Saturday, November 30, 2013

Parmesean Crusted Steak

Tonight we had company over and I wanted to make the meal special so I made my steaks as usual and then added this recipe that I had found to the top.  EVERYONE loved them!  They were so good, I can't get over how much extra flavor it gave the meat!  My husband now wants this on top of everything steak, chicken, macaroni, etc...

  • 2 sticks butter 
  • 1 cup Panko 
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan 
  • 1/4 parsley 
  • 1/2 TBSP Kosher salt 
  • 1/2 TBSP cracked black pepper 
  • 1/2 TBSP fresh minced garlic 
  • 1/2 TBSP Wocestershire
Mix all of the ingredients together until blended.
I then pop mine under the broiler till is gets golden brown.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Chocolate Pecan Caramels

I LOVE caramel, chocolate, and pecans so why not put them all together?  These were AMAZING!  Although, I will say my arm is exhausted after stirring that caramel for so long and my children might feel neglected.  ;-) 

Chocolate Pecan Caramels Recipe
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 cup butter, softened, divided
  • 1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans, toasted (I used a mixture of almonds, and pecans)
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) Nestle Semisweet Chocolate Chips
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

  1. Line a 13-in. x 9-in. pan with foil.  (Don't use foil!  BIG mistake!)
  2. Butter the foil with 1 tablespoon butter. 
  3. Sprinkle with pecans and chocolate chips.  
  4. Set aside.
  5. In a heavy saucepan, melt remaining butter over medium heat. 
  6. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup and water. 
  7. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil. 
  8. Stir in milk. 
  9. Cook, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer reads 248° (firm-ball stage).
  10. Remove from heat and add vanilla. 
  11. Pour into prepared pan (do not scrape saucepan). 
  12. Cool completely before cutting.  
  13. Yield: about 2-1/2 pounds (about 6-3/4 dozen).

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Fudge Topped Shortbread

  • I was looking through my cookbooks tonight and found this recipe.  It is really good very sweet but good.  I LOVE the almond flavoring and my husband who isnt crazy about nuts even enjoyed these bars.
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) Nestle Semisweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  •  Fudge-Topped Shortbread Recipe
  • In a bowl, cream butter, sugar and salt until fluffy. 
  • Gradually beat in flour. 
  • Spread into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. 
  • Bake at 350° for 16-20 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • In a microwave-safe bowl, combine condensed milk and chocolate chips. 
  • Microwave, uncovered, on high for 30-60 seconds or until chips are melted; stir until smooth. 
  • Stir in extract. 
  • Spread over the shortbread. 
  • Sprinkle with almonds and press down. 
  • Refrigerate until firm. 
  • Cut into squares.  
  • Yield: 4 dozen. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Chicken

This chicken is really good but very sweet.  We all really enjoyed it!

    For Chicken
  • 2 lbs chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper,
  • 1 tsp tarragon, dried (I didn't use)
  • For Glaze
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  1. In a small bowl mix together tarragon, salt, pepper and water. Pour over chicken.
  2. Add the chicken and juices to the slow cooker. Cook on high for 2 1/2 hours.
  3. After 2 1/2 hours, mix the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the mixture starts thickening. It should start to thicken as soon as it comes to a boil.
  4. Pour the mixture over the chicken in the slow cooker and toss, so that the chicken is covered in the sauce thoroughly.
  5. Cook for an additional hour in the slow cooker on low.
  6. Remove chicken from slow cooker into a big bowl and carefully pull it apart using two forks.
  7. Serve warm with remaining glaze on the side, if preferred.

Monday, November 25, 2013

German Chocolate Pie

My dad, hubby, neighbors, daughter and I all enjoyed this pie!
1 cup light corn syrup                                                    

1 cup white sugar                                    

2 cups coarsely chopped pecans ( I used 1 cup because they are SO expensive)                                                   

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Whisk the corn syrup, eggs, sugar, butter, and vanilla together in a mixing bowl until light-colored and well blended.
Stir in the pecans and coconut.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the bottom of the prepared pie crust.
Pour the corn syrup mixture over the chocolate chips.
Bake in preheated oven until top is set, 55 to 60 minutes.
Cool completely on a rack before serving, about 2 hours.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Menu for 11-25 to 12-1

My oldest son is in Kindergarten but is our of school this week!  I am so excited to have him home all day with us!

B- Pancakes and Bacon
L- Corn Dogs and Fruit
D- Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Glazed Chicken (New Recipe), Roadhouse Fries, and Glazed Carrots

B- Cereal
L- Homemade Pizza Rolls (New Recipe)
D- Ritz Cracker Chicken, Green Beans and Potatoes, Macaroni and Cheese

B- Cereal
L- Sandwich
D- Cheeseburger Soup

B- Biscuits and Gravy (Ha we forgot to eat breakfast)
L- Thanksgiving!!!!
D- Hamburger Steak, Brown Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Rolls

B- Cinnamon Bread
L- Cheese Pretzels
D- Meatloaf Muffins, Green Bean Bundles (New Recipe) and Crescent Rolls

B- Pecan Sticky Buns (New Recipe)
L-We forgot to eat...
D- Parmesan Crusted Steak (New Recipe), Baked Potato and Corn on Cob

B-Cinnamon Bread (Leftover)
L- Out
D- Leftovers

French Toast Muffins

I made these this morning for our Life Group at church, everyone who ate them really enjoyed them and there were no leftovers... so that's a good sign.  ;-) 

1/3 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg (preferably room temperature)
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. milk

Topping (option: cut topping in half*)
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a medium-large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients.
Add wet ingredients and stir just until combined, but still a bit lumpy.
Do NOT overmix; overmixing will ruin the texture of the finished muffins.
Scoop batter into muffin tins that have sprayed with cooking spray.
Using a large ice cream scoop, I got 8 medium-large muffins out of this batter; I think you could get 10-12 muffins by distributing the batter a little less generously.
 Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until they just start to turn a bit golden at the edges.

For the topping, mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
Place melted butter in another small bowl.
Dip the warm muffins in melted butter (you can dip just the top, but it's even tastier to dip the whole muffin!), then dip/roll the muffin in cinnamon sugar.

*May have left-over topping; the extra topping can be used for dipping, while eating the muffins (oh my). Another option is to cut the topping ingredients in half. CONSUME, ENJOY, GO CRAZY!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Pecan Marshmallow Log

*UPDATE* After I posted this recipe (the next day) I went to eat part of the log and it was hard as a rock... I think I will continue my search, let me say I was heartbroken because pecans are NOT cheap.*

Most of you know these from seeing them at Cracker Barrel, I LOVE them however we aren't at CB often enough so I decided to try and make one myself.  The result was a super yummy treat that I am so happy to have a recipe for!

  • 2 Tbsp butter (divided)
  • 21 regular marshmallows
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 24 Kraft caramels (1/2 of 14 oz package)
  • 1 Tbsp water

    Melt 1 tablespoon butter in pan on low heat. 
    Add 21 marshmallows and stir until melted. 
    Add vanilla and 1/2 cup chopped pecans.
    Beat in enough confectioners sugar to make mixture of kneading consistency.
    Turn mixture out on waxed paper sprinkled with more powdered sugar.
    Knead and shape into a 12 inch long roll.
    Refrigerate until log is cold and firm.
    Place remaining nuts in a 12 X 4 inch rectangular pattern on a piece of waxed paper.
    Combine caramels with remaining butter (1 Tablespoon) and 1 tablespoon water.
    Melt over low heat.
    Pour melted caramel mixture evenly in a thin stream over pecans.
    Let cool. (I waited about ten minutes... next time I will wait a little longer)
    Place marshmallow roll in center.
    Put your hand under the wax paper and lift and press caramel and nuts around marshmallow log, pressing nuts in carefully.
    Seal to edges.
    Place on clean wax paper and cool until log is stiff.
    Eat and enjoy!
    Holiday caramel Pecan Logs

    Thursday, November 21, 2013

    Chicken and Dumplings

    A couple of years ago my husband and I went (for the second time) to see Paula Deen do a live show.  It was AMAZING, she is such a funny lady.  Well, she was making chicken and dumplings and when I say that, I mean she was telling her husband Michael what to do.  ;-)  You could smell them all over the studio it smelled wonderful!  So at that moment I decided I can do this after all I am a southern girl, however this southern girl had only eaten them once in her life!!!  It took a while for me to work up the courage to attempt making them, which brings me here tonight.  The kids really liked it although my oldest thought that we were eating Chicken and Ducklings and exclaimed, "I cant believe I just ate duck!"

    2 tablespoons butter
    1 onion, diced (I used 1 tsp onion powder)
    3 large bone-in chicken breast halves with skin (Mine were already deboned and I went ahead and cut them into cubes)
    1 (32 ounce) can chicken broth

    3 cups all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    1/3 cup vegetable shortening, plus 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening (I used butter I didn't have shortening)

    1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
    2 cups water
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

    *One note before you start, the dough recipe is WAY to much!  I used a little less than 1/2 of what the original person used, the rest is now in my freezer.

    Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.
    Stir in the onion, and cook until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes.
    Place the chicken breasts into the pot, skin-side-down.
    Pour in the chicken broth, and enough water to just cover the breasts.
    Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the chicken begins to fall off the bone, about 1 hour. (Mine didn't take near as long because of the chicken I used)
    Once cooked, remove the chicken breasts from the pot.
    Remove and discard the skin and bone.
    Allow the meat to cool, then tear apart into bite sized chunks.
    While the chicken breast are simmering, prepare the dumpling dough by whisking the flour, baking powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt together in a mixing bowl.
    Work the vegetable shortening in with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Make a well in the middle and pour in the milk.
    Stir together until a stiff dough forms.
    Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth.
    Form the dough into 12 pieces, and set aside.
    After you've shredded the chicken, stir the cream of chicken soup, 2 cups water, salt, pepper, and shredded chicken back into the pot.
    Return to a simmer over medium-high heat.
    Drop the dumplings into the simmering broth one at a time to keep them from sticking together. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the dumplings have puffed and are no longer doughy in the center, 10 to 20 minutes.


    Wednesday, November 20, 2013

    What's Coming Up

    Hey Good Lookin' Whatcha Got Cookin'?
    The answer to that is nothing!  As most of you know I only grocery shop once a month so by this time in the month I have pretty much run out of a few of my necessary baking items.  Tomorrow is my shopping day so on Friday I hope to start testing several yummy new recipes.  This is just a small list of the items I will be making first!

    Pecan Log Roll (If you have ever eaten at Cracker Barrel then you have seen these)
    German Chocolate Pie
    New Orleans Praline Brownies (These look amazing!)
    Chicken Almond Casserole
    Gnocchi (Homemade)

    Tuesday, November 19, 2013

    Oven Roasted Parmesan Potatoes

    These were amazing! I doubled most of the spices but left the paprika alone and that was perfect.  Anymore spice and it would have been overpowering.  My kids especially Nathan LOVED these and kept going back for more.

    1 teaspoon vegetable oil, or as needed
    2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese ( I doubled)
    1/2 teaspoon salt (I doubled)
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (I doubled)
    1/2teaspoon paprika
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (I doubled)
    2 pounds red potatoes, halved
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil, or as needed
    cooking spray

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
    Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan or cast iron skillet with cooking spray; pour in about 1 teaspoon vegetable oil to coat the bottom.
    Mix Parmesan cheese, salt, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper together in a bowl.
    Blot the cut-side of potatoes with a paper towel to remove any moisture.
    Place potatoes in a bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. 
    Toss until potatoes are lightly coated.
    Sprinkle potatoes with Parmesan cheese mixture.
    Toss to coat.
    Arrange potatoes, cut-side down, onto the prepared baking pan.
    Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
    Turn potatoes to cut-side up; continue baking until golden and crispy, about 15 to 20 more minutes.

    Monday, November 18, 2013

    Broccoli Rice Casserole

    I changed a few things from the original recipe I found, we love cheese so I added some to the top and I wanted a little extra crunch so I threw the crackers on top also.  It turned out pretty good however it was kind of bland I think with a little more onion powder and maybe some garlic it would be great.  This was a great starting point though!

    1/2 cup butter
    1 large onion, chopped (I used powder)
    1 (16 ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli
    1/3 cup milk
    1 (8 fl oz) jar pasteurized process cheese sauce (like Cheez Whiz®)
    1 1/2 cups cooked regular long-grain white rice
    1 (10.75 ounce) can Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
    1 tsp each onion powder and garlic powder
    2 handfuls of cheese
    Ritz crackers

    Heat the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat.
    Add the onion and cook until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally.
    Stir the broccoli in the skillet and cook until it's tender-crisp, stirring occasionally.
    Stir in the milk, soup, cheese sauce, garlic powder, onion powder and rice.
    Cook and stir until the cheese is melted.
    Pour the broccoli mixture into a 2-quart shallow baking dish.

    Top with shredded cheese and Ritz crackers
    Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes or until the mixture is hot and bubbling.

    Raegan Mirick's photo.


    Sunday, November 17, 2013

    Menu for 11-18 t0 11-24

    Monday (Field Trip)
    B- Muffins
    L- Sandwiches
    D- Chicken Kabobs, Broccoli Rice Casserole (New Recipe), and  Oven Roasted Potatoes (New Recipe)

    B- Cereal
    L- Corn Dogs and Oranges
    D- ?

    B- Ham and Egg Cups
    L- Sandwiches
    D- Beef Chimichanga, Spanish Rice and Beans

    B- Pancakes and Bacon
    L- Popcorn Chicken
    D- Chicken and Dumplings (New Recipe)

    B- Cinnamon Rolls
    L- Homemade Pizza Rolls (New Recipe)
    D-Parmesan Crusted Steak (New Recipe), Baked Potato and Corn on Cob

    B- Breakfast Enchiladas
    L- Tacos and Rice
    D- Santa Land then Cracker Barrel with the Parents

    B- Biscuits and Gravy
    D- Leftovers

    Saturday, November 16, 2013

    Cream Gravy

    Friday, November 15, 2013

    Chocolate Pretzel Toffee

    • 2 cups mini pretzels, broken into small pieces
    • 1 stick butter
    • ½ cup brown sugar
    • 2 cups chocolate chips (12 ounces)
    chocolate pretzel toffee

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    3. Cover the pan with a layer of pretzels, set aside.
    4. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter and brown sugar. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer and cook for 3 minutes.
    5. Pour the mixture evenly over the pretzels.
    6. Bake for 5 minutes.
    7. Remove from heat and immediately sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top. Wait 2 minutes for the chocolate to soften, then use a spatula to spread the chocolate evenly over the toffee.
    8. Let the toffee cool, then break it into pieces and chow down!

    Thursday, November 14, 2013

    Cajun Hamburgers

     I know that I posted a burger recipe before and I still love it however sometimes a change is nice and so I found this.  It has a bit of a kick to it but I like spice so it worked out great for us.  My husband and kids gobbled these up.                       

    1 pound ground beef                                                    
    3 tablespoons dry bread crumbs                                               

    1 egg
    3 green onions, chopped (I used onion powder of course)
    1 tb Cajun seasoning (I have a recipe for it on my blog)

  • Wednesday, November 13, 2013

    Cheddar Baked Chicken

    1/4cup butter, melted
    1/2cup AP flour
    1tsp salt
    1tsp pepper
    1tsp garlic powder
    1tbsp milk
    1cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
    1/2 cup bread crumbs (I use Italian style)

    1cup Rice Krispies
    2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half

    Image for Cheddar Baked Chicken

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
    Pour your melted butter to coat the baking dish.
    Mix the flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl.
    In another bowl, whisk together the egg and milk.
    In a third bowl, combine the cheese, bread crumbs, and cereal.
    Keep your bowls in that order and work down the line.
    First, dredge your chicken in the flour mixture, dip in the eggs, then press it in the bread crumb mixture to coat.
    Really push the chicken down in the bread crumbs.
    Transfer to your baking dish.
    Bake for 35 minutes or until coating is golden brown and chicken is done. 

    This chicken was really good!  Our neighbor's son came over for dinner and he ate 2 pieces! I had quite a bit of the breading left and just scraped it over the top of the chicken and let it bake too.

    Southern Cornbread Dressing!

    So delicious!!!  Thank you Paula Deen! 
    7 slices oven-dried white bread  (I didn't have any so that is why I added extra crackers)
    1 sleeve saltine crackers (I used two sleeves)
    8 tablespoons butter
    2 cups celery, chopped
    1 large onion, chopped (I used a tsp onion powder)
    7 cups chicken stock (I used 5 1/2) 
    1 teaspoon salt
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon sage (optional)
    1 tablespoon poultry seasoning (optional) (I used about 1 1/2 tsp I find it can be over powering)
    5 eggs, beaten
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    In a large bowl, combine crumbled cornbread, dried white bread slices, and saltines. 
    Set aside.
    Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
    Add the celery and onion and cook until transparent, approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
    Pour the vegetable mixture over cornbread mixture.
    Add the stock, mix well, taste, and add salt, pepper to taste, sage, and poultry seasoning.
    Add beaten eggs and mix well.
    Pour mixture into a greased pan and bake until dressing is cooked through, about 45 minutes.
    Serve with turkey as a side dish.

    Raegan Mirick's photo.

    Tuesday, November 12, 2013

    Chicken in Creamy Gravy

    A few years ago I bought several Taste of Home Cookbooks for $5 each (the big thick hard back ones).  To say I was thrilled would be an understatement.  I use these books often and have found lots of great meals so I had high expectations, and this was amazing! 

    In fact it was so amazing I should have made more.  I have one child who is sick so my oldest son ate his chicken, his brothers chicken, went back for more and after that cried because we had eaten it all.  I liked that there was a hint of lemon but that it wasn't overwhelming, the chicken was so tender and moist!  I also made dressing/stuffing and poured some of the gravy over that also and I think I heard the angels sing.  ;-)

    4 boneless skinless chicken breast
    1 tb canola oil
    1 can cream of broccoli soup (I used cream of chicken)
    1/4 cup milk
    2 tsp lemon juice
    1/8 tsp pepper
    4 slices lemon

    In a large nonstick skillet, cook chicken in oil 5-6 minutes on both sides or until browned.
    In a large bowl, combine the soup, milk, lemon juice and pepper.
    Pour over chicken.
    Top each chicken breast with a lemon slice.
    Reduce heat; cover and simmer until for about 5 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 170°.   

    Chicken in Creamy Gravy Recipe





    Monday, November 11, 2013

    Turtle Fudge

    So if you enjoy Klondike bars then this is the recipe for you!  I swear this tasted just like one of those little goodies without the brain freeze I get from eating them.  These were good but it took quite a bit longer for mine to set up than it did for the original person, I think this is do to the fact that I used caramel topping instead of melting my own caramel.  We will eat this anyway though because it is soooo good.  Messy but good!  Enjoy!


    • 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
    • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • 6oz caramels (I had some caramel ice cream topping that I needed to get rid of so I used that)
    • 2 tablespoons milk


    • 1/4 cup pecans (chopped)
    • 1 tablespoon milk
    • 3oz caramels
    Easy NO FAIL Turtle Fudge - You can't mess this up and it's so impressive! #fudge #chocolate #turtle #christmas
    In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the chocolate, butter, and condensed milk.
    Stir often until melted and smooth.
    Meanwhile melt the caramel and milk in a bowl in the microwave until completely smooth.                                
    Line a 8" square pan with parchment paper and spray with a bit of cooking spray.
    Pour half the fudge into the pan, smoothing into an even layer.
    Carefully and evenly pour caramel on top of the fudge layer.
    Add the remaining layer of fudge and smooth it out.
    Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
    Cut into small squares.
    Melt the 3 oz caramel with 1 TBS milk until smooth.
    Drizzle the fudge with caramel and pecans.
    Store in the refrigerator.

    Sunday, November 10, 2013

    Overnight Pecan French Toast

    I made this for our Life Group at church this morning hubby tasted it before hand and declared it DELICIOUS!

    8 eggs, lightly beaten
    1-1/2 cups half-and-half cream
    2 tablespoons vanilla extract
    8 to 10 slices French bread (3/4 inch thick)
    1 cup packed brown sugar
    1/2 cup butter, melted
    1/2 cup maple syrup
    1/2 cup Diamond of California Chopped Pecans
    1. In an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish, combine the eggs, cream and vanilla.
    2. Add bread slices; soak for 5 minutes.
    3. Turn bread over; cover and refrigerate overnight.
    4. In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, syrup and pecans.
    5. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.
    6. Top with bread.
    7. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

    Saturday, November 9, 2013

    Menu for 11-11 to 11-17

    B- Pancakes and Bacon
    L- Corn Dogs
    D- Chicken and Dressing (New Recipe) and Green Beans

    Tuesday (Phillips daddy is coming over for dinner)
    B- Muffins
    L- Mini Pizzas
    D- Cheeseburgers, French Fries and Pea Salad (Hubby's choice)

    B-Cinnamon Bread
    L- Lunch with Nathan at school (They are having their Thanksgiving Dinner)
    D- Cheddar Baked Chicken (New Recipe), Broccoli and Macaroni and Cheese

    Thursday (Bunco night for mommy so I need something easy that hubby can just reheat)
    B- Mc Donald's ( don't judge it was a busy morning)
    L- Sandwiches
    D- Smashburger (coupons)

    B- Biscuits and Gravy
    L- Honey Chicken Skewers and Rice
    D- Fresh Beat Band Concert!!! (My kids are beyond excited)

    B- Tater Tot Casserole (Crockpot)
    L- Potato Soup
    D- Thanksgiving Party at our house!

    B- ?
    L- Hot Dogs
    D- Leftovers

    Friday, November 8, 2013

    Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

    I made these to take camping with us tonight!  The kids have really enjoyed them and so have the adults.

    1 large egg
    3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
    1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil (1/2 cup unsalted melted butter may be substituted)
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon cornstarch
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    pinch salt, optional and to taste
    about 3/4 cup chocolate chunks or chips

    Preheat oven to 350F.
    Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil and leave overhang, spray with cooking spray.
    In a large mixing bowl, whisk together first 5 ingredients (through vanilla).
    Add the next 4 ingredients (through optional salt), and stir until just combined.
    Turn dough out into prepared pan, using a spatula or fingers to smoosh dough into corners.
    Smooth top lightly with a spatula.
    Arrange chocolate chunks in rows (if desired) or simply sprinkle them evenly over the surface.
    Press chunks is lightly, enough so they're anchored and bake into the dough or will be prone to falling out of the baked sticks.
    Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or just until set in the center (Don't overbake because sticks firm up as they cool).
    Allow to cool completely in pan before lifting out with foil overhang.
    Place the large slab of baked dough on a cutting board and with a pizza wheel or sharp knife, cut into sticks.
    Sticks will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

    Wednesday, November 6, 2013

    French Pastry Pie Crust

    I am forever on a quest to find the perfect pie crust.  This one isn't perfect but it is pretty good and I like that it makes two crusts, one for now and one for later.  :-)
    French Pastry Pie Crust Recipe
    3 cups all purpose flour
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    3 tablespoons white sugar
    1 cup shortening
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
    5 tablespoons water
    In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, and sugar.
    Mix well, then cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal.
    In a small bowl, combine egg, vinegar, and 4 tablespoons of water.
    Whisk together, then add gradually to flour mixture, stirring with a fork.
    Mix until dough forms a ball.
    Add one more tablespoon of water if necessary.
    Allow dough to rest in refrigerator 10 minutes before rolling out.

    Kentucky Derby Pie

    I am helping my sister-in-law type recipes up for a fundraising cookbook that she is doing for their adoption, while typing I came a cross this recipe and it sounded way to good to not try.  So I stopped what I was doing and ran into my kitchen to mix it up (there is something so wonderful about hearing my kitchen aid mixer spinning).  Luckily I had made a couple of pie crusts earlier this week and hadn't frozen them yet so I was able to pull it straight out of the fridge.  This pie took me about five minutes to throw together what a great recipe to have on hand when you have company coming over.  It was wonderful!

    1 cup sugar
    1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1 cup English pecans or walnuts
    2 eggs, beaten
    1 stick real butter, melted & cooled
    1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 refrigerated unbaked pie shell

    Mix sugar and flour.
    Slowly add beaten eggs and melted butter.
    Once those are well stirred, add chocolate chips, nuts and vanilla.
    Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell.
    Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.
    Pie should be chewy, but not runny.
    Test with toothpick.
    This pie is best served with Blue Bell vanilla ice cream on top of it!

    Tuesday, November 5, 2013

    Happy Birthday!!!

    In two days my blog will be a year old!  I can't believe it has been so long, this has been such a fun year.  I have absolutely LOVED sharing my favorite and not so favorite recipes with you.  I hope that you have enjoyed them as much as I have. 
    This blog has made me step out of my comfort zone and try things I wouldn't typically try.  We have tried so many new dishes and have found a few new favorites that we plan on keeping on our regular rotation.  I know my family (and neighbor) have also enjoyed all the experimenting I have been doing.
     I also love that the blog holds me accountable to following my menu.  This has saved us so much money since we are not going out to eat nearly as much.  I love that when I see some of you, you know what we had for dinner last night and will ask about it.  This makes me more motivated to stay on track and follow my meal plan.
     Cooking is always an experiment, some things taste great and some don't, you figure out what works for you and what doesn't.  You bond while cooking with your children and teach them important life skills.  For me cooking is a way that I show my love for my family, friends, neighbors, etc...
    So since we are celebrating a year I would love to do a give away!  Please comment (on this post) and tell me what your favorite memory (recent or far in the past) of cooking would be (winner will be picked at random)!  I have so many memories cooking with my grandmother and taking goodies to the "boys" who worked across the street from her house at the lumber yard.  She has Parkinson's now .and Alzheimer's so it is nice to have such great stories to tell my kids

    Monday, November 4, 2013

    Parmesan Meatloaf

    This was pretty good however I still think that my other meatloaf is better.  ;-)

    Parmesan Meatloaf {Gluten Free}
    slightly adapted from Full Bellies Make Happy Kids
    2 lb ground beef
    2 eggs
    1/4 cup gluten free breadcrumbs
    1/2 teaspoon dried basil
    1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
    1 small onion, grated (1tsp onion powder)
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    1/2 cup marinara pasta sauce
    1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
    minced parsley for garnish

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    Lightly grease a loaf pan (I used a regular glass loaf dish as in the photo above) with cooking spray, set aside.

    In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, eggs, breadcrumbs, thyme, oregano, basil, garlic, onion, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese.
    Try not over handle the mixture otherwise it will get tough.
    Place the mixture in the greased loaf pan and form into a loaf.
    Top the meatloaf with pasta sauce.

    Place filled loaf pan on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes - 1 hour. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and sprinkle the top with the remaining shredded cheese.
    Place the meatloaf back in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted.
    Remove the meatloaf from the oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving/slicing. Garnish with parsley if desired.

    Sunday, November 3, 2013

    Menu for 11-4 to 11-10

    B- Pancakes and Bacon
    L- Corn Dogs and Mandarin Oranges
    D- Parmesean Meatloaf (New Recipe), Potato Salad, and Yummy Broccoli

    B- Cinnamon Rolls
    L- Sandwiches
    D- Chicken Tacos, Rice, and Beans

    B- Cereal
    L- Mini Pizzas
    D- Anniversary Dinner for my Grandparents

    B- Chocolate Chip Muffins
    L- Popcorn Chicken, Pretzels, and Peaches
    D- Taco Soup

    B- French Toast
    L- Honey Chicken Skewers and Rice
    D- Hot Dogs (Camping with Friends) and Chips

    B- Cereal at Campsite
    L- Birthday Party
    D- Steak, Campfire Potatoes, and Corn on Cob

    B-  Overnight Pecan French Toast (New Recipe)
    L- Birthday Party!
    D- Italian Roast, Cornbread, and Green Beans

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