Monday, July 27, 2009

Baked Oatmeal

My mother in law makes this all the time, and hubs loves it! So I decided to give it a was a lot easier than I thought!


...1 cup plain yogurt (can substitute butter, oil or applesauce as well)
...1 1/2 cups sugar (can lower to your tastes)
...4 eggs
...6 cups oats
...4 tsp. baking powder
...1 tsp. salt
...1 tsp. cinnamon
...2 cups milk


Combine ingredients in order listed. Place into a greased 9x13 pan and bake at 375* for 35 minutes.

My Thoughts...

Just as yummy as I remember! I ate it warm from the oven, so I didn't add any toppings but when I reheat it tomorrow I'm eager to try it with some strawberries! I also think that this would be good in milk with some sugar!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Crockpot Bacon Wrapped BBQ Apple Chicken

Not even kidding you right now, I probably have at least 20 bottles of barbecue sauce in my pantry. Who really needs 20 bottles of barbecue sauce. Especially considering that in the past we've averaged, I'd say about 2 bottles per year. That means we'd be set on barbecue sauce for about the next 10. Unless we start using it on a lot of stuff. That's why I decided to finally give this recipe it's shot at glory after about 6 months of sitting in my "to try" file.


...1 chicken breast (boneless is really the only way to go for this recipe.) per person
...1 slice of bacon per chicken breast
...2 apples for every 2-3 chicken breasts used
...1/2 cup bbq sauce for every 2-3 chicken breasts used


Peel and chop apples. Stir into barbecue sauce and place in crock. Wrap bacon around each chicken breast and set in bbq/apple mixture. Spoon apple/bbq mixture ontop of chicken breasts. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4.

My Thoughts...
Excuse the half eaten chicken breast. I completely fogot to photograph until I was almost finished. This was good! I used a bbq sauce that had a lime flavor, and I doubt I'll do that again as it gave it a bit of a tang and covered up the apple flavor. I also felt that the bacon flavor was perhaps I'll try two slices of bacon per chicken breast next time? Well at any rate, this was really good! Hubs was slightly worried about it when he saw it, but even he enjoyed it. And the smell that wafted through my house as it cooked....downright sinful!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Simple Goulash

Hubs loves goulash, me...not so much. I just find it far to bland for my tastes, no matter how much I try to doctor it. But this recipe for goulash was not only simple but one that I actually kind of enjoyed. I even considered seconds for a few minutes...but opted not to for the sake of my waistline (not that this is an unhealthy meal. I'm just trying to keep my portions in check.)


...1 lb. ground meat, browned
...2 1/2 cups egg noodles, cooked
...1/2 onion, chopped
...1/2 green pepper, chopped
...1 can tomato soup, undiluted
...handful of shredded cheese
...3/4 c. water
...1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
...3 tbsp. butter, melted


Brown ground meat with onions and peppers. In a bowl, stir together meat, noodles, cheese and soup until well coated. Place in a greased 9x13 baking dish. Combine bread crumbs and butter until a course topping is created. Place on noodle mixture. Bake uncovered at 350* for 35-40 minutes.

My Thoughts...
This was tasty for a goulash (and for it's looks). Hubs gobbled it right up, and even asked for seconds...he's so cute :) I reheated this for lunch today, and added some leftover spaghetti sauce and a little more cheese to it, and that made this casserole much more to my liking. So perhaps the answer to my goulash dislike is spaghetti sauce. And garlic powder. I'm kind of a garlic fanatic.

*blushes sheepishly*

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hassleback Potatoes

Hubs and I have been grilling alot lately...between the heat (which apparently has been on vacation the past few weeks. I'm content with that!) and the great marked down meats I've been getting lately, it just makes sense! We like to have potatoes when we grill...but I'm getting sick of foil wrapped potatoes and! I decided to give this a shot and was happy with the result!


...1 potato per person (skins left on. more nutrients.)
...1 tbsp. butter per potato
...Italian Seasoning
...Garlic Powder


Place a potato between the handles of two wooden spoons. With a serrated knife, make cuts in the potato (the short way) that are 1/8" - 1/4" inch wide, not going all the way down through the potato (this is why the wooden spoon handles are here, to keep the depth of the cuts from going through and to keep them even). Repeat with each potato. Melt butter and pour 1 tbsp. worth over each potato. Sprinkle on garlic powder and italian seasoning. Bake in a shallow baking dish in the oven at 425* for 35-45 minutes.

My Thoughts...

This had a really great presentation to it, with the slices and the way that the skins turned golden it was almost an elegant looking dish! It had a great roasted taste to it and each slice easily pulled off making a fun finger food to go with our grilled steaks. The only thing I would make sure to do differently is to make sure the butter and spices get in between each flavorings all stayed up top, which gave the outside of the potato great flavor but left the inside pretty plain. This was fabulous, and I will for certain be making this again and again to go with our grilled (and non grilled) main dishes!

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Best Banana Bread

I found this banana bread recipe in an old cookbook of my grandma's, and I first tried it out when I was 14. Since then I have tried several different recipes, but I just keep coming back to this one because it is so good!


...3 bananas
...1/2 tsp. salt
...1 cup sugar
...2 eggs
...1/2 c. plain yogurt
...2 cups flour
...1 tsp. vanilla
...1 tsp. baking powder
...1 tsp. baking soda


Combine bananas, salt and sugar until creamy. Add eggs, yogurt and vanilla. Graduall mix in flour and baking powder. In a seperate, small bowl, pour a little boiling water over the tsp. of baking soda (only add enough water to make the soda fizz and do not do this step until you are ready to add it to the batter). Add to batter. Place in a greased loaf pan and bake at 325* for 45-55 minutes.

My Thoughts...
There is a reason that I keep coming back to this recipe, and it's because it's sooo good! Perhaps it's because it's an older recipe from one of my grandma's cookbooks (one which she submitted a few of her own recipes to) and those older women just really know what they're doing in the kitchen! But at any rate, I love this recipe! The top of the loaf always comes out with a marbled look to it, which I think really dresses up the loaf! Sometimes I split the batter between two loaf pans and make two smaller loaves, but this time I just made one big loaf. So good! Great for a nutritious snack or tasty breakfast!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup

We are currently experiencing the lowest temps for mid July in over 100 years. Last night I went to the county fair to see a free concert (.38 Special!) and I actually had to BUNDLE UP (which was quite a feat, considering that most of my winter clothes are still packed away at my grandma's house from the move...). So, I decided to make up a big (crock)pot of soup. I hadn't attempted chicken noodle yet, so I decided to give it a whirl...


...Chopped, cooked chicken meat (use how ever much or little you want to. I used 1 chicken hindquarter, and it worked out well)
...8 oz. egg noodles
...3 chopped carrots
...1/2 chopped onion
...1/4 cup butter
...12 cups water
...9 chicken boullion cubes
...1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
...1/2 tsp. black pepper
...1 bay leaf
...1 tbs. dried parsley


Place everything in the crockpot and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8.

My Thoughts...

This had a great flavor and came out perfectly! I found it a little strange that after refrigeration it kind of gelled up...not really sure what caused this, but it was still tasty. My noodles also look incredibly misformed, as hubs left the crockpot on warm for several hours after it was done cooking. So the noodles sort of took on a life of their own. Still, they were tasty! Perfect for the FIFTY DEGREE weather we've been having in MID JULY!!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Apple Strudel Muffins

I had some apples leftover that I found on clearance for 20c/lb last week. I already have several pints of applesauce in my freezer, so I decided to switch it up and make some baked goods with the apples...


...2 cups flour
...1 tsp. baking powder
...1/2 tsp. baking soda
...1/2 tsp. salt
...1/2 cup butter
...1 cup white sugar
...2 eggs
...1 1/4 tsp. vanilla
...2 cups chopped apples

...1/3 cup brown sugar
...1 tbsp. butter
...1 tbsp. flour
...1/8 tsp. cinnamon


Preheat oven to 375*. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar and eggs. Add in vanilla and apples. Slowly stir in flour mixture until well blended. Fill muffin cups with mixture. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, flour and butter until it comes coarsely together. Put topping on muffins. Bake in preheated oven for 18 minutes or until golden.

My Thoughts...

This was a really great muffin! I loved the streusel topping, and the moist apple flavor offered by this muffin! What a great change from cold cereal at breakfast!

Friday, July 17, 2009


I have always been a pretty big fan of scotcheroos...they're just so yummy!


...1 cup white sugar
...1 cup corn syrup
...1 cup peanut butter
...6 cups Rice Krispie cereal
...1 bag chocolate chips


In a saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and corn syrup. Bring to a rapid boil. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter until smooth. Add to Rice Krispies in a large bowl and stirl until cereal is evenly coated. Spread into a greased 9x13 pan. In the microwave, melt chocolate chips until smooth. Spread over cereal mixture. Chill until chocolate is hardened.

My Thoughts...

This is another one of those great summer friendly recipes. No oven required, which means a great treat with minimal heat! Not only that, but these are addicting! Which is tasty for the tongue but really bad for my wasitline...30 Day Shred, here I come!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cheesy Chicken and Potato Casserole

I like easy casseroles. They make life a little easier. This one is great. It's economical (because I know we all have some Betty Crocker potatoes in the stockpile, and some cheap cheese in the freezer...) and tasty (but not so great for the waistline.


...1 box scalloped potatoes
...4 potatoes, thinly sliced
...shredded cheese
...2 chicken breasts (cut into chunks or shredded)
...3 tsp. vegetable oil
...1 can cream of chicken soup (not pictured)
...1 can mushrooms (not pictured)


Before slicing potatoes, cook slighty in microwave to ensure done-ness in the oven (this is crucial. if you don't slightly bake the potatoes beforehand, then you will have crunchy, undone potatoes in your casserole). In a medium pan over medium-high heat, brown chicken until it is white all through. Prepare scalloped potatoes as directed on box. Stir in sliced potatoes, chicken, cream of chicken soup and mushrooms. Bake at 350* for 15 minutes. Add cheese to top of casserole and return to oven for 10-15 minutes.

My Thoughts...

This was just how I like it, ooey, gooey and cheesy. YUM! This is probably not the best for the waistline, but sometimes those recipes are just too darn tasty to pass up! I love any recipe mainly featuring the potato as they're so economical to purchase, and I love the ooey and gooy-ness of cheese added to any dish! This was great!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Crockpot Fajitas

Mmmmmm! We love us some mexican! I don't typically make fajitas, but I found this recipe and began wondering why I haven't been as the ingredients are all things I have on hand...


...1/2 each of green and yellow pepper, sliced in strips
...1 yellow onion sliced in strips
...1 pound steak (I used pork steak)
...3/4 cup water
...2 tbs. apple cider vinegar
...1 tsp. ground cumin
...1 tsp. chili powder
...1/2 tsp. salt
...1/2 tsp. garlic powder
..1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
...1/2 tsp. black pepper


Place ingredients in slow cooker, stir to coat veggies and meat with seasonings. Cook on low for 8 hours, or until the meat is tender (it only took mine about 7-ish hours for really tender meat). Use slotted spoon to remove from crockpot so as not to have watery fajitas. Serve on tortilla shells with sour cream, salsa, tomatoes and cheese.

My Thoughts...

This was really good, but I think I am going to stick to making them on stovetop. The veggies and meat were both kind of mushy, and we prefer our fajitas to have a bit of a crunch to them. I also thought this was pretty spicy, so if you have kids or a low spice tolerance you might want to tone it down a bit. This will be a great standby for when we want mexican, but only have time to pop something in the slowcooker in the morning.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Corn Dog Casserole

I had a few requests for this one on last week's menu plan...sorry it took me so long to make it!

The Ingredients...

...2 tbs. butter
...2 cups sliced celery (not pictured)
...1 small, yellow onion
...1 package hot dogs
...2 eggs, beaten
...1 1/2 cups milk
...1 tsp. sage
...1/4 tsp. black pepper
...2 (8 oz) pkgs. corn meal mix
...Cheese to garnish


Preheat oven to 400*. Over medium heat, melt butter in a large skillet. Saute celery and onions in butter until soft. Set aside in small bowl. Slice hotdogs into quarters, and then into small pieces. Saute in same skillet used for celery/onion. Mix into celery and onion mixture, and set aside one cup of mixture. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, sage, pepper and corn bread mix. Stir well to combine and add in hot dog mixture. Spread into a greased 9x13 baking pan and top with remaining 1 cup of hot dog mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

My Thoughts...

I didn't particularly care for this, I thought it came out pretty dry. The flavor was good and all, but it really could have used something to make it a little less dry. Hubs, however, LOVVEEDD this! He asked me everyday after I made this if there was any left, because he wanted to take leftovers to work. This would be a very kid friendly recipe as well, and is a great alternative to corn dogs in a pinch!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Flour Tortillas

This is one of those "I-know-I-can-make-it-cheaper" recipes. The price of flour tortillas is outrageous, and I just knew that there had to be a way to make them from scratch! I was right!


...4 cups all purpose flour
...1 tsp. salt
...2 tsp. baking powder
...2 tbs. lard (I used butter, it worked out fine)
...1 1/2 cups water


In a large bowl, wisk together flour, salt and baking powder. Mix in lard (butter) with your fingers until the mixture resembles corn meal. Add water and continue mixing until the dough comes together. Place on a lightly floured surface, and knead for a few minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Divide dough into 24 pieces, rolled into a ball. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat (I strongly recommend using a nonstick pan for this to prevent a burnt-black-won't-come-clean mess!). Using a floured rolling pin, roll each ball until it is the same thickness as a piece of paper (in a circle of course!). Place into hot skillet and cook until bubbly and edges turn golden. Flip and repeat. Repeat process until all dough balls have been cooked.

My Thoughts...
I'm really glad this worked out! I froze many of the tortillas as we will never go through 24 before they go bad. This is much cheaper than the grocery store, and I like knowing all of the ingredients in them! Just another pantry basic that can be made from scratch crossed off my grocery list!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Strawberry Smoothie

In search of something for lunch last week, I was disappointed in myself for not making enough of, well, anything that yielded leftovers. Except for the corn dog casserole. Which did have leftovers. Mountains of leftovers. None of which I wanted to eat. Which left me to choose between the makings for a sandwich and some strawberries. Some old, probably-should-have-been-in-my-food-waste-post strawberries. I decided to go with the sandwich, mostly because I was scared by the strawberries. But after eating the sandwich, I was still hungry. Crud. Guess that means the strawberries get a chance afterall....


...8-ish strawberries, hulled
...1/2 c. milk (yes. I used powdered. we're out of store bought. I noticed no difference.)
...1/2 c. yogurt (which also needed using up. What I was thinking when I bought a BIG container of yogurt simply so I could make yet more yogurt, is beyond me...)
...1 tsp. vanilla
...3 tbs. sugar
...1 tray of ice cubes


Place all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!

My Thoughts...
I was really hoping this would turn out, but held my breath on the results due to the less than fresh strawberries. But I was pleasantly surprised! I couldn't even tell that the berries had been sitting in my fridge for about a week too long (no mold. promise. I think it helped that they had previously been frozen) and this turned out sooo delicious! I had a glass for lunch and I put the remaining into the freezer and had that as an afternoon snack! I'm going to try this with peaches next as I have an over abundance of these that I got on markdown and the peach popsicles I attempted aren't going over so well...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Cinnamon Rolls

A few nights ago, my dear little sister and our cousin who is visiting town (she lives 12 hours away, and we don't get to visit often...) decided that they wanted to have a slumber party at my house. I obliged to the two giggling teens, and even made them homemade cinnamon rolls for the next morning. I know, my best big sister award will be in the mail, thanks :)


...3/4 c. water
...2 T. oil
...2 eggs
...1 1/2 t. salt
...2 T. granulated sugar
...3 c. flour
...2 1/4 t. active dry yeast

Brown Sugar/Cinnamon filling...
...1/3 c. brown sugar
...2 t. cinnamon
...2 T. melted butter

...3 oz. cream cheese
...1/4 c. butter, softened
...1 1/2 c. confectioners sugar
...1/2 t. vanilla extract


Place ingredients into bread machine in order listed. Turn on to dough setting and let the machine run its cycle. When cycle is complete, place the dough on a lightly floured surface to rest for 5 minutes. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough until it is a 1/4 inch thick rectangle. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar mixture ingredients. Spread mixture onto dough. Roll up length wise and pinch edges together. Slice into 1 inch thick rounds. Place in a lightly greased 9x13" pan. Cover with a clean cloth or towel, and palce in a warm spot to rise, about an hour. Bake at 350* for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. When cooled, drizzle with icing.

My Thoughts...
I love cinnamon rolls! And growing up as a kid, we only had them on Christmas and Easter mornings. Which made eating them all the more special. But now that I know that making them is so easy, and of course delicious! When we have kids, I want them to remember warm, gooey cinnamon rolls on chilly fall and winter mornings. Even on a hot summer day as a tasty snack! I just loooovvveee cinnamon rolls!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


We've been attempting to eat less breakfast cereal each morning, so I've been trying to homemake a lot of things to have on hand. This week I decided to make up a batch of waffles to freeze and just pop in the toaster on hurried mornings.

The ingredients...

...1 3/4 c. flour
...2 T. sugar
...1 T. baking powder
...2 eggs
...1 3/4 c. milk
...1/2 c. oil
...1 t. vanilla


In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl, mix together wet ingredients, add to the dry ingredients and stir until just moist. Cook on preheated waffle iron until golden and test done (it took my iron about 3 minutes).

My Thoughts...

Yum! We love waffles here! Topped with the homemade syrup, it was delicious! These freeze great and warm up great in the toaster as well! A great homemade breakfast for a busy morning!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Rhubarb Crisp

I harvested the rest of the rhubarb from my dad's patch, and decided to freeze most of it for this winter. But I also decided to make up a rhubarb crisp, because it's just oh so yummy!

The Ingredients...

...5 c. rhubarb, chopped
...1/2 c. water
...1 c. sugar
...3 T. flour
...1/2 c. butter/margarine
...3/4 c. brown sugar
...3/4 c. oatmeal
...3/4 c. flour
...1 t. cinnamon

Put water and rhubarb in an 8 inch dish. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and 3 T. of flour and sprinkle over the top of the rhubarb/water mixture. In another bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, oatmeal, remaining flour and cinnamon, mix until crumbly. Sprinkle over rhubarb mixture and bake at 350* for 20-30 minutes.

My Thoughts...

This was good, but it turned out different than the first time I made it. As you see in this picture, the topping isn't crumbly at all, but the first time I made it, it was. And I didn't do a thing different. Well, at any rate, this was really good, despite how the topping turned out. This is my favorite crisp recipe...just a note that you might want to omit the 1/2 cup of water as rhubarb is really watery to begin with.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Rhubarb Sauce

I've had this recipe saved to try for over a year now. Doesn't it just sound like such a yummy topping on ice cream? I also think it would make a tasty oatmeal mix, cake topping, waffle syrup or maybe even jam in a pinch.

The Ingredients...

...2 cups chopped rhubarb
...1 cup sugar


Combine sugar and rhubarb and stir to coat. Microwave in for 12 minutes, stirring and mashing every 3 minutes.

My Thoughts...

Seriously, it doesn't get much easier than this! And it's good too! This makes about a pint of sauce. I can't wait to try this on top of all kinds of yummy treats! Don't get to experimental on this recipe...the sugar to rhubarb ratio is the perfect amount of sweet to tart.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Potato Salad

My grandma made the best potato salad. EVER. The only problem? She didn't write the recipe was more of a toss and taste recipe. And I have been on the hunt for a recipe similar ever since she passed. I think I finally have it about mastered. At least mastered enough to share it with all of you, because I really think this is a great base recipe. I also chose to share it this week because since hubs is gone on his motorcycle trip, I have more time to experiment in the kitchen :)

The Ingredients...

...5 Potatoes, boiled until tender but still firm
...3 Eggs, hardboiled
...1 cup chopped celery
...1/2 onion, chopped
...1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
...1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
...1/4 teaspoon celery salt
...1 tablespoon prepared mustard
...1/2 cup mayonnaise


Cube potatoes and eggs. Place in bowl and add remaining ingredients. Stir until well combined. Refrigerate several hours before serving to chill and allow ingredients to marinate in each other and thicken.
**As a side note, you may want to play with the amount of mayonnaise. I felt that 1/2 cup was almost not enough. After standing in the refrigerator and thickening, it wasn't as creamy as I prefer potato salad to be. So the amount of mayo added is really up to you**

My Thoughts...
I love potato salad. And I thought that this was really close to being perfect. As mentioned above, I didn't think that there was quite enough mayo...and next time may try it with 3/4 cup instead of 1/2 cup. I also may try it sans onion next time as I'm pretty sure my grandma didn't add any in hers, since none of the grandkids like onion. Otherwise, this was delicious and I really can't wait to try it again and get it perfected!

To see more delicious recipes, check out Works For Me Wednesday, Recipe Edition! over at We are THAT Family!
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