Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sweet & Spicy Meat Loaf Sandwiches

(photo from


Sweet & Spicy Meat Loaf Sandwiches
Potato Bread
Horseradish Spread
Potato Salad (Store Bought)

Sweet & Spicy Meat Loaf

2 eggs beaten
2/3 cup seasoned fine dry bread crumbs
1 cup onion – finely chopped & sautéed
½ cup ketchup
¼ cup milk
½ cup raisins (I use golden)
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 ½ lbs ground sirloin

1/3 cup ketchup
3 TBSP brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Combine first set of ingredients and cook in 9x5x3 pan for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Mix ketchup and brown sugar together and spread over meat and bake for another 5 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve on potato bread with horseradish spread.

Horseradish Spread

1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 TBSP horseradish
Mix together until well blended.

My Notes:
This meatloaf is the sweet (cloves and raisins) and the spread is the spicy. It goes GREAT together. Also is great for leftovers the next day, or to take with you to work for lunch.

Source: (with changes)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Pinkalicious Drink


Pinkalicious is Hannah's favorite story right now and we have the perfect drink to go along with her book.

Pinkalicious Drink

7up (or other lemon-lime soda)
Raspberry or Strawberry Sherbet

Put 2 scoops into a large glass or 1 scoop into a small glass. Fill with 7up and let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes. If you are making this for a crowd, put about 8 to 12 scoops of sherbet into a punch bowl. Add 4 cups of ice and a 2 liter of 7up. Serve and enjoy!

You could also make this with lime sherbet for a green drink on St. Patricks day.

You can see it gets pinker when you let it sit and allow the sherbet to mix into the 7up.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Our Gingerbread House

Home Sweet Home

Hannah saw the gingerbread house contest at Winterfest and decided we needed to make our own. For our first attempt (having never made a gingerbread house before) I decided to go with the store-bought pre-baked house. Everyone helped. Takeshi was our architect and laid out the plans for our house to be built. I constructed the house and frosted the roof. Hannah decorated the roof and the sides of the house. Ernest added the finishing touches with gumdrop rings on our rooftop.

Hannah made these doors and windows all by herself.

She also placed these gumdrops on the side of the house by herself.
I think it's a pretty good 1st attempt. We might even do it again next year :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

(photo from

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread (or Monkey Bread)

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cans (16.3 oz each) Pillsbury® Grands!® Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 12-cup fluted tube cake pan.
2. In large plastic food-storage bag, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon. Separate dough into a total of 16 biscuits; cut each into quarters. Shake in bag to coat. Arrange in pan. Mix brown sugar and butter; pour over biscuit pieces.
3. Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until golden brown and no longer doughy in center. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn upside down onto serving plate; pull apart to serve. Serve warm.

This is perfect to serve on Christmas morning. It's sweet and easy to make!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

These are the best muffins ever. If you use 24 oz of chocolate chips, they are more like a dessert than a muffin. Meghan made these one night for book club and they have been my favorite ever since!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin (or you can use 1 15 oz. can pumpkin, which is slightly less than 2 cups)
1½ cups oil
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
12-24 oz bag chocolate chips

Mix first 4 ingredients together and beat until smooth. In a separate bowl mix next 5 ingredients together (flour, soda, powder, cinnamon & salt). Add this to pumpkin mixture. Add 12-24 oz bag of chocolate chips. For standard sized muffins, bake at 400° for 16-20 minutes. For mini muffins bake at 400° for 10-12 minutes.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thanksgiving Dinner

Here is our traditional Thanksgiving Dinner that my mom has made every year for Thanksgiving. Some of these may not be her original recipes, but the menu is!


Turkey & Stuffing
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
Green Bean Casserole
Cauliflower with Cheese Sauce
Pearl Onions
Veggie Tray with Spinach Dip
Ritz Crackers with Cheese Ball
Blueberry Muffins (for breakfast!)
Red Jello Salad
Green Jello Salad
Fresh French Bread or Rhodes Rolls
Cream Soda
Pumpkin Pie

Turkey by Alton Brown

1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey

For the brine:
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock (16 cups)
1 TBSP black peppercorns
1/2 TBSP allspice berries
1/2 TBSP candied ginger
1 gallon iced water

For the aromatics:
1 red apple, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup water
4 sprigs rosemary
6 sage leaves
Canola oil

Combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stockpot, and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Early on the day of cooking, (or late the night before) combine the brine and ice water in a clean 5-gallon bucket. Place thawed turkey (with insides removed) breast side down in brine, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area (like a basement) for 6 to 8 hours. Turn turkey over once, half way through brining.

A few minutes before roasting, heat oven to 500 degrees. Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes.

Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine.

Place bird on roasting rack inside wide, low pan and pat dry with paper towels. Add steeped aromatics to cavity along with rosemary and sage. Tuck back wings and coat whole bird liberally with canola (or other neutral) oil.

Roast on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cover breast with double layer of aluminum foil, insert probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and return to oven, reducing temperature to 350 degrees F. Set thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let turkey rest, loosely covered for 15 minutes before carving.


I use Stovetop

Mashed Potatoes

4 pounds golden creamer potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chopped chives

Put the potatoes into a large pot, add the bay leaf, 2 tablespoons salt, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain them well and remove the bay leaf. Meanwhile, heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan. Put the potatoes through a ricer or food mill into a bowl. Add the hot cream and season with salt and pepper. Mix together with a spoon and add the chives.


Turkey drippings
Knorr chicken bullion cubes

Add 2-4 cups of water and bullion cubes Turkey drippings. Follow guidelines on box to add correct amount of bullion cubes for 2-4 cups of water. Heat to boiling over stove and then slowly add cornstarch and water mixture (see below). Use whisk to beat. Keep stirring and adding cornstarch & water mixture until desired consistency is reached. Makes great no lumps gravy.

Cornstarch Mixture

1/2 cup COLD water
2-3 heaping TBSP cornstarch

Stir with a fork until mixed thoroughly.

Green Bean Casserole

1 can (10 3/4 oz) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp soy sauce
Dash ground black pepper
4 cups cooked cut green beans (or 2 cans)
1 1/3 cups French's® French Fried Onions

Mix soup, milk, soy, black pepper, beans and 2/3 cup onions in 1 1/2-qt. casserole. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until hot. Stir, Sprinkle with remaining onions. Bake 5 minutes more.

TIP: Use 1 bag (16 to 20 oz.) frozen green beans, 2 pkg. (9 oz. each) frozen green beans, 2 cans (about 16 oz. each) green beans or about 1 1/2 lb. fresh green beans for this recipe.

Cauliflower with Cheese Sauce

1 medium cauliflower
2 cups milk
8 oz Velveeta cheese
1 TBSP butter

Take off leaves, core cauliflower and wash in cold water. Put in a microwave safe bowl with 1 TBSP water. Cover TIGHTLY with food grade plastic wrap and cook for 5-7 minutes depending on the size of the cauliflower. Let set in microwave for 10 more minutes to finish cooking.

To make the cheese sauce, cook milk, cheese and butter over medium low heat until melted. Add cornstarch mixture (see below) to hot cheese sauce until thickened.

Pour cheese sauce over cauliflower and serve.

Cornstarch Mixture

1/2 cup COLD milk
2-4 heaping TBSP cornstarch

Stir with a fork until mixed thoroughly.

Pearl Onions

Pearl Onions
2 TBSP butter
1/4 cup half & half
salt and pepper to taste

Peel skins off onions, place in pan with 1 inch of water. Cover pan, bring to boil, then let simmer until tender. Drain water, add butter, cream, salt & pepper. Let butter melt, stir & serve warm. For moms only!! Don't share with kids.

Veggie Tray with Spinach Dip

Baby Carrots
Sliced Celery or Green Bell Pepper

Knorr Spinach Dip

1 (10 oz) pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup Best Foods mayonnaise
1 (4 oz) pkg Knorr vegetable recipe mix
1 (8 oz) can water chestnuts, finely chopped
3 green onions, finely chopped

Squeeze spinach until dry. In medium bowl, stir together spinach, sour cream and soup mix. Add finely chopped water chestnuts and green onions. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight. Great with the veggies or the French Bread!

Snowflake Ritz Crackers with Cheese Ball

Usually I buy these store bought. This year I am planning to try a couple from the Galleria Gourmet Cookbook!

Blueberry Muffins with Butter

Muffins are made from a store bought mix. I add fresh blueberries instead of using the ones from the can. These are eaten for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning!

Red Jello Salad

1 (3 oz) pkg strawberry Jello
1 cup boiling water
1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling

1 cup sour cream (approximately)
1/2 bag miniature marshmallows

Dissolve Jello in boiling water. Add cherry pie filling. Let set. Mix together sour cream and marshmallows. Spread on top of jello. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

Green Jello Salad

1 (6 oz) pkg lime Jello
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups boiling water
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 1/2 cups pineapple juice and water
2 pkgs dream whip
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
1 lb. 4 oz. can crushed pineapple

Pour boiling water over the jello and sugar. Stir and add lemon juice. Then add the pineapple juice and water mixture. Let soft set (about 2 hours in the fridge). Whip dream whip (according to pkg. directions) and then whip the cream cheese into the dream whip. Add crushed pineapple to the Jello, then fold in the dream whip mixture into the Jello. Refrigerate until set. A little harder to make than the Red Jello, but well worth the effort!

Cranberry-Orange Sauce

2 (8-ounce) packages cranberries, fresh or frozen
1 orange, zest cut into strips and juiced
1/2 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick

Put all the ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat and simmer until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve at room temperature or cool and refrigerate. Remove the cinnamon stick before serving.

French Bread or Rhodes Rolls

Store bought

Cream Soda

In bottles of course!

Pumpkin Pie

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 can (12 oz) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
Whipped cream, Cool Whip or Ice Cream for topping

Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell. Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Better than (insert word of your choice here) Cake

Better than (insert word of your choice here) Cake

1 white cake mix
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple (drained & juice set aside)
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
1 (3 oz) pkg instant vanilla pudding
1 cup milk
Cool Whip

Prepare cake mix using pineapple juice instead of water. If there is not enough juice, then add water to make up the difference. Bake cake according to package directions and let cool.

Mix cream cheese and milk together until smooth (for me it's still has little cream cheese lumps, I can't ever get it really smooth). Add (dry) pudding and mix. Fold pineapple into mixture. Spread on cake and top with cool whip.

I'm not really a cake person, but when the store is out of Rice Krispies and Cinnamon Red Hots to make my favorite birthday cake (Rice Krispie Treats), I had to make something else. I do love this cake and LOVE the frosting even more!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Corn Chowder

Here is a very easy recipe for Corn Chowder.

Corn Chowder

2 (11 oz) cans Mexican style corn, drained
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of potato soup, undiluted
1 1/3 cups milk
1 TBSP butter or margarine
1/2 tsp pepper
4 slices bacon
2 green onions, sliced

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, place bacon on a microwave-safe rack in a making dish. Cover with paper towels. Microwave at high 4 minutes or until crisp. Drain bacon, and crumble. Sprinkle bacon and green onions over soup. Fast and easy!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Chocolate Soup

Chocolate Soup - Made by Hannah (all by herself)


  • Cocoa
  • Cheese Crackers
  • Butter (not melted, just a chunk)
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Milk

Mix together, take a small bite and then give to your mom!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cute Lunch Idea

Muffin Tin Lunch

Here is such a cute lunch idea from Chasing Cheerios blog (her whole blog is awesome!). Of course her lunch looks much cute and it probably healthier (since it's organic foods), but Hannah loved it anyway despite it's flaws. She also loved the single M&M in the tiniest "pocket" for her dessert. Of course she ate that first and asked for more. She did get a couple more after her lunch was gone :)

This is a plastic "muffin tin" that I bought from Lakeshore Learning for $1.75. You can't bake it in, but it's great for crafts and cute lunches!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hannah, The Baker

On Monday we bought Hannah some fabric to make her an apron and chef's hat. She couldn't wait to wear her "baking dress" so we just wrapped it around her and tied a knot in the back. As soon as we arrived home, Hannah started getting out ingredients for a birthday "cake" for me (I'm turning 16, according to Hannah). She is holding a block of cheese and there is pudding mix in the bowl. She got all the ingredients out by herself, put them on the table and then poured the pudding mix in the bowl. Here are her other ingredients that she was planning on using for her cake.

Goldfish, Bisquick Biscuit Mix, 2 Bread Mixes and Flour

Flour, Jell-O Mix, Fruit Roll ups, Cool Whip container that contains left over Mashed Potatoes

Here is the pudding that became the "base" of the cake.

I convinced Hannah to make the pudding recipe on the box, and I was able to save 5 cups of "real" pudding before Hannah took over. The last cup of pudding was my "cake". She added flour, mashed potatoes, cheese, goldfish and milk (I was able to hid the mixes so she wouldn't try to use those!). Then we poured it into a cake pan and put it in the oven to cook. Since I've never made this recipe before I wasn't sure what temperature to cook it on. Since we were baking french fries for dinner it was cooked at 425 for 20-25 minutes. I didn't take a picture of it since it looked pretty gross. After dinner, Hannah forgot about it so I didn't have to worry about her getting sick from eating any. In case you were wondering, here are the measurement for our recipe.

Mama's Birthday Cake

1 cup of chocolate pudding (pre-made)
3 TBSP flour
1/4 cup milk
2 TBSP mashed potatoes
1 TBSP shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6 goldfish

Pour into mini loaf pan and cook for 20-25 minutes at 425.

Hannah had a great time making it, although I'm a little scared to see what she will try next!

Here is our pudding! (This one is edible)

The cup is part of my mom's Denby Ode china that she gave to me. Growing up, we would eat on these dishes every Sunday and holidays. I am so excited that I have these now!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Diego Cake

I made this for Hannah's birthday in April. This is my first attempt at a theme cake. Hannah saw this tutorial online, and had to have this one! I think it turned out pretty good for a first timer :)

Here's Diego!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Blue Pancakes

Hannah loves pancakes, but loves blue pancakes even more! We make regular pancakes and add blue (or red or green) food coloring. (We also color our cream cheese for our bagels!) Hannah thinks it's the best thing and loves picking which color she wants. Any leftover pancakes we store in the freezer and can be toasted later for an easy breakfast.

My mom used to make pancakes in letter shapes for us. The pancakes always tasted better when they spelled my name :)

Here is our favorite pancake recipe.

Ultimate Melt in Your Mouth Pancakes

2 cups Original Bisquick mix
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
3-4 drops of food coloring (optional - but very fun)

1. Heat griddle or skillet over medium-high heat or electric griddle to 375°F; grease with cooking spray, vegetable oil or shortening. (Surface is ready when a few drops of water sprinkled on it dance and disappear.)

2. Stir all ingredients until blended. Pour by slightly less than 1/4 cupfuls onto hot griddle.

3. Cook until edges are dry. Turn; cook until golden. To keep warm, place in single layer on cookie sheet. Cover with aluminum foil, and place in 200°F oven up to 10 minutes

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Bake on Saturday

We don't bake every Saturday, but I love the nursery rhyme:

Wash on Monday
Iron on Tuesday
Mend on Wednesday
Churn on Thursday
Clean on Friday
Bake on Saturday
Rest on Sunday

I even have my mom's handmade embroidered "bake day" dish towel.

So this is my little way of sharing the recipes that I have successfully made.