when I make it for the freezer.

Seven Layer Salad

I love this recipe because it's a salad that you can just serve and eat.  No dressing needed!
Jordan loves it because it has bacon.

Perfect Pizza Crust

Rachael and I made this pizza crust when I visited her in Indiana.  I loved that you don't have to let it rise for hours on end.  It was simple and really yummy!

O'Henry Bars (Scotcheroos)

1 c. Sugar
1 c. Light Corn Syrup
1 1/2 c. Peanut Butter
1 tsp. Vanilla
6 c. Rice Crispies

In a saucepan on medium high heat, bring sugar and corn syrup to a boil.  Take off the heat, add peanut butter and stir until smooth.  Add in vanilla then pour on rice crispies in a large bowl.  Press in greased 9x13 cake pan and let cool.

For topping:
Melt 1/2 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1/2 package of butterscotch chip.  Stir until smooth and pour over the top and let it cool.

*For thinner bars use a 11x17 cookie sheet and use a whole bag of each chocolate and butterscotch for the topping.  Sometimes I will 1.5 the recipe in a cookie sheet for a large group.

Spaghetti Pie

This is not a family recipe, I'll get to those later.  I made this Spaghetti Pie last Saturday for us, and to take to a lady in the Branch who just had a baby.  (It snowed, church was cancelled and it is currently sitting in my freezer).  It was really good, made enough for two nights with my family of 7.  I did not add the diced tomatoes :).


These are the breadsticks that Mom made for us a lot growing up.  I love them because they don't require a 2 hour rise like a lot of breads. They come from the Taylorsville 30th Ward cookbook from 1991.  I think only Mom and I have this cookbook, so I thought it would be helpful to post here.  These are so fast to make, that they're an easy side dish to lots of meals!  I just made them yesterday for a visiting teaching lunch!

1 1/2 cups water (warm)
1 tbsp yeast
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
approx. 3-5 cups flour (until not sticky)
1 stick butter or margarine, melted

Mix above ingredients except butter and raise about 10 minutes (I put it in a clean, greased bowl covered with saran wrap to let rise in a warm place).  Roll out, sprinkle with flour, and place in cookie sheet with 2/3 of melted butter in bottom.  Cut dough in half and then in pieces along sides.  Let rise until double in size, 10 minutes or so.  Put rest of melted butter on top and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden brown.